Sunday, December 31, 2006

Picture Perfect!

Turns out Santa had an extra goodie for me in his bag-o-tricks: a new digital camera!   It's the baby version of Harry's XTI -  a Canon PowerShot A710 with that all-important option: image stabilization! 

Here are some snap-happy pics from the "test run":

My kitchen, with the purple chairs from downstairs.  I have yet, too, to find some cute hooks for my three-year old, still pristine aprons!

A little reminder during the holiday season...

A way too-close up shot of me with a rather spotty complexion. I'd like to blame the camera - a malfunction or something - but nope - those are my massive amounts of freckles.  No wonder I still look twelve!

A picture of Harry taking a picture:

My living room mantle - complete with too much Blenko glass.  I'm really glad that Huntington, WV does NOT lie on a fault line...

Harry decided to go outside and take pics of our neighborhood and of our front door:


And - a picture of me - looking none too happy - in classic black and white - AND I found out that my camera has a color sapping action - so I took a picture of my bouquet Harry sent me on the "First Day of Holly"...

That's it for now, however, I'm heading to a New Year's Eve party (complete with a headache and an "I Heart Jack Sparrow" pink tee) and may be able to get some rather interesting shots of my buds - three (or four) sheets to the wind! 

--Happy New Year!

---Love, Holly

Thursday, December 28, 2006

If I only had a Brain, doo de doo de doo doo doo!

While going through my outbox today I found some interesting tidbits that Outlook deemed necessary to "save as draft."  

I cannot say when, or even why, I created the following - nor even if I've posted them before - but - for your viewing pleasure/horror - I present to you - DRAFTS:

     For some reason my hair, even though it is harnessed in a very pretty
pressed black leather headband, is still revolting.
    Little stray follicles are standing on end and sticking straight up like
soldiers lining up for battle.
    The Battle of a Bad Hair Day.

       Coming to work today - I'm a bit groggy - as if I've slept through a very
important event and am quite pissed about it - but can't recall what that
even was or may have been.
    In this hazy fog of semi-consciousness I veer into the turning lane and
stop abruptly.
    A tiny white man, baked brown from days in the sun, and wearing tight
jogging shorts, is gently loping through the street.  Not on the sidewalk.
Not on the curb.  Nope.  He's jogging along the yellow lines - in the middle
of the street.
    I stare, oblivious to the horns of others, people more determined to end up
at work than I, and watch his bobbing head disappear down Third Avenue.
    I wonder - what kind of person does it take to, without fear, jog down the
middle of a busy street littered with bad drivers from neighboring Ohio and
Kentucky?  And more so - what kind of person does it take to don tiny red
shorts while jogging - after the age of eighty?
    At any rate, it was something to see and a sight that shall be seared onto
my brain for quite some time...

Twas Friday the Thirteen,
And all through the land,
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even a Lawyerman,
When all of a sudden,
there arose such a  clatter,
And I bolted from my desk,
To see what was the matter,
And what to my bleary eyes did appear,
But the littlest associate,
In work up to her ears.
I rushed to her aid
and presented her my hand,
Wanting to help her,
In this dreary lawyer land,
Instead she looked at me evilly,
And with one squinted eye,
And said "begone with you,
For I know you will buy,
too much stuff on your trip ,
And leave me here, you selfish, mean lil' sh... person!

(This one I'm pretty sure I've posted before...)  :

I have self-diagnosed an affliction that’s been plaguing me for years:  I
have Nocturnal ADD.  Yes, horrors of horrors, every night/early morning I am
awoken by the sound of music playing in my head, half-finished thoughts,
story ideas swirling in broken scenes, and things I should have said during
prior conversations.  In this torrential tornado of hyper happenings - I see
images, too.  Bits of the last Harry Potter movie, imagined instances in
Half-Blood Prince, scenes from Joss Whedon’s series, and childhood shows
that were near and dear to me swirl by in a mess of mixed-up media.
    I figure that, as I sleep, my brain begins to plump with unreleased
thoughts and ideas pushing at my consciousness.   This pushing eventually
turns to full-on ramming at the side of lobes.  Eventually, the mind takes
over and wakes me from a deep, dreamless sleep and then prevents me from
getting back to REM by forcing me, head-first, into a vat of dreams where
Harry Potter is casting me in his new movie starring Tucker from Disney’s
Flash Forward and where I will be wearing only a furry, Chewbacca-looking
towel for protection from the elements since we are to be filming atop an
iceberg.  I have a large number of lines, but no time to memorize so my best
bud, Tiffany will be off-stage prompting me while wearing a monkey on her
head and fighting off the vampires, Buffy-style, that keep trying to touch
it.   Eventually I get in front of the camera which looks more like the
Leaning Tower of Pisa, and start to sing words to a Lena Horne song.  I win
an Oscar made of Cheese for my efforts...

Lindsey Lohan - is that you?

My sister just called me at work. 

I really should screen my calls.

(I've taken the liberty to enter pauses between words even though, in reality, there are none in Summer-speak)

"Hey - thanks for bringing me those tampons when I needed them the other night.  But I didn't read the directions - were the flames supposed to shoot out before or after insertion?" 

"Huh?"  I had no clue what she was talking about. With Summer - that's not an odd thing.

"Well, I was fine until I left the bathroom and started walking around and - it was like instant fire!" 

"Why?  What happened?"  It's awell-documented  fact that I have an irrational fear of "involved" feminine products.  NOW I had to worry about them burning, too?!

"Turns out they were really, overly scented - I couldn't get it out fast enough!  The more my legs rubbed together as I ran for the bathroom - I thought I was going to burst into flames!"

By this point, I've laid my head on my desk and am weeping with laughter.  One of the partners here at Lawyerman, Lawyerman, and Lawyerman was settled in the large conference room not twenty feet away from my desk and I was sure he could here my gargling. 

"You're a - a -" I stop and wipe my eyes, "YOU'RE A FIRECROTCH!"  By this point I'm openly cackling when my Office Manager saunters by with a bewildered look on her overly made up face. 

The moral of this post is: Don't buy scented tampons.  Unless you want to make your sister's coochie spontaneaously combust.  tee hee.       

          = FIRECROTCH!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I'm a Mean One, Mrs. Grinch! I'm the QUEEN of SINFUL Thoughts!

Twas the Friday before Christmas, and all through the firm, everyone was stirring, wanting to go the heck HOME ALREADY!

In walks my runner and he says "So my dad's been standing in line for the Wii since 5:30 this morning and he was number eleven and turns out that Toys-R-Us only got in ten and the lady says 'we have 60 gig PS3's - anyone want those?' and no one wanted them - they wanted Wiis so -"  I cut him off.

"Whoah - Toys-R-Us has Playstation 3's - in stock?"  Harry had been wanting a PS3 like that kid in that horrible movie with the "You'll shoot your eye out" gun.  So I called Diane at the store and she confirmed that, yes, they had them in stock and yes, they were the 60 gig and yes, they were approximately the same price as a black market kidney. 


So I did what any other loving wife would do.

I called and begged my Mommy Dearest to go get it.  And she did.  She pulled her arthritic butt out from between the couch cushions, hopped in her Grannymobile and made it to Toys-R-Us in ten minutes.

She calls me from the store, confused, "Holly - they don't have that thing."

"Mom, I JUST talked to Diane, the manager, not fifteen minutes ago - what are you asking for?"

"A $600 MP3 player - they said they don't have anything in the store that costs that much." 

I sighed and said "Ask for Diane - tell her I called a little bit ago for a"  I paused for emphasis, "Playstation Three."  

"Oh -" I could hear her repeat it back and then a gaggle of laughing salespeople. 

"Yeah - they got it."  

Funds were transferred, moms were praised and some workers got to have a nice chuckle at my mother's expense on the last shopping weekend before Christmas.

I was happy.   "You're gonna get him a game, too - aren't you?"

Well, crap.

So, off I go to do some research and find out that the most wanted game is "Resistance:  Fall of Man"  which is kinda like Aliens v. Man in a WW II setting.                                            

Works for me.

I'm standing in line for about a half an hour after work when this guy in front of me starts getting chatty. "Oh - buyin' a game, are ya?"   No, nimrod - I have a wobbly table at home - needs a prop - thought a $60 game would be PERFECT for it...  People kill me.  But I digress.

I smiled politely and shrugged.  "Got him the system, had to have a game to play, too!" 

He tilted his head and said "Aw!  How old?!" 


"Oh."  he quickly turned around and never looked back.


              Merry Belated Christmas, everyone! 


Thursday, December 21, 2006


That elusive "Do Not Disturb" door on has opened - revealing the title of book seven!  The FINAL book in the Harry Potter series! 

You can either go to the website - click on the eraser and figure out how to open the door yourself  - OR you can watch this nifty video - IT REVEALS THE TITLE OF BOOK SEVEN! 



I'm so excited! Oh -and - of course - I'm very excited for my sister - she turns THIRTY today!

 Happy birthday, sissyhead!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Quick Note...

My newly-married bud, Stacey, just sent me this link featuring an acapella men's chior singing a Christmas diddy.

WAIT! Don't judge it by that dorky intro - just watch it - I laughed so hard I nearly busted with Christmas joy!


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Pepe le you?

I think, somehow, I've become a non -stinky Pepe Le Pue. 

I don't know when this happened, or when I stopped being the persued and am now the persuer - but it has occurred and I find myself vying for my hubby's attention every time he's within five feet of my grubby paws.

I stroke his hair, rub his chin, pat his arm, grope his - well - uh - never mind - let's just say I'm overly affectionate.  And I'm not really sure if this a new thing or an escalating version of me.  Whatever it is - I'm annoying myself as well as him.

Maybe my biological clock has started ticking. Or has started ticking louder - either way- it could be the cause of my heightened sense of gropeage.  Where's the snooze bar on this darn thing?  Undoubtedly my body is not ready for kids, for children, rugrats, spawn, hanger-on-ers? I still cringe when I hear a baby's cry - I still gag when I see a snot-encrusted toddler. I still recoil when I spot that woman who just could not say "no" to HER grope-happy hubby and is now doomed to spend the next 1-18 years pushing around a buggy full of screaming little people!

So, whether it's just the fact that I see him very little or the fact that my (gulp!) biological (warfare) clock is a'tickin' - I need to learn to keep my hands to myself.

Or just wait 'till he's asleep.

hee hee.

"What is this? Oh, but of course. This little one wish to commit suicide to prove her love for me. What a sweet gesture. Nevertheless, I must prevent it. " Pepe Le Peu

Monday, December 18, 2006

Ri-OH Grande!

My good bud, Alison and I decided to go to Rio Grande, our favorite lunching spot, today.  We were seated rather quickly and shown to our "usual" booth (yes, we eat there that freakin' much!).  Instead of being greeted by a familiar face - we got a newbie.

Fine - just bring on the cheese dip.

So - I order our drinks and he looks at me - smiles and looks at my boobs.

Um - er - 'kay.  Fine - just bring on that cheese dip!

It had already been an odd lunchtime experience considering upon our arrival to "The Rio" we were greeted by not one, but two low, appreciative whistles.  This was puzzling for two reasons.  Number one was because Alison and I were attempting to free ourselves from my Mother's Taurus with its velcro-like seats which leaves any occupant flopping around like a half-dead trout and number two - Alison had just finished loudly announcing to the entire parking lot that she had a run in her hose.  

Neither of which is all that sexy.  Nor deserving of the dog whistle.

So now that we are seated and ready to order, I'm happily anticipating the large and cheesy "Jumbo Vegetarian burrito."

"I would like a Jumbo burrito - no meat," I said to the chubby mustached man. 

"No meat," he repeated and then smiled at me, looked me in the eyes - and then looked at my breasts again.

When he brought our food out a millisecond later - I said "Thanks - oh -and don't forget the cheese dip!" 

He said "Cheese dip" and then dropped his eyes. 

By this time I was turning red and Alison was like "Okay - I think he likes your boobs." 

When he asked if we needed anything - every three minutes - he would stand very close to me and plaster a big grin on his face. I was beginning to think this guy was a broken clock - the way his eyes kept rolling up and down in his head.

Finally, we leave and I feel full - both in ego and in tummy.

Needless to say - I left him a big tip.


Desperately Seeking...

Now that school is out and my life has resumed its gentle hum of boring repition and gentle sway of pleasant plainness - I am in the need of:

1.   A good book to read.  One where I will laugh, cry, drool and perhaps even add to my "love forever" list of books.  I sat before my large and literally over-flowing bookshelf this morning before finally selecting a book that I didn't really want to read - but wasn't ready for the darkness of a Stephen King book either. 

It may be stupid - but at least it's something to read during the dreaded 2-3pm hour!

2.   A good movie to watch. I don't care when it was made, whether it's dvd or vhs or only available through downloads on AOL. My brain would like some entertainment, please. 

3.  New recipies - preferrably ones that will get me over my "meat phobia".  For some reason I'm incredibly nervous about cooking with meat - scared I'll make everyone sick or something.   I swear, I think I'm just a really bad vegetarian...

That's about all I can come up with - I'm just feeling the need to be entertained -so please - if you have any suggestions - lemmie know!

I'm up for 'em!


Friday, December 15, 2006

I'm Smart and Stuff.

I just got my grades for those two Grad classes I took.

Maybe I should reconsider my decision NOT to go back?:


CRN Subject Course Section Course Title Campus Final Grade Attempted Earned GPA Hours Quality Points  
2427 ENG 523 101 American Lit 1865-1914 Student on campus A





2429 ENG 534 101 Contemp American Poetry Electronic Courses A





Hey - does this mean I can claim that I now understand poetry?  Hee hee.

Hol. E. Shivel - Supergenius.


Thursday, December 14, 2006


I arrived early Tuesday morning - too early in fact.  I hit the hospitality suite at the Robert C. Byrd Institute at 8 AM and expected to wait in a huge line of press. 

I was the only one there.

So I got a steaming hot white chocolate and waited.

Once my credentials were "checked" which involved a blonde chick handing me a large white envelope and a press kit - yup - no blood test, no social security number - nothing - I then stepped out of the hospitality suite.

And missed a step.

I sprayed myself with my boiling cup of chocolate. 

I'm sure I appeared to be a half-melted snowchick as people strolled past me and tried to avoid eye contact with the chubby girl, so thirsty, that she has doused herself in her beverage.

I decided to hit Fourth Avenue and check out the set up.

I was amazed.

The City of Huntington had transformed itself into  - a large jungle gym.  Wtih a large green stripe going down the middle of it.   I was impressed - and anxious to start climbing. 

I hit the pavement and saw Huntington through the eyes of  a tourist - a slightly damp, chocolate-smelling tourist. 

I kiled time by sitting in Starbucks reading and looking at my "We Are Marshall" press pass.  The movie, which I got to see at 11am that day, was AMAZING.  I shall not divulge the inner workings of the flick - I will just say - that - after the credits rolled - no one moved.  The entire 100+ journalists packed into the theater like day old sardines - sat silently and watched the whole movie.  We then shuffled out, one-by-one in a hushed silence. 

Afterwards - the PREMIERE!!!!:


And then green carpet:


My Matthew Fox - who caught me staring at him with a goofy grin on my face INSTEAD of taking pictures of him like Iwas supposed to be doing - and he cracked up - it was HILARIOUS!  OH - how I wish he was a "chubby chaser"! 

Matthew, Matthew and Anthony Mackie:

A good shot of the cast and the actual people who lived the film as life:

I had a wonderful time and thank my editor, Heather, at the VoiceboxX for nominating me, a newbie humor columnist, to attend this history-making event in downtown Huntington, WV.


Monday, December 11, 2006



I have just received my credentials and invitation to the hospitality suite for the upcoming "WE ARE... MARSHALL!" movie premiere happening tomorrow in beautiful downtown Huntington, WV.

So far, the perks for this job are: seeing the stars walk the green carpet and having an excuse to take pictures and gawk at them, free press screening of the movie, a day off of work, and a chance to prove myself as a writer!

So - send happy thoughts my way and please pray for me - make sure I don't trip over the Green Carpet and send myself flying like a chubby missile toward one of the Matthews!

On second thought... that may not be so bad!


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Stick a Fork in Me, I'm DONE!

As I hit the "submit" button on the pop-up box on WebCT it prompted with "Are you sure you want to submit this assignment?"

Oh, hell, yeah, I want to submit this bleepin' paper! I thought to myself as I forcefully stabbed my mouse with my index finger. 

With that one small hand movement (and a bit more jazz hands) I was done with my school semester.

I survived, I thought with glee as my mind floods with things that I now have time to do: go see movies, read books, bake cookies and lemon bars, email friends, update my blog, concentrate on my writing career.

Actually get started on your Christmas Shopping List! 

With that being said - I'm off to go to the store (I will have to clean the cobwebs from the cupboard before filling them wih food once again), Border's books at the mall, maybe a nice dinner with Harry and to go see my neglected family!

My only - wait - what is that?

From my seat at the kitchen table (buried under piles of papers on Stephen Crane) I can hear Harry talking on his phone.  He's standing in the downstairs driveway which happens to be directly 'neath the windows I am sitting beside.

Now, here is the perfect devil/angel moment.

I know he's talking about me and my future Christmas present.  I shouldn't listen.

But it would be HILARIOUS if he came upstairs, smirking with happiness and I say "So - when are they delivering my (insert specific gift here)?" 

But - isn't it better to be surprised?  My angel, rockin' a sweet halo and some kick-ass ankle wrapped sandals strokes my newly blonded locks, trying to convince me otherwise. 

Drats!  I turn on the television and pretend to be interested in an HGTV program about landscaping. With the volumed turned up to 17.

I'm too nice.

Bah Humbug.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Well you Still Love me when I'm all Wrinkly?

As you may have guessed, my dear ever-traveling husband is "on the road again" leaving me alone with an ailing kitty and a pile of laundry that has consumed the floor of my downstairs kitchen.  Everywhere - as far as the eye can see is piles upon piles of dirty clothes courtesy of J.Crew, Banana Republic, Tommy Hilfiger, I.N.C. and Polo. 

I sigh and grab onto the pile of clothes closest to the door to begin the cumbersome sorting process.  Suddenly a small brown spider lunges at me from the folds of a Tagless Tee.

I scream like a banshee on helium - nearly shattering the twin floor-to-ceiling display cases filled with Simpson's figurines to my right.  Flinging the shirt to the ground, I pick up the nearest object and start spraying the spider, who will, from now on, be nice and starched.

He's still scurrying like  "Frosty the Spiderman" when I plop the can on top of him and yell at Harry to come help me.

That was four days ago.

I had honestly forgotten about my arachna-nemesis - until I went to iron a shirt for work this morning - and realized that my spray starch was being used as a cruel and unusual prison.

I ended up at work with an unperfectly pressed shirt.

Somehow - it's Harry's fault....

I decided to exact my revenge when laundry day continues this evening.  Yup, I, the killer of "spiders gone wild", will "forget" to use fabric softener on his "man panties."

The vows were "love, honor and cherish" I didn't hear a thing about "thou shalt provide non-spider-cleaning-upper hubby with non-scratchy underwear"!

Pet "Peevey"

Today, while I sat at my desk and listened to the "Holly" station on XM - the sky behind me filled with large fluffy flakes and - the bestest Christmas song EVER filled through my tiny computer speakers:  "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas".


I don't know what it is about this song that makes me just bounce and giggle while pursing my lips and singing along - it's just a happy little tune that makes me forget about my emptying checking account, my furry sicky friend and the fact that my hubby is two hours away in some podunk town, during this Christmas Season.

But I will hold my head up high, toss my curls (I was too lazy to straighten my hair this morning) defiantly and bellow carols for all the office to hear.

Why?  Because my name is Holly - and for that - it's my civic duty to spread cheer like a female Santa - so get happy - dammit - or I'll come shove a sprig of mistletoe up your nose!

             HAPPY HOLLYDAYS!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Big Brother's Not Watching - Thank God.

I think it's really good that others can't see what we do when we're alone.

THAT could get really embarressing. 

In the past hour I've done the following:

1.  Giggled like mad while quoting from an essay on "The Death of the Lady (Novelist).

2.  Burst in to seven completely different renditions of three different Christmas carols.  My favorite one so far is the Bette Midler version of "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" complete with jazz hands.

3.  Drank three cans of Pepsi.  In a row.

4.  Ate three Lindor White Chocolate Truffle Balls.  In a row.

5. Ate a large batch of Krusteaz Lime Bars (darn you, Cindy!).  I would stop typing now - but I'm now stuck to the keys with green goo.  :)

6.  Clapped like a seal when I saw Luke and Christopher have a "man fight" in the middle of Stars Hollow on the CW's "Gilmore Girls."

7.  Lit a clove scented candle.  Played in the flame.  Had to resist launching into a Beavis tirade of "Fire!  FIRE!."

8.  Launched, instead, into a jazzy rendition of Michael Buble's "Let is Snow."

9.  Pulled my hair into a pony tail.  Pulled it out.  Put it in a half pony tail.  Took it out.  Wound it up in a bun. Pulled it out.

10.  Successfully wasted a full hour that should've been spent on my essay about "The House of Mirth."  I'm so proud.

About an hour ago - before all this animated wasting of time - I had to give Phoebe her meds.  Alone.  She's getting wise to the scheme.  I pull out the turquoise towel and she attempts to dart.  Luckily for me she's only running on like a 1/2 cylinder so I catch her and plop her into my lap.  I prepare her syringe of antibiotics and pry open her tiny mouth with my finger (thanks to Dan - I can still type with all ten fingers) - just as I'm about to squirt a small amount onto her pink tongue  - she bitch slaps me with a paw that flies from under the towel and makes immediate contact with my left cheek. 

I panic and - empty half the banana-smelling goo onto my arm. 

I swear the little gasping feline smirks at me.

"Oh no you don't!"  I quickly refill up to the 1ML line.

This time I manage to get most of it in - some on my arm and a small smudge on my glasses - but MOST goes into Phoebe.

Afterwards, she's so mad - she won't move.  She lays in my arms like a highly pissed off catepillar, waiting to become an even more pissed off butterfly.  Finally, after three minutes of heavy breathing (still not deep) she bucks and frees herself from my lap.

Stopping a few inches from my knees - she looks at me and shakes like Hooch from Turner and Hooch.  Spit strings, laden with that foul, sweet-smelling, liquid launches from her jaws and on to my right cheek. 

Harry calls from Ripley, WV.

"I'm bored," he whines.

"Really?" I say while whiping at my sticky cheek with a rag, "I just got beat up by a sickly cat who covered me in her drool."

"Still, it's better than being bored," he reasoned. 

Next time, post medicine injection, I'm going to toss Phoebe into his closet and let her shake her drool onto his Robert Talbot shirts. 

Now that would be a cure for boredom!

BTW- Pheobe's bloodwork came back - she's not suffering from pneumonia.  And he's not certain that it's cancer either.  Hello, square one, how I've missed thee...

Do You Have This Straightjacket in MY Size?

Since the paper I write for doesn't have up the link for my latest column - I'll include it here - for your reading "pleasure"!

                   There are times in every girl’s life when she must question her holding on that elusive thing called sanity.  On two separate occasions within the past few weeks I have felt that my sweaty, white-knuckled grip on the sane part of my brain was dangerously close to lifting off, taking flight and leaving me forever.  I have decided, for the mental health of all women and girls out there struggling to juggle a career, schooling, family, hobbies and social pressures, to let them know – they are not alone.

                 I have been doing quite well as of late in my Graduate School online poetry class.  I have learned terms, studied poets, and counted lines, stanzas, forms and rhymes all to better understand what makes a poet tick.  And now, many assignments later, I was to begin writing “The Big Paper” (hereinafter to be called “TBP”).  I was to fill ten pages of precious Microsoft Word space with an American Poetry topic of my choice.  I proposed to my professor the following: “I would like to study the very different poet Stephen Crane and maybe compare and contrast him to other Literary Giants of the day, like Emerson or Browning.”  My ever-prompt prof quickly wrote back via the wonderful (complicated and ever-bug-filled) WebCT:  “Good, Holly.  Emerson would be a great comparison to Crane.”  I copied down his suggestion in my notes and immediately developed an odd case of schizophrenia-dyslexia as I printed: “Crane v. Browning” at the top of my page.

Eight and a half pages into “TBP” I developed a nagging migraine that left me wishing I hadn’t purchased such a psychedelic rug for the family room as it was triggering a nice vertigo to go with the burning, smacking sensation that was working its way up my neck.  I log in to WebCT and quickly submit my Rough Draft, also known as “I’m embarrassed to have even have typed this load of poetic-based rubbish” and crawl up to bed.  At one in the morning I’m jolted by the following realization:  I did it all wrong!  Yup.  After sending it in is when I realize that Browning is not even an American Poet!   So, I do what any other girl would do in my situation – I commenced a massive freak out.

Earlier this week was when the second instance of my slipping sanity manifested itself for all the world to see.   Harry, my loving hubby and the cleaner-upper of the yard, begged, pleaded and whined until I finally agreed, reluctantly, to go to the shooting range.

Let me pause here to ask one general question:  If you knew your wife’s stress levels were zooming somewhere past the planet-formerly-known-as-Pluto – would you stick a pistol in her grubby paws?  I thought not – but Harry did.

We met another couple at a local gun range and I listened carefully as I was taught the basics of firearm safety.  I fought the urge to let the Lifetime Movie of the Week titles stroll across my mind like a doomed marquee:  “Bang, Bang: A Woman’s Accident in the Woods”;  “The Holly Shivel Story: Itchy Trigger Finger of Death”;  “Why I Wore Lipstick When I Accidentally Shot my Husband’s Big Toe Off.”  I shook my head and tried to pay attention to the life-saving techniques my friend, Mike, was calmly explaining to his wife, Meghan, and me.  He was detailing the trick to “releasing the action” when I felt my mind wander again, and began listing off a carefully mentally bulleted “To-Do List” across my brain.

“Okay – now release the action,” Mike said and looked at me expectantly.  My tiny right hand tried to wiggle up to the little button – but to no avail.  So I put one hand on top the gun and used the other to pop the action – and promptly got my finger stuck in it.  I got my finger stuck in a gun! was all I could think as I began an internal countdown to my next psychotic break.  10, 9, 8… “Okay, now keep your arms loose..” Mike warned as I fired and cringed.  7, 6, 5.. “Okay, Holly, your arms were too tense, the shell got stuck.  Try again…”  4,3,2…  “Nope, still too tense, it’s stuck again…”   One. LIFTOFF!  I insisted that Harry take me home, as a meltdown was imminent.

“Will you call HCA for me?  Book me a penthouse suite, please?”  I beg my husband on the way home as tears streak my face and I search for a napkin in the glove box.  “I’m just too stressed-out…”

“You don’t want to go to HCA, baby…” he said sweetly.  “Besides, I’m sure they don’t have 500 thread count sheets.”

I stared at him and then dried my tears.  “Really?  Oh, right.  Think they’d keep my reservation –just in case?”

But as the semester end looms before me like a bright, shining beacon of hope and as my Poetry professor assures me that my rough draft was just that – rough – but possessed good “bones”, I can feel myself relaxing. I’m sure things are going to be just fine.

Unless they continue to jackhammer the street below my office window.

And then, I can’t be held responsible for my actions:  “The Holly Shivel Story: How I Beat Up Construction Workers Wielding a Knee-High Payless Boot.”


Will Work for Catnip Cure

Phoebe's sick.


Friday night we rushed her to the Kitty ER where they took x-rays and told me that the reason why my beloved feline can't breathe is due to masses of - something - in her lungs.  "Could be pneumonia, could be cancer - we'd have to do more tests to be sure..."

After midnight we picked her back up and took her home where she slept next to the bed in a little, shaky, furry pile.  Shallow breaths rack her little frame as she struggles to sleep.  Food, once her favorite pasttime has now been forgotten. 

I took her to Dr. Tambling, her regular vet who took more x-rays only to annouce "It could be pneumonia, or cancer... we really can't be sure..."   Phoebe slept fitfully in her tiny carrier while Dr. Tambling stressed the importance of squirting 1 ML of an antibiotic into my ever-shrinking kitty's mouth.  "Be careful not to choke her - we don't want anything else foriegn getting into her lungs." 

No pressure, there.  Ugh.

So I have to hold her - upright - while I pry open her tiny mouth with my finger, stick the syringe in and give her the dose in three increments.  All the while praying she doesn't choke on it and hoping, too, that she doesn't take one of my much-needed fingers with her when she flies away from me in fit of furry fury. 

So, please, send happy thoughts (or padded gloves) our way!