terribleturnip: (percy)
How's my day going? Well, to give you an idea, I just looked down at the time on my computer monitor and thought "ooh, I only have to hold on for another 37 minutes!" as there's a happy hour for a departing co-worker tonight. And I may work late from time to time, but not when sunshine and alcohol abound.

How sad was I, when I came back from asking a colleague a question, to find that it was still 37 minutes from quitting time? Or, in other words, to find out that I'm such a moron...or SOOOOO looking forward to the end of this day, that I hopefully mistook the date for the time.

More proof that the only reason they haven't taken away my Girl Card is because they just haven't gotten to me yet:

Shopping recently in Chico's, my Garanimals for adult women store, I picked up a couple of pieces in a new material, black of course, and the sales manager said "oh, and we have it in navy as well." I failed to edit, and said "oh, no, then I'd have to start up with navy shoes." He looked at me quizzically, and then with slight horror as I explained that I only buy work clothes that go with black shoes so that I can just always buy black shoes because that's easier. I tried to save with "oh, but I do have like ten pairs of black shoes" but pretty much rolled a 1 on a d20 on that.

(That, children, is a reference to Dungeons and Dragons, where rolling that 1 is a critical fail at whatever you were trying to do. I was legendary at my ability to roll ones. Thus the whole werewolf thing. But that's another story.)

I'm trying harder to do real grown up make-up. I mean, MistressFetch looks at me putting on my make-up and I can see the reflectionin her eyes of a monkey with fingerpaints, and I feel so sad to let her down, but my life just doesn't have room for more than a couple of products and about 2 minutes worth of effort, and my fingers don't have the coordination to do paint by numbers or anything at all artistic. But I'm trying to address the Danish pores and grease slick that is my T-zone (that's your chin, nose and forehead, for those of you still following along with the make up talk, where teenagers and young women, and middle aged Danes, apparently) that cause me to go through packs of blotting paper, dabbing up the oil that accumulates across my nose, chin and forehead. So, I got this stuff that's supposed to "prime" those areas and shrink pores, which is fine and easy. And then, also, a "finishing/setting" spray, which I started using for stage/halloween make up and realized that it really does help with the XL pipeline that is my face. Why now I can wait until 10:30 before I have to pull out the blotting paper, instead of as soon as I get to work!

But it's a spray. I have to put on the make-up and then spritz this stuff over my face.

My, my, I have awesome reflexes! It took two weeks before I settled down and stopped jerking away from the spray. Then another two weeks until I mastered the art of pointing it at me, closing my eyes, and then still have it point at my face. That was four weeks of a lot of finishing spray in my ears, let me tell you.

Finally, I'm all attuned. Although I may have gone too far, because now sometimes I forget to close my eyes, which means the sound of me putting on make-up ends with "spritz, ow, expletive, god damn it, spritz, augh, christ!" with a little bit of staggering around the bathroom. I'm pretty sure it's a great imitation of Ozzy Osbourne.

In other news, I jotted down this phrase from Sirbombalot's tumblr: Fill your heart with bees. If someone breaks your heart, then they have to deal with the bees. Some jackexpletive commented "No, fill it with wasps, because they're meaner and then the bitch will have to deal with angry wasps." And this angry WASP wanted to hunt that guy down and plunge his head into a wasp nest because, well, okay, I was having a bad day, so maybe I was overreacting. But seriously, dude, chill. And you're missing the damn point. Heart filled with bees. Who wouldn't want a heart filled with bees? All working together, industriously, in harmony, all downy and polleny, doing their happy bee work, building wax, making honey...

And if no one breaks your heart, you've spent your whole life with a heart full of happy bees! I aspire to have a heart full of bees. That's a great metaphor! Don't expletive it up just because you're still bitter about being dumped.

(Admittedly, I probably DO have a heart full of wasps, but seriously, they also create crazy things from mundane materials, and are very keen on taking care of their kith and kin. And yeah, okay, if you really provoke them, they will sting the daylights out of you. And unlike a bee that stings and dies, I will keep coming at you until the problem is solved. But really, we'd rather just buzz and scare you off.)

Finally, In honor of Shakespeare's birthday, here's a guy who does Duke of Clarence's speech as spoken by different celebrities. I don't normally like impressions, but this guy's ability to transition is amazing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8PGBnNmPgk

Now I want to spritz makeup finisher in my eyes and see if I can extend my range beyond Ozzy.
terribleturnip: (percy)
So I’m trying not be offended that there’s a car parked on my street that has “historic car” license plates and it’s younger than I am.

Also, I passed a car that had a bumper sticker that said “Jesus. You might as well praise him.” Is that code or shorthand for something? Because I’m hearing that with an shoulder shrug and an add-on of “because it sure beats poking your eye out with a stick”. Atheist, Agnostic, Apathetic?

In case you thought I’ve lost my edge, you’ll be pleased to know that last week, one of the freezing rain, or wet snow, or puddles of something in between rain and snow, or tears of heaven or WHATEVER, my boots were wet, I managed to slip on the lobby floor at work, falling on my face and sliding so that my head slammed up against the elevator door. And then, naturally, the elevator opened. And of course there were people inside, more than a bit disconcerted at me sort of sliding into their space. I just wish I could have seen their faces at that moment, because I know that at least one of them was thinking “oooh, I’m in a bit of a hurry, do you think I’d look like an expletive if I just hop over her?” I know that’s what I would have thought.

Okay, it’s sloppy thinking to think that all conservatives were upset/outraged by the multilingual America the Beautiful commercial that Coke ran, and to think that all liberals thought it was great. And would have been happier with the phrase “jingoist douchebags” as I think that narrows the focus on who we’re really making fun of here. But still, some of these are really freaking funny. And wish I had the time to troll (in the old fashioned sense of the word) Facebook and boards, typing the comment “If you do not know the words to the national anthem to begin with, then you have no right to get your panties in a wad that it’s being sung in another language. And before you start singing “purple mountains’ majesty” let me remind you that that’s NOT our national anthem. So, you should probably chill.”

http://liberalplanet.com/2014/02/03/the-10-best-left-wing-memes-in-response-to-the-right-wing-coke-ad-outrage

I am certainly not an “oh, I love kids” person, everything they do is adorable! Babies I can totally take and leave, unless they’re eating lemons. But one thing that always make my ovaries reconsider is elementary school science fairs. Oh! The earnestness and eager little brains sinking their teeth into proving something for the first time! And the way this is written up, just slays me. Colliding with cows and inadvertently driving backwards.

http://drjengunter.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/the-effect-of-texting-on-mario-kart-performance-new-study/

So, I read this book about a family that had to move from Manhattan to a tiny town in North Carolina because the wife lost her job, having done something really dumb as a reaction to grief about her father’s recent death. And she and her husband can’t talk about it. The husband’s all hurt, his own grief about his brother’s death and family issues, and having to live in reduced circumstances. And they’re dealing with being Jewish in a seriously Christian community, headed up by a neighbor, who’s got problems of his own and she’s working at the local Temple where the Rabbi is a bit crazy and the Temple Board is trying to deal with it and while beautifully written, the angst and anguish and handwringing filled the room every time I opened the book. It made me want to give the book a hard shake and tell all of the characters “for crying out loud, pull yourselves together and TALK to each other. You’re all hurting, stop assuming, stop withdrawing, just TALK about it.”

So it made me feel better when I read this article:
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-01-divorce-newlyweds-discussed-relationship-movies.html

I’m actually pretty excited that having couple watch a movie once a week and then discuss it afterwards…actually worked as well as therapy and skills building. That could be a much more acceptable plan when one or both partners resists therapy, or, quite frankly, that may be out budget/time reach. Plus, validates my own theory that learning to be able and willing to communicate gets you halfway there, and being able to watch third parties get it wrong (or right) and then talk about that, ratchets up the ability to think about how YOUR behavior might feel/sound to your partner, which is a good part of the way to some crucial skills.

And this is for Fountaingirl, because yes, I’m also getting really tired of all of the mindless clickbait (although not as tired as I am of notifications of my friends making friends, my friends congratulating each other on their birthdays, and getting to another level in some game I don’t play):
http://downworthy.snipe.net/
terribleturnip: (percy)
Can someone explain to me how Jesus could possibly give a rat’s patoot about a football game? I’ve studied the Bible, my friend, and I’m pretty sure that if Jesus was going to take an active role in our lives, he’d probably save all those starving children before he lifted a finger to get your ball over the goalpost. Plus, also, he’d probably nuke Wall Street. Or at least flip it upside down. Look, in order for Jesus to help your team WIN, he’s choosing to make the other side LOSE. To paraphrase George Carlin “We totally would have won if Jesus hadn’t made me fumble.” Why the hell would he do THAT? Satan, now Satan would do that in a heartbeat. Seriously, if there’s going to be a deity/supernatural being that’s going to get involved in sports game determination, ignoring all the suffering and tragedy in the world, and would then award the game to the team that prayed/worshipped hardest, I’m pretty much certain we’re talking horns and pitchfork here. Seriously.

Yesterday, I pulled up a website and it showed me an ad for a dating website. For people over the age of 50. For SENIORS. A senior dating website. That’s me, apparently. A senior. Noooooooooooo. Pfphsftssst! I immediately logged onto OKCupid, updated my profile and finally sent a reply to that 24 year old that’s been stalking me. You know, because that's how mature I am.

Aha! See, I’ve always thought that a doorway should be called a mind eraser. I’d love to see some research on stairs, because a flight of stairs will do the same thing, sans actual doorways: http://www.salon.com/2014/01/22/why_walking_through_a_doorway_makes_you_forget_partner/

And finally, I see a use for Twitter:
http://www.springwise.com/australia-sharks-tweet-approach-beach/

Dear cats, the point of having those throws and blankets over every single piece of furniture in the house is so that I don't have to spend hours combing fur off of all of the upholstery before company arrives. Instead, voila, run around like a lunatic, snatching them all off, and bundling them into a closet so that for those brief shining hours while company's over, I can appear to have normal person furniture. When you burrow underneath said blankets and throws and sleep there? Yah, ruining the point. Don't think I don't know you're doing it. I mean, sitting down on top of a lump that turned out to be Pushkin was one hint. But also, that circle of cat hair that remains on the furniture after I take the cover off....

And finally, I totally drink across party lines. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/12/31/what-your-favorite-drink-says-about-your-politics-in-one-chart/
terribleturnip: (percy)
Still cleaning out my inbox, drafts folders, etc., planning out this year’s work, but I’m pausing to tender these links to you. Plus, also, because I have to subscribe to so many different foodproduction, foodservice, recall notice, etc., bulletins for work, I’m being hammered with news about Walmart China’s latest donkeymeat recall. And it makes me crack up every time. And I need to write about it and get it out of my system. Which of course, is usually why I write...caught in some circular thought pattern, chasing itself round and round my head like some kind of Ouroborean wordstream. The only way to make it stop is to tell someone or write about it. Which makes this basically an exorcism journal.)

If you’re thinking “poor donkeys, how can she find that funny”…remember, for me, pretty much everything’s funny if you turn it up to the light in the right direction. And it’s never EVER too soon.

I don’t know, there’s just something about donkeymeat snacks that tickles my funnybone. That it’s Five Spice Donkeymeat snacks, just makes me chuckle more. But then I read that some of the DNA found was fox DNA and then I’m all, wait, what? What the hell is FOX doing in there? Oh, China! Did you think “pah, horsemeat masquerading as beef, piffle, they’re practically the same animal. Four legs, hooves, about the same size, eat the same things, generic herding prey animals. That’s easy. Screw that. If you’re going to adulterate meat, let’s use something completely wacky.

(To be fair, people do eat fox, although my gut says this isn’t wild-caught fox, but fur fox, which brings us right back to not only is the outrage that you’re lying about what it is, but also using meat that probably isn’t cleared for human consumption due to medications/disease/testing.)

Hey, libertarians, if this happens with government regulation in place, can you imagine what the hell you’d be eating with LESS regulation? I’d like to think everyone would do the RIGHT thing, but clearly, clearly, there are an awful lot of people out there who’ve got the moral turpitude of….people who would sell contaminated food to children.

Anyway. Donkeymeat recall. That’s just funny.

Also, if you don’t know about this site, you should. Before you get yourself all exercised about something, make a stop here, and also at Snopes, before you even consider letting loose the stopcock on your indignation:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2013/dec/31/top-10-most-viewed-fact-checks-2013/

I don’t know if I agree with the statement “snarky”. I think just clever, slightly subversive and sometimes small acts of revenge are enough to make you feel better:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/12/27/academics_hide_snarky_clever_comments_in_the_acknowledgments_sections_of.html
The manager of this café must be a long lost brother/sister of mine:

http://www.springwise.com/cafe-charges-customers-rude/

And, on the hind paws of our discovery of the olinguito, we found a new kind of tapir. Tapir. Sure, shy, reclusive, but definitely bigger than a breadbox. This is why I get all frothy at the mouth about degrading resources we haven’t even fully explored. (Not because this tapir is likely to make a difference to the world at large. But a tapir is BIG. This tapir’s habitat, as well as many other habitats that we’re mowing down to feed your insatiable need for soft toilet paper or cheap hamburger, could well contain insects or plants that could extremely valuable medicines, as well as who knows what else. I mean, we need to compensate these countries for not developing parcels of land – no fair to say, oh, well, we killed all OUR stuff in order to get where we are today, but we want you to stay a backwater until we can properly judge whether this is valuable sensitive land or not. Anyway, tapirs.

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/12/20/new-species-animals-tapir-brazil/
terribleturnip: (percy)
I’d say that I’m glad to see the ass-end of this year, but as far as I know, the Fates don’t hit a reset button on January 1st. And it’s my personal mantra that every day, every hour, every decision, every action, is a chance to do better than you’ve been doing, to do a more right thing, to behave better. There’s not a lot you can do about misery, except endure it, maybe consider whether you’re enabling it or letting it drive you. But joy, joy you can create. So, try to squeeze a little more joy creation into my life, that’s as far as I’m going in terms of resolutions. And pondering that joy, let’s do more of that. It hurts every bone in my Lutheran-WASP-New England body to consider congratulating myself for doing well, wallowing in it, taking pride in it. Yeah, well, sometimes you have to tell your heritage to go expletive itself.

Material things are the least likely to bring me lasting joy, but sometimes a quick fix is what you need. And then there are other things that just make me happy that I’ve discovered them.

If you live near a Whole Foods or Roots or Dawson’s or Fresh Market, consider treating yourself to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, www.jenis.com. Or really splurge and have it delivered. Go, look at the flavors. Now, even better than the ice cream – and I only know for sure that the Whole Foods in Rockville has these, but they’re worth seeking out, find her ice cream sandwiches. They’re in little brown square boxes with white labels. Oh, I know, you’re thinking “$7.99 for a freaking ice cream sandwich?” But listen. For starters, half of one really IS a serving. If you can eat the whole thing at one sitting, we need to talk about your eating habits and learning to enjoy, and not inhale, your food. Listen again. Two almond and hazelnut macaron cookies sandwiching rich, creamy dark chocolate ice cream. Rolled in salted roasted hazelnuts. How good was it? I finished the second half several days ago, but the box is still sitting on the coffee table because it makes me happy just looking at it and remembering how freaking good it was.

Plus, also, these people:

I want to kidnap these people and make them help me with Scary Perry -- so much creativity, working with household objects and a baby. And the photos are staged beautifully. Plus, their story – hey, we moved, have no social life and all these boxes. I’m so jealous of their creativity, I want to hate them. But the pictures make me so happy, that I forgive them.
http://cardboardboxoffice.com/

If you are a baker of cookies, you should do this now, so that you’re ready for next year’s cookie baking, because these two things have made a huge difference in my cookie baking experience. You need to buy the parchment sheets from King Arthur Flour – they’ll fit your cookie sheets perfectly, and save all that time you used to spend greasing sheets, washing them, or cutting parchment to fit. Now you can spend it chasing that runaway dragee around the kitchen floor. While you’re there, also buy the folding cooling rack. It stores flat, and opens to hold four cookie sheets, safely and securely. Or, you can keep putting random cooling racks all over the counter, knocking one into the other and shooting the one at the end off the counter completely. Plus, less cat sneezing on your cookies.

Okay, I know I sound like a shill for Whole Foods, but sadly, they’re the only place I’ve been able to find the best chicken sausages I’ve ever tasted. If you’d asked me a month ago, I’d say there is, really, NO chicken sausage worth eating unless there’s no possibility of finding a pork sausage or you’ve got some kind of bizarre porcine allergy. However, I’m a changed woman, and honestly there are plenty of pork sausages I’d pass up in a hot minute to lay my hands on a Brat Hans chicken sausage. Especially the DogfishHead special sausages. I can’t seem to find any more of the DogfishHead varieties, which I hope is just temporary, but stocked up on the regular varieties. Who would have thought I’d have a freezer full of CHICKEN sausage? Not me.

Also, I’ve managed to keep an orchid alive for over a year and it’s sent up a flower spike. It’s going to bloom again. I’ve never managed to do this before, mostly because I’ve always assumed I couldn’t, and that I’d just waste a year coddling something that would never bloom or do much beyond shoot out gnarly roots and then die. Wah, it's too HARD.

Sometimes it’s worth it to try it again anyway. Think on that, would you? Don’t assume you can’t. Maybe sometimes you can't. But sometimes? You totally can.

Last Words

Nov. 27th, 2013 11:55 am
terribleturnip: (percy)
I'm posting these random bits because for four days I've had a headache on one side of my skull that is probably NOT the same thing as having a spike driven through it, but in my weaker moments, I liken it to that. At one point, when it started, I was laying down and it woke me up and I thought, ah, I'd better not stand up. What if it's a blood clot and I shake it loose and then it hits my heart and BAM, dead. I should just lay here and maybe...I dunno, it might dissolve? And, as queen of the glass half empty, but also empress of WASPY worrying about things that really don't matter, I started worrying. I should leave a note so people know where to find things like bank accounts and insurance. Hmm, the litter box isn't very clean and that'll be problematic. Did I leave something upstairs on the nightstand that should probably be put away, in case my mother's the next person in here? I should put more cat food in the bowl so they don't have empty stomachs and start nibbling on me too quickly. Or text a neighbor and ask her to check up on me if my car's still in the driveway tomorrow afternoon. And as seriously worried as I was about standing up and shaking DEATHCLOT free, I got up anyway because damn the litterbox really did need cleaning, and I had to pee. And I lived. But now it's three days later and it still hurts and I'm stuck in the conundrum of "if I go see a doctor, it will be NOTHING and I'll have to feel embarrassed for not being able to ride out a little headache" or "No one will know what it is, and after dozens of tests and shrugged shoulders, I'll just have to learn to live with it, which I should have done in the first place". OR, blow it off and drop dead over Thanksgiving weekend. So, I'm going to the doctor, but just to cover all pessimistic bases, I didn't want these gems to linger in my drafts folder. (Don't worry, I'll totally live. How could I die, knowing that these were my last words? Seriously.)

Cut for length, 'cause I do go on, even with stabbing head pains )
terribleturnip: (percy)
So this morning I was running a load of laundry upstairs and managed to run the corner of the laundry basket into the door frame, which shot the opposite corner straight into my gut, which knocked me off balance to such as extent that I slammed the opposite shoulder into the other side of the door frame. Note to self: set up nannycams all over your house, because if expletive like this is going to happen…and hurt so much…you should at least be capturing footage so you can bring joy to the rest of the world.

Yesterday, I went over to my admin’s cube to see if she had a spare binder and while I was talking to her about the relative merits of the various binders…blame my job, things aren’t just THINGS anymore to me; it’s all PRODUCT…she got a quizzical look on her face and said “Umm.” And I was till rattling about binders and she pointed to my arm and said “UMMM.” So, I looked and there’s blood running down my arm, dripping onto the floor. I guess I got a little aggressive with that mosquito bite. Now I’m going to have to write two reviews for her. The real one and one where I “coach” her on the proper way to handle someone who’s bleeding all over your cube…like maybe “hey, stop bleeding on my floor!”

So the shoulder bruise, gut bruise and now bandaid on my arm go nicely with the forehead bruise, which is thankfully right above my hairline. You know, right about where a station wagon rear hatch clocks you when its hydraulics start to go and the door now doesn’t fully open unless you push it all the way up. It happens to all my cars. I’m kryptonite to those damn lift support things. And I can’t seem to remember to push it open all the way until I smack my head into it. Although to be fair, the repeated head injuries are probably not helping with the memory thing.

This afternoon is our community service day – where our department goes someplace to help out a charitable organization. And instead of doing fun outdoor activities like raking, weeding, cleaning out old barns/sheds, minor carpentry, which is what we used to do for a historical site, now we go to a place where we fill bags with an assortment of food/snacks so that underprivileged kids have food on weekends. Which is worthy…and appeals to my colleagues who used to complain about the other work being “too hard, too hot, too dirty.” If you know me at all, you can just imagine what I think about those complaints. Ahem. Although it did help me to sort out which of my colleagues will become jerky right away if the zombies come while I’m at work and we have to be holed up here for a while. Yep, I’ve already sorted out who’s NOT going to be wasting the limited food and water supplies. Although some of the slightly more energetic ones I may hang on to for a while just in case I need chain them to something as bait to distract the zombies while I escape.

Anyway, instead we’ll go to this place and fill plastic sacks with food…and I’ll have to bite my tongue because I’ll immediately spot how it could be made much more efficient. And then get frustrated with colleagues who can’t even handle THIS simple task without whining. And then sit through the prayer at the end where the very nice woman who runs the group thanks God for sending us to help the kids. And I will bite my tongue, because again, it’s a great cause and I’m so glad this woman is devoting her life to making sure these kids have a fighting chance, but seriously, lady, you can thank my company for choosing to value this sort of experience, you can thank me for showing up and working, and you can thank our suppliers who are donating some of the food, but seriously, if God took the time to make us show up or want to do this? Maybe he should use that time to fix these poor kids’ lives in the first place. Fix what’s broken so they don’t wind up hungry in the first place.

Anyway, off that soapbox that I clamber onto. I probably wouldn’t care, but that damn prayer is twenty minutes long, and I’ve heard it three times already. I usually throw in a non-work supported day to help them do food pickups and thankfully I just get a quick hug and a “praise the Lord for sending you to us” which is more manageable.

Work has been less than fun lately, but I did get charged with sourcing some products for a large customer, which led me to watertight, disposable, eco-friendly ice buckets and coolers, many of them made of cardboard. And you know if you can make a quick assembly cardboard waterproof cooler, you know what else you can make that needs to be very, very, securely waterproof?

Yes, disposable coffins! (You know, so that you actually return to the earth if they bury you, as opposed to slowly creepily mummifying and then maybe decay over decades, assuming the seals on the casket give way. Or, if you’re going to be cremated and you’re like hey, let’s not waste a lot of money on a wooden box we’re just going to set on fire. )

And there are all sorts of basic ones, and nice ones…and then I found a company that almost makes me regret my decision to not have any kind of service or viewing. Because I so want all you expletives to show up at a funeral parlor, walk into the somber viewing room and see THIS bad boy:
http://www.creativecoffins.com/coffins/peas/

I know, RIGHT? Be sure to check out the other ones…and yes, you can get them customized…so I dunno, maybe a female Viking…

Although I’m also thinking the popcorn box and have the coffin rigged with sound so that halfway through some damn weepy eulogy, you start hearing popping noises from inside the coffin.
terribleturnip: (percy)
http://themetapicture.com/how-to-recognize-the-artists-of-paintings/

I know this was on facebook, but I found it inordinately delightful. In many cases, it helped me recognize what it is that BUGGED me about a given artist. I’m looking at YOU, Carvaggio. I remember needing to make a conscious effort with Breughel and Bosch to remember which one was the really crazy vs just slightly unnerving.

No matter how badly your day is going, there is something about loading your car up with $200 worth of booze during your lunchbreak that makes you feel much, much better.

I’m going to share some social rules with you, because clearly many, many parents have failed their children in this regard and while I’m the first person to say “look, a handwritten thank you note is lovely…but seriously an e-mail, text, or just telling me conversationally is perfectly acceptable” I feel like THESE rules are sliding a bit too far south for me.

When you are invited to someone’s house for dinner, you’re supposed to bring something as a host/hostess gift. It can be small, it can be inexpensive, a little jar of jam or pickles you made or bought, a beautiful bloom you picked form your garden, or handful of herbs, a card with a little poem about friendship, or you can go with the old standbys of a bottle of wine or flowers. But really, it should be something. Sometimes you forget. Or were in a hurry and honestly, it’s better to be on time and empty handed. But later, a couple of days after the dinner – a card or e-mail is thoughtful. Exceptions: you guys get together all the time, so it’s pretty much a family dinner; you’re just getting together for takeout; it’s spur of the moment; you were specifically asked or expected to bring food or some other supply.

And remember, both host/hostess and hosted: technically speaking, the wine is NOT to be drunk that evening. Gift, as in for the host/hostess LATER. If you want to bring something to drink that night, go for it (although understand that your host/hostess may well have chosen specific wines for each course and doesn’t want your Cab Sauv muscling in where it wasn’t invited) just bring two bottles then. (I’ll admit, I’ll let this one slide if you bring me wine, mostly because my friends and I can do rip through some SERIOUS quantities of wine. But if you see me sneaking off with something lovely that you brought and hiding it, don’t rat me out.

And if the invite says 7:30pm…you do NOT arrive before. Park your car a block away and chill. Four to fourteen minutes late is the acceptable time to arrive. Exceptions: It’s a surprise party so you really need to be there on time so you don’t blow the surprise (if you’re throwing one, make sure you tell your guests not only when they need to be there, but also when you expect the surprisee to arrive, so if they’re running late, they know when they just need to wait a block away so they don’t blow the surprise.); there’s some other time sensitive activity; you’ve been asked to help out, or checked ahead of time to see if you arriving early would help.

To be clear: this is not directed at any specific person, or occasion. If right now you’re feeling guilty, wondering if the last time I had you over…heh, remember, it’s ME. I have told people that they’re early and they need to go back home or go sit in the car because it’s not time yet. My Danish is far better than my Subtle…and the only things I can say in Danish are Thank you and Beer.

I have gotten all lazy about using LJ cuts unless I'm thinking that things got egregiously long. If I'm messing up your friends feed with crazy long posts, do let me know. Now that so many bloggers are trying to up the number of clicks to make ad revenue grow, I find myself getting annoyed at having to click through. But if I'm making you have to click more on your friend feed, well, THAT'S not fair.
terribleturnip: (percy)
So, it’s not even noon and I’ve damn near lost the will to live. So, I’m taking a mental health break. Well, to narrow it down, today I’m really questioning a bunch of life choices.

Like, next time on the wheel, that’s it, I volunteered enough this time around. Screw it. For the record, I am not talking about the Pyrate camp here – the ratio of fun to work is definitely in balance there, and there’s plenty of appreciation. Which I do get in my other volunteer positions…just sometimes that can’t overcome the paucity of fun to hard work ratio and the feeling that I’ve just got a second job…one that actually costs me money. And I start to feel that somewhere along the line I got on the wrong path…

And then, I took a half day on Friday and I gave five people assignments, relatively small, that they needed to complete so that when I got in on Monday, I could just approve stuff and send it out. What are the odds that not a single person would have done what they needed to do?

Apparently 100%...so now I’ve lost another half day in following up on things that should have been done…and I’ve missed FIVE deadlines.

And I can’t even feel sorry for myself, because there’s a shooter loose in the Navy Yard, and I’m trying not to think about all the friends I have who work there…and then really, what does it matter whether they’re friends of mine or not…they’re friends of someone, and some nutbag with a crazy agenda is after them. Expletive.

Okay, shaking that off. Too.

When I came out of the house this morning, my neighbor was coming out with her adorable three year old son and packing him into the car. She looked at me and said “I’m so envious of you, after having spent the morning trying to wrestle this three year old into clothes and breakfast and then out of the house and you can just walk out and get into the car.” And I laughed and said “oh, well, you missed the part where I had to give a cat liquid antibiotics.” Although it is true, it’s nice being responsible for just getting me out of the house in the morning.

But the more I thought about it, the more it reminded me of all of those hoary old clichés and homilies: the grass is always greener, don’t judge by appearances. Because here’s what she missed – that I’d been up since 5am, while her house was completely dark. I’d done a load of laundry, unpacked from the weekend, emptied and filled the dishwasher, cleaned litterboxes, toilets and the upstairs bathroom counter. I’d actually visited with her husband while he was taking out the trash and I was taking out mine. She was probably getting her son dressed and fed while I was out watering the garden and picking up the trash that had blown into my yard over the weekend. And then yes, breakfast and antibiotics for Jasper the cat. Changing the pantyhose that had run when I failed to avoid the pile of yard debris that I still haven’t taken to the dump. And Neosporin on the scrape. It’s harder than it looks to be me – most of it I chose for myself (not the clumsy part, oh, golly, do I wish THAT away!) but still, yes, you have a lot more freedom living alone…but it’s a lot more work. And someday, someday soon, that son of hers may be taking out the trash, or even driving her to work.

My kids will still be pooping in a box and will probably eat me if I fall down the stairs and don’t regain consciousness fast enough.

Grass is always greener….

Thankfully I found this gem last week and just didn’t have time to post it. Because if I ran across it today, I might just explode.

In case you thought just extremist Christians, Muslims and other hard right of whatever religious fanatics had a corner on the market of subjugating women…especially FOR THEIR OWN GOOD:

http://www.fixthefamily.com/blog/6-reasons-to-not-send-your-daughter-to-college

Trigger Warning: if you haven’t taken your blood pressure medication today, reading this might kill you. Keep reading though, because just when you think it’s batexpletive crazier than possible, the writer pulls out another gem. Okay, that sounds like I’m trying to kill you. Save it for another day, then, as I have few enough readers as it is.
terribleturnip: (percy)
I am a big giant sap. This cartoon made me cry, in the middle of my lunch. Big Time. At one time I was rather proud of my ability to burst into tears on cue – extremely handy for theater and role-playing for counseling classes. I did it by having a short list of memories that would trigger me – “Bambi, your mother can’t be with you now” was always a stand-by. I can now add “I’ll remember your bee, orchid. I’ll remember you” to the list:

http://xkcd.com/1259/

Of course, now I’ve got to spend the rest of the afternoon de-sensitizing myself to it, since I’ve already got a short list of the expletives amongst you that will come up to me this weekend and use that phrase.

Yes, I have a new smart phone. One that is clearly smarter than I am, since I barely can figure out how to use it. I figure it’ll take me about 18 months to get a handle on it. Sigh. I had a little trouble getting it set up, and the woman on the other end of the line who was trying to help me then insisted that I do a test call to make sure it was up and running…which was sweet, but it meant that I had to scroll through pages of set-up stuff and was barely use-literate enough to get from one screen to another, not sure if I was supposed to be touching something, swiping something, typing, whatever. I was not at my best – sorely irritated that something that is so easy for everyone else was something that I was struggling with. Self-shaming makes me really, really crabby. Plus, I was keenly aware that she was waiting for me to get through it all so I could make the test call and she could move on to the next customer. I really get stressed out when I feel like I’m holding people up. And me knowing how call centers work and how performance is measured, made it worse. It was awful.

Not made better when she consoled me “oh, don’t worry about it. Once you have a chance to sit down and just play around with it for a couple of hours, you’ll totally master this.” She was being very sweet, so I clamped down the full Imperial Dragon that wanted to unleash itself with a “Do I strike you as someone whose got HOURS to play around with ANYTHING? I’ll NEVER learn this, if that’s what I have to do! Why don’t you have an expletive user manual?” roar.

A week later and I’ve made minimal progress, but okay, I can handle some of the basic stuff, so the panic level is down. Although I still can’t figure out why it randomly “DROID”s me. I think it gets angry from time to time.

I ordered additional screen covers when I got it. I’ve just now placed ANOTHER order for screen covers, since I’ve had the phone a whopping total of seven days and the current screen cover looks like the plexiglass wall of an agitated Komodo dragon’s enclosure. Claw marks, scrapes, poisonous saliva and drippy nose smears.

(For the record, we now know that a komodo dragon’s saliva is not actually poisonous, just loaded with a dragon-ton of bacteria that causes rapid sepsis in the dragon’s prey targets. But I was already grossing myself out so I went with the more poetic, but less accurate.)

My most favorite of Liars hit the nail on the head – in order to write regularly, you have to write. And it’s hard, once you’ve gotten out of the habit, to get going again. I’ve been beating myself up about it and then realized part of my problem was not just that I had stopped making myself write daily, but that I’d fallen out of the habit of jotting down notes. For some reason, I was letting myself believe that I would REMEMBER that witticism, that interesting spark, that turn of phrase. Despite years of hard evidence that I do NOT remember, pretty much always.

At a certain point in the evening, after having spilled your glass of wine into the laundry basket of clean clothes…and then again onto your keyboard…you realize enough’s enough! Time to set limits! Enough damn laundry and writing, time to focus on drinking the wine.
terribleturnip: (percy)
Oh, Matthew Inman, I love you more than cheese and even bacon. I may even love you as much as I love cultured butter with sea salt crystals.

And I love that so much that I pay just as much for shipping as I do for the damn butter. It’s THAT good. Vermont Creamery, you can order from Murray's Cheese. You want the kind with sea salt crystals in the little basket. You’re welcome. It's awesome.

And so is Mr. Inman’s latest…and it perfectly sums up my thank you note to the internet for reminding me on a daily basis that most of humanity is a moron and if it weren’t for opposable thumbs, ThudChinchillaSpawnofSatanCat Pushkin would give most of them a run for their money.

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/ohmygosh_link

And yes, I’m tired of people telling me (via the internet, again…and let’s all take an irony-break while we think about what we’re both doing right now, in the separate nows we’ve had on this post) how this THING – Crossfit, giving up dairy, burning sage and spinning widdershins daily, wearing some damn armband that reports not only the number of steps you take everyday but also how many times during the night you woke up, drinking a cup of vinegar a day, daily meditaion, what the hell EVER.

Happy and Healthy is a multidimensional, multidisciplinary endeavor. And if you changed one aspect of your being and everything is different? You’re not paying enough attention to your life. Or maybe you’re a simple idiot. Or maybe your life is so small…no. NO. You’re just wrong. It wasn’t that ONE thing. You just think it is. We’re not discussing this anymore. I’m giving you this link because this woman gets it:

http://iambeggingmymothernottoreadthisblog.com/2013/06/24/twelve-habits-of-happy-healthy-people-who-dont-give-a-shit-about-your-inner-peace/

I did not watch the VMA’s. I have no desire to see Miley Cyrus’s performance. I can’t even BELIEVE I just typed her name. I would have sworn that would never happen. But okay. I’ll own it. It does rather perfectly exemplify what’s been pissing me off about the internet and humanity’s access to being able to opinionate repeatedly about something that someone else did. Holy bedbugs, when did we all become qualified critics?

(Irony break.)

Gah. It’s bad enough that people make the mistake of thinking that just because they have mouths and voices, everyone wants to hear what they have to say. Now every moron with a keyboard and an opinion is spouting off on a daily….nay, hourly basis. But this is nuts. It’s like this chick is the veal on which we get to ladle whatever sauce we think is best.

So, here we go: thanks for aiding/abetting the patriarchal notion that women are just sex objects and the only way they can own a stage is through overt sexuality; you go, girl, men have been doing that sort of thing for decades, you be your own woman and do what you want; thanks for highlighting the awful way that black women are treated as back-up objects and only as sex objects; screw you, racist bitch for continuing to treat black woman as back-up/sexual objects and appropriating our culture.

(That last one, I had to look into a bit, read farther. I’m thinking…foam finger thingy?...ah, no, twerking. Okay. Newsflash. Women have been doing that for centuries. Women of all colors. Not on the dance floor, mind you. In private. Or on a certain kind of stage with other like-minded individuals. But yeah, I’m now officially old enough that I’d like to sort of see people DANCE, instead of mock-expletive each other. No, wait. I think I thought that in high school as well. )

What else? Oh, yeah, there was the mocking because the whatever she was wearing didn’t fit right and may not have been complimentary. The mocking because frankly, it sort of sucked. The mocking because….

Oh, god, I can’t even THINK about it anymore. A whole expletive nation of hand-twisting, judgmental, neighborhood tongue-waggers.

Seriously. Get outside. Read a book. Watch television worth watching. Write a book. Learn to cook something. Go cut the branches that are hanging over that stop sign that the county can’t seem to get to and somebody’s going to get t-boned when someone breezes right through it.

Okay. Well, that’s what *I* was doing. Instead of writing a blog post about….

Whoops.
terribleturnip: (percy)
My inner twelve year old still thinks of camels or moles when I hear that. A local radio station makes that a juvenile joke every Wednesday, using the other meaning. I'm wondering how many more Wednesdays will I waste seconds wondering why they're sniggering at camels. Or moles -- before we played croquet, we always had to even out the mole humps in the yard. There are mole crickets, which don't have or make humps, which remind me of camel crickets which don't make humps but do have them.

Speaking of bugs, this story made me cry a little:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2012/02/24/147367644/six-legged-giant-finds-secret-hideaway-hides-for-80-years
the perserverance of life, the cuddling of the pair bonded insects, watching the new born hatch out of that tiny egg, like a clown car but with a single GINORMOUS clown. You think your day is hard? Watch the video.

Plus all these people working so hard to rescue this giant insect and now they have to rely on an island community to make up their minds whether or not to let them back to their original home. I dunno, New Zealanders, for some reason I feel as if it might be possible - yeah, mate, exterminate the rats, bring the giant bugs back.

As opposed to say, Anacapa Island in California where it's a huge firestorm of opposing forces. And a perfect example, really, of ANY environmental issue: people who say screw it, don't care, don't spend ANY of my tax dollars on saving some damn animal; people who say save this animal at any cost; people who say OMG, you can't poison rats, they deserve to live too, don't kill anything, ever, even if we lose a species or eco-system; and people who say hmm, this is a complex issue and maybe we need to study it a bit because history gives us many examples of unintended consequences. Although those people tend to get drowned out in all of the rhetoric from the louder, more fanatical, more black and white, simplistic solution people.

Case in point -- The Don't poison the rats to save the murrelets, or whatever bird it is, Faction claims that it's actually boaters and tourists that disturb the birds and keep them from nesting/breeding successfully. (Could be true, could be exaggerated. Certainly it's not HELPING, so maybe we should restrict that.) That there's no proof that the rats are eating the bird eggs/nestlings. (This also could be technically true...but only on the lack of proof part...we know rats, and we know that they will eat ANYTHING. And if they are not kept in check by predators, of course they will eat the eggs and nestlings. Hellooooo, they're rats! It's why they're so successful and like us, as a group, they will eat anything that tastes good and a lot that won't. And in a closed loop eco-system, island, has the potential to eat everything unchecked until the whole system's crashed.) You're accidentally poisoning other things on the island's eco-system they also claim. (This is probably true. Poison, while the easiest and most effective, most cost efficient, doesn't really discriminate. And I think they're air-dropping pellets, which is just dumb, albeit cheap. Bait boxes, if you must. But if the other populations aren't endangered...you can lose of lot of them, and then without the pressures of rats, they'll probably bounce back quickly.) But the dead animals!

Pick any environmental issue you want that involves something endangered and the only thing I can guarantee you is: the whole situation is way more complex than ANYONE who's grabbing media attention will reveal; none of the decisions are easy; and of course there will be unintended consquences, so you have to do the best risk assessment you can, and be prepared to be wrong...but it's probably better than doing nothing, and even if you fail, you take away learnings.

So, my children, beware of anyone who proposes a simple solution, because the simpler it is, the more facts they're burying/ignoring. You know who you want fixing things? The person who reluctantly agrees that something has to be done, they're not sure if this is the right thing, but it seems to be the best possible solution, and then they sort of look like they're going to throw up just thinking about it, will definitely loose sleep during the project. Give him or her a package of Zantac and Sominex, because that's the person who will make the best decisions, even if they're not right.

Not it! Not on this one. Because I'm already thinking about building a vivarium and seeing if I can lay my hands on those insects, just in case Lord Howe Island doesn't come through.
terribleturnip: (percy)
Even after my last post, some of you may doubt the utter adorability of a sloth in a bowl. I give you this:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/02/sloth-pictures-images_n_3368628.html

Dear Gateway: Did you seriously design a tower with a top that is perfectly cat-sized…and put the on/off button right where the cat’s paws rest? Turnip, why is there concertina wire and broken glass on top of your hard drive thingy? Oh, to keep cats and pigeons from shutting off my computer about A DOZEN TIMES A DAY.

(For the record, I don't actually have pigeons in the house. You're thinking of my grandmother. I only have fifty pigeon EGGS in the house. But that's a story for another time.)

Dear Clydes of Tower Oak: Okay, I get the whole hunting lodge vibe you’re going for. And the dozens of saddles used as décor…the smell of leather and colors/patterns of saddles certainly make me feel right at home, although they don’t lead me to think “oh, let’s eat” but more like ah, I need to get back in shape and get out more, and maybe if I was riding again I wouldn't be so fat. Or maybe if I ate LESS. But that’s probably just me and a small handful of people. And again, hanging saddles on the dividers between booths…makes me sort of feel like my booth is a stall, and maybe I should be ordering a bucket of grain, instead of a ribeye. But, looking around at the clientele, again, it’s probably just me, AGAIN. I do want to thank you, though, for hanging those saddles so that they sit pretty much at temple height for men, and because you don’t have the stirrups run up properly, the stirrups are hanging dangerously at temple height for women. Because I’ve had a blast all night long, watching people duck suddenly, or take a hit right in the head. Seriously, finally I understandsome people’s inability to look away from a television screen in a bar. My date probably thinks I’m incapable of maintaining eye contact. Hopefully he thinks the occasional giggles are because he's so amusing.
Back in the saddle, writing-wise, at least in terms of length )
terribleturnip: (percy)
Okay, this will no doubt be disjointed, but it’s like your first day at the gym after not going for a while. I mean, you probably had a good reason to stop going in the first place, like oh, you’ve got this renaissance faire thing that’s going to eat up 11 weeks of your life, turning each week into a seven day workweek and each day into a 12-20 hour workday. And then for giggles, you throw in throwing a big surprise party for your parents, done from a distance. And three business trips. And other stuff that may pale in importance, but manages to infiltrate whatever interstices of free time you had left. And then you haven’t gone to the gym in so long that GOING seems like such a chore. The guilt from NOT going becomes a ball and chain that would now have to be dragged along with you and well, it seems far easier to NOT go, even when some of those interstices open up a little.

Because you know how hard that first time will be. You’ve lost the routine, and you’re not sure what’s worse – no one recognizing you anymore or having to address the questions or ribbing about being gone so long. You’re going to be all out of shape. Again. And dragging your kit bag of guilt and self-disappointment around the room, machine to machine, where it’s pointless to try and remember the settings on everything because now you’ve been gone so long that you’re going to have to start from scratch.

That first time you go to do an arm curl and damn near rip your bones out of their sockets because you really can’t lift that much anymore. So you move the pin down one and try….expletive…and move it down another notch…and the whole time, you’re certain everyone in the room is snickering at your clearly delusional idea of how strong you are. Each snick downwards of that pin another tick mark on the checklist of what a loser you are.

And you just can’t FACE that, so you flop on the couch and pick up the remote. Tomorrow, you think, I can handle it tomorrow.

That’s been me and writing lately. (Okay, I’ve also lived that scenario at the gym, the pool, the barn, the refrigerator.) Much easier to kill those infrequent moments of spare time cruising lame-ass facebook updates, or watching videos of baby sloths. (Seriously, I have four cats in my house, on me, around me at all times. The LAST thing I need is to watch them on the screen. Instead I watch sloths and fantasize about pets that would just hang from a pole somewhere, could be easily outrun and if you turn them upside down in a bowl, they just lay there looking adorable and goofy. For hours.)

And part of what’s kept me away has been feeling the need to not let you down. Not phone it in. I have dozens of semi-launched posts that have just demanded more brain and time than I had to spare, so there they sit, gathering electronic dust. I didn’t want to just spit out some disconnected flotsam and jetsam, plumped up with links to things I found interesting because I couldn't manage to stich a decent analogy together. After being away so long, I didn’t want to disappoint, first time out…move that pin down the stack of weights.

But seriously, at some point you’ve got to grab yourself by the shorthairs and just expletive start. Or you'll die.

So.

Here’s a random link to a post I found interesting and attitudinal: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/24/these-31-charts-will-destroy-your-faith-in-humanity/

Because even if this post sucks…

I’ve been on Facebook an awful lot lately, people and your brains are being worn away, passing along meaningless crap that someone else only slightly more creative produced, drifting about in the wallows of self-pity and cries for attention from people who forgotten how to self-soothe and now rely on the “likes” of others to prop up their self-esteem and substitute for real affirmation. Seriously. It’s like junkfood or bad television – a little is a great treat and fun. But if you wouldn’t let your kid eat junk food for days on end, or watch 8 hours of television a day? You’d tell them that first they need to eat dinner and not ruin their appetite with Doritos. You’d tell them that 2 hours of cartoons was enough, now get the hell outside and to play. Right?

If not, then well, it's your life. But I still think you probably should find something better to throw your brain against. I’m not saying THIS is it. (There ARE actually limits to my hubris.) But I got you to look away, didn’t I?
terribleturnip: (percy)
Lest you think I'm all sweetness and light, thanks to spring....

I stopped blogging about the weight loss contest, simply because I ran out of time/energy/mojo to blog about anything. But here, I don't want you to think I'm hiding anything from you. Five weeks, four pounds and change lost. And then I think two came back the week after.

Note to self: working on opening a renaissance faire, planning a major familial event, a sinus infection, being covered in hives...and then the allergic reaction to the hives themselves, plus having to make an end of life decision for a pet, and lend support to two other people going through that themselves...not conducive to losing weight. Since my weight-loss plan mostly consists of cutting back on alcohol and girding my mental armor so that I don't eat for stupid reasons like stress or comfort.

When you're whole body itches, you've got a deadline on submitting menu to the caterer, and you're putting off calling the vet to make a euthanasia appointment, "Now, you really shouldn't have a bag of Cheez-It's, you're not even hungry. Why don't you have an apple, instead?" doesn't fly. Expletive you! Now I'm going to have TWO bags.

But okay, every day is another chance to do better. And here I am, having been successful at cutting my Diet Mountain Dew consumption in half, and having had only vegetables today and as long as I don't kill anyone because of it, I might be back on the wagon, sans peer pressure, hives and a lot of the other stuff. Or not. This time of year I'm so busy that there's little room in my head for worrying about it.

Hey, remember when I said I couldn't complain about hot flashes because I was only having relatively minor symptoms? Yeah, apparently my hypothalamus took that for gauntlet-throwing, because, although the frequency is down, the intensitity is up. Yeah, full out dripping with sweat. I can't even begin to tell you how awesome that is. I can't, because it's NOT. I'm just glad that we know the risks of hormone replacement therapy so that I don't have to make the ethical decision about whether I can live with doing that to a horse. I'm spinning it this way: yet another excuse for irascibility. I'm sorry, I can't HEAR you, I'm sweating too loudly.

But hey, I also get to feel small, whiney, and selfish, because there's a species of aphid that when they hit menopause, instead of making eggs, they now secrete a sticky substance and if a predator threatens their family group of aphids...the grandma aphids throw their bodies at the predator, superglueing themselves to it until it leaves or dies. How awesome is that? This article is more about the possible evolutionary reason for menopause to have survived as a trait, but has the neat facts about the Superglue Grandma aphids in it.
http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/04/18/why-menopause/

That's what keeps me cheery -- superglue-y grandma aphids. Learning that fruitbats perform oral sex on each other. That when you tickle rats, they make ultrasonic noises that are identical to the sounds young rats make when they're playing with each other. So, you could say, really, that rats laugh when you tickle them. Take THAT, "humans are the only animals that laugh" proponents.

Plus, I thought I was beside myself with joy when I learned that there was actually a fish called the Sarcastic Fringehead. Then I saw what it looked like:

http://io9.com/5911216/meet-the-sarcastic-fringehead-an-oddly-named-fish-who-looks-like-the-predator

Whatever else that's going on in your life that's sad, bad or otherwise sapping, there is a fish that can do THAT. And that's enough awesomeness to carry you for a couple of hours, isn't it?
terribleturnip: (percy)
I know, I know. Where the hell have I been?

Vacation. Coming home sick. Spraining my ankle. Staying sick. Getting antibiotics. Having an allergic reaction to antibiotics. Having a further allergic reaction to my allergic reaction.

Every post I started was just a giant whine. I couldn’t manage to drive the whine someplace funny, or thought provoking, just farther into the territory of Pathetic. Which made me feel even more pathetic. And laboring under a double dose of Benadryl and every other antihistamine the doctor and I could think of….I felt as if I had a glimmer of what my friends who suffer from bipolar disorder and similar disorders complain about, that slight fog, wrapped in cotton, vaguely muffled, non-creative and apathetic. And then I looked at the calendar and realized that I’ve been sick or broken or both since March 5th. And that was depressing and I wallowed in the bathtub of self-pity for a while.

But I lack depressive stamina, and thankfully my apathetic fog is medication induced and the downside of stopping the meds is just wanting to flay the skin off my body with scratching. I can bear it a bit and harness what little part of my brain that’s not involved in the “oh, god, oh, god it itches, it itches, DON’T SCRATCH, DON’T SCRATCH, oh please just a little gentle, I won’t use my fingernails, promise” sarabande.

So right, here’s the problem: I’m allergic to my own allergic reactions. Specifically histamine. I started with genuine hives from the antibiotic. And they did start to subside when the antibiotics finally flushed out. But it was too late. Too itchy for too long, too much mindless scratching. Every time I scratch, my cells release histamine. My immune system goes “AUAHAHHA, HISTAMINE, PANIC, I’M GOING TO DEAL WITH THIS BY BECOMING INFLAMED…and itchy…and flood you with MORE HISTAMINE” My immune system is a 13 year old girl in the front row of a Justin Beiber concert. In a tizzy, personified.

So, the hives are all gone, but now half my body is covered in what I call firerash. It manages to combine itchy with a slight burning sensation. It’s expletive awesome. Because antihistamines, astringent dressings, soakings and rum aside (the rum is my own prescription, feeling the need for a wee bit of devil-may-care, which rum is great for), I’m still covered in rash, I still itch all over the place and while it’s gradually receding…it’s doing so at glacial speed. Pre-global warming glaciers, that is. And I’m planning a big surprise party and two critters near and dear to my heart just died, and I’m so far behind at work, it’s all I can do to not hyperventilate myself into a vapor cloud. (Thankfully the Benadryl helps with that.)

But who cares, it’s spring, it’s spring, it’s spring and I’m surrounded by antidotes – that certain green that new leaves are; the soon-to-be-mama robin, the one who lurks nearby while I’m weeding and waits for me to throw her worms, she’s back; things are blooming and sprouting all over the yard and my garden pots are filled with tender hope and promise.

No, I haven’t been replaced by alien pods….”filled with tender hope and promise” might sound optimistic and cheerful to you…to me it’s recognition that even this temporary blissful state, like English peas, will soon be over. And it will be all “why did you die? What’s with the bolting? That’s, IT, I’m never planting X again. And Expletive squirrel, put down that tomato. There will be a time for that, but like English peas, in the meantime, I’m gorging myself on it.

Here, while I get used to writing for fun again, here are two things. An amazing invention. And yes, you're going to watch darn near the whole thing thinking when am I going to see the helmet? And then you swear. If you're me. You might have a more mature reaction:

http://bigthink.com/design-for-good/yes-for-real-its-an-invisible-bicycle-helmet-and-it-is-awesome?utm_source=Big+Think+Weekly+Newsletter+Subscribers&utm_campaign=693c512a85-Booth_10_URL_9_Wed_3_273_27_2013&utm_medium=email

And, while I’m not quite ready to re-design my life to fit a greyhound back into it yet, here’s why I will – turn down the volume if German punk rock isn’t your thing, and be a little patient for the good parts – but embodiment of strength, grace and power, here it is. Plus if you never understood why a greyhound (and cheetah) are so much faster than similarly shaped animals, the answer is double suspension gallop, and this is an excellent visual. I can’t pass up the chance to have such beauty in my life. Even if it pukes on my carpet and sheds on my coat and has to go out at 2am.

http://vimeo.com/62855545
terribleturnip: (percy)
Oh, that feeling you get, after you press “send” and you realize that while it was a great idea to send a note to your supplier, giving him feedback on his team and the stellar presentation they delivered to your client, it might have been a better had you not misspelled Bobby’s name and called him Booby.

Also, while I’m having name issues, please, no more naming your children Michael or Jacquelyn. I cannot spell either name correctly without backspacing, re-typing, SEVERAL times. I’m going to go to my grave without ever mastering either name, so you’re going to have to be Mike or Jackie and just deal with it.

How many glasses, out of a 750 ml bottle of cherry cider, will it take before I accept that it’s really foamy and I’ll have to pour very slowly and carefully or wind up with cherry cider all over the counter? The answer is: ALL OF THEM.

Oh, hey, colleagues, when I said feel free to forward the happy hour invitation to other associates, I didn’t really mean upper management. Especially since I used this phrase “But seriously, if you don’t come to happy hour, you’ll probably be confused by the unseasonably warm temperatures, put on shorts, go outside…catch pneumonia and die. And no one wants that.” Because then you get an IM from a senior exec that reads “Wait, did you just set up a “come to happy hour or die” scenario?”

I love this, love this, love this: http://skepticalmothering.com/2013/01/16/do-you-have-forers-disease/

And now I get all opinionated and bossy. Shocker. )
terribleturnip: (percy)
I need to send the link below to the people who lived next to us in my hometown. They used to become outraged when my horses would occasionally bust the fence and wander across the yard and had near apoplexy when a herd of donkeys wound up in our backyard on Christmas morning. (Go ahead, make all the nativity jokes you want. We sure did.) Don’t even get me started on the herds of dairy cattle, flocks of geese and sheep that would wander through the neighborhood from time to time. Oh, you called the police because there were a dozen escaped Holsteins in your backyard? 15,000 crocodiles…I suppose that would have merited a call to the national guard….

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/southafrica/9823009/15000-crocodiles-escape-from-South-African-farm.html

So, Disney’s going to RFID (radio frequency ID, you’re probably more familiar with it when a product you’re buying sets off the alarm as you leave the store because it didn’t get deactivated at checkout. The rectangular things used to just set off alarms. These are more like metal-impregnated stickers and can contain more information than OMG, someone’s stealing razor blades!) and you’ll now be tagged like an endangered migratory bird, with all your wanderings about the park being tracked and summated. Although honestly, if it makes the wait for a ride any shorter, I could give a rat’s patoot if, on this one day, Disney knows how many times I have to pee. When I walk into MouseLand, I abandon all fantasies about being a self-determining individual. I have willingly chosen to be the Mouse’s bitch for the day, have at me. But I will thwart you all I can and pay cash for food and souvenirs and not use my Mickey Account or whatever the hell it’s called. Because I may be your bitch, but I’ll be a dick about it. I can’t reproduce the link where I found this news, as it’s subscription based, although it’s no secret, so you can google it if you want. But the newsletter I got it from writes “Moving deeper into personal data collection, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is introducing a MagicBand tool, rubber bracelets that enable Disney to track guest behavior in minute detail. Will shoppers forsake privacy concerns for a more interactive and personalized shopping experience?”

Seriously, I do not WANT a more interactive and personalized shopping experience. Here’s what I want: fast, easy and to be left alone until I have a question or need, and then I want someone with an IQ higher than my heartbeat to help me, while pretending to care. Gotta give Disney props – they actually deliver the last two. Which also explains, to a certain degree, why going to Disney costs an arm and a leg.
Sit down, this is going to take a while... )
terribleturnip: (willow)
Yesterday was not a good day. Work was overwhelming, I had to sandwich in a vet appointment for two of the cats, where I got lectured for failing to keep their shots up to date, and letting poor Jasper struggle with his allergies for so long, and then back home where Geezercat had had a colossal failure to find the litterbox...a couple of times...and then a group admonishment at work for not getting stuff done by deadline, plus needing to nag my contractor who keeps PROMISING to come back and finish up that last little bit...and then still trying to get these two contracts done which keep coming so close, but yet there's always something else...and then out to dinner with a supplier, desperately trying to resolve some of those issues, not getting home until late, taking one look at the kitchen and the dishes piled up in the sink (when you have five cats, the dishes pile up in pretty much a day) and instead of taking care of them, I opened the refrigerator ate leftovers I didn't really need and then went to bed. So, this morning, I couldn't stand it, took care of the dishes, which made me late for work, which I just hate, more unpleasantness here, me calculating the risks/benefits of...lots of things...and decided the only thing I could think to do that would salve my hurting brain would be to eat my lunch and take a break. Because, I am tired, just more than a little tired of all of this...STUFF, unfun STUFF that I have to think about. Wah, it's hard being an adult.

So, eating the few leftovers I didn't scarf up last night, I stumbled across this post -- and since I know that -- at least from your LJ posts -- a lot of my friends are dealing with some variation on this theme, I thought this post was brilliant. Sure, it's long and you don't have time, but you need to know about the supervillain green brain fog, because it's NOT fair that you're beating yourself up. And some other great thinkings and support. Plus, it's got a link to a Hyperbole & a Half post, which is like a bonus and I wish if she is going to draw my life like that, she'd at least give my character a waist.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2012/01/24/adulthood-and-the-liberation-of-lowered-expectations/

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