Monday, October 28, 2002


I had another fainting spell on Saturday, and today, I feel like I finally got some answers. It turns out I have a benign cardiac abnormality. My heart and adrenaline are working overtime, and that is probably what is causing me to faint. They gave me some medications and instructed me to use hatha yoga and exercise to help lower my heart rate. I'm on medical leave for 2 weeks, and from there, I think I need to re-evaluate the stress levels I am working in. I love oncology. I love our patients and I love nursing, but I realize my body is trying to tell me to slow down. I've got 2 weeks, and I think that I will be able to figure out some stuff.

Friday, October 25, 2002

Wow. I just finished a training course in End of Life Care. It was amazing. I learned so much. I will be posting to Oncoblog in the next few days.

Tonight, the Better Half and I are going to stay in and take it easy. I've been up late the past two nights. On Wednesday night I stayed up and watched SniperNews and then, last night, we went to the pub. It was fun, although the Better Half and I were exhausted and ended up leaving a bit early, around 11pm. So, tonight, it's sandwiches from Stuffy's and watching Chessie and Butters play together.

Speaking of, we now have a theory that Butters lives next door.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

SNIPER NEWS: Chief Moose Launches "OPERATION: Let's Go Get These F*ckers!"
Okay, here's the real story: TACOMA, Wash. — Authorities in the Beltway Sniper investigation are looking for two "people of interest," law enforcement sources told Fox News.

The two individuals they seek are John Mohammed, also known as John Allen Williams, formerly connected to Fort Lewis, an Army base south of Tacoma, Wash., and Lee Malvo.

The two men are linked to a blue or burgundy Chevy Caprice, with New Jersey license plates, with the plate reading: NDA-21Z.

The FBI searched a back yard in Tacoma that they believe may be related to the probe Wednesday night, the sources said.

Law enforcement sources told Fox News that search warrants related to the serial sniper case are being served in various parts of the country this evening — and this is just the first one.

The sources said these multiple warrants included some in the D.C. area and at least one search warrant is also being executed in Marion, Ala.

Agents searched the home in Tacoma Wednesday with metal detectors and chain saws — more than 2,000 miles away from the region where the shootings have taken place.

The agents, acting on information from the sniper task force based in Maryland, were seeking evidence at the rental home related to ammunition, a senior law enforcement official in Washington said on condition of anonymity.

A federal law enforcement official told Fox News it's not likely that arrests would be made Wednesday night and they are looking for a weapons cache or bullets. This was a consensual warrant, thus there were no doors broken down or forced entry.

The source described this as a "solid lead."

Lt. Col. Joseph Piek, a spokesman at Fort Lewis, said the FBI had asked for help from the base.

Piek told Fox News they are cooperating fully with the FBI and other agencies. He said they were contacted by the FBI at around 4:30 local time and he cannot confirm that a Fort Lewis soldier may have lived or rented the duplex. He also said about 60 percent of the soldiers live off the installation.

The flurry of activity raised hopes that investigators had a lead in the shooting spree that has left 10 people dead and three others critically wounded in and around the nation's capital since Oct. 2. The law enforcement source said no arrests were expected soon.

FBI spokeswoman Melissa Mallon said the search was consented to by the property owner, but refused to say why agents were there.

"There's no immediate danger to anyone in this neighborhood," she said.

The back yard of the home was divided into grids, and agents swept metal detectors back and forth over the ground. Other crews used chain saws to remove a stump from the yard and load it onto a truck; a source said the stump would be returned to Washington, D.C., for analysis.

Agents wrapped up their search and a rental truck containing the stump and other evidence left the scene Wednesday evening.

Dean Resop, who lives a block away, said "quite a few tenants," had been in and out of the home.

"Makes you want to watch your neighbors closer," said Resop, who has lived in the area seven years.

Meanwhile, more than 2,000 miles away, worried parents sent their children off to schools across the Washington area with extra-tight hugs, defying the sniper's warning that children are not safe "anywhere, at any time."

Thousands of others kept their kids at home.

As expected, police said ballistics and other evidence had confirmed that the bus driver shot to death on Tuesday was the sniper's 13th victim in the three-week rampage.

Investigators waited three days to reveal the threat against children, which was contained in a letter found after a shooting Saturday in Ashland, Va.

Michael Bouchard of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms insisted vital information was not being withheld.

"We're all parents and are certainly concerned about the safety of our kids and of our co-workers," he said. He said if information is released too early, "it inhibits our ability to do the job we need to be doing."

For the first time in three days, Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose did not issue a public statement to the sniper. A news briefing was scheduled, then abruptly canceled just before word leaked of the search in Washington state.

"The investigation has taken us down different avenues and roads that we need to explore," police spokeswoman Capt. Nancy C. Demme said without elaboration.

Earlier this week, Moose had implored the sniper to contact authorities and continue a dialogue, and he suggested police were having trouble complying with undisclosed demands.

The latest message believed to be from the killer was a letter found not far from where bus driver Conrad Johnson, 35, was slain Tuesday, two law enforcement sources told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The message reportedly demands $10 million — the same request sources say was made in Saturday's letter.

Schools across the region reported below-average attendance Wednesday.

There was no bus service for 3,800 special education students in Washington, and the overall attendance rate was just 75 percent, down 10 percent. In Prince George's County, Md., attendance was about 91 percent, down 4 percent from an average day.

In Montgomery County, where the shootings began and where Johnson was slain, attendance dropped to 89 percent. Attendance had been running about 95 percent, even as the school district joined others in "code blue" security status — meaning no outdoor activities or field trips.

"I'm not afraid of the sniper," said 17-year-old Heather Willson, a senior at Albert Einstein High School. "My school's fairly closed in, and we're pretty good at our code blue. I mean, I don't see any reason why he's going to change his tactics now and come inside and start shooting up students."

Schools in the Richmond, Va., area opened Wednesday for the first time this week, but attendance was lighter than usual.

Kim Arthur decided to walk 8-year-old son Stephen to John M. Gandy Elementary School in Ashland, Va.

"We can't keep our kids from doing what they usually do," Arthur said. "That would scare them even more."

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Today, the Better Half had the day off, so we took in Sweet Home Alabama. You guessed right, gentle readers, it was my choice. But the Better Half enjoyed it as well. We were not disappointed.

Afterwards, we had lunch at Zorbas. For anyone who is thinking of giving me a Christmas present, give me a Greek cookbook.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

New on Oncoblog: A Story about Christopher Newport Nursing School.

The Better Half calls me from PA early this morning.
"Guess what? I got pulled over in Maryland." He drives a white truck. So, apparently, does this sniper who's been shooting people in VA, DC, and MD. They checked the truck for weapons, then let him go after about a half hour. Weird.

Last night was my Grandfather's 75th birthday. He's always been a down-to-earth guy, really complimentary when it comes to his fam. He considers himself lucky. We had a small gathering with Papa's favorite, spice cake. On Sunday, we're having a big 'stravaganza, with all of the fam. Last night it was me, my dad, my aunt, my grandmother and my two uncles, and my cousins, Bridget and Baby Gene. They have two volumes: loud and louder. Baby Gene has become a Junior Emily Post. When the adults were talking, I accidently let an "Oh my God," slip and was corrected with an "Ohh, Jennifur, yur not sposed to say it dat way!" He also admonished my Uncle Bobby when he said the word, "stupid." I didn't let it hinder me from giving both him and his sister two shiny quarters.

A sweet moment came when Papa read his card from his son, Gene (Baby Gene's father) and they hugged. "Beautiful card; that's beautiful son. I love you so much."
My uncle replied, "I meant every word."

Friday, October 18, 2002

Feelin better, ready to go back to work on Monday a lean mean nursing machine.

Today I went for a test known as an EEG, which measures my brain waves, to make sure everything is clicking right. The Better Half joked with me before hand that it sounded like I definately had a brain. I got to the place and checked in and met Ingrid, the admissions clerk, who was studying to be a TV anchorwoman and was getting ready to intern with Channel 6 News. It's the oldest channel in Richmond. It's apparently a really awesome place to work.

Well, I went up to the 4th floor and a very nice woman named Evelyn took me into a small room with a cot and computer. She put a rubber cap on my head with about 20 little electrodes on it, and poured a little bit of goo into each one so that the electodes could read my brain waves. She turned out the lights, and started the test, which resembles a richter scale and a lie detector. Basically, I just lay there for a bit, then Evelyn asked me to take deep breaths and then there was a bright light shone in my face, sometimes blinking or flashing. It was really interesting, as the light was so bright I could actually see the INSIDE OF MY EYELIDS! Very weird. Afterwards, Evelyn and I made small talk about working in medicine. The results are due to be back some time next week.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

I had another near fainting episode today.

I wound up in the ER at my hospital. The treatment was really great. The docs and nurses were really nice. It could be that my blood pressure drops sharply as I stand up really quickly and causes me to get dizzy and pass out. I am going on Friday to get some more tests done. Also I've probably got to slow it down a little bit. Try not to run myself ragged at work. This week, I am going to stay in as much as possible. I don't plan to go to the pub or go with the Better Half this weekend to the party in PA. Get myself strong again and go back to work on Monday and be okay.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Scooby Doo is a good film. I watched it on DVD today, and it's funny, and clever. Hard-core fans will catch the references.

I finished sewing the ten panels of my afghan together. I've got to reorder some of the yarn for the remaining two panels. Then I can snuggle with it; sometimes with Chessie and the Better Half also. Today was my day off. I am climbing the walls. I am so ready to go back to work.

I love this weather. When I took my walk today, around noon, the air was crisp, although it was overcast, it's really nice outside. Now it's drizzling. I probably will have no problem falling asleep tonight.

Maybe you guys will need layers of clothing for Celtic Festival.

Monday, October 14, 2002

Something's not right. Today I almost passed out at work. I went to the doctor. They had to do some tests. I have had no energy these past few weeks. I haven't slept well, having nightmares of being trapped in an elevator where the cables snap and we plunge. I know I need to make changes. This evening, I went for a brisk walk, hoping it would help. So far, it's put me in a better mood, I'm not feeling as tense as before. The Better Half has invited me to come and walk with him in the morning. I think I'll give it a try.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

My afghan is coming along nicely, I've got to reorder some more of the yarn, so in the meantime, I am putting together the other strips. It looks like it's going to be at least 6 feet long, possibly 4 feet wide. I bought a can of the spray starch, and that helps the pieces stay put while I stitch them together.

Saturday, October 12, 2002

I spent the day sick with a stomach bug. The Better Half gave me teas and ginger ale and rented some videos for me. About mid-day my appetite came back, and I was able to work a bit on my afghan. I had to call in today, but tomorrow I am off again, so I can rest up and recuperate and be 100% on Monday.

Last night the Baheads were all giddy as Jim and Dan appeared on Rich TV, plugging the Celtic Festival. Marian and I both called up the show to ask "questions" to the band, in order to make them look cool on TV. Marian asked them what they liked about playing the Festival (double plug for both the band and the event) I asked about their numerous charities that they work for, including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, as well as Freedom House, SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) and the American Red Cross. I went last year to the Festival, and it was so much fun. Black 47 was there too. It's like a smaller version of the State Fair, except a bit more exotic, and instead of hocking hot tubs, the vendors sell beautiful Celtic jewelry, books, knicknacks and yarn (my personal preference) . Dogs are allowed. The band plays, and people drink Irish coffees. Last year it was freezing, so get out your favorite Celtic knit sweater and long johns and jeans and get some Irish coffee to keep you warm. Unfortunately, I am not able to go this year, as that I have to work night shift that weekend. So have some Irish coffee for Jenn, and have a good time rocking with UB.

Friday, October 11, 2002

Yesterday, inspired by the movie Shag, which I watched as I attempted to knit my afghan, I decided I wanted to wear a skirt or a dress to the pub. I had originally slated to wear jeans, a white hooded zippered sweatshirt, and the breast cancer tee from Ann Taylor, but I changed my mind. Instead I went to Target and found an absolutely adorable red plaid skirt and a white long sleeved polo shirt with a denim blazer. I honestly didn't realize until I got to the pub that everyone was thinking, "Catholic School Girl." Uh-oh. Anyway, I drank too much and now after a hot shower, a nap and some handfuls of Reese's Pieces I am finally starting to recover.

Now I am glued to the TV, as a man was shot and killed at an Exxon Station near Fredricksburg. The local Richmond affliliates are providing coverage. It is surreal to see our local reporters on the national news. Scary too.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

The girls and I finished chemo class and headed out to Nacho Mama's to eat and drink margaritas. In order for Heather's husband, Joe, whom I kept refering to as Matt (hey, he looked like a Matt) not to be the only boy, I convinced The Better Half to join us. It was also a bit of a plot to parade him in front of my friends...Shar proclaimed us "perfect for each other," and I was absolutely beaming. I ended up debating on seeing My Big Fat Greek Wedding with the fam, since I was a bit tipsy, but ended up going anyway. Nanny, Da (my great aunt), Kristen and her mother, Tricia, went and everyone loved the movie. Nanny kept saying, "it's so true to life." But Da was fixated on trying to find the actress whom Cousin Al said looked like our Aunt Rena, God rest her soul. Kristen and I just laughed. "And so it starts!" Kristen said.

This morning, I awoke to a furry purring face pressed up against mine. Chessie was apparently very cold and hungry. Her peak performance time is 4am, so she often wants attention at this time. She's rather unrelenting, even going so far as to sit on the Better Half's pillow above his head, so it looked like he was wearing a Daniel Boone hat. I think that we could nip the behavior in the bud if we just put food in her dish before bedtime, but at the same time, it's kind of nice when she snuggles close, plus, it's fun to have her see you off to work in the morning.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

In their blogs, John Y. and Marian discuss the course of rock and roll through generations. They both yearn for music that transends the test of time. I have to say that for the most part, I agree with them in that it has been a while since I heard something with substance. It used to be that musicians used their pens and their instruments to shock and disrupt conventional norms. Nowadays, it's all about image. I was watching VH1 the other day, and there was some show on about the top ten most shocking moments in music history. So I settle in, forming my own top ten list in my head. The top four have to be:

1) Elvis on Ed Sullivan, where they could not shoot him from the waist and down, because his choreography was deemed obscene.
2) John Lennon proclaiming that young people of that day found the Beatles more appealing than Jesus Christ.
3) One for our generation: Eminem and Elton John performing "Stan" together at the Grammy's.
4) Ed Sullivan again, this time when Jim Morrison refused to change the lyrics to Light My Fire, and sang the phrase "Girl, we couldn't get much higher."
Of course there was also The Rolling Stones at Altamont, as well as Alanis Morrisette having to be bleeped as she said the F-word during the MTV VMA when she performed "You Oughta Know."
And the whole Milli Vanilli scandal, in which artistry was sacrificed for image. As well as a gazillion other things that artists have done to push the envelope artisitically. I was ready to be entertained.

I was so wrong.

According to VH1 and Behind The Music, the top four shocking moments in history are, not about the songs or the message, but about the extracirrucular activities of the rock stars.
1) Leif Garrett talks to the guy he paralyzed in a car accident during a DUI in the 1970s.
2) Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes burns down her boyfriend's mansion after a huge fight and after she sees he didn't buy her a pair of sneakers. The fire was started when Lopes put his newly purchased sneakers in the bathtub and lit them on fire.
3) Ozzy Osbourne bits the head off of a dove in a press conference with a record company.
4) A chicken is ripped apart by a crowd of Alice Cooper fans during a concert in which Cooper, unaware that the bird's wings were clipped and was unable to fly, threw the chicken back to the crowd after a fan threw it onstage.

F*cking Leif Garrett? Rock history? Whaaaaa?

I think in music now, the focus has changed. It's all about image. It's no longer about the music anymore. Many artists used to refer to this as "selling out." However, now adays, it's called "Selling records." Now people focus on what a rock star looks like or does rather than what they sing about, or what their music means. But instead of bitching, I figure I would talk a bit about the artists I admire, and I think that most people would agree that, in the grand scheme of things, they are truly great musicians and their music will stand the test of time.

1) The Beatles. C'mon. God did a special dance around the cribs of Paul McCartney and John Lennon. The songwriting talent alone was unbelievable. They should be regarded as the gold standard for songwriting now and always.
2) Twisted Sister. Just listen to "We're Not Gonna Take It" when you've had a bad day. Classic.
3) The Rolling Stones. Just the fact that they are still out there, selling out shows is why I admire them. They have a magic formula that has not run out of power since the 1960s. Sure, Keith Richards looks rough, but if you make fun of him, I guarantee he'll kick your bitch ass to the curb.
4) Eminem. Okay, not a huge fan. He's profane, he's been accused of being misogynistic and homophobic. But critics of The Marshall Mathers LP proclaim it to be innovative and challenging the norms of society through artistry. It was a brilliant move to perform with Elton John at the Grammys. It leads me to hypothesize that an Eminem song is like a one-act play in which he himself is the star, playing a character, painting a picture that may or may not be the true feelings of the artist. He makes people listen to his music. He just doesn't throw crap at us. That to me is admirable.
5) James Brown. He was Black and Proud at a time when it was almost dangerous to be both.
6) The Mamas and The Papas. Okay, Mama Cass wasn't a Miss America stick insect, but the girl could sing the hell out of anything. Good songwriting too on the part of John Phillips.
7) Bruce Springsteen. A favorite of the Better Half, it makes me happy seeing him succeed. Hard work + talent = success. He's hard work personified.
8) Bikini Kill- Girl Power before the Spice Girls. Thankfully, Girl Power after the Spice Girls fizzled. Still going strong.
Okay kids, it's late, and Aunt Jenn needs to go and sleep and get up tomorrow and go to chemo class. In the meantime, she will listen to her old fart music, knit an afghan and be very happy.
Good night.

As I watched with a shockingly high amount of glee, a soccer mom yelled at her crying 8 year old son in front of the Better Half's house today as they walked to a neighboring cul du sac, her 6-year old daughter in tow. I lifted Chessie to the window and showed her how grateful I am that she is a cat, and not a child.

I worked on my afghan during my chemo class. It helps me focus, and I absorb the information better. I can't sit still without doing something with my hands. Most of the people teaching and the students of the class don't mind, since I can take notes and knit at the same time, and I sit in the back and don't bother anyone. This class is so much fun, as it has my coworker friends Laurie, Lisa, Terry, Heather and Marion in it. We are going out to Nacho Mama's after class for fun and margaritas. Marion asked me if the afghan was for the Better Half. I thought about it, and decided that it would be our afghan, something we both could use, like on camping trips or something. I like the idea of making something we can share. Marion told me a horrible story about the time she made her exboyfriend, Felix, a quilt, made of scraps of fabric from old t-shirts or sheets that he slept on, and it had symbols on it of their life together. Marion said it took her a total of 52 hours to make it. The man loved it so much that when they had to deal with a long distance relationship, he would ask her to ship it to him after she slept with it for a week. Here comes the scary part- when the demise of the relationship occured, they had a bitter argument and he forced her to watch as he cut and ripped the quilt apart, then put the pieces of it into a garbage can and set it on fire, burning the quilt completely. I told Marion I would have hauled his bastard ass into People's Court seeking damages to the fabric, as well as payment for labor and reimbursement for mental cruelty and time lost off of work for mental anguish. Marion said, "All I could think about was '52 Hours!' " Luckly, she is able to laugh about it now. But she swears she'll never make something for a boyfriend ever again, no matter how much he loves and worships her.

I'd like to think the Better Half is a bigger man.

Monday, October 07, 2002

So, I made a cheese ball for dinner at my grandmothers, as well as for Pamela's women's potluck. We had fun, ate, and watched a really good movie, Switch. It was made in 1991, and it was dealing with issues such as sexism and lesbianism. It was a movie ahead of it's time, which is probably why it didn't do so well at the box office. Pamela's brownies were great.

The cheese ball was a huge hit with the fam. Nanny has already requested it for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Kristen and I have decided to take Nanny and Tricia, my aunt to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Now to work on my afghan. I haven't had much time for it lately. This week I will work on it a lot.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

Fun. I made three things for dinner last night. The first two recipes were from the St. Bridget's cookbook- Brocoli Cheddar Casserole, and Japanese Peanut Pasta. The third thing I made as a sort of a snack while we watched the movie was a cheeseball recipe I got from BUST Magazine's Homegirls issue in which they interviewed actress and domestic goddess Amy Sedaris (Strangers With Candy). The cheese ball is different in that it uses gouda and cream chese rather than yucky pimento and cheddar. I couldn't stop snacking on it, and the Better Half loved my brocoli casserole. THe pasta was pretty good too, a bit heavy though, since it was 16oz of sauce on 8 oz. of pasta. We topped it off with The Plantation Blush from the Williamsburg Winery.

We sat down on the couch to watch Dracula 2000. Okay, I wanted a scary movie, thinking along the lines of something really scary, a la The Shining, or The Omen, in which I could find an excuse to sit close to the Better Half. But earlier, as the Better Half and I were discussing plans, he gleefully lobbied for Drac as something he always wanted to see, since he isn't a real horror fan. I figured since the night was about the both of us together, I could deal, since he was so excited to see the movie. I quickly learned a new thing about my Better Half that he really hates horror, so much so that he wouldn't turn some of the lights off until the cornball factor of the movie was so blatant we ended up cracking on it a la Mystery Science Theater 3000. After a few glasses of wine, I was a bit tispy, and the movie was so cheesy, I fell asleep. I woke up a bit later, and felt so happy, wrapped in the big arms of the man I adore. I knew that this was what I wanted for the rest of my life.

In the Frequently Asked Questions of my life, #2 FAQ following the usual stuff about the job, people ask about the big M for me and the Better Half. Sure, we have discussed it from time to time. I still avoid the topic like the plague though, from all the years of Cosmo training in which you've been brought up not to discuss it in great detail your men in that it could put pressure on him and thus jeopardize the relationship. So I practice restraint to not screw up a good thing. After almost two and a half years together, we brush on the subject by saying, "I don't know if I'm ready yet."

Last night I told him, "I want to. And I'm ready."
"Yeah?" he smiled, kissed my forehead, squeezed me a little tighter. "Good."
To be continued.

Friday, October 04, 2002

Weekend O' Fun is upon me! Right now I am too wired to catch a nap, so I am watching Bridget Jones' Diary. This weekend I am trying to catch up on my social life. Tonight is the low-key night; I am cooking a romantic dinner for two for The Better Half et moi. Tomorrow, we're going with the YAM to go eat Vietnamese food and swing dancing (don't know how the planning committee came up with this combo) and then on Sunday, I bond with chicks at Pamela's Girls-Only Potluck. I am bringing a casserole.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

Chessie has a playmate. He's one of the neighborhood cats. He's orange-yellow and white, so we call him Butters. He's constantly hanging around outside near our house, which leads me to believe his mommy and daddy are working parents and Butters is a latchkey cat. Last night I was going to work and Butters came out of the bushes in front of the Better Half's home and nearly scared the bejesus out of me. Luckly, I knew he wasn't a possum because he meowed and proceeded to rub against my leg. The other day the Better Half and the Mew were hanging out and somehow, Butters got in the house. Chessie kind of blew him off, until he went for her food dish. Then she got a bit pissed. Other than that, she didn't react really aggressively, which makes us optimistic she would tolerate another kitty swimmingly.

I've finally updated Oncoblog too. It's been a while, since work has owned my butt for the past two weeks.

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

So, Kristen and I were really excited as we crossed the gates to the fair. We were at the entrance right near the Ag exhibits, where they give out free milk. Getting free stuff from the boothes is one of our favorite things to do. Stickers, pencils, rulers, magnets, it's a cornicopia of crapola! Our health system had a booth, and I was suprised to see our sister units, Bone Marrow and Palliative Care, represented. I would have loved to have stood near the booth and answered questions. IVNA offered flu shots. I got a map, much to the Better Half's delight, from the VDOT exhibit.

We next attempted to find my knitting project on display. The knitting, usually sequestered to one little section of the arts and crafts building, was spread out throughout the building this year. As I predicted, there was a lot of red, white and blue. I asked one of the arts and crafts volunteers what the judges were looking for, and was crestfallen to hear that the judges were more focused on perfection than anything else. She told me that the sewing judge evaluates every stitch. And that just because you're the only entry in a catagory doesn't mean you'll automatically win the blue ribbon. They can give you a second place ribbon if they don't feel your work is up to par with first place. We saw a cake that was really cute, shaped like a train, but it was disqualified because it had cookies on it, and it was entered as a baked good. "Jeez," Kristen muttered as we were walking away, "People, it's a hobby! A hobby." I remarked that I would look towards style and creativity over perfection.
I'll give it a shot next year, and focus on just having fun with my project.

The animals are also a big highlight for me. I showed Kristen the Racing Pigs, and soon she was waving her arms trying to get picked to be a Pig Cheerleader. Then we went to the Young McDonald farm to see the Baby Ducks Slide Down The Slide. Unfortunately there was no poultry this year because of avian flu. So there was no Ducky Slide. It was disappointing, yes, but we carried on.

We met up with the gang as UB played their second and third sets. Kristen and I mainly hung around together and ate between sets 2 and 3. The Better Half showed up around 7:30. After UB's 3rd set, the Baheads united and went off to ride some rides.

I must admit, I'm not a ride person, no matter where I go. I'm a big big weenie. I hate things that go really high. I don't ride anything that goes upside down. I used to be able to ride things that spin, but now, no dice. I stay away from anything that goes over 60 miles an hour. And I haven't ridden a Midway ride in almost 10 years.

I watched My Better Half and the majority of my friends get in line for a ride called, The High Roller. The High Roller consisted of a large oval with a train inside of it. People sat in the train, and the oval rocked back and forth, then went upside down. The little train chugged around the track on the inside of the oval, so it looked like you were constantly spinning. Kids, if Aunt Jenn rode the High Roller, she'd be The Big Barfer.

My friends are highly educated people. I consider them, as well as my Better Half, to be sensible, responsible, productive citizens. So, it really shocked and almost disturbed me to see how they flocked to this ride like it was made of $20 bills and Twinkees. I watched as my Better Half was shut in a rather unsturdy looking wire mesh cage and was flung about. I realized that if I didn't jump on the bandwagon of "C'mon Gang, Let's Go on The Rides!", I'd be the "Hold Everyone Else's Stuff While They Go On The Rides Without Your Chicken Ass" girl.

SO I relented. I dragged myself on The Crazy Mouse, a roller coaster in which a demented mouse takes out his revenge on those higher than him on the food chain. The mouse took my picture. Then he released me from his vile clutches after he turned, spinned and dropped me. I stolled over to the trash can. The Baheads started shifting around uncomfortably and sheepishly, reminding me of how the castaways on Survivor would act right before they were about to kick that weak link off the island. I tried to explain that I just didn't ride rides that well. They did try to find a "rider friendly" ride (aka, something the Wussy nurse with bad vertigo and a height phobia could ride) and we went on the Bumper cars. Then it was back to flingy high riding rides, including The Hang Glider, The Gravitron, and The Music Express. And I was okay, except when my Better Half, who was trying to defy gravity on The Gravitron, caught me with an elbow to the eye. But I was a trooper, got some ice from one of the vendors, and carried on. The Music Express and The Orbitor, in which we were flung and spun and flung and spun, and flung and spun for what seemed like an eternity, was the death nell rattle for all the Baheads. I was doubled over in agony, and must have looked rough, for Chris, in his compassionate way, stated with some glee, "Hey Jenn, you're the color of Green Eggs and Ham!"

For the next few minutes, I sat on a bench, staring at the Bahead's shoes and trying not to lose my rather expensive fair cuisine on the pairs of feet surrounding me. Marian remarked to me how long, on the Music Express, it took the Better Half to put his arm around me, as the ride requires the riders to grip each other in an embrace to keep from being flung like a frisbee into the night. "I mean, you're his girlfriend, and he finally put his arm around you!" To which I say that it's true love not when the man puts his arm around you during a fair ride, but when he holds your hair away from your face so you don't puke in it after the ride- that is real love. Thankfully, Grantham and Kristen got me some water, and I was able to trudge towards the car, my head pounding and my neck starting to stiffen.

I slept all day and went into work feeling rather retched. My neck stiff and my head swimmy, I trudged through the first 1/3 of my shift. The Better Half brought me menthol rub for my muscles. Now, that is love.

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