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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Ten Things About Me #6

51. In . . . I think it was 6th grade, I played the French Horn. Against my will. I wanted to play the oboe. But Miss Jackson had enough oboes, and she desperately coveted a French Horn in the band. She talked me into it. Not one blow went by that I didn't hate the dying-elephant sound of that horn. Um...I no longer play.

52. As I've said here before, I curse much more online (blog, comments, email) than IRL. My IRL speech is pretty clean except for the occasional sprinkle for flavuh. In my line of work, we have to be comfortable with pretty much all forms of self-expression. Sometimes it is even appropriate to match a client's language (I feel I must interject here, lest there be novice therapists reading, those sometimes would be few and far between and don't try this at home without supervision). I have always been able to handle whatever language a client used, and look past it to the message being conveyed. Even those who use God's name as a curse, which I don't do, and which hits me pretty hard. What I was NOT able to handle, early in my career, was a man who used "the N word." A lot. I had to get rid of him. I hope I referred him elsewhere appropriately. Truthfully, I'm not sure. I remember his face and I remember him saying that word repeatedly, and I remember knowing there was no way in hell I was going to get past that with him so I had to get rid of him. Today . . . I would probably just be upfront with a client and tell them that I found the language so objectionable it was hard for me to attend to what they were saying. And let the chips fall where they may. Back then I wasn't self-disclosing enough to handle the situation that way.

53. Girl crush: I fell hard for Flanella Jo Washington, who commented a few times on dooce.com. I don't know who she (or he) is, or whatever became of her, but I surely did love her.

54. The first teacher crush I remember was Mr. Queen. The music/chorus teacher in elementary school. Looking back, I realize he was gay. I'm not lying; Mr. Queen was gay. And he was drunk much of the time. I think I even knew that back then. Drunk, I recognized; gay, not so much. But he could play the piano and sing in a beautiful baritone, and bad behavior never fazed him. He'd just play and sing louder. Not a bad life strategy, I think (minus the alcohol).

55. After the very first client I had, in my very first clinical internship, I knew that I was in the right place, doing the right thing (even though I made LOTS of mistakes that first session). I have three students that I supervise now. Two of them came to see me after their first sessions and reported having that feeling. I felt incredibly happy and excited for them. It is really a blessing, a gift, to feel like you've found what you're supposed to be doing. I would wish that feeling for everyone.

56. Almost a year ago, I put a photo in a post, and declined to explain its meaning. One person guessed. We were nearing the end of the mountain of paperwork required to adopt a child from China. A toddler girl. All that was left was for me to update my physical examination, get a "clean bill of health." My kidney stone troubles started in late October, weren't diagnosed until February, weren't treated until March, weren't resolved until April. I couldn't get my doctor to sign off until all that was done. Still, we looked forward to sending our documentation away just as soon as the kidney stones were resolved. WTF began within days of my passing the last stone in April. I contacted the adoption agency and explained the situation, and that I was sure we'd figure out any day what was going on with me, and we'd have our paperwork completed and be back on track. They said the delay had been too long, and they were taking us out of the process. They said I could re-apply when my health issues had been resolved. Between kidney stones (which presented atypically -- that's why diagnosis took so long) and WTF, I've been unwell for nearly a year now. Even if I am cured tomorrow . . . I don't know what the future holds. It is not likely we will begin the adoption process again, though. I don't know for sure, but I really doubt that will happen for us now.

57. Only one blogger knows this. Until now. I am a Certified Beauty Consultant for a direct sale company . . . don't want to say the name, but think Av*n, Merry Kay and the like (it's not them). I buy the products and use them, make a purchase 3 or 4 times a year of the skincare stuff. A couple of years ago, the person I bought them from pointed out that if I bought the sales kit and attended a one-day Beauty University, I could save a lot of money and just buy my own stuff directly. So I did! I don't sell it, unless someone seeks me out for it. I just buy it for me and for family gifts. Beauty U was actually fun. Playing with makeup and colors. I almost got expelled for disagreeing vehemently with the "professor" about someone's colors. As a general principle, I believe it should be illegal for white women to wear orange. (Of course, there are exceptions.)

58. Sometimes I get very scared about this WTF disease. Sometimes I think it is the beginning of what will prove to be the end. But mostly, I think it is something that I will get through and leave behind someday. Heh. Maybe those are both the same thing?

59. The last time I renewed my driver's license, I added 20 pounds to the weight on it. I got tired of knowing, probably since I was 16, that I actually weighed more than what my license said. So I gave myself some growing room. And so for the last . . . almost 5 years, I have weighed considerably less than what my license says. And I like that better. I'll do it again when I renew in January. It's not like they weigh you, or like the DMV workers are observant or anything . . . they don't give a rat's ass what you put on your license . . .

60. Hey, speaking of rat's asses, we've had mice. In the walls. We haven't called an exterminator, we've used traps. In the little space in the bedroom where there's that tiny little "door" that goes into the pipes for the tub, etc. You know that space? That's where they've been. We put two traps in there. And one time, one mouse got caught in both traps! I didn't see it, but Jif told me about it. His little head was snapped in one, and his little tail was snapped in the other. Damn. That mouse was having a bad. day. The thought of that makes me really sad. And it makes me laugh, too. See, I'm not as nice as y'all thought.

(I realize I don't do the "100 Things" right. Not only have I not done it in one list, but it's not so much a list as a "100 little stories." I think more in little stories than in lists, I guess :)

file under: &About Me

34 heads are better than one . . .

Blogger LadyBug said...

Susie, hon, there is no "right" way to do the 100 things. And your way is perfect for you. I love your stories.

You are still constantly in my prayers, dear. Always.

Blogger Platypus said...

I love your stories too and I'm so sorry that WFT Disease has had even more of an effect on your life than we knew.

I'm looking forward to your next batch of little stories. Thinking of you. :)

Blogger eclectic said...

I am beyond envious that you feel like you're doing what you're supposed to do when you're working. That's awesome. And I agree with Ladybug and Platypus -- bring on the next "list" of stories! You are a fascinating lady, Susie. In fact, I'm devastated not to be your girl-crush. ;)

Anonymous Undercover Mutha said...

I still think of you every time I step out of the shower and see that Carlos Rios picture. I wanted so badly for you to have that child. It's like I've come to believe that it really is LG and your new baby girl.

Anonymous Sharkey said...

I love your list of stories too, and I'm always excited when Bloglines tells me you've updated the site.

I know you've been struggling with WTF for a long time, but number 56 broke my heart. I'm so sorry. I know what it's like to have your health interfere with your plans. I think J.P. and I haven't taken the steps to head down the adoption path because we're afraid of the very same thing.

Also? Wow--I don't think I've ever known a Certifiable--er, sorry--Certified Beauty Consultant before!

Blogger Effie said...

I *almost* had to ask what the "N" word was, then I figured it out.

I think you're going through the 100 things just fine!

#56 made me sad for you--but slightly happy that it didn't get finalized AND THEN you got the WTF disease!

Hugs & Love!

Blogger SierraBella said...

Love your stories too.
You should write a book, seriously!

Blogger Jomama said...

53. Haha. I remember her. I was waiting for her to start a blog and then I forgot about her.
56. That is so unfortunate for you and the little girl who didn't get the chance to be a part of your family. This just makes me want to pray that much harder for you to get through this.
57. Are you talking about orange makeup? Who can wear orange makeup?
58. I think it's something you will get through and leave behind as well. I'm just waiting for the day. . .
59. Don't tell anyone, but I add a half inch to my height on my DL.
60. Poor mouse :(

Blogger SoozieQ said...

As sorry as I feel for you, Jif and LG for not being able to adopt (right now), I feel even worse for the little girl that you would have chosen. She would have been the LUCKIEST little girl in the world.

Anonymous OddMix said...

I like the little stories better.

Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

Wasn't there a French horn in "The Car"? *cold chills*

Recently, after talking to a coworker and her son, I walked right down to talk to a lady who'd recently adopted a son. I looked at her with big squishy eyes and told her I wasn't one bit worried about her and her little one. She smiled and asked why. I said, "Well, so-and-so's little one is pretty cute and if he can turn out that way after living with her...." hehe I'm so naughty.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your little stories sweetie. AND you can do your 100 things any damn way you want to! I do feel sad for the little baby you would have adopted though...she would have been a very lucky little girl. This whole WTF thing is definitely going to hit the trail one day!

Blogger eclectic said...

P.S. -- and this is God's own truth -- I was made to play the oboe starting in 4th grade, and continued all the way through college. But what I really wanted to do was play the French Horn. I can produce witnesses to that effect. And how odd it is to me that you'd want to play my duck-squawk, when you could play the noble sound of heaven. To this day, I close my eyes and lie on the floor in front of the speakers when the horn section plays that solo in "The Planets".

Anonymous peaches said...

I've not been online for a few days, and was catching up a bit here and a few other places. Your *list* is just perfect.

So much sadness going on in the blogosphere, too much. I'm not sure if i've been to Sierra's place, but i'll be keeping her and her family in my prayers.

Blogger Amy said...

Your hunred things is not only right, it's quite splendid, Susie.

I love the 20 pounds thing! And despise WTF thing. And I'm a sucker for a CBC.

Anonymous Katy said...

I agree with you about white women not being able to wear orange, although I do look okay in toned down coral.

The mouse story made me think about my own. When I built my house, there were quite a few mice living in my basement. So my father schooled me in the art of catching mice with traps. We bought four new traps and he showed me how to "spring" them so they would activate easier. Every day I would check the traps and reload 'em with peanut butter. I caught 11 in a few days. One day I was downstairs and caught some movement out of the corner of one eye. There was a TINY mouse SITTING ON THE TRAP eating the peanut butter. I closed my eyes waiting for the trap to snap shut, but he was too little to set it off. Not only that, he was totally oblivious to me. I laughed so hard I cried. I guess he grew and I caught him.

Blogger Momentarily_Distracted said...

Love the list!
51. I understand completely: I wanted to play violin; they said I was "too big" but I could play viola. Still don't get it.
54. Cracked me up! He really did that, huh? Too funny!
58. I'm sorry, Sweetie.
60. Ouch. Bad day for mousie mouse.

Blogger MrsDoF said...

And now Katy has reminded me of tale.
In our first, very small, apartment, I was sitting on the loveseat nursing my firstborn son.
A movement just within range of the corner of my eye---a Rat! not some itty bitty mouse, that critter was 8 inches from nose to its little rat's ass.
It was crossing from under the dishwasher to the bin of potatoes in the far corner of the kitchen.
My college student husband was at the desk reading his book.
At my gasp, he looked up at me and I nodded toward the rat, now sitting happily on top of the spuds.

Husband happened to have an air rifle propped up in the corner where the desk met the wall.
He primed it, aimed, but the pellet hit the rat in its hind leg.
The shot woke up the sleeping baby in my arms, but he cried very little.
The rat dragged itself clear back across the kitchen and into its hole.
I went over to check the potatoes. Besides the blood, the rat had peed itself. I decided to throw out the whole thing, even the container.

About a week later, I was out in back of the apartment house, and there sat a 3 legged rat eating sunflower seeds from the neighbor's garden.

After I called the landlord, an exterminator came and set out poison. The rats ate it, then crawled back into their nests in the walls and died. The smell was terrible.
We moved less than a month later.

Blogger Dawn said...

I like the way you think.
sometimes, it's a wee bit hard to get through the full 100's list in one sitting.

54. I ran into my teacher crush last winter. I did one of those triple look things, stared at him with my mouth wide open and ran in the other direction. Clearly, I'm so over him.

56. I had no idea, Susie. I'm so sorry.

59. I just renewed my passport and left the weight field blank. I have no clue how much I weigh, nor do I ever want to know :)

Blogger WILLIAM said...

I am so glad that you are back to some semi-regular posting. Max took Gumby and Pokey to bed with him last night.

Blogger Circus Kelli said...

51 - I used to play the violin in 4th grade... that is until I got busted for faking it in a concert. My bow wasn't going the same way as the other kids...

52. I love the flavuh.

54. Heh... Mr. Queen was gay. That's sorta like a guy who was in the process of being hired at a former job. His name was Mr. Right... well, you can believe there was a certain amount of joking about how we were all going to finally meet Mr. Right on his first day of employment with our company. On his first day, we discovered Mr. Right wasn't married... but he was gay.

56. I'm so very sorry about that, Susie. I really am. I wish I knew what to say... you want one-a my kids? Sweet Pea is small enough... I could ship her to ya... ;)

58. You're entitled to be scared about it. I don't know a soul on Earth who wouldn't be. Lean on us and others when it gets to be too much to carry.

59. Ooo... I LIKE that idea. I'm gonna do it next time!

I love learning these little bits about you, Susie.

Blogger Susie said...

thanks, ladybug, for loving my stories, and for praying for me :)

plaidypus, thank you, for everything. Someday I'll write something about the good things that WTF has wrought. But not today ;)

eclectic, YOU calling ME fascinating is like . . . um, like someone who is really very much something calling someone else who is maybe a tiny bit of that something on her best day, something. Like that. And don't be silly, of course I crush you, too :)

mutha, I know. I have a print that I love, of two little girls on a beach. Seen from behind, walking in their white dresses, an older girl with brown hair, and a littler one with black hair. I bought it when we started . . . it's beautiful, but it's not hanging anywhere now. I don't know what I'll do with it.

shawkey, if it's in your heart to do that at all . . . don't be afraid. We can talk more if you want.
Yes, my credential means that I have the authority to certify people as officially beautiful. I hereby certify you!

effie, I said that to Jif the other night -- we'd be in quite a pickle if we had a toddler right now. But people get through whatever they have to get through.

sierrabella, I'd like to write a book. Some day I will. Thanks for the encouragement, always.

JOMAMA!, no, orange clothing. Some white women have always managed to wear orange makeup, somehow. I can't even fight that battle . . .
It never occurred to me to change the height on my license . . . I'll make myself shorter and fatter, then I'll feel really good when I look at my license . . . "hey, I've gotten taller and thinner!"

soozieq, it is tough to think about her. We didn't get so far as to see a photo of a specific child, but there are thousands (tens of thousands?) of Chinese girls who need families.

oddmix, thanks! :)

mrB, I got stuck on the big squishy eyes. . . whuh?

traci, hmmm, I am mostly a spectator, it seems sometimes, waiting to see how this all turns out.

eclectic, generally speaking, I love horns. I love saxes of all stripes, trumpets . . . perhaps it was the sound I made the horn make, that made me hate it so. NOT a noble sound of heaven, I can assure you.

peaches, thanks, sweetie.

amy, it took me a moment to figure out that you were referring to my elite consultancy status ;) When you say CBC to a professional patient such as myself, I read "complete blood count."

katy, yea, I can do some peaches and corals . .. it's the orangy orange that white women must resist, IMO. Cute mouse story :)

MoDis, too big for the violin? That's insane.

mrsDoF, very dramatic story! I could see it all. But why the air rifle at the ready? For just such an occasion?

dawn, thanks, and it's good to see you. I doubt that Mr. Queen has survived this long, although I'd love to run into him if he has.

william, thanks. That tickles me to think of Max with Gumby and Pokey :)

ck, oh, yes, please send me Sweet Pea. And some more cookies. That will fix me right up, I'm sure ;) btw, I don't think I wrote back yet, but she LOOKS LIKE YOU! She's so precious.

Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Susie - Hee hee -- I'd forgotten I had already "sent" you Sweet Pea! :)

Blogger MrsDoF said...

About the air rifle, I can't recall. He liked to shoot at targets whenever he got frustrated studying.
Believe me, around this house, one never knows what will be encountered.
Right now, in the middle of the kitchen table (the place where we sit to eat every so often) is a box full of locking lugnuts and the special socket wrench needed to put them onto the VW Beetle.
Also the headlight from a bicycle, a book of Sudoku puzzles, and a flashlight with a note taped on saying we need the proper batteries.
None of these were there this morning while I was peeling apples, so I'd say the guys were busy while I was at my crochet group meeting.

Blogger JessicaRabbit said...

You my dear, NEED a cat! Cat! Cat!

OOooooo I love saying that.

Im skipping all the rest of the stories for now, I will comment on those later, but if you have mice then you need a cat, kitty kitty cat cat.

Trust me, you can't build a better mousetrap then nature.

Everyone, Susie needs a pussy.

Blogger Susie said...

ck, yep, I have her :)

mrsDoF, your house sounds like a very fun place :)

jess, I asked Jif if he wanted a cat, and he said no. Perhaps if I had phrased it differently . . .

Blogger Von Krankipantzen said...

I love your story lists. Keep them coming!

That damned WTF disease! I am extra mad at it now.

Blogger Nina said...

I think I did ten of the 100 things about me. I love your stories. I have faith that WTF Disease will be fixed - I really do. Now we know that when we have a blogger party in AZ, and we will. Since you attended Beauty University . . . I am in need of a makeover.

Anonymous Daphne said...

I love your little stories -- their bittersweetness is a perfect reflection of life.

Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

You know, convincingly tearful.

Blogger Andrea said...

I'm commenting a bit late because we just got our internet hooked up yesterday. But #56 breaks my heart. I went back to see if I was the one who guessed (well, turns out TWO of us guessed) because as intrigued as I appeared to be at the time...I forgot about it :( But I SO would have loved to be a resource for you.

Darn it, I'm going to hope I still can be in the future.

Blogger Lynn said...

Hi Susie! I played French Horn, too. I love that sound to this day - so mellow and soulful...

I'm glad you feel like you're doing what you are meant to do. That's the same way I felt writing fiction until real-life-uglies insinuated themselves into my stories. I would love to recapture that feeling. I've never experienced anything else quite like it. It was like flying. It was wonderful.

I think WTF will be resolved and you will be free to live in peace. This is my prayer for you.

Blogger Susie said...

kranki, thank you, sweetie. You're pretty formidable when it comes to kicking diseases' asses, so WTF should be VERY AFRAID now, I think ;)

nina, you are SO not in need of being made over, you're beautiful. But I am looking forward to visiting, one of these days :)

daphne, thank you, that's so kind :)

mrB, hey, I'm convinced.

andrea, I went back and looked at comments. A few people did guess. I don't know what the future holds AT ALL. But it's good to know that I will have a wealth of info on traveling to China, if that is in our future :)

lynn, you and Shari clearly got a much better sound out of your horns than I out of mine. I hope you get that flying feeling back, Lynn. Truly I do. And thank you for the prayers. I do believe they make a difference.

Blogger Annejelynn said...

for the first time, in this context here, via your blog, I FINALLY get it - - "IRL" -I never could guess what it meant, until now. Thank you...

Forever grateful to you for this one thing alone (not including all the countless times you've made me cry or made me laugh, or helped remind me how precious our time is),



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