Monday, April 28, 2008


I had the best reason in the world to skip my Saturday workout: My dad, whom I haven't seen since my wedding two years ago, had just rolled into town for a visit. I felt bad leaving him so soon, but I HAD to squeeze in a little exercise. For one thing, I was fresh off a Weight Watchers meeting, during which I recorded the most unfortunate gain of a pound and a half. For another, that evening we were meeting my in-laws for drinks and dinner at Original Joe's, home of a chicken parm platter the size of your head. If I didn't burn at least a few calories beforehand, I'd feel miserable, so I laced up my running shoes and hit the street.

It was a magnificent, sunny day, and as I breezed down the sidewalk, I congratulated myself for getting some exercise, even when I didn't want to. I just couldn't believe how awesome I was. MAN, AM I AWESOME, OR WHAT, I thought to myself. In fact, I was so busy showering myself with praise that I didn't see in front of me a giant slab of pavement sticking up from a crack in the sidewalk. And so I tripped, ass over teakettle.

I actually think the fall might have looked sorta cool. Kind of like a stuntman or something. I had been running pretty fast (no doubt energized by all of the copious patting of myself on my back), and this particular piece of sidewalk was sticking up a good two inches. It was a MIGHTY tumble. Arms flailing wildly, both feet leaving the ground ... I think I even managed to gasp out a "HO-NOOOoooooo!" before my body smacked the pavement. Though it didn't happen all at once. No, my right knee struck first, followed by my left hand, then my left shoulder, and for the grand finale, my face. For a few moments, I just laid there, stunned. Um, what just happened here? What the hell is the sky doing over there TO THE RIGHT? And why is there a sidewalk touching my cheek?

But soon my mind wandered over to all the pain and blood and tears. I continued to lay on the sidewalk, hoping someone would come over and give a girl a hand. But nope. Nobody. This made me feel embarrassed, which made me cry harder. Then I saw bloody scrapes on my hands and felt an ugly ache in my knee, and this made me cry harder. And then I realized that not only was no one coming to help me, but I was still going to have to drag my ass another nine blocks to my house. AND THEN I CRIED HARDER.

But then ... THEN! ... I remembered ravioli. The heaping plate of ravioli I planned to enjoy at dinner. The rich, cheesy, meaty, mushroomy house-made ravioli. Ravioli whose sauce I would sop up with a hunk of butter-smeared sourdough. With a wince and a groan, I pulled myself into a sitting position. Then I stood up, cautiously. I inspected my bloody hands and my already-swollen knee, then stared ahead at the sidewalk, and I started to move. One wobbly foot in front of the other, a slow and limpy gait that, yes, could be classified loosely as a run. And run I did, all the way home, completing my 45-minute workout. This, my friend, is how dedicated I am to my food.

Somehow I am pretty sure my dad's visit is to blame for all this. Practically the moment he arrives, I am transformed into a 6-year-old girl again, walking into the house blubbering "I fell dow-wnnnnn!" And he saved the day with that perfect, comforting dad response. He gave me a great big hug, walked me over to the sink and poured alcohol on the cuts, and then made me laugh with a joke about my "sidewalk gymnastics."

So I survived, with the following mementos: a banged-up right knee with doughnut-sized abrasion (complete with impression of groove in sidewalk); cut on left palm; cut on side of left hand; two very sore fingers; patch of road burn on left shoulder; and scrape on chin (which my father-in-law helpfully pointed out looks more like a pimple than a scrape.)

On the plus side, maybe all that will keep people from staring at my purple toe.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Game over

Luckily the only person who played also nailed the answers perfectly. Making it the lamest game ever. Seriously, who thinks up this crap? So congratulations, Tball, you win. You will be getting something ultra-awesome in the mail just as soon as you give me your new address.

Speaking of Tball, I have been meaning to point out that he created a fantastic life list on his blog. I don't know why, but it's soooo much more interesting to read other people's life lists. My own seems a little blah, maybe it's because many of those ideas have been bouncing around in my head for ages. Ho-hum. But Tball's is so thrilling! Here are my favorites:

6. Have a beer in a beachside bar on at least six of the seven continents.

21. Visit Antarctica and take pictures of penguins.

26. Make a portrait of a random person in every one of the 50 states.

36. Ice skate under the stars, holding someone's hand, while wearing a scarf.

Ooooh, the scarf! Love it. When I read this list, I totally envisioned Teeb doing all of these things, movie-montage style with majestic background music, one quick flash after another. Very inspiring! You should totally go make a list, too.

Moving on, I have been quite obsessed with this drama unfolding at San Jose City Hall. It's a live webcam view of some teensy baby falcons! Born just this morning! About an hour ago I witnessed feeding time, during which mom sat atop what appeared to be a dead, headless pigeon, and she ripped off shreds of meat, which she stuffed gently into the open baby mouths. Nature = unappetizing. But it's awesome to watch nonetheless. Someone controlling the camera zooms in every now and then, so you can see the furry baby heads.

And finally, go read this blog post my husband wrote about this nutjob woman we sat next to at a musical this weekend. See, this is why I have my own private blog, so I can come right out and say this chick was batshit crazy and was lucky we didn't clock her in her stupid, loud face.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Beauty contest

Now you get to see how I torment my husband when we read the paper on Sunday mornings. OK, so remember how sometimes I test makeup products? Well, see if you can guess which entries in the following anonymous reviews were written by me. Go on, GUESS!

I tested mascara, pale lipstick and foundation.

First person to correctly pick which three products were mine will win a fun, free beauty product, selected personally by me! If you are a dude, that's fine, for you I will pick a dudely product. Now, go!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Let's play a game, you guys! It'll be so fun. OK, this game is called "I have lost SO MUCH WEIGHT that..."

I'll start! I'll start!

... my underwear keeps falling down."
... for the first time in a decade, my driver license is telling the truth."
... I'm actually thinner than I was at my freaking wedding."
... I've had to get four pairs of pants taken in."
... when I go to Cancun this summer, I MIGHT not wear a one-piece bathing suit. With a skirt."


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Gussied up

Chickenbone slurps up his dad's face at the Fur Ball, last weekend's black-tie fundraiser for Humane Society Silicon Valley. Notice the chic faux-diamond-studded collar!

Despite the hairy, leg-lifting, yapping, slobbery, snarling chaos caused when you mix hundreds of dogs and people plus tons of delicious food in one big tent, a fine time was had by all. Except for maybe the woman whose evening gown Chickens peed on. Hey, he's EIGHT INCHES tall, OK? I'm sure he thought it was just a wall or something. Give a guy a break.

View more photos of the evening (check out Fur Ball Queen Kathy Griffin, whose hair is the exact same color as Chickenbone's!) here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Wanted (wawwwnted!) dead or alive

A friend left me a message yesterday saying she had two extra tickets to the Bon Jovi concert tonight in downtown San Jose, and would I be interested? I hung up the phone and thought, ehhh, I dunno. I'm pretty busy this week ... stressed out about work ... THIRTY-ONE YEARS OLD ... And do you think he'll sing past 9:30 or so? Because it makes me tired just thinking about partying that late on a Tuesday.

I also realized that if Jon Bon Jovi (born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr., so coolest name change ever? Why, yes, I believe it is!) wasn't going to sing stuff I actually knew, it could be a pretty big letdown. So I did a Google search for "Bon Jovi concert review" and after a few minutes of reading, I was air-guitaring my ass off right in my cubicle. Holy SHIT, I forgot how much I love Bon Jovi! "I'll Be There For You" and "Livin' on a Prayer" and "Bad Medicine" ... let me tell you, friends, Bon Jovi and the Jersey boys once rocked my world. Actually, I was huge into many hair bands. Not, like, AC/DC and Van Halen, which my husband says should really be considered first generation. Hair-band pioneers, if you will. My guys were part of the next class. Skid Row ... Warrant ... Def Leppard ... and Poison, omigod POISON! I freaking loved that Bret Michaels more than life itself. Bret and Kirk Cameron. What can I say, I had a wide range.

Then there's haters like my brother. I left him a message this morning to tell him about the concert, and I even sang a few bars of "You Give Love a Bad Name" into the phone, just to get him excited about it, too. But he left me a message saying that never, under any circumstance, am I to EVER leave "cock rock" on his voice mail. Ever.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? That's right. Like all boys who watched their junior-high girlfriends spend hours upon starry-eyed hours watching these Monsters of Rock on MTV, he's jealous. Jealous of the Jove. It's OK, brother. Jove understands. Jove'll be there for you. These five words he swears to you.

P.S. Awesome side note: My friend with the tickets? Well, she's nine months pregnant. We're sitting with her and her husband, and I just told him, man, you better get ready because having your water break at a Bon Jovi concert? That would be such a great story, how could it NOT happen?!? He writes back: "I sure hope Linda doesn't interrupt me in the middle of the concert by saying IT'LL TAKE MORE THAN A DOCTOR TO PRESCRIBE A REMEDY." Bon Jovi Fever, man. Catch it.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Check out my gnarly toe!

I would be remiss if I didn't write of my latest medical woe, seeing as how records of such events make for fun gawking and squirming long after the wounds have healed. Plus, though all the excitement is over, I'm not even CLOSE to being done whining about it. You'll soon see why.

Three weeks ago, at the gym, I was loading up a leg-press machine with an impressive 105 pounds. What kills me is, this was the first time I ever tried pressing more than 80. I was feeling bold, so I walked over and tugged a 25-pound disk off the stand. The weight slipped out of my hands and landed squarely on my right big toe.

The crash, it was loud. People turned to stare, and I was embarrassed, so my first reaction was "DUDE. Be cool. Just pretend like nothing happened." So I bent over and picked up the weight, walked over to the machine, and slid the disk onto the bar. There wasn't even a flicker of discomfort -- yet. I settled down into in the machine and lifted my feet to the press, and that's when red-hot pain began to flood my foot. I laid there for a moment or two, blinking, and then I got up and walked a few feet to where my husband was on an elliptical machine. "Hi," I said. "I think you need to come with me." Then I walked into the hallway and collapsed on a bench. I whipped off my shoe and sock and clutched my foot, sobbing as my toenail turned blue.

Someone brought me ice, and which made my toe feel a little better, but also kind of made me feel like throwing up. A few minutes later, I limped out to the car. Sal drove me home and immediately fed me vicodin, because he is my knight in shining, schedule-III-narcotics-carrying armor. Within an hour, through my fuzzy-wuzzy pill buzz, I was able to wiggle my toe, vaguely. There wasn't much swelling, and other than the strange purple and blue swirls appearing under the nail, it looked perfectly normal. So I figured it probably wasn't broken and, like a dumbass, I went to work.

I made it till about 3 o'clock before the vicodin began to wear off and the pulsing pain became unbearable. My doctor squeezed me in at 4:30, but that wasn't enough time for an X-ray before the end of business hours. So he sent me home with more vicodin. It was a torturous, sleepless night. By morning, even the narcotics couldn't take the edge off. We rushed to the X-ray folks, then back to my doctor, who revealed that nothing was broken, but he would need to drill a hole in my toenail to relieve the pressure that was causing the pain. And by "pressure" he of course meant "copious amounts of blood."

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, "Amy. Surely they don't duh-RILL a HOLE into your freakin' toenail, right? C'mon. What happens REALLY?" OK, fine. What really happens is the doc brings out this rather innocent-looking tool that looks like a big, fat pen. Then he pops off the cap and hits a button to reveal a glowing red soldering tip. That's right, he was going to MELT a hole in my toenail. There, is that better? Oh yeah, he also put on those ER-style blood-spray goggles, which made sent me into new hysterics. "Look, I've been hit before," he explained, not unkindly. "It really ruins your whole day."

He began with a numbing spray, and then two rather torturous lidocaine injections. I actually saw stars, just like in cartoons. But once those puppies kicked in? Oh, man. It's impossible to describe to you how incredible that felt. To go from flesh-shredding, dizzying, red-hot pain to ... absolute peace. To nothing at all. To normal. From sobbing to laughing in 60 seconds. My god, the euphoria! I wanted to do cartwheels! Cartweels, with all those angels I could hear singing a chorus on high!

It made me so happy, in fact, that I barely cared about all the drilling and blood and whatnot. I even watched for part of it! And now all the excitement is over, except for one incredibly ruined toenail. The black melty-hole is still there, and I'm afraid it'll be there until it grows out. I keep insisting that people look at my toe, I'm really not sure why. And -- except for Sal, who politely asks that I get "that thing" away from him -- folks generally inspect it with great interest. They all say the same thing, though. "Yeah ... you know you're probably going to lose that toenail." Which is, naturally, horrifying to me. I'm going to post a picture in a few minutes, I'm just warning you now in case you're eating lunch or something. But I must demonstrate just how well I take care of my toes. When I'm not dropping 25-pound weights on them, that is. I mean, hello, even the ruined purple toe is PERFECTLY MANICURED! Really, it doesn't deserve this cruel fate.