The cheesecake was good


Fewer than twenty four hours in town means that everything is a whirlwind, including my too short visit with Jessica. She was out and about with a friend when I first texted her, yesterday, but was free after Dad and I had done our errands, arrived in down and visited the house. So, off we went.

I've been craving a Starbucks Signature hot chocolate A LOT lately, so I offered coffee or a hot chocolate and just sit and talk. Oh, yeah. Jessica stopped by to pick me up, suggested the local chocolate house where they had all sorts of chocolate this and chocolate that, including hot chocolate, and off we went.

Now, Jessica is going to be mad at me for saying this here, instead of saying it to her directly, but well, I have to say the chocolate from this chocolate house has to be the third most disgusting chocolate I've had since I ate that bag of year-old M&M's in junior high school. The chocolate is cheap, tasting of was instead of cocoa. Passing on the chocolate from this place isn't like passing on real chocolate, it's like passing on wax lips - not really hard.

However, I hadn't tried their hot chocolate, so I was still game for this place.

I ordered a hot chocolate and a slice of pumpkin cheesecake, because, really, who can resist pumpkin cheesecake (except Elina, of course)? I was unsurprised when the hot chocolate tasted like Swiss Miss hot chocolate made from water and missing the marshmellows, but happily surprised at the cheesecake. It was tast-TEE!

We chatted for a while, sitting in the front corner of the coffeehouse-like sitting area, before I realized I had been sitting in a completely defensive posture, pointing away from Jess. I knew the reason for the posture, but hadn't realized I was expressing it quite so rudely, so I dropped my arms and turned towards her, in order to engage her better. The conversation became less awkward, and flowed easier.

Right up until the dynamic completely changed with a call.

Gabby was in the area with her dad, and hey, he'd just drop her off now instead of actually dropping her off at home.

Now, I'm always happy to see Gab (well, except when she's being a butthead, but are eight year olds ever buttheads? wait, don't answer that), but our conversation was actually starting to open up when the storm of energy burst through the door, arms and legs flying in all directions. Our conversation turned stilted as Gabby's dad walked in, and that was the end of that conversation.

At one point, Jessica commented to me that, hey did you know you can't kiss your elbow? I commented back, yeah, well, you CAN lick the back of your knee.

Try it.

Freakin' genius


Jessica called me tonight as Kris and I were heading out to dinner. Doyle had called earlier (well, texted) with an invite for dinner and Dave & Busters, and we were heading out to join the group for dinner. Given that I had declined about six other invites from Doyle, and figured he'd stop inviting us out if we didn't actually accept one or two, I insisted Kris head out with me for at least dinner. He was too interested in WoW for us to actually spend an evening away from the computers, so dinner was it.

Jessica had had an okay day, and seemed to be checking in, see how things were going. For a moment, I thought there wasn't much particular point to the conversation other than checking in. Then, she busted out with, "I have to tell you, you're a freakin' genius."

I paused and smiled, wondering what I had done this time. "Uh, thanks?" was all I could manage, slightly confused when I couldn't figure out what I had brilliant accomplished.

"You don't seem too surprised."

"Yeah, well, I'm wondering the source of my brilliance."

"Ah, well..."

Turns out, it started when I was back in Indiana.

I had declined many of the items Jessica had offered me to eat or drink. I drank mostly water, declining the diet and regular sodas. I declined the Crystal Light, too. Except the water, the drinks offered had aspartame in them, and, as we all know, aspartame triggers my migraines. So, I declined.

The gum she was offering also had aspartame in it, so I declined it, too. Jessica asked why, why would I decline the gum she was offering. I took the package, flipped it over and showed her the Phenylketonurics Contains Phenylalanine message. "See that? Contains aspartame. It's one of my biggest migraine triggers."

Now, Jess has had essentially a six month long migraine. She copes WAAAAAAAY better than I would if I was going through a six month long migraine. I'm fairly certain she doesn't have the extra special aura bonus I do, but her headache is essentially one kabillion times longer than my headaches are, so she wins in the sucky-suck competition.

I hadn't explained why until she offered me the gum when she visited last week. When I explained, a little light went off. She's had this six month migraine, right? So, that adds stress. When she's stressed, she pulls out the gum and chews away. You see what's going on here, right?

When I explained why I didn't chew gum, at least none that have aspartame in them, she threw her hands up exasperatedly. Might that be her problem, too? One way to find out: she stopped chewing gum, and threw out all that had aspartame in it.

Five days later into the experiment, and she's migraine free. Five days gum free and five days headache free. It's like the clouds parted, the sun came out, the choirs started singing, and all was glorious again. Her life is just that much better.

And I am a genius.

A freakin' genius.

I broke the law


Way back when, during the hormonal crazed years of youth in junior high school, Jessica and I would head to the local YMCA to watch a particular boy or two. The pool was indoors, so we could watch the boys all year round, this one boy in particular. Jessica liked him. I liked him. Since we both liked him, that usually meant that she and he would date. This particular boy, however, might have been more clueless than the rest of them, unaware of our fancies.

This particular day of boy-watching, Jessica and I were more daring than normal and, well, may have (just MAY have) gone a little overboard in our displays of unrequited attractions. I vaguely recall that our going into the boy's locker room was the least of our transgressions that day. I must have buried the memories for all the other scandalous things we did, as I cannot remember a single one other than the overwhelming feeling of embarrassment these many years later.

There might have been an apple involved.

The following week, when we returned to the YMCA, we weren't allowed in. The facility had instituted a no-kids policy: anyone under 15 wasn't allowed into the facility without a parent or other adult. When we asked why the new policy, we were told last week some hooligans were ransacking the boy's locker room and causing a ruckus. They had complaints, and felt the best policy was to limit access of the delinquents.



Funny how a few bad apples can ruin freedom for the rest of the bushel.

Today, I rode the ferry over from Seattle to Bainbridge Island with a large amount of baggage. I had my roller bag full of my clothes and tournament garb. I had my field bag full of team warmups and camera gear for the tournament this weekend. I had my awesome new pink bag from Mom. I had my purse, er, backpack on my back. And I had my computer. Two video cameras. Two cellphones. Ten magazines. One book. Tons of crap. Moving it was a task, a big task.

On the ferry, I dumped everything in one side of the booth I was sitting in, and plunked all of myself down on the other side to start working. As with most of my trips, within minutes, I needed to go to the bathroom. I don't know what it is about being in situations where I can't go to the bathroom that causes me to HAVE to go to the bathroom. EVERY TIME.

After about twenty minutes, I REALLY had to go.

I had so much crap, and picking it all up to move it would be so difficult, a pain in the butt (and arms and back). But I had to go. After thinking about it for all of, oh, two minutes, I packed up all of my stuff, tucked it into one side of the booth, and waited for the people wandering around my area to reduce to a local minimum. I then grabbed the only bag that I really couldn't replace, stood up and turned to the bathroom.

I can't say I felt completely comfortable with leaving all of my crap in the booth while I dashed off, but I really, really had to go to the bathroom. This from the woman who locks her car doors when she drives her car into a locked police garage. Way worried about leaving my crap.

I managed to walk all of four steps towards the bathroom door, a journey of maybe 10 steps, when I saw one of the ferry's security people walking nominally in the same direction I was going. Except I didn't just see him, I saw him, he saw me, we locked eyes and stared at each other for the remaining six steps it took me to get to the women's bathroom. I broke eye contact when it was obvious my choices were look away or break my nose on the door jam.

Now, when you are about to do something that is frowned upon by the various powers that be in the small space you are currently inhabiting, or even frowned up by those who pretend to exert power in their own small dominion, but really don't have much power if you don't give it to them, rule number one really should be "Don't make eye contact." Rule number two should be "wait until they leave before you break the rules."

I went to the bathroom as quickly as I could. I doubt anyone I know could have entered that bathroom, done his business and vacated as quickly as I did just then. Saying I was quick even for myself is saying something, as few people can go faster than I can. Kris will confirm this. Just ask him what nickname he's given me with respect to my bowel movements. It has something to do with being the FPitW.

Yeah, so, I was fast. I had to be - that was my crap I was leaving alone.

I wasn't fast enough.

I dashed out of the bathroom just as the announcement, "Due to extra security measures and Washington state law, do not leave baggage unattended," began. The security person I eye-locked with on my way into the bathroom, was hovering over my bags as I left the bathroom. I wasn't sure exactly what he was about to say as he opened his mouth when I returned, but I preempted him quickly. "Oh! Thank you so much for watching my stuff. I was a little nervous about it. I REALLY appreciate it."

He looked at me, closed his mouth, looked at my stuff, back to me and said, "You're welcome."

When I sat down, I felt very much as I had when Jessica and I were refused entrance to the pool. Something like, "Well, crap."

Calls like today's


Jessica called today.

It's spread. It's worse, and she's due for more surgeries. More pain, more healing, more, more more.

She sounded almost cheerful over the phone. She's been given a crappy hand in life, looked at death in ways women less than 90 should never have to, been down this road three times before, and sounded almost cheerful. Strong for the rest of us, so that we can be strong for her later.

A tennis ball sized cyst on one ovary and precancerous, turning cancerous, cells in her uterus. Time to have it all removed to be done with it. The risks of the last cure. When does the cure become worse the disease?

The problem with a too full life is that it can't accomodate another event. Not without removing a previously planned event, anyway. I'm glad I've started getting rid of the clutter, removing things I don't need in my life. At this point, statistically, my life is approaching half over. Statistically. I like to believe I have until 121 before I croak, but sometimes I wonder.

Usually after calls like today's.