Meandering and Musing

journeying through life on my own little pathway

bravery takes many forms
I have this cousin, my second cousin, who lives a few hours away from me. She is about thirteen years younger than I am (same age difference between me and her mom). She's a sweet young lady. We're friends on FB and I've watched her bounce from relationship to relationship and low-wage job to low-wage job over the past few years, but she's always loving and kind and optimistic.

I saw a post from her earlier, where she said she was scared out of her mind because she needed so much help from her mom to get through high school, but she didn't want to work at Wal-Mart for the rest of her life. However, she is terrified of taking college entrance tests because she doesn't understand math. (I have something personal to say about that, but that's for later.) Another cousin (who defriended me over the Prop 8 ruling) and I encouraged her to seek out tutoring and to not be afraid/ashamed of remedial classes if necessary.

One of her comments just struck me right through the heart. She called the local community college where she is applying, and they told her they did have a tutoring program and remedial classes if her test scores showed she needed them. She said she was so relieved, because...and this is the part that made me almost cry, she thought she was going to call the school and they were going to tell her she couldn't go to college because she was bad at math. She'd apparently put off calling them for days because she didn't want to hear that.

I just want to drive five hours and hug her. Instead, I congratulated her for overcoming her fear and contacting the school, that those were really big and important steps, and told her I was there for whatever help I could provide.

*Edited to say she is my second cousin, not my first cousin once removed, as I realized this morning. Bah.

Riding the Gravitron
warm fuzzies, doodlebobbers, ridiculous
So this space has been mostly wangsty or angsty of late, and while there is unpleasant shit going on (job, spine, weight) there are excellent things as well.

So let's talk about those for a bit. (Riding the Gravitron is my new shorthand for seeking out pleasure and joy.) (Although as you will see below, I did ride a Gravitron.)

In early January, I ate bugs with felisdemens. It was awesome. If you are friends with either of us on FB, there is an EPIC trailer for our bug-eating movie, and I may at some point be arsed to post it over here. IT IS EPIC. The music says so. And I only almost gagged on that one bug. Well, two, because I ate two of them, because reasons. When I put up the trailer/movie, I will talk more about it. Suffice to say it was a good time, and you wish you were there. Because we are hilarious.

I went to one of the most awesome wedding celebrations ever over MLK weekend. A coworker I actually quite like and her now-wife got married in July in Boston, as kind of a spur of the moment thing. I was actually in my coworker's office when she proposed via text message, moments after SCOTUS ruled on DOMA. So they got married during a planned trip to Boston over July 4th weekend, but held off on celebrating it until the weather was better in South Florida. My coworker has relatives who own an amazing house on the water in Miami Beach, and that's where the celebration was. I danced almost all night, and I don't usually dance in front of coworkers. One coworker at one point was like "Damn, you can really work your hips!" Yes. Yes I can.

Here's the proposal, which was sitting by the "gift and card" table. (On the invitations, they said they didn't want gifts, as they've been living together for almost a decade and had what they needed, but they did need a new roof, so they set up a honeyfund site, which I thought was awesome.)

click for the proposalCollapse )

A few weeks later, the coworker who I still sort of mentor and who still sort of drives me up a wall (but now he's moved to our satellite office most days and I miss him) emailed me a link to a performance happening a few days later, and was all "This seems like your kind of thing."

It was a performance of The Wet Spots!/ I was 1)instantly giddy and 2) instantly aware that I am much less subtle at work than I used to be (I once surprised several coworkers by drinking a beer and saying "naughty" words while hanging out, but that was a long long time ago.)

So I IMMEDIATELY pinged felisdemens to see if she and we_happy_few were up for it, and got an almost immediate reply that they were in. OMG. It was such a great night. The venue was very far away (waaaay far in south Miami-Dade) but it was a great space, small and perfect for this kind of show. We were amused at all the people who did not find them amusing, and we laughed the loudest and sang along. I made friends with the gentleman next to me, who then advised me that a colleague of mine (different legal agency but we work closely and in the same building) was there, and she came to see me at intermission. Apparently when I walked in she was all "I know that woman!" (sidenote: I am almost 35, and it still doesn't sink in always that I mostly do not scan as "girl" but as "woman".)
They did a short autograph session afterward (they were playing another show at the same venue a bit later) but I did not have anything for them to sign, and the vendor table was cash only. I never carry cash. Cassie (the female of the duo) came up to us, drawn by the fun hair and clothes, and was all "You guys seem like our kind of people." We readily assured her we were. I confessed to my dilemma, and also to the fact that we had been joking that she could just sign my chest (my blouse was low-cut.) She gave me a CD and told me to pay for it later on the site, and then she and several other people tested ball point pens on my chest, because we could not find a Sharpie. She also hugged me several times, and I nearly melted. Also, I may or may not have a new nickname of Scribbletits, Esq. These things, they happen. We also had excellent pho.

I went to Ren Faire a week or so later with my beloved andrewwho I wore the actual garb (nothing fancy) I bought at the one in Texas, and sneakers because walking, but my sneakers matched my dress so I was pleased. I also took the Freddie purse, as it is the only cross-body bag I have, and it is now hanging again on my bed. We had a blast, and I rode a giant rocking horse and bought a gorgeous parasol and a beautiful journal. I also lost my sunglasses that Snazzy Eddie bought me for my 30th birthday, and nearly choked when I looked up the price. But I had them for four years and frankly the day was worth it. There was much discussion about starting a "realistic Ren Faire" where there are piles of actual shit everywhere and if we see people using cell phones we throw them in the stocks. It might catch on.

I was supposed to go to Ohio to spend the long weekend with bigscottyk but the crazy winter had other plans, and all my flights were cancelled, as well as the ones I tried to get on. Since I had already asked for the Friday off, I took it anyway. (I have like 5 weeks of vacation time stored up right now.) I took myself to the movies. I had planned to see four, which would be a record, but I switched my watching schedule all around and could only last through three. I saw Her, which was mind-blowingly good, sums up so much of what I think about love, but man, that particular future is orange. Really orange. I then went to the Frozen Sing-a-Long, and had a great time, and two little girls hugging each other during "Do You Want to Build A Snowman" had me crying. andrewwho joined me for American Hustle, which I enjoyed but which could not compete with the joy of Frozen or the awesome of Her. There was also a ride in a "5D" cube, which was great fun, if inaccurate, and frozen custard, which is the greatest thing ever. Also, my first bacon cheeseburger. I know.

Saturday I spent with Mr. Matrix, who I had not seen in AGES. Maybe six months? We're both so busy. We went to brunch and then to the new museum in Miami, PAMM (Perez Art Museum Miami). I was enthralled. The space is gorgeous and the exhibits were amazing, especially the Ai Weiwei exhibit, which I think just ended. Mr. Matrix and I were some of the last people to see the full exhibit, since a local artist dropped one of the vases.

Saturday night I was reading a book, and a kid in the book was flying a kite. I realized I hadn't flown a kite in years, and I wanted to. I searched for local kite stores, etc., and randomly discovered that the annual kite festival was the next day! And Sunday was beautiful. I looked at bikes first (funny conversation about that later) and then went to the festival, where andrewwho joined me. Y'all, kite flying is pure JOY. I have to do it again soon, spine permiiting. I rested the next day, having just done all the things.

A few weeks later, I discovered a local burlesque troupe was having their 3 year anniversary party, and pinged both felisdemens and andrewwho about it. Felis and I decided to check it out on Saturday night. But before that, on Friday, I was driving back from a school negotiation and noticed a fair being set up. And what was that I spied? A GRAVITRON. I pinged Felis to tell her of my discovery, then drove back to the fair set up to determine whether I was right. I WAS. She asked if I was going to get on it that night, and I was all "No, I'd rather wait for you." Because while I'm fine doing most things by myself, some things are meant to be shared.

AND IT WAS AWESOME. Like, seriously, I think we were both experiencing a little trepidation initially, but damn. I was worried it wouldn't be as fun as I remembered. I was wrong. IT WAS WAY MORE FUN. Immediately after disembarking, Felis turned to me and asked if I wanted to go again. "Fuck yeah" was my response. And it was glorious. And we resolved to seek out more Gravitron opportunities.

We grabbed food at a diner close to the venue, and then Google Maps sent us on many creepy adventures to try and find the venue. A note to the venue: If your place of business goes by multiple names, have signs OUTSIDE with those names. When we finally found the place and were having a drink at the bar, I found one framed picture on the floor that mentioned the name on our tickets.

The show was fabulous. The Living Deads were the opening act and seriously, they were so good. I wouldn't expect a band with that name to play rockabilly, but they did. Oh, they did. And then the show. Wow. Fabulous songs, great dances, gorgeous women. It was such fun. And so many of them were friendly. I got makeup secrets from one of the ladies, and Felis got music information from another. A lot of the people there were super friendly, including one bartender who kept insisting on taking pictures with the two of us. I wish I could do burlesque. I can, however, do the cute rockabilly look. Maybe.
It was just. It was a perfect evening.

I'd been training to run in a 5k that is this coming Saturday, but as I have said elsewhere, that isn't going to happen, since as I mentioned, I sprained my cervical spine two weeks ago. I didn't know I could do that. So that weekend was mostly resting, though I did go do outreach for my job and interview for more leadership positions in the League. Being in pain, I did not give a stellar interview, but we shall see.

This past Friday, I drove to Key West and back for work. Wow. I always forget what a wonderful drive that is. So much beauty, and so many fun things to see, and you get to go to Key West! I stopped along the way for a presentation at a kid's shelter that broke my heart and got me all inspired, then went to an interagency meeting in Key West, grabbed lunch (which included a margarita and Key Lime Pie) and grabbed a new steel mesh fishie, though this one is actually a squid. (The Southernmost Gift Shop sells these gorgeous fish and birds and things, most of which are candleholders. I grab a new one every trip.) I met an Amish woman on her Rumschpringe, who said she was not returning and not planning on leaving Key West. I don't blame her on the latter. I am always wistfully sad when I leave Key West. But oh, that drive. Windows down, salt breeze blowing through my hair, blasting Chuck Berry. Bliss.

On Saturday I followed up with my GP about my spine. (Bless that man for having Saturday hours.) He said I was obviously in a lot of pain, and gave me a referral for physical therapy and an Rx for Vicodin. Vicodin turns me into the single most loving person on the planet. Seriously. I even warned Felis (we had plans that day) that if I waxed poetic about our friendship, to please understand I was on Vicodin. I take it and I just must EXPRESS ALL THE GOOD FEELINGS.

We got pedicures at my local place, and though I had mentioned several great people there, Felis drew the short straw and got cut three times. So sorry about that! But we were undaunted, and went shopping. I bought RED lipstick. It is very, very red. SO RED. There will be pictures. I have never worn anything like it ever and I love it. I also bought some great eyeshadow and other things at Sephora (the lipstick was at a little beauty supply store that Felis found.) We also looked at clothes we cannot afford to buy (SOMEDAY.) Oh, and Felis got me addicted to Tom Ford's Black Orchid perfume, which I also cannot afford to buy (thought I do have a sample size that cost me $6.) It smells like Vicodin makes me feel. Or maybe that was the Vicodin.

We then proceeded to dinner, at Chayhana Oasis. Uzbeck food, and the first time for each of us. Dinner was sublime. Beef tongue with the best horseradish in the world. Cheese pastry! Lamb dumplings. How did I not know lamb dumplings exisited? Why is it not more prevalent? (Right now at my local store, lamb is cheaper than bacon.) Felis had a delicious pilaf, and we shared a tasty dessert. And the drink! OMG. No alcohol, but we drank this fruit compote that I would like about six gallons of, to get me through the weekend. It was fruit punch all grown up. And then tea with fresh mint. Wonderful. Though next time we will eat outside, because the flashing lights of the floor show were attacking Felis.

Seriously, it is the middle of March and I have sprained my freakin' spine and I don't know when I've had a better few months, all told. Here's to more joy in my life and in everyone else's!

(meeow712, I didn't know how to reach you, but there will be MORE GRAVITRONING.

Only Me
I've had a migraine since Monday.
Also, my neck and upper back have been very tight and achy.
So last night, I'm browning chicken on the stove.
Chicken grease pops, as it does.
I jerk my head and upper body back, as I do.

And there was....a noise. And a feeling. And then I got very sick very quickly. And then I could not move my neck and back the rest of the night. Flexeril 20 mg and an hour on the TENS unit provided minimal relief.

Had a meeting with a client at a local social security office this morning. He kept asking me if I was ok. Not a great sign. We stood for hours.

Left SSA, and emailed work that I was going to urgent care.

I have apparently sprained my cervical spine. BY COOKING CHICKEN. (Ok, so it was probably due to running, but the chicken thing is what finally ....excuse the pun, but it was the straw that broke the camel's back.)

I have had a shot of pain meds, and two pain med Rxs. I am not working tomorrow, as when I took a shower earlier, I yelped a lot.

Send trashy novel recommendations for the Kindle. And a body upgrade, if available.

hey, if you don't want me to kiss it, don't give it to me
boogie elephant
So one of my partners, Lavender Gooms, got me an exciting gift. An autographed picture of James Marsters. Because Spike.

This exchange just occurred.

LG: No making out with your Spike picture!
Me:........why not?
Me: Also, possibly too late.
LG:...I have no good answer for that.

travel confusion
One of the fun perks at my job is the occasional trip to Key West. In order to accomplish ALL THE PRESENTATIONS EVER, I am going on March 13th and 14th down to the Keys for three meetings, one for my project, and two for my firm as a whole. This means an overnight in the Keys!

Which is booked by my firm. So the first presentation on Thursday night is in a smaller key (there are so many keys), Summerland Key, an hour or so away from Key West. I got an email on Friday that they had booked me into a hotel on Summerland Key. I found that surprising, as it isn't that big. I didn't think whatever hotel *might* be there would be affordable. But I was upstairs and saw my HR manager, who showed me a couple of pictures from the website. Nice hotel.

I looked at the pictures again Friday night. The last shot is of two people who I am assuming are the proprietors of the bed and breakfast, posing by the sign in heavy jackets and about a foot of snow.

Which does not happen in Summerland Key. (Btw, it last snowed in Miami in 1978.)

So I looked closely at the address.

They had booked a hotel in Summerland, alright. Summerland, British Columbia.

I sent an email stating that while I appreciated all the help and also appreciated the opportunity for a longer trip, that hotel is in Canada.

My boss thought this was hilarious.

They've finally rebooked me this morning. In Key West. YAY!

teeny bits
boogie elephant
Thank you to everyone who expressed kindness and support on LJ or elsewhere regarding the death of my client. hit me much harder later, as that day I was taking care of the practicalities it required here, and also preparing for a hearing the next day.

My new mindset of trying to find things I enjoy, of saying yes to things, is working well. There may be a recounting of amusement from the weekend prior to last later.

Yesterday I went to Ren Faire with andrewwho. I rode a giant rocking horse and bought a gorgeous journal and a parasol featuring a winter tree and crows that I am very pleased to have purchased. Unlike when I went in Austin in November, I did not drink a metric ton of mead nor eat things on sticks, though I did have an arepa, bangers, and for the first time, a Scotch egg, which I was meh about. I also lost the second most expensive item of clothing I own, which is a pair of designer sunglasses I received as a birthday present from Snazzy Eddie four and a half years ago. They were great, and I got a lot of use out of them, and the joy at the Ren Faire definitely outweighs their loss.

I am headed to the far more chilly section of the country Thursday night, to see my dear bigscottyk and celebrate, among other things, the fact that he will be entering grad school in the fall. I'll be in Columbus, OH. Freezing. But, I am looking forward to it. I fly back Sunday night and Monday is a holiday, so I intend to spend it outside in warm sunshine, or inside in a hot bath. I gave myself a B12 shot to prepare for it last Wednesday, and I may take another before I go, just to be sure, as it was the first time I'd done it and I'm not that great with it yet. A good bit of the B12 leaked back out. I'm going to consult more videos. And possibly my nurse friends.

Alright, back to work.

"All Is Straw"*
Lots of excitement. Or not.

I went to a beautiful wedding reception on the 18th for one of my favorite coworkers, TRex, and her amazing wife, Dush. They actually got married in Boston over the weekend of July 4th, but it was a fast and unplanned thing, so...reception. (TRex proposed about two minutes after the DOMA decision was handed down. Via text message.) It was very cute, and they had a screenshot of the conversation blown up and at the reception, and they played a video of the actual ceremony. I drank, I danced, I actually enjoyed my coworkers.

I allegedly have a new intern starting today. This is a much-needed thing, as I went all last semester without one and it was rough, and I've got a lot going on at work. She should be here soon. I've been here awhile this morning getting some things ready for her.

So as per FB post, on Friday night I got all excited about some changes I want to make to my apartment, and then promptly got all nervous that I might have to move in July, and it would not be worth the time or expense to make those changes if I was leaving so soon. So I emailed my most wonderful landlord to see if we are going to extend the lease another year (making my earliest move date sometime in July 2015.

He said YES! He also mentioned a rent increase, which is fine. My rent has been stable for several years and has only gone up once in all the time I lived there. I had a figure in mind that I thought he might choose. I told him it was fine. He sent me the lease extension this morning, and it was exactly what I thought it would be. A $75 a month increase is totally doable, and is much less over the year than the cost of moving would be.

Since I was in this happy loving mode with my home, I decided to finally attack my walk-in closet. Also because I don't think the lightbulb in there has been changed since shortly after I moved in in August 2009, and I fear a bulb burnout is imminent. And you can't walk in there without stepping on crap or bumping into crap as of Friday, so I would 1) be embarrassed to have anyone try (I cannot reach the light even with my stepladder) and 2) might hurt myself going in there in the dark.

So I pulled everything out and cleaned and organized the whole closet. It was such a satisfying experience. And it looks amazing now. My clothes are all sorted (short sleeve prints, short sleeve solids, same for long sleeve, skirts together, etc) which is how it first was set up by my friend Ms. Bee, and it has held up *somewhat* but now is back to being organized. Also, I have a lot of hangers. Like, a lot of extra hangers.

I will be attacking other rooms over the next few months, but I have to go a bit slow. After moving boxes and storage containers and hangers and everything for four hours, I was in so much pain I was twitching. I did rest. I am still in some pain, but nothing like I was Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Also as per FB, when I was sorting through everything, I really sorted through EVERYTHING. I opened every bag and box (except the ones on the highest shelves, I know exactly what is in there and they can stay there for now.) When I opened this weekender bag that my younger sister gave me back in college, it was full of...purses. (yes, bags within bags!)

One of the purses? Was the last present my beloved best friend Freddie bought for me before he died, though I didn't receive it until after his funeral. I actually wrote about it here/ but I thought I'd lost it.

I sat down and cried. With joy and with sadness.
I posted about it on FB, and thanks to that post and being friends with my first serious high school boyfriend, I am going to be able to get into contact with his mom again, which will mean so much to me. (A much nicer story than the contact with Vile Robert.) I am immensely touched by all who commented or liked that post. There were a lot of tears Saturday night, but laughter too. And it was definitely part of my therapy session Sunday. We discussed how much I still miss him and what I gained from the relationship, and I admitted that I have never, ever, felt so loved and accepted by anyone. He was my best friend, the best friend.

*I have long been obsessed with famous last words. Like, actual last words. So I'm kinda trying this thing where I'm titling my journal entries after famous last words. This one is from Thomas Aquinas.

High Altitude Llamas!
warm fuzzies, doodlebobbers, ridiculous
This is a conversation taken from FB chat. It initially started with a size joke about how one of my partners got an 8 inch Galaxy tab rather than a 10 inch Galaxy tab.

Me: well, you've heard mine and [redacted]'s theory on that, right?
Anything over like, 11 inches is like climbing Mt. Everest.
You aren't doing it because it is enjoyable
You're doing it to say you did it
(and there is blood loss. And sherpas. And hypothermia. And a faster passage up the north, but it's more dangerous.)
(things in parenthesis might not actually be similar in both situations)
(except the sherpas)

Him: LOL

Me: Did I tell you that I used to think sherpas weren't people?


Me: Because in accounts of climbing Everest, they always say "This white dude was the first to climb/climbed the highest/stayed the longest. There were sherpas with him."
so clearly, if the sherpas weren't getting their own credit. they were.....high-altitude llamas!

Him: thought Tensing Norgay was a llama?

Me:........Some people name their llamas in clever ways
and if I ever have a llama
I will name it Tensing Norgay
but I can't have a llama

Him: This is now my favorite fact about you.

Me: because I am allergic to them
I actually told someone all this while I was druuuuunk one night
except I kept confusing sherpa and llama
and when someone pointed out that no, llamas aren't people
I called them a racist dickbag
and flailed at them, menacingly...but mostly drunkenly.

Him: Lol

Yep. When you date me, you get lots of conversations like that. Uh huh. Line starts over there.

Oh, Brain.
Mostly for my own records.

Last night I had the migraine to end all migraines, and currently I have nothing to take for them other than OTC pain relievers, which...HA! (migraine is still lingering, as is brain-slowness from migraine. Boo.)

Anyway, I went to bed, and then ended up waking up from a nightmare with a terrible panic attack. The nightmare? Well, I was on my way to felisdemens' place (maybe to eat more bugs? Oh yeah, on Saturday she and I ate bugs. There is video being edited.)

Anyway, I was driving to her place and I saw fairgrounds that included a Gravitron, which as I've stated I really want to experience again. So I decided I would stop and ride it, since when would I find one again?

So I went to the amusement park equivalent of Hotel California. Yeah. (The panic attack-inducing nightmares, when not involving home invasion, often involve me being trapped and chased. I have a THING, apparently.) However, I remember very clearly in the dream sort of stopping it and saying "hey, let's make it so I get away. Just get in the car. I can do this." And I did get away, but still panic attack.

I woke up seriously doubting whether I could now handle a Gravitron. I can. That was silly, but it was a panic attack. Gonna make sure that meeow712 or someone goes with me, in case I have residual yuck feelings.

And So This Is Christmas
So, Christmas 2010 was..brutal. I've had a host of bad Christmases (one of many reasons I'm not a huge fan) but that one was one of the worst, and it wasn't really anyone's fault. Maybe. I took it on the emotional chin for my family, as is the way of my people.

Due to Christmas 2010, Christmas 2011 involved me going to sit at the beach and watching tv and not doing much else. I just..couldn't.

Last year I was with my mom, and even saw Ratchet and the nephews and niece. It was...not great, but good.

This year I am once again not with family,'s ok. I've been working on boundaries in therapy, and learning it is ok to not enjoy the holidays, and to not "do" them sometimes. I actually may go to Midnight Mass tomorrow night though...I just find it a beautiful ceremony. It may require a nap, as I work tomorrow. The rest of the plan is to go hang out with Fave Prof in the early part of the day and watch movies and eat Chinese food, and then when his brother arrives I will scamper off to do some volunteer work at a shelter, and then see some movies. I have only seen two movies at the theater in the same day three times in my life (and one of those was this Black Friday) and I'm considering seeing three, as a small gift to myself. The current top three contenders are Frozen, American Hustle, and Dallas Buyer's Club.

A few days later, I'll head to Tampa. The Elderly Aunts are both very ill and likely at least one of them won't see next Christmas, so I want to see them, but not with the rest of the crazy family around. I classify this as self-care as well, since the guilt of not seeing them would be very damaging. Guilt is one of the major things I need to work on.

I'm satisfied with the plan. Maybe someday I'll be in a space where I can try to build good holiday memories, but now is not that time/space.

Two Small Happy Things
1. I have a difficult case I'm writing a brief for, but I finally found a hook this morning and feel good about it.

2. In an update to the most recent post about the most recent doctor/insurance fun, I called the doctor's office (the one I like) this morning and the office manager had no clue as to why my doctor had changed, because she said they still accept my insurance. So I called the insurance company again, and apparently his code changed, so everyone under the old code got switched to a new doctor. I got switched back. Huzzah. After everything that happened last year with changing doctors, my sense of relief is palpable.

Seriously? Again? Seriously?
erinicions, annoyed, evil
So I recently received a new insurance card. I had gotten a new one in September, because our prescription stuff changed. But this was a new one with a NEW DOCTOR on it. One that I did not change to.

I just got off the phone with my insurance company. As it turns out, my current doctor (who I really really like) is no longer part of my crappy insurance. So they just assigned me some random new doctor.

OMG. I have to go through all this again. Also....dammit, I miss my new old doctor. He was really cool. I'm dealing with it after Thanksgiving. Ugh.

communication methods
My mother has developed a new and adorable way of alerting me to family drama, since I tend to make pronouncements about future behavior.

She texts me and says "You were right again. Call me for the details as to why!"

Also? Argh. My family. Don't want to get into it, but she told me today I'm officially her only daughter. So much fail from both of my sisters, but nothing that endangers mom, so hey, bright side!

Things have been crazy busy, and outside of work they've been mostly good. Even inside work, they've been...ok. Which is good for my position these days.

So many things I want to write about and I will, but I have little time at this moment.

1. This year for Halloween I went as someone with a 101 temp who was still dragging herself to work for Reasons. Next year I want a better costume.

2. So much visiting! Three weeks ago a dear friend from high school came in from Austin with four awesome other people and offered me a free ticket to an amazing event, Sensation Ocean of White. The most amazing audio and visual experience I've had in maybe ever, and EDM isn't even my thing. So much fun. Plus I got to wear the sari I had to pay to have hand-stitched and sent from India before my ex-friend went crazy Bridezilla and de-bridesmaided me shortly before the wedding. Ha! (It was the only white outfit I owned.) My friends got their picture in our local independent paper's online page. Cool.

3. Had an amazing time in Vegas. Lots of relaxing. Lots of window-shopping. A little gambling. Too much gelato. Amazing food. Amazing company. Meeting amazing people. Amazing Cirque Show. And for people who told me a week in Las Vegas was too much? Ya'll must not know 'bout me.

4. And the day after I got back, a dear dear friend from college was here for a night, and she'll be back Tuesday for three nights. She's doing amazing work on international children's health issues and I am so excited to spend time with her again, haven't seen her since a brief trip to Kansas (She now lives in London..and sometimes Tanzania) when I was in my second year of law school.

5. In a month it will be Thanksgiving and I will be in Austin with people I adore, including my best friend, for Friendsgiving. Very exciting!

6. Somewhere in there I need to see my local people, and a few other people coming to town, including a possible Timball visit. (I'm now glad my DecemberHoliday plans are to stay local, maybe go visit The Elderly Aunts--I almost lost one three weeks ago.)

7. I have developed an enormous problem. I'm reading fic. From Once Upon A Time. HETfic, which I never read. (Capt. Swan, if anyone is interested in my shame.

8. All I wanna do is sleep for six days.

Ok, work time.

Can't Shut Down How I Feel
I have been enormously cranky since the shut down started. Especially toward people (including liberal Dems) who seem to think it is only parks and monuments that are suffering.

Aside from the fact that both my sister Alias and her husband are being furloughed without pay, I'm mad.

Guess who is suffering? My clients, of course. HUD is no longer processing applications. They have money for October rent, but if it lasts into November, they won't have money. Local housing agencies apparently can only operate through the 15th of October. No new food stamp applications are being processed (it is a state-run program, but it uses federal money.) Large portions of USCIS (formerly "Immigration") are shut down, including the part that verifies whether someone is a citizen or not. The Social Security Administration is only doing bare-bones work and no new hearings are being done or scheduled, and no decisions are being written for SSA. Also, the people working there are doing so without pay. I was there today and it was sad to see people turned away because the agency couldn't do that work today, and the representatives working there seemed upset to have to turn them away.

I was in a suit and had a briefcase, which in certain places screams "LAWYER", and so many people asked me when the shut down would be over. I had no answer for them other than "Call a Republican Representative."

I had a client who has been on the streets. I had a piece of paper that could get him a check and into an apartment, and I had no one to give it to.

They cut WIC. So, middle-class people can fly around the country, but poor women and children can't get nutrition?

I'm...I'm just so angry. Livid. I don't even care that if it goes on too long, it could hurt my job security. I just. Damn. It isn't just national parks.
Tags: ,

sitcom hypothetical
boogie elephant
I've been thinking a lot often about loved ones who have died, and spinning out hypotheticals about what would things be like if they'd lived. Especially my father.

I honestly think that he would have eventually divorced my stepmother. They loved each other, and are both great people, but neither of them were all that good at marriage (it was the third for each of them, for instance.) I think it would have been amicable.

And a part of me wonders if he'd be totally unmoored at that point, drifting around, and if I'd get really sad calls from him now and then (basically, what my stepmother now does.)

And then I think nah, he'd end up living with his sisters, The Elderly Aunts in Central Florida. It would be weird but oddly normal.

And then I think about what would happen when the aunts died (My dad was the youngest of eight, one of TEACFs was the second-oldest of eight. There's a bit of an age disparity there.)

And then I realize what would happen.

It is almost guaranteed that at some point, my mother will have to live with me (le sigh). Neither of us likes the idea. And if he'd lived, and outlived my aunts? My dad probably would too.

And there I'd be, an adult with both her parents living with her, but they're divorced. It reads like a terrible sitcom.

Anyway, just little jaunts my brain goes on. Usually while I'm taking a bubble bath.

Sleepy Hollow
boogie elephant
So I've seen the first two episodes of Sleepy Hollow. I like it, there's a lot of fun dialogue, etc., but....

there were a whole lot of plot lines dumped into the first few episodes. It just seems that, unless the writers are building up to something AMAZING, they've done too much too soon, and in my viewing experience, shows that do that don't last long. I hope I'm wrong, since I'm enjoying it.

One more thing: Wow, Ichabod sure is handling the whole 237 years or so of time travel rather well.

literally warm and fuzzy
warm fuzzies, doodlebobbers, ridiculous
OK, not fuzzy really. Lace isn't that fuzzy.

So one of the administrative assistants here, who has been here forever, was diagnosed with cancer awhile back. She worked, she took time off, she worked, and then she took a LOT of time off. She used to be MY assistant, and anyway she's always so nice and fun to talk to.

I remember how cold my dad got going through chemo and radiation, even in sunny central Florida. So I decided to do something nice for my coworker.

After asking around, I was pointed in the direction of Shadow's Knit Knacks. Shadow is amazing and patient and funny and helpful and does very, very good work. It took quite some time for me to decide to really do this and pick a design and yarn (I picked the perfect yarn for this) and for the yarn to get to her, and then Shadow did a fantastic job on the shawl.

As it turns out, my coworker has returned (tentatively) as of Monday, which was perfect because I got the shawl on Friday. She was very touched and excited, and now several of my coworkers want one. As do I, frankly.

Pictures of the shawl here. Yay good things.

1. I really wish my life was structured in such a way that I could take my Ativan more often, because my panic attacks/PTSD flashbacks are getting much, much worse. (For an example of what I mean, I can't take it at work, or too late in the evening, I had a really bad PTSD incident around 3 am, but the Ativan would have knocked me out around 5 or 6 and kept me there until 10 or so. No can do. Not that it mattered much anyway...this particular type of incident/fear leaves me utterly incapable of moving, so I couldn't get to it. Also, why do people always forget that "fight or flight" is actually "fight, flight, or freeze"? Is it because it isn't as catchy?

2. I tried to level up on my computer repair skills last night, but I could not, for the life of me, open the case on my desktop. At all. So, to Best Buy I shall go. Still, I was proud of myself for 1) not panicking and 2) trying to handle it myself, even if I didn't get very far. (Computer issues and car issues freak me out like nothing else, because I don't know enough. I bought a book for car stuff, I should do the same for computers at some point, maybe?)

3. blitheandbonny is coming for a long weekend tomorrow night! I am very excited. We've got lots planned. Venetian pool, Lion Country Safari, movies, dinners...we were going to check out the Life Size Barbie Mansion, but nixed it. I'll see it at some point.

4. In other health news, I've taken myself off the Topomax. It had stopped working that well--I am back to getting 3 or 4 migraines per month though we'd gotten it down to 1, sometimes 2--and the side effects were getting very bad. Peripheral neuropathy in my feet, more tingling in my lips and a little in my hands, and there were days where the eye pressure was so bad I wanted to rip them out. My neuro has not had time to meet with me, so he doesn't know yet.

5. Last meeting with my boss went pretty well. She also called me at home Tuesday afternoon, and I had taken an unexpected personal day Tuesday to deal with some things, and I was worried when the phone rang. She was just seeing if I could go to some event tonight if needed (they ended up not needing me.) I will still give her this, she only calls when it isn't related to my cases, unless I call her first. That's got to be intentional, and I appreciate it.

6. I saw In A World the other night with some friends. Good movie. Funny and touching and thought-provoking. Recommended.

7. Getting enough protein (OMG you guys, I eat so much protein now) is really helping my propensity to eat too much sugar. But it is hard balancing the protein consumption and the sodium and the fat and the calories. ARGH. (I'm using to track everything. I like it.)

8. I have a thing about even numbers. So that makes eight.

ow my eyes
boogie elephant
Sweet Jeebus.

So in the course of my job, I am often contacting schools in various ways (email, phone, fax, etc.) I often have to go to the school's website to get this information.


They are the worst websites. Not only are they almost always garish and tacky, the contact info is often hidden somewhere, instead of a "contact us" link or having it listed at the bottom of the main page (a few schools do this.)

Ow. Ow. I was already getting a migraine. Ow.

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