Not Just Your Garden-Variety Neurotic Smartass.

Back To The Land Of The Living.

Well, I finally feel like a human being again, and not like some mangled creature simply crawling back and forth from the bed to the bathroom. It’s a relief.

There are purring kittens next to me, and I feel pretty content. That’s a rarity.

Since I’ve had to quit working at age 26 and have been disabled and unable to drive, I’ve been pretty antsy for the most part. I don’t like having a lack of purpose, and I don’t like feeling as if I’m not accomplishing anything in life. It’s been very hard for me to adjust to being sedentary, and I doubt I will ever fully accept it.

One thing I’m trying to do now – even with my torn rotator cuff- is get back into shape. I have a treadmill in the back bedroom, and now that the cats are out of there, I’m free to use it. I also need to get out of the habit of boredom eating, which has unfortunately become quite a nasty thing with me lately.

I have a million books, but I can’t read for long periods of time anymore due to my vision problems, so audiobooks are a good way to pass the time. I’m also learning to write code, and that has been helpful, too.

What would be truly great would be to have a chauffeur to take me anywhere I’d like to go for free, so that I wasn’t constantly bothering my parents for rides to the store or rides to the doctor. There is Uber, but Uber doesn’t really fit into a disability budget.

I am lucky to be at home in one regard – I’ve gotten to spend more time with my daughter than I would have if I would have been working, and I am grateful for that. I’ve really gotten to know her as a person and not just my child, and she’s wonderful.

Have a super Tuesday.

Flew.

I have the flu despite getting a flu shot, and I’m pretty pissed. I’ve spent the last couple of days in the bathroom and in bed, feverish, praying for a quick death, but I think that the worst of it is over.

I’m reasonably sure I still have a fever, because it’s eighteen degrees and I’m on the porch with my coat wide open, smoking, and I’m very warm. One way to survive a Chicago winter: get the flu – you won’t feel a thing.

I’ll write more tomorrow when I feel more human. Have a great Sunday.

Dental Damn and Dumpster Diving.

Good Morning! My back is starting to feel better at last, so it’s a lovely day here in the hood.

I could really use all of your good thoughts today, because Jasmine has an interview for a full-time job this morning. If she were to get it, that would be truly wonderful. She’s been looking for a job for quite some time and pickings have been less than slim.

The rescue lady came and picked up the mama cat yesterday, so now we’re down to just my cats, the kitten we’re keeping, and the kitten Jasmine’s friend is keeping. I almost hate to split them up because they’re so incredibly sweet together, but we really don’t need four cats – a point that was driven home particularly hard last night when all four of them were in my room and most of them were on my bed screwing around while I was attempting to sleep. I am a cat magnet. All four of them are gathered around me right now, waiting for my next move.

Today I plan to work on my little code training book and do some cleaning, but not much is on the agenda.

I sorely need to go to the dentist. I grind my teeth at night (and sometimes during the day, too) to such a terrible degree that the enamel on them is shot, and at last count I needed a couple root canals and a few cavities done.

I also knocked out the permanent retainer on my bottom teeth, and it’s gotten incredibly hard to floss in the areas my teeth have sort of shifted back, so I probably need that replaced.

Speaking of retainers, I have a story that is probably my dad’s favorite story of all time – the retainer story. When I was in junior high, like many kids, I had braces on my teeth. I had them for three years, because my pre-braces teeth were pretty gnarly. If I can find a photo, I’ll scan one and post it later, because my stacked-up, crooked, gap-filled, buck teeth are really something to see.

After I had the braces taken off during my eighth grade year, I had to wear a retainer on my top teeth. This was pretty standard. The retainer had sort of a plastic plate with a wire that went over my teeth, and I had to take it out in order to eat.

During my lunch break at school, I typically wrapped it in a napkin while I was eating so that nobody had to look at my icky gross retainer; and one fateful day, I accidentally threw it in the garbage. I didn’t realize it until I arrived home, and I promptly freaked out.

My father, not wanting to purchase a new retainer (which I now completely understand), drove me to the school the next morning, which happened to be a Saturday, so that we could dig through the garbage and find the cursed thing.

Now, it should be noted that although I am from the hood, I went to a rather posh private school in a rather nice neighborhood. Tuition was on the house if one was a church member, so did I attend church until the eighth grade? You bet. So not only was I dumpster diving, I was dumpster diving in chic, white-bread, suburbia.

I was mortified, to say the least, and ready to beat my father to death with a shovel for humiliating me in this manner.

We dug through bag after bag of garbage, and I felt like I was out there scrounging through the trash for a lifetime. My dad’s favorite aspect of this story is that I could tell when we were getting to the junior high lunches, because very few of them had been eaten. Eating disorders and private schools are made for each other!

Finally, I found the damn thing, covered securely in a napkin for safekeeping, next to an uneaten apple. I never lost my retainer again, and my father tells this story at least four times per year as either a cautionary tale or just a fond remembrance.

Feel free to leave me a comment if you’re reading! I do love a good comment.


My Body Doth Protest Too Much.

I have some herniated discs in my lower back that are making life a joyous, nonstop thrill ride at the moment, probably due to last week’s seizure and fall. Back problems are among my top 200 pet peeves, so I am currently just chilling with a cup of coffee before I actually do anything today.

I don’t like this business of getting older and falling apart. If there is a refund available for this junky body, I would like it now, please, before any more parts go awry.

Can you remember sitting cross-legged as a kid with absolutely no problem for hours on end as a kid? Now I sit cross-legged for five minutes on the floor with the kittens and I practically need someone to pick me up because my leg has fallen asleep and my back has just simply given up on life.

I’m in really crappy shape. I haven’t really exercised regularly since the first time I tore my rotator cuff, which happened during 2018. I need to strengthen up, limber up, and move my ass a bit. The problem there is that my rotator cuff is once again torn and I’m very limited in what I can do. However, I can still walk, so once mama cat has been adopted and is out of the back bedroom I am getting back to my treadmill, that old neglected friend. Once I finally have this second surgery and heal up it will be worth going back to the gym where I can do more total conditioning and cardio.

For now, I sit here like a lump, wishing that my muscle relaxers actually relaxed my muscles. But there’s coffee, and I certainly could never complain about that. Happy Friday.

Curse the Foul Flakes.

It snowed again. While that in and of itself is no astonishing news for a Chicago February, what is strange is that just Sunday it was 58 degrees.

I’m no fan of snow. Sure, it occasionally looks pretty for about a minute before the plows come by and during the moments all the trees are full of sparkling white boughs; and if you’re not from around here you might call it picturesque, but if you are from here you know that it’s just an unwavering pain in the ass.

Snow sucks to walk in or to drive in; and if you don’t have someone else doing your grunt work for you, it truly sucks to shovel. I curse more while shoveling snow than doing anything else in life, and I curse a lot.

And is it just me, or do kids not “do” snow anymore? It seemed like when I was a kid (here goes my middle-aged white woman When I Was a Kid anecdote) kids were always out playing in the snow – building igloos with those big plastic brick-things, building snowmen, and of course, indulging in the occasional injurious snowball fight. I never see kids out romping in the snow anymore. I’m guessing kids today don’t want to lose their new iPhones or Nintendo Switches in the mess. *rolls eyes in manner of terribly old person who doesn’t comprehend the youth*

Unfortunately, though, my youth was the only time I ever appreciated the snow. Ever since, I’ve uttered the exact same phrase every time I see the first frosty flakes fall – “Oh, fuck.”

I’ll admit that we have been spared the worst of it this year, as it’s been an unusually mild winter (*knocks wood*), but that doesn’t mean I have to appreciate it when the snow blankets my sidewalk and lawn, causing the walk to the garbage cans to be treacherous both because it’s slippery and because I have no idea whether I will step in snow-covered dog poop.

Speaking of the dog, she’s not one to cavort wildly through the snow, either – she runs out, does her business, and immediately runs back in, which I would do as well if I had to take an outdoor shit with no shoes on.

I’d say that we got about three inches or so last night, and I’m done – my house can be taken off the list, I would like clemency. The universe can direct that crap in another direction, such as California, which never seems to get its fair share.

The only day in which I can appreciate a bit of snow (I said a BIT) is Christmas Day, during which I am sappy and sentimental and too drunk to shovel anyway.

So, if you’re a fellow Chicagoan, gear up today – bust out your boots and gloves and get ready to scrape your car off and drive through muddy slush.

If you’re not a Chicagoan, lucky you.

Happy Thursday.

Because I Got High.

Occasionally I smoke marijuana. I’ve never really done it much until the past year, but I’ve found that its medicinal properties work wonders for both my shredded rotator cuff and my seizures.

Lately I’ve seen a surge in seizures, so I’ve been trying to smoke a bit more often, particularly because I don’t want to have another seizure and whack my head post-concussion.

Yesterday I got high. I didn’t intend to get super high, but I was indeed completely stoned. The problem with this is that I had a therapist appointment, and one would think that I would have taken that into consideration before getting wrecked on indica, which is more appropriately named “in da couch”.

I was slated to be on the couch, but the therapist’s couch is admittedly not ideal post-weed.

I arrived at my appointment, completely nervous and paranoid that my ex-military therapist was going to call me out for being a drug addict. I wandered around the waiting room before she came out of her previous appointment, checking out the instant coffee pot, which I could not figure out to operate because I was high and stupid.

My therapist led me into her office, which seemed extraordinarily warm and uncomfortable at the time, because I was high and stupid.

She then sat me down and asked, “How do you want to proceed with therapy?” This was an inordinately difficult question, because I was high and stupid, so I just mumbled out something about a safe space to vent and “working on my issues” or some such bullshit.

Halfway into the extremely uncomfortable session that had already featured many awkward, prolonged moments of silence; she remarked, “I’m going to make some observations. You seem particularly tense today, and you seem as if you’re spacing out a lot, and I’m wondering if you’re having petit mal seizures.”

I was not having seizures – I was just high and stupid. I was also paranoid, so I assumed she smelled the weed on me and was just fucking with me for kicks. This made me even more tense.

By the time the appointment was over, my shoulders were up around my ears and I couldn’t look the woman in the eyes. I felt like a little kid harboring a bad deed.

It was the most uncomfortable appointment I have ever had, and I’m including my three-day labor with Jasmine in that tally.

I went home and immediately smoked more pot, because ANXIETY, and I felt better.

So, while I do wholeheartedly recommend weed if one is not being drug tested and has chronic pain or seizures (or anxiety), I don’t recommend getting high and stupid before going to the therapist.

Lesson learned. Have a super day.

The Mauling of the Mammaries.

Good morning, party people.

I went for my six-month checkup yesterday, and after both the nurse and doctor spent a good twenty minutes getting my medications correct in the computer system, I was given a breast exam.

The doctor asked me to “just pull my shirt and bra up”; but since I’ve put on weight, the bra I had on was very tight; and since I have a torn rotator cuff again, I had a hard time doing this at all. This made for an amazingly awkward situation, and she wound up taking pity on me and unhooking my bra.

After I was felt up by her extremely cold hands, she re-hooked me, and we just sort of smiled weakly at each other as if we had not just played out a bad high school date.

I have to get both a mammogram and a chest X-ray, since I was a bit wheezy. I am going to try to stop smoking this week, assuming my shrink actually refills my anxiety medication; because without it I would be a raging ball of nerves, chewing the drapes and possibly committing a homicide.

Today I have a therapist appointment, during which I will bemoan my increasingly poor financial situation and explain last week’s sudden, concussion-related cancellation.

Speaking of that, I’m finally feeling much better – my headache is down to a four or five on a scale of one to ten, and I no longer have the urge to split my head open like a watermelon and let the evil spirits out.

Have a superb day.

Small Animal Rising From the Earth Day.

Happy Groundhog Day, if you’re a believer that a little furry creature can accurately forecast the weather. Not that I’m giving old Phil a hard time by any stretch of the imagination – I’m sure he does a better job than half the high-tech scientific equipment on the market.

My head is still absolutely on fire and I am OVER IT. I can handle a bad headache for one day – as a migraine sufferer, that’s par for the course – but no longer, or I start to lose my shit. Logically, I understand that I bashed my head into a steel dog gate, and I have two lumps that I know are going to hurt; but the two-year-old in me is stomping her feet and squalling, “NO MORE, I DONE!”

It’s maddening, I tell you.

As far as much more pleasant topics go, have you tried ZipFizz? For the uninitiated, this is a powdered B12 and potassium supplement that comes in cool tiny cylindrical containers, and you add them to a bottle of water. I am absolutely addicted. They taste great, and I certainly could use the vitamin boost. My dad got us a box at Costco, and I hope he plans on keeping us stocked, because I probably can’t afford them.

I have a plant that my good friend Amy sent to me many months ago. It’s a sort of amalgam of four different types of green plants, and it’s been a point of pride that I’ve been able to keep it alive; because I typically have a black thumb that has murdered even small cacti.

I kept the plant on my front porch all through the summer and fall, and it flourished. Then, when winter came, I brought it in and placed it on the desk in my living room so that it wouldn’t freeze.

Nixie has discovered my hardy plant and has been frequently caught snacking on it, and I’m ready to swing her around by her tail with great force and then let go.

I love my cat so very much, but don’t fuck with the only green-baby I have ever been able to keep alive for more than two shuddering breaths.

Happy Sunday.


Concussed and Nonplussed.

Happy Saturday.

Yesterday afternoon I had a seizure in the kitchen and bashed the top of my head into the steel dog gate, knocking it right out of the doorway, and then I slammed my head into the wood floor several times before Jasmine could get to me and put a pillow under my head.

I was unconscious for a while, so she called my mom to come over (we’re not in the habit of calling 911, since unfortunately this type of crap has happened before, but I don’t recommend this practice) and eventually they were able to rouse me.

Big headache. Big. I also couldn’t focus properly for a while, and I couldn’t get up off of the floor for about a half an hour after I woke up.

I’ve had concussions several times before, and I knew I had one – the nausea, blinding headache, and increased vision problems tipped me off – but I didn’t feel like it was worth going to the ER, because there’s really nothing they do for concussions but tell you to rest.

I stayed awake for a while, since you’re really not supposed to go to sleep after a bad seizure, and then I finally sacked out at six PM and slept until four.

I still feel pretty crappy. I’m still nauseous, my head feels like someone drove a truck over it, and I’m moving a little slowly; but I didn’t crack my head open and I certainly could have, so I’m counting my blessings.

I’m actually pretty amazed at the resilience of my tough old noggin. I have smacked it on almost every available surface – wood, tile, steel, even concrete – and somehow I’ve still managed to bounce back.

*knocks wood* (but not with my head)

Obviously the universe is looking out for me, and I appreciate it.

Tomorrow I will be attending the birthday party of a very near and dear friend at her parents’ home. They were like my second family growing up, and I haven’t seen them in quite a while, so I’m very excited. (Don’t worry, I won’t get Too excited, and I plan to sit the whole time.)

Today is all about solo Netflix-and-chilling. I plan to park my ass on this couch and not remove it until this evening. Have a happy weekend.

LGBTQ Rights.

I was sitting on my front porch this morning smoking and thinking about certain aspects of LGBTQ rights – one in particular, since gender confirmation surgery will soon be covered by Illinois Medicaid, and that will mean a lot to someone very, very near and dear to me – and how these rights have come such a long way, but yet there is still so far to go.

For instance, gay marriage is now legal in all fifty of the United States (as of 2015), but that doesn’t mean it’s widely accepted or embraced by a lot of the general public.

Trans people face incredible difficulties, from having to stand before a judge to have their gender marker changed (which doesn’t always fly), to the insane twists and turns and expenses that come with gender confirmation surgeries. There is also a ridiculously high level of negative scrutiny and badmouthing of trans people, some of it present in the media or taking the form of tasteless “jokes”.

LGBTQ slurs seem to still be as common as ever, or at least they are in my neck of the hood. If I had a dime for every time I heard a guy call another guy “gay”, I’d be typing this from the third floor of my sprawling mansion.

Clearly the attitude of the general population needs to change and become more open-minded and less rooted in ridiculous, archaic pseudo-Christian ideals (Christ taught people to love one another, and as far as I know there was no disclaimer stating “unless they’re queer”); or maybe people just need to be kinder to one another.

Love is love, and in this world of stress and strife, people should be free to love who they want to love and be who they are without slander or judgement.

As far as sex is concerned, as long as you’re not involving children, animals, or unwilling partners, have at it! Use condoms, take PREP, be safe, and enjoy.

Life goes by so quickly. The least we can do is build one another up rather than tearing each other down. We can speak up when we hear LGBTQ slurs and say, “Hey, that’s wrong.” We can advocate for our queer and trans family members and friends and help them to get the support and healthcare they need. We can be active in our communities and on social media.

I am blessed enough to have an extremely diverse family and group of friends, and I will fight for them. Join the fight and stand up for the rights of our LGBTQ friends.

Have a delicious day.