Monday, April 28, 2008

Josef Fritzl

This man is, IMHO, the lowest form of humanity--he shouldn't be allowed to be part of mankind for imprisoning his daughter in a carefully crafted basement prison. To have raped his own child since she was 11, then imprison her at 18 by drugging and handcuffing her, then deliver her 7 kids fathered by him, dupe his own wife into thinking his daughter ran off to join a cult--and then suddenly, her babies one by one end up in baskets on the doorstep with declaration notes of her child abandonment. To learn the recent story click here.

What a sick f#ck. Wouldn't some of these incest babies end up with Downs Syndrome or not have all their cards? Maybe the three Josef raised were "normal" and the other 3 found living like middle earth people with their imprisoned mom were developmentally stunted. The 7th, well, we know that one died shortly after being born and not getting proper care - and Mr Fritzl burned it in the incinerator. WTF?!

How would Josef like to have lived 24 years imprisoned in a basement, forced to have sex with his MOTHER, father her kids and be deprived of a normal free life.

How could he? I try to think that Josef was once someone's baby. Nurtured and loved. What is the turning point in one's life to cross to such dark practices? I don't think he deserves to live.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Operation Heidi


This past week moved from swooning about marriage into thoughts surrounding my laparoscopy at Virginia Mason. Props to the medical team who were part of this process and surgery! I can't tell you enough how POSITIVE the experience of this medical team has been. I sing their praises. Cohesive, informative, timely, and compassionate. WOW.

The not so nice side is the physical ass whooping that goes into this surgery.

BEHOLD, THE BOWEL PREP
The day prior, I was required to clean out the plumbing. I learned the secret of the stars' weight loss: BOWEL PREP. Holy smokes. You wanna lose 7 pounds overnight? Drink three ounces of Fleet Phosphosoda, the nastiest sticky sweet fluid (to disguise) mixed with 8 oz of Ginger Ale. You have to sip slowly, because any gulp quickly tests your gag reflex. Then comes the sounds of thunder churning through the bowels. Then an urgency to run(!) to the bathroom. Here's where the reality struck. You know those movies like American Pie, where the guy is unwittingly drinking a laxative and then ends up on the toilet accompanied by echoing sputters of farts? It's not like that at all.

Picture Niagara Falls gushing from your posterior and you're more in the zone. It just kept going. I realize now it's like a reverse pickling. All that salt in the soda draws out every drop of fluid and you are WRUNG OUT til there's nothing left. That was the flattest tummy I've had in a long time.

SURGERY
I have incisions in my belly button and another on the left side of my abdomen, now stitched up and healing. The mission was twofold: check the f-tubes for patency and divide (and conquer!) a web of scar tissue in my abdomen and pelvis that was snaggling up my muscles and organs...the fallout of two infections last year (kidney and female). The body seeks to protect the vital organs during infection, and in the process it builds protective collagen tissues which attach all over the place in response--some people just have really sensitive, trigger happy systems.

These adhesions had become incredibly painful. After limiting my movement, causing sleepless nights and lots of trips to the doc, I ended up at Virginia Mason. We first tried interventions of Physical Therapy and Visceral Massage, which definitely did help some--it's just that it couldn't get the big nasty stuff. 8 months from when my woes first began, it was time for laparoscopy. The minute I became conscious post-op and anesthesia wore off, I could immediately feel less pain in my low back, side, appendix area and iliopsoas muscle. Yes!

RECOVERY
I'm not overdoing it. I have a couple pain pills, strong Ibuprofen, and a couple more days off to recuperate. I am tender. And swollen. I know it was the right thing to do. I look forward to unguarded movement, stretching long, dancing, swimming and surfing, bicycling, and bending up like a pretzel pain-free in the garden. Life is too short to hurt!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

What an engagement announcement won't tell you

An engagement announcement tells you so little about the persons getting married. We are limited to our present-day occupation and graduate degrees, but that does not define our true characters in the least. Such was realized when our announcement posted in today's Beachcomber.

I could list hundreds of things David is/does/produces that wouldn't fit the announcement, but are so telling.

He:
-surfs
-has kept bees/apiary for many years
-writes beautiful prose (that swept me off my feet from the get go)
-cooks like a top chef (cuz he was one, 15+ yrs in restaurants & Martin Yan tv gig)
-mentors the boys
-problem solves
-KEEPS HIS PROMISES
-holds it down financially
-is incredibly athletic and strong: runs, bikes, hikes, snowboards, judo, etc
-has formally studied psychology and dance
-makes a house a home with clever ideas
-tells very funny jokes that make you think twice
-builds: stickbuilt homes, greenhouses, a stawbale home, cat trees, birdhouses, decks, etc
-has a green thumb to make a greenhouse flourish
-now also has a mycellial thumb (mushroom cultivation)
-deals blackjack like a pro
-reads palms
-has professionally landscaped
-sings with abandon
-always wins the "radio game" name the artist/song
-kicks my ass at chess, plays chess with the boys
-a worthy scrabble opponent
-inquisitive to learn more, reads
-looks mighty fine in his endless wardrobe of surf trunks
-melts me with his turquoise blue eyes
-knows a lot about a lot
-uses his manners and holds the door open for me every time
-greets strangers with a friendly hello
-has unique ancestry that makes him the gorgeous guy he is
-does nice things I will not print here, and the rest is for me and me alone.

Nuff said. You get the idea. I'm in love with this guy for all the things he is, never just a job title.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Why Dr. Maki's office rules

Michael Maki is my dentist on Vashon.
I have endured a lifetime of rough dentists who really do a number on my teeth, EXCEPT for "Doc Mak." He's just awesome.
No, he is not Asian, although the name might fool ya.

Here is my top 10 of why DocMak rocks:
10- De-groovy 70s safety/spatter glasses
9- He's UW bred and a longtime practitioner (in the tribe of well known dds's)
8- He's cute (in that doctorish way!) and a damn good dresser
7- So gentle, you hardly know he's redoing a monster repair
6- Great hygienists (shout out to Shauna and Debbie!)
5- Very helpful front staff, who go to the ends of the earth to be sure insurance will offset costs (and they'll let you know if it's gonna hurt the wallet)
4- Lots of swag post-cleanings
3- Tells you straight up if your kids will need braces (start saving!)
2- All about a perfectly matching tooth color
1- Guarantees satsifaction and will tweak to suit (including my retainer!)

Hooray for a great team.

The Proposal


Family is notified. Still working on the friends...So now I can spill it!

David is truly clever. Off we went on a hike smack in the middle of the island, in hopes of spotting some early fruiting mushrooms and checking out new terrain. After an hour, David wanders away and calls. "Honey, you gotta come see this!" Mind you we're off the trail, wet and a little muddy from crawling under hucklebery and scrub.

I push through little branches and wet duff and I only hear his voice but don't see him. He calls, I see a clearing in that direction and out he comes from behind a huge doug fir. In his arm is a bright bouquet of two dozen red roses and in the other, a polished wood box with a twinking diamond ring within--his grandma's wedding ring. On bended knee, with a beaming smile, he asks.

I fell to my knees with a yes. This was on the anniversary of our first date. He had it all firgured out. I wondered why he brought along that back pack. When I told dad, it turns out David had asked permission months before. And his mom knew my ring size becauses she'd cleverly asked me to try on her opal ring, the same size as the wedding ring. It was a conspiracy! I'm kinda glad.

The boys' response was really positive. It's important they know their world isn't going to be rocked in any way, shape or form. They immediately wanted to know when we're going to be married. We are working on a hometown wedding plan, up to a year from now. We have time.

The ring just, just fit. It's a 6 and I can't believe my hulkamania hands allow such a delicate prize to grace it. Island "lapidarian" Wally Wood is going to give the ring a once over and work his magic so it's perfect for years to come in fit and integrity. Yay!

Monday, April 07, 2008

This weekend "sparkled"

My kids aren't with me the next couple days, and I have to talk to them first, so this is a bit cryptic.

Let's just say yesterday was mine and David's anniversary. Not only is life on the island together great, we have a lot of shared memories of school, friends and our OTHER ISLAND hometown. We share a history. We also share a future.

Stay tuned. (!)

-h

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Eating Vashon

If you say you're ready to serve the masses, you sure as shit better be ready.

That's the takeway from my two most recent experiences dining out in Vashon. Red Bicycle (aka Bishop's) and All India Cafe are the two who've recently put frowns on my usually beaming face.

Don't think for a second that my livelihood in promoting luxury retail, restaurant and food products makes me hyper-critical. I'm pissed off about the VERY FUNDAMENTALS of customer service: acknowledgement upon entry, communication about the backup, and timeliness of what's promised.

Let me start with last night's fiasco: All India Cafe. AIC gets a big fat, morbidly obese F for their first attempt. I would be on my knees in apologies to Islanders at the way they treated people coming in--it was painful.

After being mostly ignored for 45 min and placated by yogurt smoothees (this is on the house--the manager says, and scurries away after the promise of a table), he FINALLY took our order (while we're still perched, waiting at a dark, empty bar, no table given to us, as others who just walked in rez-less were ushered to theirs) by saying "so you want to wait 35 minutes for food?"

I just about bitch slapped him. We already saw the "35 minute wait for food" makeshift sign slapped on the front door. To hear this from his mouth in an "I-dare-you-to-dine-here" way instead of "may I take your order?" was salt in a festering, gangrenous wound.

We dared, baby. We did order. At the dark bar. 35 minutes later, the ticket he'd written the order on still sat on the bar, and no food ever came.

We walked out hungry at 8:15 (arrived at 6:30p!) and went to Gusto Girls. It was lovely and completely uncomplicated.

I will give him/All India another chance in a few weeks. There were lots of ticked off people leaving the restaurant because the place is just killing it with hungry crowds but a SKELETON crew can't cut it. One woman had cornered the manager reading him the riot act saying, "When I talked to you this morning, you made a promise. You said you were a man of your word. You lied." Woah. Don't know what that was about, but she let him have it and he took it.

Red Bicycle, Feb 26
We now go a crosswalk and a few doors down to Red Bicycle.

Dad was in town. We heard about dedicated sushi! Excellent, we thought. So we ordered both regular entrees and sushi. ONE HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTES after our entrees arrived, the sushi finally made it to the table.

At the sushi bar was an older gent who appeared to be very sushi-master-like. Sensei. The waitress explained, just as we were moments from bailing, that he simply couldn't keep up with the volume of orders--but ours was being made RIGHT THEN. It was good. But to be held hostage for your food to arrive in long stages is wrong.

Since then, Island Pete tells me there are two fresh faces busting out the sushi in good time. Of this I am glad.

Venting done. Over and out.

-h