Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Paid in Full With One Glass of Milk

One of my favorite parts of my morning routine of checking my email, checking bank balances, and reading the news online is discovering what new inspiration will be delivered in my daily Simple Truths email. Sometimes there's a short movie, while other mornings I find short stories that lift me up and make me think. I've even shared some of the stories and movies here. Today is one of those days.

The following story, Paid in Full, is an excerpt from the book The Power of Kindness.

One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.

Instead of a meal, he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry and so she brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?"

"You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness." He said, "Then I thank you from my heart." As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strengthened also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Years later, that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.

Dr. Howard Kelly* was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, he went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor's gown, he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day, he gave special attention to the case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested from the business office to pass the final billing to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge, and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally, she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words:

Dr. Howard Kelly

*Dr. Howard Kelly was a distinguished physician who, in 1895, founded the Johns Hopkins Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Johns Hopkins University. According to Dr. Kelly's biographer, Audrey Davis, the doctor was on a walking trip through Northern Pennsylvania one spring day when we stopped by a farm house for a drink of water.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Let's Talk About Sext, Baby . . .

The other morning, I walked out of a very early morning meeting and picked up my cell phone to make a call. To my surprise, I had about 5 or 6 text messages from my friend Sam (all names have been changed to protect the guilty). It's not that it's unusual to receive texts from Sam; in fact, we text all the time. But this was 5 or 6 messages and it was barely 9am. Surely there was something urgent happening.

Much to my surprise, the messages were neither urgent nor of the G-rated variety we usually send each other. Below is a partial transcript and my thoughts in italics.
Sam: Morning Sexy! (Well, isn't this a nice treat. No one has called me sexy in a LONG time. This is going to be a good day after all.)
Sam: Thank you so much for last night. I can't remember the last time I felt so close to you. (Hmmmmm. We talked last night, but I think it was about some play we both want to see.)
Sam: I called Walter and he's game for getting together Friday night. (AWESOME! I haven't seen Walter in ages, but we didn't talk about getting together on Friday night and I've got some big Saturday plans so it can't be a late night.)
Sam: He said he can't wait to be with us. He's had the same threesome fantasy about us for years. (What the Hell? We've NEVER talked about having a threesome because neither you nor Walter like girls! Oh, shit! These aren't texts! You are SEXTING me, but you think you're sexting your boyfriend! How can I have fun with this???)
So I immediately called Sam who had yet to realize the error of his ways. I told him how much I enjoyed our conversation the prior evening and how I'd never felt closer to him. I really appreciated that I can always count on him to be one of my dearest friends and had been thinking that we should get together on Friday for a threesome.

There was silence on the other end of the phone, followed by a great deal of stuttering. Although I was at the other end of the phone line in Arlington Heights and he was in Chicago, I could feel the heat radiating from his now bright red cheeks. He knew I knew some of his most intimate secrets. Fortunately, Sam doesn't really embarrass very easily and we both had a good laugh.

But there's an important life lesson here: Always always always make sure that when you're sending intimate text messages that you send them to the right person.

Sending flirty sexy messages is fun and can add some spice to a relationship, but you must be careful. Sexting your boss (or your employee) when you mean to sext your girlfriend could get you fired. Sexting your kid when you mean to sext your hubby could force a miserably uncomfortable conversation.

Apologies to Salt N Pepa for my horrible pun using the title of their popular song.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

C is for Cleavage*

By now you may have heard that Katy Perry's appearance with Elmo on the New Year's Eve episode of Sesame Street has been pulled because the video of rewritten Hot N Cold duet with Elmo that was released to You Tube was just a little too hot for many parents.

It seems that Katy Perry's cleavage was more than many parents wanted their 3-year-olds exposed to. After seeing the video, I have to say I can understand and agree with Sesame Street's decision to nix the video. Katy is showing a little more of her breasts than I'd want my kids seeing on children's television. It's my opinion that kids today are exposed to too much sex (and violence and other adult themes) way too early and we should let them be innocent kids as long as possible.

All of that said, couldn't the makers of Sesame Street just use some computer graphic technology and put a shirt on Katy rather than that flesh colored practically nipple-baring get-up or at least make the yellow part of the dress come up a bit higher?

What do you think? Watch the video below and let me know if you think Sesame Street was right to cave to the pressure of parents or if Katy's dressed appropriately for today's preschoolers.

*Thanks to my friend Tim on Facebook who originally used the "C is for Cleavage." I loved it and took it for this blog post.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

LMS Receives 1st Celebrity Endorsement!

As you know, Little Merry Sunshine was named one of Chicago's Best Blogs in 2009 by the Chicago Tribune and even appeared on the front page of the Chicago Tribune's website in April 2009. That publicity has created quite the buzz for LMS in the blog world (well, mostly in my imagination) and probably helped increase our international readership, not to mention the requests for me to review such products as baby food and diapers and give you my hearty endorsement in exchange for free baby food and diapers (yes, really).

All of that is terrific. But the crème de la crème came today when Little Merry Sunshine received it's very first celebrity endorsement! That's right, Gary, Indiana's Greatest Writer, Milo Samardzija, posted the following about Little Merry Sunshine on his Facebook wall yesterday:
Despite a complete lack of foul language, criminal attitude and despicable behavior, I am growing very fond of the Little Merry Sunshine blog site.
Ya, I know, it doesn't get any better than that. Yes, you can be jealous.

Haven't heard of Milo Samardzija? Well, then you must be living under a rock. As I said, Milo is Gary Indiana's Greatest Writer. He also writes for one of the wittiest blogs I've ever read called The Third City. Plus, he's written a fantastic book called Schoolboy. Simply put, Schoolboy is a must read.

The writers here at Little Merry Sunshine (that'd be me) are incredibly honored to receive this endorsement and hope it will result in boosting readership from 7 to 8. Thank you Milo!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

World Gratitude Day

Brad Meltzer alerted me to the fact that today is World Gratitude Day. Started in 1965, the day was created to celebrate globalism and gratitude because the world needed a unifying holiday.

Participants in World Gratitude Day are encouraged to hold a Gratitude Gathering of their choosing, in which each guest gives thanks in whatever way is appropriate for them. The essential part is that the emotion of gratitude be globally shared.

In that spirit, I'm holding a Gratitude Gathering on Little Merry Sunshine and anyone reading LMS today (or any day) will be part of the gathering. Please feel free to share your gratitude list in the comments or you can choose to privately reflect on all that you are thankful for today.

However you choose to celebrate, I encourage you to carry gratitude into every encounter you have today. If you're stuck in traffic and normally that would bubble up as frustration, choose instead to take the opportunity to breath deeply and be grateful for a few minutes of relaxation. If the kids are arguing over who gets to play with a certain toy, rather than yelling at them, thank them for teaching themselves the art of negotiation. If your boss is being unreasonable, be grateful you still have a job in this economy. In Chicago, this last day of Summer has brought us simply beautiful weather. Walk around the block, listening for the chirping birds and be grateful for still being in shorts and a t-shirt.

Interested in what celebrities are grateful for? Check out The Gratitude List and follow them on Twitter.

My Gratitude List - September 21, 2010 (in no particular order)
1. The warm breeze blowing through all my windows as I type this.
2. My family and friends (who I affectionately refer to as the family I chose - if you read LMS you're part of my "family").
3. Finding home.
4. The tomatoes I picked from my vegetable garden this morning.
5. The beautiful flowers still filling my flower garden just outside my living room door.
6. That I remembered to pay the water bill this morning before it became late.
7. That I coincidentally was attending the Village Board Meeting last night on the same night one of my good friends was being recognized as a Workforce Development Scholarship winner. I had no idea until I walked in the door and saw her standing there. I couldn't be prouder of her and her accomplishment.
8. The last two weeks I have had with my mom. They have been two really good weeks. I'll be a little sad on Thursday.
9. That Betsey and Ross are pretty healthy and still good companions.

I'll probably think of more things I'm grateful for as the day goes on and I'll be back to update the list. What are you grateful for today?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lady Gaga on" Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Don't Ask, Don't Tell is finally coming up for a vote in the Senate on Tuesday (the House voted to repeal it in May) and I agree with Lady Gaga that it's time for remove this law from our books and allow all people to serve in the Armed Forces without prejudice based on gender, race, religion OR sexuality. Making the decision to serve and protect our country is one of complete selflessness and no one should be turned away because of some outdated stereotypes and fear mongering.

Please join Lady Gaga and me by calling your Senator and urging him or her to vote with Senator Harry Reid to repeal this unconstitutional law and oppose Senator John McCain's filibuster.You can also call Senator McCain directly at 202-224-2235 and let him know that America supports the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and he needs to stop standing in the way of equal opportunity and let this measure come to the floor for a vote rather than filibustering it. It's time everyone be able to serve our country. Click here for more information on the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network that Lady Gaga talks about in her video.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I've been thinking about life's moments lately. I'm not really sure why I've been focused on individual moments rather than entire events. Maybe it's because I've been working on checking off items on my Bucket List. Maybe it's because of a song I can't get out of my head by George Strait called The Breath You Take. Whatever the reason, I can't get the words "life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away."

Every time I hear this song, my eyes well up. Trust me, yours will too.

The Breath You Take by George Strait
He looks up from second base dad’s up in the stands
He saw the hit, the run, the slide there ain’t no bigger fan
In the parking lot after the game he said
“Dad I thought you had a plane to catch”
He smiled and said “Yeah son I did”

Life’s not the breaths you take
The breathing in and out
That gets you through the day
Ain’t what it’s all about
Ya just might miss the point
Try’n to win the race
Life’s not the breaths you take
But the moments that take your breath away

Fast forward fifteen years
And a thousand miles away
Boy’s built a life he’s got a wife
And a baby due today
He hears a voice saying “I made it son
He said “I told you dad you didn’t have to come”
He smiles and says ”Yeah I know you did”


Just like it took my breath when she was born
Just like it took my breath away when dad took his last that morn

Life’s not the breaths you take
The breathing in and out
That gets you through the day
Ain’t what it’s all about
Ya just might miss the point
If ya don’t slow down the pace
Life’s not the breaths you take
But the moments that take your breath away

Then this morning, a friend of mine posted the RadioLab video "Moments" below on Facebook.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Professional Women's Council Luncheon: Dress For Sucess - What Not To Wear

The Professional Women's Council's September luncheon is Wednesday, September 15th! This month, we are featuring Noelle Cellini, a personal stylist and owner of My Best Foot Forward.

Noelle will educate and entertain us with fashion guidelines concerning what to wear and, of course, what not to wear. She will discuss and show examples of the basic items everyone should have in their wardrobe.

Her company's focus is helping men and women put their best foot forward. Your individual sense of style should project your personality and attitude toward life. Ultimately Noelle's goal is to make your life easier and to show you that having great style isn't something only the stars get to enjoy!

Noelle believes...

  • that looking fabulous does not have an age limit.
  • in taking the frustration out of shopping and finding clothes that fit.
  • the pocket square is highly underrated.
  • in the power of high heels.
  • clothes can transform the way you feel.
  • in educating people to shop with a purpose and a list.
If you ever feel like you have a closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear or wonder why some styles look great on you and others look the opposite, then this luncheon is for YOU.

Join the PWC on Wednesday, September 15th from 11:30-1:30 for outstanding networking and learn how to always put your best foot forward.

For all the details and to register online, visit the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Charlie Brown, Snoopy & The Rest of the Gang Are Retiring

We've got a whole lot of problems in this world, but none is bigger than this: Effective February 26,2011 Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts Gang will no longer bring joy to kids of all ages around the world via the morning funny papers.

Yes, I'm serious.

And yes, I know that Charles M. Schulz, the creator of Peanuts died on February 12, 2000, the same weekend the last original Peanuts cartoon ran and that since then Peanuts have been in reruns. I don't care. What I care about is that I can no longer open my morning comics and find Calvin & Hobbes, Cathy (effective October 3, 2010), Bloom County, The Far Side, and now Peanuts.

I LOVED Peanuts when I was a kid. I remember reading the funny papers with my dad on Sunday mornings while we waited on my mom as she got ready for church. I loved it. We always started with Peanuts. In college, I recall having breakfast with my friends in Szabo and passing around the comics in the Tribune. We shared many laughs together over Calvin and Hobbes (that links to my favorite Calvin & Hobbes of all time), but I continued to hold a soft spot for Peanuts. Actually, reading the comics may have started my life as a news junkie. Without fail, anytime I pick up a real newspaper, which isn't often now in this time of online news, I always read the comics first.

In honor of permanent retirement of Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang, I bring you the first and last Peanuts comic strips.

First Peanuts comic strip, October 2, 1950

The last original Peanuts comic strip. It was originally scheduled to run on February 13, 2000, which had been declared Charles M. Schulz Day by the California lawmakers. Charles Schulz died the night before this comic ran.

Who can forget the Peanuts Theme Song? It only took a few bars to know you were about to laugh hysterically, always rooting for Charlie Brown to actually kick Lucy's football (which he never did).

As everyone knew, Snoopy was a World War 1 Flying Ace and his arch-enemy was the Red Baron.

We also learned many valuable lessons from Snoopy and the gang.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Signs From God

I've been thinking a lot about Signs from God lately, given all the uproar over the church in Florida sponsoring the Burn the Quran day on September 11th. (I won't name or link to the church because I refuse to give them free publicity from LMS). I've seen a number of interviews with the preacher and in each of them he made statements that he would only cancel the event if he had a clear Sign from God.

I know that in my own life, I've wondered about Signs from God and wanted a Sign that I should take a specific action or make a decision. Every time I have those thoughts, I am reminded about one of my favorite scenes from the first season of The West Wing (yes, I can quote almost every episode, why do you ask?) when President Bartlet has to decide whether to to pardon a federal prisoner scheduled for execution or not. He looks for signs and throughout the episode, signs are given to him and his senior staff, but they all miss them. It culminates with President Bartlet meeting with his priest (played by Karl Malden) and his priest telling him a story about Signs from, after CJ walks in and informs President Bartlet that the execution is done.

I can't help but wonder if the minister from Florida organizing the Burn the Quran Day is simply missing the signs: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a coalition of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish leaders, General David Petraeus, Attorney General Eric Holder, and the Pope, among others, have called for the church to change its plans because their actions will fuel the fire of hate against America and put American military lives at risk. I'd call these some pretty powerful Signs from God.

Unfortunately, I think the Burn the Quran Day is going to happen. I think it's despicable that it will, but hope that all of us who believe in freedom of religion (in addition to free speech) can come together and make our collective voices heard condemning this hateful action and making sure that the world realizes these small minded folks don't speak for the rest of us.

In response to this post, my friend Shari commented on Facebook, "maybe someone will wallpaper the church with COEXIST bumper stickers. Would that be sign enough?" Sadly, I don't think it would be sign enough, but she reminded me how much I love this bumper sticker and its message. Thanks Shari!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Do You Have a Need for Speed?*

Officers Poncherello and Baker and Sgt. Getraer will not be this "CHIPper" when they pull you over.

If you've got a need for speed and you're driving in Illinois, you'd better have a wallet overflowing with cash because starting September 15th, giving into that need is going to cost up to 60% more.

Here's a small breakdown of the increased fines, thanks to NBC5Chicago and ABC7.
  • Get a ticket for speeding up to 20 mph over the posted speed limit and you'll pay $120 (up from $75 - that's a 60% increase!);
  • If your lead foot is going 21-30 mph over the speed limit, you'll be out $140 (up from $95 - a 50% increase);
  • And if you're doing your best Dale Earnhardt impression going 31-40 mph over the limit (and the cops can catch you), you'll be $160 poorer (up from $105 - a 52% increase);
  • No seat belt? That'll cost you $60 (up from $55); and
  • If you're caught driving on a suspended license or if you permit someone to drive under the influence, starting September 15th, you'll pay $1500 (a $500 increase).
So remember kids: always buckle up, drive the speed limit, stay off the roads when a court orders you to, and always have a designated driver if your night includes alcohol, no matter what the fines are. Don't be like Sammy Hagar; drive 55 and stay alive.

*Apologies to Goose and Maverick from Top Gun. In spite of it clearly being 70s and 80s day at LMS, this is a very serious topic.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bean and Corn Chili

Homemade Bean and Corn Chili and Beer Bread

I honestly thought I had posted this recipe before, but apparently I haven't. My bad. It's one of my faves and the thought that I haven't shared it with you is embarrassing.

I've been making Bean and Corn Chili since the Fall of 2006 when Tony made and served this at an impromptu Labor Day dinner party. I simply love it. It's easy, healthy, vegetarian (vegan, in fact, if you make it with organic vegetable broth), freezable, and great for all occasions. Because of the decreasing temperatures this past week, earlier sunsets, and bountiful harvest of tomatoes and one pepper from my garden, I've begun craving this fabulous recipe.

The best part of Bean and Corn Chili is that it's one of those recipes where you don't have to follow it exactly. For example, I discovered I was out of red wine today, so I used white instead. You can also add other types of peppers or beans if you'd like. Whatever is pleasing to your palate or you'd like out of your freezer/cabinet/garden.

I also like to make homemade cornbread to accompany Bean and Corn Chili, but tonight I'll probably make beer bread.

Bean and Corn Chili

  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely sliced
  • 6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 30 ounces kidney beans, canned, rinsed and drained (I like Joan of Arc Spicy Chili Beans rather than plain kidney beans)
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 8 ounces frozen corn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat chicken or vegetable broth
  1. In a medium skillet, saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil and red wine.
  2. Add the skillet contents and the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Cover; cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Casa de Rayitos Alegres Heating & Air-Conditioning Policy

In light of today's sudden arrival of Fall and Tom Skilling's forecast of upper 40's inland (meaning Arlington Heights), I thought it would be useful to dust off the (previously unpublished) Casa de Rayitos Alegres Heating & Air Conditioning Policy (I got the Spanish from Craig, my high school debate partner. He always was pretty smart.). Of course, this is not to be confused with the Little Merry Sunshine Public Appearance and Speaking Policy, which I hope you're well versed in, because it's far stricter than the Heating & Air Conditioning Policy.

The Reader's Digest Version of the Heating & Air Conditioning Policy is this: No one shall turn on the heat prior to November 1 or the air-conditioning prior to June 15.

My reasons are simple, straightforward, and entirely cheap. Heat and air-conditioning are expensive and I refuse to pay Nicor or ComEd any more money than I absolutely have to.

More specifically, with regards to the heat, come February, we'll all be running around Chicago in shorts and flip-flops when it hits 45 and half-naked when the mercury rises to 65. It is ridiculous to think that simply because we're all currently accustomed to 95 degrees and 100% humidity that we might freeze to death at 48. Layer up, people. Even as I type this, I've traded in my capris, t-shirt, and flip-flops for cozy blue fleece pj's and slippers with the windows open so I can feel the breeze. I'll probably pull out an extra blanket tonight and I advise you to do the same.

Our ancestors didn't have air conditioning or heat. You know what they did to keep warm in the winter? They snuggled with the nearest person. Fine advice, if you ask me. Speaking of which, I'm taking applications for a Snuggle Buddy this winter. Seriously. Want to apply? Email or text message me. There will be interviews.

At the other end of the thermometer, there is no earthly reason to flip on the AC in May. So it hits 90 one day. Big deal. It's one day. The next day it will be 69 again (if we're lucky). Put on a t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops, pour yourself an icy beverage, and turn on a ceiling fan. If you're still too hot at night, sleep naked and put an ice pak (wrapped in a towel) at your feet in bed. Oh, and close the blinds on the west and south sides of your house to keep the sun from heating up your house and prevent the neighbors from seeing your nekid ass running around all night with the lights on. Enjoy the breeze and remember how we suffer all winter long.

In summary, there is no reason to send Nicor extra money because you have it within your power to stay warm on your own (or with a buddy). But if you have a deep-seated desire to just hand out money unnecessarily, I'll be happy to send you my address.

Oh, and make sure that before you flip on the heat you have your furnace checked and you have a working carbon monoxide detector. I highly recommend Douglas Heating & Air Conditioning if you're anywhere near Arlington Heights. I LOVE them. Use my name. Not Little Merry Sunshine, but my real name.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's Like Deja Vu All Over Again

Something about today felt oddly familiar.

It started out as a standard Wednesday. I crawled out of bed after hitting snooze too many times, brushed my teeth, grabbed my glasses so I could see more than just my hand in front of my face, made a little breakfast, and sat down to read the morning news and answer a few emails. I hopped in the shower, got dressed, and about 9ish, I called my clients to confirm this afternoon's appointments.

Then my right eye started to hurt and itch. It felt like I had an eye lash in it, so I gently rubbed it to remove the lash. A few minutes of rubbing later and the eye was now throbbing, so I decided to grab a mirror and see where that nasty eye lash was hiding. Looking in the mirror, I was shocked to discover that my eye looked something like this:

That's clearly NOT my eye, as my eyes are blue, but you get the idea. Plus, my eye was swollen (with slight ooze) and I could see what appeared to be a divot and bump on my eye, on the edge of the iris and the sclera (the white part), at about 3:00, as you look at the eye. I had a hunch I wasn't dealing with a stray eye lash.

Not entirely convinced I wasn't overreacting, I called my eye doctor who, of course, was able to fit me in at the exact time my busy afternoon with clients would begin. I said I'd be there and called my clients (who I'd just confirmed) to reschedule.

Seconds after gazing into my eye with a light bright enough to blind me, my optometrist gave me the very official diagnosis of "What the Hell did you do? You have a HUGE divot on your cornea!" I found it interesting that she called it a divot, since that was part of what I thought I saw in the mirror earlier. She also told me that my cornea was much thinner than it should be and she was sending me immediately (do not pass Go or collect $200) to a corneal specialist. Thinking I could still salvage part of my afternoon, I suggested I wait until morning. She laughed as she called the specialist. Not a regular ophthalmologist, mind you, a cornea specialist.

About 45 minutes later, the corneal specialist looked in my eye and declared that I had an ulcer on my cornea, but that I was incredibly fortunate because the ulcer was just barely on the edge of my iris and not in my line of sight. This means that when it heals, any scar tissue won't interfere with my vision.

Ah yes, it's feeling like deja vu all over again.

Fourteen years ago (almost exactly), I was diagnosed with a corneal ulcer on my left eye in exactly the same position while on vacation. What are the odds of that?
More original artwork for my friend who said "No one reads LMS for the artwork, Jess." Um, okay.

Three major differences between the ulcer in 1996 and today (aside from the one in 1996 being in my left eye and today's ulcer in my right eye). First, I didn't come home tonight with a sexy patch covering my eye. Have you ever tried meeting a hot single man for a vacation fling while wearing a patch on your eye? Trust me, it's a non-starter. Second, my vacation isn't ruined (since ya know, I'm safely back at home) by sidelining me with crazy rules of "no swimming, no water skiing, and stay away from blowing sand." Um, sure doc. Did I mention I'm on VACATION??? And third, today none of my smartypants friends have said to me, "Jess, you know what's good for eye problems? Pot. Sit down and smoke some with us." Uh, thanks, but actually, it's only good for GLAUCOMA and I've got an ulcer, so no thanks. Let's be clear: I did not accept their invitation to smoke pot. In fact, I've never smoked pot.

The doctor today gave me some good drugs and told me to come back on Friday. I also had a glass of wine this evening because I'm completely certain that although he didn't prescribe it, he meant to. I'm feeling better and fortunately, all of my clients were very understanding and have been rescheduled.