Monday, January 28, 2013

Less a hangover, more food poisoning

My tolerance is not as lousy as I thought.  Hangovers do not get progressively worse throughout the day.

Food poisoning does, though.

So that was fun.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hung ALL the way over.

I need adult supervision.

I have terrible decisionmaking skills.

I'm sweating vodka.  There is a vaguely Viking-shaped lump in his bedroom, and it moved, so I'm going to presume that he's alive.  The kitchen looks like a frat party.  I have spent the day holding very, very still.

So, that was fun.

Aside from drinking all the booze in the house, what's been going on this week?

On Monday I researched our local Native Americans, because we teach 3rd and 4th graders about them, and some of the things we say were sending up my red flags.  This research has dominated my week.

On Tuesday I took my dog to the vet for bloodwork, so she could have her teeth cleaned when they do the dental special in February.  The vet decided it needed to be done ASAP, and gave me the discount a week early.  The 6th graders from my mother's school came, and I taught many of her old students.  I did not tell them who I was, although I knew several of them through her stories.  At the end of the field trip (which I totally killed, because I like teaching older kids), I asked them if anyone had been in Mrs. So-and-so's class in 2nd grade, and asked them if I looked at all familiar (I look like my mother, and she keeps a picture of me on her desk).  I confirmed nothing, and told them to have a nice trip back to school.  Mysteries are fun.

On Wednesday I made Boston cream pie cupcakes for Bosslady's birthday.  I experimented with non-dairy milks (coconut and almond) because Coworker MS is lactose intolerant, and pudding and ganache are lactose bombs.  I discovered that you can make instant pudding and ganache with these things, but you have to use WAY less than you think you need.  The coconut milk makes everything overwhelmingly coconutty.

On Thursday, my dog got her teeth cleaned.  She smells less horrible now.  I got a great big fat discount, so that was fun.  We ate cupcakes at work.  I got a phone call from the owner of the company that made my old high school swim parka.  I had written him a letter (a real letter, with a stamp) to tell him that my parka was old enough to drink, and was still chugging along, and to thank him for making a product that was still keeping my butt warm two decades later.  I mentioned that when I have money again, I plan on ordering a new, all black version, so I can continue to be warm without looking like a macaw (my high school's colors were royal blue and gold, so this parka is fantastically ugly).  He was so tickled that he looked up my number, tracked me down, and offered to give me a new custom black parka free of charge.  What a nice guy!  This is why we're nice to people, kids!  Later, I got a call from a market research company who wants to give me $200 to test-drive cars on a Wednesday morning in February.  Thursday was a pretty sweet day.

On Friday, I taught in the rain.

On Saturday, I hung out briefly with Elder Nephew and my mom, and Elder Nephew told me all about some PBS show with a triangle and a circle who are birds.  I think.  He's not super understandable.  He gave me a headbutt as both a greeting and a farewell.  He's started to call me "Rushie."  My name is hard to say, apparently.  And then I came home and drank all the booze in the house.

The Viking-shaped lump has moved into the bathroom.  There are some rather violent vomiting noises echoing down the hall.

Yes, we ALL need adult supervision.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Keep rolling that dung, man.

I was washing some notes off my arm (I write notes on my arm in Sharpie, it's one of my ADD adaptations), and I found myself staring at my tattoo.  For those of you unfamiliar with my weird little body art, this is Doug the Bug.
Doug's a little blurry, but whatever.
He's a dung beetle.  I got him a week before I turned 30, so I could blame it on "being in my twenties."

Yup.  A dung beetle.  The sort that rolls poop around while doing a headstand.  The idea popped into my head that I needed a dung beetle on my wrist, and wouldn't let go for years.  I used to draw him there with Sharpie, to try to cut down on the physical itch.  It itched!  It has not itched since I had him hammered into my skin with a needle.

Whatever possessed me to get a tattoo of a shit-rolling insect?

As I washed my arm, and stared at my bug, it crossed my mind- this is my goddamn spirit animal.  I should embrace it.  

Dealing with animal shit (real and metaphorical) is my fucking superpower.  I can roll my ball longer and farther than anyone I know.

Dog acting like an asshole?  Roll roll roll.

Cat doing awful things?  Roll roll roll.

Rats chewing their way out of their cage?  Roll roll roll.

All of them causing me to hemorrhage cash?  Roll roll roll.

Spiderman's uncle told him "with great power comes great responsibility."  Sorry, Uncle Ben, but no.  For the Beetle People, it's inverted (we stand on our heads, you know- everything is inverted).  Great responsibility supplies the great power.  We roll our shit like champions because we HAVE to roll our shit like champions.  There is no other option.  There is no stopping.  There is no sitting in the web, waiting.  There is no alternative cuisine.  There is the shit, and the rolling.  You have to love your shitball.

I'm not going to struggle against this anymore.  I'm just going to embrace it.

Behold!  The Scarab!  Whose lower lip sometimes doesn't respond properly to commands.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The last 24 hours

In the last 24 hours:

I took the dog to the dog beach, to let her run out some of this obnoxiousness.  She took off chasing a bird, and crossed over onto the non-dog beach.  I ran after her, but she's a hunting breed.  They're much faster than I am.

Some nasty bitch sitting 100 yards away from the border took it upon herself to yell at me "NO DOGS ON THE BEACH!"  to which I hollered "I KNOW, THAT'S WHY I'M CHASING HER!"

"NOT HARD ENOUGH" came the reply.  It took everything in my power not to turn on my heel and throttle her.

Listen, you sandy cunt, you see that something has gone wrong in a stranger's life, that she is desperately trying to rectify.  Your self-righteous interjection wasn't helpful.  My knees are fucked up, I'm chasing a quadruped who is focused on nothing but a fast-moving bird, and I have a bag of shit in my hand.  My life has obviously gotten out of control.  It would have been more honest for you to just yell "I FEEL MORALLY SUPERIOR TO YOU AND I WANT TO INCREASE YOUR TOTAL MISERY TODAY."  I hope yelling at me made you feel better about yourself, you miserable twat.  If you want a completely dog-free beach experience, go sit 4 towers to the west, not on the goddamn invisible border of dog beach.  I hope you step in shit as you leave.

Viking Roommate:  "Whoa.  Men don't say shit like that, because they know they'll get punched."

I bathed the dog upon returning from the beach (the trip was ruined, all I could think about was wanting to physically hurt a stranger).  It took a while, as she was exceptionally sandy.  Clean dog.

Beer happened.  I like beer.

At 6, I had to get up to feed Diabetic Cat.  His automatic feeders are broken, and I cannot afford to replace them at the moment.  I stumbled into the garage, fed him, and stumbled back to bed.

At 9, Mom came over, and I stumbled out of bed again.  Diabetic Cat was rounded up and plopped into a sink full of warm water, for he was exceptionally filthy.  He has learned that struggling does not help. I secretly think he likes it.  We scrubbed him.

He has apparently stopped clawing trees and things outside, because his front claws were thick and practically curving into his toe pads.  It took wire cutters to trim them back.  Jesus, man, how long has THIS been happening?

We wrapped the soggy cat in towels and began to comb and blow-dry him.  We were almost done when he proceeded to suddenly shit himself.  Fantastic.

We washed the cat again.  He's outside in the sun right now.  We gave up on the blow-dryer.

The clean dog, meanwhile, was frolicking merrily in the dirt patch that was once my lawn and is currently serving as her toilet.  Gleeful digging, and not just a little prancing through her own feces.  Wonderful.  I dragged her towards the hose to wash her feet.

Mom notices that my supply of insulin syringes is low.  "Why don't you call this in and get more?"  Because I had to make a choice between fresh needles and cat food.  We've been reusing them.

I am out of the magic substance that cleans cat pee out of carpet.  That'll be another $90, plus the time it takes to ship it here.

Fuck this weekend.  I'm eating cinnamon rolls.

Friday, January 18, 2013

When it rains...

The cat peed on the carpet.  Again.  He has no reason other than "the garage is cold."

The boy rats have managed to chew their way out of their cage.  Viking Roommate found Vincent on the liquor cabinet.

I'm pretty sure "emotionally numb" comes after "this would be funny if it weren't happening to ME," right?  I'm ready for emotionally numb.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Aftermath

Ever notice that when you have some sort of emotional crisis, there's an accompanying desire to chop off all your hair and bleach it white?


Just me?

I'm holding off.  I'm not one for rash decisions, especially ones that will require upkeep.

Upkeep is what got me into crisis mode in the first place.

But I'm going to keep fantasizing about having Zoetica Ebb's hair.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cue the yearly breakdown in 3....2....

It's breakdown time in The Cave!

Once a year or so (probably more frequently than that, but I recall having had a breakdown at this time last year), I like to become wildly overwhelmed with daily life and spend a few days careening between tears and panic.

On this year's schedule:  Inability To Deal With Physical Objects and Crushing Animal Care Responsibilities!

A few days ago, Viking Roommate (he's not new anymore, he's been here for almost 3 months) returned home from helping a friend build a shed.  In his hand was a bag full of random art supplies that had been unearthed during this process.  I use many art supplies, and I am broke, so it is a reasonable assumption that I might enjoy these free objects, yes?

I about had a panic attack.  My art and craft supply situation is overwhelming.  I have MOUNDS of stuff.  ACRES of stuff.  I can spend hours trying to get it put away, only to have it explode forth the minute my back is turned.  I have been actively trying not to learn new skills to prevent supplies from utterly destroying my life.

I must have looked panicked when I said "I cannot deal with any more objects."  Viking Roommate seemed to understand, and withdrew with the bag of stuff.

Yesterday, after yelling at the dog for the third or fourth time in about an hour (for going after the cat, her favorite irritating habit), I started fantasizing about a night off of Animal Care Duty.  No walking in the freezing dark, no lunging and barking at passersby, no bag of crap to schlep home, no expensive kibbles, no prescription cat food, no twice-daily insulin shots, no piss on my carpet, no cat shit on my garage floor, no scrubbing and bleaching, no yowling at 5am for breakfast, no guaranteed $500 every time we have to visit the vet, no $65 groomer visits every five weeks...

When I discovered that the dog had eaten the cat's expensive prescription food, I started crying.


The cat's diabetes will get worse.  His neuropathy will get worse.  His ability to make it to the corner of the garage to shit will diminish.  His grooming habits will deteriorate.  He will probably become allergic to the hypoallergenic food he is currently enjoying.  He will have more piss accidents in the house. He's only 13, and could go a few more years.

The dog is not young.  She is 8, and is starting to move more slowly on walks.  Her eyebrows and butt are grey, not black.  She needs grooming more frequently now.  She has not outgrown any of her obnoxious habits (burping in people's faces, sneezing in their hair, begging for food, hogging the bed, whining and nudging if she is not the center of attention, et cetera et cetera), and I have not been able to train them out of her.  She has doggy lupus and a tendency towards pancreatitis.  Her corneas are fucked up from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

My cat is my second largest monthly expenditure every month, behind my rent.  If you combine cat and dog, they outpace rent by about $10 a month.

The fact that my job requires me to be the sole caregiver of two rabbits and three rats is just icing on the cake.

I hate crying.  It makes my eyelids puffy for 48 hours, makes my sinuses hurt for at least 24, and usually triggers a migraine.  There is a reason I stay firmly in Robot-Land.

I got my shit under control before the migraine hit.  I went to bed.  I went to work.  I plodded through my day, stoicism returning.

I called my mother to see if she had my old swim parka, as I am freezing my ass off at work.  My work parka barely covers my ass, and I am tired of shivering at work.

She brought it by, along with another short parka, a bunch of coat hangers, and a bag full of wool owl tchotchkes.  I immediately felt the panic surge again.  Oh god oh god oh god.

I declined the second parka, with the explanation that my parka is fine, it's just not long enough, and that a short parka will never get worn.  My torso is not cold, my ass is.

When she held up the owls, I think I must have sounded deflated, and I think I said "Oh boy.  Something to try to keep out of the dog's mouth."  I feel like such an asshole.

I sent her a text to apologize for my reaction to her gifts.  A reasonable person would not panic at the sight of a warm coat and some hangers and some funny little owl dustcatchers.  Even thinking about it makes me want to cry again.  If I had to speak right now, I would not be able to hold back tears.

Viking Roommate saw me come in, laden with hangers and coats and bags and anxiety.  I explained what had happened, and why I was a prickly ball of nerves.  He took the hangers.  I have no idea what to do with the owls.  They will probably stay in the bag on my desk for 6 months, and become buried under more things that I cannot deal with.

I don't want to be that person, who pisses on gifts and thoughtful gestures.  But my boat is capsizing.  Can't they see it sinking?  Why does everyone keep throwing buckets of water into the boat?

I have to get up in 7 hours to go to work, where it will be 45 degrees inside the building.  I will have to rake up rabbit poop, and deal with hundreds of objects that are not mine.  Library books and specimens and bits of paper and tools and cleaning supplies.  My job is Animal Care and Dealing With Physical Objects.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Minor epiphany

So, I have this thing I do called "Friday Clean."

During the week, I could give a shit about shaving, or doing anything with my hair, or exfoliating, or wearing clean pants.  I know I'm just going to get dirty 12 hours later, so I half-ass it.  As long as I'm not actively dusty, sticky, greasy, or stinky, I shower every other day or so.  Socks, chonies, long-sleeved shirts, and tees get changed on the daily, pants and hoodies and coats do not.

On Fridays, when I know I have more than 12 hours to not be at work, not be with children, and not be filthy, I pull out most of the stops.

Conditioner?  Yup.

Face scrub?  Oh yes.

Shavey shave?  Indeed.

Lotion?  Grease me up.

Foot file?  Let's do this.

I emerge from my bathroom "Friday clean."  If I get dressed, I avoid the work attire and find something equally comfortable, yet not covered in dust or pollen.  Today, that meant black jeggings, a black skirt, a black tee, and a long black cardigan hoodie sweater thing.  As I am in my house, I yanked on the purple Uggs that my sister-in-law gave me for Giftmas (heinous style choice, but so warm and so comfortable, they do not leave the house without looooong boot-cut jeans over them).  I'm nominally cute, and, but for the shoes, could leave my house without feeling excessively grubby.

It struck me- my problem is footwear.

If I had more tall boots, I could wear this sort of ensemble more often.  Leggings and a skirt and a jacket is cute as hell, but I won't wear shoes without socks (unless they're sandals or ballet slippers, and those make my feet hurt most of the time), and socks plus leggings looks ridiculous.

Shit, I need boots, and my problem is 80% solved.

Docs are out.  I love my 120 holes, but I can't wear them very often, as they really don't fit my foot very well.  Sorry, Doc, your lasts are not good facsimilies of my feet.

I have a pair of gorgeous Frye boots, but again, they just don't fit me right.  They break my heart.  Every so often I think "maybe they're not broken in, I should power through this" and suffer greatly.  I think they're a half-size too small.

All right.  I'm stowing some cash and going shoe shopping tomorrow.  Goal?  Try on as many different brands as possible.  I'm less concerned with style at this point- I need to find a company that fits my foot.  It used to be Keen, but they've been disappointing me lately.  Once I find the brand and the size, I can narrow my search.

This is a noble quest!

Let's get some shoes.  Let's party.

One more thing about Friday Clean- it has a cousin.  

Vacation Clean.

It involves a new razorblade, clean bedding, clean towels, and a pedicure.  Try it out.  You'll like.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Inside and outside

I was discussing my little style-crisis with a friend of mine, who is generally very chipper and weird and knows me very very well, despite our physical distance.  Daily text volleys, you know.  Anyhoo.  She asked me a question that struck me-

"Well, what do you want your look to express?"



I have no clue.

I think the "not feeling or expressing emotions" is definitely the root of the "clothes are simply utilitarian objects" problem.  I don't know what I want to express, because I don't actively try to express, well, ANYTHING.

I bet I'm expressing things, I just don't realize it.  It's like my artistic style or writing tone- I don't see it, but everyone else can immediately identify the source.

If you had to dress me, based solely on my ramblings and your knowledge of my job, what would YOU pick?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New year, same old Tante

Hey, bittens.  How's you?  Did you survive the holidays?

To be quite honest, the winter holidays wear me right the fuck out.  My mother's birthday is December 17th, and it just snowballs from there.  I never have any money, I'm a hardcore introvert so all the forced social interaction is exhausting, all my clothes look like hell so it's a pain to dress for any sort of occasion, and I have to work winter camp, which is in my top 3 least favorite parts of my job.  I still have 2 more days of that to go, then I'm done with camps until April.

So I'm rather relieved to be (almost) through it all.

New Roommate has been out of town since the 28th, so I have taken the opportunity to try to organize my shit that is in public areas of the house.  Lots of papers, lots of art supplies, lots of... stuff.  I've been purging as much as I can, trying to reach a point of comfortable storability.  I do not need 300 pencils.  I took a huge box of books to the library.  I broke my paper shredder getting rid of old papers that I can easily access online.  Out out out.  Too much is too much.

I don't go in for resolutions.  I spent my New Year's Eve watching Farscape on Netflix, before they pulled it from the lineup.  I spent all day at work, and went in on New Year's Day, too.  I have too much to do this year, and I'm already behind.  Ridiculous pride will not allow me to drop the ball any more than it has already been dropped.  If they want a superhuman, they're goddamn getting a superhuman.  Cower before me, mortals, I am running on fumes and no sleep and this is getting done.

Besides this upcoming superhuman phase, I feel like I need to tweak other corners of my life as well.  I had the thought the other day that I should try to have feelings again.  It's been a very long time since I felt like a normal human- most days, I feel rather robotic.  Not in a bad, depressed sort of way- I feel an awful lot like Data from ST:TNG most of the time.  I'm pretty sure that's not healthy.  I know I used to have emotions, I just don't remember how.  I'm not entirely sure how I got to this point, and where I want to go.

I'm tired of looking like the wreck of the Hesperus all the time.  When I'm not exhausted and grubby and covered in leaves and animal hair, I'm rather fetching.  Maybe the "look like hell all the time" and "incapable of feeling human emotions" aspects of my life are related.  Perhaps I should care more?  When you've honestly reached the point of having zero fucks left to give, can you come back from that?

On a vaguely related note, dressing better might mean needing money (all my clothes are self-destructing), which means I'll have to prioritize my spending a little more carefully.  It's going to be challenging to decide what to invest in... it's really hard to justify buying anything of any sort of quality, because it's probably going to get sap on it.  I have trouble thrift-shopping for clothes, because I'm quite an odd size for most things.  This will require some thought.  I know I don't want to look like this >sweeping gesture indicating the current heinous look I'm sporting<, but I'm not sure what I'd prefer to wear, either.  If I was super pleased with any of my clothes, I'd maybe start there, but.... nope.

I'm prattling on here because I'm avoiding finishing cleaning the weird pass-through that serves as my office and the bar.  I began cleaning in a fit of mania two days ago, and I'm at the weird-little-unrelated-bits part that always derails my plans.  New Roommate comes home tonight, I'd like to have my shit sorted before that happens.  I also have to spend some quality time with the Photoshop project that my boss unexpectedly dropped on my plate on Monday.  I accidentally deleted about an hour of work I did on it earlier today, and I had to put it down and walk away for a while to avoid a rage aneurysm.  I'm feeling calmer about it now.

You know when you're on a rollercoaster, and you're heading up the hill, and you feel the cars slowing down and going "click click click" right before you drop over the top?