Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pre Vacation Freakishness

My vacation is just 3½ days away and I’m panicking. Part of it is because I only have enough money to cover the motel room for the week we’re there, and the gas to get us there and back. That’s it. We’re going to have to raid my refrigerator and pantry for food we can bring and microwave in the room, because we can’t even buy Subway’s $5 foot-longs for sustenance while we’re there. There will be no souvenirs, no rides on boats, no romantic dinners, no paid parking spots, no smooshed penny machines, and absolutely no driving around town more than necessary. There is no wiggle room. There is simply no money.

Another part of the panic is that I’m still not feeling well, and while many of my medication side effects have waned, I’m experiencing new ones that are pissing me off something awful. My muscles are getting weaker and weaker, to the point where my arms tremble and threaten to give up when I brush my teeth. It takes an hour to blow dry my hair because I can’t turn my brush through my hair more than three times before my wrist feels as if I’ve been kneading dense dough all morning. Walking up the 13 stairs of my house makes my thighs shake with frailty, and recently I’ve started having lower back pain, which I’ve never had in my life. I can’t do dishes, I can’t stand for any length of time, and sleeping is not something that comes easily anymore. Today the pain in the backs of my shoulder blades started, and no matter how much I massaged the muscles, it would not go away.

So, what exactly can I do on vacation without money, and with muscles that are burning and so weak that I can’t even walk up a flight of stairs anymore?

It’s freaking me out!

But, I will not let this stop me! Foliage color reports are predicting peak color in the Hiawatha National Forest to be this upcoming weekend and next week. I gambled and picked the perfect week to go! And since the we’re entering into a depression, the likes of which we haven’t seen in almost a century, I don’t know if I’ll ever get up there again. Plus, I just went to the store to buy something utterly essential, knowing I had very little money in the bank, and the total came to $3.01, but my debit card was denied for insufficient funds. THAT’S humiliating. Then I opened my wallet and thought I only had two singles, one for a Coke for each day at work for lunch until we get paid on Thursday, but there was an extra dollar and I was able to pay for my purchase with cash. THAT’S a sign! A sign from where or whom, I don’t know, but if a magical dollar can appear in my wallet when I need it, I can conclude with confidence that magical dollars can appear in my wallet in the future as well. I believe in magical dollars. You know? Like the kind they print up that have absolutely no basis whatsoever on anything but faith in the monetary system. Like magical dollars that will bail out our banks, who have been cheating and conniving and lying for so long that it’s finally catching up to them, and suddenly there’s squillions of dollars to help them out of this crisis. Magical dollars are everywhere. Let’s just hope that the American people keep believing in them too, or pretty soon we’ll have our own tulip mania, only ours will be called dollar mania.

And what this all boils down to is that I shun the signs telling me to stay home and save my money, which is scarce enough, and choose to go far away, draining all my savings and remaining open credit, all for some colorful leaves.

Sometimes, when I think about it that way, it freaks me out. So I try not to.

But the day wasn’t a total downer.

I’m working on improving our dog book collection, and Marina suggested I find books on the unofficial poodle mixed breeds that are popular, like goldendoodles and schnoodles.

Let me first say that I cannot say shih tzu without giggling. Then I started reading some of the other poodle combinations and I was in hysterics.

    Do you havapoo?

    Do you affenpoo?

    Is it a serious case of lhassapoo?

    Can you only afford chi-poo?

    Have you ever had to jackapoo, perhaps with your cocka-poo?

    When you try too hard, is it a shar-poo?

    Or do you have delicate pinni-poos?

    Does you mommy criticize your papipoo?

    Do you have bossi-poos?

    Are you the kind of coworker who has a poo-chin?

    Are you shy and prefer to pekepoo?

    Do you sometimes try to hold it too long and find that laughing causes an eskapoo?

    Or are you a proud person who embraces their poo-ton?

Go ahead and look them up. They’re real.

And people think having a dog named River because he pees a lot is nasty. At least he’s a pee-vert and not a poo-vert.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Six Swallow Siblings Sitting in a Nest

"Where'd Mom go?"
"Is that Mom?"
"No, she went this-a-way."
"I'm hungry."
"Me too."
"Who farted?"

"She's taking too long."
"Is that Mom?"
"No, I think she just went that-a-way."
"I'm hungry."
"Stop pushing!"
"You're pushing ME!"


"Dork, that wasn't Mom."
"False alarm."
"I smelled worms."
"I'm hungry."
"Where's Mom?"
"She's not back here."

"Quit pushing!"
"Stop touching me!"
"Who farted?!"
"Worm breath!"

"Me too!"
"Is that Mom?"
"Where? I don't see her!"
"Who farted?"

Friday, September 19, 2008

Career Highlight

Not much makes me giggle like a schoolgirl more than a handful of new books coming up from our tech services department that I ordered. I feel like they’re mine, obviously, but more than that, I am bursting with giddiness over the fun titles.

Bad Girls 4 Live
Pitbulls in a Skirt
Thug’s Passion
A Hood Chick’s Story
Payback is a Mutha

They say sardonically, “Ah, look, Happy Villain’s books are in,” and they’re looking at a cover that has an African American woman’s ass barely covered by a spandex skirt that almost comes down to the bottom of her cheeks, and she’s sporting some stilettos that could double as weapons. Yup. Those are mine. And it thrills me to no end. If nothing else, I can die a happy woman now because I have given our library over 150 hoochie-mama books.

This is my legacy. It makes me smile.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

There Goes the Neighborhood

Today I found a gorgeous blue jay in my backyard.

So I called the village hall.

The receptionist, much distraught by my situation, transferred me to the records clerk at the police department.

He wanted desperately to help, but had to refer me to call the police non-emergency phone number.

They weren’t messing around. This is serious business. Tomorrow they’re sending a Community Service Officer out to my house to help me out.

A blue jay is an event, you see.

I had my first squirrel early this spring, and he no longer visits my yard. I had robins that lived in and raised nests of young on my flood light for many years, but they dared not return this year. A nest of dead baby cardinals was pillaged from one of my trees. My bird feeder has become a ghost town, my trees are silent, and even the hawk who frequented my yard hasn’t been around this year at all. It used to be that bunnies were a pest problem, but due to their cuteness, I sacrificed my plants to keep them around. They are now the scarcity. These days, plants grow only to be dug up and peed on, and all summer long the entire area has reeked of ammonia because my backyard has not only become a buffet table for the local housecats, but also a litter box.

For years I’ve battled with the lady across the street, who has three cats that she heaves out the front door the second she arrives home from work each evening, and they remain outside until the next morning when she leaves for work again. Why she has cats, I don’t know. This spring, a new family moved in on the block, and they have a humongous grey cat that is far worse than the three across the street, for she is always outside, day and night, and she seems to have chosen the sanctity of my backyard, which is full of evergreens and my beloved weeping cherry tree, as her home. She has torn holes in the screen door from the outside from climbing it over and over to catch bugs, as well as used my arbor and bench as a scratching post. She climbs the arbor and uses it to launch herself onto the trees to catch birds, or she will use it as a ladder to get to the windows on the second floor, where she meows teases my dog. The yard is full of holes she’s dug, plants she’s eaten, and cat waste, not to mention the corpses of dead animals she hasn’t consumed or deposited on the front steps of houses nearby. It’s a constant battle with the hose to get her out of the yard, but she returns once she dries off and forgets that I can and will hose her whenever I see her.

On top of all that, she drives my dog apeshit. I am not exaggerating when I say that he will destroy furniture and eat anyone who gets between him and this cat, and taking him outside just to pee requires a lookout and quick canvassing of the area to see if the cat is nearby, because if she’s close and he spots her, he’s going to take you for a ride while he tries to get to her. It’s going to be hard to prove that the waste in the backyard is hers and not the dog’s, but I know that it is simply too dangerous to take him in the backyard at all, and he hasn’t been back there since the cat took over in late spring. My poor pooch can’t spend time outside at all anymore because of her, even leashed, and that’s unfair to him, as well as all the others on the block who have been fighting with this cat’s owner about keeping her cat inside.

It’s good to know the law is on my side, though. At least according to the village and the police department, I do have recourse. Perhaps talking to the cat owners will suffice, otherwise there will be traps in my yard and the cats will be going to the local shelter. Post haste!

Because I have a blue jay now. Or at least I did this morning.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pizza Destiny

Hi. I’m a piece of pizza.

A piece of frozen pizza that Happy Villain cooked with great love and tenderness, adding her favorite spices and some Romano and Parmesan cheese to, but I don’t mind the enhancements. I consider them accessories. It’s not insulting. She cooked me up perfectly in the oven and I was primed and ready for her to ingest me and put me to use. You see, I come in this form so that the human body can break me down and use my parts to fuel her body. It means I’m destined for great things.

All was going well at first. She chewed me just the right amount of times, washed me down with a huge tumbler of cold water, and stomach acids were starting to release my true power in her belly. I was excited. This was my moment to shine. I was going to be sent to her cells to power her great machinery, and hopefully she’d do something really special with the energy and nutrients I provide her. Only, something else far more powerful than me, and even more powerful than Happy Villain herself, had other plans.

A quinine derivative medication followed me into the belly, as well as an antibiotic that doubles as an anti-fungal. Right away I knew something was dreadfully wrong with this human. Digestion all but came to a halt. There were belly quakes and spasms of muscles beyond where I could see, and Happy Villain seemed to be dizzy and fighting off the urge to vomit. She did well, the trooper. I certainly didn’t want to be expelled that way. Ugh.

A few hours went by and somehow most of me made it past the stomach, although some of me was still lingering behind in the unhappy soup of stomach discontent. Happy Villain fell asleep and thought digestion would be aided much by the prostrate positioning and slower metabolism. She did toss and turn a lot, but that’s because she still has a vicious sinus infection and double ear infections.

Sometime in the middle of the night, I made it to her intestines.

OHMYGOD, what a mess! That damn antibiotic she’s been taking is causing them to bleed, and things are looking mighty irritated in there. That anti-malarial medication is seizing up her guts, turning everything in the bowels to mush, and forcing it all out before it can truly be absorbed. This was not looking good for me.

At 4 am, it was like all hell broke loose. There were cramps coming from every direction, and her body heated up to a frighteningly high feverish state. I was cooking all over again, and this time it wasn’t good. She was sweating profusely and rocking back and forth from the pain in her abdomen, not sure whether things were going to come out the top or bottom of her, but I heard her begging for whatever was inside her to please come out. I felt bad. It’s not me, I shouted! I would never do this to you! I’m meant for bigger things! I don’t think she heard me.

Twenty minutes of her sweating and crying in her bathroom finally led to a mass exodus of everything she’s eaten since she was about two months old. She lost it from both ends, and part of me landed in the tub, while part of me went into the toilet. At the same time! That was wild! And my parts sat there for an untold amount of time while she sat trembling, too exhausted to even move, eyes closed, unable to even look at me. She was sad. She had big plans for me, too. We were going to work together, and here we were, forcibly separated, and she was too weak to even stand up. She needed me and now I’m destined for a place in the sewer, where microbes and vile things will dine upon my parts. This is not my destiny, yet here I am.

She finally was able to gather her strength to get up, clean herself off, and wash my remnants away. I assume she stumbled back to bed and got up in the morning to try some other food, for she surely needed some energy, but I can tell you it did not go well either. I was joined by her breakfast not too many hours later, and an equally distraught plate of eggs and English muffin were washed away, their destiny robbed from them too, all because of that stupid quinine-type medication that refuses to allow Happy Villain to digest food.

How exactly is this supposed to cure malaria if it runs the risk of starving the person to death?

I’m a piece of pizza. I’m full of nutrients from grains to calcium to essential fats and antioxidants. I’m supposed to give a human power. It’s a great purpose, I have. And thanks to some stupid medication, I dwell in the bowels of the septic system, munched on by unspeakable creatures, my glorious fate stolen from me unjustly.

Drugs suck.

When I Am Old, I'll Still Have Blue Hair

When did I turn 80 years old? I don’t remember turning 36, but suddenly I’m a decrepit woman who is looking back on her youth with vague recollection and a sense of something lost.

Marina and I were talking the other day about the fact that we’re both coupon-clippers and go to craft fairs.

Honorary elderly.

On top of that, we prefer making stuff to buying stuff. Clothes, food, jewelry, anything. From scratch. By hand. With aprons.

How is it possible we’re this old already?

We made plans for this weekend with Ann, but we have to get moving early so we can be home early, because we get tired.

I jokingly suggested that we should get to bed early Saturday after our shopping spree so we can go to bingo on Sunday.

Marina said, “Oh! I like bingo!”

Someone put us in a home. Take away our drivers licenses and put some diapers on us. Bathe us in Ben-gay and give us housedresses to wear so our fragile, un-elastic skin doesn’t chafe. We shall never wear shoes again – it’s strictly soft slip-ons so we don’t have to bend over. Zippers are a thing of the past. As are tampons, makeup, and thongs.

You know, maybe this isn’t so bad after all.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I've Officially Lost It -- Whatever "It" is

One of the few gifts of being sick is that I cannot smell the great, unwashed public. A sinus infection took root in my head on Friday and kicked my ass all weekend. My sense of smell disappeared, only to be replaced with a dull but unpleasant scent of mucus that is all my olfactory senses can detect. *Sniff, sniff.* Nope. All I have is mucus going on here. Thus, I cooked the stinkiest foods I could think to make all weekend. Everything contained caramelized red onions and garlic, and there was a heap of salmon and steak to be eaten. If I don’t care about the odor, I’m making the stinky foods! Which includes the spinach and artichoke dip, that isn’t stinky per se, but the effects are. “I have no idea what you’re complaining about. I can’t smell a thing!”

Another of the gifts of being sick is that I cannot hear the obnoxious and irritating public. The sinus infection raged so hard that it broke through and gave me a double ear infection. Now I cannot sleep on my sides because the pain in my ears is too much to support the weight of my head on two soft pillows. And everyone sounds like they’re adults in a “Peanuts” cartoon. This is just as well. Not often does anyone say anything worth listening to. “I have no idea what you’re saying. Maybe you should tell it to someone else.”

Ahhh, steroids. Only taking prednisone for a little over a month and suddenly the infections are running rampant through my system.

I’m sure that refusing to take the chemo medication didn’t ingratiate me with my new rheumatologist, so I feel obligated to take the anti-malarial she gave me instead. At least this drug doesn’t stop my body from making bone marrow and cause lymphomas. (How is that drug on the market, I ask.) Anyway, after some time, I guess I can start traveling to malaria-ravaged areas of the globe again. Which is fortunate, because I’m sure they missed me in Africa and Panama. I’m quite popular there, I understand. At least with the mosquitoes.

Then again, do I really want to get on a plane being all immune-suppressed? Probably not. But maybe I could share some of my many infections with others. Perhaps I could get on a plane and pee all over the toilet seat, hand people things after putting them in my mouth first, and rub my nose before reaching out to shake someone’s hand. And this is on top of my anosmia and deafness. Oh yeah! I’m the perfect tourist! I’m the very definition of Americana!

Ahh, finally, a patriotic moment in my life! Being sick is a beautiful thing.

(It could very well be that the infections have breached the blood/brain barrier because I think I’m starting to hallucinate.)

It's All In the Family

My brother would make a fabulous reference librarian. The boy can research the hell out of stuff that others don’t dare to tackle, and he finds answers where I cannot find any. Every conversation I have with him is enlightening in some way.

For instance, last week he taught me about dark matter. Maybe at some point in my education eons ago, dark matter came up for one paragraph in a chapter that was briefly discussed on a day when I was out sick, and if it was on the test later on, I got the answer wrong and didn’t care one iota. But I don’t remember learning a damn thing about it up until last week. My bro is completely beside himself with anticipation over the results of the Large Hadron Collider from CERN, that will make history on Wednesday and either answer some huge questions about particles in the universe and its creation, or it will yield nothing at all, and all these geniuses will have to start over with their mind-blowing theories about how it all began. When he tried to explain what this means to science, he had to explain to me the universe’s ingredients: matter, dark matter, and dark energy. Then he started talking about extra dimensions and black holes and I think my brain officially blew up.

As he was describing dark matter to me, I was thinking that this is the scientific equivalent of a god: invisible, powerful, keeping the universe together. When he was done explaining things, he said, “Doesn’t that sound like the Holy Trinity, in a way?” He thinks like me, only so much more so. This precipitated a conversation about how religion just missed the boat when science started answering some of the questions religion always had, and if religion had evolved with mankind, it might not be this splintering, archaic, inhumane concept that is fragmenting the human race instead of bringing it peace and comfort. My bro is an atheist like me, and he is a huge follower of Richard Dawkins, so we have conversations like this often. But how interesting the concept of religion might have been if it could stop trying to shove the old man with the white beard down everyone’s throats, and embrace this dark matter force that is the very definition of what a deity could be if a deity could be.

This was a casual conversation we had on the way to the DMV.

Oh, what a difference it is to have a conversation with my brother, and then walk into the DMV and have a conversation with one of them! I’ll not digress into that nightmare of an experience, but suffice it to say that we walked out empty-handed, cursing the government for being able to make shit up as they go, and leaving the citizens no recourse. Outside the door was a bicycle chained up to pole in the parking lot. The pole was straight up and down, about three feet tall. All any potential thief had to do was lift the bike and the chain up over the top of the pole and take off with it. Seriously, I regretted not having a camera, because that was a Fail Blog shot if ever there was one. I looked at the bike, looked at my brother, and suggested it was an employee’s mode of transport. He agreed. Then we drove home and talked about supernatural forces on earth and the debates over the existence of paranormal phenomena.

Seriously, this is the shit we talk about.

So, when I went to my brother over the weekend about something that I can’t get to the bottom of, I didn’t expect him to come back with help an hour later.

Here’s my dilemma.

I have sarcoidosis, which is a rare immune disorder. I live with my disabled mother, who has fibromyalgia and Sjogren’s Syndrome so severe that it legally blinded her in one eye, and both of these are rare immune disorders. Directly across the street from me, I have a good friend and neighbor who was recently diagnosed with a form of vasculitis that is very rare and not responsive to immune-inhibiting drugs. Two other neighbors are suffering from rare, chronic, debilitating immune disorders, including one who just was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. There are only 9 houses on our cul-de-sac, and five women have rare, chronic immune disorders. They are also the only five women who have lived in these houses for 15 years or more. The remaining neighbors have only lived in their homes for a couple years, and they are all healthy. To me, this is beyond a coincidence, but I have no idea how to get to the bottom of it. Together with my neighbor who has vasculitis, I’ve been trying to figure out how to poll other neighbors without causing a panic or getting doors slammed in my proverbial face, so we can figure out if there are more cases in the surrounding cul-de-sacs and the rest of the subdivision. My intention is to gather more information, but I am unsure how to do so.

My brother was so intrigued by this bizarre cluster of rare and troubling diseases, so he started emailing medical experts and medical attorneys, asking for research facilities that might have the interest and funding to look into this on our behalf.

I never would’ve thought of that!

Sure enough, he came up with a couple of places doing research on the topic of cluster outbreaks of rare diseases. Amazing.

Today I sent emails to two recommendations he gave me, one of which was a very prominent doctor who responded to me directly about an hour later, advising me of the various local agencies to contact as a first line offensive, since he was on the other side of the country, and there are far too many of these clusters of diseases for him and his team to research them all. He was so kind and helpful, and he also suggested I not hesitate to email him with more questions anytime. Doctors who care: how nice to meet this rare beast!

And, promptly I emailed the state agencies, which will likely yield a form letter response in a week or a month, telling me to call their office and leave a message with the cousin of a friend of the mother-in-law of the receptionist of someone who might be capable of helping me. The DMV does not set a good example of how government agencies work for the people.

But still, it’s a starting point.

And it was my brother who got us here.

Dude should be a librarian, I swear.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Days Off

There are so many little things irritating me right now that I simply must get a couple of them out.

This morning I made a trip to a local bead store to pick up copper crimp beads, and while the clerk was ringing me up, her phone rang. Obviously, I could only hear her side of the conversation, but I was getting quite ticked-off on her behalf. What I heard went something like this.

    We do allow children at the classes. Anyone eight and over.

    Eight. Eight is the age minimum.

    No, they’re very stern about that. It’s a hard and fast rule – no exceptions.

    Well, maybe, but most kids that age just don’t have –

    Uh-huh, but –

    No. I’m sorry. She’d have to be eight years old.

    Yes, that’s the bottom line. It’s a very strict rule.


    No, they won’t tell you any different. We all teach and we all have agreed on the age of eight. It’s non-negotiable.

    Well, that’s your right.


She then looked at me with wide eyes, holding the phone away, and clearly the caller hung up on her. I fully expected her to tell me that the mother (because only a mother would do that shit) was trying to get the rules bent for a 7-year-old, or maybe a really, really dexterous and obedient 6-year-old (is that an oxymoron?), but it turns out, the demanding mother wanted to enroll her 4-year-old in beading classes.

My reaction was far more goaded than the clerk’s was, and I hit her with some automatic spray of rhetorical questions and comments like this.

    Four-year-olds can’t even color inside the lines!

    They can’t sit still at a table for more than a few minutes!

    What are you supposed to do with this kid?

    They can’t even play with the little Legos yet! They still have the big blocks! How are they supposed to handle tiny, little beads? And needles! And wire!

    Don’t they eat everything they play with at that age still?

    I mean, how miserable would that class be for everyone else?!

Then I calmed down. You know, I’m starting to get a chip on my shoulder when it comes to moms. What is it about them that makes them think they can inflict their spawn on everyone else now that the country doesn’t believe in using discipline anymore? I really miss the days of being able to whack your kid, because I don’t remember this shit happening when I was little. Some parents really make the world a worse place.

Last night I had to make an emergency trip to a local department store to pick up an emergency replacement of my favorite casserole dish, which was killed by someone in my household, and I had nothing to cook my emergency spinach and artichoke dip in. When I was leaving the store, there was a man at a podium-like stand, harassing passersby about registering to vote. While I’m all for registering people, the last thing I want is someone using car-salesman tactics on the public for this. It’s off-putting and obnoxious, and I seem to be uber sensitive to obnoxiousness right now. However, I thought I’d be nice to him and ask how things were going, which he just kind of shrugged off.

Though there were no people coming in or going out of the doors, he didn’t seem to want to talk to me at all, and he didn’t look me in the eye when I spoke to him or when he gave me his aloof answers. When he succeeded in giving me the hint that he wasn’t up for chatting, I started to walk away, and then he started talking to my back. I turned around to face him from 15 feet away, and he kept talking, like suddenly he was in the mood. What the fuck?

So we chatted. Or, I should say, he did.

This explains things. He’s one of those people who doesn’t like to listen, but really likes to be heard. Blah.

It went something like this:

Him: We’ve had about 22 people today, so I guess that’s okay. You practically have to hit people over the head to get them to register.

Me: I’m all in favor of hitting people over the head at any opportunity.

Him: Pshaw! They should be begging me to register them! They shouldn’t have to be forced to do this.

I was wondering why he forces people, but I think this is just his super aggressive personality exaggerating. And maybe it’s easier to behave this way with strangers when you won’t look them in the eye. He was still constantly scanning the parking lot for people coming in rather than dealing with the person in front of him. I think this was indicative of his main personality flaw – unable to deal with what’s in front of him and constantly gauging the future.

Me: We are lucky if we do two a day at the library.

Him: What library do you work at?

I told him and he said “Pshaw” again, as if he wouldn’t deign to grace us with his presence. He uses a neighboring library. That’s probably better for us.

Him: So, how is your library, really?

Me: It’s nice. I’m pretty proud of it.

Him: No, honestly. Tell me. What’s it really like?

Has he heard about my blog? What’s up with this?

Me: Honestly, I think it’s a great little library.

And that’s the truth, folks. Because there are some people working there who make it truly priceless. Unappreciated universally, but priceless nonetheless. And I’m particularly fond of my little library right now because someone had the brilliant idea to use actual toilet paper in the bathrooms, instead of the pathetic membranous tissue that replaced the butcher paper. My hoo-hoo is happy again, particularly now that the steroids have me dehydrated, so I drink nonstop and pee about once every 90 minutes. As long as there’s real toilet paper, my love of my library will be true. (See what a cheap date I am?) (And I do realize that now that I’ve pointed this out, someone will take the expensive toilet paper away from us and I’ll be back to paper-cutting my labia with butcher paper five times a day, but until then… happy!)

Him: Well, I’ve never been there because I just figure you won’t have much. Like, do you have movies?

Me: Um, yeah, thousands.

Him: Really? But I mean DVDs. Newer ones.

Me: Yeah! We have a ton. We have for as long as they’ve been available for people to buy. We also have a new collection of video games coming out, which most libraries don’t have, and we –

Him (condescendingly): I don’t care about that. What’s your history and biography section like?

Me: Um, what are you looking for?

Him (annoyed): Just… whatever, history.

Me: Well, it’s two full aisles long, and the aisles are two-sided and the length of half the building. Give or take.

Him: Hmmm…

Me: I can’t really explain it to you. You’d have to come and –

Him: I go to another library.

Me: Okay. I’m sure that’s just fine for your needs. Keep going there.

Was that too overt? GOD, I wanna say this to people at the library all the damn time. I figured it was okay to say this to him outside of work because I’d already talked up my cool little library, and the truth was I didn’t want this self-centered asshole fouling up my workplace. There are enough self-centered people in the world. I don’t have room for any more right now. I’m at critical-fucking-mass!

Him: Maybe I’ll stop by.

Oh, you fucking fuckface! That’s what sells you? Telling you NOT to do something? Piece of shit! How about I tell you not to look at me when you talk to me? Oh, wait! I’ll just retrace my steps.

Me: Good, you should stop by!

Him: Yeah, since I’ll be mayor in April.

Me: Oh you will?

Him: Yeah, I’m going to be the next mayor.

Me: Where?

So I can start the campaign against you, you miserable, eye-avoiding, pompous burro.

Him: Here.

Me: Right here? My town?

Him: Yep. I’ll be taking over in April.

Me: Ah. Good luck with that.

Him: Don’t need luck.

Me: Uh-huh. Okay, well, see ya.

Him: Nice talking with you.

Me: Uh-huh.

SONOFABITCH! Doesn’t it figure? He’s a small-time, wannabe, local politician, who isn’t even elected to anything right now. No wonder he was so full of himself and incapable of listening to or looking at people. What can you possibly see and hear if you don’t look and listen? And how do you expect to lead the people if you can’t even look at them? Fucking asswipe.

And I should point out that registrars are supposed to be completely impartial and should not be campaigning while registering. Some might argue that he wasn’t trying to win my vote, just stating that he had the election in the bag, but it takes a real dickhead to handle himself in this way, while doing this particular job. In fact, I think he succeeded in campaigning against himself just by being himself. Nice work, butthead. I don’t care what ticket you run on or what ideals you purport. I’m voting for whomever your opponent is.

And yeah, I’ve gotten to that point after living in Blagojevich’s Illinois for a few years. I’ve come to realize that just because I’m a Democrat and he’s a Democrat, doesn’t mean I will ever vote a straight ticket again. OH HELLS NO! I’ve had enough of the assholes who happen to be on the same side of the fence as me. Not that Illinois has a history of honorable politicians, red or blue, but if he cuts one more social program and raises tolls one more time, I’m going to lose my goddamn mind. And then I won’t be able to get professional help because he cut it all, which is just as well because I can’t afford to travel to see anyone on the malignantly dilapidated and fucked-up roadways that never, ever improve, but just continue to cost us more to use. Sigh.

This is what happens when I have days off work. I run into people. I don’t like people. I need to spend more time without people.

Vacation starts October 3. My vacationitis is acting up. Maybe I’ll have to install a countdown timer again, just to give myself peace of mind.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


What would you do if you had flippers coming out the front of your chest, about the size and shape of the head of a tennis racquet? How might you use these flippers if you could?

These are some of the thoughts I had as my boobs were squished beneath a piece of plexiglass, flattened and stretched beyond recognition, making them appear alien and surreal. Unfortunately, they haven’t any muscles or bones with which to move them around, otherwise, I might have had two interesting rudders coming out of my chest.

Boobs kind of feel like water balloons to me, and water balloons are a bit fragile, so for the last two weeks I’ve been having nightmares that the mammogram would rupture my girlies. I envisioned my nipple and areola ripping off and shooting across the room, essentially springing a leak, and booby water pouring out until it was completely drained and flaccid. It’s rather weird that somewhat the opposite happened. Instead, they seemed to inflate. I had no idea that when you press them that thin, they’d keep expanding like dough and turn into something from a sci-fi movie.

I asked Boyfriend Extraordinaire which direction he would prefer my squished boobs to be: horizontal or vertical. He voted for vertical. I thought that was interesting, but then I realized it was more practical. With two fleshy cymbals coming out of my chest, I could clap or press them together. If they were horizontal, they’d just flap up and down independently. From a man’s perspective, I can see his point.

(Boyfriend Extraordinaire suggests that these doodles should be submitted to Boob Overload, which was a joke and a parody of Cute Overload so I didn't think it existed, but evidently it does.)

The good news is that the mammogram revealed that the nodule had nothing concerning in it, so they did an ultrasound, which revealed that the nodule had some kind of membrane, but was composed of the same tissue that the rest of the area is made from. What does this mean? Well, after an hour of people squeezing, stretching, flopping, and rubbing lubricant on my boob and armpit, they decided that whatever it is, it’s not a tumor and I should go home and be grateful. Given the amount of pain that this little nodule causes, I was not pleased with this outcome. Pain is an indicator of something being wrong. Now I have to figure out where to go with this lack of information.

I’m wondering something, too. Why is it when something goes wrong with our health, the tests and treatments are always painful and humiliating? Why is it no one gets sick and the cure is to eat lots of dessert while getting a foot massage, your hair washed, and your ears Q-tipped? No, that’s never going to cure anything. You’re going to have to strip naked and wear a wrap dress made of cheap napkins. Then you have to flash private parts at people who will treat your exposed areas as if they are some kind of scientific experiment. (Why can’t someone just say, “Hey, nice rack!” and make me feel a little better?) Then you have to take medications that will give you symptoms of other problems. All the while it will cost you a fortune in medical bills for office visits, tests and medications. You don’t want me to remind you of all that I had to go through with my hemorrhagic periods, poly-cystic ovaries, and the ovarian tumor, because that set of humiliations was simply horrific. Nothing involving illness ever ends up making you feel good about yourself or your situation. Medicine sucks.

Speaking of which, my wonderful, brilliant rheumatologist wants to do what the very bad rheumatologist I used to have wanted to do, which is start me on a chemotherapy medication to shut off my immune system. Long-term use of this medication can actually cause cancer, specifically lymphomas, in addition to making the user dangerously susceptible to all infections around due to the lack of immune defense. I have the prescription in my purse, but I can’t bring myself to fill it. Tomorrow I’ll give her a call and see if she will change my therapy. I just can’t do this to myself, particularly with some kind of growth in my breast that no one can identify. Cells mutate, fact of life, I know. I don’t want to be the perfect environment for them to grow into big, healthy tumors, like some kind of human Petri dish to incubate monsters. Why I feel guilty about this, I don’t know. It’s as if I feel compelled to obey my doctor, to be a compliant patient who does what she’s told and doesn’t question those who are more knowledgeable. But I’m not going to take that medication, and I don’t care if that makes me a bad patient.

Particularly because I have something in my booby! When you have something in your booby, it changes things.

Maybe it’s a creature.

Maybe it’s some kind of alien tracking device.

Maybe I’m growing a third boob. Maybe I’ll grow boobs all around my ribcage! I’ll have a veritable hoop of boobage going all the way around me! Excellent! Then I can get mammograms on all of them so that they get squeezed into vertical cymbals and I’ll clap them all together and sound like an applauding audience all by myself.

DUDE! Imagine the possibilities if I did porn! I could make a bloody fortune! With six or eight boobs, I’d be like the female version of Ron Jeremy.

Someone get me an agent! Someone get me a manager!

Someone get me a seamstress.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Boy and a Frog

Do you love Kermit the frog? Of course you do. Everyone does. It ain't easy being green.

Do you love Christian Bale? Of course you do. Everyone does. He's the goddamn Batman.

Once again, Neatorama pointed me to a fabulous webpage that had me laughing so hard I was holding my guts in today.

Kermit and Christian have a lot in common.

You may love them more after this.

Don't thank me. Just send money.