Monday, November 19, 2007

Weekends like that

are the reason Monday mornings have such a bad reputation. Of course, this Monday morning isn't SO bad - it's a three-day week, after all. Oh, but what I would give for another couple of days like these last few. It's a charmed life I live. :)

*****

I dreamed of burquas, martial law, and a complete lack of freedom all night. I'm reading "A Thousand Splendid Suns", which is set in Afghanistan (in a time period spanning the last 30 years), and is told from the point of view of several different women. The Taliban hasn't been introduced in the book yet, but the things these women must experience and endure is bad enough without them. One character, Laila, loses her best friend to a mortar round, learns the love of her life (who had fled to Pakistan with his parents) was killed by a rocket that struck the vehicle they were riding in, has her entire family wiped out by a bomb that hits her house, and now must marry (at 14) a man who is in his 60s. I want to brush it off as just another story dreamed up by an author with a wild imagination and very little concern for the level of suffering he forces his characters to endure - except that women really are living this life every day in that part of the world. The thought is staggering.

*********

Three-day workweek. The fact of it hasn't set in yet. Four whole days off, filled with family, friends, food, sex, booze, sleep, relaxation - I love the holidays.

Fa rah rah rah rah, rah rah rah rah!!!

*************

There are a lot of terrible things that happen every day to good people. It reminds me to be thankful for all I have - even when things are bad in my life, they are still pretty damned good compared to what could be.

***************

One of our drivers smells like a French whore. A little easier on the cologne there, buddy.

*************

Friday, November 16, 2007

As frustrated as I get

with the bullshit politics and hypocrisy in this country, at least I know I won't ever receive a beating as punishment for being raped:

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — A 19-year-old female victim of gang rape who initially was ordered to undergo 90 lashes for "being in the car of an unrelated male at the time of the rape," has been sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in jail for telling her story to the news media.

I remember my 5th grade teacher telling a story about a friend of hers who'd visited a boyfriend in Kuwait (this was after the first Iraq war - I think he was a contractor of some sort). The girl, riding in the front passenger seat of her boyfriend's car, leaned over to him while they were stopped at a red light and kissed him on the cheek. The police were called.

As fucked up as our country is at times, and as mad as I get, and as often as I entertain ideas of running away to some obscure European nation just to escape the insanity - at least I can walk around with my face exposed, hold my boyfriend's hand when we walk down the street, ride in a car with a male friend, and speak my mind when I see injustice. How women in these backwards nations manage to get out of bed each morning, knowing they have nothing but complete and total oppression to look forward to each day, is beyond my comprehension.

I would live every day working toward my goal of getting the fuck out of there. (And I'd have been stoned to death at 14, if not sooner.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What a week.

Is it Friday yet?

Dinner with Mom, Dad, and Dyl was pretty awesome last night, though. And Jimi, of course, is wonderful as always. And DAMN, it's nice to be talking to Sarah again. And Kristina is coming over for dinner one night (maybe Dyl, too).

I guess this week hasn't been all THAT bad - just a little stressful from soldering loose ends.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Stamp

Got this email forward today:


I don't usually like to step out politically, but this amazes me.

CHRISTMAS STAMP


How ironic is this??!! They don't even believe in Christ and they're getting their own Christmas stamp, but don't dream of posting the ten commandments on federal property?


USPS New Stamp


This one is impossible to believe. Scroll down for the text.


If there is only one thing you forward today.....let it be this!




REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of Pan Am Flight 103!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the
World Trade Center in 1993!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Marine Barracks in
Lebanon !

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the military Barracks in
Saudi Arabia !

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the American Embassies in
Africa !

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the USS COLE!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM attack on
9/11/2001 !

REMEMBER all the AMERICAN lives that were lost in those vicious MUSLIM attacks!




Now the
United States Postal Service REMEMBERS and HONORS the EID MUSLIM holiday season with a commemorative first class
Holiday postage stamp. Bull!

REMEMBER to adamantly and vocally BOYCOTT this stamp
When purchasing your stamps at the post office. To use this stamp would be a slap in the face to all those AMERICANS who died at the hands of those whom this stamp honors.


REMEMBER to pass this along to every patriotic AMERICAN you know!!!





I hit "reply all" and sent this back:

This is one of the most hateful, bigoted, short-sighted and narrow-minded emails I’ve ever received. I’m shocked that anyone who claims to be a Christian and to follow the teachings of Christ (love, acceptance, tolerance) would forward something so obviously UN-Christian (not to mention UN-American; freedom of religion, and all).

(That statement is not directed at anyone in particular. I just hate getting forwards that are so shockingly offensive. Those attacks were carried out by extremists. I’m fairly certain that no “Christian” on this list would want their personal views to be lumped in with those of, say, the members of Westboro Baptist Church. [Those are the kooks who are protesting military funerals, saying dead soldiers are God’s punishment for America’s tolerance of gays, in case you’re not familiar.] Think about the stuff you’re forwarding and make sure you honestly believe what you’re passing on before you allow others to speak for your views. Of course, if you honestly agree with the original email, please disregard my little tirade. I’m stepping down from my soapbox now.)


I couldn't help myself.




Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I miss...

I'm sad, but I cried those tears months ago. Today's conversation only made official what we've both known for months but didn't have the balls to acknowledge.

I have a lot I want to say. I have a lot I want to point at, yell, frame in flashing lights like a marquee. I won't, though.

Maybe her accusations are partially true. She seems to have forgotten some things. I won't forget what I know to be true, and I won't disrespect what was by trying to make her see my side. I loved her. I loved them all.

More than once, I compared her to Bob. I called him my male version of her. Driving home, I remembered that fact, and I thought with an ironic laugh, "Well, we see how things ended with him. Why should this surprise me?"

I wanted to call my mom. Mom has proven herself to be pretty dang good at reading people in the last few years; a skill I've never given her credit for (to her face) and have a hard time admitting (to myself). Why is it so hard, even as an adult, to listen to your mother?

I wrote her a letter. I actually sat down for an hour and hand-wrote a letter; the way she'd asked me to for so many years, her requests falling on my selfishly deaf ears. I wrote it, and it wasn't perfect, and i signed it, and sealed it, and addressed it, and stamped it, and dropped it in with the outgoing mail.

And then I came back to work, and her response was waiting for me, before she'd even had a chance to read my opus. My letter was a "blah blah blah" letter; but it was also a request, a plea, a peace-offering, a hope. "I miss my friend." How many times did i write that today? My letter was my attempt to save what was dying, to fix what was irreparably broken, to find what was lost. My letter was answered before it was ever touched by a postman, and I realize now that i was foolish, I was late, I was (again) naive.

I still don't think I was a bad friend.

I came home, ignored the urge to cry (those tears have come and gone, I promised myself), and took a nap. I slept away the hurt that comes from having a scab ripped off.

And then he was home and hugging me, and we were doing the dishes, and I told him all about it and he took my side, and that made me feel better, then Brennan called and is coming over and bringing a zombie movie, and the wine is helping and the smoke doesn't hurt, and...

and somehow, I'm still sad. I miss my friend.

I've been dumped.

"I have had time to look back and realize that, over the years, you haven’t been the best friend."

GodDAMN that hurts.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Love, Love, Love.

Oh, I'm just so in love.

Friday, November 9, 2007

This is why setting up automatic bank withdrawals is a bad idea.

Turn your mind away from things which are not permanent. - Buddha

*****************************

Deep breaths.

In...

Out...

In...

Out...

It's Friday. Pay day.

My direct deposit is nowhere to be found.

It's not permanent, but it's enough to get my Friday off to a very bad start.

Times like this, I wish I hadn't given up cigarettes.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Happy Happy, Joy Joy

I love:

I love you baby, you're sweet.

My mommy.

Repairing burnt bridges.

My life.

My home.

My tree - two new blooms on it today! YAY!

My little tree elephant.

My sprouting paper whites.

My kitty, fleas and all.

A job that ends at 4 p.m.

Movie night.

Pizza.

Weekly paychecks.

Laughing with my co-worker about our other co-worker - the crazy one.

A good book where I'm the main character.

Public radio.

Down time.

Crazy truck drivers. (Come on - who doesn't?!)

************************

I'm just in one of those moods today. A good one. A happy one. Today is a good day, and I'm happy to be me. :)

This is my random blog entry for the day.

Things I know about myself, but hate to admit, but always make me feel better after I acknowledge them as fact:

~ I'm a bad daughter.

~ I like Elton John music.

~ I used to be a really judgmental and hypocritical bitch.

~ It's easier for me to say "I was wrong, and I'm sorry" than it is for me to hear the response of "You're right, apology accepted".

~ I'm not nearly as smart as always thought I was.

~ I make bad choices on a fairly regular basis.

There are more, of course, but that's what's on my mind for now.

I love our new tree. It has monkeys, an elephant, lights, a 4-leaf clover, rocks, and one blossom. (And, hopefully, enough sunlight.)

My paper whites are starting to sprout on the bottom. Growing shit is so much fun! Why have I never kept plants before?

I'm feeling exceptionally lazy today, and I need a nap.

Movie night tonight! YAY! I hope 1408 is as good as I keep hearing it is.

Lunch time!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Oh yeah, baby.

I asked for some sort of pasta with spaghetti sauce with ground beef.

I got three cheese tortellini, portobello mushrooms sauteed with garlic and butter, organic tomatoes simmered with spices and vinegar, and a pound each of browned ground pork and beef.

Holy crap, I'm a spoiled little girl. And if I keep eating like that, no one will be able to suppress a laugh when I call myself a "little" girl.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Taking the high road -

it's just not an easy trip for me. I hear it's worth it, though, so hopefully I'll enjoy the view.

Loe.strin 24 fe

If you're thinking about it, don't do it.

I was on birth control pills years ago (Ortho Tri Cyclen, to be exact). I stopped using the pill in 2003, but had never had any trouble or side-effects other than slight weight gain. My periods were light, my cramps were almost non-existent, and the acne that was a hold-over from high school cleared up. All in all, it was a good experience. When Jimi and I talked over our birth control options, he had reservations about me going back to the pill because of the dramatic changes it puts your body through. I assured him it was no big deal. Boy, was I wrong.

I went to the doctor for my annual exam. I told her I wanted to go on the pill, and that I'd been happy with Ortho Tri Cyclen (OTC, for the sake of brevity) years before. She seemed hesitant. She explained the mood changes that are common with pills that give a changing dose of hormones, not to mention the ever-feared weight gain. She recommended Loestrin 24 Fe, singing praises that included a two-day period (NEVER on the weekend if you start the pack on Friday) and the fact that it has the lowest dose of hormones available. She sealed the deal when she told me it's what she uses - surely my doctor wouldn't prescribe this medication if she wasn't personally happy with it. I followed her instruction and began the first pack of pills that very day (despite already being 6 days into my cycle).

At first, my experience with this pill was no different than my experience with OTC. I took the pills at the same time each day. I forgot a dose, but took it as soon as it was remembered. In response to my request for help remembering to take them each day, Jimi velcroed the pack to the bathroom mirror. (It's the only place in the house that I'm guaranteed to look every day.) I started noticing a change about a week in: my dreams were becoming increasingly odd, my breasts were sore and tender, I felt bloated, my face began breaking out. Worse, though, were the mood swings. I'm generally a happy-go-lucky person - it takes a lot to get me down, and I rarely stay down long. Suddenly, though, I found myself sad. If I wasn't sad, I was anxious or angry. I was apologizing a lot for my behavior, and I cried almost once a day. Then came the bleeding. It started a week after my period had ended, 14 days into my cycle. That was 9 days ago. It's light, but constant - and more than enough to piss me off. My doctor warned me that there would be "breakthrough bleeding" (her words, obviously). She did not warn me that I would have a second period this month.

I'm lucky. Jimi is a very understanding man and, so far, has been able to brush off my insane mood swings and bitchiness and tears. He knows what's causing them, and hopes, along with me, that they're temporary. I promised him I'd give it a second month before I threw in the towel.

That was last night, though. This morning, exhausted after another night of creepy dreams and frustrated by another pair of stained panties, I googled Loestrin. First, I found their website. (Maybe now is a good time, in the interest of full disclosure, to let you know that I hate our current healthcare system in this country. I loathe pharmaceutical companies and feel that they are much more interested in making money than curing disease. I don't have a lot of faith in doctors, because I worry that they live in the pockets of those pharmaceutical companies.) So, I found the Loestrin website. I read the FAQ, and felt my spirits drops when I came to "These side effects, especially nausea and vomiting, may decrease or subside within the first 3 months of use.". You're shitting me, right? 3 months? Something told me there was more. (And oh, there was, but not yet.)

After reading the FAQ, I began perusing the rest of the site. I found a coupon for $35 off my first month's prescription and printed it out, thinking that saving $35 is always a good thing. The verbiage on the certificate grated my nerves a bit:

To the Pharmacist: Please submit this claim to Therapy First. The patient pay amount will be reduced by up to $35.00 and you will receive this in your next reimbursement from Therapy First plus a handling fee. (NEXT reimbursement? Apparently, this is rather common. And how much IS that handling fee?)

But I've already admitted to hating pharmaceutical companies, so that really should be taken with a grain of salt. It was Cammie's Story that pissed me off. Are these scientists working on providing me with the best, most-effective medication, or are they public-relations and advertising professionals just trying to move a product? My vote is not with the former.

I needed more impartial information. Back to google. I found Medications.com, and their page on patient reviews of Loestrin 24 Fe. Mood swings, depression, breast tenderness, bleeding, acne, weight gain, nightmares, insomnia, reduced sex drive, headaches - all things I've experienced since beginning this pill, all things other women are experiencing. It's nice to know I'm not crazy. It scares me when I read tales of other women experiencing these symptoms for months. I'm not interested.

I called my doctor, but of course, she's out today. I left a detailed message that included my symptoms as the reasons why I need a prescription for a different medication. I will not accept a reduced enjoyment of life in exchange for something as simple as birth control. At this point, condoms almost seem romantic.

Friday, November 2, 2007

I was a strange child.

I just had a flashback to a childhood food: cheese and lettuce tacos. I wasn't crazy about ground beef back then, so on taco night, I would fill my taco shells with layers of shredded cheddar cheese and iceburg lettuce. No taco sauce, no beans (my mom, for whatever reason, never served refried beans on taco night. She should've -- Dylan and I would've eaten the shit out of them); just lettuce and cheese. My dear sweet mother would even order them for me like that from Taco Bell. (Those people must've thought she was insane.)

Yes, indeed. I sure was a strange one.

wikiHow

My new favorite website. No, I'm serious. Not only does this site take me back to my high school days, it makes me want to email it to every parent with teenagers and internet access. It's all here:

How to Convince Your Boyfriend to Tell People Your Dating Him, with brilliant observations and suggestions:
  • ask him after a kiss because he is more likley to agree
  • .but if he gets angry he is no good
  • .rememer boys brains are smaller than ours
How to Tell Your Best Friend Her Boyfriend Is Breaking up With Her to Go out With You (Tips include: Think about how to make new friends.)

How to Keep Your Parents From Knowing You Have a Boyfriend or Girlfriend, which includes sage advice such as:
  • Change your secret love's name in your cellphone. In a case where you leave your cell in the kitchen and your parents snoop, they won't know that "Tom" has called you ten times today. Change it to "Brittany" or "Sarah", and unless your parents take the phone from your ear to see if it is who you say it is, this plan is foolproof.
  • Introduce him to your parents as your friend's boyfriend (then they won't suspect anything, unless you are a lousy friend).
  • Introduce him as your Gay friend (this can explain away hugging incidents).
For those of us not still under our parents' control and custody, there is still a world of helpful "How To" instructions available. That hot guy you met last week coming out of the head shop? Check out How to Date a 'Stoner'. It lists "drinks & snacks" under "Things You'll Need". How would you have ever figured that out on your own?! For those who have an unnatural obsession with their friends' appearances, perhaps How to Tell a Friend to Remove Upper Lip Hair can help. For the criminal in all of us, there are even instructions on How to Con Someone.

Now, most of these are silly and dumb and good for nothing more than a good laugh. There are helpful "How To" pages, as well - they're just not as much fun to write about. I must admit being slightly disappointed that there are no instructions for wiping your ass. I'm thinking of requesting that one. That's right - if there's a topic you're curious about that no one has written on yet, you can request that someone supply you with step-by-step instructions. Each category has a request section - ranging from semi-ridiculous topics like (How To) Be Like Raven Baxter from "That's So Raven" to serious inquiries such as How to Deal With a Bipolar Family Member.

Next time I need to know how to do something, I hope I remember to click this site first. Even if I don't find the info I'm looking for, I'm almost guaranteed to find a good laugh.

James Blunt ain't got nothin' on me.

Turn your mind away from things which are not permanent. - Buddha

That's what he keeps trying to make me understand. It's what I keep trying to learn. I'll get it one of these days.

*************************

So, TGIF. Jimi's vacation starts at 5:30 - guess who's cleaning house next week? I shouldn't say that - I'm sure he will do some cleaning and fixing-up around the house, but I sincerely hope he spends a few days on the couch in his underwear watching the idiot box or playing "Fate" while eating beef jerky and drinking vodka. (Sadly, I don't see that happening - it seems I've got the corner on that market in this relationship.)

I got home from Rick's around 8:30. The beans were done (and delicious, thanks to Jimi saving the day with beef bullion and cornstarch) and he was just beginning the cornbread. He mentioned wanting to see "1408", I offered to go get a copy, and with a reminder to turn on his phone, I was out the door and off to the video store. They didn't have a single copy of "1408". Of course. I grabbed "Knocked Up" and "The Gravedancers" and headed for the checkout. I stood there for well over 4 minutes, listening to the clerk talking on the phone to her manager, tattling on another employee who'd attempted to get credit added to her account when in fact such credit was not due. (Since when do video store clerks pay for rentals?) Finally, she said her goodbyes and turned to me and asked for the name on the account. She typed it in, and I saw the furrow in her brow as she scanned the screen and asked my name. I was glad I'd reminded Jimi to turn on his phone. She called her manager, who gave her permission to call Jimi to confirm that it was indeed okay for me to rent under his account. At this point, as she was dialing his number, I opened my mouth to warn her, but instead decided that she should experience this one naturally. The conversation went something like this:

Jimi: "Hello?"

Clerk: "Hello, James? This is Bridget at Movie Gallery? Natalie is here and I just need to confirm that it's okay if she rents movies on your account."

Jimi: "Red hair, glasses, black coat?"

Bridget: "Yes"

Jimi: "NO! Punch her in the face!"

Bridget: "Um, (girlish giggling) no, I don't think I should do that.", then, speaking to me in a whisper, "He told me to punch you in the face."

Me: "I almost warned you."

Bridget, to Jimi again: "So, James, it is okay for Natalie to rent on your account, right?"

Jimi, laughing: "I guess so."

Bridget: "If you want her to be able to rent on your account all the time, just come in and add her name to the account. That way we won't have to bother you."

Me, to the guy standing behind me in line, with my eyes rolling: "Now he's going to say 'what if we break up?'."

Jimi: "But what if we break up?"

Bridget: "Then you just have her name taken off the account."

Me, to guy: "Told ya."

This is my life. Can you see why I love it so much?

Happy Friday, all!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

This makes no sense whatsoever.

Church ordered to pay $10.9 million for funeral protest
This story makes me happy and angry, all at the same time. On the one hand, YAY for the verdict. Those evil assholes need to be punished for being so intentionally cruel. On the other hand, their inability to grasp that their message of hate is so completely opposite the teachings of Christ just boggles my mind. You can't reason with people who carry that brand of crazy.

I had to go to LG&E the other day to pay a $14K electric bill (not mine, obviously). They had CSPAN on in the lobby, showing the goings-on in the House of Representatives. Our elected officials were debating whether there should be a National Country Music Month (or something similar - the volume was low, and I was trying to pay attention to the moving line in which I was standing). I'm glad to know that our government, in light of the serious issues facing this country, is able to make time to debate something that has such a strong impact on it's citizens. (Yes, that's sarcasm.)

Halloween has come and gone, November is upon us. Two months left in this year - how time does fly. My costume was a big success - Jimi did a fabulous job on it. The weekend was...I don't know. A weekend, I suppose, with its high and low points. I've been disappointed a lot in the last few weeks. I like to think that one of these days it will stop surprising me when people are small-minded assholes, but I know that it won't. For that to happen, I'd have to adopt a much more cynical view of the world and the people in it - I don't want to be a cynic. I don't want to be naive, either, but if that's a requirement of having faith in the basic goodness of people, then I guess I'll have to learn to brush it off when those people don't live up to my expectations. Who am I to expect anyone to act any specific way, anyhow? People are who they are - they're not going to change that simply because I prefer to think the best of them. The less I expect, the less I'll be disappointed. (If I say it enough, maybe I'll start living it.)

Of course, there's Jimi: to make the craziness make sense, to soothe hurt feelings, to kiss and hug away the tears. He's my rock, my sanctuary, my safe place. He loves me fiercely, completely, honestly; the same way I love him, and the way I've always wanted to be loved. That makes everything else, if not okay, at least tolerable.

I have a lot to be thankful for. I need to get back to focusing on that fact, rather than the things I wish were different.

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