Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Hallow-Hairnet-een!

It is Halloween!
Crappy economy! Constant campaign phone calls and attack ads! Frankenstorms!
Like it could get any scarier out there...

But, Hairnet Spotters, it has. We have had an Private Interior Hairnet Spotting! Not only was this a PIHS, it was also Spotter Julie's first sighting. We could, of course, wonder about the security of her home and possibly the alliances of the person responsible for bringing the Hairnet in...but here on the Coast of Illinois we are more about saving lives than pointing fingers.

The Hairnet breach occurred last weekend as Julie was setting up her Very Topical Reality Television Halloween costume. She ripped open the package and whup (BAM! Would be more dramatic but Hairnets rarely go BAM!) the albino Net fell onto her table. In Julie's own words:

"Once I realized what I had my hands on (not a harmless fake beard!) I snapped a quick photo (as proof of my bravery) and then threw it in the OUTSIDE trash can! Whew! I washed my hands thoroughly (2 rounds of "Happy Birthday!) and sprayed Lysol liberally, making sure to rid the house if any bad juju."

"The sneaky infidel is masquerading inside the package of a hair called "The Savior." Blasphemy!"

Way to go Julie! Handled like a true professional. And an Albino Hairnet too boot! This may be our first observation of Hairnet Adaption.
They are adapting.
 But, they are also SPAWNING:

Jeez! Get a room. 

Be Wary out there people. Let this be a warning to us all. Hairnets are everywhere. They are getting sneakier. And, once you start seeing them.....wait, what's that on the floor....NOOOOoooo....

(No bloggers were actually injured in this writing. That last bit was just for fun.)
((Coast of Illinois is a non-denominational public service. The use of the words 'Infidel', 'Savior' and "Albino' are not meant to profile anyone.))
(((Thanks again to Mel for the horrifying spawn photo. And to Julie - welcome to the club!)))

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hairnet Roundup 10-25-2012

Welcome to Autumn on the Coast of Illinois. The leaves are changing, pumpkins are popping up on doorsteps and Hairnets are migrating. That's right. It is the beginning of the annual Hairnet Migration. To the best of my knowledge the Nets band together and head down to Rio. It even says so in that song by Duran Duran:

"Hairnets in Rio and they Dance upon the sand
Protecting hairdos all across the dusty land"

A diligent spotter (thanks Jen!) caught these three waiting to board the Red Line Metro to Lambert Field.  Bon Voyage Hairnets! Until Spring!

Good luck with the TSA. At least they don't have any carry-ons.

(I always get the bug to change things up this time of year. As a result, I have changed shifts at work and as expected it is bringing havoc to The Coast. Hope to get back to more routine postings soon. Until then: Keep your Eyes Open. The Hairnets that stick around for winter are of the most hardy variety.)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Time Warped

Today I start a new (tentative) work schedule. I say good-bye to twelve hour shifts and switch to ten hour ones. Naturally, I have an entire new life plan for this (tentative) schedule change. Exercising first thing in the morning, eating healthier and writing every morning so I can get the rough draft of this novel finished. Theoretically, I gain four hours of work and get home two hours earlier every day I do work.

Yet, all I can focus on is the fact that ONLY four more work hours a week equals ONE less day off?

I hate math.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dedicated to Mrs. Mose...

Dedicated to Mrs. Mose, who taught 5th grade, loved Lysol and her varicose veins and felt that I did not use my time wisely.

My vascular entity Vein-essa and I parted ways a couple days ago in a flourish of lidocaine and lasers. What follows are some of the highlights:

Technician: Do you mind if we leave the door open? We're the only ones here.
(let it be noted that I am in my UNDERPANTS on an exam table here)

Doctor: This is going to sting.
(As he proceeds to STAB me multiple times from knee to upper thigh.)
Internal Conversation with myself: Wish I had done more leg lifts in 8th grade PE class. My God. I am only 5'5" I think he is just stabbing me for the fun of it now.)

Technician: Wow!
(Everyone in room gets quiet. I prop up on my elbows and demand to know what was so WOW! Reassure everyone that I can handle it.)
Technician: Well, as he injected the local anesthetic there, a bunch of it sort of shot out of this hole a fountain!)
Internal Conversation with myself: So happy to be of entertainment value.
Me,out loud: Do I get a discount for that?

Technician: Let us know if you taste anything, smell anything or feel anything...unusual.
Internal Conversation as well as External Conversation: You really need to tell people that?

Doctor: Wait! She needs her goggles.
(Let it be known here – I am the only one wearing goggles. I can only assume they are to protect the other people in the room when the laser shoots up my leg vein and out of my eyes. Sort of like that Nazi Movie Director at the final scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark...right before his face melts off.)

What happens next is a blur of lasers, burning smells and several more stabbing injections after which I reminded myself and everyone in the room that I had entered into this VOLUNTARILY.
I left the office in no pain except for the pulling sensation two rolls of tape attached to my leg where one of my stab wounds continued to bleed and a brand new pair of awesome support hose.

Disclaimer: Except for the localization, this was totally painless. Unless you count the humiliation of laying around in front of total strangers in your underpants.

Disclaimer #2: The Doctor assured me that Varicose Veins are, in fact, not caused by:
Being Overweight
Not exercising enough
Exercising too much
Standing for thousands of hours
Wearing high heels
Crossing your legs
Eating too much red meat
Drinking too many rum drinks
Going Barefoot
Varicose Veins are just bad genetic luck.

So, Thanks Mom and Dad.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I Can Smell The Colors

I attended an artist talk last night as a sort of ceramic wing man for my friend who throws pots. (That's pots – plural – not pot – vegetative.) I really enjoy attending events like this. Although I will admit, my interest tends to veer towards the silly factor. Don't get me wrong. I am fascinated by the creative process. I truly appreciated the results, even if I don't necessarily understand them.

What amazes me is this, the minute I enter a gallery I find I must start talking all 'arty', sort of like the news people who suddenly become Hispanic when pronouncing names like Chavez and Hernandez. I start asking about medium and composition and perspective. I become a conceptual interpreter finding meaning in every color choice and brush stroke. At one point last night I found myself in a discussion with an artist over her use of gesso.

I don't even know what gesso is.

In all fairness – the art was truly interesting and in the spirit of The Coast of Illinois, I must add links to the artist:Tom Dykas   and the really cool gallery:


And in the spirit of keeping true to myself, I found this awesome and hilarious site for us regular folks that occasionally need to attend such functions...

although I don't see that happening any time soon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Can I Get the Leopard Print Pump Discount?

Fine. I will admit it. I am a woman of a 'certain' age. And with that age comes great responsibility. Well, not really. It just means more maintenance. So:


Due to my advanced age, maternal history and twenty seven years in the Health Service industry (read that standing for at least 10 hours a day) I developed a gross, ropey vein on my right leg. In fact, it had grown so much it was now an entity who answered to the name Vein-essa. Vein-essa had taken to kicking people in movie theaters when they wouldn't shut up and so it was decided she had to go.

Which resulted in me sitting in a freezing exam room in a pair of shorts. Part one of my recurring nightmare.

The Doctor walked in and greeted us with "Whoa! I can see from here why you came in!"

Thanks Doc. Just what I wanted to hear. Vein-essa pulsated "Hello Big Boy" in Morse code. (Did I mention she is something of a skank?)

The consult was a two part, two visit affair with examination, treatment options, payment plans, insurance referrals, pictures, ultrasound and payment options. Did I mention the pictures? The photo session was part of visit two. Let me paint you a picture: Me, Vein-esse, athletic shorts, no socks, and Leopard Print Pumps. Lovely.

It was determined that only Lasers would evict Vein-essa. Lasers. You know, those things we fire at terrorists and moon aliens. I straightened my shorts, turned on my leopard print heels and made the appointment.

Vein-esse requested two 8x10 glossies on the way out.

$20 at Kmart, priceless at the Vein Clinic

(coming soon – Attack of the 30 ml syringe full of PAIN or Buh-Bye Little Vein-essa)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Where Did You Say You Got That Medical Degree?

 Today I am having a 'minimally invasive' laser procedure done. These two terms: 'minimally invasive' and 'laser' just don't seem to work together to insure confidence. At least I figure it will result in a couple of blog posts. So, in order to set the mood, I am posting a  previous adventure in medical care:

                                        Yes, We Have No Bananas

I am lucky. I just happen to work at one of the finest medical facilities in the nation and as such, thanks to employer subsidized healthcare, have access to some of the finest medical care a twenty dollar co-pay can buy. This came in quite handy recently when my left foot decided to take on a life of its own and grow what can only be described as the spinal cord of what I am sure was my unborn twin.
I guess here is where I should insert the WARNING – this post will include discussion of feet. As much as I like shoes, I do not like feet, toes, toenails or any of the myriad of gross ailments that those body parts can acquire. That being said, when the ball of my left foot began to hurt I was forced to remove the Carlos Santana Hooker Heels and take a look.
After months of poking, pumicing and ignoring I decided that the painful lump was not going to go away on its own. So I did what any responsible healthcare consumer does. I made an appointment with my primary care physician, fully expecting a 'get that gross hoof out of my office' and a referral to a podiatrist.
Now, it should be mentioned that the building where my doctor – a highly regarded diagnostician – maintains his office, has the word 'ADVANCED' in it. This will become important later in this story.
I hobbled in for my appointment and after the obligatory blood pressure check and always fun weigh in, I took my seat on the exam table. I don't know about you but I find it impossible to not swing my legs like a three year old when I sit on an exam table. By the time the doctor came in I had performed most of the can-can and was starting in on a Rockette kick line. I took a gracious bow and proceeded to explain the reason for my visit:
"There is something sprouting from the bottom of my left foot. It feels like I have been walking in a cheap pair of Walmart pumps."
The Highly Regarded Diagnostician nodded knowingly, sat on his wheely chair and gently took my foot in his hand. He turned it this way and that, studying the intricacies of the offending growth and commenting on the lovely color of polish on my toenails. (OPI-Lunch at the Dehli). He then looked up sheepishly and said, "well, we have a couple of options here." He offered the expected referral to a podiatrist – a physician I can only assume either has deep seated mental issues or some major community service hours to execute - OR my Doctor said he could possibly take care of it himself.
Then he qualified his claim with "Now, don't laugh." (Here is where I ask that you keep the word ADVANCED as well as the word MEDICINE in the back of your mind.)
Doctor went on to outline his treatment plan. (WARNING!) Where he would shave the growth down, which would render it painless immediately. However, this was only step one. Feeling that I would be a compliant patient, he went on to explain my portion of the treatment, warning me again to "Not Laugh."
I was intrigued.
"Tonight, when you go to bed, wrap a banana peel around the foot." He barely got the words out before once again saying, "Please, don't laugh." It was sort of fun to watch him twist back and forth on his wheely chair as he told me to secure the peel with an ACE wrap. The treatment would only need to be performed one time he assured me. I did not tell him that with a banana peel wrapped around my foot, I would only be allowed to sleep in the same bed as my husband one time...most likely, the last time.
He left the exam room long enough for me to do a couple of high kicks and returned with a sterile knife blade. He proceeded to ask after my kids, our summer plans, and work. I am an extremely trusting human being, some would say gullible, but why quibble. When another human is coming at your foot with a sharp blade it is very hard to make small talk. I tried my best to answer but with my teeth clenched as tightly as they were I doubt he got much beyond "mmphh" and "eee".
Five minutes later I left his office, soul of my foot neatly shaved and no longer painful. He looked at me hopefully. "So, are you really going to try the banana peel?"
I shrugged and said "Only if you give me a cut of the bet you are obviously about to win."
He chuckled as he handed my chart to the clerk, his hopeful expression turned to worry. "And, please, don't tell anyone."
Now he was worried about who might hear this? Well, sorry Doc, confidentiality is not a two way street. I had a week's worth of tweets ready to post.
I left the office and made my way to Trader Joe's for some of the finest organic bananas my healthcare dollars could buy; all the while trying to figure out how to explain to my family why I would be tying an entire banana peel around my foot. They were surprising supportive. My husband offered to call 911 when I slipped on the peel in the middle of the night and broke my hip while my daughter did an extensive on-line search of 'banana peel+foot+insanity'. My son ate the banana for me.
In the end, I trimmed down the peel to bandage size and placed it – banana side in- to my foot and secured it with a large bandaid. Now, here is where it gets weird. When I first stepped down on the poulticed foot it tingled. Alot. The tingling was soon replaced by an almost electric thumping. And the next morning the weird little spot had nearly vanished!
Now I just need to figure out what to do with the remainder of those 26 nineteen-cent bananas I had to buy to meet my five dollar co-pay on generic prescriptions.

(For purpose of full disclosure-what I had was a plantar wart. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT search this malady on the internet. Take my word for it, the text search results are bad enough. The image search will make you want to wash your eyeballs with antibiotic ointment. However, treatment for plantar wart actually does include the Banana Peel Protocol. And you know what they say – If its on the Internet, it has to be true!)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hairnet Round-up 10-11-12!!

Its 10-11-12! What better day to do announce a new Hairnet spotter in our midst?

Once again, we were walking to the parking lot after a long hard day of waking people up and giving them drugs to put them back to sleep. My friend, whom we shall call Shirley, was lamenting the fact that she had yet to spot a Hairnet. As with most non-spotters, I believe she secretly considered us nuts.

But that was before...

We turned onto Hairnet Alley (the side street which runs between parking garages and gunfire) when she stopped dead in her tracks. Her outstretched hand was rock steady as she pointed to the ground. Only her quavering voice gave her away. "Cheese and Crackers! Is that one?" Lying on the ground at her feet was a large heavy mesh sack with ties. We pondered the item and its possible uses but ultimately we concluded that it was indeed a hair containment device. A MUTATED hair containment device! Its uses too horrifying to mention. Implementing all the Hairnet Safety Protocols, we cautiously took a warning photo and moved along.

We spotted three smaller Hairnets within 100 feet of the Mutation. Clearly what Shirley discovered was The Mother Ship!

Do not doubt the Hairnets! They do exist! They do!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Horror! The HORROR!!

Trick or Treat
Smell my feet
Give me something good
to read!

The Writers Pad

Scary ass short stories and poetry all available for download on most e-readers and computers! Just click the link above.  FREE!
Oh sure. Its not those awesome tiny snickers but it is low cal, low fat and surprisingly high in fiber!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I'll Have the Biggie Shave

NOTICE: this installment involves razor blades and leg shaving. (Leg shaving appliances, no actual nicks or bleeding included.)

I accidentally picked up a different type of refill for my razor. Okay, maybe not accidentally. The box had a super pretty flower design on it. Plus it has an extra 'comfort' strip of moisturizing lotion. And BONUS – it is twice as wide as my old razor blades.

You know what this means?

It now takes half the time to shave my legs. Seriously. I can now shave my legs in the shower without running out of hot water. This refill is like the double wide ginzu of razor blades allowing twice the ninja blade coverage. Which is a huge time saver when you have sturdy Germanic legs as I do.

Of course, you may not want to use a double wide to shave your more 'delicate' areas. You know, those places where you do not want to cut a large swatch....unless you're into that sort of thing...And I suppose everyone appreciates a time saver...

Mama Pajama! Now that's a blade!

 (and as always...Venus Embrace* ...not a paid public announcement)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Welcome to Your New Home

Of the past 72 hours, I have spent nearly 30 at work. (This includes travel time because...well, because.) This is just a few hours short of half of three days. (Which happens to be the entire weekend. Not that I'm bitter.) This does not leave a whole lot of time for eating, sleeping, relaxing or bathing. It does leave enough time for me to figure the ratio of work to not work and where I could have driven and or flown in the amount of time I have spent on both. (Colorado, Most of the Gulf Coast, My villa in Tuscany/Paris/Mediterranean.) ((Not push me here, I am really sleepy.))

Clearly I should have been more specific when I said I wanted a second home.

Oh Sure, Great View but I really prefer the back of my eyelids.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The New Algonquin

I will admit it. I love Facebook. Yes, I understand that this much cyber contact can be an issue for children and I am thankful that I did not have to deal with Facebook when my kids were in school. But I am an adult and being an adult, I enter into social interactions with an adult attitude....and I have only had to resort to the tried and true 'I know you are but what am I' once or twice...

Why do I enjoy Facebook so much? It offers a quick glimpse into people's lives, lets us share photos and events and random thoughts and at times allows for instantaneous interactions with people around the world. Let me put this into perspective.

I grew up with a party line telephone. There were three or four other families on our phone line. I think each phone had a certain ring so you knew if the call was yours. I was in grade school so didn't get that many phone calls. However, on the rare occasion that I urgently needed to call my friend down the road I would pick up the phone and check to see if anyone else was using the line – you could tell by the conversation you were inadvertently eaves dropping on. Proper upbringing taught me to get off the line if someone else was on it. But, the best was when I would pick up the phone and my friend, who I was just about to call, had also just picked up the phone!

Who knew that a short 40 years later I would be able to do the very same thing but ON A COMPUTER!

Anyway. My point here is this: Facebook is fun. It is a great way to communicate with many people. It also seems to have the ability to turn grownups into 4th graders.  As adults we do have to be careful what we post. Clearly all out attacks on people is bad form Yet, if I chose to make fun of MYSELF by calling my self a geezer that is my choice. You are free to comment on my geezerdom but you are NOT allowed to reprimand me for attacking a certain group of people. Unless of course the Geezers of America don't want me to be a member ...

Have a great Weekend Everyone! See you on the FAcebook...but keep those damn balls out of my yard!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mini Hairnet Roundup 10-03-2012

Sorry for the delay but had to spend the day Head First, Waist Deep in a closet. How does one person wind up owning 16 white blouses and a Stevie Nick's bell-sleeved belly shirt? And don't even get me started on the number of thongs. I don't even wear them yet somehow they show up in the underwear drawer. Okay, I had one. It was worn one time as a social experiment at an as still un-named family gathering. Apparently it was a pregnant thong and has given birth to tiny baby thongs of its own. If any one is interested in adopting one, please DO NOT let me know. However, I am pretty sure there is a professional that would be willing to help you out.

Now, on to the regularly scheduled round-up.

Hairnet sightings have been on the decrease. It is assumed the Nets are migrating south. This is just a ruse. Be alert People. They are merely waiting and watching for the first crisp fall afternoon.

What is more disturbing? My friend's shirtless neighbor. Apparently he is ALWAYS not wearing a shirt. Even when he is interrupted 'cooking'. To the gentlemen (whom I assume were roped into reading this by the mention of 'thong' – like how I worked that to my advantage?): Guys, we love you but unless you are Daniel Craig or Denzel Washington leave your shirt on while cooking. Seriously.

And, speaking of cooking...
Check out Pious Kitchen Lady! Providing cooking tips and fashion advice two or three times a week, who can tell...she is awfully busy...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What Do You Mean! They Don't Teach This in School?

I got my hair cut this past weekend. I have been looking for a new hairdresser for a while and I really wanted to like this new place. The girls were super chirpy and giggly, the salon design was totally sleek and modern. And who doesn't want their hairdresser to be named 'Fringe'???

We were laughing and chatting when it happened. I was performing my duties as Ambassador of Coast of Illinois and telling the new girl about the many great and awesome places to go around here and of course, Blueberry Hill came up. I mentioned the delicious burgers and told her a little history of the place and then mentioned that the owner is friends with Chuck Berry.

Her reply?
 'Who's Chuck Berry?'

That does it. I officially have to start stuffing used tissues into all my pockets and stealing pink sugars from restaurants. Oh, and I am going to need to find someone to finish cutting my hair...

Johnny B Good and listen to something other than Lady Gaga

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sweet Caroline! I Think We're Having a Journey Moment!

Cue the Moon! Cue the Moon!
You know when you watch a movie and suddenly everyone in the restaurant begins singing and dancing and then total strangers on the street join and everyone seems to be connected in some weird cosmic manner?

You now the scene.

A Laughing Couple dines on penette alla ariabita and chicken parm. The Singer sets up and begins playing and a rogue drummer joins in on the bongos for a song or two. The Singer rolls into September and everyone is dancing in their chairs but the lady across the patio begins to dance outright. The man at the table across the way is caught up in the beat and joins her.

A fountain bubbles in the crisp autumn air under a clear midnight sky as four young women giggle and dance to music only just now heard as the director cues groups of two and three to walk past, admiring the diners, dancers and music. Waiters hustle between the wrought iron tables delivering delicate glasses of wine and The Singer serenades a birthday girl as the diners join in.

The Laughing Couple joins the dance with You Make My Dreams Come True. The man mocks his wife for her Molly Ringwald impersonation and she tells him he reminds her of Rob Lowe-in About Last Night, not so much St. Elmo's Fire .

The Singer wraps it up for the night, to the disappointment of his faithful audience. He moves through the patio, shaking hand and offering hugs, posing with The Fountain Girls for a giggling picture as Volare rings over the sound system and the Diners fall into an impromptu conga line. The Waiters shake hands as checks are paid and everyone laughs and says 'until next time'. As the moon rises higher above the rooftop the Laughing Couple knows they have been privileged to once again experience magic.

The director calls cut and the credits roll.

You know the scene.

Well, that scene was my Saturday night. 

The setting was Paul Mineo's in WestPort Plaza.
This Italian restaurant was a surprise to my husband and me, although it has been around for years. The food is amazing and did I mention the wine glasses are huge? If you go I highly recommend the dishes mentioned above as well as the Artichoke appetizer and the Filet stuffed with seafood. Yum.

The part of The Singer was played by Brian Clarke, a St. Louis musician who -HELLO- should be getting his own category in the next Riverfront Times Best of Edition.
He has played in the St Louis area for years, covers every song ever written as well as his own tunes. He inadvertently played our wedding reception. (It was undercover, he never knew so technically I guess we still owe him.)

The parts of the Diners and the Fountain Girls were played by a group of people who just happened to come together for an amazing evening.

And the part of the Laughing Couple was played by yours truly and my husband.

Molly Ringwald and Rob Lowe were not harmed in the dancing.

yup, that's the size of the wine glasses...on the Moon