Thursday, April 30, 2009

Isn't it funny when people write their entire email in the subject line and just put their signature in the email body?

elle michelle
Editor, blogger, wino

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I had planned on my next post being somewhat of a wrap-up from my weekend trip to Florida a few days ago.

I was going to tell you about drinking sparkling wine on the balcony overlooking the marina, laying out at the breezy beach, tanning in the serene "quiet zone" of the grown-up pool, floating past the mini-waterfalls of the pool's lazy river and getting flashed by my brother-in-law's bare ass before going to see Fiddler on the Roof. (Hey, they can't all be Hallmark moments.)

It was a great weekend -- much needed by all of us.

But instead of looking back on the weekend and thinking fondly about all those things, I'll always look back on this as the weekend my dog died. My baby girl.

January 23, 1998 - April 27, 2009

While putting on my makeup on Sunday night in Florida to go to dinner, my cell phone rang. It was my brother. Since he's moving to Chicago this summer, I figured he was calling about apartment-related matters.

I answered the phone with a chipper, "Hey!"


"What's up?" I tried again.

When my brother spoke, he was more shaken up than I'd ever seen him. He told me that Monty had 2 seizures.

"You mean, what, she just started shaking?" I asked.

"No," he said flatly. "She dropped to the ground and convulsed for a full minute. Right in front of me."

My heart sank. My stomach churned. The mascara quietly slipped out of my hand.

My brother told me that they were taking Monty to the hospital to get her checked out. On the way there, she had another seizure in the car. While getting checked out, she had a fourth seizure -- except this one caused her to stop breathing. She turned blue and had to be intubated. They medicated her, removed the tube and gave her oxygen while someone sat with her all night for observation.

While all of this was happening, I was in Florida, helpless and terrified.

If they can just keep her on some meds, I thought, I can catch a flight home to see her this week. Heck, maybe she'll come out of it. Maybe she just has epilepsy and will need to be on more medication to control it. We're talking about a dog that survived cancer! She's tough! She could be okay, I told myself.

I didn't sleep much that night. I didn't talk much in the morning. I was numb during my flight back to Chicago.

The second the plane touched down, I turned my phone on and saw a text from my sister. "She looks great," sis said. They had picked Monty up from the hospital.

I let out a breath I didn't realize I'd been holding. I called home to get the details and was told that the baby was at home, calm but exhausted. Her blood work came back normal. Mom was keeping an eye on her, but my dad had even gone into work. Monty would be taken into the vet in 15 minutes to see what was going on. I was cautiously optimistic.

Throughout the day, I got several more phone calls and updates from my brother and mom.

Monty failed her neurological exam. The vet thinks this is a primary lesion on her brain. The hospital needs to confirm.

They do.

My mom called me, crying, to tell me that they had to put Monty to sleep that afternoon. My baby girl of 11 years -- who almost NEVER missed a night of sleeping on my bed, who gave "hugs" with both paws, who played gently with my mom and I, who greeted my dad when he came home from work every evening -- she wasn't going to be around anymore.

The last time I saw her? That was the last time I'd ever see her. I can't describe how much that stings.

So, at 3:30pm yesterday, my little girl (all dopey from the medication) was brought into a room with my parents and sister so they could say goodbye. They took their time, petting her and talking to her. My mom gave her an extra hug for me. My sister managed to lift the poor 55-pound pup onto the table and my mom kept talking to her the whole time. There were tears from everyone.

Just before 5pm, I got that final phone call. It was done. I lost it.

I spent the rest of the night fluctuating between sobbing and being eerily calm. I watched TV, played DS, drank -- anything to distract myself. A temporary fix, of course, but it got me through the evening.

And now? I don't know. I've been focusing on work, which is good. Today I can think about my dog and not burst into tears, like I did all day yesterday, which is even better. But I still get sick to my stomach thinking about the last two days of her life and the last time I saw her. I guess that's the grief and it will pass with time...

RIP, baby girl. We miss you already.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Reasons to have babies

1. Instant blogging material. When I run out of blogging ideas, I can just talk about what silly/hilarious/idiotic/embarrassing thing my kid did. And you will EAT IT UP. (Interestingly, it's just not as charming to discuss my own public tantrums.)

2. Smug know-it-all attitude. I'll get to start every sentence with, "Oh, well, as a PARENT..." I believe this will especially help me at work, as my entire job focuses on child care. Let's hope parent status = credibility = high six-figure salary.

3. They can fetch wine so I don't have to get up. Twist-off caps are the new black, ya'll!

4. They can fetch beer so I don't have to get up. Get Mommy a cold one.

5. They can fetch vodka so I don't have to get up. Well, it LOOKS like water.

Reasons not to have babies:

1. Everything else.

Monday, April 13, 2009

How Jesus effed with my birth control

It was bound to happen.

I'm pretty good about taking my birth control, but I'm even better about ordering those refills. (I know, bad priorities.) Each month, I'd log on to Walgreens, click a few things and be done with it. This month, not so much.

You see, I've got a new doctor. Because she's awesome, she bundles my prescription into a three-month supply, making it much cheaper than getting one each month. Because she's a little less awesome, the pharmacy has to contact her for every three-month refill to confirm it. (Um, it's birth control, not Vicodin.)

Anyway, I've always been used to Walgreens being SUPER fast with filling my prescriptions. They always refilled before I needed it. Freakishly fast. So when I finished my last pill pack last week, I figured I could wait a few days before I needed to start clicking around the web site.

This was not smart.

I didn't remember to re-order my pills until Friday morning, at which point I got the "GIVE US EXTRA TIME TO CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR" alert. Yeah, fine, I've gotten that before and yet the prescription is still magically filled by the end of the day.

But Friday wasn't just any Friday. It was Good Friday. Dammit, Jesus!

So there I was on Easter Sunday, supposed to start my new pill pack but without any pills. I figured the Make-Me-Full-of-Rage Trinessa was always an option, and could it really be that bad for one month?

Apparently, yes -- to Dave. A while back, he had taken all of my reserve Trinessa packs and thrown them away in a panic. That little shit.

Now I'M the one left in a panic. I stopped by Walgreens this morning to see what was going on and the pharmacist told me that they'd already put in another call to my doctor just before I came in. I have spent most of my day like this:

  • Write two sentences of an article.
  • Check email for confirmation from Walgreens.
  • Write three sentences of an article.
  • Check email for confirmation from Walgreens.
  • Write two words in an article.
  • Check email for confirmation from Walgreens.
  • Stare at email in vain hopes that it will magically appear.
  • Repeat.

Shockingly, this routine of mine has not be able to will the prescription into my inbox.

At this point, doc has less than four hours to call back and confirm the prescription. If she doesn't, I'm effed. Everyone keep your fingers crossed. God knows I am.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Reason 5,394 why I'm an asshole

I know I will never live this down. It was just a tiny, insignificant moment in my life, but somehow, Dave has turned it into a life lesson that I cannot get away from. If you don't want to read it, just know that the moral of the story is that I'm an asshole and Dave is not. Shocker.

Anyway, in 2007, Dave and I were visiting my parents in Memphis when we had some flight trouble. We had trouble making it in to Memphis and had to be put on a different airline for that leg of the trip, so when it came time to check in for our return flight, that original airline (American) wouldn't let me -- they said we were not confirmed on it. Since we HAD to get back to Chicago, I had to call the airline to find out what the hell was going on.

This was my conversation:

Me: Hi, I'm trying to check in for my flight tomorrow and it's telling me that I don't have a seat on it, which is simply wrong.

Her: Okay, ma'am, I'll check.

Me: Okay.

I give her the flight info.

Her: Okay, ma'am, I'm showing that the reason for this is that the flight has already taken off.

Uh, the flight is tomorrow. Are you fucking kidding me? Does that seriously make sense to you??

Me: Well, I don't QUITE understand how that's possible because I'm looking at a confirmation email that clearly says that the flight is for Sunday. And today is Saturday. So, that can't be the issue.

Her: Hmm, okay, ma'am, just a minute.

I mouth "WTF, these dumb whores" to my mom.

We go through a lot of annoying shit where the woman continues to be an idiot and I continue to be impatient, reminding her of how her crap airline effed us on our original flight to Memphis. FINALLY....

Her: Okay, I see. You're actually confirmed on the flight, ma'am, but you just need to check in at the airport.

Me: Kay, thanks.

WHY did I accept that answer? I guess I wanted to be done with the conversation as much as she did. However, I decided that Dave needed to call back and go through the same routine just to make sure she wasn't lying to me.

She was.

Dave's conversation:

Dave: Hi, I'm trying to check in for my flight tomorrow and it's telling me that I don't have a seat on it..? I just wanted to see if we're still confirmed for our flight.

Her: Okay, sir, I'll check.

Dave: Great, thank you very much.

I roll my eyes.

Dave walks away to have the rest of his conversation. Next thing I know, he's off the phone and he has already confirmed our seats and printed our new tickets. No waiting at the airport, no shitty customer service runaround.

Uh, what?

To this day, I have no idea what he said on the phone, but I know he was a heck of a lot nicer than I was. I get it, I do. Dave was nice, so he was helped. I was a bitch, so I got nothing. Fair.

Even though I get it, Dave reminds me of this every chance he gets. For example, I once said, "Okay, House is over, give me that remote." He held the remote captive until I said please and then he chose to remind me of this story, along with his whole "you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar" lecture.

Yeah, yeah. I think the real lesson here is that I should drink a teeny, tiny bit before I make any customer service calls, since I'm obviously much nicer when I'm a little buzzed.

See? I'm a fast learner.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I'm cranky

Stop toying with my emotions.

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