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Amy Everhart http://www.amyeverhart.net Writer Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:28:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 The Pink Flower http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2011/07/the-pink-flower/ http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2011/07/the-pink-flower/#comments Fri, 22 Jul 2011 22:23:15 +0000 http://amyeverhart.net/?p=416 I’m pretty sure my dad never imagined that one day he would come back as a flower.  A circus clown, maybe, or an old shoe with paint splatters, or a naughty puppy with blue eyes.  But never a flower, and especially not a pink one, of all colors.

Four years ago today I looked into Dad’s blue eyes for the last time, trying to memorize every last detail of his face before it was lost to me forever except in pictures and video.

Two years ago today, a strange flower bloomed in my garden.  A pink lily that had never been there before and resembled nothing in my yard.  Unique and independent and colorful.  I’d already seen signs of Dad in rainbows and airplane streaks across the sky forming the shape of a cross and blue butterflies fluttering around with a sense of humor about them.  Now I let myself believe for one ridiculous moment that this was my dad, appearing in the form of a pink flower to remind me that, no matter the growing distance between his presence and my life each passing July 22, he was still there, bright and colorful as always.

He would have gotten a kick out of that.  Oh, that dreamy child of his.

Except last year on July 22, the pink flower bloomed again.  Odd coincidence, I supposed, but I enjoyed sharing the story and imagining that just maybe Dad was playing one of his jokes again.  A pink flower.  How ridiculous was this idea.

This July 22, my mind was on everything but pink flowers.  I drove into my yard hot and frazzled, thinking about the contract I needed to email to my clients the minute I got into the house and the pie I needed to whip up for the cook-out later.

As I got out of my truck, I spotted it.

The flower.  Out of nowhere.  Bright and pink and colorful and independent.  I am here!  Smile for a minute, forget about your troubles and remember, I am here.

Hmmmm.

A pink flower?  Who am I to say what’s possible?

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Lies and Half-Truths I’ve Told My Dental Hygienist Lately http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2011/06/lies-and-half-truths-ive-told-my-dental-hygienist-lately/ http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2011/06/lies-and-half-truths-ive-told-my-dental-hygienist-lately/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2011 15:08:43 +0000 http://amyeverhart.net/?p=410 “How do I like my new mouth guard?  Well, it hasn’t bugged me yet!”

“How often do I floss?  I aim for three times a day.  What brand of floss do I use?  Er, it’s the floss in that little blue box…what’s it called again?  I can’t remember…but it’s the one in the little blue box with the white print that you can get from Target?  The one that’s supposed to fight cavities, remove tartar sauce, and cure the common cold?”

“No, no sensitive spots on my teeth today.  YEE-OUCH!!!!  SON OF A…Will I move my tongue away from that corner of my mouth so you can get at those teeth with your sharp pick?  SON OF A…er, just allergic to cold water over in that corner.  Because I don’t need any fillings this go-round.  Not me!  YEE-OUCH!!!!  SON OF A….”

“Do I eat a lot of candy?  No, I’m a vegetarian.”

“Uh huh, I did dutifully run out after my last appointment and pick up that prescription mouthwash for sensitive teeth that you took the time to prescribe.  I just don’t fancy the taste.  What does it taste like?  Er, mint?  Yes, I’ll be sure to give the cinnamon flavor a try.”

“Of course I’ll be here right at 8 a.m. next time if you agree to schedule me that early again.  I promise.”

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The Case of the Mysteriously Disappearing Contact Lens http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2010/10/the-case-of-the-mysteriously-disappearing-contact-lens/ http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2010/10/the-case-of-the-mysteriously-disappearing-contact-lens/#comments Tue, 05 Oct 2010 12:48:39 +0000 http://amyeverhart.net/?p=405 Mphf…whazzit?  I lurch awake on the couch, having dozed off watching Iron Chef: Battle Broccoli.  Half asleep, I stumble into the bathroom to yank out my contact lenses so I can go to sleep-blessed-sleep…

Crap.  Little bugger.  My left contact, feeling frisky, slides playfully behind my eyeball.  “You can’t get me!” he teases.

“Get back here, you!”  Don’t panic.  I know the routine.  Just roll my eyeball to the far right and nab that sneaky guy when he reappears.

No dice.

(Fifteen minutes later…)

Panic!  Surf the net:  “How to retrieve contact stuck behind eyeball.”

Advice received:

“Don’t panic!”

“Simple.  Just roll your eyeball to the far right and nab that sneaky guy when he reappears.”

“Don’t worry.  It’s not like it can slip into your brain or anything.  I don’t think.”

“I heard that can make you go blind.”

“Stick your finger in your eye a lot and eventually you’ll find it.”

“Drink a glass of water upside down from the opposite side of your mouth…wait, that’s for hiccups.  Sorry.”

“But whatever you do, don’t panic!”

I try everything that ever-wise Internet offers, most of it involving sticking my finger in my eye a lot and scratching the crap out of my now reddish eyeball.  Now I’m getting tired, and panicking more.  I wonder if I can fall asleep with a contact stuck behind my eyeball and worry about it in the morning?

Surf the net:  “Can I fall asleep with contact stuck behind eyeball?”

Advice received:

“If you do, it will stick to the back of your eyeball and you’ll never get it out in a million years.”

“I did that once and my eye was stuck shut when I woke up.”

The overwhelming need to sleep kicks panic’s ass.   I fall asleep dreaming that my contact has stuck to my eyeball and I’ll never get it out in a million years.

When I wake up the next morning, I set about to open my left eye, whispering a tiny prayer.

Whew…it opens.  Barely, feeling like it was attacked by a pack of wild dogs.

Surf the net:  “Is there an eye doctor open in Nashville on Sunday?”

Advice received:  “The only eye doctor open today within a thousand-mile radius of Nashville, Tennessee, is in the Mall at Green Hills.  At high noon, when everyone will be there.”

The Mall at Green Hills?  But…but…that’s the mall into which I wouldn’t dare to set foot wearing a pair of blue jeans, much less sweats.  The mall where the sales clerks won’t pay you any mind unless you’ve freshened your lipstick.  Not to mention the mall where everybody knows my name.  How am I supposed to show up in the middle of the Mall at Green Hills 1) without a speck of mascara on my invisible Midwestern-girl blonde eyelashes; and 2) eyeglasses, much less the only pair of eyeglasses I own, circa the mid-90s and two prescriptions ago? 

“Because you don’t want to go blind,” my burning left eye sasses back to me.

I realize this sounds kind of vain, but I’m forever scarred by my painful history with glasses.  In seventh grade I had this wire-rimmed squarish pair that matched the very squarishness of my short hairdo, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t break those glasses and with it my resulting nerddom.  The eighth grade girls even felt that I, a seventh grader who’d beaten out one of the eighth-grade girls for a spot on the junior-high cheerleading squad because of my ability to do a one-handed cartwheel, didn’t deserve the spot because I was too nerdy.

Scarred for life, I’m telling you.

“Anyway, don’t worry,” says a friend on Facebook, “because everyone will be at the Titans game today, not the mall.” 

Good point.

“Except possibly the eye doctor, who could be Mr. Right.”

Crap.

Back in the present and years past my nerdy days (um, right?), I choose healthy vision over my reputation.  Come noon, I drive to Green Hills, squinting all the way and managing to mow down only a couple of objects in the process (possibly only one of them human).  Having scoured the mall map beforehand, I know exactly what I have to do.  I park surreptitiously in the parking lot closest to the eye doctor, speed-walk through the make-up section of the department store (ignoring the shouts of “We have special mascara that makes your eyes pop even behind thick glasses!”), and set a new world speed record sprinting across the mall to the eye doctor’s office.

Whew.  Made it without seeing anyone I know.  (I think.  Not that I’d recognize them in these glasses.)  No worries now, except for the cute eye doctor, who, I’ve now convinced myself, is tall, dark, handsome and into girls who’ve had that laser-eye surgery.

I follow the assistant to the back room with all the scary tools meant for poking someone’s eye out and await my fate.  Finally, in walks…

…a pleasant blonde woman.  “I’m Doctor Green,” she says.  Whew again.

Doctor Green is very kind, and I don’t even mind (much) when she flips my eyelid twice (gross!), drops weird yellow dye into my eye and rubs her finger around and around on my swollen lid trying to locate the missing contact lens.

(Fifteen minutes later…)

“You have a very scratched up eye and a burst blood vessel, so don’t get nervous if your eye looks a little scary (read: demon-like) for a few days.  But I can’t locate the contact.  Maybe it came out already.”

“I really don’t think so.  I know I would have seen it.”

She has the good grace to look like she believes me.  “Don’t worry.  It will come out in its own time if it’s in there.  And I promise it won’t slip into your brain or anything like that.”  I’m starting to think she’s really nice.  Until she hands down the final sentence:  “And…I hereby sentence you to four days in glasses.”

Say what?

Seventy bucks, a pit stop to Walgreens for seventy-buck eyedrops, and three crushed baby animals later, I slump into my house, where I’ll be holing up for the next four days with my…ugh…glasses and demon-like eyeball.

Later that day I’m dropping expensive potion into my eye in my bare feet when I step on something.

Crunch.

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A Caterpillar’s Story (Co-Starring Amy as Snow White) http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2010/09/a-caterpillar%e2%80%99s-story-co-starring-amy-as-snow-white/ http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2010/09/a-caterpillar%e2%80%99s-story-co-starring-amy-as-snow-white/#comments Sat, 25 Sep 2010 20:49:50 +0000 http://amyeverhart.net/?p=391 I was walking at the park, halfway up the hill, when the object fell from a tree onto the middle of the road.  I thought it was a leaf at first, fall having arrived, but, when I leaned over to inspect it, I saw that it was a fuzzy caterpillar in this unique creamy-white color.

Now you would expect, given my renowned weak spot for all creatures (amendment: all creatures with fur) (second amendment: all creatures with fur that don’t eat people or spray foul odors or gross me out), you would expect that I would have rescued this innocent little guy and moved it out of the traffic and into the grass, where it could inch along confiding to its caterpillar buddies its dreams of becoming a butterfly one day.   

But, for reasons I can’t explain, I didn’t pick it up, or move it into the grass, but just left it there to fend for itself.  Instead, I, in me-me-me mode, continued my march up the hill, the whole time thinking, I should go back and rescue him.  But isn’t it crazy to worry about a little ol’ caterpillar?  Some bird will probably have him for a snack by the end of the day, anyway.  But maybe I should go back and rescue him before a car comes along and…

VROOOOOOM.  A monster truck with wheels the diameter of the moon cruised by and almost smooshed me like a…well…caterpillar.  Oh, no!  But maybe the caterpillar was in the one safe spot in between those monster wheels and somehow miraculously survived…maybe I should go back quickly now, before another car comes along and…

VROOOOOOM.  VROOM VROOM VROOOOOOM.  Each vehicle more monstrous than the last. 

I marched along, feeling like a jerk.  More than a jerk.  I’m a…a caterpillar murderer!  I’ve deprived the caterpillar the chance of achieving his butterfly dreams.  He’ll forever be known to his caterpillar friends as just a…caterpillar.  I should turn myself in. 

Around me the birds chirped and the sun shone and children giggled.  What a crummy day.

When I started my second lap up the hill, I decided, as punishment, that I’d make myself look for him.  I kept my eyes peeled on the road, nervous about what I’d find.  He fell somewhere around here, I think, around the middle of the hill.  There he is!  No…just a leaf.  There!  No, bird poop. 

Then I saw it.  A round flat pile of mustard-colored guts.  “Oh, no!” I wailed aloud.  It had to be him.  I mean, he was creamy-white on the outside, but this was the only pile of guts anywhere on the hill, so I guess his guts were the color of mustard.  I looked closer.  The pile looked kind of old, dried up.  I resolved to keep looking, just in case.

By the time I’d reached the top of the hill, I knew it had to be him, that pile of mustard guts, because he was nowhere else to be found.  Unless he’d managed to crawl to safety before…VROOOOOM.  What a crummy day.  I marched along, feeling like a jerk.  I turned up my iPod and played sad songs.  If only I’d…if only.

And then, at the very top of the hill…

There he was.  A creamy-white inch of fuzz, inching along the middle of the road.  Alive and happy and dreaming his butterfly dreams.  It had to be him.  I’d never seen anything like him.  He’d made it all this way without anyone’s help.  Without me.  Despite me.

I knew what I had to do.  I knelt down and let him crawl onto my hand, then carried him over to the grass and let him crawl off into his caterpillar world, where he belonged.  (Well, after unsticking him from my skin.  He didn’t seem to want to leave at first.)

It was a downright miracle.  I turned on a happy song and marched up the hill, grateful for second chances.

What a good day.

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“Are You Sure You Don’t Want to Check Your Hair?” and Other Things You Never Want to Hear Your Photographer Say http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2010/09/%e2%80%9care-you-sure-you-don%e2%80%99t-want-to-check-your-hair%e2%80%9d-and-other-things-you-never-want-to-hear-your-photographer-say/ http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2010/09/%e2%80%9care-you-sure-you-don%e2%80%99t-want-to-check-your-hair%e2%80%9d-and-other-things-you-never-want-to-hear-your-photographer-say/#comments Mon, 20 Sep 2010 01:17:50 +0000 http://amyeverhart.net/?p=384 I’m dreading this.  I not only detest having my picture taken, I detest having my picture taken by this guy, the guy who takes the pictures for the local attorney directory.  I’m still living down the last one he took of me, the one where my hair resembles Diana Ross during the disco era and my teeth are doctored so it looks like someone spilled a jar of Wite-Out over them. 

I check my hair in the rear-view mirror of my truck before heading into the studio.  Wavy helmet, check.  The problem with getting my attorney photo taken is that, although I graduated from law school, although I passed the bar exam, although I send scary letters and stand before a judge and argue my case, somehow I still don’t *look* like an attorney.  The chronic cat-hair presence on my suit is a factor.  But my hair is the best clue that I’m no Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  See, most female attorneys you know have sensible bobs, or darling pixies, or slick buns.  My hair, um, well — Diana Ross, disco era.  So on attorney photo day, I plaster it with hairspray until it resembles the best I can do — a wavy helmet.

Wavy helmet intact, I cruise the elevator to the studio.  “I noticed you’ve been using some snapshot of yourself with a tree behind you in the last couple of directories,” the photographer asks first thing. 

Who, me?  Use a photo my neighbor took of me in my backyard because it looks a zillion times better than the photo of Wite-Out girl?  “Hmmmm.  Must be someone else,” I mumble.

“The one where your hair is much darker?”

“Um, maybe.  Not sure.  So, where do you want me?”

“Stand right there and I’ll just test the lighting.”  I stand on the taped “X” and practice resembling an attorney.  Think attorney.  Think attorney.  “Ready,” he announces, then raises his eyebrows.  “Oh, but do you want to check your hair first?”

“My hair?  Oh, no.  I just checked it outside.”

“But are you sure you don’t want to check your hair first?”

“Do I need to check my hair?”

“Yes, I think you’ll feel better.  There’s a sort of…odd flip, some fly-aways, not really cooperating…”

“Oh, well, do you have a mirror?”

“No, let me show you the way to the women’s bathroom.”

Of all the humiliating…I follow him and enter the women’s bathroom, imagining that my hair must have been blown by a breeze into some crazy cowlick.  I look in the mirror, expecting a horrific…

Wavy helmet.  Exactly the same as when I left it.

I spot a can of Aqua Net (true story, really) on the counter, the kind in the aerosol can like in 1978 (the kind Diana Ross likely wore).  I spray a thick layer over the wavy helmet until it’s…a particularly hardy wavy helmet.  And march back into the studio.

“Much better,” he says.  “You’ll be ever so glad you did that.  Two things I like about being a photographer: One, I get to stare at people.  And two, I get to critique their appearances.  Har har.”

I take my place back on the “X.”

“Now, then, I typically take three different angles.  Side, front, side.”  He snaps a batch of photos from my best side.  “Hmmm.  I’m guessing another angle will be your best side.  And…” he stares at me for a minute, assessing, frowning.  “Let’s skip the middle angle.  Maybe the other side?” 

I obediently flip to my other side, hoping to expedite the process. 

“Now, if you could smile.  I notice you have this…naturally worried look when you don’t smile.”

My mouth flips into a frown and my eyebrows squeeze together into a worried grimace.  Snap!

“Okay, let’s take a look at what we have.”  He pulls up the shots on his computer and flips through them so I can pick my faves.  Gaaaa!  Gaaaaaaaa!  GAAAAAAAA!  Each is scarier than the next.  “Don’t worry, I’ll touch these up,” he assures.  “For example, I’ll get rid of that deep wrinkle across your neck.  That pimple on your chin, too.”

That night he sends me my top pick, the touched-up version, in case I want to buy it for personal use.  I open it, and a worried helmet-head Amy stares back at me, only my face is extra deathly pasty (but not a wrinkle or a pimple in sight).  GAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! 

I dash off an email to the photographer.  “I’d like to stick with the current snapshot of me, the one where I’m posing in front of a tree.”

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Bees, Heat, and Other Reasons I Will Never Be a Runner http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2010/08/bees-heat-and-other-reasons-i-will-never-be-a-runner/ http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2010/08/bees-heat-and-other-reasons-i-will-never-be-a-runner/#comments Sun, 08 Aug 2010 19:21:13 +0000 http://amyeverhart.net/?p=377 Saturday Night

Never mind that Dairy Queen Blizzard.  In the first place, it was that convenient new “Mini” size, a mere 1,020 calories instead of 2,572.  Second, tomorrow morning I will run (not walk, run) three times around the 1.2 mile path at Percy Warner Park.  Even on the uphill parts. Yes, I know it’s supposed to be 157 degrees tomorrow, but I’ll rise at the crack of dawn so this won’t be a problem.

Sunday Morning, Crack of Dawn

Zzzzzzzzzz.

Sunday Morning, on the Lazy, Late-ish Side

Well, really, it’s 9:30 already?  Wherever did the time go?  Right, so better get my running gear on.

Just after I:

1. Eat a bowl of Shredded Wheat and Bran with sliced bananas (for energy and to prevent leg cramps).

2. Check Facebook and spend 10 minutes concocting a clever status update.  (Finally arrive at: “Happy Sunday!  Another hot one today!”)

3. Read an important article in People magazine on Bristol Palin.

4. Throw in a load of laundry.

5. Feed the cats their morning turkey treat and make sure Emily takes her thyroid pill.

6. Take a bath and shave my legs so they look smooth and sexy in case I run into any hottie runner types on the trail.

7. Change my running outfit three times in case I run into any hottie runner types on the trail.  (Finally arrive at: navy running shorts with white tank top, white socks, and my running tennies.)

8. Check weather.com.

Egads!  157 degrees already?  But it’s only…

High noon.

Speed to the park, park at the park.  Right, now three times around that path, running (not walking).

Except now I’m dehydrated from the bath, so maybe I’ll just walk on the uphills, then run on the downhills.

Walking along sweating.  Feel like fainting.  I mean, seriously, there is no way I could run up this hill right now.

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Get away, mean ol’ bee!

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!!!!!!

Get away!

BUZZZZZ!!!!!!!!

EEEEEEEEEEEEEK!  Sprint up the hill faster than Olympic 100-meter-dash winner while angry bee swarms around my body trying to find the best surface to puncture and poison.  SCREAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!  Utter curse words never before heard in the Bible Belt.

Whew.  I think I outran him. 

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

SCREAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMM!  GET AWAY, YOU &@$#*&$#@%*!

Is he gone?

Round the corner, still running, and practically smash into two hottie runner types paused on the trail chatting.  Concentrate on jogging without breathing heavily.  Manage to squeak, “Beautiful day for a run, eh?”

Wait until I’ve left them in the dust, then start walking again.

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Are you ^@#$^ kidding me?  SCREAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMM!  Slap ear, slap left shoulder.  Miss bee.  Get away!  GET AWAY! 

Turn around to make sure no one saw that.

Arrive at the blessed downhill.  Jog lightly downhill like an expert.

SCREAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMM!  Get off me, you &@#$^…

…pretty butterfly.

Arrive at the end of the first lap, lucky to be alive.  Gulp water like I’m in the Sahara. 

Right, so with all that extra sprinting uphill and the majority of the lap spent with my pulse accelerated over the bee, maybe one lap is enough for today.

Drive directly to Dairy Queen to order a Mini Blizzard for stress cure-all.

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Say Cheese…Er, or Don’t…Click! http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2010/07/say-cheese%e2%80%a6er-or-don%e2%80%99t%e2%80%a6click/ http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2010/07/say-cheese%e2%80%a6er-or-don%e2%80%99t%e2%80%a6click/#comments Sat, 17 Jul 2010 20:47:12 +0000 http://amyeverhart.net/?p=368 “Hello, I need a passport photo, please?” I smile at the lady with the Walgreens nametag and the permafrown.

She pulls down a white screen. “Stand in front of this.”

I obey, smoothing my bangs and wondering if I should have come on a day when my hair was washed, glossed, straightened, and curled.

“Do you need this photo for a real passport?” she asks.

“Er, yes.” I’m not sure why else I would spend money on a “passport” photo.

“Then you can’t smile in the picture.”

I laugh, because she must be joking, and because I’m easy to laugh and, for that matter, easy to smile. 

She, who is clearly the opposite, cracks neither laugh nor smile nor even smirk nor grin. “I’m dead serious.”

“But I have to use this thing for the next ten years. They’ll never let me back in the country.”

“Are you ready?” she says, deadpan, ignoring my flair for humor.

I try to eliminate all traces of hilarity from my face, which only makes me laugh over the hilarity of it all. “Can you just count to three, and then I’ll not smile on three?”

“No. Because people naturally smile on three. Are you ready?”

I snicker. I giggle. I laugh. I try harder, bending the corners of my mouth into a deep frown with my fingers. “Ready,” I say through closed lips, already feeling the giggle building. “Hurry.”

Click.

“Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” my giggle erupts like long-held breath. “Did you get it without me smiling?”

“Yes. Come back in thirty minutes and it will be ready.”

Thirty minutes later I arrive back at the photo counter, my arms stuffed with wasting-time-at-Walgreens goodies such as the latest People magazine (dying to see Carrie Underwood’s wedding photos), a movie-candy-size box of Mike & Ike’s, sparkly nailpolish in boysenberry, and extra-strength Drano. “How did it come out? Do I look glamorously serious and important?”

“No. But it’s almost average. Anyway, no one likes their passport photo.”

Uh oh.

I don’t look at it until I get outside the store.

“Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”

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Vet Trip 2010: A Survivor’s Story http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2010/06/vet-trip-2010-a-survivors-story/ http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2010/06/vet-trip-2010-a-survivors-story/#comments Wed, 16 Jun 2010 03:00:20 +0000 http://amyeverhart.net/?p=364 Taking Two Kittens to the Vet:

  1. Pick up kittens.  Set them in carrier.
  2. Drive them to vet’s office while they mew cutely.
  3. Sit back and smile proudly while entire vet staff oohs and ahs over them, declaring them in perfect health.
  4. Drive home.  Let kittens out of carrier and watch them scamper off, smiling at the sheer cuteness of it all.

Taking Two Grown Cats to the Vet:

  1. Arrange with sister two weeks in advance to assist with transport.  Rearrange work schedule to give self extra time.
  2. On the morning of the appointment, act as normal as possible around vet-patients-to-be so as not to suggest any sort of vet visit in the near future.  Vet visit?  What vet visit?  Take extra long time eating cereal, watch The Today Show like always.
  3. Forty-five minutes before the appointment, sneak into the hall closet and, quiet as a mouse, pull out the cat carriers.  Open them so they’re ready.  Return to watching The Today Show like always.  Vet visit?  What vet visit?
  4. Thirty minutes before the appointment, answer phone call from sister.  “I’m turning onto your street.”  “Okay.  Stay outside until I call you.”
  5. Notice that cats, who were scrambling through the house like lunatics moments before, have suddenly disappeared without a trace.  Hear a pin drop.
  6. Grab the emergency turkey lunch meat from the fridge. 
  7. Search in all the usual hiding spots: under the bed behind the winter sweaters, in the shoe closet behind the cowboy boots, in the left middle bathroom drawer behind the saline solution, inside the washing machine.  Spot one of the culprits, staring from the farthest point under the guest bed, three inches beyond arms’ reach.
  8. Reassure yourself with the knowledge that she’s the dumb one.  Reach a bit of turkey under the bed.  “Have some turkey, Rosie!  Come on, pookie-wookie!”
  9. When she inches forward, inch the turkey forward, over and over, until she’s finally within nabbing distance.
  10. Nab her while you can, by the fold over the neck so she can’t kick and scratch with her hind claws (which she manages to do anyway).  Run her to her carrier and slam her inside the cage doors, ignoring her frantic protests.  Captured!
  11. Call sister with update.  “One down.  But I can’t find Flo.  I made need a back-up.  Hang tight.”
  12. Locate Flo hiding behind the back of the couch in the manner of an ostrich, her rear end sticking out in a tell-tale lump.  Ring sister again and speak in whispers.  “I found her.  Come in quietly and be ready with the carrier.”
  13. Sister enters quietly.  Slide couch away from wall.  Ease toward Flo, who has left herself with no room to run.  Congratulate yourself for raising dumb cats all around.  Nab her while you can.  “BRING THE CARRIER!  BRING THE CARRIER!”
  14. Sister whips the carrier over.  Stuff Flo into carrier limb by limb, each of which rakes a red path through the tender skin on the inside of your arm.  “ZIP UP THE CASE!  ZIP UP THE CASE!”
  15. Ignore the scrambling and haul the carriers out of the house to the truck, using every available muscle for Rosie, who weighs the equivalent of a toddler.
  16. Ignore the ROEWing on the way to the vet’s office, until the ROEWing changes tone to the more desperate ROEW I POOED just as the foul smell wafts from Rosie’s side of the back seat.
  17. Curse at each red light, which only prevents swift arrival at vet’s office despite polluted car air.  Hold breath.
  18. Pull into vet’s office and leap out of car, gasping for air.
  19. Lug carriers into vet’s office.  “Er, Rosie’s had a bit of an accident, if you could just clean her off before her exam.  It’s okay, sweetheart, it happens to the best of us.” 
  20. Watch Rosie get whisked off to have her hind end sprayed and shaved and her ample figure weighed.  Blush when the vet tech announces cheerfully:  “21.4 pounds.”  ROEW!
  21. Try to get back in the good graces of Flo, who huddles in the corner of the carrier shaking like the end of the world is nigh.  Smile proudly when she, ten pounds lighter than her twin sister, gets a clean bill of health.
  22. Nod seriously while vet advises politely on methods for cat weight loss and how you shouldn’t be embarrassed.  “It’s okay, it happens to the best of us.”
  23. Slink out.  Ignore the ROEWing on the way home, until the ROEWing changes tone to the more desperate ROEW I POOED just as the foul smell wafts from Rosie’s side of the back seat.
  24. Rush the (now one soiled) carriers into the house and free the captives.  Watch as the captives flee to the farthest corners of the house, Rosie particularly embarrassed about her bald hind end and dragging it on the floor in protest.  Hose out and sanitize carriers (and floor) so they’re ready for next year’s appointment.
  25. Flop down on couch and take a nap.
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How Pure Barre Killed My Childhood Dream http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2010/06/how-pure-barre-killed-my-childhood-dream/ http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2010/06/how-pure-barre-killed-my-childhood-dream/#comments Sun, 13 Jun 2010 21:49:22 +0000 http://amyeverhart.net/?p=358 I was born to be a ballerina.  Never mind my pot belly that I never learned to suck in when other kids did.  Never mind my shrimpy stature and chunky thighs that looked chunkier in pink tights.  Never mind my ever tangly hair that my mom practically had to yank out of my head to pin into Princess Leia pinwheels.  Never mind that my tiny North Dakota hometown was 100 miles from the nearest ballet studio and left me on my own to choreograph my routines.

I was born to be a ballerina.  I’ve always known this.  My parents knew it, too, buying me not one but three tutus ― pink, violet, and white ― one of which I always wore from the minute I removed my Strawberry Shortcake nightie in the morning to the minute the TV shouted “Here’s Johnny!” in the evening and my parents shooed me off to bed.  Then there was that magical Christmas morning when a shiny pair of real ballet slippers greeted me from the fireplace when I arrived downstairs still half asleep.  And my parents always clapped with gusto as I ― with my girlfriends, who either a) were born ballerinas like me or b) let me boss them around ― flitted and floated about the playroom to the Grease soundtrack in one of our many “shows.”

You can imagine, then, how excited I was, some 30 years later, to sign up for Pure Barre, the new exercise trend that “fuses elements of ballet, pilates, and weights in a 55-minute intense session,” with a real ballet barre for authenticity.  Now was my chance to show the world my inner ballerina.

I arrived at my first Pure Barre class one minute early.  The studio floor was packed with tall, Hollywood-body twenty-something women in sleek black leggings and pink off-the-shoulder Flashdance-style tanks, their (long blonde glossy straight) hair twisted into tight buns or side French braids.

“You need a pair of socks to go in there,” the girl at the desk said while I shoved my own (still tangly) hair into a poky ponytail and smoothed out my grey T-shirt with the Volkswagen Beetles across the front.  “You can buy our official socks.  They’re $13.99.”

My toes bedecked in socks more expensive than my last pair of jeans, I found a spot on the studio floor just as the warm-up was starting.  Aaaaahhh.  Some deep stretching is exactly what I needed after a long day at work.  I leaned back on the floor and started to “om.”

“Everyone up!”  Around me, the Glamazons leaped up and began hiking their knees to their chests in synch.  I followed suit, already wheezing.  “And down!”  We launched into every pilates ab exercise ever known to man (but usually spread out among several sessions in other classes I’d attended), including, for 90 seconds (so the instructor said ― I’m certain she counted to 90 at least three times, because I did in my head), a gut-ripping plank hold.

“And four slow push-ups!”  Push-ups?  How the hell do they qualify as ballet moves?  Dowwwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnn (count to 1,000)…uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuppppppppppppp (count to 1,000)… “Now fast push-ups!  78, 79, 80!”  “Eighty more push-ups with hands together!  On your fingertips!  Tricep style!  With tongue sticking out!  Singing ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’!  Juggling ten balls!”

I kept glancing at my fellow Glamazons, certain something was amiss.  Surely they, too, were sneaking breaks whenever the instructor looked away, or at least grimacing a little.  Nope ― they were all moving up and down like robots, their faces passive, their make-up firmly intact.

“And that’s the warm-up!  Now let’s begin!”

WTF?

Eyeing the door like it was an escape hatch, I reluctantly followed the Glamazons over to the barre.  Maybe the real ballet would start now.  As a born-ballerina, surely I’d be a natural at the barre stuff.

“Left leg bent and raised on four-inch heels.”  (I later learned this means the highest tiptoe.  Mine was more like an out-of-style low-heel pump that you only wear when you’re forced to as your best friend’s bridesmaid.)  “Both arms off the barre and high in the air, because they can’t possibly be worn out from all those push-ups.  Pelvis out.  Right leg bent and heel back.  Recite the alphabet backward and chew gum while trying to touch your nose and drink a cup of water upside down.  Now pulse!  Pulse!  Pulse!”

I’ve never been a good listener.  I need to see to believe.  So I had no idea what on God’s green earth she was talking about.  I sneaked a peek at the Glamazon to my left and copied her.  The instructor immediately sidled over.  “You’re hiking your leg (like a dog, she didn’t say but I could hear in her voice).  Just isolate the muscle.”  I concentrated on squeezing my butt muscle over and over, desperate to meet her approval.  She studied my butt muscle for a long while, then nodded without smiling, moving on.

Three years later, we were still squeezing the same butt muscle, which, in the case of mine, had grown numb and tingly.  “Okay, now on the floor in a headstand, neck wrapped around left little toe, right femur balanced on left eyeball.  Now lift!  Lift!  Lift!”

I started inching toward the escape hatch with every lift, scheming how I might sneak out without the Glamazons noticing.

“Good work!  Class is one-eighth over!  On to abs!  Grab a ball.”  I picked up the red ball, but, as a born ballerina, balls were never my thing, so the little devil slipped out of my hands and bounced across the room.  I tried to run after it, but my legs, not used to balancing on one toe for hours on end, buckled with each step.  Meanwhile, the Glamazons were already lining the wall under the barre, watching the ball debacle while exhaling audibly in synch with one arm behind the barre and one leg pointed overhead, inching in and out.  And this was supposed to improve the abs how?  I couldn’t for the life of me figure this out, so I just concentrated on looking like I was working really hard and enjoyed the respite.

“Ab work over.  Now seven minutes of intense ab work!”

I miraculously survived the next seven minutes, and the following two of lying on my belly pinning my arms and legs behind me like an ultra flexible Superman, but only by fantasizing about what I’d make for dinner later (something with pasta, something with chocolate, and something with alcohol).  Then, finally, something that sounded like real dancing.  “Three minutes left before the cooldown!  It’s time for a little back dancing!”

Back dancing!  What fun!  I prepared to perform a series of leaps across the floor, the leaps I’d honed as a child to the rhythm of “Greased Lightning.”

“Into bridge position!  Lift your torso!  Higher, until your tailbone hits the ceiling and you can’t feel it anymore!  Now squeeze!  Squeeze!  SQUEEZE!”  Seriously, more ass work?  I didn’t know how much more mine could take.  The instructor dimmed the lights and the music launched into a giddy happy beat, like this was supposed to be the feel-good part of class.  I can assure you my ass did not agree.

We did get to do a stretch series briefly at the end.  I spent it catching the sweat dripping off my nose with my palm before the droplets could puddle onto the floor and cause an accident.

My dream of becoming a ballerina died on the floor of the studio that afternoon, surrounded by Glamazons who somehow looked exactly the same when class was over, unscarred and even perkier than when we began.  As for me, I dragged my frizzy hair and numb butt muscles out of the studio, my knees buckling all the way.  I made a mental note to rip my tutus into shreds the minute I got home, even before tearing into the bag of Doritos I keep for emergencies. 

It takes a lot to kill a lifelong dream, but the requirement that my butt muscles contract for the span of an hour somehow did the trick.

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iPod Confessions: Special Car-Radio Edition http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2010/05/ipod-confessions-special-car-radio-edition/ http://www.amyeverhart.net/blog/2010/05/ipod-confessions-special-car-radio-edition/#comments Wed, 26 May 2010 18:21:42 +0000 http://amyeverhart.net/?p=353 I hate when you arrive at your destination just when one of your favorite songs that you haven’t heard in years and practically forgot existed comes on the radio. Do you 1) sit in the car and listen to the whole song, which is hardly as enjoyable (for some reason) as hearing it while your wheels are in motion, or 2) drive around the block, which feels forced, or 3) turn off the radio before the song is over because you’re late for work?

I had to choose number 3 today, when an old Chicago song came on, not one from the Peter Cetera era but from Chicago 18, with that replacement lead singer with the long curly hair. “Will you still love me for the rest of my life? I gotta lotta love that I don’t wanna let go.” I don’t know if I will still love you, because you’re not Peter, and because I have to turn you off now.

The only thing worse is when you flip to a new radio station only to find one of your favorite songs that you haven’t heard in years and practically forgot existed…come to an end.

Of course none of this should make a difference now that we all have iTunes and iPods and other iThings that allow us to hear all of those long forgotten songs at the click of a wheel…but there’s nothing like randomly stumbling onto a song you forgot existed. It’s like the difference between keeping a bowl of candy at your desk, candy you never touch because it’s always there and you can have it anytime, and finding a bowl of your favorite Hershey’s Miniatures (Krackels, if you have good taste) at your neighbor’s desk, where they’re like golden treasure and cause you to find excuses to talk to your neighbor six more times that afternoon.

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