Fourth Ashes Test, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Third Day. Australia 6/551 declared (1st innings), England 270 (1st innings) and at stumps today 2/111.
Finally I got to see Steve Waugh bowl. He's done so in other matches this year, but I'd always missed it. So I was beginning to think it was too late and that I never would. But today there he was, in the session before tea, limbering up with a few stretches, touching his toes on the field of the MCG.Just seeing him bowl (at last!)--and in a Test match too--was enough, my eyes were glued on him (via the TV). So, when, during his second over, he (and Gilchrist) appealed for an LBW against Foster, it took me completely by surprise. As the umpire's finger slowly rose to signal the Out I could hardly believe I was lucky enough to witness Waugh actually take a wicket.The ball hit Foster on the front pad, Waugh spun around to the umpire and appealed, and it was about three seconds before the umpire's finger at last gave the signal. Other bowlers are wildly demonstrative when they succeed, but not living legend Waugh, captain of Australia--not anymore, anyway. It wasn't until his jubilant team-mates ran towards him and thumped him on the back and shoulders in congratulation, and ruffled his hair, that he began to smile. In fact he looked almost overcome by their evident affection. It was his first Test wicket for four years. Yay Tugga! This year there's been an immense amount of public speculation about his Test cricket future. It's been gathering momentum over the last couple of months, and been brought to a head by the events of the last week. Now that Waugh's 37 years old his impending departure from international cricket is inevitable, but the question is when and how it'll happen. There's pressure on him to retire voluntarily rather than be dumped by the selectors--to make a graceful "fairy-tale" departure at the Fifth Test in Sydney after seventeen years of Test cricket. The newspapers carry something about it almost everyday, and NSW--if not the entire country--is deeply divided on the subject. Waugh has commented that to him it's begun to feel as if it's happening to someone else, like a novel unfolding. The intense public interest in his future, the charged atmosphere surrounding his every appearance and action, the 65,000-odd spectators at the MCG giving him a rousing standing ovation two days ago as he walked out to bat (all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain)--despite cricket commentators trying to remind the public that the Fourth Test isn't just about Waugh, you know--it's all very difficult to explain to anyone who's not here right now. You've got to be here to feel it.

My action figure Jesus with glide motion has a technicolor dream coat

Of all the things I was given for Christmas, none is as precious to me as the companionship of my friends, especially Christa. She brings joy into my life in numerous evil ridden ways.

She laughs at me when I cringe in fear from her 27 pound demon named Nemo, who has chased me across her apartment and up onto a Futon with his razor sharp claws and meniacal hissing/growls.

She laughs at me when I'm in horrible pain from a cramp in my foot, then pokes the walnut sized lump on the side of my foot with her pointy index finger.

She laughs when I open my mouth and things like "Iiiiiiiiii'm a looker" or "She's a multicreamer" pop out with innocent intentions but our dirty minds automatically take us to the dark side.

She takes my Archie Mcphee purchase of an action figure Jesus and makes him a technicolor dream coat out of reversable wrapping paper.

She tells me I'm not a bad person, that I shouldn't waste my time on people who don't return my phone calls and emails. She tells me that she'll never like these people because they've hurt me too much, but she'll be nice to them if I decide to remain their friends.

She tells me that somewhere out there is a guy for me, not to despair cus I'll find him..or stumble across twenty almosts until I do.

She invites me to her family events so much her mother calls me her "other daughter" and her grandmother welcomes me with open arms as soon as she sees me.

She's the best friend I've ever had. And one day I'm going to get around to making up the t-shirt that we keep joking about. The one that will point out how close we really are to will simply say in big bold type that they will easily be able to read: SHE'S NOT MY GIRLFRIEND!

A Waterfall in Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow.

I was standing on the edge

It gave way

I destroyed something beautiful

A few nights ago, I dreamed that I lost a tooth. A molar. It shattered, filling my mouth with tooth chips and blood. I had to leave church and find a dentist.

So there was this woman in a waiting room yesterday today. Not a dentist's waiting room, in case you were wondering. Anyway, she had her tiny daughter sprawled sleeping across her lap. As I walked into the room, the door chimed to announce my arrival. And this puffy haggard little woman looked up and assured me that "She sleeps through anything."

I hadn't been worried about waking the child, but I smiled at her. She had obviously been waiting quite a while, and was obviously bored. There was nobody visible behind the counter. "Was she a preemie?" I asked, looking at the toddler. Preemies interest me. My niece was born three months early, weighing only one pound. She's seven years old now, intelligent and full of beans.

"No," said the toddler's mom, "the Down's Syndrome keeps her small." Oh. I hadn't even noticed.

There ensued a surreal conversation, the whole of which I will not recount here. But it culminated in her disclosure that the child's father was in the hospital. When I asked what was wrong she said, "He's havin' all his teeth out. I had mine out last year. It's much healthier."

Outside my husband, who is nobody's father, wonders what would cause people to have all their teeth removed. "Poverty," I explained. "Malnutrition, and no dental care.

It was sobering, but also hilarious. I don't really know what to think, but I am brushing and flossing with renewed diligence.

It occurs to me that I haven't updated since I went to the doctor on Monday, and thus no one knows what she has my current problem narrowed down to. (Quick synopsis of the problem: I got sick the Monday after Thanksgiving with the flu, but when the fever, chills, etc. went away, the nausea & vomiting stayed around. Since then, every time I put food more substantial that Jello Instant Pudding {made with skim milk} in my stomach, it comes back up within 30 minutes at the latest.)

Dr. Ondreko thinks that the stomach problems could be caused by a: Diabetes setting in early (reason she thinks this could be it is because my blood sugar has been bouncing between 65 and 150 during the time I couldn't keep food down) or b: An H. pylori infection, that if left untreated could lead to ulcers.

Dr. Ondreko took blood and is testing for the H. pylori bacteria, and in the meantime, she has become my favorite person. Why?

She gave me a new medication for my stomach, called Protonix, and as long as I remember to take it, I can keep food down, as long as it isn't horribly greasy or spicy. I love this medication! My energy levels are beginning to stabilize, and I'm starting to feel normal (for me) again!

And you know what? I think I'm going to go fix my lunch now, just because I can!

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