Category Archives: Gripes and moans

Ms. Passive Aggressive

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No one likes passive aggressive people. They’re assholes. I mean, just say what’s bothering you and be direct about it. Don’t play these silly games that dance around the issue and *hope* your point is noticed by the offending parties.

Well… I’m an asshole. And I’m going to be passive aggressive right now.

First: I’m so disappointed because my boss has decided to buy a purebred Great Dane.

He’d approached me a few weeks back because he and his wife were thinking, yet again, of adopting getting a dog and he wanted my advice. Well, great! I have so many connections to all kinds of local dog rescues and could even help him narrow it down to the right dog with the right personality for his family’s needs. I gave him links to specific dogs and contact information for my favorite rescues.

I should have known something was up, because I didn’t hear a thing about it. Until today. When he says: “I was afraid to tell you about this, but… we’re getting a Great Dane puppy.”

He was afraid to tell me because he knows how incredibly important it is to me that I successfully spread the ADOPT, DON’T BUY message. And he knew I would be pissed at his ultimate decision. He was right.

I’m pissed for several reasons, besides the obvious one of “there’s one shelter dog’s life NOT being saved”… such as:

1) He bought a puppy about 2 years ago from a shady breeder in southern AZ somewhere. His wife decided they had to have an English golden retriever. So they went and got this dog and had no clue what to do to train it. The dog had insane energy and all kinds of health problems. (It had eaten a magnet at the breeder’s house before they even had her, and ended up spending massive amounts of money to have the magnet surgically removed.) At the time, his twin daughters were only 2, and the dog was “too much for them” and then, apparently, one of the twins developed an allergy to the dog. I don’t know what the fuck he was thinking, getting a high-energy, large breed puppy with two little toddlers in the house. It was an ongoing disaster for months, until that convenient dog allergy showed up and they had no choice but to return the dog to the breeder. They gave up on a dog for no good reason at all. A dog they never, ever should have adopted in the first place.

2) Next, they got a Saint Bernard. A Saint Bernard!!! That one lasted for an even shorter time period before it was returned. Again, it was a very young dog and had tons of energy and needed time, attention and TRAINING to get it to be the dog they wanted.

3) Today he told me that he spent a lot of time “exhausting the rescue option” and in the end they just knew they wouldn’t find a dog that was what they wanted, in a rescue. In the Great Dane rescue, the dogs were mostly “4 or 5 years old already, and with the short life spans of Great Danes, we knew we’d only get a couple of good years out of one of those dogs and we’re not ready for that.” Apparently he is of the naive belief that only old dogs die. Look. You get a dog, you’d better be ready for whatever comes your way regarding illnesses and accidents. If you’re “not ready for that”…don’t get a dog.

4) They have two pet rabbits and they also said at rescues they wouldn’t be able to find a dog that would be both good with little kids AND rabbits. Notice I said “wouldn’t be able to” in that sentence up there. This shows that he never really investigated that part of it seriously. He’s lying to me about “exhausting the rescue option.” I hate being lied to. Anyway, who wants to place bets that there will be an incident with the Great Dane puppy and the rabbits within the first 6 months? How about the first 6 weeks?

5) He says he wants a dog he can take on walks, but back when he had the other two dogs, he “hated walking them” because of the work and effort of trying to control them. OH CHRIST, GET ME A DRINK AT THIS POINT!

I look forward to the inevitable failure of this, his latest Worst Decision Ever.

Second: I don’t understand the people who tell me to send them my book because they want to read it, and then they never read it.

I can think of EIGHT friends right now who fall under this category. Eight. All of them friends, not just people I kinda know/strangers. They all said to me, “please let me read your book” and I told them yes.

I also told them to be honest and fuckin’ tell me if you are bored with the story and stop reading.

This is important.

I need to know if my story doesn’t engage people. It’s not a matter of “I’d like to know”… NO. I NEED TO KNOW. So I can fix it.

Some of the people tell me, “Oh, well… I don’t really read that genre, but I’ll give it a try.” This is not the right thing to say to an aspiring author. It’s not that I am upset you don’t read my genre. It’s that you are clearly not the target audience, but you’ll give this a look anyway, probably out of some unspoken obligation. Don’t do that. Just don’t offer to read my book, because it sucks getting excited waiting for feedback that NEVER comes. And I don’t want you doing a pity-read, either. Lame.

Third: Writers who don’t know a thing about my genre, and yet feel they have the right to tell me all the things wrong with my book. Or what they would do differently, to make it sell.

Writer Ex did this to me a couple months ago, and I’m still annoyed by what he said. I wanted him to be brutally honest about my story, and he wasn’t.

He was brutally honest about what he would do with my story idea, if he’d had it.

The first lines of his critique: “Great title. The rest? Not so much.”

Then he went on to explain he never reads YA sci-fi or paranormal so he has no idea what the market is for those books. But if I want people to buy my book, I need to make Zachary some kind of mutant freak with big, flashy superpowers he can’t control. I should write it in the style of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And so on, until I felt like puking.

Again, maybe you shouldn’t offer to critique my query and first few pages if you are unfamiliar with my genre.

At least I know better now. I won’t ask anyone who doesn’t READ this kind of stuff (or write it) take a look at my work.

OK. My passive aggressive rant here is done.

I’m going home now to write my kick-ass new book, play with my dogs and enjoy my fuckin’ weekend!

The financial idiot

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Remember the good old blogging days? When we all posted frequently, and could easily comment on one another’s posts? Those were some good times. But now, with all the elaborate word verification captchas, incompatabilities between WordPress and Blogger and everyone getting busy with life (what? Real life? What’s that?!), the blogging activity is falling by the wayside.

I still like it, though. I still check blogs that have not been updated in a year, just in case. I blog on my other blog. I blog here. Sure, it’s not as big a part of my life as it once was, but that’s fine. Things shift around and change. It’s OK.

So, I came here today to share my weird shame regarding my bank accounts. It’s just maddening to me that a grown woman with lots of responsibilities and a decent sized paycheck still manages to struggle each month to make ends meet. Especially months with holidays or trips. Dear GOD. I am without an effective budget right now, because I can’t seem to get ahead to the point where things are able to BE budgeted.

Right now, I am down to $44 in my checking account. And $21 in my savings.

That’s IT. That’s what I have to work with until I get paid on Friday.

The only reason I have $44 in checking is because I transferred a whopping $15 over this morning so I could buy some gas for the car this week. I want to get $10 worth.

This is so stupid and shameful. I don’t know how things got so out of control, but ALL of my money goes to paying bills and buying food/gas. The three basics. Every time I spend money on something fun, I wind up short. October it was Halloween and the trip to LA that did me in. November, it was the trip to NJ and then some money I threw in for Thanksgiving dinner stuff. Now this month, it’s friggin’ Christmas. Great. Well, this year they are all getting ‘creative’ gifts (AKA cheap/handmade) and a big pull-back from the years past where I went overboard on my family since I love buying for them. All those holidays added up, it turned out, and gave me a decent chunk of credit card debt. Who’da thunk it?

Well, something has to change soon. I’m considering a couple of options. One– refinancing my mortgage to a 30yr. fixed if I can qualify for it. That could potentially lower my payment. Or, turn the car in for a more affordable car. I thought I could handle jumping from a $128 car payment to a $286 one, but it turns out it’s really not working. I make the payment, yes, but because I am never one to skip a payment or pay less than the amount due. That means all my money that I’d use for other stuff just isn’t there. Maybe I should just do what so many people I know do: just pay what you can and leave it at that. I don’t know, though… I am proud of my credit score and don’t want to take any hits on it. I don’t know why it matters so much to me, but it does.

I’m starting to consider debt consolidation, too. Get all the stupid credit card bills together and make it into one payment. Maybe a lower payment overall. We’ll have to see on that one. I don’t want to close all of my cards out, or have trouble with my credit score down the road.

I hate being an adult sometimes. I really do.

I really have been feeling that hamster wheel thing these days… I keep running to keep up, and yet I never get anywhere.

hamsterwheel

My blogging situation

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I am beginning to move away from this blog, in favor of blogging on my website. If you know my name, it’s http://myname.com. No spaces — just my first and last name dot com.

I’ll still use this one as I’ve always intended it: more or less as a diary. Meaning, I will still write here occassionally about personal things or anything I wouldn’t want the professional writing community to read for whatever reason.

So, if you’re so inclined, go check out my website and if you want to give me any suggestions or ideas to improve it, please feel free. I like the site so far, but I still have more to add to it. I want it to be a good representation of my writing range.

My journey to landing an agent just began in earnest last week. I sent my samples out to the two interested agents… but one of them has a “full mailbox” and so my email bounced back three times. I’ll wait a couple more days, and try re-sending it. Hopefully by then she’ll have checked her email! I have to say I don’t see this as an encouraging sign, because I would want my agent to be professional in all regards, and that includes keeping her email account active. We’ll have to see.

And no news is good news with the other agent, I’m thinking. I don’t expect the first agent to be the one that “bites”… I’m all set to query the next batch of agents I’ve pinpointed through my research. I will be doing that next batch– it will be 4 or 5 at a time– this week. Not sure which day, but it’ll happen. I remain psyched. 🙂

In other news, I’ve got a really painful bout of sciatica going on these days. Holy crap. It’s doing something I’m calling “seizing up” whenever I first stand up after sitting for awhile. The pain just shoots down my nerve and the muscles around it almost freeze so I can’t put my foot flat on the ground. It only lasts a few seconds, but it’s ridiculously painful for those seconds. I’m trying not to be a wimp, and definitely trying not to complain about it, but there are times when I can’t hide it– like those “seizing up” moments. I tend to gasp a little, or make an involuntary little noise. Because of this, I chose not to go to a social event on Friday night where I could have possibly spoken to the guy I kind-of like. First, I was in no shape to do a lot of walking around or sitting on bar stools, etc… and second, if I ended up looking like a total gimp or something, that would be counterproductive. Mehh. It sucks a whole lot. It really does. I hate my spine.

I’m giving it another week or so to see if it eases up on its own. It usually does. This happened around this time last year, too. I do know what to do to take care of the problem: lie flat with my knees bent with an ice pack on the discs for 15-25 minutes at a time; do my stretches after a hot shower or using the heating pad; sit up straight and only wear shoes with a lot of support and no heels. I broke out the hydrocodone on friday. I had to. I rationed it all year so I would have it on-hand when I truly needed it. I’ve only taken it twice so far since Friday, but I will take it again if I absolutely have to.

When these sciatica episodes happen, I wind up feeling depressed at the same time. No coincidence there, really. I feel trapped in this body, with the constant pain, and I am self-conscious about how I move and walk around. I try to pass it off like I am just fine when I’m in public because I hate when someone asks me if I’m OK. If it gets to the point that someone has to ask, that means I failed at hiding it. I kind of pride myself on my high tolerance for pain… I know that’s kind of weird. But I do. I have some kind of sciatic nerve pain every single day of my life. But you know how it is with things that are chronic: You get used to it. You find ways to cope and keep things under control. It becomes no big deal. It really does. Because if I were to give in and take meds for each little twinge and pain, I’d be on all kinds of drugs all the time, probably. And I’d be whining a lot, too. Both in writing and in person. Nah. I do not want to be that way. And I don’t need to be that way, thankfully. Like I said, I have the “gift” of a high pain tolerance.

Anyway, I have already blabbed enough about this. As I was saying, I’ll give this another week or so and if it doesn’t get better by then, I’ll call the last spine specialist I saw last year and see if I can get started on a pain management treatment plan. My friend L at work got two cortisone injections when her sciatica was acting up, and it worked great for her. I will look into that. (The only thing holding me back is the fact that insurance only covers a portion of the expense b/c it’s not a “medical necessity.” The things that are excluded from insurance coverage are ridiculous sometimes. I’d say pain relief from not one but THREE ruptured discs should be a necessity, wouldn’t you? But last year when I looked into it, one injection would cost me around $450 AFTER insurance. Yeeesh! However, thanks to changes from the federal government, my insurance company is one of the ones that has had to answer for their sins against patient care– maybe if I look into it now, it would be different! I know I no longer pay for my birth control pills, or my annual well woman visit… seriously, NO co-pays. I love it. Maybe now the insurance will cover more of the expense of the injection.)

OK, my bitching about my sciatic nerve is done.

Now I really do need to get down to work. I’ve got a lot of assignments this week and very little time to get them finished. Also? I got my latest jury duty notice recently. I am supposed to report on Wednesday for jury duty. As most of you know, this is a common occurrence for me. But I’ve lost count. This is either the 13th or 14th time in 14 years I have been called to jury duty in AZ. I am NOT JOKING. They can serve you with any number of court notices: it could be superior court, or the local municipal court. I get called to both. I’ve had to show up in person only twice and I have yet to serve on an actual jury! Usually, I call the day before I find out my group doesn’t need to appear. I wonder if that’s why my name keeps getting thrown back into the system so much.

Either way, it totally doesn’t seem fair at all. I know people who have lived here as long as I have, and have NEVER been called once! I’ve looked into this and asked questions to try to find out why I am always called, and the answer is that names are chosen “by computer, at random” from a database made from the motor vehicles department and voter registration records. I’ve wondered if I had traffic tickets or any kind of misdemeanors on my record, if maybe they wouldn’t call me as often? Would doing something bad help push me to the bottom of the juror list? Probably not. Still, I do wonder…

I am so sick and tired of getting these notices in the mail every 6 months or so. I wonder if I move away, if another state will harass me this frequently, too. Probably not.

The many things occupying my Friday mind

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Enjoy this fresh new blog post, now in handy bullet form!

  • Tonight, my sister and I are helping set up a Halloween event. We’re volunteers, and so as thanks for helping out, we get free tickets to the actual event tomorrow. It’s going to be pretty cool, I think. Workshops, performances, something called a “monster market”… As a lover of all things Halloween, I feel it’s almost my duty to attend this thing.

 

  • My company laid off two people the other day. One was one of the most senior-level executives here. There’s no danger my job’s going to be on the line, though, so that’s good. We have a new CEO, and he’s looking at the entire structure of the company and figuring out where the fat can be trimmed. I’m actually quite pleased that this new guy is trying to make us a little more profitable and efficient. We are waaaaay too top-heavy at the moment. This little move really helped even things out somewhat.

 

  • I think I pinpointed the ideal publisher for my book today, out of the blue. I was www.yahighway.com and noticed the term upper YA as a genre. Hey! That’s the term I was looking for to describe my market’s book! Anyway, the publishing company in question is looking for upper YA books, and has a wide global distribution network. I skimmed through their titles on their site, and found one intriguing book that seems to be the closest match to my book in terms of tone, plot and style: Touch by Jus Accardo. I found it before lunch, bought it for my Kindle for $4.99, and read 20% of it by the end of lunch. It’s good! Not perfect, though… but still highly entertaining and paced very well.

 

  • Tough call this weekend: I could get my new work article done, or I could get my book done. On one hand, the article is what I am obligated to do… but the book…? That’s got to get finished so I can send it to people to read over before the Conference. Soooo, it’s not hard to figure out which thing I will most likely make the priority.

 

  • A new gym is opening not far from my house. Like the Gold’s Gym I have been planning to join, it’s $10 a month. The Gold’s is just a tad closer, and is well-established. This new gym, a Planet Fitness, is the latest in a chain, and I actually went to a PF back when I was married to the X. It’s a pared-down gym, no classes or anything. But, all of the equipment is going to be brand new. HMMM. Decisions, decisions. I’m leaning towards the new gym.

 

  • I have to get an oil change. It’ll be the first one for the Prius, and I’m nervous about it for some reason. I feel like it will be more expensive, or the technicians won’t know what to do. And no, I don’t want to go to a dealership, because that is ALWAYS more expensive. But, we’ll see. I should probably figure it out very soon. The “maintenance required” light came on yesterday. Yikes.

 

  • I locked myself out of my car and house yesterday before work, so that was fun. I had to call my Mom to come let me in. When I put my keys down to give the dogs their usual good-bye treat before I left, I didn’t pick them up again. Just left them sitting there on the counter. I was so pissed at myself. So, yesterday I went to Lowe’s on my lunch hour and made a duplicate key to specifically keep in my purse or wallet at all times. This kind of thing has to stop happening. (I was locked out when I came home from work a few weeks back because I didn’t have my house key on my keyring. I’d taken it off the night before when I took the dogs for a walk… my previous duplicate key is fickle and I didn’t trust it. So I used my main key, and totally spaced on putting it back on the keyring. My sister came to rescue me, that time.)

 

  • I could go into some political stuff here, but I’m not going to do it. It only annoys me too much. All I will say is that 1) for the next election, I am not putting a sticker on my car. It opens too many cans of worms and brings much more annoyance than any sense of comraderie with like-minded voters; and 2) my neighbors need to settle down and stop trying to argue with me whenever they get the chance. I want to be able to go to my mailbox without engaging in a debate with unarmed people. Because they are VERY misinformed and uneducated. It drives me nuts.

 

  • I’m pretty sure my problem tooth, the molar in the back that had a big chip in it, is done for. The other day I think I broke another big chunk out of that same tooth. Now it’s very sensitive to cold and pressure. As luck (sigh) would have it, I’m going to the dentist Monday anyway for my cleaning and checkup. I’m sure that crowns are going to come up in conversation, and this time, I might have to cave in and do it. Unless I get the tooth pulled… it’s just my wisdom tooth that poked its way in kind of sideways, anyway. (My two wisdom teeth came in on the bottom.) We’ll see, I guess. Yuck. Not happy.

 

  • And, finally: it was bound to happen sometime. I have it on good authority that Tina Fey has finally let fame go to her head. She’s not as nice or appreciative to the people who work for her anymore; and even though they weren’t having a disagreement or falling-out of any kind, she didn’t even say goodbye and thank you to my friend’s Dad when it was his last day before retirement. I’m very, very, very disappointed in you, Tina. We all expected better from you. Boo. 😦

Illness is no excuse for not getting shit done

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I’ve been feeling like crap for the past four or five days. It’s a sinus infection of some kind. It rolled in around Thursday and knocked me out by 9:30 that night. On Friday, I went to work but only because I was trying not to be a wuss about it, and also because I don’t have much sick time left. The migraines take up most of my sick days. Anyway, I came in but left around lunch time to go home and sleep. I took some sinus medication, used the neti pot and slept for about 4 hours.

I ended up going to a Walgreen’s clinic around 6:30, because I felt that crappy. I had a fever of about 99.5, which is high for me, and I was just so wiped out it was hard to just walk around and do stuff like make dinner. It wasn’t normal. The doctor there diagnosed me with sinusitis, and prescribed 10 days of amoxicillan. This didn’t make me happy. I have a thing about antibiotics and really, really don’t want to take them unless there is no other option and we know, for sure, the infection is caused by a bacteria and not a virus.

I started taking them on Saturday, but I’m not so sure I want to keep doing it. I’m just not sure it’s a good idea. I think I am getting better thanks to rest, lots of water, the neti pot and breathe-right strips on my nose as I sleep. Not because of some antibiotic pills. I could be wrong. But yeah, I’m not excited about these pills and kind of want to stop taking them. I don’t know if that’s a good idea though, either.

I felt better yesterday, probably because I went out with my sister and Mom and got my mind off things and moved around quite a bit. I was incredibly wiped out after hanging out with them, though! It was pathetic! I came home and just slumped in the living room chair, eating dinner and watching a few episodes of Hell on Wheels. I tried to work on my book later on, but everything was coming out ‘muddy.’ Meaning, I wasn’t doing clean writing or editing. My mind wasn’t focused enough. Boo. 😦

I’ve got to get better. I don’t have much time to wrap up this book according to my own deadlines before the Conference! I still have quite a few scenes to revise. I’ve fallen into the old familiar trap of nitpicking a few times here and there, which wastes time. I keep forgetting that nitpicking can come later on. Now I just need to wrap it up and let people read it. That’s what’s important. Getting outside feedback. Not me worrying excessively about tenses and passive language.

Ugh.

So I just wanted to vent there for a minute or two. I wish I felt better already, but the thing is, it doesn’t matter. I have to do the work either way. It’s time to nut up or shut up, so to speak. (I love that phrase.)

Note to self: SUCK IT UP. Finish your shit, and whine later.

That’s all there is to it. Now, go. Do what you have to do.

Everyday ear tortures

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One of the most cringe-worthy sounds is when a heavy smoker laughs. You can hear the lungs rattling around, and then they usually end up having a coughing fit. Gross.

I can’t stand loud motorcycles, either. I know most of us can’t stand that, so this is nothing new. But damn, they can be retarded-loud. And every time one goes up or down my street, my dogs get so pissed off. They bark and lose their minds at the front window. I know some people say that motorcycles need to be loud so drivers can hear them coming; it’s a safety issue. Well, whatever. Maybe loud to a certain level, yes. But when I see those added mufflers that increase the noise a thousand times or so, grrr. My brain hurts just thinking of the sound.

I hate the sound of a soda can being opened, or in my case, when I peel the metal lid off a new can of cashew nuts. Especially if I am in public. I damn near muffle the can against my body, or under a table, or I try to go outside if it’s not a huge pain in the ass. That sound, that peel/pop noise, just gets on my nerves so much!

I hate when babies shriek. When they almost break the sound barrier with that high-pitched screeching. I run as far away as possible.

And finally, I can’t stand the noise when I walking or riding my bike underneath power lines. The electricity is buzzing and crackling above, and it wigs me out. I keep thinking the electricity has a mind of its own, and it sees me down there and gets a sinister idea: “I’m just going to zap the shit out of her.” The worst part is when the noise is accompanied by an actual, mild shock sensation when you touch anything metal on your bike. It’s creepy as hell. It does suck that the cities around here put the nice walking and biking paths right under the power lines. Thanks for that, cities. I guess it’s the only land you could scare up. What I don’t understand is at South Mountain, there is a lot of land area where they could decide to carve out trails. And yet, for one of their main trails, they did it right under the path of the power lines. (Or they placed the power lines over the trail– I don’t know which came first.) So, for the last 1/3 of my hike when I go there, I am under the power lines the whole time. It kind of ruins the fun of hiking out in the (semi-)wilderness, on a mountain.

OK, that was random bitching. Just for fun. Now maybe I can go do something

The Brain That Wouldn’t Focus

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I’m still feeling incredibly psyched for the Writer’s conference in October. Today, though, I’ve got that overwhelmed feeling I get when I have way too many things on my mind at once. I know what I am supposed to do to only focus on one thing at a time. Yeah, it’s one thing to know what you’re supposed to do, and another to actually do it.

Just to give this a frame of reference, these are the current thoughts on my mind. I’m writing them very fast to try to capture how my mind feels right now:

* I want to be writing my book here at work right now, but I can’t. I have page proofs to do and I need to write an article. I don’t want to do either of them because they aren’t fun. But I’ll do them. As soon as I procrastinate some more by blogging.

* I need to write that one short story about the guy who makes balloon animals. I thought of it months ago and it would be ideal for a couple contests I want to enter.

* I need to edit my story “Favorite Pets” so I can get it out to a few more publications for consideration. The editor of that one magazine gave me notes and I have yet to incorporate them. Maybe later tonight I can make this a priority.

* I should cut my lawn. It’s getting so long again and it’s supposed to rain tomorrow-on for the next several days. Could be my last chance to do it before then. I hate mowing my lawn. I’d rather not do it.

* Hurley needs to go to the groomer– make an appointment for the coming weekend.

* Moose has his dental appointment on Thursday morning. Gotta get him there before I go in to the office. Good thing I have the CareCredit card to pay for it. I should also give him a bath.

* I just sent an email to the wrong person and I feel like a moron. Fortunately, it was nothing proprietary or personal… just a work email… but I really hate that I did that. I can’t even claim it was Outlook’s fault (it will do autofill if you start typing the first couple letters of an email address) because the two names in question are “Mike” and “John.” Sheesh. I get so easily confused when I have so many articles underway at once. I don’t even know which month’s issue I am working on, all the time. I can’t keep it all straight without my planner and my notes.

* Still gotta figure out what to do about my stupid roof. I got a message from the insurance company that their estimate to fix it is $560. My deductible is $1,000. So clearly, I’d be paying for the repair out of my own pocket. Boo. But I really want to spend my money on the writer’s conference… not my fucking roof. See? This is why I wish I didn’t own a house.

* I keep thinking about my one book, Jinni, and that I should really focus on the sense of touch in that one. It’s the one thing the protagonist was never able to do and now, he can. What would that be like? And how intense would everything be? Ugh… I should put that aside for now and focus on finishing Breedless! Or writing that new short story! Or editing Favorite Pets! I can’t keep thinking about all these stories, all at once. It’s making me nuts.

* I need to print out the page from United Healthcare for the gym reimbursement program; then, I have to get over there to the gym and enroll. I do still think that getting out of the house for a workout and having some structure to my evenings will be the best thing for my writing. I think I’m mentally sluggish because my body’s sluggish. I have to turn this around now.

* I hate my hair and need a haircut. My weird thing is I keep saying “you can get a haircut once you lose some more weight.” I think I don’t deserve a new haircut, in this chubby body. I know, that’s really stupid. But it’s what I’ve been saying to myself for months now. Meanwhile my hair gets more split ends and more fried-looking every day.

I’m now at the beginning again, thinking the same things over and over again. It doesn’t shut off. I don’t like it. It makes me sad. I find myself thinking I’m in over my head in life, itself, and I should just go lie down and forget about all of it. And that, in turn, makes me angry, because doing nothing won’t get me any closer to getting anything done, of course. And I want things done. Very much.

I don’t remember being this mentally constipated in a long time. I wonder why it’s hitting me now, as I get older, more than it did when I was young. Why can’t I sort and prioritize, and stop seeing only the bigger picture of EVERYthing I have to get done, always? Sheesh! I need therapy or some shit.

I’m-in-a-FUNKytown

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I’ve had a weird couple of weeks, in that I’m just not interested in very much. It’s most likely just because it’s summer, and I have to wait awhile before I can begin seriously planning my move back to NJ (even though I wish I could do it now)… or, it’s a little dash of the ol’ depression sprinkled into the mix once more. Either way, I feel kind of disappointed in myself for not forcing myself to snap out of it and change things.

I had a week of vacation last week. I had to use it or lose it, basically. My boss insisted I take my vacation in July, even though I technically have all of August to use it too (we go by fiscal year). So I didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter regarding the timing, sadly. If I could have had my way, I’d be taking that time this month instead. ANYWAY, I had my 5 days off and what did I do? Pretty much nothing at all. That’s what.

I slept in. I watched movies and TV. I read a lot. I napped. It was incredibly, terribly lame and I’m ashamed of all the time I simply wasted.

I really would have preferred going someplace, believe me. I would have liked to go up north for even just one day to go hiking and hang out around trees and/or water. But I had no one to go with me– one of the biggest drawbacks of being antisocial and single, honestly– and my family wasn’t too excited about the idea of me going hiking up there all by myself. Second, I had no money at all to spend on gas, food, entertainment, etc.

Stupid Carmax Finance. Once more, they took my monthly car payment from my checking account TWICE. This, after it happened in June and I called and thought I got it corrected… and was told my ‘extra’ June payment would be applied for July. So, technically, I wouldn’t owe a payment until August.

Yeah, that didn’t happen. I had yet another $575 pulled from my account. And like last month, it seriously handicapped me as it dropped my checking balance down to about $33 last week. I had other bills to pay. And I couldn’t pay those bills if I didn’t get reimbursed, and fast.

It was a whole fucked-up ordeal. Every time I called Carmax Finance, I talked to someone different and everyone made different promises to me. That my money would be automatically redeposited into my checking account, after I faxed over my bank statements and everything. Then when that didn’t happen, I was told they would overnight the checks to me. That didn’t happen, either. I finally managed to get my money back–by regular mail– on Thursday afternoon last week. Thursday. Too late for me to do anything really fun/good with my vacation time. I was, and am, pissed off. But hey, at least I finally got reimbursed.

Now to just see if the same thing repeats itself in August…

I don’t believe it will. This time I got a confirmation email that they deleted the second monthly payment, rather than just a verbal “OK, it’s fixed” like last time. So we’ll just see. But really, if this fuckery DOES happen again, I’m bringing the car down to Carmax and demanding that they let me turn it in. I’m so disappointed in the company regarding this whole mess. This is a company I have raved about in the past, and I love their business model. But when true incompetance happens like this, it kind of casts a pall over the overall relationship, sadly.

My life’s felt incredibly non-eventful and boring these days. I hate when people ask me what I’ve been doing lately or what’s new, because I feel like I draw a giant blank every time. I’m like, “Well, I cleaned. I did some yardwork. I basically stared into space before dozing off for a couple of naps every day.” I used to do theater, and in some ways I find myself missing it because it was a PROJECT that had a beginning, middle and a final product of all the work. Every play required about 8-12 weeks at a time, but that’s kind of the perfect amount of time to do something and wrap it up. Then, move on to the next show/project. It was never boring and routine because it changed up every few months, by nature.

I’ve thought about taking a class in something at a community college, and/or getting some kind of part-time job. My biggest issue is this guilt about leaving the dogs alone for so much time. Seriously, I worry that they are bored and I don’t give them enough of what all dogs want– time and attention from me. I’m at work for 9-10 hours every weekday. So, I feel awful when I come home to let them out and spend just a few minutes with them before going out again to do something fun. I don’t know why I worry about letting them down/boring them so much, but I do. I already think about how dull their lives are with me, because I work all day and come home and just basically either sit and use my computer and watch TV or do chores that keep me busy up until bedtime. I do make efforts to play with them and give them affection and talk to them and everything. When it’s not too disgusting outside, we take a walk, but this time of year our walks always drop off until it cools down. (The pavement doesn’t get all that cool until about 9:00, 9:30 at night, which can be too late to walk around in the dark neighborhood and feel safe.)

I’m feeling the strain of trying to be enough for four pets. I know I’m lucky since my pets are pretty good and don’t demand too much, really, but my own guilt and sadness really gets to me when I try to put myself in their situations and realize I don’t do enough with them every day. If I had a husband, a family, etc, it wouldn’t all be on me, just me, to provide everything each pet needs. I don’t know. It kind of sucks that I’m on my own with this. But hell, it’s my own doing. I did this knowingly and consciously.

I think I’m projecting stuff onto these pets, for sure. I’m bored, so I assume they are bored as well. I wish I could be more. Not just for them, but for myself.

So, yeah, I’m just in a general funk. I had two pretty decent days in a row, though. Yesterday I was in a goofy, sing-songy mood and felt like I had things under control fairly well. I was productive at work. I hung out with my Mom and sister for dinner and we watched Despicable Me, which is an adorable movie. I brought the two dogs with me to my sister’s house so there was no guilt about leaving them home alone all night… b/c they were with me. Today, I was productive again and I ended up writing a lot of my book. I had to go to the obgyn for my annual exam, but it went super fast and wasn’t painful this time. I always feel great when I leave from that horrible appointment, knowing that I’m good to go for one more year. That was the case today too, of course.

After I got home for the day, I opened up my book file again and was all set to write some more stuff because I as doing so well today with it. I only got a few sentences in when I saw Moose run down the hall to my bedroom, stay in there a couple minutes and then come running out again, and I had a terrible suspicion that he had just peed on my bed again.

This is the worst thing, you guys… He has now peed on my bed three times. Always right where I sleep, near the pillows. The first time I was just shocked and horrified that he did such a thing. The second time, I noticed it just as I was getting into bed and freaked out that it happened again. Each time he does this, I pull the sheets off and immediately wash them. I know it’s kind of pointless, but I have yelled at him and put his nose in the spot where he peed. I just get so angry…! Then I ignore him for several hour after that, and he acts sooooo mopey and pathetic.

Anyway, yeah. Tonight he DID pee on my bed again. I know he had just done it right then and there, because I checked the house thoroughly when I got home, searching for any sign he had peed on anything while I was at work. Nothing. And then when I ran to my room after he left it, the spot was still warm. That son of a bitch…!

I went online after throwing the sheets in the wash and shutting the bedroom door so no one could go in there unsupervised and looked up “dog urinating on my bed.” And it absolutely seems that he is doing this to assert some dominance over me. He’s challenging me. He has begun to claim the bed as His Own Bed, and not My Bed. I’ve created this beast, because I encouraged him to sleep with me every night since I love how we cuddle. But I shouldn’t have done it, obviously. It sent him a message that we are more like equals because I am allowing him to sleep where he wants, and in MY spot. This ends now.

So, instead of writing, I ended up over at Petsmart, buying a crate. I got him a soft, collapsible crate that will be good for moving/travelling, too. It’s like the one Malcolm had. I still have Malcolm’s crate, actually, but I let a stray cat stay in there once and that cat fucked the crate up. Made a giant mess of his litter, excrement and food, and shredded the floor. I have cleaned it out a couple of times now, but it still looks and seems completely beat up and used. I know animals have a better sense of smell so I imagined Moose would smell the ghosts of animals past inside the crate and act up because of it. So, I decided to get a new crate.

I set it up at home with a new bathmat in the bottom (way cheaper than a crate liner in Petsmart; the bathmat cost $7 where the crate pad was $20+.) and enticed him to check it out. Moose was hesitant to go inside, and I didn’t push it. The two cats went in right away and settled in, of course. Hurley explored it and once he did that, Moose finally decided to check it out, too. He copies Hurley so much.

Moose knows he is in trouble. He isn’t trying to get my attention tonight, and he’s just sleeping in his old dog bed under my end table, all forlorn-looking. Good.

I’m not looking forward to tonight, when I crate him for the first time since his first week here in my house. He will whine and carry on quite a bit. But he’ll eventually tire out, I’m sure.

It sucks I can’t have him up on my bed anymore, but I know I have to do this and set this boundary, hard and fast. I cannot have him challenging me/pissing on my BED of all places.

At the same time, I have to put boundaries in place with Gremlin. He’s begun a few behaviors that annoy the hell out of me, and as it turns out, are also likely him trying to assert dominance over me. One is he tries to dig under my sheets and claw around under there and keep me from staying asleep at night. The other thing is he jumps on my lap and kneads my belly and thighs while purring really loud. He never did this until about a month or so ago. He never did it to me as an actual kitten. It’s weird.

But NOW it’s escalated. He straddles my right arm, and stands still and twitches all over as he stands there. It’s confused me so much. I hate it though because he extends his claws in and out as he twitches, and he’s putting little holes in my clothes and his back claws are scratching my arm. On Monday, he finally did what I had been praying he wouldn’ t do: He humped my arm. It was suddenly obvious that his twitching was much more pronounced, his pupils were dilated and he was purring a strange, new purr. I read up about it and sure enough, people report this happening with neutered cats when the cats are reacting to something new in their environment, or trying to assert dominance over the owner.

So now, Gremlin’s banished from my lap when I’m sitting down. And tonight, he too will be banned from my bed. I’ll miss him even more than Moose, because he is so affectionate and sweet. He’s been sleeping on my other pillow for over a year now. We hold hands/paws as I fall asleep. But yeah, I will apply the same rule to ALL the pets. No one is allowed on the bed anymore. Not even sweet baby Hurley. Fortunately, he’s so adaptable and he doesn’t like to sleep up there, anyway–he only visits me. And Simon… he’s just off sleeping in a corner someplace, doing his own thing, so he won’t notice the difference.

It’s time to go to bed. I have to put the just-finished-drying sheets back on my bed now and do this thing. I’m glad I have earplugs and an eyemask to help me sleep through any whining, crying, pacing in the crate, cats clawing underneath my door to try to get in…

Anyway, hopefully everything will get better with these guys and they get the message, loud and clear. I do plan on being consistent and keeping his up, of course… I absolutely MUST be the leader around here. That’s final.

And I hope that I have more good days than blahhh days, and find something to make me feel like I’m participating in something, doing something new. I can’t take this lethargic boredom much longer.

Got a lot of problems with you people

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You know how sometimes PEOPLE just get on your nerves in a big way? I’m talking about a lot of people. Not just one person. And the other part of this is… you know you’re consciously letting little annoyances have more of your attention than you need to give them. You know you’re being ridiculous. But for whatever reason, some days it just feels good to be a bastard.

I’m having a bastard day.

Fortunately, I really don’t think this way every day. I’m pretty optimistic and caring, in general. But there are times when I just look around and I can’t help but get all twitchy and say, “Oh. My. Holy. Fuck” to myself multiple times.

Little things are getting on my nerves so much. People who post photos of their tattoos underway on FB; especially when the tattoos are terrible. People who overload on posting those Willy Wonka memes all over the place. Listening to one particularly grating co-worker on the phone. Watching this same co-worker earnestly take notes during a mandatory work training class this afternoon. (It wasn’t the kind of class that required notes. It was on the topic of ‘coping with change’ and everyone else was just listening, thinking and talking about the topic. Not this person, noooo. I can’t explain why I care. It just annoyed me.)

There are dozens of other people-problems on my mind, too. But I wouldn’t blog about them because a handful of them involve people I know. Word could get back to ’em. Best keep those things in my head and in my head, only.

But yeah. My point is, it’s just one of those days where I feel like the majority of people I see or interact with are just idiots or jerks. I think of what a stupid species we really are, in general. Myself included. I just dragged a coworker with me to Dunkin’ Donuts because I “needed” a donut and an iced tea. I’m a stupid consumer, eating bad stuff and dragging someone else down the bad path as I go. Wonderful.

Don’t ask me why I am so drawn to post-apocalytpic stories so much, but I am. I just love the idea that most of the idiots have been killed off and it’s up to a small group of people to be intelligent and problem-solve to stay alive against the odds. When I am around people who can’t function without their Dunkin’ Donuts and episodes of “The Bachelor” more often than not, my mind eventually goes to this thought: “This person would NOT survive an apocalypse.” (And yes, I am not entirely sure I would be among the survivors myself.)

I also see unnecessary plastic mass-produced shit and immediately picture it being carted off to a landfill, where it will sit for thousands of years and future societies might find it and think “wow, what a bunch of assholes these people were.” My sister and I sometimes walk through stores and comment on the most idiotic products and say, “Landfill.” Think about it. How many Jimmy Buffett Margarita Machines will be here long after we are all dead? What about all those Dora the Explorer backpacks, promotional company pens and the flourescent green Nike basketball sneakers? Oh, it’ll be all sitting there in the landfill even as the sun begins to die and the Earth is consumed in a fiery ball. You can bet on it.

I constantly think of The End Times. I just do. I don’t for a second believe in any Mayan prophecies or 4 horsemen and plagues of locusts, but I do think we’ll do ourselves in just fine somehow. Whether it really is a zombie virus, or global nuclear war or the complete disregard for the environment, one way or another, this shit’s all going to end one day. Because we are morons.

Yeah. I got a lot of problems with you people. My people. Us HUMANS.

So, who wants a really crappy margarita?!?! It’s 5’O CLOCK SOMEWHERE, am I right or am I right???? Hoooo boy.

 

What I love and what gets on my nerves

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It’s been a long time since I did some fun lists. This is the perfect time, since if I don’t do a little throwaway post like this, I’ll end up writing about the #1 thing that has been on my mind (it’s a family thing) and there’s no need to get into all of THAT here on the blog. Not right now.

THINGS I LOVE RIGHT NOW:

* Cashews. (No surprise there! They’re still soooo good.)

* The album “Some Nights” by .fun

* The Island of Doctor Moreau. It was one of the free downloads on Amazon and I started reading it yesterday fully expecting to get bored and give up on it, like I do with most classic novels, but I ended up staying up late reading it last night. Cool! Anything with animals and freaky-ass science experiments always pulls me in. I’m surprised I haven’t read this book yet. I saw the terrible movie with Marlon Brando years ago, but fortunately I forgot almost everything about it. (I only remember Marlon Brando having a tiny Mini-Me person, mostly because South Park mocked it… and that at one point, MB put a bucket on his head.)

* When Gremlin is rolling around happily on my bed, being all goofy and affectionate, and he inevitably rolls right off the bed. I think he is doing it on purpose now, because seriously dude: How many times do you have to roll off the goddamned bed before you realize you shouldn’t be rolling right around at the edge like that? Oh, well. At least he’s cute.

* For the first time in years, I made my sister some birthday presents. It’s all possible because I cleaned out my office and organized all of my craft stuff. Now it’s a pleasure to go in there and find something. I “made” her a necklace (I put that in quotes b/c I only bought the chain, jumprings, pendant and closure and used pliers to put ’em all together… I don’t think it qualifies as true “making”– more like “assembling”) and put some adorable iron-ons on a T-shirt. It was nice to finally use some of the things I’ve purchased over the years and shoved away in the big, cluttered bins I had where all the craft/art stuff went to be forgotten. Sadly, the necklace I gave her? I had bought all of that stuff for last year’s birthday. But hey, at least it finally got done and now she has it. It feels good to “make” things.

* Fresh lemons. I love how they look, how they smell when I peel them, and how they taste in fresh juices. It’s so funny that very few juice recipes call for an entire lemon (or two)– I guess it’s too tart for most people?– but I’m always throwing a whole lemon in there just for one tall glass of juice. I really appreciate lemons now b/c the other day, I was making my green juice and realized I was out of lemons so I used a couple of oranges. UGH. Not so good. All citrus fruits are not created equal. That’s for damn sure.

* My Kindle. I’ve been using it much, much more than I even expected I might. I added one game on there, too (Falling Blocks) so I have something to do for times I might not want to devote my full attention to reading. It’s really a neat device. I still feel weirdly guilty, though, for not reading my paper books right now.

* When my friend K puts her son on the phone and he talks to me… I melt. He’s 3 now, and he told me the other day about drinking from a silly straw and he was just ridiculously adorable. “The juice goes round and around and around and mmmm, it’s GOOD!” I have such limited contact and experience with little kids, so these little tidbits are pretty awesome. I love the things that occur to him to talk about, and the stories K tells me. It’s neat to hear about his emerging personality. I love that stuff — the stuff you can’t predict regarding what a kid will be into as they get older.  

* The pomobasil sauce at Alessia’s Italian restaurant. We were there the other night for T’s birthday and even though we’ve been there before, we definitely don’t go there enough. Very few red sauces can compare to this stuff. It’s so fresh and light. Ooooh, I want some right now…!

THINGS THAT GET ON MY NERVES:

* Photos of myself. UGH, I think I look awful anymore! I would be cool with someone submitting me to What Not to Wear because damn. I need a makeover or something. I look so schlumpy, chubby and plain. Something’s not right with my hair.

* My sprinklerheads in the grass out back. They’re only spraying a limited distance lately and I have a feeling I need to do some heavy labor to unclog all the sprinkler openings to remove hard water buildup. Nope, that won’t be fun.

* As the Prius shifts between electric and gas motors, it’s been lurching lately. Sometimes, it feels like I have the thing in neutral because I’ll floor the gas and the car remains sluggish and draggy. I probably need to take it in to make sure everything is OK, because I don’t think it was doing this when I bought it. At least I have the warranty. Whew.

* The word “kitty” or “kitties”… I don’t have kitties. I have CATS. I don’t know why I am bugged by “kitty” so much, but I am. Also, my guys are too cool for a girly-sounding word like kitties. They’re dudes. They’re cats. End of story.

* This one, I feel bad about because some of you use it, but I have to be honest: Furbabies. I just can’t do it. To me, it sounds silly… and also, I immediately picture human babies covered in thick, nasty-ass fur. Like wolfmen babies. Yeah, I can’t do it. Sorry. 😦

(…now that’s a furbaby.)

* The way my boss says the word “wolf.” He says “wuff.” Oh man, I totally want to tease him or shame him into saying it correctly! But that would be mean, so instead I’ll just blog about it.

* Sunshades for my car. I can’t find a friggin’ shade for my windshield that fits. I have bought two now, and both have been terrible disappointments. The first was too tiny. So I bought a “jumbo” sized one (another word I hate: JUMBO) and it fits, mostly, but it’s super floppy and is a pain in the ass to set up and fold up again. Who knew a Prius would be so difficult to find a shade for? The HHR also was impossible, because the windshield in that car was so incredibly small… but it wasn’t as bad with the HHR since the sun wasn’t coming in such a big surface area as it is on the Prius.

* I’m sad that I am not loving my car right now. I want to love it, and I do love a LOT about it, but something’s off. I can’t put my finger on it. I hope I didn’t make a mistake.

* Hand sanitizer. Normally, I am a fan of it. But the other day I had something in my eye and without thinking, I reached up to pull out the hair or eyelash and the sanitizer hadn’t dried all the way. Yeeeouch! Hey, it’s just a little annoyance, and one that occurred due to my own stupidity, but still. It bugged me.

Now, if I could only stop drinking the damn stuff to get buzzed…