Saturday, September 29, 2012

Eaten by Wild Alsations

Fucking Laundry
As many of you know (ha! like there are many of you who read this!), I'm a huge fan of Relentless Laundry and think you are out of your mind if you don't love the Laundress as well (her latest post is going to be one of her classics in years to come). I don't know why I mentioned that other than I'm fighting, tooth and nail, against having to do laundry.

We've talked about how much I hate doing laundry since I don't have my own machines. We've talked about it time and again. Now I have to drive across the street and pay out the asshole to do my stupid laundry. And I flat out just don't want to. But I desperately need to, and so I'm mad. I've been wearing truly inappropriate thongs and lacy bras to work because I've exhausted my supply of underpants. I don't care if that is TMI, fuck you, it's my blog. I even considered buying new underpants when I was buying stuff for my cousin just to put off the inevitable. I had yesterday off from work and planned to do laundry. I didn't.

So now I'm sitting here telling myself that once I get through this chapter I'll start sorting out my clothing and maybe take a shower. I'm doing a very good job of pretending like I'm going to function like a real and proper person today when I'll most likely end up spending the day in bed with my books and maybe some alcohol.

I think that is the problem with living on my own with no interest in dating anyone right now. I'm slowly - or actually, not so slowly - turning into one of those people. Before long I'll stop being embarrassed about the state of my apartment and invite a colleague over and she'll be embarrassed and talk to other coworkers. "My god, Cat lives in a nice apartment but it is filthy and there is this weird smell." If I did bring some guy back to my place, he'd be horrified by the state of my bed and sheets. Right now I have the following on my bed: junk mail, some real mail, a letter I need to send, my iPod, a plate that has crusted food on it, a notebook, a make up pouch, a bra, a brush, some miscellaneous clothing, my copaxone travel kit, a book, a hair clip, an insurance card, and a computer. I'm not making that up; I sleep in a bed that is half bed and half counter space. I think it comes from all those years of sleeping in a single bed and now that I have a queen, I still just cling to the edge and use that extra room for my crap. There should be two stuffed cows and two boxes of stationary on the bed as well, but evidently, I pushed them off during the night. I guess I do have my limits and my need for space.

So there we are. I'm turning into a disgusting person who, if found dead, will be exposed as a filthy, sad, and pathetic human being. I should probably right that. I'm beginning to actually look forward to doing my god damn laundry. Just as soon as I finish this chapter...

Updated
So I did my fucking laundry. I bitched about not wanting to do it on Facebook and Kara swooped in to remind me of my mom's cousin/neighbor and I saw my future and sucked it up and did all of my laundry. I have mad clean clothes now. But I realized a few things as I was folding the last few things.
  1. 98.9% of my clothing is absolute garbage. Clearly I do not give a shit about my appearance (awesome t-shirts exploiting MS are exceptions).
  2. Target towels suck. They unravel quickly and end up just stringy.
  3. When I decided a year or so ago to stop wearing color, I really stuck to my guns. Even my work out stuff is black and gray.
  4. I have far too much stuff, especially considering how much of it is garbage.
  5. I clearly have not gotten over my aversion to having anything around my neck as 99% of my t-shirts have their colors cut out. 
So laundry is done and so I was grown up and good. Of course, said laundry is in two baskets and one gym bag placed, with real genius, directly in the way of my front door. So I have mad clean stuff in my filthy apartment. I really am awesome.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

This little piggy said aw fuck it

Reach Out and Feel Shitty... Then Do Something About It
I made it back from the desert with all of my teeth and without suffering from heat stroke so that is a plus. I spent my last night with Kara, drinking over $90 worth of wine (dude, the $90 was on two bottles of white that she said "we were going to drink anyway" but that she wasted on ME) and trying to get into my mom's neighbor's backyard in order to fuck with her (it's OK, that neighbor is my mom's cousin.) In the end, I settled for putting some rocks in front of her front door because Kara's husband got home and K suddenly decided to go into mom mode and was all "I do not endorse this plan whatsoever". I got the last laugh as the rocks freaked cousin/neighbor out so take THAT mom mode.

One of the things that was most unexpected whilst in Arizona: I called this girl I used to babysit. I call her my cousin and I think of her as such but we aren't related. She is 10 years younger than me and I met her when she was around 2. I used to babysit her when her mother and my uncle started dating and later married for a brief period. This girl loved me because I was a big girl and I was nice to her and you know how little girls are. I would color pictures for her and I taught her to read. I knew she'd had a baby and heard she'd had another, that she was living in a motel and not doing so well. So, after years of silence, I got her number and called her up.

She remembered me and she said it was good timing. She was going into a psych ward. She had her second baby on August 7th and was suffering from PPD, bipolar, and was abusing prescription drugs. I told her I'd do what I could for her and learned that my uncle and his girlfriend are a great support. We had a nice chat yesterday. She asked if I could send her some clothes. She's lost the baby weight so is swimming in her maternity gear and she didn't want to ask my uncle for anything because she felt like she'd already asked so much. So I went to Target today and bought her three long sleeve shirts, a t-shirt, a hoodie, a pair of jeans, and a pair of yoga pants. I wrote her a letter, apologizing if the taste didn't match but I'm 31 and she is 21 and I included the receipt so she could make exchanges. I quoted Winston Churchill who said "if you are going through hell, keep going." I told her I'd always be there for her.

I found her on facebook and there is a picture of her and she looks just like she always did (although she has a bunch of facial piercings now). My heart breaks because I wasn't there for so long. I'm trying to make up for it now. I feel like I'm throwing money at it but I'm going to write to her as well, let her know that I never stopped thinking about her, caring about her, loving her. Life can be a bitch. I'm the luckiest girl I know.

Better Stuff
Went to the bar with a new friend of mine, who I am going to call Tits, this evening. She's the temporary project specialist who has been hired to help me and another woman in the office. She's a little older than me (aren't all of my girlfriends older than me?) and she is from Illadelph and she is a fucking gem. She catches on quickly, she's right there asking for another assignment, and she works diligently. She's also a blast to hang out with. It is refreshing to have a friend from the old coast, someone who doesn't want to be all up in everyone's business and doesn't want to put her business all up in your face. We met up at la'dive and she made fun of me because I got there first and she found me with a beer as I was reading a book. Evidently she didn't realize what a total nerd I am.

So we sat over beer (mainly me, I had two tall, one short, she had one corona, letting me down) and appetizers. I think we had a good time but I did make a horribly inappropriate joke, which I felt bad about even though she told me not to because she thought it was funny and she'd let me know if I ever crossed a line (and I really believe that she would let me know... still, I need to get out of the habit of just saying "BAM! This is me!")

It was, I can say sincerely, fun for me. I have my broads and I've invited Tits to join the summit, but it has been a long time since I have hung out with an east coast girl and she is from Illy Philly, as I've said, which is just 45 minutes from where I grew up. I pick up her accent a bit if I hang out with her long enough, but I'm nuts about her because she is straight forward, has a good sense of humor, a great resume, and is a damned good worker. Actually, we had two resumes to look over. We interviewed her and both the other lady she supports and I knew, with zero hesitation, that the interviewing process could stop. As far as I can tell, we made the right choice.

So yeah, it was fun and I'm happy to have a new friend and blah blah blah.

Other Stuff
Manager, as in my old boss, is trying to recruit me to work for him in his new situation. I can't tell you how absurd that is. I received a text when I landed home from AZ asking if I had ever thought about moving to NJ. He needs someone who does what I do and he really wants to poach me. How he doesn't know how much I hated working for him I'll never work out. My present boss was a bit pissed about this but I let him know that I'd be a complete masochist if I chose to go work for that man again.

Still, it's flattering. One thing Manager always did was recognize my skill and ability. Yeah, he treated me like shit and played mind games, but he always spoke highly of me to others and when it came to my work, he was very complimentary because he knew I basically managed myself and had shit under control. So flattering and bewildering at the same time.

I'm out.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Arizona Lessons Learned Thus Far

Not Your Home
When traveling from OH to AZ where you will end up staying up late and drinking multiple beers, it is well to think about where you are when you wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. This extra time will remind you that you are NOT in your own apartment and so you will be more likely to NOT walk, mouth first, smack into the dresser your mother has in the hallway.

Because that is what I did. Arizona is three hours behind Ohio right now because they don't do that silly daylight saving thing. So I got up at 6:30 to work, then took Johan to the vet and myself to the airport. Got to Arizona at about 3PM EST and to my mother's home at about 4PM where I immediately set about going back to work so as not to have to use all of my PTO. I had two glasses of rancid white wine before pouring out the bottle, and then returned to work. 

At 11:30 EST, my mom, her neighbor Kara, and I went to the local bar where I had three tall beers. A good time was had by all and we were probably there for a good 90 minutes. I ended up going to sleep at 2:30AM EST. Woke up in the middle of the night to pee, forgot where I was, and slammed my face and arm into my mother's dresser. Fortunately, there is no lasting damage, just a sort lip. But still. 

Temperature is Relative
After getting up at 6AM Arizona time and putting in 4 or 5 hours of work, having had nothing but a few pieces of cheese, two cups of coffee, and two diet sodas, I decided to check the weather. 86, real feel 89. Not bad. so I put on my jogging gear and head out. Perfect way to spend a lunch break, yeah? So what if I had a couple of beers last night and haven't really hydrated much? I'll drink a little water before I go. And hey, I ran for the first time in ages on Monday and did four intervals of walk 4 min run 4 min and that was after lord knows how much time off. I've totally got this.

You know what Arizona doesn't have a lot of? Especially Southwest Arizona? Clouds. Not a lot of clouds and not a lot of lush trees lining residential streets. That is to say, SHADE. So when one reads 86 real feel 89 in Arizona, even with it's low humidity, it should still be read as roughly 100 degrees cooler than the center of the sun. And downing half a bottle of water right before you head out isn't going to help.

If you are like me, this is what is going to happen:  You'll start off pretty strong, doing your warm up walk, bobbing your head to the music and feeling your ponytail swish around. Then you'll run that first four minute interval. Coming out of that, you're still feeling pretty good but you notice that you are suddenly parched like you've never even heard of water and somehow your lips have completely dried out. But no biggie, you can handle that. So you walk 4 minutes and then go into your second 4 minutes of your slow jog. Once completed, you'll realize that you are in trouble and that you need to get back to your mother's house. You aren't going to quit, but you are going to get a bottle of water to carry with you as you continue.

At this point you will realize that you are lost in your mother's neighborhood where everything looks alike. You will also suddenly notice the little lizards darting all about. You'll check your pulse using your cardio watch and see that it is 183 after you are done running and never drops below 139. You'll also notice that the metal sensor has heated up quite nicely.

You'll start eyeing the hoses that are laying in front of people's houses at this point.

Eventually you will, indeed, find your mother's house, grab the water, and then head out. You'll run your third and final interval of 4 minutes, walk 4 minutes, do a 5 minute cool down walk (all the while wondering how you got to be so stupid) and then return to your mother's house where your Ammy and her aide will make fun of you. 

I am clearly not one of Darwin's proudest examples of natural selection and evolution. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Life in a New Town

Hate the Heat? Try the Desert! 
A cold or cool front has moved into Columbus, bringing me my beloved weather of 60's and mid 70's. So what am I doing? Heading to Laveen fucking Arizona where it is going to be in the low 100's. I'm heading out tomorrow and returning Saturday and I'm sure I'll sweat my cold climate ass off. My mother wanted me to come out from August 24-26 when Teacher and his family were still visiting but I told her "I just had the travel nightmare from hell and I'm getting divorced on the 29th. No. Fucking. Way." After I said that, I also realized I had a neurology follow up on the 24th. I probably could have just used that as an excuse with no arguments to follow.

So why am I going now when Teacher and his family are happily back in the UAE? Because my Viking is sick. She's been walking around on a fractured hip for at least a year and a half and she was admitted to the hospital last week with possible heart failure (turned out to be pneumonia). She was to undergo surgery last week but it was postponed so I moved my trip to this week. The surgery for tomorrow has been canceled indefinitely until she is ready. Who knows if she will every be ready. For one, she's an old lady and the idea of a major procedure isn't something I think old ladies take lightly. And for two, her last surgery, which was supposed to be a simple stent procedure, turned out horribly. Part of me thinks she'll never be ready at all. So I'm going anyway to say hi and visit. I'll be working while I'm there but I'm going to support my mother and to possibly say goodbye to Viking for the last time. She'll probably outlive us all for the simple fact that she scares us so often with these health problems that she inevitably overcomes.

I always dread going the minute the ticket is purchased. I don't know why but I always regret the decision as soon as I can't retract it. "I always end up enjoying myself" I could say, but I don't think that is true. I think I always look forward to returning to my own home with my own rules and plenty of silence and mostly email correspondence with my family. They are great people, they are. And I know they care about me. But I'm not good with hanging around with people too much no matter who they are and my family is an intensified version of that. Teacher and I get a fucking kick out of one another when we are together, so much so that I think we embarrass his wife and our mother. But even he and I are only good for a few days before we start annoying the shit out of one another. Hopefully I'll come back with good stories to tell or at least no trauma.

Who Needs MacGuyver?
The other night I was out driving around. When I got home, this young 18 year old neighbor asked if I had a wire hanger because he locked his keys in his car. I got him one and went with him and his friend to watch them fiddle. No use. "It isn't strong enough" I said, "let me get another one and some electrical tape." I also got a ruler and a wooden spoon. In the end I suggested that we tape the hangers together with the spoon on the end. Success! Only one of them broke off the dude's rearview mirror so we then had to use the electrical tape to tape that shit back on. Both of them were pretty high so they weren't too concerned. I thought it was funny that here were two young black men, the very demographic that society tells me to be afraid of, the demographic that is supposed to be phenomenal at breaking into shit, and yet it was the relatively old white lady who got them into the car.

Simply a good citizen, helping one high youth at a time.

ClonozaBAM!
You know what is the bomb drug? ClonozaPAM. No, I'm not being paid to say that, I'm just speaking from personal experience. Since my neuro prescribed this to me, at my request for an anti anxiety drug, I've been doing a hell of a lot better with my stress levels. I take it as needed and find that I need it less and less. But man oh man is that some good shit. I don't feel anything special or anything like that, no high dopey feeling, no numbness, I just feel a kind of calm that I want to call "normal". I don't freak out, I don't cry and shake at my desk, I don't think about hiding under my desk, I don't think about throwing things around in my cubicle. I simply sit back and consider things and take them one at a time. Yes, I do still have stress, but it isn't overwhelming me to the point that I'm paralyzed with terror and into inaction. Instead I'm able to just focus and deal with life a lot better than I was doing. Sure it's one more pill to take, one more medication to add to the roster, but at least I know it is helping and that I won't be on it forever (or so I hope).

No FUCKING Parking
You know those spots that are reserved for those with handicapped stickers/placards/license plates? I fucking hate when I see people using them when they don't need them. I've always hated it. I'm going out to the fucking desert to see my grandmother who needs that space because she can barely walk or needs a wheelchair. My sister in law has one leg and whilst I don't think she uses those spots as much now, she certainly benefited from them when she was first acclimating to her new condition.

There is one woman in my building and one man in the neighboring one, both of whom share our little lot, who need those spaces. The man has a special van as he is in a wheelchair. No one really fucks with his spot. But her spot? It gets parked in by assholes all the time. I told her "You ever get into it with someone, you come get me and I'll bring my east coast white trash to fight your fight." Tonight I put a note on the car saying, simply "Just so you know, there is a woman in this building who requires this handicapped spot. Your license plate number has been noted and if you continue to park here, you will be towed. Thank you." I have a copy of the number and so does my neighbor. Because I see how she walks, I see the effort it takes to get up the stairs. She deserves that spot. She even said that one car doesn't bother her because it belongs to her downstairs neighbor, the deaf woman who yells in weird, high pitched noises at her kids, because she's deaf and deserves the space. That's fine. I know what her car looks like. But I don't like the idea of assholes who just feel entitled to take these spaces when they are able bodied. So I fight for my neighbor and look out for her.

I still live in small town USA even though I've moved. This neighbor introduced me to another and we talked about where I was parking, away from the main lot of our area. "Don't park there, honey," she said, "there are no lights so that is where they come and break into your car." She held a spot for me. She agreed to look out for my door whilst I'm in AZ, just as my other neighbor did.  "I thank you for your help. Do you need a dinette table? I have one and when I get a new one maybe you could take mine," she said. "I have a dining table but I hoard furniture so I'd be happy to take it off your hands" I replied. She insisted I come inside and look at it, where I found either her niece or daughter, I can't recall which she said. N/D and I were talking about the assholes of this world. We agreed that it was nice to at least know that we were living in a building where we knew our neighbors.

I thought when I moved to my new area that I was moving to a fancier area but evidently not. There is still crime and you still have to worry. Fortunately for me, I still have fantastic neighbors who are there to look out for me just as I'm there to look out for them. Times are tough. The world is bad. Horrible things happen. But in certain areas and in certain peoples' lives, there is a tremendous amount of good. I've told Neighbor before that if she needs help around the house, just let me know. She told me tonight that she is going to pray for Viking. I didn't say anything about the prayer thing because I usually don't unless it is said about me by someone who knows about my atheism. I just thanked her.

There are a tremendous amount of good people in this world and I think we forget about it. And I think it is important to point out that this neighborliness that I've experienced, as a single white woman, has come from a variety of African Americans. The media and certain types like to tell us that African Americans are inherently violent among other things. That has never been my experience and I've never feared black men. In fact, because I have a fascination with forensic psychology, I'm more inclined to cross the street when I see a shady white guy coming my way. A black man might rape and kill me but I doubt he'll rape, mutilate, try to turn me into a sex zombie, and then kill me and try to make a skin suit out of me like a white man might.

Regardless of race, regardless of age, gender, creed, etc, I feel lucky to have the neighbors that I do. As I've done my entire life, I've come out lucky. I've found all sorts of people in my building who are willing to look out for one another, those who will pop up and say "hey, sorry to bother you, but you really shouldn't park there/leave that there/etc." I've landed in a good group and I'm happy and secure. I've only been here for a few months and I already have a few neighbors willing to keep an eye on the place.

I am, as I usually know when I'm not all woe is me, the luckiest girl in the world.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

T-Shirts

Well, I seem to be doing just fine these days. My good friend Kara and I have been having a ton of fun coming up with awesomely and slightly offensive t-shirts (it's OK though because they all deal with MS and that's what I have so I can make fun of it... that's what I'm going with). Below are a couple of the beauties we've come up with. I'll let you know which ones people have agreed to purchase for me and if you decide you want to purchase one for me, just let me know and we'll be in touch (because who doesn't want to buy some spoiled brat they don't even know a t-shirt?)

I made

Kara spit out her diet coke when she saw this one so she is buying it for me for my birthday.

Hunter got a kick out of this so he is buying it for me. 

Kara's favorite

Kara made. I like that the whale looks like it is dying or about to cum.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Are You My Mother?

Who am I now? I keep thinking of my eldest brother's favorite book Are You My Mother. A Dr. Suess book. I don't even consider Oldest Brother a member of my family and doubt that he does me. But you remember little things. Like how my mother says my favorite song as a child was "Rockin' Robbin" and Teacher's was "Born To Run" or some other song by 'The Boss'. But I associate Oldest Brother with "Are You My Mother" and so I can't help but have him in my head, in the background, as I try to figure out who I am.

I talked to Hunter the other day and tried to explain that who I am seems so undecided, so kaleidoscopic. Simply a Girl with the disorder, SAG without the disorder, SAG with the disorder but without the medication. Who knows what I was meant to be. I could have never have had the onset of "fucked up" and been a different person. I could have had the onset of "fucked up" and ignored it and been a different person. Instead, here I am, someone who has been dutifully medicated for, let's see, at least 6 years. For at least six years I've taken the meds because I know I need them. I know they help me function and lead a "normal" life. I function, I work, I'm productive, I'm not crazy. Still, I do sometimes wonder where I would have ended up if I'd never realized my problem, if I'd never taken the pills. Dead or hooking under and overpass, I'm sure, but still, one wonders.

It's hard to live a life that is controlled by medication. At least it is for me. Without my downers I might spiral into mania. Without my uppers I might slip into depression. If I feel too sad or too happy I have to wonder if that is really how I feel or if I just need to take a pill. I can never trust my own emotions because they are biologically unreliable.

On most occasions, I don't even think of it, I just take my pills like vitamins. But I guess the divorce hit me hard and as I try to figure out who I am now, I wonder who I could have been if not for genetics. If I wasn't bipolar, would J and I have had a happy life? If I wasn't bipolar would we ever have worked at all? Multiple Sclerosis never factors into it because he was my biggest supporter. It's my mental condition, I believe, that drew us apart. Not even that but personalities. Still. One wonders what other life might have been out there if only for a normal regulation of neurotransmitters. MS is just a the icing on the cake.

I sometimes think the MS is easier to handle than the bipolar.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How to cheer up

So, in an attempt to be less gloomy I thought I'd post something fun. Below is a picture of my legs in my new Throx, a gift from a friend. Called Throx, I suppose, because they are socks that come in threes so that if you lose one, you are all good. Best part? Purchases benefit MS research.


Between these babies and the shirt I just ordered, as seen below, my casual Fridays at work are about to get boss as fuck.

So as I spend my time trying to figure out who I am these days, these days when I am a single person, I find great joy knowing that I still have my humor. The friend of said Throx helped me with this. We came up with a number of slogans and she found the picture of that cat. Her only qualm is that the cat isn't bedazzled. But I figure I can always bedazzle MS in big letters on the back if I want. But yeah, the kitten face really makes it super special.