Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Count Down Begins

I finally finished my paperwork and googled the clinic for directions. I really can't believe that I have to do this and I'm terrified that I'll either get bad news or nothing when I go. I don't want to be told I need more tests before I can be told anything because I feel like there must be enough in my file by now to tell me a few things. 8 white blood cells were found in my spinal cord fluid when I had my lumbar puncture. Your immune system is not supposed to get through the blood brain barrier so this is a red flag. There were lesions on my brain MRI. I had a full course of optic neuritis in my right eye and a mild case that spontaneously resolved in my left eye. I have anecdotal evidence from late 2007 to represent a possible former attack. Just please don't tell me nothing can be said until more tests have been done, especially when this appointment is 90 minutes long.

I'll be a wreck, I know. Doesn't matter what he tells me, I'll be fucked up because we'll be talking about it and referring to prognoses and the future. I'm a strong person, I know, but there really is only so much a girl can take.

I took today and tomorrow off from work so that I can get my home in order since my mother will be staying with me. So far I've got the laundry done, the bathroom scrubbed, and the bedroom organized. If I'm smart, I'll move on to other chores just to keep my mind busy. But some things sink in no matter what you do.

I just want to get to the post diagnosis point in all of this. Technically I'm there, but knowing I have a disease without any more information and no treatment plan keeps me held in limbo and it is killing me. When I think about it, I get so scared I cry because I don't know what my new doctor is going to tell me. I don't know how I'll handle giving myself shots. I don't know anything and it scares me, makes me feel helpless, makes me feel weak and awful. I've even stopped researching it because I just don't want it in my head until I know more about my particular form of it.

And I know I have people I can call and talk to but I don't want to because all I'll do is cry and say how scared I am and be incoherent. This fucking sucks. I hate this. I hate fear and I hate uncertainty and I just can't always be as patient as I need to.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

God damn it.

Something happened in my life a week or so ago and I can't even talk about it here. Four people total know about it, three of whom live thousands of miles away and have received messages from me on fac

Monday, August 29, 2011

Teeter Totter

Things I should be doing

Cleaning
Writing letters (currently have three outstanding)
Doing laundry
Gym
Changing my sheets
At very least, putting my shoes away
Playing with John
Eating a real meal for dinner

Things I am doing

Watching television
Contemplating a nap
Contemplating a marathon bath
Fucking around on the internet
Having the right thoughts (re: need to be cleaning and changing sheets)
Eat toast with smart balance

Today was stupid and I'm glad I only have one more day at work. Hopefully this nice long break will get me back to my old self. I had a meeting today with the other admins and an ice breaker was "introduce yourself to our new members and tell us the worst job you have ever had." I came very close to saying "this one" but didn't for diplomacy sake.

But tomorrow will be better. I'm being super normal and having dinner and a movie with three chicks from work, two of which I've hung out with socially before. That's a normal person thing to do, right? We are going to see "The Help" because we read it for book club two months ago (or maybe three? I don't know, The Beautiful and Damned took two meetings to get through).

I really should do something with myself tonight but I don't think it is going to happen. I think the bath is going to win out only because a nap would ruin me for tomorrow and today was shitty, in part, because I stayed up until 1 last night watching "Four Brothers." So yeah, bath it is.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Silver and Gold

What's with places that flood and people having dinghies? Whenever there is a storm that causes flooding, there are always pictures of people in their little boats floating through their neighborhoods. Do people just have boats? I don't. My family never did. If we'd been flooded out, we'd have had to be rescued from our rooftop.

I feel both young and old this morning. Young because I have a weird hangover and hangovers are for the young. Here's why it is weird. I was hungover yesterday so I bought materials to make some Bloody Marys. Well, I've never made them before so I ended up getting drunk all over again. At 9 PM on a Saturday night, I was drinking water and coffee to try and get myself sober - not exactly the life of the party, this one. Woke up with a mouth tasting like a garbage disposal and some equilibrium problems. Have not turned on the lights but am sitting on my living room floor, surveying the fallout from this weekend (like a bomb went off) and thinking that I really need to take out the recycling.

Here is why I feel old. My friend from high school is part of a rap movement in my hometown. I wanted to download his music and so, last night, I went to his website and tried to do it. But I hit the wrong button and was asked for my credit card info. I entered it and was taken to a site that looked like a scam. So, basically, grandma here may have compromised her debit card because of the internet. I called my bank to cancel my card but their systems are down so I can't get a new one reissued until the chick I talked to this morning calls me back. Not a big deal. The card is canceled so if it was a scam, no one can use my money. And I'm still on J's account so I can just transfer funds and use my debit card for that account. But it is frustrating and annoying to know that I did this to myself.

Well, happy Sunday.

Friday, August 26, 2011

An open apology to someone who probably doesn't know they deserve one

As a rule, guys have never hit on me. More than once I've found out, years after the fact, that certain guys in high school or college had a thing for me but they never acted on it. I'm very good at subtly dissuading guys from making said move. It is a subconscious move on my part and one I've only just realized.

My family is not affectionate (save for my middle brother, who always struck my eldest brother and I as weird because affection was weird). We didn't really hug and it has only been in the last five years that we've verbally said "I love you." We do love one another and always have but it wasn't said. This happens in a lot of families and I don't think there is anything wrong with it. But we also had a lot of death and strange trauma when we were children and I think those two things led to my fear and/or dislike for being touched.

I used to think it was an emotional thing, that I didn't want people touching me because it was the crossing of an emotional boundary that had not been earned. A boyfriend could touch me because I had an emotional connection, and intimate connection. But a friend did not have the same rights.

But now I think I just never learned how to understand my body in relation to other bodies. What's more, I never understood, until just about now, that just because I view myself as a 12 year old, others do not. I know that I'm a thirty year old with a woman's body but I forgot that other people see that as well. It makes sense that other people would, perceiving me as such, expect me to behave as such. Things I say and ways in which I act are taken by external beings as behaviors and words of a grown woman, not an asexual twelve year old.

I am very inexperienced with men, an odd thing to say since I've been married four years and with the same man for seven. But my previous experience was with one guy from for three and a half years beginning when I was about eighteen.  I didn't date and so didn't really learn about how men and women interact in casual settings. That is a part of my education that has been neglected and it has really fucked up my interactions with men because I didn't understand that men would really consider me a woman and view me as such. Viewing myself as a 12 year old, I assumed everyone did.

This was naive and ridiculous. I spend so much time in my head that I am utterly oblivious to the reality of the external world. But as any police officer will tell you, ignorance is not an excuse.

So I was slow. I was a late bloomer as a child and, embarrassingly, as an adult as well as it has turned out. One can paint this in a positive light. "Oh, she is just so innocent and has a lovely world view." But that isn't true and isn't fair. Really, I was just skating through life on this 'oblivious pass' and put the work on other people. If you viewed me as an adult that was your problem as I never claimed the mantel; it isn't my fault I'm a thirty year old woman on the outside because I feel 12 on the inside. That is selfish and a cop out. It is also not taking accountability for my actions and words.

And it has led to misunderstandings in which I come out looking pristine and innocent and the other party as the wrong doer. But the truth is, there are no innocent bystanders in these sorts of misunderstandings and I invited you to walk into this mess, as much as I unwittingly led myself down the same path. I would feel like a con artist if I didn't feel so fucking stupid and embarrassed because for fuck's sake, I'm thirty years old and I didn't realize that other people viewed me as such? What the fuck is that? I'm not stupid. I don't know of any mental defects that would lead me to be THIS oblivious.

But there you have it. I am sorry for what has happened and my idiotic part in it. But I'm also grateful in a way because I've finally been brought to the present and if what happened hadn't happened, I might never have had my emotions and self-concept catch up with my chronological age. If nothing else, I know now to be careful and fair to other people and not carry on as though I'm twelve.

Cat

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The very funny thing is that I don't want to be with anyone right now. One side is assaulting me with jealousy; another is pushing me to reconcile with J; several others just want me to talk about it. Either that or MS. I have become the sum of the following parts:

  • Woman
  • Multiple Sclerosis Sufferer
  • Separated Wife

I don't get to be just me. There are a handful of people in my office, who when I speak with them in passing, do not ask me how things are going with J or else about the MS.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why I feel I need a straight jacket lately













I'm pretty sure this man intends to drive me insane. Or else he, himself, is battling with early onset dementia. Either way, there is a good chance I'll need a padded cell sooner rather than later. On Friday he asked me to set up two reviewers in a system I'll call B.S.N. (bullshit, now!)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Play, Work, Work Out

Gratuitous 
I watch a lot of bad television but I do have my standards. Programs I will not watch include "My Super Sweet 16" and "Outrageous Kids' Parties." I don't follow the Kardashians at all and so I will not be tuning in for footage of the absurd wedding that took place this weekend. It just seems in such poor taste, especially when we are in the worst economy since the Great Depression. That and I don't think it is cute or funny for teenagers or little kids to push their parents around and behave as 'divas.' Hell, I don't think it is cool for grown ups to act like 'divas.' Act like normal, decent human beings with some understanding of the terms compassion and empathy. People are still picking up the pieces of their lives due to hurricanes and earthquakes. $150 per invitation?

Corporation of my Discontent
I think I hate my job, but maybe it's just a phase. Everything seems to bother me and I seem to be looking for things to pick at and be pissy about. My boss keeps asking me to do things that have nothing to do with my job and things that I don't understand. He refuses to listen to me so sounds like a senile old man at least four times a week because he claims total ignorance to things like "oh, you still haven't received training on that?" and "I didn't know you didn't know how to do that."

I'm sick of being asked to do asinine things that have nothing to do with me. I was tasked with scheduling a year-end wrap meeting with one of our state clients. I don't work on that contract. I take the minutes once a month but I have nothing to do with the daily operations or with the people. Yet I was asked to coordinate it. I was also asked to contact person A to ask him to contact person B, as opposed to having person B contact person A directly. What the fuck? I'm already my bosses assistant, since when do I have to be fucking person B's assistant as well? Especially when we just hired someone who will work with person B part time?!?!?!?!

I'm growing really impatient and doubt I'm masking it well. I should probably be more aware of that sort of thing. But tomorrow is Wednesday so we are almost through this week and I'm only work two days next week so maybe I'll push back the resolution to have a better attitude until after the Labor Day weekend. Still, maybe it is just a phase and I'll get over it.

Continuing Misadventures at the Gym
I went to the gym at lunch today and ran 2.25 miles. I felt like I could either get on a treadmill or stroke out and I believe I made the right choice*. Running, or exercise in general, is a great stress reliever as everyone says. Today I needed it. I had planned on starting back at the gym yesterday but I hadn't slept so was feeling like ass. But today it just felt great. Except...

The last three times I've gone to the gym (once a week to my great shame), I've forgotten something. Three weeks ago I didn't have socks so had to run without bare feet in sneakers. It wasn't as bad as I feared, but I wouldn't recommend it. Last week? Forgot a pair of underpants. I had planned to go to the gym after work rather during but things changed and there I was, having showered, realizing I was going to have to go commando for the second half of my work day. Today it was a sports bra. I forgot a fucking sports bra. So the work out was great but then I had to spend the rest of the day in a damp regular bra being self conscious and annoyed.

Suffice it to say that the minute I got home, I changed out my gym bag and made sure I had every piece of under clothing necessary.

*I was running on said treadmill when people in my office reported feeling the earthquake that rattled the east coast so, no, I didn't feel it. I'm also slightly suspect of the claims but that is because I am a cynic.
So it is official: I despise my job. It seems like every day there is something new to piss me off about it, though I'm sure I'm at least somewhat 'looking' for things to be annoyed about. I'm annoyed about being asked to do things that should be handled by people in different departments (why I'm in charged of scheduling a conference with a state client when I don't work for that client, I don't know) and being asked to do things that I've made clear I have no clue about (build a computer out of an old AM/FM stereo, a coat hanger, some d-volt batteries, and a few twist ties). I'm sick and tired of my fucking boss not listening to me (told him twice on Friday that I needed him to be the point of contact for some people and he still called me at home to ask why I hadn't contacted them) and asking me to contact person A to ask him to contact person B (as opposed to person B contacting person A directly). I'm sick of his pompous attitude, his gross incompetence, and his ridiculous attitude. He's an OK friend but a shitty fucking manager and I can't believe I have to actually report to him. Whilst I do make more money now and my transition was to a somewhat higher role in the company, moving from my old department was a huge mistake.

Well, maybe not entirely a mistake. After all, it wasn't all sunshine and glitter in my old position because I often wanted to kill my coworker or fork myself in the eyeball then as well. But at least I could rely on my manager to be a decent human being and know what she was doing. This guy, my god. Half the time I am given no explanation why he is asking me to work on things that are technically outside my job description and my company. He has no idea of what I have been and have not been trained on and just assumes I know everything. Makes me want to kick him in the balls.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Coffee

I had coffee with my male kin twin yesterday. I initiated it because it bothered me that the bulk of our friendship has been email based and I started to feel like a 14 year old boy who whose good friends were all made through online gaming. We don't chat much in the office because he is super busy and I have my cubicle set up in such a way to not invite intimate tete a tetes. I may be talkative and social, but I need my space. Plus, we talk about some personal stuff that isn't appropriate for eaves dropping and if I routinely went into his office and closed the door, like I do my old boss, people would start to talk (that's fine for me but I'm not about to let a friend become gossip fodder.)

So we met up at Starbucks (the first time he has ever been in one; seriously, kid is older than me by quite a few years and needed me to hold his hand and suggest a drink and explain that medium is grande in Starbucks language. Not his fault... I'm pretty sure it has been a week since he left Amish Country). We ended up staying for four hours, swapping office bullshit, telling stories, and talking a bit about my situation with J. Kin Twin has laid very good odds on the outcome and has wagered $100 that we'll get back together in less than six months.

It was very nice and didn't feel at all like four hours, but I knew I'd have to tell J. I didn't that night, waiting instead to tell him today at lunch. I knew he'd be upset but I need him to get his head around the idea that I can have male friends, just as he has female friends. I told him that I was really grateful that he had N, his close female friend, and that the reason I bring her up isn't because I'm jealous but because I'm trying to make him understand that his jealousy and anger regarding KT is unfair, as well as irrational. And I let him know that the reason I was telling him was because it would have caused more problems if I'd held my tongue. He admitted that if he'd some how found out in another way, he'd have just speculated and thought the worst.

This all happened at an odd time. Last week, SB (former boss), asked me for my address so that she can send an invitation for her daughter's wedding reception. Knowing my current situation, she tactfully told me that it would be an invitation for plus 1. I emailed J and let him know and told him I was extending a courtesy invite. Even if we were together and things were fine, he wouldn't want to go. There will be a handful of work people there so I'll have people to talk to but the rest will be strangers. J would be there and bored out of his mind. But it would have been wrong to not invite him. He responded that he appreciated it but it wasn't his thing... unless I was going to go with KT instead or KT was going to be there, in which he would totally be there. I sent him a nasty email telling him that he was disinvited and that he had lost the right to know who I would be going with. I also asked him how N's pussy was and asked if it was difficult having her live so far away. After all, according to J, the only reason to have good friendships with girls if you are a guy is because you want to fuck her. I told him that just because he knows his jealousy is irrational, it doesn't mean I have to put up with it.

It wasn't the best way to deal with the situation, I admit that. But it has been seven years and if he thinks I'm the type to cheat, that is an insult. And if he thinks I'm so naive and stupid to accidentally suck someone's dick, well, that is an insult as well. And he an N are pretty tight and talk about relationship stuff. How is it anything but hypocritical to think I can't have a male friend?!?!

But my hanging out with KT on Saturday did, certainly, occur at a weird time. I'm just glad that J seemed to understand me when I explained it. He was very obviously upset, but he didn't say anything. Oh shit. J tried to fuck me and I turned him down because sex with him right now is uncomfortable to me. But I probably should have done it anyway, just so he wouldn't wonder.

Oy. Looks like I have an email to send.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Well That Was Heavy

This post will be as silly as the last was serious. You know what I wish? That I had stronger vocal chords.

One of my recurring dreams (in that I've had it multiple times, not every night, but every so often), and one I'm sure many have had, is this: I'm scared. Either someone is attacking me or I'm threatened by a villain who has not yet spotted me. I'm terrified and I want to run away but I'm rooted to the spot. Or else, I want to scream for help but no sound will come out.

Should this happen in real life, I know I'd be able to run for it. Sure, I'd probably be shot in the back or else overcome by my assailant and stabbed to death, but I would not be immobile. But if my life depended on my ability to scream for help, I'm certain I'd be a goner. There are not many occasions in which we find ourselves screaming, but they do crop up. Sometimes we are trying to get peoples' attention in a crowded room. Other times we are trying to scream above an argument to try to get people to listen to reason. Hell, maybe we're just watching a football game. No matter what the reason, we all yell and scream. But when I do it, I sound like Peter Brady when he was at the awkward puberty stage. My voice is simply a high pitched strained noise, nothing fierce, nothing strong, nothing to take seriously.

I also cannot make fun of heavy metal music's penchant for 'Cookie Monster' vocals because my chords don't allow it. I can start off fairly strong but I can't even make it through a sentence before I need to stop. I would make a terrible metal singer as well a terrible gangsta rapper. Don't worry, these dreams were crushed long ago and I've reconciled myself to it.

The irony is that I'm a loud and talkative person. I didn't start talking until I was three. By that time, I was a year past the date when I broke my head open when I fell on a glass topped coffee table. My mother informed me later in life that she feared I was retarded. Instead, I just showed my innate leanings towards laziness. I had two older brothers. All I had to do was point at something and they'd grab it and tell me all about it. My first words, according to Mom, were "what's that?" I guess M and S weren't around to fill me in.

But once I started talking, I never stopped. It isn't something I'm proud of; rather, it is something I continuously try to curb .But I end up babbling because I'm half way through a dialogue, realize I sound like an idiot, but have to finish or else announce "I sound like an idiot and am embarrassed so I'm going to shut up now."

Perhaps if I had stronger vocal chords I could cut myself off when sounding ridiculous and just throw out "I'm a mother fucking monster" with some degree of respectability.

Honesty

I've grown very comfortable with my current situation. I love living by myself and always missed it, as I only experienced for a year before J and I moved in together. It feels like a leaden straight jacket has been removed from my body and I am light and free again.

Having someone constantly around to know what I am doing and when, has always bothered me.When I finally learned how to drive and got a car at the age of 22, I was ecstatic. It isn't that I had some exciting or debauched plans lined up; it was that I could go to a store and buy a pack of gum without it relying on or being the business of anybody but me. I didn't have to wait for my mother to get home from work or to be ready to go out. I didn't have to worry about the trip taking longer because she might want to make other stops or do a full on grocery shop. And I was able to escape and be totally alone with regards to people I knew. I could even take aimless drives around town, feeling the joy of driving and taking in the scenery, without having to answer to anybody or entertain them. I still do that from time to time, just get into my car and just drive, although these days when I buckle up I do have a momentary feeling of guilt and wastefulness due to the price of gas.

When I lived at home with my family, I spent an inordinate amount of time in my bedroom. My mother and brothers would ask me what I was doing in there all the time and I'd just reply "nothing" because I truly wasn't doing anything remarkable. I was reading, writing in my journal, watching television (someone gave me one for a holiday or my birthday), listening to music, moving furniture around, and playing endless games of solitaire or attempting to build playing card houses. I really wasn't up to anything. I just preferred to be by myself and I really, really, really like my privacy. My mother would make me come downstairs and spend time with the family on occasion, probably because she worried for my mental health. But sitting in the living room for two hours to watch a movie was horrific for me. I felt trapped and stuck and bound by the minutes that ticked slowly past. I just wanted to be alone.

And it wasn't that I didn't like them. My family and I have always been off and on but the on times are filled with fun, laughter, wit, and incredible enjoyment. Things were rough growing up but my brother M and I did have our moments. It hasn't changed now either. I enjoy spending some time with my family but for most of the year, I don't keep in touch with them at all and they don't reach out to me. And I think that is fine. I used to make some efforts but they weren't returned and I got really upset. But now I'm fine with it because that is who we have always been. Maybe I'll see my family once a year, maybe once every other year. This is an odd time because my mother will be here at the end of August so I will see her twice in two months. But that is an anomaly and anything but the norm.

So having my apartment all to myself every morning and every evening is like being home alone for a weekend when I can stay shut up in my tiny bedroom for as long as I like. Nobody to worry that I'm doing something weird or dangerous, nobody to be nosy about what exactly it is that I'm doing, and, most importantly, nobody to judge me.

I am also OK with the separation. I'm not sad about it anymore, or embarrassed. It had to happen or else J and I were going to either totally implode or lead highly unsatisfactory lives. We both need to figure out if we want to be with one another but only after we figure out who we are. I think J is having an incredibly rough time and I think he is scared of losing me.. I'm having a less drastic version of self discovery. Where J is feeling a heavy weight of sadness due to his isolated lifestyle, I am feeling a certain joy in remembering who I am and what I like to do, even if that just means I'm rearranging furniture (seriously, I did that a lot as a kid). And while he is worried about losing me, I'm not. It isn't that I'm so confident in myself that I know he wouldn't leave me, but that if we don't work out I think I will be OK. Not at first, of course, but eventually. It would be incredibly sad and I might just be high on this solitude thing, but I feel I would be much more OK with our not working out than our trying to be together when we aren't happy. Not happy with ourselves and not happy with each other. And right now, I'm not happy with the man I married because he isn't the same person. The J today is one who has been gutted by an academic program that looks much like indentured servitude. I don't feel strength or confidence from him, just fear and sadness and a lethargy that keeps him from trying to improve his life and his situation. This is a stark contrast to the J I met in 2003, the one who was putting himself out there for fear of becoming a hermit, who was asking out any and every girl he felt like regardless of the chance of being rejected. He might have been faking his confidence then but I'd take that over the total lack of confidence today.

And as I told my friend recently, if you aren't at least as strong as I, it means I will have to carry you as well. And I can't do that anymore. I have too much to deal with on my own to have to carry your weight as well. I have this disease. I have begun to despise my job. I have realized that I've let too many years go by wasted. I cannot enable you or make your decisions. We all have to go after what we want ourselves. For the first time in my life, I am finally living for myself and not others. I'm putting myself first and letting me matter. I'm not being selfish, indulgent, or irresponsible, but looking after myself and worrying about my own happiness and well being. I feel like no one has ever done that before but I don't blame them because I always made it so easy. My mother would ask if I was OK or needed anything and I'd lie and say I was fine so as not to be a burden. She isn't a mind reader so what was I to expect? This isn't about blaming others but accepting my responsibility and moving on.

If I move on with J by my side, fantastic. If I move on by myself, so be it. But I am no longer content simply standing still.

Sometimes I Fucking Hate My Job


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Days in Bits

Tuesday

Part One
Work.
Return phone calls.
Make phone calls.
Return emails.
Send emails.
Volunteer at company car wash.
Get frustrated at company car wash's lack of organization.
Fume as continue volunteering.
Greet end of shift with miserable glee.

Part Two
Stop at gas station upon leaving car wash.
Realize have left wallet at home.
White knuckle it during the drive home.
Sit on sofa.
Get yelled at by guinea pig.
Grab wallet, hit up gas station, go to pet store.
Come home and clean up guinea pig’s cage.

Part Three
Take shower.
Receive email from upstairs neighbor apologizing if his knocking disturbed me at that hour (10:30)
Go up to upstairs neighbor’s apartment.
Return to own apartment with upstairs neighbor.
Proceed to chat with neighbor about chemistry, military, debt crisis, and healthcare.
Go to bed (after wishing neighbor good night, not with neighbor)
Toss
Turn
Give up and read
Eventually fall asleep but not until body has made it clear that I’m fucked with regards to this sleep thing again.

Wednesday (Today)

Part One
Wake up before alarm with weird ear/head pain
Attempt to make ear/head feel better with rearrangement of pillows
Hit snooze.
Give up, get up, grab computer and make sure this pain is not symptomatic of MS.
Throw hay at guinea pig.
Eat breakfast.
Ablutions.
Grab bag and head out.
Stop at library to return book.
Stop at bank to withdraw cash.
Realize when half way to work that have forgotten to pack anything for lunch.
Drive by the office.
Stop at Kroger.
Buy something for lunch, soda, and gummy worms.

To be continued…

Monday, August 15, 2011

Word Pictures

I just left J's place where he kindly let me take a shower. I thought not having hot water all weekend was bad enough but this morning I found out it won't be fixed until tomorrow so I quickly considered my options:

  1. Cold shower. No thank you. I took one on Saturday and again yesterday (only without washing my hair the second time). 

  2. Go to one of the vacant units maintenance is making available to residents of my and the other affected building. Tempting but felt I would have to constrain myself to some time limit, be around other people waiting to shower, and so on and so forth. I also wonder if there would be a shower curtain. 

  3. Go to the gym. I did that once the last time my hot water was out and I felt conspicuous and low rent.

  4. Go to J's apartment (he'd offered when this first started). 

So to J's apartment I went with my little bag of toiletries and a towel. The warm water was just lovely! I did feel a bit shabby about showering and then dipping out but I really didn't want to stay. I don't feel comfortable just hanging out in his apartment. Going to lunch or out for a drink is fine, but not just sitting on his bed feeling weird. He has grown more depressed lately and that is difficult to be around (calm down, I'm not some callous bitch who thinks people need to just snap out of it and be rainbows and glitter; J's depression and isolation are things he has suffered with for years and there is only so much a girl can take when he doesn't seem to do anything about it). 

One bright spot is that I had taken today off from work anyhow and so didn't need to be too clean.  My boss seemed to forget or disregard the fact that I was on paid leave and so texted me with an urgent request at 11:30 in the morning. I studiously ignored said text until, mmm, maybe 2? And even then I didn't do what he'd asked but just a lesser version, something far less laborious. After all, I put in 3+ hours on Sunday and today was a day off. Granted, I'm going to go back in and do some work on this report I need to complete, but that is something I decided I would use my weekend for, not some out of the blue request. So there.

Those 3+ hours of working actually took place in my home office, something I'm very pleased about. It means that I was not sitting in the recliner watching television all damned day. I needed to get my office into shape so that I would be comfortable in it for that reason. It is so easy to sit in the recliner with my laptop and work with bad TV in the background. Tearing myself away was the best thing for me - and admittedly, very easy because it was Sunday and TV is unwatchable during most of the day. Not that I didn't find a couple of episodes of "Jersey Shore" to be somewhat educational on Saturday, but the very fact that I put that program on speaks volumes.

Fortunately, I don't think I did permanent damage to myself with the cold showers and relentless reality television as I was recently complimented on my articulation. So as long as I can still say stuff good, I might could watch me just a bit more on the moving picture box.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cold Showering It

I spent this morning being depressed and staying in bed.Super healthy, right? I had the most disturbing dreams and yet, each time I woke up, I thought "meh, let's try this again." Eventually, ravenous hunger took over and forced me to get out of bed around 3:30. I texted J to see if he was up for the pub and headed out. Our pub, devastatingly, was closed for plumbing issues so we had to go to plan b across the street.

By the time I got home, I realized that I needed to pull my head out of my ass and get my shit together. I was ready to take hold of myself and went to wash the dishes when I found I had no hot water. A call to the maintenance weekend line was a bummer. They already had a report and I will not have hot water until Monday afternoon. Really, life? Here I pulled myself out of bed and decided I needed to get my shit together and start moving on with life and now this?

Other people are more outraged than I. I've been in this complex for three years and I've had continual issues with the hot water. At this point, I feel like a home owner. Yes, it is very frustrating but let's face it, the maintenance people can't do anything about it. Will I call the rental office on Monday and ask about compensation and why was I not notified when the issue presented itself? Hell yes. But am I going to be irate and unreasonable? Nah. I'll just take my cold showers and, if I need to, go to the gym and shower there (need to use my costly membership for something, after all).

I just really think this is stupid.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dun Un Un Un Un Un Un Un...Batman!!

I received an email from my health insurance carrier this evening. It was just letting me know that I had an EOB available for viewing. So I viewed it. Amazingly, all of my ER visits and various tests have been covered by my insurance and co-pays. Unfortunately, J owes just under $500 for his sleep studies and sleep apnea. I emailed him a PDF copy to let him know and told him I'd help with the cost if needed. His response was "thanks." I don't know what I expected from him but that rankled me, probably just because I am hyper sensitive just now. But really? No "wow, glad you don't have a ton of loot due to having a spinal tap and CT and MRI." No "glad you aren't n the hole for more given the number of appointments you've had." I have been incredibly worried about what I might expect in medical bills and so was relieved to see it was all covered.. All I get is 'thanks.'


But he doesn't know so why be upset. It was a business-like transaction and he doesn't owe me anything. I really do believe I am being hyper sensitive because of the news I received yesterday. Take it in stride like everything else.

I wore my Thundercats shirt to my meeting this morning. Hey, it's casual Friday and there are no words, just a symbol on my shirt. I was once again surprised by the total ignorance from all the other attendees. One woman had heard of Thundercats but didn't know the details. Come on! Some of the people have kids my age and others are my age. How can you not know about this show? We had a fun little conversation about this and what He-Man is before someone brought the meeting to order, acknowledging that she was bringing an end to a raucous discussion. The best part was that when I was leaving the parking garage, the attendent saw my shirt and said "I see your shirt; are you watching the new version?" The attendant knew the show! And he watches it! He has kids in their early 20's and so that is why he knows it, he said. I was surprised. I thought it was a show people my age an a bit older knew,  not early 20's. But whatev, Thundercats lives on.

I'm watching the original Batman on BBC America, for the second time (back to back). What a fabulous movie this is! Have you gone back and watched it? Wonderful. But why the fuck did Bruce Wayne spend money on things like a plane shaped like a bat? Is there an aerodynamic design strategy that came into play or was it just in keeping with his moniker? It crashes in this movie and so I have to wonder if he'll make another one. Really, doesn't seem worth it to me. And Vicky Vale, can we stop with the screaming? I get it, you are startled and scared but screaming? Tired of it. Why not throw out an expletive.

Other than that, doing fine. I'm being very prodigious in my blog posts today, aren't I? An odd restlessness, an expanse of free time, and self obsession, I believe.

Oh, and I friended my male kin twin on facebook, which I'm sure would incense J. That isn't why I did it. J has female friends from school and yet he insists that Kin Twin is just angling to fuck me. I once asked J if that was why he was such good friends with N, because he hoped to fuck her, and he got annoyed. I wasn't serious, just pointing out that if you tell me the only reason a guy talks to a woman is because he wants pussy, I am going to ask if that is why you talk to a woman. Kin Twin doesn't want to fuck me. We just have lots in common and we amuse one another. But I suppose I'll have to tell J just so he isn't surprised or taken aback. I said in a recent post that I don't understand women who don't like women and get along better with men. That isn't me. I think I relate better to women because I am a woman but I also enjoy my friendships with guys. It has nothing to do with pricks and twats but everything to do with personalities. I would very much like to ask Kin Twin to come with me when I get my tattoo just so I have a friend there but I have to wonder what J would think. J doesn't want to attend my first clinic visit so I doubt he'd want to be there for a tattoo. But it is a sticky issue.

Well, back to batman.

Low Budget Life and Style Be Damned

Kin Twin and I recently discussed pop culture when I asked if he knew anything about certain reality tv programs. Last night, I began watching "The Real Housewives of New York" on demand. Seriously, my television watching could lead me to keep a TV blog. But the real housewives are hilarious and I'm in love. I'm working from home today and as I format minutes from a meeting this morning, I'm watching the reunion special. Have you ever listened to a number of women talk and argue all at one time? Like squawking chickens! It's fabulous! If I had started earlier in the season, I would have submitted a question for the reunion. What would I have asked?

"What do you think about the United States losing its triple A credit rating and do you think the government would have decided to revisit the issue in six months if it wasn't an election year?"
Of course, no one would want to know their answers. But come on!! These bitches are arguing about the dumbest shit and they are all so privileged and fortunate and their problems are being treated with the same attention as would be given at a Geneva convention.

The other show I've fallen in love with is MTV's "Awkward." Have you seen this? Super fun. I think this is the first teenage drama/show/thing that I've seen in which the main character is not popular but there is an acknowledgment that she isn't a total social outcast. And while some of the dialogue seems totally contrived (skadoodlze?), these kids say things like "tits", which I appreciate. Obviously, you aren't going to hear real language, even on a cable program, so it is really nice to at least hear 'tits' rather than 'boobs' or some euphemism. And they are extremely current with their material. The second episode featured the mean cheerleader taking a cell phone picture of the protagonist's tits when she was changing in the locker room and sending it viral. Super current and it was NOT handled in an after school special way but dealt with what kids really care about. Teenagers don't think about sexual predators or long term consequences. They think about everyone in their school seeing the picture and making fun of them. So well done, MTV.

So yeah, that's what I did with myself yesterday, found new shows to entertain me. Hey, when you have a lot of time on your own, you have to do something.

I feel myself slipping away in some respects. I know who I am and what I am like but I fear that I am losing some of it. It sounds ridiculous, but I don't think I've watched so much tv as I am now in the last 12 years. I joke about it and make fun, but it is so unlike me. I fear that some of my fun and strength are being stripped way because I am so emotionally taxed right now. I've been through a lot in my time, death, abuse, homelessness, but it all happened before I was fully grown up. Now, when I have a better understanding of things, life, emotions, etc, I'm hit with a disease, a separation, and news that my disease is 'active.' And some of me is just too weak to remain intact. I don't know what to do...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Life

I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband I was diagnosed with MS and I am separated from my husband

Next thing you know, it'll want a coming out party

The neuro-ophthalmologist should have a sign outside his door reading "The only news you get from me is shitty news." My right eye (the bad one) is doing really well. The neuritis is healing up very well but there is permanent damage done that is irreversible. Blow one to my hitherto good spirits. But, to an extent, I was kind of prepared for this. I know that when your immune system attacks the myelin around nerves and then another part decides to try and fix it, the fix isn't good as new. It's like putting a patch over a hole in your tire instead of buying a new one. It works OK, but it isn't the same thing.

Blow two was much harder to swallow. Remember that healthy left eye? It's been all swagger and bombast the last few weeks. Four weeks ago when I saw my neuro-ophth, there were signs of some decline in this eye but I was told not to worry too much because this sort of thing happens; the good eye spontaneously declines and repairs for no known reason. No big deal. Liar! There are signs of permanent damage to my so-called good eye as well, which means I probably had a mild neuritis in it as well, which spontaneously repaired itself. The damage isn't as bad as in my right eye, but that isn't the point. The point, ladies and gentleman, is that if there was a mild neuritis there as well, my disease is active.

I find this upsetting though I'm not sure why. I wasn't expecting this news, thought I'd just saunter in and out of this appointment with some nice visual field tests under my belt and that would be that. Nope! Present disease activity! Oh boy! This will certainly influence how my neurologists decides to treat my particular form of MS and there isn't anything I can do about it so calm down, right? And considering that I'm not even sure why I'm upset about this, I figure I won't actually be upset for very long.

And that was my Thursday.

Thursday's child gets all the candy this week

Pleasant Surprise
I suddenly realized that today is Thursday, not Wednesday as I seemed to think. This is the best thing that has happened to me at work this week. Do you ever do that, forget what day it is and have it work out in your favor? I often *feel* like it is Thursday when it is Tuesday or something like that, *feel* like it is later in the week than it is. Rarely am I so delightfully wrong and find myself closer to the weekend than previously thought. Well done, Thursday, well done.

This couldn't have happened on a better day seeing as I overslept and had to make a mad dash to work this morning. Evidently the lady in the Ford Focus woke up in plenty of time given her speed of 50 mph on 315 north. It is always incredibly frustrating to be running late when the rest of the world seems to be early or on time based on the speed of traffic. But I was only 15 minutes late and I've been making up time throughout the week and will work into the evening to further make up time as I have yet another follow up appointment with my neuro-ophthalmologist this afternoon. I'm pretty sure I've gone to various doctors' offices eleven times since June 4, a frequency rivaling that of the elderly. I'm hoping this will be my last visit to this particular specialist until next year since I'll be going to the MS Clinic on September 2. Surely they can take care of my MS-related visual disturbance (which is pretty much done at this point). This is actually my second MD appointment this week as I saw my GP on Monday so I could fork over some money to get my fucking prescriptions refilled for a six-month check up. As much as I like my GP, I'm going to break up with her just to get rid of the co-pay and twice annual visits. I like my gynecologist more (sorry GP!) so I'll just see if she can act as my primary. Let's face it, if I'm letting you stick things into my vagina, I am obviously trusting you. If I don't have an intimate and loving relationship with you and I'm letting you stick foreign objects into the old girl, I'm most likely trusting you with my health. Therefore, I think you can handle my thyroid condition and mental madness.

All Dressed Up Like I Was Going to Walmart

Have you seen the Giant Eagle Market District? This is a humongous grocery store with an eat in cafe, Willy Wonka type candy aisle, and a fantastic wine and beer section. It even has a soda fountain of wine! I went there a few weeks ago and fell in love, so much so that I was all eager and excited to go again last night. Granted, I just hang out in the wine, prepared food, and flower section because I'm not big on crowds, but the possibilities of what I might be able to do if I crossed the threshold between produce and the rest of the store keep me wanting to go back again and again. The first time I went, I did a little walk through with J and saw a make-your-own-vinaigrette station near what appeared to be a fairly large international foods section. I could make a curry dish! Or samosas! Or maybe a fresh pasta dish! Not that I would of course, but I could, the options are there for me now. The coffee/tea aisle looked pretty wicked as well. I really need to get over my fear of being crowded/need an exit at all times/fake ass agoraphobia so that I can explore this place. The puffy, solid-yellow, sunflowers I bought last night are lovely, but they aren't going to feed this girl (and if I'm honest, neither is the turkey and swiss sandwich I purchased).

The funniest thing about this place is that I treat going there like an event. "Any plans for the weekend?" "Yes, I'm going to the Market District!" It's just so big that it feels like a mall and I could probably get lost in there for a really long time. It's like how people treat Whole Foods or Trader Joe's; it isn't just a store, it's an experience. God damn, Giant Eagle must have hired a really good marketing expert because I can't believe I just referred to a grocery store, which sells tampons, plungers, fish, and trash bags, as "an experience."  But maybe I should turn this blog into a low budget 'life and style' type of thing. I could write opinion pieces about my favorite 'hot spots' in the city from The Market District to the various locations of "Half Price Books", where they never have what I want and, as J once said "people go to fart in public." I could delve into the 'style' portion by writing long and involved articles about the $20 dresses that can be found at Target and how best to sort through the nightmare of a Kohls sales rack. There would, of course, be a special piece detailing my own personal wardrobe with the year of purchase listed for each item (the jeans I'm wearing now? at least three years old). I could even expand into the culinary world and give tips on how to subsist on string cheese, oatnut bread, smart balance, and fruit roll ups. A low rent Martha Stewart, if you will.

I suppose if this office gig I have doesn't work out, I could give that a shot. And, just to add some color to this post, here is a cartoon I drew this morning and sent to my former boss upon receiving notice from a client that we will be receiving a case in a specialty I will now have to recruit. Happy Thursday!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

All I really want is (GIRLS!)...


I think most people have met a woman who openly claims to dislike other women. Whilst they generally have female friends, they state that they get along better with men and prefer their company. They have their reasons. Women are catty. They are backstabbers. Women are gossips. And so on and so on. This bothers me, probably because I am a woman and because I consider myself a feminist. If women cannot support and embrace one another, how are we to ever achieve equal status to men?

Today I felt one of my rare angers towards my own gender. John, a very good friend of mine who I respect, admire, and trust, informed me that Jane told him that she'd been told by June that I'd related some salacious anecdote from his high school days. I've been thinking about this ever since John told me and it has bothered me greatly, to the point that he actually felt bad for having told me because I was so irate (regardless of the fact that HE IS THE VICTIM HERE). 

Yes, women do gossip and talk behind each other behind their backs. But so do men. I know from experience that men are just as bad about it but they are more direct. A man might say "Carl told me, George, that ...." But women? Not necessarily. Jane wouldn't tell John any of the specifics, not what the story was or from whom she'd heard it. All she related was that John need be careful with what he tells me. This means that John cannot go to the source and find out what exactly I'd said or when. It means I cannot verify it with the source. It also means that neither of us can know for certain if this story is true or if it is going to go round the office. 

All I was able to do was assure John that he would not have such reports in the future, that I was sorry for whatever trust I betrayed, and that I wish I could do more than just give words. Bloody fucking frustrating, yes? 

Finding myself in this position is indescribably frustrating. I have to wonder:
  1. What did I let slip? Usually I am a secret's best friend but I know one occasion in which I almost fucked over a friend (I said something about my BFF being happier once she got to Florida before she told her boss that she would be moving. Her boss did not hear so it wasn't an issue but I still feel bad about that to this day).

  2. Who did I trust that I shouldn't have?

  3. Is this true? Did someone recount something I'd told them or did they get confused or outright lie? 

The story had to do with John's high school days, of which I believe I know nothing.  That isn't good enough for me because I automatically think "it must have been college then" but I can't imagine what I'd have told someone about John's college days and I only can think of one anecdote from them that I've only related to J. Part of me wants to walk away and say "well, that's all wrong because I don't know anything about high school and I know so little about college" but I don't know what was said so I can't help but think I fucked up.

John and I work in an office with just over 100 people, most of them women. I've known John for four years and we've been friends for maybe 7 months. My gut tells me that this information came from either woman A, who is a liar, or woman B, who has given misinformation by mistake in the past (if you are reading "john", she told a client that your office neighbor used to dress up in the Rocky Horror outfits for the movie nights all because she saw a picture [your office neighbor simply dressed up for Halloween once]).

The reason I give date spans is simple. I'm a gossip of sorts. People who know me in the office know that I make it my business to find out what is going on. But I don't mean personal shit, I mean business bullshit. I know which department is rife with malcontent and HR calls. I know who is on the shit list and who is behaving badly. I also know the very few people who are not what they seem (few, as I said, fortunately). I gather this information for myself because I'm fucking nosy as Hell. I share it with a select few individuals (two, basically) and none of it has anything to do on a personal level because that isn't what I care about. Work is work. Yes, there are people I care about on a personal level but mainly I don't. Those I don't care for on a personal level I only care about, gossip-wise, on a business level and if I learned anything about them in the personal realm, I'd keep it to myself. So why would I spread something about John?

And honestly, and I've told him, John has some good stories but, in the office, the satisfaction of talking about them pales beyond belief to the office gossip I have.

Because there are so many more women in the office, I have to assume that June, the source, is a woman. I fear I may never know the truth to this matter and that may be fine. John has moved past it but I can't because I need to know if this broad is spreading this beyond Jane, if this is going to be a much larger rumor. I'm hoping that maybe someone just said "Cat said John has been being a dick lately" because that would be awesome and John would probably understand how it was misinterpreted etc. But I won't know for some time and, as I've said before, not knowing when you are a control freak is a hellish nightmare.

So I get to wait and see. I hope it goes no further. If John hears from anyone else, I'm fucking going to Jane and asking her who her source is so that I can approach them. If he doesn't, I'll be good to go because I'm not saying shit to anyone. But having this small reputation as a gossip of personal information kills me and I don't like it.Especially because it involves someone else. It's one thing to have my reputation smuttied without bringing someone else into it.

Mainly, I just wish people would act right in my office. We aren't a sorority house filled with girls all on our periods. We are a business with multiple departments and I interact with most of the people so seldom that I should be able to ferret this out. We'll see and if I get answers, I will definitely let you know.

**Update**
Well, it wasn't my old boss. I felt it might be only because I go into her office and chat frequently. But, as I told John, when we have real gossip, we whisper and shut the door. But I called old boss just to make sure and she told me that not only does she not talk to Jane about anything other than business stuff, but she knows nothing fun enough about John to gossip about. The list has one knocked off.

Impunged

What the fuck is going on with this week? It is only Tuesday and already I've been faced with two occasions where my reputation has been, in some way, slandered.

The first happened yesterday. Last week, most of the higher ups were at training meetings off site. My boss called me on Thursday when he had a break to ask how things were going and to check his schedule, etc. At that time he told me that GM and VP had both inquired after me. I thought that was nice and thanked him for letting me know. And then he brought it up again yesterday when we met to catch up in his office. Only this time he didn't simply say these two gentleman asked after me but ended it with "don't worry, I made a point of telling them you weren't going to be the next You Know Who" referring to a woman notorious for claiming to be working at home when she is out playing tennis or having lunches with friends instead. This implied that GM and VP had questioned my work of late or had mentioned that they'd noticed I'd been slacking. Either that, or Boss was planting that seed in their heads.

VP I didn't worry about because I don't think he cares. But GM is Bosses boss and that does matter. So I emailed him last night and let him know that there was no question of my misusing time and that I had cancelled planned trips in order to ensure I'd have paid leave available. I received a very nice reply stating that it wasn't an issue and that any questions regarding me were simply to express concern on a personal level. I told him I'd like to kick Boss in the shins first thing this morning.

That cleared up, I was all ready to delve into my work this morning when I received an email from someone that, in a very nice way, said "can you not blab about the person shit I tell you to others in the office?" Someone told this person that she'd been told by someone else that I'd shared a personal story from dude's high school days.

1: I collect gossip but I don't share it save for with a few select individuals and then it is only work-related BS, not personal things;
2: I don't have stories from dude's high school days;
3: I don't have the same friends as the person who told him this so I have no idea who the source is.

Not having the source means I cannot get to the bottom of it without approaching the person who went to my friend. Not having the source also means I don't have any idea of their trustworthiness and I don't know if they are telling other people similar things.

It is easily and immediately remedied, of course, by my not gathering my beloved office gossip. I haven't had much time for it anyway, though, so that won't be hard. That's the other weird thing; this person evidently brought it up to the tattle tale this week or last week and I haven't had much time away from my desk so far. But that doesn't really matter. I'll just stick to my cubicle and not bother. It's frustrating but that's life. Why people can't be direct and go to the source I don't know. We are all supposed to be grown ups, aren't we? And telling A that you heard from C that D was saying 1 2 or 3 is gossiping about D so you are now no better.

Grr. Grow up people! Or at least leave me out of it!

Monday, August 8, 2011

I've had better beginnings to my weeks in the past. This one has started off with a forgotten about physician's appointment (including blood draws) and a cranky dick of a boss. Very nice. 

The weekend wasn't so hot either, though it wasn't necessarily bad. I just watched a ton of DVDs (Murder, She Wrote, The King's Speech, Unknown, and The Other Guys [for the 700th time]), did chores, stayed up wicked late, and puttered around. Not exactly engaging with life these days, am I? I plan on making much better use of my next weekend, especially as I've taken off Monday and am working from home most of Friday (unless my cranky boss decides there is some reason I need to come into the office after our external meeting). I don't know how I'll spend my time but I definitely think I need to cool things off with the television. We've become clingy towards one another and our relationship just isn't healthy anymore. Perhaps I'll finish The Beautiful and Damned for book club (dude, right? I know, who the fuck reads F. Scott Fitzgerald for a work book club?)

I should probably also go back to the gym since I'm still paying for it. And maybe just take a few walks outside (walking to the store does not count). I'm at risk of becoming a creepy hermit who emerges from her cage only for necessities. I need to take advantage of the nicer weather and longer days (I dig the longer days but it has been so fucking hot and bright that I've been huddling under my covers with the AC on full blast ) before they disappear. I thought about things I need from a partner (god that word is awful) and taking advantage of what life has to offer is on that list. Big, fat, fucking hypocrite I am! So I'm resolved to turn over a new leaf to start embracing life and do stuff. What stuff? I don't know. I can just walk around downtown or drive around to get to know my city better. Anything but another fucking "Toddlers and Tiaras" marathon.

I probably won't embrace life though. I'll probably just creep out of my cave once in awhile, take a few drives, read some books, and then take a nap. But I think I'd still consider that a win.