Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Too Soon? Probably Too Soon for the Sensitive

Umbrella or no?*
Hell of a storm, eh? I've looked at so many pictures of the affected areas and I'm in shock. Even with Katrina, I'm still just stunned at what I've seen. Seeing the financial district of New York flooded with water, seeing the boardwalk torn all to hell, aerial shots showing neighborhoods flooded, houses swept into the ocean; it just seems unreal. As I've looked at the pictures, I've had the following thoughts:
  • What must it have sounded like when it was happening? 
  • What must it have felt like when the walls/house/windows shook? 
  • I hope I never have to deal with a flooded home or a swamped car... ever. 
  • When the ocean barrels in like that, do sea creatures end up in urban areas? Not necessarily sharks or dolphins but oceanic fish, crabs, starfish, etc? It would be kind of neat if they showed sharks laying in the middle of Wall Street but then, I like sharks and don't want them dead.
  • I cannot wait for people to start busting out with their stories of how they were affected and/or are related to this experience. For instance, I could say "oh my! I lived in Delaware FIVE years ago! I could have been there!" You know people are going to do that; they coopt any crisis in any way they can. 
I actually looked at the pictures so much that when Tits and I ran to the grocery store at lunch, I was looking around like I'd see flooding. I told her and we started joking about the devastation our area had suffered. We saw a total of one bent over power line and one car accident (which had been pulled into an apartment complex but you know, we used it). "It's soooo deserted!" we cried when we entered the Kroger parking lot. "Do you think the people who owned these cars made it?" we asked. When we were leaving, Tits saw this guy who was walking in circles around his van. "His whole family died" she said. "And his sister's kids. She made it but she's not talking to him because she wanted to leave AC but he wouldn't let her."

OK, that was pretty sick. But keep in mind, I wasn't actually making fun of the storm or storm victims; I was making fun of my own dumb ass for thinking I was going to see ruin in my area because I'd been looking at pictures. Never let me see a movie with any realistic scenes of people being able to fly because this bitch? she'll probably try it. And, in case your wondering, my area was very lucky. It was chilly, rainy, and windy last night and this morning we had some bad wind with sleet, making the ride to work scary, but the worst of it was over by 8AM and, in my area at least, it was nothing. Systems were down at work because a lot of them are maintained in our NYC office but things were righted for the most part and this allowed me to get around the web filters so I could check my Facebook to make sure my east coasts friends and loved ones were OK. So far I'm only worried about one person who I texted last night. She responded then but I've not heard from her today. 

*I would just like to reiterate that I am not at all making fun of this tremendous tragedy. I know I am irreverent and what have you but I'm not only sincerely sorry for the suffering of so many people, I'm also very worried about a few that I know. Sandy is not just a few images on the screen for me, even if I was lucky enough to escape from it. But humor is a part of me, morbid, inappropriate humor, and so I exercise it. It is what keeps me sane on my bad days, what allows me to remind myself of how lucky I am no matter what because I know it can only get worse. Maybe you had to have been there, maybe you'd have to be me, but this particular joking around was funny to me and I had fun with it. But never once did I think that I was anything but lucky as hell to have been in my office today working, not under water or without electricity, or mourning my dead.

Dress it up
Every year that I think about dressing up for Halloween, I want to go as a cat. but I leave it too late and so never manage to get the ears and tail. This year I was thinking cat or Valley Girl. Wonder Woman and I went to Target to get costume stuff yesterday and pickings they were slim. I was going to go as punk rock but the top I bought didn't work out. So I'm going as Seattle Girl 1993 or, for you kids, Grunge Girl. Seems simplistic and like I phoned it in but I'm going to put real effort into it.

Wait, dressing up? I thought you had to pay $5 to dress up Simply, what gives? My manager leaned on me to participate in the fucking holiday shit this year. Evidently I'm in a leadership role these days and so he wants me to give my positivity and whatev to help morale. So I figure, OK, do a good job, continue to lead and mentor and whatever, and maybe one day I'll get a raise and promotion. Plus, I'm trying to be more positive in my life anyway and it is just $5 and I do want the office to have a party if they want it. So if I have to pay $5 to dress like shit and be comfortable, OK, I'll do that.

But next year I'm being a god damned cat.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cause the last post was getting on my nerves

Someone was parked in my complex with one of those organ donor license plates. It was also a vanity plate with the text "DED GRL". Kind of freaked me out. I don't think I can donate anymore so when I updated my license I said "nah" to the "do you still want to be a donor question" because who wants my organs?

But I can give blood. My company did a blood drive this morning and I was one of the first. The techs were hilarious, smoking in the parking lot before the start and joking around during the whole process. The really funny part was the crossing of my fingers, hoping I could donate. I missed the last one because my RBC had dropped to an abnormal low after I'd had so much blood taken to figure out what was wrong with me. All I can say is that the Red Cross folks today were thumbs up.

But seriously, DED GRL with an organ donor plate? Soooo many questions. A woman at work has a vanity plate of RAD TECH and when I asked her, she said it was a long story. I didn't push her because it used to be her brother's jeep and so I assume, horribly, that her brother was either training to be a radiology technologist or was one and he's since died. I might be gossipy and snarky and a "I NEED TO KNOW ALL" but I do have a modicum of tact.

Funny what the world throws at you with bumper stickers, decals, tee shirts, and vanity plates. If I'm rocking one of my rad MS shirts like the hippo one that says "You know you're jealous, you don't even have one sclerosis and here I have multiple", you know, you can ask me and I'll just say "I have multiple sclerosis, it sucks, but you gotta have fun with it". But I don't have the balls to ask DED GRL about her donor plate because I don't know if I have it in me to hear the story. I will, eventually, ask my friend about RAD TECH because she is a Broad and so we are tight. But it is hard to start that conversation because you don't want to overstep your bounds.

I got cable on Sunday. Some dude from Insight came to my door on Friday and offered me a great deal. For $15 more a month, I get wifi (so can use more than one computer at a time) and cable TV. This is how you get me; come to my house, tell me what you have, and sign me up on the spot. I'm paying a fair price and get TV (and FOOTBALL!!!!!) and wireless internet which is rad. Yet I didn't watch the debate last night. If it had been on earlier, I would have, but I was tired. That and I already know who I'm voting for and only have about three locals to research to decide who to vote for in my county elections. I'm not voting for Romney or Obama, regardless of the fact that I know one of those two will win. I agree more with Gary Johnson and so I've colored in his little oval. And, OK, if you hate politics, skip the next paragraph.

You know, there are, actually, more than two candidates. I'm voting for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate. He isn't going to win but I have a weird loyalty to what the United States of America was meant to be and so I like to pretend and hope that all votes count. If either Romney or Obama had convinced me, even a little, I would have put my vote with them. I voted for Obama last time, and I don't regret it, though I do regret voting for Obama in the Primary because I did so only because I thought "this country will vote for any color of a man rather than a woman". I truly hope Hillary runs next term. I hate that people just vote down party lines. I have an absentee ballot because I can and I don't know where I will be during the actual day. I'm all over the place. Libertarian, Republican, Democrat, Green Party. I don't care about the party, I care about policy, and I actually research it. 

I've said it before and will say it forever unless things change: I do not agree with all the policies of my country but I consider myself lucky to have been born as a U.S. citizen. I take it seriously and I will rip you to shreds if you don't vote. "Well, I don't complain so I don't vote." No, you do fucking complain, you just don't realize that there are so many things that you complain about that are directly tied to politics. So I do my research and try to pick the candidate that I most agree with. I'd like for every vote count. I'd like this country to take voting as seriously as those where you can be killed for voting. Especially women, since I am a woman. Who fought and died for your right to NOT vote? That's right, girls, women fought and actually died for the right to vote. You don't? Really? Get in the kitchen and turn in your degree  because you've become complacent and think shit is just handed to you. Women literally died fighting for this right. Thank you for showing them that you care so much for their sacrifice. Do you realize that we still make less than men? Just asking.

Happy Fucking Holidays
I just found out that my company is planning on cancelling all Holiday Parties this year. I don't attend. I have not attended in the last four years due to my atheism and my whole "yeah, yeah, I know you think it is meaningless and non-religious but if that is so why are we having this fucking party at this time of year?"  So I don't attend but I'm pissed off anyway. My company did a survey of one office recently and the results were bad. We recently had a blog from our CEO that basically said "the beatings will continue until moral improves".  What's more, my division, one that comprises at least 400 employees, just sat through a 90-120 minute long presentation about where we are going and how we each matter. But fuck us, right? Fuck all of us. Maybe you enjoy the holiday party, maybe you've already put two months into the planning as directed by the higher ups but that doesn't matter. We just pretend we give a shit about you.

Like I said, I don't go to the party. If it was in the evening with an open bar, yeah, I'd totally compromise my principles. But I've worked here for almost five years and these are my friends, my family, and they enjoy it. They've had a lot of changes and now they have little to look forward to. Unless, of course, the offset of the holiday party cost goes into raises and bonuses but FAT FUCKING CHANCE OF THAT I say.

Last One
I'm really enjoying the tech wars these days.  I like how google and amazon and apple are all trying to come out with the thinnest, smallest tablet. I don't know why, but I find it kind of hilarious how people want fifty inch televisions in their living rooms but also want cracker sized smart phones/tablets/what have you. Super duper thin so that if you drop it, it'll crash all over into a gazillion pieces. I don't want to watch a television program or a movie on something the size of an index card. I don't want to have to bubble wrap my phone or iPod if I want to take it with me somewhere. I just think it is really, really ridiculous but I love watching it unfold.

That's it. I started this the other day, mainly because I'm tired of seeing my bruised up legs.

Perhaps this is punishment for honest feedback. "We want you to feel like you are part of the company, that you all have a huge part of what we do... but fuck you, work harder and ask for less."

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I fucking hate MS

Disclaimer: Only because I am paranoid I'm saying this: Yes, I know I'm lucky. I know that there are a lot of people who deal with a lot worse. I know a disturbing amount of people who have or who are dealing with worse. I get that. But you know what? We all have our moments so unless you are living my exact life, I don't want to hear it.

That being said, you know what sucks? Giving yourself a shot. Ever since they began, almost a year ago, I've thought "man I'm glad I'm not diabetic because I can't do this more than once a day." The shots, in themselves, are fine. It's the side effects. Whatev, some soreness, some itchiness, that's fine. But I get these awesome welts and then the phantom bruising and so, if you saw me and even if I had a rad as fuck body, you'd say "What the fuck girl?" I went to happy hour recently and just mentioned how if I even decided to start dating, I wouldn't know when to mention the MS. You know when it would have to be mentioned? Before I took my clothes off. Otherwise dude would be all "why do you have all these weird lumps? What is with these raised red welts? I have to go... uhm, early meeting."

Here is what I have to show the boys who come out to the yard:

Those are my thighs and my stomach. Sexy, aren't they? Nice big red welts and bruising to just make you go wild. What you can't see is the texture. Sure, my skin feels the same, but if you run your hand along my stomach, my thighs, or my arms in certain places, you'll feel these lovely lumps, like I have chewing gum under my skin. I'll give you a minute to clean up as I'm sure you just orgasmed.

I'm not in a big rush to date. I don't have any real desire to be in a relationshiop right now but one day I'm going to need sex. I so look forward to the converstation that I will have to have.

Thank you Multiple Sclerosis! Like my personality wasn't enough to keep the boys at bay.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Reading, a love story

It's Saturday, I'm home alone drinking like the cool kid that I am, and have just got finished cleaning and vacuuming my living room. Thus, I blog.

I was born in December of 1980. I was actually born the day John Lennon died (John Lennon, the Beatle? Yoko Ono? Come on kids, look it up, it was, obviously, before my time as well). It has only been in the last five years that people, upon learning of my birth date, have stopped asking me "did you know that that was the day Lennon died?" I used to respond with either "did you know that it was the ACTUAL FUCKING DAY?" or "really? Wow, in all these years NO ONE has ever mentioned it. Thanks!" It's only been in the last three years that Teacher has stopped calling me on my birthday, prefacing it with "they were talking about it being the anniversary of John Lennon's death and I remembered it was your birthday." He can be forgiven; he was born on August 11, 1979 and so spent most of his birthdays in a minivan during cross country summer vacations. Poor fuck.

We were wealthy when I was little. I don't remember most of it, just those flash bulb moments like coming down on Christmas morning to find that we'd each received our own stuffed Feival from the movie. We had pickle barrels full of He Men and Transformers. We each had our own and didn't have to share (though the boys had to share my Barbi dolls until they lost interest and we just played Teen Age Mutant Ninja Turtles). Something happened, my dad left, my mom, brothers and I moved in with our grandparents in Delaware and were poor. For a school year I slept in the same bed as my mother, a coat rack next the bed holding my clothes, a box of Barbi dolls under the nightstand. I took it in stride and assumed it was normal. I was bullied every day on the bus. That sucked. Hard.

I ended up being raised by a single mother who lied her way into jobs ("Oh yes, I can totally do that" and then copied off of others), got us scholarships to this weird little private school, and always did her best to make sure we were taken care of. She was ferociously protective. Our father died soon after I turned 10 and we lost others between then and my 14th birthday. I think she felt that if she didn't keep a close watch on us, if she didn't hold a tight reign, we'd suffer even more. So very controlling but not because she was awful but because she was awfully worried.

I went to private school from 5th through 8th grade. I was that kid who got all dolled up for picture day in 5th grade... never did that again. I wasn't an outstanding student. I got A's and in 8th grade my team won gold for our state and went to "Worlds" for Odyssey of the Mind but no one looked at me and thought "why is she not at Julliard? Why are we not putting her up a grade or two?" But that was the time when I first realized how much I liked to read and write and it was there that I first started serious vocabulary training, which is why I will drop terms like "verisimilitude" and "avuncular" and assume others know what the fuck I'm talking about. Teacher was a grade ahead of me and when he was done with a book for his English and Language Arts class, he'd give it to me to read. He was probably the only person who ever took it as a given that I was a big reader. In fact, when he returned to Abu Dhabi after his vacation home this August, he got my email about my name change and thus, my divorce, and after giving me the very obligatory "so sorry" in his most awesome fashion (dude included "blah blah blah" because he is someone who knows me and knows when there really isn't anything to say), he said something akin to "I know you are a voracious reader [he had the same vocabulary lessons and has a doctorate in education and a Masters in English education... I can drop words in his presence without fear of being looked at funny] and so you might like this book I'm reading." My man acknowledged my circumstances and went straight back to middle school, telling me what he was reading in 6th grade so that I could read it in between what I was reading in 5th grade.

That was random, but it tickled me to remember how Teacher would pass along books to me. Our mother read to all of us as children but we all took to it differently. Eldest isn't a reader, it's just not his thing. Teacher would like to read more but is too busy. I'm never too busy to read and I remember J getting annoyed because there would be times where I would do it obsessively. He'd want to talk or interact but I'd be stuck in a book and that was the only thing I wanted to do, read. There are times when I can't, where the only thing I can read is a blog post, not even an article in the news. Those are horrible times that make me angry and frustrated because god damn it, I like to fucking read. When I was undergoing optic neuritis, I made J promise he'd read to me if I lost my vision.

I think it probably has something to do with how I coped with trauma in my early years. I'm terribly unobservant but I can lose myself in a book and picture and hear everything. Maybe I escaped from life into fiction. Maybe I just like to read. Who knows. But libraries are awesome and dagnabbit, kids should read more and play video games less and get off my lawn and so on and so forth. Where IS that Ovaltine? 

I thought, as did most of my family, that I'd be a writer when I grew up. When I eventually got my ass into college after getting kicked out of home and dropping out of one school, I majored in English with this goal in mind. I figured wanting to be a writer was like wanting to be a rock star so I also majored in Psychology so that I'd have a career back up (ha!). I eventually learned that I just didn't have it in me to be an author so since then I've just read and made fun of poorly constructed emails that are sent to "Distribution" at work. Seriously, there are times when I wonder if our corporate staff gives a shit because some of these emails have the WORST and most GLARING typos and grammatical errors that I just think "did we do a proof read or did we just hit send?" Cause I totally use the Royal "we" whenever possible.

This was meant to be a little bio of me but it has really turned into a biography of my love of reading. I'm dedicating it to my little G. Face, my gorgeous niece who was born 28 years and 1 week after me, Teacher's daughter. I hope that she ends up loving to read as much as her daddy does and as much as her Fraenka does. I also dedicate it to Teacher, who has, after all, been a tremendous big brother.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Survey Says: Cat's Bad Choices in Places to Live!

Where The Fuck Do I Live
I'm sure I must have told you about how I have a habit of tuning shit out and then hear noise and think "are they partying or are they fighting?" And I must have told you how one morning I came out of my apartment on my way to work to find cops cordoning off a neighboring building. It turned out that my neighbor's then boyfriend had held a gun to her head and the cops were waiting for a search warrant to find the gun.

Tonight I stepped out and ran into a reporter and his colleague from NBC 10. They were looking for anyone who knew a former tenant in my building who is presently in a California jail for kidnapping and raping a 15 year old girl.

Where the fuck did I move to? I thought I was moving on up because I live in a fancy city code. Nope! Instead I get attempted assault with a deadly weapon, "honey, don't park over there because there aren't any lights and that is where they attack; here, I'll hold this spot for you" and, now, the knowledge that a former neighbor is a fucking rapist pedophile. What. The. Fuck. I wonder if my mother feels less ill at ease knowing I own a hand gun now that she knows that I evidently live in a somewhat upscale ghetto. Seriously, I live in Westerville, which was, a few years ago, one of the top ten small towns in which to live. I guess they didn't mean my zip code.

In Less Disturbing News
Ran yesterday and went for a 45 minute walk with Tits after work today. It was great fun because we laughed a lot. Highlights included taking a trail that began with some ramshackle house followed by grand houses with palatial yards. "You know they must *love* that neighbor with the fake deer in his yard" she said. They all have the same great view but they live by a guy in a shitty home with a trailer out front. Whatev. I like the guy in the shitty home with the trailer in his yard. He's my people and I hope he continues to be a thorn in the side of money. The other highlight was on our way back when some teenage girls yelled something at us. All Tits caught was the word "penis". I wish I knew what they'd said.

I find it interesting that I'm making more friends these days. It only took me five fucking years. Tits is 41 and a new nurse at work that I'm beginning to know is 33. Who knew I could make friends this late in the game? Well, friends around my age who do NOT move back to FUCKING Florida like a certain BFF I shan't name (but for whom I'm exceedingly happy).

Work Stuff
So. Remember how I flew to Texas to teach another division to do what I do? Well, their clinical director quit and her last day was mid week last week and the girl I trained quit and her last day is next Friday. The higher ups (two of them) in said division are flying out for a meeting with me and a few folks next Thursday so I'm wondering what that is going to be like. I'm assuming they'll tell me I get the wonderful joy of working for them again, you know, since my workload is so scant. Still, it should be interesting. Have I mentioned ClonazoPAM and how much I love it?

I continue to plow through and do my best but even though the anti anxiety medication doesn't make me forget what I have at my door. There are big things coming up, namely reaccredidation, which is something of a nightmare and one I'm not looking forward to. But those who need to seem to know and understand that this is no longer a one woman gig. I keep being told that there are exciting things in store for me and that my position is going to grow and change and so on and so forth. I had a good chat with my boss over instant messenger, one that assured me I wasn't going to have to go back to being a secretary, but I can only believe it and get excited when it actually happens. 'tis my nature.

Still, perhaps the tides are finally turning in my favor? After all, I got a bill from a medical center for just under $640 and, even though my health insurance company explained why I owed it, I didn't freak out and I've worked it out that I can pay $25 per month starting next month. So that is good.

What I do know for a fact is that I will make damned sure to have a diet Coke with me tomorrow morning. I had to settle for diet Pepsi and look how my day turned out!