Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Shake It!

I don't know what this says about me, but I CANNOT GET ENOUGH of the song "Erfquake" by Family Force 5. It makes me wanna dance inappropriately. And I mean inappropriately in a appears-to-be-drunk kinda way, not in a works-as-a-stripper-for-extra-cash kinda way. So, if you wanna SHAKE IT LIKE AN ERFQUAKE...check it out. - all the songs are good but Erfquake is SO MUCH FUN. Listen right now. And dance inappropriately. Do it. Now.

(P.S. - I do not know how to make this link an actual link....and I do not know how to put links up on my blog of friends or whatever. I have searched and tried and only been exaperated in the process. Does anyone have a step-by-step for someone who is not HTML savvy? Or, let's be honest, someone who isn't savvy at all?)



My friend Heather was just here with her new baby Preston-So-Cute. Now I have baby throw-up on my shirt and slobber all down my arm. But instead of grossing me out, this only makes me happy and fills me with cheer - which I'm pretty sure is a bad sign. Now is not the time for a Mini-Illingworth. I must resist the urge. Or at least wait until I've been married for two months.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday

Punk Rock

Yes. Here is the Punk Rock hair, otherwise known as horrifying orange. I called Clairol to ask them when I could color again. They gave me a home remedy and told me to color again. I did. Now my hair is orange at the roots and kind of zombie grey on the ends. I feel pretty.

And just in case you had us confused, the above picture is me. The below picture is my parents' dog, Foxy. Even though we have the same hair color, we are different in many ways. (Although we are both Foxy, clearly.)


Monday, August 29, 2005

Results: Part Four

Went to yet another doctor on Friday. Sat in the ice cold exam room, waiting for my fate, shivering both inside and out. I was afraid this doctor might want me to have a test that can only be described as pure evil. I know this, because I’ve had this test before. Granted, if it would contribute to my well being, I would endure it once more. But no one would ever happily sign up for such torture. While I waited, the sky went from bright and happy to a fearful blackish grey. Given my current hysteria I wondered if I was the only one who could see the dark clouds or if they were merely a reflection of my own thoughts. The doctor came in and (surprisingly) sat down and really listened to me. Really talked to me. He said he doesn’t think I need the dreaded test (YES!) – but, I do need a substantial amount of rest. This deduction came from my answer to his “do you have anything stressful in your life right now” question. When he asked, I took a deep breath and said……. “well…

-I just got married
-I just bought a house
-My job is more stressful than ever and there may be stressful changes coming
-I signed with my publisher for another book
-The manuscript is due in eight, no seven months
-My husband is looking for a job and currently working an in-the-meantime job that’s no fun
-A family member is going through some scary health issues/surgery
-Money is tighter than my favorite jeans
-My jeans are too tight
-My hair is orange
-I have….

He stopped me there and sighed. Then I sighed. Then we both looked out the window at the big black clouds racing and rumbling across the sky. I felt a small ripple of relief since he saw them too. Then I had to put on the paper gown that’s not fooling anyone while he poked and prodded. (This was both painful and embarrassing, equally.) (Why is it that doctors make small talk while inflicting pain? Does this ease their conscious? Do they know that it’s difficult to answer trivial questions while holding back the screams of agony?) Then I had to have blood drawn by a jolly woman with stuffed bats hanging all around her desk. (And yes, my first thought was that she was either really early or really, really late for Halloween. I’m slow.) Then I was sent out into the torrential downpour with a prescription of immediate rest. Immediate rest when there are no less than fifteen crucial deadlines at work and I feel as if the weight of the world is resting on my temples and behind my eyes and in my stomach.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Punk Rock

I'm a natural brunette, but I've been coloring my hair bright blonde for the past five years. I like the blonde. Blonde is fun. But, blonde is no longer in the budget - so I decided to go back to brown. I went to Wal-Mart and bought two boxes (long hair takes two) of Nice N' Easy - Brown. I got home late last night, but Ryan was working even later, so I decided to color my hair so that I would look gorgeous when he came home. Right?

Before I went blonde, I colored my own hair, often. I'm a pro. I've done this millions of times. I barely read the directions and just went directly to work, covering my beloved blonde. Then I waited. Then I rinsed. Then I conditioned. Then I looked in the mirror. Then I noticed that my hair was not blonde anymore. It was also not brown. It was red/copper/blonde/almond/chocolate/red/orange. I just stared at myself and then Ryan walked in. Before he could say anything I shouted "DON'TWORRYICANFIXITIPROMISE". He just said, "You look so pretty!" I don't know if he meant it or not, but don't you see why I call him Perfect Ryan? So today I've decided that my hair doesn't look crazy, it looks punk rock.


Well, from the neck up. From the neck down I still look like a former Gap employee who is broke and can't afford new clothes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday

My friend Jen and I went to Kentucky this weekend to talk to some high school girls about sex and boys. On the way there, we stopped at a gas station to get some Pop-Tarts. At the entrance of this gas station was a giant, angry ceramic gorilla.



We're not sure why the gorilla was at the gas station. We're also not sure why he was angry. But the Pop-Tarts sure were delicious.

Monday, August 22, 2005

It's Just Nerves

I think, at some point, we all become (supposed) card-carrying physicians. Believing ourselves to know the cure of whatever is ailing our neighbor.
I’ve been under the weather lately and haven’t talked about it to too many people. But after a while, people have started to assume that I am in a permanent bad mood (which might be partly true) so I’ve decided to tell a few people here and there that my health isn’t so great right now. Several people’s immediate response has been to tell me exactly what’s wrong, exactly why and exactly what I should do about it. They blurt out all of this in one breath and then stare at me, waiting for me to say thank you, I suppose. The laughable part is that everyone who has done this has been WAY off base about what’s going on with me. Granted, I’ve only given them one or two symptoms, but aren’t they my symptoms to share? One person went on and on giving me one diagnosis after another in rapid fire while I shouted No.. It’s … NO… IT’S NOT THAT PLEASE SHUT-UP. It makes me want to keep my mysterious aches to myself. But of course, I am unable to keep anything about myself to myself, so I’m sure I will blab about it again in the near future. And I’m sure there will be someone handy to tell me that “it’s just nerves” and “you should probably start taking a Vitamin B every morning”.

I do it too. If a friend has an irritable ache I’ll try and immediately identify the source and offer some crude cure to help. I suppose it’s all about the fight against feeling helpless. The overwhelming urge to be in control. For nothing to happen that’s unexplainable or scary or different. I wonder why it’s oftentimes so difficult to say “I don’t know”.


Family is the one thing you don’t get to choose or refuse. Families usally come complete with crazies and crooks and cry babies and creeps - and usually only a few good eggs sprinkled in for good measure. The hope is to balance the good with the bad and come out with something tolerable on the other side. And even though my family has its fair share of characters, I’ve always been blessed to have amazing parents and an over-the-top brother. Therefore, I thought I had already hit the family jackpot. After all, you’re born with what you get, and that’s all you get.

One of my many surprises in marriage has been getting a new family, and in my case a wonderful Mother-In-Law. I’ve seen the movie Monster-In-Law and I’ve heard all the mother-in-law jokes from late night talk show hosts. I’ve heard tale of the cement bond between mother and son, and how a newcomer is not typically favored. And I’ll admit, I was nervous about meeting Ryan’s mom the first time. Especially since I was not only the new girlfriend, but college student Ryan’s 30-year-old boss. I don’t know what Ryan’s mom thought about me before we met, but she had plenty of reasons to be suspicious given my age and occupation. If she was suspicious, she didn’t show it. Since we’ve met she’s been nothing but gracious and welcoming and supportive - truly lovely every step of the way.

Last night she called to check on me. She knows I haven’t been feeling well and was concerned about my upcoming doctor’s appointment. She was so sweet and kind, making me feel better about the whole stressful thing. It reminded me what a gift I’ve been given. Because it’s not just Ryan’s mom I could rave about, it’s the whole family. I never once felt like an outsider but welcomed from the first minute. I should have known a guy like Ryan would come from such a loving, giving family. And it’s good. So good. An emotionally unstable girl like me needs two great moms and two great dads and two extra sisters that are instant friends. It helps the balance.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Things I Hate: Eyebrows

Things I Hate: Eyebrows

-if you pluck them, they just grow back the next day
-if you wax them, the waxer forgets to get all the wax off and your skin gets BURNED
-the burning is painful and leaves a giant red burn mark
-the plucking doesn't feel that great either

Can’t we all just have bushy brows and be beautiful?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


It’s raining, and I’m so glad. I swear I saw a tumbleweed roll across my driveway this morning. My yard needs a drink in the worst way, especially since I’m a negligent homeowner and don’t water when I should. I’m looking out of the window and hoping for that pounding kind of rain that takes you by surprise with both delight and fright, equally. Sideways rain. Rain that stops traffic and forces bikers to hang out under overpasses kicking themselves for not watching Storm Tracker the night before. My yard needs a good cleansing, healing, wet rain.

Me too. I wish rain could wash it all away. Health scares and lost jobs and bills due and rotten floors and sick parents and spouses and not enough rest and too many responsibilities and nagging despair and on and on. All the things that wear on us. That wear on me. I’d rather have rain on my cheeks than the wet, hot tears that seem to have taken up permanent residence behind my eyes and spew forth at the worst possible moments (and the most embarrassing). When I heard the afternoon thunder coming, it almost made me feel hopeful. Like the impending rain would wash it all away. That all the things clinging to my tired body would slide off and run down into the huge drain next to my office building. And I would watch them all roll away and wave good-bye, feeling twenty pounds lighter. Standing taller.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Self-Portrait Tuesday

Originally uploaded by Glamorous Jo.
Aliens descend...

Monday, August 15, 2005

Reason #3

Reason #3 Why I Love Ryan Illingworth:

He calms the storm.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Crying While Eating

If you need a laugh, or 50, go here:

Top Five

I was tagged by Joy for this “5″ meme.

5 names I can’t use for my future kids: (because Illingworth doesn’t go with just anything)

5 Movies You’ve Seen Recently:
Must Love Dogs (hated it)
Constantine (interesting in a “this is weird but I’ll keep watching” kinda way. And kinda dumb.)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (LOVED it)
Hotel Rowanda (was disturbed and moved by it – still)
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (liked it a lot – although the tabloid drama was on my mind throughout)

5 Nice Things That Happened To You Lately : (In the last week)
I’ll be honest. This past week has sucked beyond measure. But…
Ryan helped me paint the bedroom
We found a box of wedding stuff that had been lost, and inside was a HUGE bag of Reese’s Pieces
We celebrated our one month anniversary at P.F. Changs!!!
My friend Breeon paid me a VERY nice compliment out of the blue
I laughed some – even in the midst of it all

5 magazines I subscribe to:
Us Weekly
Entertinament Weekly
(but now that I'm married I find that I don't read them anymore....)

Hey AJ and Lori - tag you're it.



I saw this sunset on the way home from work last night. I realize it's not the most spectacular photo in the world, but the reality of it was enough to fill me with warmth. The rays of sunlight were streaming out from the clouds. It was peaceful and beautiful. Nice. Made me realize that there's way more to this life than deadlines and merch items to create and decisions that weigh heavily on my current mind.

And just to keep things in perspective:

Here is our dead yard.
Dead Yard

And our dead bush.
Dead Bush

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Deepest Fears REVEALED!!!

At lunch today Ryan and I went to Great Clips for a trim. Ryan’s wavy hair tends to grow out horizontally instead of vertically and since the circumference was growing by the minute, he was due a trim. I’ve always been jealous of boys and their no-fuss hair. They just wash (With a bar of soap! The horror!) and get the monthly cut that takes all of ten minutes. No big deal, right? We girls have to go to a salon and find our own personal hairdresser where we spend hours and hours getting the perfect layers or flip. We shampoo and condition and moisturize and straighten and highlight and color. We use thirteen different products in and out of the shower and….it’s too much really.

So we went to Great Clips. I would never do this, obviously, because I would never let some random stranger touch my hair with scissors. But boys can, right? How hard is it to “just trim a little all over”. We were on our lunch break, so there wasn’t much time. When we pulled up, I noticed two ladies appearing to need haircuts (inner dialogue: How can those ladies walk around with such bad hair? Oh right, we are in front of Great Clips…), so I told Ryan to run in so he could go first. I parked the car and went inside to wait, hoping for a good magazine or talk show to bide my time.

Everything went fine, I thought. Ryan did get to go first and we were only there a total of fifteen minutes. Granted, the girl who cut his hair was incredibly annoying and asked far too many personal questions, but hey, it’s a $12 walk-in haircut. (And we got a free game piece to win a Dodge Dakota!) As we walked out I had my mouth open ready to tell Ryan how cute he looked when he turned to me wild-eyed and said

“You don’t know this about me, but I’m terrified of the barber! Getting my haircut is TERRIFYING!”

Here’s what you should know about Perfect Ryan. He does not get wild-eyed about anything. AN-Y-THING. He’s not excitable. Not animated. Not jumpy or nervous or outrageous. He’s got one speed – slow. He walks slowly from one room to another. He talks slowly. He makes decisions slowly. He never shouts or cries or gets fired up. And when he DOES get fired up, it’s hard to notice. Granted, I like this about Ryan. Especially since I’m so overly excitable it takes a mild sedative for me to get through the day unharmed. His reaction to the Great Clips Experience was obviously quite unusual. I just stared at him as he went on and on about the scissors and the razor and the people with sharp objects who chatter incessantly while cutting – CUTTING!!! He worriedly chattered about this for several fast-paced minutes without stopping to take a breath. I laughed and wondered what other odd secrets lay within this man I married.

To summarize: it’s only been a little over a month, but I’ve already discovered one of Ryan’s deepest, secret fears – the barber. THE BARBER!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


I’m struggling these days, trying to keep my head above the emotional waters. I don’t understand this sudden onslaught of sadness. I can’t explain it or ignore it or overcompensate for it. And I certainly don’t want to live with it. So, to combat these demons lying so deep within, I thought I would make a list of things I am happy about. Thankful for. Things that make me rich.

1. My adoring perfect husband whom I do not deserve at all in any way possible.
2. The window in my office that can sometimes provide a small escape.
3. Tetris.
4. My own personal Heavenly Bed.
5. Chocolate and peanut butter.
6. The fact that scripture is still true, whether or not I choose to read it or believe it.
7. Ryan’s laugh – and dimples.
8. Movies.
9. Red paint.
10. Family – both Harris and Illingworth

I might have to make a list every day. Every hour. But the sadness will not win.

Self Portrait Tuesday

Originally uploaded by Glamorous Jo.
This is a photo of me and AJ Fabulous from, I don't know, four years ago? Good times....

Monday, August 08, 2005

Results: Part Three

James 1:6
But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind

That seems to be my current state. Stomach filled with churning waves. Mind tossed back and forth so much that I feel rattled and dizzy. Unsteady. Blown down. Weak. I understand that to believe it to simply do that – believe. But I feel like I’m drowning, thrashing about with no ability to think clearly enough to believe.

Test results were positive in that they found nothing wrong - negative in that there’s still no solution to the mystery. And suddenly I feel worse. I don’t know if it’s mental or physical. Feels like both. I want to say that I’m just experiencing a large amount of stress and my body is reacting to that. But really, I only say that so I don’t have to face anything more. I could pursue more tests, as my doctor recommended, but I’m afraid. I can’t live like this and hope for the best…but I’d rather. I’d rather act like all is well. But, alas, I’m too transparent. The Glamorous Life indeed.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Bottom 10

Things You Should Know:

Here are some Things You Should Know About Me before we proceed any further:
1. I love the drama
2. I have little to zero patience.
3. Make that Zero.
4. I’ve never felt the need (or understood the need) to “go out” to have fun.
5. I’m way more transparent than I’d like to be - to meet me is to know me.
6. This means I cannot disguise a bad day. Or moment.
7. This makes me angry.
8. I’m not the least bit interested in politics, although listening to talking heads babble on and on about politics makes me laugh.
9. These days, I’ll take whatever laughs I can get.
10. I feel blue. And not the “bad day” kind of blue that can be cured with a long nap, but the kind that hangs around and starts to mess things up. This scares me.

After reading these things, should you choose to continue being my friend, that would be most welcome.

Reason #41

Originally uploaded by tlatia.
Reason #41 Why I Love Ryan Illingworth:

He rocks.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Fish Face

It's been one month today since I've been married to Perfect Ryan. Oddly enough, in that one month we've faced more obstacles, pitfalls, trials and near misses than we did in the entire year that we dated. I've cried every single day of our marriage. (note to Internet: never once have I cried because of Ryan. He is perfectly perfect. It's more because of the aforementioned insanity and my own lack of emotional stability.) To say that we've started during a rouch patch is an understatement. Nothing that isn't overcomeable...just one thing after another. First, the honeymoon from hell that is still not entirely resolved. The yard of which we do not speak. Waiting for results. And many more interesting things that I shall not share in public (and would really rather not discuss in private). But all that to say, I've never been happier. Ever. I've never felt more at peace or more safe or relaxed. I've never felt more at home than I do now. Even in the midst of chaos and mysterious naggings that wake me in the middle of the night, I'm good. Because I'm with Ryan. My only fish.

Results: Part Two

Running the risk of being “one of those patients” I went ahead and called the dr.’s office this morning to scream WHAT IS THE DEAL WHERE ARE MY RESULTS HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO LIVE. I had to leave a message, of course, which only furthered my worry and pacing. I just got a call back from the nurse. She said the results won’t be in until tomorrow or Monday. MONDAY. My poor husband……he will have to deal with me for four more days. And a (hopefully long) lifetime after that.
I wonder what would happen if I went down to Dr. Woodall's office and waited. I wonder what she would do if I stood in her doorway, tapping my foot and sighing loudly. If I smacked my gum loudly and hummed without ceasing. And whistled. And cracked my knuckles. And made that annoying drip sound with my mouth. Man, I gotta learn how to make the drip sound.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Results are the hardest thing to wait for. At least to me. At least today. While waiting, I tend to conjure up every minute catastrophe that could be happening inside my body at this exact moment. I think about how I will break the news to family and friends. I think about how to deal with time away from work. I think about my new husband. I worry that it’s irreversible. Terminal. Tragic. But here’s the thing – there is no “it”. At least not right now. All there is, currently, is a mystery that’s yet to be solved. A pain with no purpose. A discomfort that’s persistent enough to have “tests run”. Sounds so deadly, “let’s run some tests”. Like it’s a phrase they learn in medical school – say this when you have no idea what to do. There’s no comfort there, no possibility of a nothing. Running tests means (to me) that there’s something wrong, but they won’t name it until the last possible moment. After you’ve updated your will and eaten an entire package of Chips Ahoy! because being overweight doesn’t matter when you only have a week to live. Even when the doctor says it’s probably nothing, I shiver. Even when the technician performing the “tests” says all is well, I shake. I can’t handle the open window of possibility. I love drama too much to assume the best and hope for nothing. Instead I feel sure that the skies have opened and plague and pestilence are sure to end my short days. The hardest part is knowing that the technician could see whatever it is, but would say nothing. I even asked…and she grimly replied, “your doctor will call you with the results”. Well my phone isn’t ringing! And now that I’ve had all this time to dwell on the worst case scenario, the doctor’s actual news will probably be welcome. Even if the “it” becomes a “something”, it will have to be better than what’s currently running through my mind.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday

Originally uploaded by Glamorous Jo.
I don't remember if I actually took this photo or if Ryan did - but either way, it's enough of a close-up to count. And I decided to post this because it's sort of (a lot) how I feel today. Freaked.