Sunday, January 1, 2017

Welcome to Another Year...

you may have noticed the lack of posts for December. I'll spare anyone who is reading this the details and just say it was another craptastic month.

So, to recap the positive things from last year:

1. Boo kitty has adjusted to life with me as his new person & is quite a cuddlebug.

2. The enormous thyroid tumor is gone & I can breathe again.

3. I exceeded my Goodreads Challenge goal! This year I'm combining it with the PopSugar Reading Challenge. I've also raised the goal a bit.

4. Dad made it through a year with no major health issues! Mom & Uncle John did too.

5. I deactivated my Facebook account. My stress levels dropped considerably. I was considering reactivating it his month, but I think I'm going to let it go a bit longer.

So that's that. And now for a few of this year's firsts:

First text message: responding to Psycho Sunshine.

First drink: large glass of iced coffee

First food: last (large) piece of Christmas rum cake

First purchase: 2 Kindle books (second purchase was 3 temporary tattoos on Etsy)

First DVD watched: Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Vol I

First book started: I'm Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi

First CD listened to: Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs

And now, dear readers (if I still have any), I'm out!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

October/November catch-up post

So, we took Dad down to NC for his birthday at the end of September. I can’t handle many more of these trips. Between my health issues & my insane parents, they’re just too hard on me. We left shortly after I got off work Friday morning & I drove all the way to Burlington. At that point I had been up 27 hours and needed a break, so I let Mom drive. I forgot that she cannot drive and read road signs at the same time, and made the mistake of falling asleep for 20 minutes. That’s all it took for her to take the wrong damn exit in Raleigh (due to road construction) and turn our 16 hour trip into a 20 hour one. We wound up in Little Washington and having to drive back down to Jacksonville because she wouldn’t pull over and let me resume driving.

Anyway, I spent Saturday sick as a dog and mostly asleep. Sunday we went over to see Uncle John & it was decided we should go to the State Seafood Festival in Morehead City. That’s when we learned that Uncle John flatly refuses to ride in a car with Dad anymore. He says it’s because they’re the last 2 Spencer men and there wouldn’t be anyone left if there was a crash. So I had to ride with him (he also wouldn’t let me drive, and yes, his driving is a bit unnerving) while Mom & Dad followed in their car. We got there and the parking situation was dismal. Anywhere that we could find space was still too far away for Dad & Uncle J to walk, so we cruised the strip and then decided to head back for Jacksonville. Uncle John was concerned that we’d lost Mom, so he drove about 10 m.p.h. and created an even bigger traffic jam than there already was until she caught up.

Oh, and we went out to see the Montford Point Marines memorial. It was really nice- I took quite a few pictures on my phone and will post them as soon as I can figure out how to get them onto this device.

We were supposed to leave Jacksonville mid-morning on Monday so that we’d have time to get to the Philly Deli in Wilmington & have lunch with Sandra. We got a late start due to Aunt Myrtle deciding (at the last minute) to go to dialysis. (She also held up the old folks getting together Saturday for the same reason) We wound up following them over to say our goodbyes and THEN she wanted to chat.

We finally got underway to Wilmington, but were way late. Sandra’s car was DOA & Brandon (her son) didn’t want to pick her up from work and bring her over to join us for lunch, so we called in an order for Mom to pick up and take to her while Dad & I stayed at the restaurant so he could visit with everybody. We went ahead and ordered, because she was only supposed to be gone 20 minutes. Our food arrived, along with Brandon (what a surprise) and no sign of Mom. Dad finally insisted I call and find out where she was. She’d started yakking with Sandra and didn’t realize she’d been gone over an hour. So now we were 3 hours off schedule and still had to stop for Dad’s fish. He was so pitiful- “we don’t have to stop for fish if you don’t want to, and I don’t have money for a lot anyway.” Like I was going to take him down there and not let him get a cooler of fish & country meat. (we got his meat Sunday) I had saved money out for his fish, so he didn’t need to worry about that.

Don’t ask me what time we finally got back to Louisville. Or how many times we had to stop on the way back. My father is the king of telling us he needs to stop AS WE’RE PASSING THE DAMNED REST AREAS. I (VERY RELUCTANTLY) had to give up and let Mom drive again, but not until we were well into Kentucky. There are no exits on I-64 for her to take by mistake, so we did finally get to Louisville without too much hassle.

Let’s see, what else? Saw my doctor and he was appalled to discover that my thyroid hormone levels had dropped even more since my last visit. I asked him how bad it was and he paused for a minute before saying that I should probably be catatonic instead of as functional as I was. So that medication got doubled & I go back to see him in January. It does explain why I’m still having fatigue issues though, so that was helpful.

Oh, the little punk that broke into my house got caught breaking into another house. Unfortunately for him, he was caught by LMPD, and even more unfortunately it was AFTER his 18th birthday and by a pair of officers who had backed West Buechel up on the call to my house. So he got a one-way trip downtown to the big-boy jail. Heh. The little bastard got to spend the weekend in jail because his momma couldn’t come up with his bail. My heart just bleeds for him…

Discovered a new snack (that I really shouldn’t be eating) when we went to Costco the other day. Golden Island Korean Barbeque Pork Jerky. It’s good stuff and surprisingly tender for jerky! Dad even liked the sample, although it was still a bit too hard to chew for him.

I may as well tell you this last bit. Had another adventure in medical drama & Mom driving on Friday. We’d gone out for breakfast after I left work. Something I ate decided to disagree with me and I wound up having a hideous acid reflux attack about 20 minutes after I’d gotten home & gone to bed. I’m already on Rx strength Prilosec twice a day for reflux, but decided to try a dose of Alka Seltzer since Prilosec does nothing for immediate relief. It worked for about 10 minutes and then I started vomiting. And then the chest pain started. (relax- I did NOT have a heart attack) Since I knew what those symptoms could be indicative of, I didn’t want to risk driving myself to the ER. I also didn’t want to call an ambulance as I’m still paying off my thyroid surgery. So I stupidly called Mom & said I needed a ride to the ER. I didn’t go into detail because I didn’t want her or Dad to panic.

Now any sane, rational parents would think “hey, the kid that normally has to be dragged kicking and screaming to the doctor just called me for a ride to the ER. We should hurry.” Not my parents. They took their time getting dressed (they’d gone back to bed after breakfast), diddling around, and finally showed up at my house almost an hour later. Good thing I wasn’t bleeding to death. Then Mom wanted to take the surface roads instead of the Interstate because “I’m not comfortable on that exit with this kind of traffic.” I was trying to stay calm in case it WAS a heart attack, but that sent me screaming over the edge.

Anyway, after an hour of being poked & prodded, they determined that it WAS just an acid reflux attack. The chest pain was caused by a hole in my esophagus that allowed acid to leak into my windpipe and down to my lungs. So I was pumped full of antacids & antibiotics (and a GI cocktail- lidocaine & milk of magnesia- that was seriously foul tasting, but blessedly killed the pain after about 5 minutes) and sent home. I’m now on Rx strength Pepcid along with the Prilosec, and a couple of other things that I don’t recall off the top of my head.

So that's my current life. We've spent the evening watching the election results at work & I think life with President Oompa Loompa is going to exceed the limits of my medication. Tried to check the Canadian immigration website & it had crashed. I'm still seriously considering leaving. We'll see what happens.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Life goes on...

I'm still here. Still posting (or not, as you've seen) from my tablet, so this will be brief.

1. Removing myself from Facebook was one of the smartest things I have done in a long time. I miss the contact with quite a few of my friends, but it has lowered my stress levels considerably. I may resume at the end of the year, but will be leaving the remainder of my fangirl groups as not being obsessed is working well for me. Also, I gave gotten a LOT more reading done.

2. Was anyone surprised that the British Twit & the Toxic Twat didn't make it past the end of the summer? No, I haven't renewed my interest in him, but the breakup story was everywhere. I did, however, laugh my ass off.

3. New love of my life. One of the younger grey cats in the feral colony has a kitten. She is the most adorable little thing! She's so cute when I see her tumbling around in the yard. I am able to pet her & pick her up- Mama knows I'm friendly- but I don't do it too long so that she & Mama won't get nervous. I'm hoping to bring one or both of them indoors once she's a little bigger. Not sure how Shady & Boo will feel about it.

4. Guess this should have been #3. Remy got out after my last post. He'd escaped once before & it took me nearly 2 weeks to find him. It only took 2 days this time. I went straight to the neighbor whose yard I found him in last time. Sure enough, he was lolling in their window. I rang the bell & we talked about it. They begged to keep him. He & Boo had never been separated before his first escape, but they both seemed to be quite happy apart. In fact, Boo beat the hell out of him when I brought him home the first time, and was quite nasty for several days. So I let them keep him on the condition that he gets returned to me if something happens & they gave to give him up. In the meantime, Boo has turned into quite a cuddlebug.

5. In a moment of insanity, I agreed to drive my parents to NC again for Dad's birthday. And once again had to sic the union on my bosses to get a freaking Friday off. You'd think they'd learn after the last *3* times, but nooooooo... The Major that the union rep talked to was disgusted. "She's asked for 3 Fridays in the last year and a half and they think *that's* unreasonable?!? And she's had to file a grievance each time?" I'm sure it's a coincidence that the Hamster is suddenly being sent to management training classes, but it does make you wonder...

OK, this was more than I meant to type & I'm getting a headache squinting at this thing. More later.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Back again for a moment

Quick catch up list, semi-regular posting to resume later.

1. Deactivated my Facebook account. I was spending too much time online; it was feeding my unhealthy mental issues (see previous post about obsession); and the political posts on all sides were just getting too ugly.

2. Have gotten rid of just about everything I had dealing with the British actor who I can no longer stand the sight of. That's not quite true- I was going through my devices to delete pictures of him and felt nothing. Not joy, not hate, not even sorrow- it was just "why do I have so many pictures of this guy?"

3. My house was broken into while I was at work. This will be a future blog post. The asshole got away, but I suspect he won't ever try it again. A LOT of officers tend to show up when you break into a police employee's house.

4. The feral cats are getting bolder. Several let me pet them, albeit briefly, now.

Ta-ta for now!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Making My Bed

How normal people make the bed:

Put clean sheets on bed, find something else to do afterward.

How I make the bed when one or more of the cats decide to help:

Remove cat from basket of freshly laundered sheets.

Find fitted sheet.

Remove cat from mattress.

Get first corner in place, move cat to get at second corner.

Try to get third corner. Move cat. Try again.

Move cat. Start tugging sheet to make 4th corner fit. Move cat.

Reach for flat sheet. Remove cat from laundry basket.

Shake sheet out, see that the damned cat is on the bed again.

Drape sheet over bed & cat. Laugh as cat panics and begins to do laps between the sheets.

Remember that cats are vindictive little assholes & likely to pee on bed. Pull sheet back for cat to escape.

Cat then lounges in center of bed.

Remove cat. Attempt to spread sheet out neatly. Remove cat.

Grab comforter. Tuck under arm and remove the fucking cat from the damn bed again.

Shake comforter over bed. Of course the brain dead cat is back in the center of the bed.

Watch cat do another set of laps before pulling it out and gently tossing it out of the room.

Stuff pillows into cases. Arrange pillows around the misbegotten little beast that is back on the bed AGAIN.

Remove cat. Keep tucked under arm as you leave the room & close the door. Put him down & realize his brother is nowhere to be seen.

Open bedroom door and see other fucking cat lolling on bed.

Weep bitter tears of rage & resignation. Scream in frustration, and watch BOTH cats flee.

Silently thank lucky stars that third cat is still outside and NOT ON THE DAMNED BED.

Monday, June 20, 2016

End of An Obsession

Breaking my silence to address a stupid issue that shouldn't be one. But first, a little background:

A lot of people don't know this, but I am an extremely high-functioning autistic woman. I have Asperger's, to be precise. I wasn't officially diagnosed until about 7-8 years ago. A then-friend had a less high functioning son and a lot of what she described him experiencing sounded oh so familiar. She had suggested that I might have the same condition, which I took with a grain of salt for reasons I won't go into.

Anyway, I was seeing a therapist for work related stress issues and something made me bring it up. The therapist agreed that I might be on the autism spectrum and sent me to a colleague for testing/evaluation. Yeah, I am. In retrospect it seems like someone should have seen it sooner, but the doctor explained that I probably have been mimicking "normal" behavior most of my life in an effort to be like everyone else. "It wouldn't have worked if you were less intelligent &/or less high functioning. But you got so good at it that it became a way of life for you. To be honest, I'm amazed that you've been able to cope at this level for so long."

I *tried* to share this information with a few select friends & family. The general consensus was that I "let this friend put ideas in my head" and "there's nothing wrong with me." So I generally keep it to myself and try to continue carrying on.

Among my many issues, are the problem that I take things way too seriously & I get obsessed with people/things. (Not to the point of stalking anybody or wanting to kill them if I can't have them, I just get too emotionally invested) I also take things personally that aren't meant to be. Combine all this with the bipolar disorder that I inherited (did I mention that I'm a walking fucking mess?) & you have a recipe for disaster.

So, as you may have seen from other posts (if you've followed me or if you're a FB friend), one of my obsessions in recent years has been the actor Tom Hiddleston. He's British, gorgeous, has a voice like melted sin, and just seemed too good to be true. I loved that he hadn't "gone Hollywood" and wasn't a media whore,constantly promoting himself. Tom came across as a gentleman, a scholar, a compassionate man who did a lot of charitable work without making it seem like he was in it for himself. He was also more or less single, or at least kept his relationships quietly under the radar...until recently...

A few months ago, Tom attended the vulgar display known as the Met Ball Gala. It's one of the most excessive "look at us" celebrity things out there. I was kind of disappointed because I felt he was better than that. Pictures surfaced of him dancing with Taylor Swift- ugh. My uneasy feeling grew stronger. She had a boyfriend at the time, but I just had a feeling...

Sure enough, her relationship ended almost immediately after the ball. And very shortly after that, she & Tom were pictured making out on a beach, traveling together etc. I felt like I'd been stabbed in the heart. Why? Partly because she is known for hopping from guy to guy & writing songs about them when they crash & burn. Her life looks like a carefully crafted series of photo ops designed to keep her in the public eye. It doesn't help that he's hot, career wise, right now and she had largely fallen off the radar except for posting vacation pictures from her 1 year anniversary with her now-ex, until she took up with Tom. I don't know her. I was actually a sort of fan of her music (which I can't bring myself to listen to right now) but I suspect she isn't quite nice girl she makes herself out to be. Doesn't matter, it's none of my business.

Yet...Tom isn't blameless here either. I don't think he chased her, but it just bothers me that he took up with her so soon after her breakup. It made me realize he isn't quite the good guy I wanted him to be. (Again, part of this is my idealizing him, and is not something I can blame him for) It also hammered home the point that I would NEVER have a snowball's chance in hell with him if I ever did meet him as he seems to have a thing for young, skinny blondes (first Elizabeth Olsen & now this) which is something I can never be. The fact that he's allowing himself to become part of Taylor's media circus just hurts, because he wasn't like that before. Or was he?

Anyway, that metaphorical dose of cold water hit me, hard. Too hard. One of my coping mechanisms is to cut out/off things & people that hurt me. Not the healthiest reaction, but it's what I do. My first reaction was to quit every Hiddleston fan group I was in on FB, before I took myself off FB for a couple of days. (Not just because of Tom, there's some other stuff going on that may be another post someday, but constantly seeing him in my news feed was not going to help) I asked people not to post anything about this to my wall & in the group I started. (Which was marginally successful) Then I started the physical purge- I sold nearly all my DVDs that he's in, threw out the magazines with articles about him (including the GQ that ironically has Taylor on the cover), deleted most of my stored photos, and am planning to give away the pillowcases & pictures I have of him. (Yeah, obsessions are a wonderful thing)

I'm keeping (with reservations) my Loki collection for now. I can differentiate between the man & a character he portrayed, and I still love the character. I'm not displaying any of it right now as my emotions are still a little raw, but I'm not quite ready to give those things up.

I don't hate Tom. I just don't love him right now. I want him to be happy & have love in his life. I don't think this is the way it's going to happen, but it's not my business. I have to give him up now for my sanity, such as it is. I have an amazing group of online friends that I met because of him, and will always be grateful for that. I hope we'll be able to maintain those bonds now that I've given up on him.

So yeah, there it is. Roundabout babbling, but the end of my obsession in a nutshell.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

I seem to have missed April...

If anyone is out there reading this, I apologize for the lack of updates. I can no longer update the blog from work, and the tablet is a pain to post from. Semi-regular posting & Foodie Fridays will return when I have time to go sit at the library.

So, what have I been doing in the 6 or so weeks since my last post?

Well, the thyroid saga is FINALLY over. The last ultrasound showed the tumor had literally tripled in size and Dr. M said it had to come out. The surgery was April 18th. The good news is that he got it all out and it wasn't cancerous enough for me to need radiation treatment. The scary news is that it was pressing into my windpipe & vocal cord. They don't think I would have lived until the next ultrasound as it was growing so rapidly. I would have probably just fallen asleep & not woken up due to lack of air.

Anyway, I had 2 weeks off work, which my bosses acted like I'd done solely to inconvenience them. I pointed out that I could have scheduled it for Derby Week & they still would have had to give it to me per FMLA. The 29th was my first shift back, and it wiped me out. I was told to expect this for the next 6 weeks or so until the doctors get my hormone levels balanced out.

Back to the surgery for a moment. I've posted before about the panic attacks induced by having a mask on my face. I warned the nurses ahead of time, and the anaesthesiologist came in to talk to me. He said they couldn't totally knock me out beforehand, but they gave me a heavy sedative. They also had me bite this tube (it was what they hold your mouth open with to run oxygen tubes in once you're unconscious) and ran the knockout gas through that instead of a mask. Honestly, the last thing I remember is being told to "bite this and breathe deep!" It was great! No blood pressure issues, no blood sugar spikes, nothing!

Yeah, so that's pretty much been it for me. I still hate the people I work for & with. I've decided that life is too short to keep dealing with the stress from that office, so have resumed active job hunting. At this point I don't even care if I have to take pay cuts- it will be worth it to be free of those assholes & away from that toxic building.

More when I can post again...