One of these days this body is going to be the death of me

I had good intentions as I always do about blogging regularly again and then I sort of wandered off. As I always do. In my defense though my body decided that the hormone supplement that I've been on for almost five years was suddenly way more than it wanted to accept and so after about 20 vials' worth of blood tests to figure out why I felt like ass, it was discovered that I had fourteen times the amount of progesterone that I should.

Which, for future reference, makes you feel like ass.

So that should be all fixed up, dosage-wise, and I feel better already. You wouldn't think it would take that much energy to mash a keyboard, but there you go.

My dose is WAY lower than it was before which means it's not $85 a month, which sucks. You'd think that affordable meds would be a good thing but the $85 a month was covered by my insurance (most of the time) and so I'd pay for it up front with my credit card and get points, and ring it through with my drug store loyalty card and get points there too, and then I'd get paid back so basically it was 5 minutes of my time and a bunch of points.

GAME THE SYSTEM. WIN THE POINTS.

Anyway, I'm back.

I had a title, but it got cut off at the knees.

When I graduated high school, I got a job and got an apartment and bought a piece of crap car. I also applied for a credit card, because I assumed that was just what you did when you were setting up shop as a Person.

They turned me down.

My 18-year-old feelings were kind of hurt but I figured, that's okay, I haven't been at my job long. I waited a few months and applied to a different company.

They turned me down.

I found this a little infuriating. I was an upstanding citizen, I paid my bills, what the hell was the problem? The credit card companies would never give me an actual reason so I asked a friend that worked at a bank.

Basically? They wouldn't give me one because I didn't already HAVE one, and because I was perfectly capable of paying it off. I swore a lot and stuck a few pins in voodoo dolls marked "Visa" and then forgot about it.

The next year, I went away to college. Credit card applications are rampant on campus; there are even people whose job it is to wave them in your face. To test a theory, one day I filled out the form and mailed it away.

What a shocker - though I had no discernible form of income whatsoever, not even student loans, they gave me the fucking credit card. Knowing that their insidious plan was to let me rack it up and then barely make the minimum payment, and that I would probably do just that, I froze it in a block of ice and stuffed it into the freezer.

It stayed there until I had almost graduated, at which point my stupid cat got hit by a car. To pay the vet for her treatment, I needed to use the credit card.

(The stupid cat survived, by the way, and lived for many more long and vindictive days.)

After that I graduated and went to summer school in Banff, where I had even LESS money, and MasterCard commenced sending me rather angry letters. At the end of the summer, I came home, got a job, and went into the bank as soon as I could to pay them.

"We're, uh...we're going to have to keep the card," the teller told me, and cut it up right then and there. Though the last thing I wanted was to be given the card back, I felt about 2 inches tall, and a shamefaced 18 years old all over again. Even though it had been my own mocking experiment, because I thought getting a credit card and then not using it was the ultimate way to show them I was on to their game. Or something.

Fast forward to NOW, many years later. I haven't had a credit card since then - in fact, I wave away those obnoxious people in the supermarket with a "I don't believe in credit cards, thanks," - but I have had car loans, student loans, and lines of credit. And I've paid them all off, with a few close calls but never in arrears, always a loanee in good standing. Last year, we remortgaged the house and paid it ALL off.

I wish someone had told me that a mortgage doesn't count for your credit rating.

Because I've recently noticed that despite the fact I wrote maybe three checks total between the ages of 16 and 30, now that I have a house and a kid, I write them all the damn time. And nobody ever cashes them immediately. Also, I pay for a lot of things online, which could take anywhere from 3 to 15 days to go through. I don't keep track of this shit; I'm a busy woman, and the last time I balanced my checkbook I was twelve years old.

Which means that maybe, OCCASIONALLY, lately I've been overdrawn by like twenty bucks. Simple enough - I went to the bank and asked for an overdraft protection on my checking account. They said, sure! We'll just...oh...wait. You don't have any revolving credit, you've been silly and living within your means, so your credit rating is precisely ZERO. You need to see a lender.

Ugh. Fine. I'll go see a lender. For a $500 overdraft on my fucking checking account.

So I made an appointment to see a lender, at the bank I've been banking at for 20 years. My old loans officer has since retired, so I got a new one. She greeted me cheerily, introduced her 20-year-old trainee, and shook my hand with both of her hands.

For some reason, that irritated the shit out of me.

Then she proceeded to talk and talk and talk, and peppered her speech with comments about how obviously I was a valued customer since I'd been banking there so long, and all my previous loans had been paid off in good standing, and would I like an explanation of the simplest banking procedures? And I couldn't figure out who she was condescending to, me or the trainee. I figured out that it was ME right around the time she actually started crunching numbers and said,

"Oh! Well, your serviceable debt is about 41% of your income. We need to see that under 40%. In order to get this loan approved, you'll need to add your fiance's financial information to this profile."

And just like that, I was 18 years old again. Financially infantilized, in one fell swoop. Sure, we can give you $500, sweetie, but you need to get Daddy to sign here in case you fuck it up, okay? There's that ONE PERCENT, dontcha know.

I gritted my teeth and smiled and thanked her, and she mentioned my upstanding record with the bank one more time and shook my hand with both her hands (Hey! Figured out why it bothered the shit out of me - more false deference! Also, it makes it harder for me to punch her in the throat).

It's enough to make a person go out and rashly apply for a credit card.

At least they're a little more upfront about fiscally eviscerating you.

Batten down the hatches

According to the Zombie Survival Guide, I am woefully ill-prepared. I don't have a crossbow. I don't have an armored car. I have a stupid dog that will bark and draw attention to us and my house will suck to defend.

(But where am I going to find a house on stilts for sale on the bald ass prairie?)

I'm sure that when I've mentioned these concerns before, you probably laughed and thought I was joking. But I'm not. I really do worry about what I'll do when the dead walk. I really do lay awake after I wake up from a nightmare, wondering whether it would make sense to build a perimeter wall.

Because if I'm worrying about that, I don't have to think about spending another day in a workplace I loathe. I don't have to dwell on how small my boss makes me feel, when he used to be a friend and all-round good guy but has somehow slowly turned into a selfish, uncaring asshole. I don't have to think about how I might turn into that same person if I can't find another job soon.

If I'm running through the mental exercise of how many cans of food I'd need to wait out hordes of the undead, then I'm not thinking about my stupid broken uterus. I'm not stressing about my self-imposed deadline for baby-making, which is horrifyingly close. I'm not gnashing my teeth about not being able to get in to see a specialist for months, someone who might not be able to fix me but at least could tell me my options.

If I'm considering a weapon for close-range combat with a reanimated corpse, then I'm not considering the range of human horrors this society could inflict upon my son. I'm not stressing about things in his future that are years away, like what school to send him to and whether to drive him everywhere and how he'll react to peer pressure. I'm not letting myself think that his weird toddler quirks might be signs of something more.

If I'm planning and worrying about something that will never happen, then I am not wasting time bemoaning things I have little to no control over.

The other day I ditched on a coffee date with my friend Fashionista, because I was so tired and crabby and I just didn't deserve to be interacting with people. She told me I was allowed to have an 'off' day, I have a lot of stress. I said I didn't think I had any more stress than anybody else.

She said, "I think you do."

And while I still don't think I have any more stress than anybody else, I'm willing to concede that yes, indeed, I do have stress.

I mean, I can NOT find a half-decent machete ANYWHERE.

If you scream in cyberspace, does anybody care?

If somebody broke the internet, how long would it take us to find out what happened?

Think about it. I logged on to my work computer this morning, and launched my browser, only to get a Site Not Found message. Google: Site Not Found. Hotmail: Site Not Found. Facebook: Site Not Found.

Hm. Okay. No big panic.

(Well maybe a small panic)

The network is probably down. I'll just check the wireless connection. I mean, I'm sure it's just MY computer, although it could be the whole office. Or the whole block, maybe someone cut a cable. Or - IT COULD BE THE WHOLE INTERNET. OH HOLY CRAP, SOME SADISTIC BASTARD BROKE THE INTERNET.

Because those are the kinds of conclusions I jump to before I've had any coffee.

(And yes, I'm blogging from work. I'm on a coffee break. SHUT UP, this is important.)

Anyway, obviously I got my internet back. But not before I thought about how I get the entirety of my information - the internet, of course. Stuff I see on the news and hear on the radio I've usually already read on the internet, at least two days earlier. If someone broke the internet, it could be MONTHS before the news got here via carrier pigeon. And then - gasp! - someone might have to tell me face to face.

How unreliable is THAT?

Anyway, I'm very sorry if I've scared you. I've had my coffee now, I'm all better. Back to you regularly scheduled programming.

(*shudder*)

The mosquitoes are trying to tell me something in their tiny, annoying voices. Like Fran Drescher tried, before I punched her in the throat.

Our summer has been so fucked up. All our lovely hot 30 degree* weather, which usually happens in July and August, is showing up NOW, long after everybody's gone back to school and taken their vacations from work. And where mosquitoes normally plague us in June and July, this year they're having an autumn feast.

After less than an hour in the garden yesterday, I came inside with 10 large welts. Seven of them were on my ASS.

What the fuck, mosquitoes? Is it that large of a target? No - wait - don't tell me - it's so big you got sucked into its gravitational pull?

Fucking mosquitoes.

I'm going to just assume that mosquitoes have great taste, because despite the fact that I've completely fallen off the exercise bandwagon, I still feel great, my clothes still fit (mostly) and I have a couple of fairly valid excuses as to why I'm watching said bandwagon disappear over the horizon.

Mostly, and I'll just get this out of the way right now, it's that I'm just a terrible human being who had four desserts today. But also, I had to stop running because I screwed up my back. Again.

Me and my back have a rather rocky history. It started when I was in university and I was doing a lot of pottery, and all the time spent hunched over the throwing wheel sent my (supposedly youthful and pliant) back muscles into spasm. I spent several months in physio, but it's been a bit of an albatross ever since, and it often derails my exercising efforts. One of the more memorable is pre-child, when I was playing squash daily with FoN, and while showering off after one game I innocently bent to pick up the shampoo. When I stood back up something went POP.

POP is a good sound when associated with kernels, or bubbles. Not spines. That unhappy incident introduced me to my chiropractor, with whom I am now on a first name basis.

(His name is Bill. In case you were wondering.)

So I wasn't kidding a month or so ago when I said that in order to go running, I needed to visit the chiropractor at least once a week. It was getting closer to twice a week, and it was getting kind of fucking pricey. And then it wasn't keeping the pain at bay, so I had to stop running.

I was still kind of enjoying running though**, so when I've done enough stretching and had enough visits to Bill, I keep trying again. And I then I'm reaching for the Aleve-Robaxacet cocktail, and voice-commanding my cel phone to "Call. Bill."

Anyway. I think I need to give up the marathon dream, and start looking at something that's a little more suited to my general personality. Low-impact and hippie-esh.

Yoga anyone?

*It's Celsius, I'm Canadian, just deal with it. It's about 86 F, plus.

**I know. I don't get it either.

It could have been worse, apparently mangos spray acid

Rachel's RTT post yesterday included a bit about how lovely the orange blossoms are smelling in her corner of Florida right now. Which I'm a little jealous about, because there is NOTHING growing here at the moment, never mind blooming. But I'm really not that jealous, because up until very recently the smell of orange anything made me want to puke up a lung.

You see, once, my friend Fashionista and I went on a little tour of the South Pacific. And somewhere around Sydney, we ran out of money. We probably could have held out longer if we weren't treating it like one big extended lunch-and-shopping date, but hey, it was OUR vacation, if we wanted to spend money on sushi and Golf Punk shirts and the quest for a decent cup of coffee, we were going to do that. So shut up.

Anyway, we spent about a month in the armpit of Australia picking oranges to make some cash. Approximately 4 or 5 bins of them a day. The bins were 8 feet by 8 feet by 2 feet deep. Which is like...(counts on fingers)...a fuckload of oranges. And oranges, when you pick them? They zest. They spray the lovely scent of themselves all over you.

Also, orange trees have thorns. Did you know that? I sure as hell didn't. Fashionista and I had deep gouges on our forearms that no amount of Polysporin could allay. We spent a whole month aching, bleeding, with crabbed hands, reeking like fucking oranges.

The proverbial fuckload

You could see how there might be some negative connotations there.

Oh, and there were spiders.

Not as many as there would be during other seasons, but enough of those big hairy bastards for me to worry that one might crawl on me while I was picking the oranges at the top of the tree. Because my first instinct when a spider touches me is to leap four feet straight backwards, and that is EXACTLY what you want to do while at the top of a ladder.

I was pretty sure I was going to die there on that Australian orange farm.*

But at least I got to drive a forklift. I can always be distracted by letting me play with machinery that can potentially cause a lot of damage.

Is this safe?  Probably not

After a month we took our money and ran. We managed to run for at least one week before we were broke again, because clearly our experience had taught us NOTHING. So we landed back in Sydney and found employment making candles, which on the whole was preferable to the orange-picking, but that's a story for another day.

*It wasn't the worst place to die, because the Australian orange farm was populated with Australians. And Aussies, as we all know, are some of the nicest, kindest, most generous and welcoming-est people there are. I'm pretty sure they would have honored my wishes and buried me somewhere other than the orange grove. In a ceremony possibly involving wallabies, because they're cute.

Clackity clack, don't come back

I was waiting for my son to finish turning into a prune in the bath tonight, and I was bored enough to be picking at my feet, and I realized there was no longer a scar on my heel. Which made me remember why there WAS a scar on my heel, which made me giggle, and then I thought I should share it with you guys.

Because I'm generous that way.

When we were teenagers, Politika and I were really cool. So cool, that we would travel to other cities to see Broadway musicals. And then wear the t-shirts with pride, because we were the friggin' EPITOME of culture.

I know, I'm aware. Shut up.

Anyway, this particular time we were going to see Les Miserables in Winnipeg. We were going to stay with Politika's aunt (I think). She was an aunt of the actual cool variety, the single kind with a job in fashion or something*, a hoppin' social life, and a pet garter snake that she kept in an aquarium on her living room floor.

We drove up and got there around dinner time. Politika's cool aunt fed us and then, because she was probably totally unnerved by the presence and responsibility of two teenage girls**, fled the apartment to do something else. She gave us a key and pointed us in the general direction of a 7-11 but made it pretty clear we were just supposed to hang out until she got back.

So we kicked off our shoes and got comfortable, but we were bored. I started tormenting Politika with one of those clackers. Remember those? They were two pieces of plastic attached to a stick that served no purpose other than CLACKING.

It was annoying the shit out of Politika so she told me to stop. Naturally I refused, and clacked the clacker in her face. She stepped toward me menacingly (did I mention she has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do?), and I, laughing, stepped backwards.

Directly INTO the aquarium on the floor.

We stared at each other in horror as glass shattered and blood started to flow. Shrieking, I bolted for the kitchen where I hoisted myself up onto the counter and immediately began running cold water over my foot, trying to see the damage. There was blood everywhere - trailing into the kitchen, on the countertop, filling the wine glasses that were in the sink.

"I can't find the snake! COME AND HELP ME FIND THE SNAKE!" Politika yelled from the living room.

"I'M BLEEDING AS FAST AS I CAN!!" I bellowed back.

Then we burst into hysterical laughter.

Eventually I stopped bleeding, and after dragging a lamp around peering into dark corners, we retrieved the (probably terrified) snake. We put him in a bowl with a book on top of it.

Then, understandably, Politika needed a nicotine fix and I was pretty sure I deserved some chocolate. So we locked up and walked to the 7-11.

During which time, naturally, Politika's aunt returned to an empty apartment, filled with blazing lights, shattered glass, and blood.

Funny, we were never invited to stay with her again.

Oh, and I think Les Miz was okay. I got a t-shirt.

(Posted in participation with Jen's Spin Cycle. Okay, so technically it's not creative writing but I did take some creative license...)

*I may or may not have just made that up.
**I may or may not be projecting a teensy bit here.

I just knew their rewards program was too good to be true

I have to work all day today so I got nothin' for ya. Except this:

avons-derma-full-totally-looks-like-the-t-virus

Yes, despite the zombie fear, I have seen Resident Evil. I'll be avoiding the Avon Lady and her "free samples".

In other news, over at the new review blog I posted about things that vibrate and oral.*

*I'm counting on you guys being too lazy to come back and give me shit because I'm not really talking about what you think I'm talking about.

Because that's what it's all about

Okay, I'm back. Thank you guys for delivering just the right combination of praise and "suck it up, buttercup". You guys rock. And occasionally make me snort chocolate milk out of my nose which is okay because I don't think chocolate milk is diet-approved. I'm pretty sure you ingest fewer calories if it exits your body through a nostril.

So Bex over at Adventures of the Grigg Boys has created a meme called "Funky Foto Flashback" wherein you post a "retro" photo and explain it. Or don't, whatevs. This appeals to me because a) I rarely get my poop in a group for Wordless Wednesday and b) I totally suck at being Wordless.

But it's only my first week and I'm already breaking the rules, because technically this isn't a Foto. Or even a photo. But I was hunting for a good retro flashback and I found this and I thought: THIS IS TOTALLY WHAT I NEED THIS WEEK.

me me me!

Yeah, I drew that. When I was like 3. So I guess that makes it vintage, which makes me cry a little.

(Okay, a lot.)

I had it framed and up on my wall for the longest time until one of my many moves when I guess I thought it needed to be reframed, so I tucked it away with the other eight bazillion pics that are awaiting framing.

Have I ever mentioned I have a bit of a problem with follow-through on some projects?

Well, I swear I'm going to reframe it this time and hang it back up. Because doesn't everybody need a ME ME ME picture?