the mole of doom: what, universe, what?!? i’m listening!

As an alarmingly pale person, I see the dermatologist once a year to check any little moles and whatevers, make sure all is right in the world.  I’ve been reasonably good to my skin as an adult, but as a kid who played soccer three seasons a year every year from age six or so into my twenties, starting back in the days when no one used sunscreen…well hell, back then people slathered themselves with a weird concoction of baby oil and iodine and would lay out on aluminum foil like salmon fillets on the grill.  In those days that lacked sunblock, I remember getting a burn on the tops of my feet one year at the beach that was so bad I couldn’t walk for two days without bursting into tears.  I remember burning so bad I blistered all over my chest and shoulders every single summer.

Nowadays, I sunscreen the hell out of myself and I wear a hat of some kind if I’m gonna be out in the sun for any substantial length of time.  Some of you have mocked me for my uncool random baseball hats (these are also known primarily as “hats I stole from my Dad”), but who was whining about their sunburn a few hours later?  Not me and my scary hat hair, nope. 

But still I go to the dermatologist each year and generally all’s well…except just ahead of this scheduled visit, I noticed a little teeeeeeeeeeenytiny mole was different, it was changing.  Suddenly it was darker.  And then it was spreading.  And then it wasn’t flat anymore.  And in the span of just  a couple weeks tripled in size from being a tiny speck to being a topographic map of Florida.  It is still fairly small, but the changes in it were rapid and obvious.

So I pointed the mole of doom out to the dermatologist first thing at my appointment today and he squinted at the spot (smack between my boobs) and said, “Oh that’s gotta go.  We’ll want to test it for skin cancer and we should just go ahead and remove it.  We’ll punch that out for a biopsy and stitch you up.  Sign a surgical consent form and we’ll get you scheduled ASAP.”

His friendly nurse then explained how they’d use a “cookie cutter” tool to remove the mole and depending how deep they had to go to “get it all out” would determine if the stitches involved would dissolve on their own or if they’d have to be removed at a later appointment.  She went on to say that they would call me with biopsy results whether they were good or bad, then she shooed me off to get on the appointment book for this procedure.

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  Biopsy.  That’s a scary word, a word they use on a lot of really sick patients on episodes of House.  I know it’s routine for every questionable anomaly that’s removed from your skin, they wanna test it and know all about it, and I’m sure this will be fine, especially since I’m on top of it so quickly.  But still.  Yikes.

There’s been a lot of pondering and reflecting on mortality and the fragility of life and seizing the day in the last 18 months or so for me.  A dear friend was murdered, my best friend flatlined a couple times in the hospital and my first serious high school beau has colon cancer.  I’ve made many changes in my life since early 2007, purging toxic people from my social circle who were causing me more harm than good…I’ve said no more often to things that drain me (no, we’re not selling cookie dough door to door) and said yes to more of the things that I love (a hot bubble bath and a glass of wine are good medicine).  I’m not perfect, but I’m doing better on giving more attention to the real life meaningful things and letting the rest of the nonsense of the world go on by.  So…….what, Universe? What? What do I need to know? What are you trying to tell me?  Have I not pondered my own mortality enough that you have to throw a biopsy my way to shake things up?  I feel like I’ve seized the hell out of some days in 2008, that I’ve lived and loved and so what now? What am I supposed to learn from this exercise?  It remains to be seen, I suppose.

My “procedure” is Monday.  Ouch in advance–I’m poking the spot right now where they’ll punch a hole and put stitches, right on my breastbone, not a squishy soft spot with lots of cushion, nope.  So on Monday, send flowers and money and a pony and jewelry, I like jewelry, and dark chocolate from The Chocolate Fetish…but in true Kat form, I will point out that sending me “feel better” gifts on Monday does not excuse you from buying me a Christmas gift.

Takin’ it to the streets…and Keep on loving you

I’ve been fortunate enough to move into a new office at my job and that’s really cool.  It’s a bit echo-y in there since I opted to go without carpet (easier to breathe for this wheezy girl), so I’ve been turning a radio on in the morning just to provide a little background noise.  All I can pick up is 96.5 FM which is fine since it’s turned down fairly low; as long as it’s not country music, I can cope.

I’ve had two musical moments in the past week I had to share.

I was researching something, completely in the zone, when all of the sudden I found I was singing along to the chorus of Takin’ It to the Streets.  Damn those Doobie Brothers; that Michael McDonald vocal is infectious!  I didn’t even realize what was on the radio, but apparently your subconscious can’t have Takin’ It to the Streets playing anywhere nearby without forcing you to sing along.  Tried to get back to work, but no, I had to wait for the chorus so I could sing along…I ain’t blind and I don’t like what I think I see…Takin’ it to the streets.  Your assignment is to have someone play this song near you and I dare you, I double dog dare you, not to sing along with the chorus.  It’s IMPOSSIBLE!  Some sort of Doobie Brothers mind control.

And today it was all background noise, blah blah blah, and then I heard the opening notes of a song that suddenly took me back to somewhere in elementary school.  Maybe fourth grade or thereabouts, sitting on the bench waiting for my turn at bat at recess, having a lyrics battle with my on-again, off-again beau…we must’ve been off-again for this song to be relevant.  I remember throwing out at him  you should’ve seen by the look in my eyes, baby, there was something missin’… and he retorted with you should’ve known by the tone of my voice maybe, but you didn’t listen.  Yeah, we were battling with Reo Speedwagon’s Keep on Loving You.  Funny how you don’t think of something for years and years and a song can bring it back.  I remember “battling” with him another time using Berlin’s The Metro (you know Berlin, so horribly famous for that song Take My Breath Away that I dislike so much, but The Metro was terrific) I remember hating you for loving me…but I’d entirely forgotten these wicked lyrical exchanges until today.  Somewhere in high school, I remember him singing Naughty Girls Need Love Too, but that’s an entirely different conversation…

Leaves suck

Today, I spent a few hours raking leaves and dragging them to the curb so the city can ignore them and the leaves can blow down the street into someone else’s yard.  Even with several hours spent on raking leaves, there are so many on the ground and still so many more to yet to fall, you can’t even really tell I did anything at all out there.

The big project was to get the leaves off the back porch.  Every time I opened the back door this week to let the dogs in and out, giant piles of leaves would blow into the house.  I took that as a sign that I needed to do something and hauled 5 trash cans full of leaves off the back porch today.

I worked some on the mountain of leaves in the back yard with the help of our youngest dog, who is also our largest dog.  He is a beagle-dinosaur mix, huge and still growing.  He helped me out a lot by carrying the rake away every time I would put it down to carry leaves to the curb.  While I was raking, he would throw himself on top of the rake and chew at the handle.  He also assisted by gnawing a couple tines off the rake while I was bagging up random bits of trash from around the back yard, and when I was done bagging trash, he helped me out by tearing the bag of trash to shreds and scattering it everywhere.  He wanted to make the work more exciting, I guess; no sense in being bored out there!

After I’d had enough of the magic of leaf removal for one day, I thought I’d drag myself back in the house and watch cartoons.  Given that I’d been in the areas of the yard frequented by our three dogs, it was important to inspect the bottoms of my shoes for anything fun that I shouldn’t track into the house.  Inspection of the right foot was cool, but you know what?  Thanks to the glory of my recently sprained ankle, I couldn’t tilt my left foot up to look at the bottom of my shoe!  Too weak, won’t go that way at all.  To think all this time I’ve taken for granted the ability to inspect my shoes for poop…ah, when I get that ability back, I’ll be ever so grateful.  No worries, though; Minime was thrilled (and by thrilled, I mean horrified) to be asked to inspect my left shoe.

I’m sure there’s more fun to be had as the leaves continue to fall…but if I had any money to spare, I’d pay someone else to have all the fun of removing those leaves.  That’s some fun I’m willing to pass up.

eyes wide shut?

I had an eye exam yesterday, and the bastards dilated my eyes.  Much like a gremlin (a good one like Gizmo or a naughty one like Stripe), I do not like bright light under normal circumstances.  Dilate my eyes and I want to climb in a coffin until nightfall.

So what they do is put the drops in your eyes and then leave you in the lobby in front of a huge sunny window and under the brightest indoor lights known to man and they wait…they peek at you periodically, waiting for your eyes to be optimally dilated.  They know you’re ready to visit with the optometrist when you’ve made every attempt to crawl under the lobby chairs far far away from the light that’s searing into your brain and you’re trying to dig an escape hole in the carpet.  Fun stuff.

The optometrist—I have no idea what he looks like, he’s a blurry man as far as I know—then proceeds to shine lights in my eyes until what little sight I had is gone…he then offers me a copy of the photos of the inside of my eye (“look, that’s your optical nerve!” “ummm, I can’t actually see anything you’re pointing at, sorry.” “I can make a copy for you to take home on CD.” “What a Christmas card that would make! No thanks.”)

Completely blinded, I’m led back to the lobby where I’m now supposed to shop for new eyeglass frames.  WTF?  I’ve decided it’s a ploy because they don’t want you to see how much the frames cost.  Even without sight, I can put my hand on the most expensive pair of frames in every display the salesman has; it’s a gift, a  talent.

It’s time to pay and I am running my hand over the cards trying to tell the difference between a Visa and a BiLo Bonus Card while the salesman calculates how much money he’s made off the blind that day.  Lots, I’m sure.  It’s easy to rob the blind.  Bastards.

Street Fighting in Charlotte

So I met up with the Steinster in Charlotte yesterday. 

She said, “Why ya in my town, beeotch?”

I said, “Wahlberg.  Donnie Wahlberg.”

She said, “He’s a wuss.”

The Steinster  was frozen to the core by the icy stare I gave her as I said through clenched teeth, “You did not just disrespect a Wahlberg in front of me.”

And then it was on, street fighting right there on Trade Street.

I went all ninja on the Steinster for talking smack about my favorite New Kid.  I flew through the air sideways and kicked her in the head with both feet.  She recovered quickly and brought a roundhouse kick to my spleen.   I barfed my peanut M&Ms on her suede boots and hurled throwing stars at her in rapid-fire succession.  The Steinster was swift and cat-like, dodging the stars, catching the last one in her teeth and spitting it back at me…I ducked, rolled and kicked her feet out from under her just as the throwing star hit my Donnie Wahlberg in the rattail, killing him not quite instantly…he did have time to whisper to me as I cradled him in my arms right there in front of Baskin Robbins, “Kat, I’ll be lovin’ you forever, ’cause you got the right stuff, love the way you turn me on, cover girl” before he went to join the great boy band in the sky, disappearing into the ether in a cloud of bubble gum scented smoke, leaving behind only a black jelly bracelet on the sidewalk.

I slipped on the bracelet, then wiped a tear from my cheek.  I turned to the Steinster and said, “The world has lost a cultural icon and I have lost my reason to stay on the right side of the law.  I’ll be back for you when you least expect it.”

As I strode off into the sunset, I knew that Step By Step, I had to keep Hangin’ Tough.



(ok, so that’s not really what happened exactly and precisely.  no wahlbergs were harmed, thank goodness!  chiquita and i did see the steinster and her man friend in charlotte and we had some very very small food and it was fun!  i was there to see donnie wahlberg, that much was true, i came to see him shake his moneymaker and indeed he did, oh yes he did,  and all is right in the world.  but i could go ninja on you at any time, so keep your anti-wahlberg talk to yourselves, folks)

what happened, and what the hell did i say?!?!

What happened on Sunday: In slow motion instant replay, I nudge the ball away from the opposing player in a ninja-like move, but so quickly he doesn’t realize the ball is gone, so he kicks the ball for a goal, only it’s not the ball, it’s the inside of my left ankle!!  And my whole left foot goes out from under me in a direction one’s foot shouldn’t go!  Awful.  On the bright side, if I’d known how many sweaty strong men would volunteer to carry me around, I’d have taken a fall ages ago, a single girl’s dream come true, except for the agonizing pain part that had me so delirious I almost threw up.  I was shaking all over from the pain, trembling, trying to breathe but it was horrible, an ache that started somewhere inside my foot and went up to my brain.
Went to one of the local urgent care places to make sure nothing was broken.  Got to ride in a wheelchair, wheeeeee!  First thing the nurse did was drive my foot and ankle into a chair in the lobby, no joke.  Thought I might black out!  So then I became uncooperative (their word, not mine) and didn’t want to take my cleat off because it hurt so much after being shoved into the lobby chair, I told the nurse I was pretty freakin’ sure they could xray my ankle through my sock and shoe given that it was an xray machine and all!  A second nurse had to talk me into giving up my shoe and sock and shinguard.  Xrays came out ok, thank goodness, but then the nurse who drove me into the chair assured me I would wish it was broken instead of a severe sprain because a break would heal faster, nice, obviously tops in the tact class at nursing school in addition to the how to drive a wheelchair class.  They wrapped me up, put me on crutches, told me to take drugs and be nicer to woodland creatures.  Maybe I’m making up the woodland creatures part, but the crutches are hard to contend with given that I’m sort of a spaz on a normal day, nevermind on a gimpy day.  I can’t get a shoe on my left foot and of course it was snowing this morning. Today my ankle is swollen,  turning blue, purple and green.  Minime tells me it looks “lumpy.”
What’s interesting is all the emails I’ve gotten from teammates and the opposing team…someone was asking me about something I said, a conversation I don’t recall at all.  Apparently, when I checked out mentally while I was sprawled on the other team’s bench trying hard not to puke (I’m a pain and stress barfer—huge emotional distress or extreme physical discomfort make me want to hurl), I kept talking. I have no recollection of talking to anyone about anything…I was out of there, Elvis has left the building, but according to several folks, I was rambling on about all kinds of nonsense including my astrological sign.  The only moment I can really remember is one of my own players, one who seldom speaks and keeps very much to himself, kneeling down beside me to cover me up with a jacket (I was shaking and cold, shock maybe?) and then I closed my eyes…and that’s it really for clear memories until I got to the urgent care place.  I recall bits of things, but nothing that makes much sense…so…sorry if I overshared about being a Virgo?!? and who knows what else.
I’m on the mend already, just trying to take it easy.  Thanks for the good thoughts, and I’ll be back to it in when the spring soccer season rolls around!

Hanging My Head Out the Car Window

Generally speaking, I can drink vast, huge, ridiculous amounts of alcohol without getting sick or hungover.  This is not bragging, it just is one of those things.  Consider what I drank for my birthday this year for example–wasn’t sick the next day, was up and at ’em quite bright and early in fact.  Was chatting with someone today and the subject of drinking copious amounts came up…and I said I seldom get sick or anything like that…but that reminded me of hanging my head out Chiquita’s car window!!!

Travel back in time with me to that fateful night!  You know what, Chiquita?  It’s been more than TEN years!  REALLY! Because I was getting my computer programming degree and Minime was just a speck, so like TEN WHOLE FREAKIN YEARS!  Anyhoooooooo, so Chiquita and I were out and about doing what we do with the Ninja and Some Guy, and someone decides (probably me, I have been known to be a total dumbass) that we should be drinking Everclear and Tang.  I believe the venue we were frequenting called that little number an OrangaTang. 

Tang is probably super if you’re in outer space.  I really don’t want to encourage anyone to mix their alcoholic drinks with it, even if they are orbiting our planet and are fresh out of sensible mixers.

Anyhoo, I drank this concoction in quantity quickly; my companions gave up on it (smart, smart people!).  And then, here’s the part that made the world go blurry, we decide to all start swapping drinks.  Drink, swap, drink, swap, the four of us sliding drinks around and around the table until they were all empty.  That was a very, very bad idea on top of the Tang and Everclear.

But I distinctly recall being absolutely 100% fine…until I stood up and really there was no solid floor under my feet, I was walking an imaginary tightrope, all wobbly and out of my mind.  Fast forward to the part where we need to leave because I’m convinced death is eminent.  My stomach was agitating like a Maytag, my head was swirling.

You ever felt so sick to your stomach, whether from drinking or stomach flu or whatever, that you find yourself praying you’ll throw up soon?  Because you know if you can get the evil out of your body, you will feel better.  I was in that zone.  I wanted the vile mix of I-don’t-even-know-what-everyone-else-was-drinking and Tang out of me and anywhere else.  I got hot, so freakin’ hot, and swimmy.  Chiquita was driving me home, and I was so hot I thought I was going to melt courtesy of the bubbling cauldron in my gut, so the only thing that made sense to do was hang my head out the car window most of the way home.  It made sense at the time.  I don’t think I barfed, but I remember that I wanted to very much, and the only thing holding me together was hanging my head out that car window like a dog…a drunk on Tang and who know’s what the hell else dog.

I’m older and wiser now, and I steer away from Tang at all costs these days.  Because I stay away from the Tang, I don’t have to stick my head out of a moving vehicle anymore.  So that’s the morale, maybe, I dunno: if you’re going to drink, don’t drink Tang unless you’re an astronaut.  Which I am not.  Amen.


If you haven’t viewed the 1997 cinematic masterpiece Anaconda, or perhaps it’s been many years, I encourage you to stop what you’re doing and go to your nearest Blockbuster to rent it.  With a cast that includes Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Owen Wilson and Kari Wuhrer (remember her from the MTV game show Remote Control?), you can’t go wrong!

The idea is that a group of scientists is going to film a documentary about some lost tribe, so they are traveling by boat on the Amazon River, which apparently is home to a ginormous anaconda (or perhaps a family of giant anacondi so there can be sequels, hmmm?).  They pick up bad guy Jon Voight along the river (who knew there were hitchhikers on the Amazon?) and then there’s all sorts of mayhem.  Not to ruin it for you, but you can pretty much assume that where there’s a giant anaconda involved, most of the cast is going to get eaten by said snake.  In real life, when an anaconda eats, they often won’t feed for weeks or even months because their digestion is so slow; in the movies, the anaconda will eat every ten minutes or so in effort to pick off the entire cast, one snack at a time!

My favorite line in the movie is one word, “Bitch!” delivered by Ice Cube when the anaconda just won’t die…I believe it was even on fire and screaming (who knew snakes could scream!) at that point when it was still trying to eat him and J Lo.  This is profound stuff.  Get ye unto Blockbuster now, and let me know how Anaconda has changed your life.

busy freakin’ day…so let’s do a survey

I need a break…so I’ll pause and fill out this survey from Ricardo Allejandro of the High Mountains.


The last person you kissed needs you at 3AM, would you go?
Hell to the yes.

When was the last time you wanted to punch someone in their face?
pretty much all day every day, some days it’s just easier to stifle the urge

Who did you hangout with last night?
Charter Tech Support by phone…we’re pals.

Do you miss your past?
Nah,  past makes us who we are in the present, thanks for the memories…

What’s the last thing you put in your mouth?

Did you ever lose a best friend?
Yes.  RIP Chris, thought of you today when I heard Agent Orange.

What are you listening to?
An uplifting little ditty by Trivium, “When All Light Dies”

Are you going to kiss the last person you kissed again?
I take nothing for granted in this life, but if I have my way, sure thing!

What is your current mood
scattered and bouncy, the usual

Something you do a lot?

What did you do for Valentine’s day?
wallowed in self pity maybe????

Last person you hugged?

Would your parents be mad if you were in a relationship?
They would love it and hate it all at once in that psychotic way of theirs.

Are you frustrated?
Not at the moment.

Are you tanned?
HAVE YOU SEEN ME EVER?!?!?  I am the anti-tan.

Did you hug anyone today?

Are you in a good mood?
yes indeedy

Who was the last person you cried in front of?
in front of? no one that i can recall in recent memory.  not a big boohooer, though i have had a few tears of joy moments that I can think of, but still, those were alone, private.

Are you there for your friends?
Am I where for my friends?

Do you get along with girls?
Sure, as long as they aren’t stupid bitches.

Are you the same person as you were at the beginning of the year?
At heart, yes, but a smidgen wiser I hope with each passing day.

Will your next kiss be a mistake?
Well, I suppose that remains to be seen, hmmm?

What were you doing at 8:00am?
sitting in the longest meeting everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Who/What made you angry today?
nothing so far, since i’ve talked to no former mr. kats today at all

Have you ever bungee jumped?
no, no plans to either, not a big heights fan—not phobic really, just not signing up to test gravity.

Where was the last two places you went besides your house?
work, dr’s office

What’s one thing you’ve learned this year?
Patience pays off bit by bit.  Some days I have more patience than others!
What’s something that really bugs you?
those who fail to understand or accept discussions rooted in fact, logic and common sense.

Taco Bell or Burger King?
Taco Bell.  I want a Mexican Pizza, no tomato.  Fire Sauce, don’t forget the Fire Sauce!

Last time you went bowling?
earlier this year at some point

Who was your last phone call?

Are you a bitch?
depends who you ask, I suppose…some would swear I’m a stone cold bitch or very possibly the antichrist, while others would tell you I’m a sweetheart.

Shame on me!

Not 24 hours later, I ended up arguing with Mr. Kat 2.0 again and I blame myself 100%.  First, I shouldn’t have answered the phone at all when I saw the number on caller ID; I was at work, I was tired and frankly, I was still irritated at him from yesterday, so I shouldn’t have taken the call.  Second, I can’t believe I fell right into yet another dispute when I know better than to even engage in it in the first place.

Here’s a sample of the irrational conversation from today:

Me: It’s your dog.

Him: He was our dog.

Me: No, you had him before we were even dating, before you even knew me,  thus he’s your dog.  Take responsibility for him.  (I’m calm at this point, completely factual.  Logic is my friend!)

Him: Well, you kept the storage building.

Me: What? What the f-ing hell are you even talking about? (I’m a little irritated at the new topic, but I’m not mad.  I cuss all day long, this use of ‘f-ing hell’ was merely emphasizing that I have no idea what he’s talking about)

Him: You kept the storage building, and that should be mine.

Me:  What does that have to do with the dog? (I’m trying to find the logic here, even though I know there really is none to be found!)

Him:  I think I paid more for the storage building than you did.

Me: (this is the part where I should’ve stopped the conversation because see how he changed the subject from the dog to something else completely random out of thin air? where did this topic even come from? random topics in mid-discussion to distract me are so annoying, but I know this trick of his and should’ve just hung up)  No, you didn’t, I have the check to prove what I paid but I don’t care about the money.  If you want it, please take it, move the damn building already! (see, at this point, I’m officially pissed, because his whining about the storage building has gone on for 18 months, and every time, I’ve said come get it if you will shut up because I’d much much much rather have peace than any storage building…but there’s no sport in taking the building, is there? It’s only fun for him if he gets to randomly argue with me about it)

Him: Why are you always so mad at me?

Me: ARG! (the conversation that followed was infused with a ridiculous number of angry obscenities flying from my mouth before I hung up in disgust, so we’ll just sum it up with ARG!)

So.  Shame on me for getting mired in the most idiotic of disputes, shame on me for falling for the random change of topic to turn nothing at all into an argument, shame on me.  I will do better next time; I will let voicemail pick up…and if I must talk to him, then I will try to keep the conversation focused and calm, not letting him digress into other conversational hot buttons just to stir up a fight out of thin air.  Above all, I will be grateful that he’s the only person that I argue so nastily with on the whole planet and I will be grateful that we don’t live together anymore, ever again, hallelujah for that.