Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hot Damn.

I was driving home the other day and noticed a lump behind my left ear.  And I noticed that it hurt a little.

By bedtime, it hurt a little more.

So I took some NyQuil and went to bed.

And I woke up at 4:30 AM, and it hurt a lot.  Enough that I thought, "I think I'm taking my knot to the ER."

Cooler heads prevailed.  I took a hot bath, kept the warm water on my lump as much as possible and finally went back to bed.

But I was at the door of my doctor's office at 8AM as a walk-in.

I ended up seeing the Nurse Practitioner, who had no bedside manner.  She walked in, eyes glued to her laptop (charting) and said without inflection, "My name is Ratched*, I'm the Nurse Practitioner, nice to meet you."

Literally did not look up, did not seem to actually think it was nice to meet me.

So, while I was convinced I had a good, old fashioned earache, and fully anticipated a large shot of penicillin in my hindparts, I was wrong.

That's why she's the charismatic NP and I'm the patient.

What I had/have is some sinus drainage/fluid behind the ears - but no infection.  The knot, is, to the surprise of no one, a swollen lymph node

So, I'm taking ibuprofen for pain, Claritin for maintenance, and Sudafed to dry it all up.   The kind of Sudafed you have to ask for behind the counter, and they card you for.  Thanks, meth dealers.

And the Sudafed makes me feel... batshit.

It gives me Cotton Mouth, which, fine - I drink more fluids.  Which, because it also has a mild diuretic property (it's trying to *dry me out*, after all) - I spend my day peeing.

Just exactly like this.  Exactly.

This reminds me of an episode of Pee Wee's Playhouse where he has a cold, and someone asks him how he's doing, and he replies, "Drinking and Peeing."

Don't look this up on your work computer like I did.  Apparently, folks, there are folks out there that enjoy... you know what  - let's  move on.

Heard any good jokes, lately?

Anyway, I'm dealing with that.   Thankful that I'm not flying any time soon.

Beyond that, peeps, I have nothing. 

Which is a temporary condition.

Much like this earache that isn't an infection.


*No, she wasn't actually Nurse Practitioner Ratched, but given the opportunity, I'll say something to my actual doc in the practice about it - because the rest of that group is charming, charming beyond belief.

Friday, March 25, 2016

BBQ and Religion

The Good Friday before Matt and I got married we were having dinner with my parents. Barbecue, because that is how we used to roll.

That Sunday, my Aunt, Uncle and sister would all be in town for Easter brunch, and Dad was talking about everything that needed to be done. Including some eggs that hadn't been colored. I said that we could do that for him.  Dad asked if we really would, and Matt said, "Will dye be provided?"

I was a few beers in at that point and it tickled me, the serious way he asked it.  I started cackling. Not just laughing. Cackling.  Dad made us promise not to fuck the eggs up (which made me laugh harder) and told us exactly how to do them. He always bought two dye kits (which were provided), and doubled up on the dye tabs for a super saturated color. He liked them strong and bright.

Back at the house, he gave us the dye and two dozen eggs. We went back to my apartment... but on the way, we got an extra dozen. We did Dad's first. Perfection.

The final dozen, we fucked up. Matt dyed one to look like a breast, and drew a beautiful areola on the pointy end. We refashioned the wire dipper into a coat hanger and rammed it through an egg to make a strong pro-choice statement. I dyed one in Italian flag colors and wrote on it "Get Well Soon Pope!" (John Paul - he was dead shortly after). We used the wax crayon to write "Happy Easter! Now Go Home!" on one before dying it a sunny yellow. I covered one in the stickers from the dye kit. They were hideous.

When we took them over on Saturday, we showed them the uglies first. Then we quickly showed them the good ones.

They liked the joke eggs so much, we had to keep them to show my sister that night.

So, that's my Good Friday story.

Beer and Barbecue. Dye provided.

The End

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

For the birds

When you lose a loved one, and you're not religious, there's not a lot of ritual to fall back on.  You don't sit shiva or say a rosary, or light a candle.

But I wanted to somehow mark the second anniversary of Dad's death.  I mentioned wanting some sort of ritual to my mother and said, "I considered making his meatloaf, but... I don't really need to eat that."

A quick sidebar - I mastered my father's meatloaf recipe.  I made it for him about two years ago, and it ended up being the last real meal he ate before he died several days later. It's Italian-esque; with fennel seed, oregano, etc - it's like eating a slice of a huge, fabulous meatball.  But it's not light.  It is made with ground pork and ground beef and, look - it's fucking delicious, but it's not on my diet.

So, a bit later, Mom called back and suggested I plant something to honor him.  But it's early in the season, and the weather could still stab me in the back. I told her I had come up with a plan, and it was that I'd get some really top notch bird seed and put on a feed for the neighborhood feathered friends.

Dad gave me a bird feeder my first Christmas in Nashville.  I fill it sporadically, and I'm chagrinned, but honestly, it's two things.  One, out of sight, out of mind and two, Piper is a little too interested in eating bird seed.  High fiber.  The less said about that, the better. 

Anyway, I got some good stuff at Kroger - a songbird mix.  Cardinals, etc. are supposed to love it.

I thought about getting dried mealworms, but the idea of Piper getting into them, well... nuts and seeds seemed preferable.


So, I filled up the feeder, and I saw one bird on it before I left for work.  This guy:

Not literally this exact one, but a house finch. Like this one.

Anyway, that's all I have.  Dumping seed into the feeder wasn't exactly the best ritual, but it was a nice gesture.  And I have a whole year before I have to come up with a better idea.

Maybe I need to stick with meatloaf.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Weather and Traffic on the Nines

So, we had a lot of warm weather the past few weeks and it was glorious.

And then, all of a sudden, it got cold again.

Not frigid, mind you, just cold enough that I probably should wear a coat, but warm enough that I don't, and then I regret it.

You know, the classic story of a person living in a moderate climate.

I think I'm mentally just ready for Spring.  I spent the weekend cleaning the house and purging clothes, which was boring and tedious but necessary.

Right now, everything seems tedious and necessary.

That's how it rolls.

Tomorrow will be two years since Dad died.  I still miss him.  Obviously.

I'm in a better place, a lot has happened, I've worked through a few things.  I have a few more.

In fact, let's be honest - I'll be working through things the rest of my life.  It's what we do.

But I feel good  better.


So, let's get some warm weather back in here and get it going!


Friday, March 18, 2016

Red Rubber Ball

In the Book of Blogessiastes, it is written: There is Nothing New Under The Sun.

I was planning to write a blog post today about circular grief, and I thought to myself... I feel like I've written about this before.

So, I did a little digging and guess what!

I have!

Not only did I write about it, I used the same fucking song as the basis for the title.

So I'm going to talk instead about the song that inspired the title of this post and one like it two years ago, Red Rubber Ball by Cyrkle.

The song, which you can find on YouTube, was co-written by Paul Simon and one of the dudes from The Seekers. If you listen to it, that will make perfect sense.

It came on in my car the other day. I cannot for the life of me remember if I was playing it from my Amazon account or it was on the radio. It doesn't matter. I started singing with it, and to challenge myself, I decided to sing melody. Because when you've spent 30 years as an Alto (II), melody is a challenge.

It's a weird little song about a heart spurned claiming to be totes over it. He isn't, though. Not really.

"Now I know you're not the only starfish in the sea (sick burn). If I never hear your name again, it's all the same to me...". LIAR!

Although I like the song, it's not what I intended to write about.

I wanted to write about grief. But it appears Allison circa 2014 beat me to it. appears that my heart is not over it.
Here we go 'round in circles.

So, go sing a melody, or a harmony if it's easier. Because as it happens, not only is grief circular, my repetoire is, too.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Poetic? Just us.

I've had a few days of total cranky.  Justifiable, as it always is in my little world.

Here's what's happening.

1.  I am getting a CPAP machine.  Got the results Monday, and my apnea ranges from mild to moderate depending on the sleep stage I'm in.  Now, here's the thing.  Because of my insurance, I have to pay a $1500 deductible before it starts paying a dime.  This sounds like a good thing, and if you're never sick, it's great.

But if, like me, you *need* something, well...  fuck you and the ambulance you rode in on.  So I'll be paying out of pocket for the sleep study, and the machine will be out of pocket, too.  So.  Yay.   That's not even what has me the most irritated.  What bugs me is that I got a two minute call from the nurse to tell me, yes, I have mild/moderate apnea.  I can either do a machine or a mouth guard, but the doc thinks the machine is my better choice.  Two minutes for an eight hour study.

The next day, my results appear in PDF form on my Patient Portal - a secure site where they can post my medical records.  What's interesting is that both my at home study from two years ago, and my study from a week ago appear on the portal  Magically.  Anyway, the bottom line from both of them, if I had to put it into a Haiku:

Fat girl is tired;
She seems to have some issues;
Lose some weight, fat girl!

So anyway, pride be damned.  I get my machine.  Thanks, Dr. Milstone.  And thanks for nothing, United Healthcare.  Literally.

Letter in the mail:
Please remit total amount!
Lost weight from wallet.

2.  I got an e mail about my quarterly goals and I decided to say something about two of them.  They are to meet a set of numbers that I have no control over, and that bothers me.  So I said to the boss, "this bothers me - I want to discuss it next time we meet".  He replies with "I totally get your concern", then a few paragraphs later says, "I don't understand why you're worried."

Workplace etiquette.
So hard for me to follow.
Talk... less. Ha. Smile more.

3.  I had to change my password for work, and that irritates the hell out of me because it requires letters, numbers, special characters, a hair sample and a secret handshake.    And I couldn't sync my network password with one of the others I use all the time, so now I have two strings of nonsense to commit to memory.  I fussed with it ALL afternoon.

Used that one before!
Must contain an Uppercase;
Passwords do not match.

4. I ended up eating way too many mixed nuts today in response to my agitation, which...see #1. 

Eating her feelings.
Feelings and nuts both salty;
Lose some weight, fat girl!

5. My back has been tweaked for about a week.  Lower back pain.  I need to get stretched out on a rack.

Hey, you there - fat girl!
You say your back is hurting?
Maybe... lose some weight?

6.  I saw these amazing pants at the store a few months back and didn't buy them because they were for Spring and it was January.  And I went back today for them.  They have them in a 14 and a 28.  I am neither of these sizes.  They were green and fabulous.  They are sold out online.

Tell me these are not fabulous.

Fat girl's guide to life.
Shop early and shop often.
No green pants for you!

That's kind of where I am.

I actually feel better having blogged it.

Typing therapy
Writing helps clear the stuck brain
Blog yourself happy

- ae

Friday, March 11, 2016

Cram for your Exam

So tonight I have my long-awaited Sleep Study.

I'm pretty stoked.

I'm also pretty tired.

Here's how yesterday played out.  It started looking like I was going to get done with my class early enough to be able to fly home last night.  So that's what I tried to do.  I cancelled my hotel reservation, I got in my rental car, and I lead-footed it.

Here's something stupid about New Jersey.  You can't pump your own gas there.  So I had to wait for Pops to fill 'er up.

I made it to the airport with time to spare... but...

The flight I could take home had a connection in Midway.  And the flight out of Newark was delayed, ensuring I would miss my connection.  So, why be stuck overnight in an airport in Chicago?

Also, it would have been an extra $230 to fly to Midway and get stuck there.  I decided to stick with my 6AM Friday flight.

So I rebooked my hotel, got the shuttle and went to my room. I threw down my bags, and went to the restaurant to get a big damn salad.

And then, I went back up to my room and watched Shark Tank for way, way too long.

So, I finally went to bed around 11, with a 3:30 alarm set.

I woke up at 1:15 and fell back asleep.

I woke up again at 4:26....

Wait - 4:26?!??!

Yep, I managed to sleep through my 3:30 AM alarm.

So, I scrambled around and made it downstairs by 4:33, and got on the 4:40 shuttle to Newark.  I checked my bag, got my boarding pass, which, thanks to Southwest, included TSA pre-check.  I made it to the gate by 5:10AM!

Now, I didn't get a shower, my hair is on day three without a wash, and I didn't get much meaningful rest.

But I got on my flight, had an exit row to myself and I pounded through some sudoku puzzles.

We landed, and I headed to the office,  where I'll stay til after lunch.  And then, fuck it - I'm going home.

I can't have a nap today - sleep study.

But I can kick it with my dog, then I'll head to the Sleep Clinic after dinner, where I hope I'll sleep miserably.  Or at least miserable enough that they'll give me a C-PAP.

I can catch up this weekend.

Sweet dreams, yo.

C-PAPbst Blue Ribbon

Monday, March 7, 2016

Everything is legal in New Jersey

I am in the Garden State.  I am going to get my ass kicked tomorrow by a bunch of clinicians and billers.

It'll be... interesting.

Tonight, I ate dinner at the local Cracker Barrel.  Yes, yes I did.  I ate dinner at a Nashville based chain in a state where I could get great Italian.  And on top of that, I'm an hour from Philadelphia.  I could take a little drive and go get the best fucking cheesesteak on the planet.

But I need to not do that.  Instead, tonight I ate vegetables and grilled salmon patties.  And of course, a biscuit.  Because damn it, sometimes, you need a biscuit.

Which, all things being equal, is still better than eating a Philly Cheesesteak.  Sadly.

So, yeah - I'm bored, I'm in New Jersey, and I'm trying to avoid emotional/recreational eating.

Something worth noting... I  had a little psychic connection over the weekend.

I was at my mother's, and in my hometown, there's a "Big Psychic Fair" on the first weekend of the month.  It's a bunch of readers/healers/communicators who gather at this building near downtown Roswell, and they do mini-readings for $15.

So, I met with a woman who communicates with animals - because, duh - why not?  I showed her Piper's picture, and she tuned in.

She told me that Piper is happy, she loves Matt, she loves me - she feels bonded to us.  I asked about the scar on her nose.  The psychic said that Piper was telling her "cat".  I call BS on that, but OK.  Cat it is.  She likes her food, and according to the psychic, Lola picked Piper out for us.

She also told me that Lola loved me and wasn't mad that I had to have her put down, and that she didn't suffer too long.  And that she hung on as long as she could to get me ready.  Cue the tears.

I know it's for entertainment only. 

But sometimes you need to pay a few bucks to hear something you need to hear.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

When the moon hits your eye...

I had to go to Costco at lunch today. We needed this year's TurboTax software, and they have in on the cheap.

You know what else they have on the cheap? Large slabs of pizza.  You can get this mammoth slice of pie for $1.99.  And a drink for 99 cents. So for less than $3... lunch. Also, they serve Pepsi products, so... skip the drink.

It wasn't a healthy lunch, but it was delicious.

I love Costco.  They have deals on weird things that I need. Windshield wiper blades. Pillows, flash drives, Laughing Cow cheese. I get my Christmas cards done there. We used some of Matt's photos to make calendars for the family this year.

Their cashiers are nice, the aforementioned pizza is amazeballs, and their gas is cheap.

So we love us some Costco. The problem is, lots of other people also love Costco.

Which is tough if you're cranky like me.

But. I ate pizza and I bought software.

I'm living the dream, bitches.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016



The Tennessee Primary was today. I voted. Bernie, if you must know. Because I'm a socialist. I'm also a blood donor. But that isn't the point today.

So I am not thrilled that Hillary won, but whatevs.

I am DEVASTATED that Trump won Tennessee.

Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't be thrilled with Cruz either. Kasich or Rubio would have been more tolerable.

But this realistically means that I *know* people who voted for T. Rump. Unironically.  People I'm friend with.

This is why we can't have nice things.