Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Small Story About A Breast Part Two: MAMMOGRAM!

Well, you remember last time, right?

So, I'd been for my ultrasound, but the doc had wanted me to go for a mammogram too.  It was scheduled for November 1.  I was nervous, because I hadn't heard any good stories!

Then, last Friday I got a phone call that they needed to re-schedule my appointment.  After playing phone tag, I finally got in touch with the women's clinic on Monday.

"We have an opening today at 2:50."

Holy crap.  Immediate diarrhea tummy ache.

But, I am a GROWN WOMAN, so off I went.  I registered, and walked nervously down the hall of the hospital to find the women's clinic.  I walked past the little donut/coffee shop where I bought coffees during that awful time my Mom was in the hospital.  I made sure to avert my eyes.  Bad memories.

I checked in at the desk, waited for just a few moments, and then was called in to get changed into your basic hospital gown.  In the changeroom, there were different plastic purses to put all your stuff in.

I had a dilemma about which purse to choose.  I like pink, but isn't that too frou-frou?  No. I'm not choosing pink.  That's the BREAST CANCER COLOUR, damn it.  How about blue?  Too gloomy?  What if the colour of purse I choose, decides the OUTCOME of this mammogram?!?  GAH!  CHOOSE GREEN!


Also, why do the purses all have animal print tape on the top?  It seems ludicrous--like it's someone's good natured, but misguided attempt to add a touch of feminine luxury or something.

Sitting there in the waiting room with my hospital robe on, I soooo wished I'd forced my sister to come with me.  I hope my Mom is somehow here in spirit.

Time for the mammo!

Yeah, like I was going to draw a mammography machine.  First, they do an up-down squasheroo

Then an angled squash-o-rama!  I liked the part where the technician lady had to pull my fat armpit out of the plates before she continued compressing at one point.

Hey!  That wasn't so bad at all!  I felt a little man-handled afterward, but it wasn't painful--just mildly uncomfortable and WEIRD.  After my boobs were released though, THEN they kinda hurt a little bit.  But it was that ITCHY kind of hurt, you know?  The kind where you want to give your boobies a good scrubby scratch to make them feel better?

Anyway, while I waited for the lady to put my sexy hooter photies into her machine or whatever she does, I couldn't stop staring at the stupid sign of the mammo machine.  It read "Hologic."  I hate words I don't immediately know how to pronounce.  Is it like "hollogic"  like "hologram?"

OR, is it like HO-logic, as in, the logic of HO'S?  Like, these are machines crafted by really sexy scientist women in fish-net stockings and killer heels!!

And then, of course, I get a song in my head almost immediately...

sung to the tune of "Volare."

Hooooo-logic!  Whoa-oh!
Hooooo-logic! Whoa-oh-oh-oh!
Hologic is always the best!
The first choice for SQUASHING your breast!

And then I imagine it's like a movie, and the room fills with all my poor, scared sistren and we SHED OUR ROBES AND OUR FEAR AND OUR SHAME, AND WE BREAK OUT INTO A REALLY SNAZZY SINGING/DANCING NUMBER! HOORAY!

But, that didn't happen.  Obvs.

I had to wait a few minutes to see that the pics had worked and stuff, and then I was set free.

There was a cute woman around my age in the waiting room looking like she felt all total yuck.  I wanted to hug her, or say; "hey girlfriend, it's okay," or something, but I just smiled at her, slipped into the change stall, got dressed, and left.

But if I could, I'd have said to her, and you, and you and you:

Stay strong, girlfriends.  Stay strong.  

Volare by Bobby Rydell on Grooveshark

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Random Wednesday Thoughts

Random Thoughts At 6:30 In The Morning

I got woken up at 6:30 this morning, by my daughter watching TV.

I couldn't believe Ella was UP at that time.  Do you people KNOW how hard I've worked to get that freak of a little girl to stay in bed until SEVEN FREAKING O' CLOCK?

Yes.  It was quite the topic of angst for some time in my life. Oh it sure was.  I whined about that HERE.  Go ahead, you can read it.  I'll wait.

I think I whined about it a few more times, but whatever.  So, she woke me up, and then I kind of drifted into that state of slightly awake, but slightly asleep and retarded, and suddenly remembered:


Remember those giant landscape paintings your grandmother or your parents had hanging up in the living room?  You know--rocks and trees and the stream that heads off forever to nowhere?  And remember how the picture was kind of fuzzy and that was weird, because how come art was textural?  So, you had to stand up on the couch, lean in and rub that tacky picture all the time?  Or maybe it was a picture of some ocean in the moonlight, rolling up onto the deserted shore?

from somebody else's  wall
Yeah, well that's what I was thinking of:  the ass-ugly pictures that used to hang in our good living room, and Grandma's good living room, and other assorted houses I visited in my youth.

And that led me to thinking about shitty art that I like to think of as DENTAL OFFICE ART.


You know:  dilapidated barn on a grassy shore, by a small brook, surrounded by autumnal trees?  Gadz I hate that kind of art.  I hate that kind of art the same way as I hate QUAINT art.


Anyway, at 6:30 in my delerious, still-tired state, I thought it was a GENIUS idea to do a WHOLE POST about bad art--ESPECIALLY 1970's cheese landscape pictures.  But wtf?  How much more can I say about it?  Whole post!  Pppft!  Get some more sleep, karen.

And Also...

Getting Up In The Fall And Winter SUCKS SO HARD

Because, why is it so dark?  Does it NEED to be SO DARK?  It just makes me angry.

Which leads me to random thoughts from, oh, five minutes ago...

Health Makes Me Cranky

The only other person I know right now, who is working out like an idiot (like me), is my friend Sherilinnie from Laughing My Abs Off.  So, I like to whine to her all the time about how choosing healthiness actually really blowz.

Like, yesterday, when I did that most repulsive Jillian Michaels video "No More Trouble Zones",

made me almost cry.

and then spent the REST OF THE DAY feeling slightly hungry, even though I had lunch, a snack and dinner.  Then I was sitting there watching TV at 10:00 in the evening, feeling TOTALLY FOUL.  Why?  Because!  Remember the GOOD OLD DAYS, when we were 20, and we went out and got a big f*cking plate of french fries that were absolutely SOGGY with gravy?  And we ate that thing, and then we WENT TO BED?  Or we went to McDonk's at 11 PM?  Or, we went to the all night drive through at frigging Taco Bell, and got some nasty burrito???  But instead, here I am at home, all total bullshit, eating nothing in the evening, so I can lower my insulin thereby maximizing my growth hormone production.  AND ALL I WANT IS A FREAKING JAR OF NUTELLA!!!  But all I really want is to JUST get my waist circumference out of the heart attack danger zone.  IS THAT TOO MUCH TO FREAKING ASK?!?


AND, FURTHERMORE, who the hell wants to work out 6 days a week?  I'm the only idiot dripping sweat on a cheap, shitty, Wal-of-evil yoga mat in this house.  Not the kids.  Not The Man.  JUST ME.  I'll tell you what--if I don't make it to 106 years of age, I will be PISSED. OFF.

I Had A Dream The Other Night

Recently I had a dream that Jack White became my newest blog follower.

I lurv your blog, karen
I was so excited.  So, in the dream I sent him a message that said:


because I figured EVERYONE knew about Ermahgerd.  You should note that this was just a dream, and would NEVER happen.

and finally...

Which Mantel Do I Display This Hunk Of Shit On?

Okay, so recently we got a letter in the boy's backpack and the girl's backpack, saying that some local artists were coming to each of their classes and ooo zippee doo, it's SO EXCITING, and bottom line, it was going to cost five bucks per kid for them to enjoy this enriching little visit.

So, the artists came to Jack's class, and after school I was all "HOW WAS IT?!?" and Jack was all "I dunno."  And I was all "well, what kind of art did you do?!?" and Jack was all "I forget."

And that is typical, people--that kind of would-be discussion about school.

First Jack came home with some piece of construction paper shoved into his bag with a few ripped out squares of coloured paper carelessly glued on.  Here, let me art it for you:

Oh yeah, and there was even a dirty footprint on it, where he had obviously stepped on it.  I thought this pretty much bit.

Anyhoo, I knew that Jack's class also had gotten the chance to work with clay, so I was hoping for some slightly crappy but endearing PINCH POT to love forever.

see?  Like that.  Now that's what I'm talkin' bout.

And lo and behold, there was finally a lump wrapped in brown generic school paper towels one day at the bottom of Jack's backpack.  I was excited!

I hurriedly unwrapped it and discovered THIS:

Here, let me take the "lid" off for you.

Me:  "What is it, Jack?"

Jack (totally NOT interested):  "I don't know."

I don't know, indeed.


This is the part where I'm bad.  I think that I'm basically violating some snuggy rule from The Mom's Lovey Heart Handbook Of Parenting here, because I can NOT embrace that lump of garbage.  And I want you to say it like I'M saying it:  not garbage pronounced "garBEDGE," but rather GARBAGE, pronounced

No, I'm serious.  That's what it is.  I mean, wtf?  Is that supposed to be a box?  A box that you can't put ANYTHING inside???  Have you ever seen anything so suckless?

I have to admit something to you, my friends:  I came THIS close to immediately tossing it into the trash can.  Don't even THINK of asking me if I'm going to lovingly display it on my dresser for a while before hiding it away in some drawer.  No.  I'm going to wait a couple of weeks until he totally forgets about it and then it's out of here.  I know.  You think I'm being a total dick.  Okay, that's fine.  Just know that I have two bins FILLED with every drawing Jack has ever made.


Can't wait to see what Ella will bring home.

What's been happening with you guys?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Small Story About A Breast

One peaceful Saturday, I was all by myself.  The kids and The Man were all out for the day.  I was in the kitchen making dinner, and feeling a little tired.

I yawned, and stretched, and for some reason I reached over and rubbed my chest, because my fingers are like magnets for any new lump, bump, bumple, pimple, or general ugliness.

But...I felt something...

And IMMEDIATELY lost my appetite.

I'm a smart girl. I made an appointment first thing on Monday.  I was super lucky: I saw my doctor that same day.  She said it didn't feel like anything 'bad.'  But just to be on the safe side I went for an ultrasound on Tuesday.

Nobody was very friendly there, even though they were women.  I thought, sheesh--the technician has a pair of boobs, can't she be a little less crusty?   She didn't have anything to say, neither good, nor bad.  So, I went home.

And then I tried not to panic.

And sometimes I felt like there was NOTHING to worry about.

And sometimes I did not feel that way at all.


The end of the week came, and I decided I felt FINE.  I was FINE.  I felt happy and healthy and good.  It was Friday. The Thanksgiving long weekend was about to begin.  Why should I phone for results and potentially RUIN it?  If there was a problem, I'd deal with it on TUESDAY, and enjoy a fun-filled, care-free weekend.

But that plan totally backfired by SATURDAY.

The Man wasn't worried, but he did say I should have just called.  So, first thing on Tuesday, that is what I did.  Damn, I was nervous, but I steeled myself.  After all. I am a WOMAN, right?  I'm STRONG, right?   DEEP BREATH WHILE THEY FIND YOUR REPORT AND....

Oh, sweet relief.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Recently, I was watching news on an American Station.  They were talking about a link between canned goods and childhood obesity.

It turns out, my good American friends, your cans are lined with BISPHENOL A, which, if you don't know, is a fucking disaster.  Bisphenol A, or BPA, was used ALL over the place, a mere few years ago.  It was a very popular plastic.  It was even used in our BABY BOTTLES.  You know--those things we heated breast milk or formula in for our precious little people?

So what?

Here's what:

BPA exhibits hormone-like properties that raise concern about its suitability in consumer products and food containers. Since 2008, several governments have questioned its safety, which prompted some retailers to withdraw polycarbonate products. A 2010 report from the United States Food and Drug Administration(FDA) warned of possible hazards to fetuses, infants, and young children.[2] In September 2010, Canada became the first country to declare BPA a toxic substance.[3][4] The European Union, Canada, and recently the United States have banned BPA use in baby bottles.[5]

(Source:  Wikipedia, "Bisphenol A")

and also:

The federal government on Wednesday formally added BPA, as it is commonly known, to its toxic substances list based on concern about possible risk to fetuses and babies. The man-made chemical has been shown in scientific experiments to mimic the hormone estrogen, and is not naturally found in the environment.

(Source: The Globe And Mail, "Canada The First To Declare BPA Toxic")

Bisphenol A is used to line the inside of cans, to prevent corrosion.  Canada banned the use of BPA in baby bottles in 2010. it still being used in our canned goods???

Okay, back to the news article I was watching...

So anyhoo, here are our innocent kids, running around with fat being abnormally stored in their abdomens.  Oh...oopsy, this may be caused by lining our canned food with this shitty lab chemical!

I became so pissed off.

You know how there's this undercurrent of opinion that it's the obese person's fault that they are fat?  That they're just lazy, and they need more willpower?  And yet, our food has become so hideously, heinously engineered, and so filled with phony estrogens, and things that totally screw up our hormones, and additives that light up our brains, that essentially our processed food has become as addictive as heroine.

But that's okay--push yourself away from your plate, Sally. It's all YOUR fault.
And Even though you thought you were doing an okay thing by cracking open a can of soup for dinner for you and your family, turns out you were wrong.

Nobody told you.

Too bad, so sad.

Have you struggled with your weight for years?  Do you eat way less than the skinny people you know?  Do you go for walks and try to lift weights several times a week, and yet you still suffer from horrible PMS, and you can NOT lose weight no matter how hard you tried?  Is that junk food so addictive to you that there is no way you can resist it, and then when you give in to it, you feel enormous shame and self loathing?

I'm so pissed off.

You should be pissed off too.

I picked up this book from the library recently:

And then I bought a copy of it myself.  I know, I know--this is the part where you get leery.  karen's all big on exercise now.  She's as annoying as a born-again-anything.  I'm not going to lecture/pester/harp about exercise.  I've always been super interested in food, nutrition, and how food affects our bodies and minds.  That's MY pet obsession.  Maybe in my next life I'll actually fork out the thousands of dollars to become a Dietitian.

Please, please, please, I'm BEGGING you:  find this book and read it.

Get it from your library.  Get it for your kindle, or whatever electronic thing you use to read books.  Please, as a woman, as a man, as a mother, as a father: please read this book, because we need to regain some power, and not be at the mercy of our horribly greedy food industry.  Please! Tell your friends to read it, or read it and tell them what you've read!

Can I bore you with an obsession I now have thanks in larger part to the book, and previously to sneaking suspicions?

GLUCOSE-FRUCTOSE.  That's what we call it in Canada and Europe.  In the U.S. it is known as HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP.  It is a cheap sweetener, derived from corn, that our food industry loves to use in place of real sugar to MAXIMIZE their profits.

Back in the 1970's, in the United States, there was a surplus of corn.  What ever shall we do with all this corn?  Why, I know!  Let's grind it down and turn it into this cheap syrup!  Hooray!

Actually, boo.

Do you know what fructose does?  It actually switches off the hormone in your body that tells you when you're full.  OH, we have lots of hormones in our bodies, and more than just the estrogen, progesterone etc, buddies we already knew about. One hormone tells us when we're hungry (grehlin), another tells us when we're full (leptin).

SO, if you eat some food with that nasty glucose-fructose in it, it won't let that hormone tell you you're full.  Poof, you need to eat, and eat, and eat.  HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES???

So what?  THEY say that in low levels it won't affect me.  But:  that shit's in everything.  Go ahead.  Go read the labels on your yogurt, your cereal, your crackers, your cookies, your WHOLE WHEAT BREAD, that fibre bran bar you thought was a healthy snack...

Okay...forget about BPA and GLUCOSE-FRUCTOSE.  Here's another nice story I learned in that there book up above that I will paraphrase for you.  Imagine a tomato.  It's been picked too early, because it has to make a long, long journey to your grocery store.  So, it's green.  But we don't buy green tomatoes, we buy nice, red ones.  Better make it red.  Do you know how they do that?  They spray it with a gas that speeds up the ripening process.  And nevermind all the horrendous things that tomatoes already been sprayed with to keep the bugs off it... the way...that gas?  It's also used to euthenize pets.

Are you getting pissed off yet?

Oh, and soy.  That shit's in everything too.  So what?  They eat so much soy in China and Japan, and the incidences of certain cancers are way lower.  Soy must be good for you. Well yeah, it's okay in forms closer to its original, like tofu, or fermented soy products.  But, our food industry buddies said;   hey! Soy is good! It lowers cancer!  Let's take it to our food labs and turn it into a FRANKENFOOD, and put it in EVERYTHING!

Well, that's nice.  It mimics estrogen you know.  Sorry, little boys of the world. let's see...terrible, reprehensible chemical lining our cans:  CHECK!
- soy, and other phony estrogens assaulting us at every turn, messing with our own hormone balance:  CHECK!
- glucose-fructose in EVERYTHING, making us eat more and more, carving a nice neat path to insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes!  CHECK!

These are only just a few examples of how our food has been horribly engineered to keep us addicted, keep profits high, and keep us from knowing about all the garbage that we eat every day!


Throw into the mix all those stupid chemicals THEY think we should buy:  horrible things to make our homes smell like perfume, toxic things to make our toilet bowls so "clean" we could drink out of them (except for the poison)! Hand sanitizers, toxic cleaners, tooth pastes and bath washes filled with nasty, nasty things...

Oh my!  Are you fat yet?

Hey everyone:  let's give up.  Let's throw in the towel.  If you can't beat em', join em', right?  I mean, everything's gonna give us cancer anyway, right?

Not me.  Not this kid.  Uh-uh.  No way.

But there's way too much to talk about in one ranty little post.  Just read the book.

* If we choose ORGANIC we let them know how we feel!
* If we choose foods with NO GLUCOSE-FRUCTOSE we let them know how we feel!
*I write letters to companies now, asking them why they just can't use plain old fashioned SUGAR.
* NO trans fats for me and my family! And that means it can NOT say "hydrogenated" ANYTHING in the ingredients!

Oh, this is all too scary and depressing.  Let's make some drawings.

Just read it.  Please.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Celery Sucks So Hard

Last month, I had the PMS right in time for my anniversary.  I bloat like a champion, usually, unless I'm super careful about what I eat (ie; NO DORITOS).

This is bad because I get:
a) an enormous, luxurious double chin
b) jowls.  Good ones. 
c) a stomach that looks like I'm totally pregnant.

Why is it so completely horrifying to look like I'm pregnant?  Who knows.  Maybe I've never gotten over the trauma of that time, years ago, when The Man's former boss asked me if I was "expecting another little buddy for Jack."  

But whatever.  

Anyhoo, I was trying so hard to look hawt for my anniversary in a SUCK IT, FORTY YEAR OLD KAREN, kind of way.  I scribbled out my suffering that week.  I want to share it with you now.  

See, it's good to scribble your thoughts down to share them at a later date, especially when your sister is nagging you that you haven't blogged in SOOOOOOO LONG, and what's the DEAL with that?!?  And it's good when you nearly choked on your own post-Thanksgiving stomach acid during the night, and now you feel like a dishrag, washed up on shore with nobody there to love and nurture you, and the Thanksgiving food was so, so good, and that tropical liqueur was yummo, and then it all went bad somewhere deep in your guts, and your bedroom smelled bad.  Very, very bad.  

But whatever.  

karen's Celery Rant

You know, I read somewhere online that if you're prone to PMS SUPER BLOAT, you should start eating celery often, a week or two before your period, since it has a natural diuretic effect.  

Celery.  Freaking celery.  

karen:  NOTHING is worse than celery!  What's worse than CELERY?!?

karen's brain:  BROCCOLI.  Broccoli is worse than celery.

horrible, heinous, TORTUROUS, cruciferous HELL

karen:  Well done, brain!  How on Earth could I have forgotten broccoli?

So anyway, my anniversary is coming up fast.  I have a really cute new dress and some majorly slutty new shoes.  I got the new shoes a) on clearance and b) with an extra SCROUNGED 10% off for a small defect on the clasp with I FIXED when I got home!  


Oh wait--don't suck it, Nine West.  Your shoes are so yummy I want to suck on them.

But back to celery.  

See, I am a week and a half, in case you care to know, from my LADY TSUNAMI.  This is right about the time I should start to turn into the human water tower.  So much bloat that my widdle abdominal hernia allows me to look a good five months along.  

This is a NO-NO.

So, I'm actually eating celery.  EW @ CELERY, HASHTAG "SNACKFOOD OF SATAN."

*If you're not on Twitter, that joke was useless, obvs.  

I was standing in my kitchen, crunching celery.  The first stalk was edible.  But what that means is that it made me have that involuntary celery face.  Do you know what that face is?  It's the expression of DISAPPOINTMENT.

The second stalk was JUST HORRID.  Stupidest food EVER.  

why did I have to crop my head into this one,
instead of just taking a picture of me biting the celery myself?
Oh yeah--because it's terrible.  


and my tongue was going dead

and I was all "OH! NEH! NEH! BLECCCCHHH!"

and then "PAH!!!"  I had to spit it out.


And how much celery do you have to eat to reap the magic diuretic effects anyway?!?  In my opinion?  TOTALLY NOT WORTH IT.

Let us not speak of celery again today.

Here endeth this rant. 


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