Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The CDC is Full of Idiots, or, Antibiotics for Fun and Profit!

Last week, I finished my first round of antibiotics for Lyme Disease and a Bartonella Co-Infection.

According to the CDC, nothing more than a 28-day regimen of antibiotics is required. So, I'M CURED!  Right? No?

So you follow their imaginary flow chart.

Is there neurological symptoms present?

Yes. (Or, hell yes.  Whichever.)

That means that I fall into, according to the CDC, the 10-20% of patients that now have "Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome".  Aha.  Thanks, CDC.  Now what? They tell me I could take months or even years to fully feel the effects of my "cure", because the disease did so much damage.

Let me get this straight:
Take antibiotics for 28 days.  Call me in 5 years.  Got it.

Now, the IDSA (Infectious Diseases Society of America) has gotten in the mix.  Why?  Because this band of misfits makes recommendations, which in turn dictates what insurance companies deem fair and reasonable treatment. This is insurance talk for "What we shell cash out for".

They do address what they refer to as "Late Neurologic Lyme Disease", but they really want definitive proof there is actually something wrong, like a lumbar puncture.  Having constant pain for 2+ years, along with unexplained brain fog, word loss, short-term memory loss and muscle spasms and twitches throughout the body that are interfering in my quality of life are not considered proof.  Of course not. Because it's totally common to work 60+ hours a week building a successful business, only to one day realize I can't remember to pay bills or calculate payroll accurately.  It's perfectly normal to learn new things all the time, spend my free time researching concepts and philosophies related to my field, read technical psychological texts for fun, then one day realize I can't follow a 3-step recipe with any degree of clarity or success. Sure, CDC.  Thanks, IDSA.

But they might just believe something is wrong.  Fab.  What then?  Well, IV antibiotics, of course. For up to 4 weeks.  Then I will be cured, right? They don't know.  What they say they know is this:  there is no evidence that prolonged antibiotic therapy will work.  And, there is no evidence to support treating Bartonella.

So, let's recap:  Positive for Lyme?  Have some pills.  After the end of the month, wait.  Wait until the symptoms go away.  But if you are persistent enough, we might just give you a few weeks more of antibiotics in IV form.  Then, you're cured. It just might take a while for your body to get the message.  Until then, continue to not work, not participate in life.  Once you begin to feel better, this will signify that you are cured.  But still, take it easy.  And above all, reduce your stress.  Mmmmhmmmm.

The other option is:
Switch insurance to a PPO.  Seek treatment from a doctor that can't advertise he treats Lyme Disease for fear of having his license pulled.  Get him to treat you until your symptoms go away, at considerable cost because he can't work with insurance companies.  Keep treating until your disease is in remission.

So I figure this: I got a lot of waiting to do.  While I'm sitting around watching the world go by, reducing my stress by not participating, I might as well be dosing up my body with antibiotics to completely off-the-chart toxic levels.  You know, while I wait.  Then, when I get better, all the assclowns and fuckwits at the CDC and IDSA can say that it was my first 28 day treatment that finally started working.

Or better yet, they can tell me it's in my head, that I am faking, or lying, or looking for attention.  Which is exactly what I do.  Instead of working to build my business, it is way more fun to sit around in jammie pants, gaining weight no matter what I avoid.  It's totally fab to get to "come out" to people at work, people at my kids' school. I love telling my kids I can't do something, can't open my pills, can't hold a piece of paper, can't get a bear hug, may one day need help eating. I'm just a drama queen that needs attention.

I will tell you----I used to be drawn to drama. I enjoyed the theatrics.  Let me tell you---sometimes it takes real drama to show you how stupid it all is, how much I don't love drama.  Sometimes it takes something shitty as poor health to make you really realize what is important.

Do I want my life back? No.  Do I want to be able to participate in a new life? Hell, yes I do. Which is why I will continue to pay pay pay for all the meds my doctor tells me to take.  My new doc that listens to me, treats me like a normal human with a real disease.  And I will get better.  it may take a while, and I may not get back to the energy level I once had, but that's okay.  I had too much energy, anyway.  And I wasted it running myself into the ground.  At this point, I would settle for 50%.

As far as my old doc, Dr. W goes, I sent him a note.  Now, before you think I got all scathing and angry and f-bomb-y, I must tell you I have had time to settle down.  That, and I was limited to 500 words, so they had to count. I wrote and rewrote and rewrote....

Dear. Dr. W-you stupid simplistic insurance lackey-I actually have a real disease. I went to a doctor that wasn't a fuckwit, and I'm being treated for a real thing-Lyme disease. Heard of it? So the next time you condescendingly tell a patient to "get that depression under control to make your pain go away", please know that I will find out.  I will find out, and hunt you down.  Then I will take a rusty set of hedge trimmers to help you alleviate some of that congestion that causes your voice to sound like Ben Stein, but with less personality.  Then I will take your stethoscope and ran it up your ass so far, you will be able to hear yourself digest.  Kisses, Aimee  =Bad. 544 characters.

I had some editing to do.

"Dr. W-after our last meeting, I left with many questions, and little hope, except for "addressing my depression", which should cause my pain to go away. I got a 2nd opinion, and wanted you to know I have Lyme Disease and am in treatment. For the future, please look into all options, before blaming depression. Thank you."

Okay, I have mellowed a bit.  But truly, I was hoping that, maybe, just maybe, he would think about this email once more over the course of his practice.  And maybe it just might cause him to look a little deeper, just once.  And because of that extra care, someone will get the care they need to get better.

Am I awesome, or what?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Suds N' Duds. Slop 'n Soap? Fluff n' Stuff? Anyway.

Back in the day, I was a slob.  (I know, I know.  Incredibly hard to believe, but it’s true.) Some people would say I still am, but they have no idea how massive the depths of my messiness was.  I’m sure there is photographic evidence around somewhere (no comment from you, T) but for now, I will just let you create your own visual. There was always a constant clutter, a mountain of debris. And then there was the pile(s) of dirty clothes.  At a few points in my 20’s, the pile became large enough to provide cushion for future nieces to propel off the bed, secure in a soft landing. And, I married my true laundry soul mate.  Sky King WAS about as bad as me.  We have improved somewhat, partially because we have a working washer and drier, and probably partially because with 4 bodies in the house, it is way inefficient to purchase new socks and underwear every week or so.

I’m not saying that having the washer and drier on site has been the deciding factor.  Much of the deciding factor is definitely reserved in the “motivation” column. And if our early 20’s, there was waaaaay too much beer to drink, to be bothered with laundry.

Many times in my early adult life, way too much free time revolved around the Laundromat.  These places are filled with sad people with unruly children.  And college students.  And the homeless looking for warmth.  And possibly people with lint fetishes.  Anyhoo….

This one time, at band camp…..oh, wait.  Different story.  This one time, my boyfriend/roommate/future hubby extraordinaire and I stuffed every dirty garment in the house into the car.  We rode down to the Laundromat with the intent of scavenging for change in our pockets of all our pants and shorts, in order to actually DO the laundry.  Not the wisest plan, but it was all we had, and we both had to wash our aprons and uniforms for our shifts that night. Fortunately, we both worked in a restaurant, and the chances of a few pounds of loose change was high.

We began digging. Soon, the pile of ones and change was growing.  We would even occasionally find a fiver!  At the end of the search, we had come up with no less than $90+.  Total jackpot.  We crammed everything into a few machines, set it all on “extra long soak”, and headed a few doors down for sandwiches and Long Island Iced Teas.  We were loaded with cash, and had AT LEAST 3 hours before work (sorry, Herman and Sharleen…).

Also back in the day, my boyfriend/roommate (same one from before, we were soooo meant to be together-or maybe this just meant we needed a maid?) and I were living in Tulsa, while Sky King went to school to become a pilot.  I was waitressing at night in a pool hall (not as seedy as it sounds) and working as a social worker for the county (WAY seedier than it sounds) by day.  Money was tight, and every available dollar was spent on entertainment, beer, name-brand smokes-I had some self-respect. (Back in the day when I didn’t know better-okay, I DID know better, but I totally did not care.)

Tulsa had one of the most awesome businesses in the world.  No, not the drive-thru liquor stores (which were SUPER handy, by the way).  I’m talking about the Suds ‘n Brew.  Brews ‘n Suds?  Wash n’ Drink? Smoke, Drink n’ Fold?

Anyways-it was a Laundromat/bar/greasy diner/arcade/pool hall all rolled into one.  Brilliant, right?  So you go in, turn over your paycheck, get 7 pounds of quarters, order some tater skins and gravy-soaked fries and a pitcher of beer and schlep home 6 hours later, forgetting half your laundry AND the number of the guy who borrowed a Bounce sheet. 

This is exactly what we would do-go in, start all our machines, grab a bit to eat while we got tanked, and played some Mortal Combat.  Or pool.  Or darts.

In thinking about both these times, I realize now that I spent a lot of time wanting things to be different back then.  I was waiting for my life to begin, my career to begin.  What I didn’t know is I was spending so much time worrying about the future, I missed some great moments.  And not just because I was drunk.  Although there were plenty of those, too.

Luckily, my beer-soaked brain remembers some of them.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

UPDATED: The One Where People Are Assholes to Little Girls

You may have noticed, if you have gone anywhere near a bulk-buying club store, a grocery store, a home improvement store, or an outlet mall at all this past weekend, that it is Girl Scout Cookie Time. 

Yes, during the middle of lent.  So much for, "serving God...", right?  Although I'm pretty sure that God is fine with teaching girls leadership skills through the shameless promotion of cookie selling.

I have, as usual, a bug up my ass.  Normally, I'm not a huge fan of people; they tend to be assholes, and selfish ones at that.  But this past weekend, I have experienced two very wide extremes.  And I wish to discuss them both.

First, I want to talk to you about the Girl Scouts.  I was a Girl Scout.  Likely to get me out of the house long enough to regain some sense of sanity, rather than to ensure a future in leadership.  But I went, I did things, I wore the lame poly frock, top, and beanie.  I earned some patches, probably.  Meh, is the sum of my history with Girl Scouts as a child.

Then the Boy Scouts came along, and seemed to be in a vicious race with the Catholic Church, to see who could do the most PR damage the quickest.  Between the juvenile-reach-arounds and the anti-gay BS, I had grown weary of their crap.  Also, I'm not a fan of most neckwear for men or boys.  Ties are fine.  Ascots? Kerchiefs? Dickies?  No.  So Scouting continued to be "Meh" for me.

Then I had Princess.  I may not have told you this, but she is slightly distractable.  Slightly a free spirit.  Slightly a total doot-ta-do.  So when I got the little quarter-page flyer talking about leadership, crafts, sisterhood and community, I called.

And so it began.  They start like any crack dealer.  "Oh, here.  Have this.   It's awesome, try a little, buy a little more."  Or in the case of the Girl Scouts, "C'mon over to my place for a little get-together. I'm sure I can hook you up with a troop.  But if not, you could lead! It's really easy, and a fun way to be a part of your girl's life.  It's only 2 nights a month.  You'll love it."

Every. Damn. Time.

I signed away my life.  I think they have me down for the 25-year plan, I will have to check my contract. 

Then, I got a co-leader. She seemed cool, and the girls that wanted to join our troop were pretty cool.  So we began.

Each month, we had to go to Council meetings.  We would get info about upcoming events, cookie sales, etc.  But many of the ladies were a bit unfriendly, seemed standoffish.  My co-leader and I did our own thing, knowing that meeting the needs of our troop was our goal.

Fast-forward 3 years.  Our girls LOVE it.  LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  They love their Girl Scout sisters, they love meeting new girls, they love taking turns leading portions of the meeting, having an input into what we do, and why.  And how we do it.  They have really done so many awesome things.  They have spent their time delegating, problem-solving, creating, and giving.  I have been moved to tears more times than I care to admit.  These girls are becoming people-stewards of the earth.  They care, they love, and each year I see their progress towards leadership.

And each year, the girls sell the cookies.  Yes, they have Palm oil in them.  I'm sure I got a handout about GS trying to find responsible sources.  Whatever.  Yes, they are $4 (or so) per box, and they aren't necessarily worth it.  Whatever.  Neither are the Twinkies.  Or the Boneless Wings in your cart.  Who cares? Maybe you think lots of money goes to administration.  You're wrong, but I'm not here to argue that.  Maybe you don't like that some poor little boy who feels like he is a girl somewhere in our country was admitted into a troop and somehow this is going to tear at the fiber of Girl Scouts.  You are also wrong.  And you're a fuckwit, because you take someone pure and sully it with your hatred.  But I'm not here to argue that point-I don't want to make you look any more intolerant than you are.

My girls have an agenda.  It's called the Girl Scout Law.

I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.

That's all.  They have no political agenda.  They don't even know what a political agenda is.  They don't care.  They want to have fun.  And somewhere along the way, they learn things.

I'm here to tell you that my girls, ALL my 13 girls, learn so much.  The ones that are shy learn to speak up. They learn to speak to adults, answer thoughtful questions.  The ones that tend to be bossy are learning to wait.  The ones that are impatient are learning to share, and to take a back seat to another Sister.  And all of them?  They are learning valuable sales skills.  They have practiced math, approaching people, using manners, making change, and being graceful.

That's right.  They are learning grace.  How?  Well, the world is full of assholes that don't like Girl Scouts, don't eat cookies, are on a diet, don't have money, already bought dessert, or have some political justification for being rude to my babies.

Thank you, Assholes. 

Without people being assholes, Cookie sales would be just one more time where they shill for Da Man, getting "oohs" and "ahhs" from Grandparents, never knowing rejection, never understanding the importance of not letting "NO" drag you down. Today, they are just little girls, trying to sell some cookies so they can go to the Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary and donate some to local charities. 

Tomorrow, these bitches will fuck you up.  Because you snapped, "NO!", because you ignored them completely or worse, looked at them with irritation, they are learning the valuable skill of not taking adults' bad behavior personally.  They are learning not everyone wants what they got, even when they smile. 

They will stay in my troop, they will grow and learn and become leaders.  They will be the bosses, the managers, the leaders of the future, and they will remember that some of you are assholes.  Some of you ignored them when they were small, some of you have no tact, no self-respect, no decorum.

And my little girls?  They will destroy you.

And to those that listened to each sweet teeny tiny voice, who asked the girls, "So, what's 4 plus 4?" or, "How many boxes can I get for $20?"---Thank you.  Those of you that didn't want the cookies, but gave a couple bucks anyways, those of you that donated your boxes to our Armed Forces oversees, thank you.  And to the man that came up with tears in his eyes, turned to us moms, and said "thank you for what you're doing for these girls", I got a big ass THANK YOU!!!!!! for you.  Because you told us you knew there was some BS in the media about Girl Scouts lately, and you didn't want any cookies.  But you made a point to come over, to tell the girls "Good job", to make sure we all knew that we were appreciated.

Girl Scouts are volunteers.  We work hard.  Not for the patches.  (The godforsaken patches!  Hell, I might chip in to get rid of the patches).  We do it for our girls.  We do it because we know they are at risk, most of the schools are failing them, society is becoming a cess-pool.  People are so full of hate, lies, deceit, and selfishness.  We have to, as moms, do our best to counteract all that bad.

Girl Scouts does this for our girls, for millions of girls worldwide.  Maybe our particular girls don't need your donation, don't need your purchase.  But guess what they choose to do with some of the money they raise? They donate to Sisters helping Sisters, which provides camp and scouting materials to girls that can't afford it.  Yes, our girls are out in front of stores during the torrential downpours and the scorching sun, selling cookies to help their fellow sisters, sisters they will never meet.

Leave your politics, your hate, your rude ass at home,  Because these girls?  These girls are going to kick your ass some day.  Like the badasses I am training them to be.

UPDATE: One of the wonderful moms in our Troop insisted that I remove the black from her daughters' faces so I didn't look like a kidnapper.  And she loves our troop, and is proud of her loudmouth leader.  And she's awesome.  That's all for now.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

An Open Letter to Princess

Dear Princess-

I was perusing some photos of you just a while ago, to send to a friend for use on his blog-he's looking for photos of cuties to inspire a future post, and I of course thought of you.  The hardest part was trying to decide which ones to send:I could go all "stuck in a crane game", but that's so predictable.  Then there's all the gloriously creative choices in clothing you have made over your years-but he wanted a photo, not an album. Then I thought, "hmmm.  Maybe one where she is being unbelievably hilarious?".  So I narrowed it down to three:

The one where you won a $100 bet for licking your elbow;
The one where you crammed most of an orange into your mouth and crossed your eyes for the camera;
And one of the many MANY ones where you are wearing a moustache.  You made moustaches cooler than any hipster could.

While looking through these photos, I couldn't help but notice, you are turning into me.  Someday (perhaps later today...) you will not want this to be true.  But I am hoping one day you will look at yourself, something funny you have done, a unique perspective that only you could have, and you will see me in you.  And I hope one day that will cause you to smile.

You have an amazing spirit.  I'm not just saying this because I love you.  Others notice it, and stop to watch you.  Your facial gestures, the pure wonder in your expressive eyes, all of it.  A friend was telling me just yesterday how much she loves to watch you. Granted, you were making unbelievable faces at people's clothing choices, or looking like you were struggling to not point out some perceived flaw in someone else, but each expression was comedic gold-you didn't even know you were doing it.

I know that in the future this propensity towards over-expression will drive me to rant and rave and swear a lot, but I just had to tell you that I have always loved it too. 

I see you coming up with strange things-you make an amazing side-kick.  When you go back and forth to an automatic door, I will say, "Princess, leave the poor door alone, you're teasing it".  Instead of rolling your eyes or looking at me like a limb just fell off, you pick up my cue and offer a sincere apology to the door, patting it as you walk off to some distant fantasy land.

This morning, you made me a cup of coffee, then asked how it tasted. You wanted to know if I could taste the love.  I can.  I did.  And I will not forget it any time soon.

These are the things that make you, you.  No matter your size, shape, or income, you will always have the most amazing heart.  Every time life is unkind, something seems unfair, or you are upset about where you are/how you look/what you do, know that nothing is more important than what your heart holds.

Don't lose it.  Don't sell it, don't hide it.



Friday, February 24, 2012

Now, Pinky, We Take Over the WORLD!

Am I the only Pinky and the Brain fan?  Okay, am I the only 39 year old Pinky and the Brain fan?  Thought not.  Weirdos.

But why, you ask, [while you lay around surfing the 'net reading awesome blogs (like this one) while you sport your Old Navy jammie pants eating Eggos dipped in a pool of syrup while you let the kids run loose on a Saturday with Ragamuffin hair in saggy underpants, eating straight from the cereal box watching marathons of Wizards of Waverly Place and Regular Show] would i be raving about taking over the world? (That one hurt my brain to write, so I can't imagine it was easy to read.  Sorry, I've been selling Girl Scout cookies (read: trying desperately to not choke necks of said Girl Scouts who refuse to cooperate while reining in the one agreeable child who will not stop folding each dollar bill into a teensy little ball, all while trying to unload a bunch of freaking cookies so I can go home and drink like all the other parents) (Damn, lost you again, didn't I?)))))  (Is that enough  parentheses? I think I messed up.  Could someone correct this blog in red, and get back to me?) (Why do I think I could possibly take over the world, when I can't even get a coherent thought across?)

Where was I?

Oh yes, my plan to take over the world.

Why am I qualified?

You might remember that I've won many prestigious awards in my lifetime.  First, there was the Golden Shoelace in first grade.  Then, in my tweens, I won a Pepsi contest to fly to LA to see Michael Jackson on the Victory Tour.  I won The Corey Hart Album (when it was an album).  And a few months ago, I won $5 on a Lottery scratcher.

But today, my friends (because haters don't read me-they are too intimidated), I have outdone even myself.  I have won a MAJOR AWARD.

Sadly for Sky King, it is NOT a leg lamp.  Hell, even Monkey Boy would like a little leg-lamp action these days.

I won a Liebster Blog Award!!!!

Woo hoo, me!!!!!

I am very very excited!!!!!  What is a Liebtser Blog Award?

Well, I'll tell you. The Liebster Blog award is all about honoring blogs that have less than 200 followers. But still kick ass.  Which is so me! I know that 31 of you have committed to follow me, embraced me with all your bloggy love.  And until another 169 of you come over to the dark side waiting for me to be committed, I will graciously accept this award from my guy.  WilyGuy.  He's from It's MY Mind! and he is a perfect stranger, in that I have never met him in the real world. He stumbled across my blog (He may have been drunk) and he has been following me ever since (it can't be stalking, if I know he's there, right?) commenting and urging me on.  I really do love all the love and adoration I get.  From my friends and family, who are as painfully honest as I can be, it means a ton.  But when I inspire/amuse/happily shock others who keep coming back for more, it's incredibly affirming that I not only do this for myself (because, well, I'm still a totally selfish egomaniac, after all) but others get something from my writing as well. So, thank you, WilyGuy.  Truly, I have been blessed with many riches this past year, and your support is one of those riches.

There are rules to this award.  Strings attached, if you will. Not nearly as deflating as those crappy awards where you have to send them $75 for the plaque (my business "Won" one of those just recently...).  I didn't have to subscribe to any magazines to increase my chances, either (Suck it, Ed McMahon.  Wait, is that bad?  To tell a man that has since died to suck it? Either way, I entered every year since I was, like, 8.  And nada.  Bupkis. So I'm still a bit bitter.  Moving on...)  The rules are that I must tell you, and award, as a newly-self-important award-giver, 5 other blogs that I think are fab.  Here they are, in no particular order (I have always wanted to say that...)

1. My friend through thick and thin (who am I kidding? We are both pretty thick)-Jennie, at Preteens, Toddlers, and Newborns, Oh My! -she has introduced me to more snarkiness than I thought I could ever find.  She inspired me to start not one, but two, blogs. (The other fizzled. Yep-this is as good as it gets).  I would wax poetic about all her other amazing things like bringing me flowers and 4 more able bodies as well as helping me move, but I will stop here and urge you to go check her out.  But not in a creepy jar-of-fingernail-clippings-gift-wrapped way.  More of the wow-she's-a-great-writer-and-doesn't-overuse-"fuck"-like-Aimee kind of way.  She's funny and smart, and got me to do this (envision sweeping arm movements to indicate all the words on this page).  Either she's inspiring, or possibly should be brought up on charges.  Or both.

2. Mrs. One Day-She's over at One Day I'm Gonna... and she found me somewhere (once again not sure where) and started following and laughing and commenting and linking and supporting me with her blog love.  She's funny, too. I enjoy her humor (I need lots of humor in my life-don't we all?) and she's a fellow Spoonie suffering with some painful bullshit.  She deserves love for that alone.

3. Julia from Reasonably Well-she is also a Spoonie, dealing with Sjorgren's.  She's a trooper, and didn't even get a restraining order when I suggested she turn her Easter bunny plate collection into a Bunny Zombie Apocalypse.  Although to be fair, the paperwork may still be pending. She's pretty informative, funny, and sweet.  Basically the complete opposite of me.  So when you read her, substitute all the "doctor" references with "fuck" and all the "Sjogren's" references with the word badass, and you pretty much have me.  But with more random examples of misdirected punctuation.

4. Carolyn at Bamblue Sewing Blog. I don't really sew.  I mean, I can put two pieces of fabric together, especially if it involves a trashy Halloween costume (okay, maybe back in college) but I am not particularly crafty in the sewing world-I think I need more patience. But Carolyn? She is amazing.  She sews amazing things for herself and her children (and not crappy handmade stuff like matching polyester Christmas outfits that friends will mock, but badass things I wish I could make/buy at Nordstrom Rack).  And she happens to be a dear friend that I have known since forever.  She sells fabric online, and just might sew something custom for a brat or two.  I dunno. Check out her mad skilz and find out.

5. Last, is Julia.  A different Julia.  Still a sick Julia.  She's at My Fight Against Lyme Disease.  I found her after being told to drink lemon water, and then Googling "lemon water lyme disease" so I could remember why.  Turns out, it's good for your liver, and a bunch of other stuff I still can't remember.  But anyways-Julia.  When I got my Lyme diagnosis, it was very scary.  New diseases added to the pile always are.  And reading her struggles gave me a realistic picture of what I may be up against.  She's honest-which you all know I LOVE.  She doesn't swear enough, but I'm willing to forgive her, because she has sent me down the path to more information about my health. 

What these 5 amazing ladies now get to do, is send out their bloggy love to their 5 faves.

The whole idea is to give blog love, but to also open people's eyes to all the amazing blogs out there-people like you and me that put their crazy down on Internet paper.  People that need to be heard, have something to share.  Please check out these amazing people-I love them all, even the ones that may not know me. They have all inspired me one way or another.

One last shout-out---

To Jane Juska, twice-published author, former Creative Writing teacher at Ygnacio Valley High (among many thankless jobs)

Jane, I love you, I am inspired by you.  You took an angst-ridden 16-year-old and turned me into a writer.  You demanded a lot of me when I felt like I had nothing to give.  And you did the same for countless AP English and Creative Writing students.  Then you went out into the real world and got some shit published like a badass-stuff about late-in-life sex.  Your books rock, your life is full of amazing stories, don't stop telling them.

And you, my readers?  Click on a "follow" link on the left side, right here...

...and then leave comments, meant to inspire, encourage, or even correct my horrific misinformation.  Blog comments are like a tall glass of water in the desert-wanted, needed, desired, and full of love. They keep us bloggers going, remind us that there are people listening.

BTW, I've had too much wine to proofread-us award winners can be super casual about that kind of shit.  It's the Internet equivalent of trashing a hotel room. Deal.