there’s a spider in there?

Ben had a CT Scan of his head done yesterday to find the cause of the never ending headache. The results came back today and it looks like there is a fluid filled cyst at the base of his skull. The doctor said it may be an Arachnoid Cyst. In his head. By his brain. It’s not actually on or in the brain, thankfully. SO. THANKFULLY.

The last 24 hours I’ve bounced back and fourth between ‘Please don’t let there be anything in his head. Please. Please. Please’. To ‘Please let there be something SMALL and SIMPLE to treat so that he gets some relief from this pain he’s been in for FOUR DAYS.’

We don’t really know any more than that. The next step will be to get an MRI to get a better view of whatever is going on in there. The downside is I can’t help but be worried about something like this even though wikipedia makes to seem not so bad. The up side is I got to crack a joke about him setting off metal detectors because how cool would it be to have a piece of Bionic Steel in his head?!

I know that seems harsh and mean considering. But he’s already using it as an excuse for things…

06-30-2007: This conversation has been corrected after Ben reminded me how it “really went” at breakfast with a friend this morning. And really, my version made him seem less crazy, but we can go with his version instead!! πŸ˜‰

Ben: *knocks fork off counter*
Me: Dude. I was going to use that!
Ben: The auditory hallucinations told me to do it.
Me: Wikipedia said “Musical hallucination”.
Ben: The voices were singing.
Me: Oh. My. God.
Ben: *grin*

So it’s the very least I should be allowed to do.

Because I laugh. Every day. At my own expense.

Tuesday I was craving Italian food. Badly. Ben was pleased because its not a normal craving and NO JULIE I AN NOT PREGNANT! πŸ˜‰ Soon after we pulled away from the house:

Me: Remind me when we get back and I’ll put the garbage cans on the street.
Ben: Uhhh, they are on the street.
Me: Oh? They are?
Ben: Oh honey, I love your hair it’s so beautiful…
Me: Fuck you!
Ben: *bwahahha* You should blog that.
Me: Why would I blog that?! I only blog things that make OTHER people look stupid, not me.
Ben: Okay, then I’ll blog it.
Me: FINE! You have admin access and your own account, blog it yourself!
Ben: I’ll put in on NorCal.
Me: NorCal is NOT your blog.
Ben: It practically is!
Me: Besides, what are they going to say? They all KNOW me. They know I’m blond.

Me: I think I should post the post-conversation after the funny stuff because that was funnier.
Ben: *blink* *blink* I have no idea what the fuck you just said!!
Me: SEE! Funnier!
Ben: Blog it.
Me: I’m not blogging it!!

After dinner. Shortly before pulling up to the house:

Me: I don’t see the kid with the lemonade stand. Actually, I didn’t see him when we were leaving either. I think you’re seeing things, losing it.
Ben: Honey, remember to put the garbage cans out when we get back.

And that, my friends, is why I love the man.

I DON’T kill everything I grow.


I grew tomatoes!!! TADA!

I know, I know. Big deal right? Well, YES! It is a big deal! Because I’ve been trying to grow them for THREE SEASONS and this is the first time I’ve had a plant ACTUALLY produce a tomato.

In the past everybody told me to use Miracle Grow but I kinda feel like that’s cheating. I mean, do they genetically alter these fuckers to ONLY produce fruit if you chemically force them to? Maybe it’s some conspiracy that Miracle Grow has going on to up sales. But I dunno, I can see using it on flowering plants to balloon the bloom size to unnatural proportions but not something I’m going to eventually let Cassidy eat. I don’t need whatever chemical it is that causes the monster blooms to get into her system and somehow make her feet grow any bigger than they already are because they are already pushing the ‘unnatural’ envelope as it is.

I got some great news about a friend yesterday. And even though it wasn’t MY news I was so excited for them because I remember what it felt like to be in the spot they are in now and how wonderful it can feel and hearing THEIR good news actually put ME in a great mood! Funny how that can happen. Anyway, you know who you are and, YAY! Happy for your great news! πŸ™‚

Ben was supposed to go to the track this weekend but money (it would be over $500 MORE then the $300+ he’s already spent on it AND he was at the track last week anyway which was probably another $500) and his head has started being a bastard again. He gets these headaches that come on randomly and literally floor him. He instantly gets hot (I’m sure his temperature goes up because he actually feels hot to the touch), feels nauseated, lays down and tries to sleep it off. He lays there and moans. That kills me. Two weeks ago when he was helping me with my exhaust he practically drove a screwdriver THROUGH his hand, washed it off and kept working like it was no big deal. So when he’s in so much pain that he’s on the couch groaning, I get worried. Really worried.

They have given him migraine medicine and so far it’s basically done: NOTHING. They are still coming and the medicine doesn’t seem to help AT ALL to get rid of them, or even help with the symptoms. Then for the entire following day he has what he describes as a ‘headache hangover’. Anybody else have these? Idea’s what it might be? I’m wondering if maybe some more drastic testing should be done…

Anyway, that was my Full of Randomness post for the week!

Akismet hates me.

So Akismet has determined that I’m a spam bot. I’ve already had to contact TWO bloggers to ask them to mark me as ‘Not Spam’. I was in the spam folder. I feel so dirty. πŸ™ My beautiful witty comments lumped in with all the penis enlargement and barely legal ads. *shudder* It happened a third time on a site that I don’t frequent much and didn’t feel like contacting ANOTHER blogger about it so I submitted a help request to Akismet to please unlabeled me as trash, thanks! So if you have the most recent version of Akismet (since I tested it on Ben’s blog and the comment went through fine I’m assuming it’s only newer version) and I don’t comment for a few days, you know why.


Cassidy is doing well. Although I made the mistake of telling her that I got her a Gwen poster at the beginning of the conversation and it went downhill for me after that because:

Cassidy: CARRIELEE!! My mom got me a Gwen Stefani poster!! Isn’t that cool. Mom, is it like Carrielee’s?
Me: No, they didn’t have…
Cassidy: (to Carrielee) It’s not like your’s though! Where should I hang it? I think on my..

HI! HELLO! Remember ME! She does, but I just don’t compete. I’m not even in the same REALM as Carrielee. Which on one hand, the selfish one, I HATE! But on the other, much bigger more reasonable hand, I think is the coolest thing ever. Because at least if I’m losing her to a BFF and I’m no longer considered the coolest person she knows, it’s Carrielee. Carrielee Marie, who was given her middle name after me and who I love so much it causes my heart to swell and explode into little piles of love goop.

1st class.

You know what’s classy? Taking your New Girlfriend (decked out in mini skirt, belly top and fishnets) to the child support devision for an appointment you know that your Baby Mama is going to be at. When Dad and Baby Mama got up to go talk to the case worker and New Girlfriend started to walk back too, Baby Mom turned around and said, “You better SIT. YOUR. ASS. down.” If I’d had some popcorn and a 42oz. soda, I’d have been set.

I’d go into why I was there but not yet. Let’s just say that after letting $24,000 go unpaid just because I didn’t feel like fighting it went out the window the day I was called up and called a cunt because I didn’t feel like letting him get away with what I had in the past. And on the day we buried his uncle, no less. BIG. MISTAKE.

Cassidy is in Bakersfield with Carrielee and Amber for two weeks. I was literally getting in the car to leave and Cassidy and Carrielee were clinging to eachother with tears welling up and:

Amber: OMG! Just leave her here, we’ll bringher back in two weeks.

At the same time as…


So she’s there with her BFF and her grandma and probably getting spoiled rotten and having a blast. Which gives me two weeks to do the Annual Room Cleaning ExtravaganzaΓ’β€žΒ’. But not tonight! Tonight I need to go to bed for because I have to be rested for Gwen Stefani concert tomorrow! YAY! Girls night!

Graduation Day.

Mother & Son

Last night I ate pasta. I couldn’t help it. It came on the plate with the chicken I wanted and it might have accidentally wrapped it’s way around my fork and found a way into my mouth. Like, eight times. Or possibly eleven.

I started having to scratch my leg before we got out of the restaurant and by the time we got in the car my stomach started to bloat and my head was pounding and I couldn’t get my temperature to regulate and I knew that for the rest of the night the wheat would ravage through my body like a herd of pissed off elephants trying to find a way out.

Me: I’m going to spend the entire night crapping.
Mom: ANNA!
Me: What!?
Mom: I’m trying to set a GOOD example for Chrissy!

Break to insert: my niece had been having some disciplinary issues and has been sent to my moms house (another state, away from her friends and the brunt of the problem) to live for the rest of the school year, about two months. My mom offered to do this because my brother has a lot going on that I’ll have to post about later but she’s 15 and all girl and ALL ATTITUDE.

Me: Mom, everybody poops! Haven’t you read the book?
Mom: But they don’t use that word! They say “poop” or “diarrhea” or something else.
Me: Crap was a MUCH better word than what I was originally going to say!
Mom: *vein starts throbbing in forehead* Anna…
Me: It is!
Mom: What kind of example does that set? What are you going to say when Cassidy starts saying that?
Me: She won’t say it. She knows she’s not allowed to use that word.
Mom: Monkey see, monkey do…
Me: Monkey get her butt whooped.

Ready for anything.

Meanwhile… Chrissy, Cameron and Cassidy are in the back of the car about to keel over from laughter.

My mom totally loves me.

Right after this we told stories of some of our best farts and how we’d used them against each other. One time I almost caused my little brother to get PHYSICALLY ill because I let out an SBD in the BMW and he couldn’t find the window button. German engineers are crazy guys and put them on the center console instead of the doors. Cameron almost OMGDIED and I was laughing so hard I almost had to pull over the car.

My mom just drove, white knuckled, trying as hard as she could to pretend that we were talking about kittens and butterflies.

As we took the elevator up from the parking garage:

Mom: I swear I don’t know how you people turned out this way. THESE are NOT my genes!
Me: You’re right. Three different fathers, but total coincidence. NONE of it is you. At all. Nope.
Cameron: Oh man, something big just hit my lower colon.

Cameron graduated from high school yesterday. It warms my heart to see the mature, intelligent, talented man he’s grown into.

This post was brought to you by the letter T as in ‘Trashy’. And the number 18, the number of years it took him to grow into one of my most favorite people EVER.



This is a picture of Cassidy’s first step. She didn’t walk till after she was year old because she was STUBBORN as hell. I tried for MONTHS to get her to JUST TAKE A STEP. All it took was Gerald baiting her with bubbles. Pa could get her to do anything he wanted, if he promised bubbles.

Every day when he got done with his service calls he’d come home and the second Cassidy would hear the garage door opening, she’d beeline for the door and wait on him. He’d come in and sit down and she’d pull off his shoes, then his socks, then he’d pick her up and carry her into the kitchen to grab a snack and they’d sit on the couch together and eat while Ada and I chatted with him about his day.

He was a very interesting character. He’d say the most OFF THE WALL things at the most random times. But his one true love in life was all of his ‘grandbabies’. Even though Cassidy and Carrielee weren’t technically his grand kids, he treated them like they were his very own blood. He spoiled them rotten and they all loved to fawn over him and take care of him.

After Ada died, Gerald was never really the same. At the end of her life I think he really, for the first time in a long time, fell passionately back in love with her. When he lost that love, I think that little sparkle in his eye faded some and, understandably, his general outlook on life faltered a bit. He still loved his grandkids. And he loved day trips to the casino. And he loved his family. But he wasn’t he same.

Three days before my last trip to Bakersfield (about a month ago), he found out that he had terminal cancer. It was everywhere. In every part of his body. They gave him months. He passed away peacefully this evening around 5:30PM. I spoke to his son and he said that Gerald was ready. He was in intense, constant pain. Hospice came out and gave him some pain medicine, made him comfortable, and shortly after that his body finally let go.

I had planned to go down there next weekend to see him. When I first got the news today I felt INCREDIBLY guilty for not having been there. I almost felt like I let Ada, Amber and Gene down. But I know now that this happened for a reason. It was his time, he was ready, and for whatever reason I was not meant to be there. When I saw him a month ago he told me that he was really proud of the little girl that Cassidy had grown into. And that he was happy for me and the life that I had built for myself here in San Jose with Ben. I understand now that he was saying goodbye then.

The service is Saturday so I’ll either be traveling down there tomorrow night or very early Saturday morning and won’t be around online much till probably early next week. So have a good weekend everybody, and let this be a reminder to hug the ones you love. Remind them how much you love them and how lucky you are to have today to be together.


After I got the site back from being hacked, I decided to do a complete overhaul. Like, everything has been touched. I’ve updated WordPress and every single WordPress plugin. I probably dumped 100 datebase tables that hadn’t been used in AGES. Gallery, forum, guestbook, tables created from plugins that I haven’t used in over a year, it was a mess. A MESS! I’d been telling myself that I was going to do that for months and months and had I actually DONE it, the lame ass hacker wouldn’t have had a way in.

SO! The new theme I’m using is Redoable. I really, really, really tried to come up with something on my own and I’d get 75% of the way through a Photoshop mockup, then coding, then tweaking CSS and suddenly I’d hate it and delete the whole thing. Like 5 times. With 5 different themes.

I’d been watching Dean develop and update this theme for quite some time and I liked it from the very beginning. After he developed the twitter plugin I was pretty much sold but gave ONE MORE theme a try and still just wan’t feelin’ it. So I went ahead and started to manipulate Redoable to mold it to my liking. There are still some things I want to work on. I’m going to add back the recent comment plugin but I’m going to tweak the CSS first. I’m also thingking about doing some CSS work to the blogroll… just small stuff here and there.

Overall impressions of the stock theme though are that it’s fantastic. The admin interface makes customization so simple that even if you don’t know much about HTML, PHP or CSS, you can very easily add widgets, change color scheme’s, menu placement, and more.

So there ya go! I wanted to make sure to give the theme a proper plug. πŸ™‚


I’m deleting/adding things all over the place to (hopefully) get the new theme up and in mostly working order before I go to bed. Hang tight, and if I don’t royally fuck things up in the next 30 minutes you will have something new to look at.


EDIT – Okay, there’s more to do and a few things that broke between the test domain and here but, TADA! I’ve loved this theme from the first time I saw it but like every other pre-made I’ve used, I’ve changed A LOT. There are little tweaks to make here and there (like getting rid of the Firefox banner in IE because I’m sure that Julie will boycott me for life if it stays for long πŸ˜‰ ) but for the most part, this is it. Enjoy!

P.S. – Don’t you love the highlight of the edit? I can make these in all different colors for different reasons. They will be abused greatly in the future.

4 days.

029/365 - Jessica Simpson Shoes

My first photo hit Explore today on flickr. The highest it got was #371 #299 #210(!!). I’m excited because I’ve secretly wished to have something Explore but at the same time I’m perplexed that it’s a picture of my FEET! Not flowers, or a cute kid, or a car. My feet! (Although they are my feet in some of my very hot shoes. ;)) It’s kind of silent vindication for all of those who have called me vain or narcissistic (my dad used that one and I thanked him for finding a much longer, more sophisticated word to make fun ot me ;)) because it was just a road to better photography people! That’s all! πŸ˜‰ Okay, so it was totally me being vain…

So, original plans were to do that Half Dome hike this weekend. A part of me is kinda sad we don’t get to do it because I’m sure I’d end up with some amazing shots with the XTi. A bigger part of me is happy that I won’t be left on the side of a mountain with an ice ax in my head.

The reason we can’t go is because Ben has some stuff that HAS to be done to the track car this weekend or he won’t make it to next Friday’s track day. So since I already had approved PTO for Friday and Monday off, I’ve decided to take it anyway. A four day weekend sounds FABULOUS, yes? I got up and took Cassidy to breakfast before school today. Took a long hot shower with nobody knocking on the door to ask a question, or worried that I was going to use all the hot water, and I SO DID! Then I met Ben for a nice long lunch. Picked Cassidy up from school and now I’m blogging before I lay down and take a nice long nap! She’s off to the park with the neighborhood posse and a few parents to play some baseball.

I had originally planned to do a power cleaning on the house today but, WHY?! I’m on vacation! That’s my montra for the next three days. ‘Why? I’m on vacation?’ I wonder how many times I can use it till Ben snaps?

And! Because I’ve had nothing better to write about lately, another conversation!

This one happened when I got home and Ben had left the cell phone bill on my chair. The same day that my site got hacked and I still had a sense of humor! Previously he said that if we were billed extra for all the Twitters being sent to my phone via SMS he’d not be happy. We weren’t being charged. But GOOD LORD, did you know that Cingular sends you a log of all the text’s? ON PAPER. All 2,356 of them I got last month.

Antigone078: SEE?! I TOLD you the texting wasn’t extra… πŸ˜‰
Ben: can you call the parents of the tree you killed and give them the bad news?
Antigone078: BWAHAHAH! When I get my blog back: TOTALLY GETTING POSTED! πŸ˜‰
Ben: πŸ™‚