Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What is WRONG with this country?

Today started out well. My e-mail this morning contained notifications that birthday and baby and cheering-up gifts were all on their way to friends, another friend's cat had come home after her owner had given her up, the sun was shining, I smelled yummy and work went well.

Then in the afternoon, my day started sliding downward. I made two mistakes at work, not huge ones, but they involved other people's work, which sucks. Then on my way home, I stopped at the bank and discovered I'd overdrawn my checking account by $10, which was immediately increased by the $30 fee.

I spent the next ten minutes reminding myself that my paycheck would be deposited Friday morning first thing, and even after the NSF fees, there would be enough money in my account to pay bills, buy gas and food and even have lunch out one day next week. I also went over all the ways in which I am rich, both in luxuries like bath products, necessities like half a tank of gas and a refrigerator full of leftovers, emotionally in terms of family, friends and pets. The sun was still shining, which helped, and I had managed to pull myself out of the little dip of despair.

At the big intersection down in the Valley, there was a very young man (early 20s if that) standing on the sidewalk, holding a cardboard sign that read "NO FOOD, NO DIAPERS, NO JOKE, PLEASE HELP."

I had a visceral reaction to this young man and his sign, a combination of pain that anyone with a small child has to beg for diapers, guilt that I was broke because I spend money on luxuries and anger that our President is making noises about starting yet another war because the one we're in now hasn't sufficiently enlarged his dick and that our candidates are all running around smearing mud on each other and that we as a people are more interested in the "next American Idol" or "next Top Model" than we are in making a damn difference.

I just feel sick.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Things you didn't know you needed, but you do!

First of all, everyone needs a Sock Zombie. They're undead and cuddly--what more could you ask for? You should also go read the blog belonging to Erin, the maker of these undead cuddly cuties.

Everyone needs a Squishable. A foot & a quarter diameter stuffed frog, pig, cow, tiger, sheep, puppy--how have you lived this long without one?

And finally, everyone needs to go read "The Perfect Scent" by Chandler Burr.

What are you waiting for? GO!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

This is why I walk

I did the MS Walk because it was fun, it was a chance to socialize with two friends I don't get to see very often, because the money goes to a good cause, Bigfoot got exercise and a ton of attention, and I even got two free T-shirts.

I also walked for a number of online friends with MS, people who are struggling to redefine "normal" and live with this shitty disease.

My fundraising total was $340, and Unnamed Co. will hopefully match the $240 that came from co-workers.

We did the 1 mile short course instead of the 3 mile long course because my one friend had her kidlet with her in a stroller and Bigfoot isn't getting any younger. We got there early and got our walk done before any rain (which is still forecast for today but hasn't shown up) and then ate bagels and talked. I'm not nearly as sore as I was the first time I did this, so I won't need an entire box of Epsom salts in my bath, just a few.

Oh, and I wore BPAL's Pain for my perfume. *giggle*

On the way home, I saw that the local nursery I adore is open for the summer, and while my tax refunds are all going for medical bills, I think my stimulus check is going to be spent on flowers.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Yaaaay! Spring!

Rooter is awake.

All but three of my lavender plants made it.

The lilac trees are just about to bloom, even the baby ones that are just two years old.

It's going to be sixty-five degrees tomorrow for the MS Walk.

My state tax refund arrived, so I can start paying medical bills and end all those annoying messages on my machine.

Oh, and Bigfoot got his spring allergy shot last night, and I've been rubbing aloe on his tummy. He is NOT going to be permitted to chew himself into surgery this year.

And I am too busy to go out and get my paws muddy until the weekend after next, but come May 3, I plan on being unreachable and filthy on the weekends. :D

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Another good day

I can't divulge the details, because it would give away the real name of Hyphenated Corp., but I can say that I was productive most of the day and spent a portion of it laughing uproariously with several members of my team. We are going to be in so much trouble tomorrow when people complain to the boss about how loud we were, but it was absolutely worth it.

And on the home front, my adorable little white grape hyacinths have flowered.

Monday, April 21, 2008


After the Cupcake of Doom that was my weekend, today was absolutely perfect. At work, I got to help out with Florida, Massachusetts and Washington books, then the page proofs on my current Kentucky book came back from the author and I made a start on getting his changes made. Eight hours just flew by.

When I got home, there was a box from Kogi waiting for me--I thought it was replacement mugs for the two leaky ones and was impressed at how fast she got them done and shipped. However, when I opened the box, I found that it was a very early birthday present from Rogue. She had Kogi make me a custom toad house!

The KogiToadAbode is on my breezeway at the moment, as I try to decide where in the yarden it would be best placed. I keep looking at it and feeling so grateful to have such amazing friends (and psychic, too, to know I'd need a pick-me-up after my weekendus horribilis).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Icing on the Cupcake of Doom

Last night, my dad called while I was making Satin Balls. I was literally up to my wrist in raw hamburger, raw egg, molasses, oatmeal and wheat germ, and he wanted me to drop everything and go reconfigure my computer so he had remote access to it.

I was probably a bit oversensitive (I felt like he didn't think I was smart enough to do updates myself) and definitely rude. What came out of my mouth was "I don't want you accessing my computer." Whereupon he said fine, he'd call my aunt and do her computer and he hung up.

Tonight, I went out to the house to help him take Mom's car in for service, since she is in Texas this week. I attempted to apologize, but got brushed off and told a story about how he will never help my cousin again because she turned down his computer help once. "You only have to tell me once to stay away."

Lord. Don't ever question where I get my capacity to hold a grudge.

This weekend has SUCKED and I hope that my books are back from the authors tomorrow so I have something productive to focus on.

ETA: Last night's injection left me with a quarter-sized, raised, itchy welt, and now my father is sending me e-mails along the lines of "neener neener, look at all the eeeeeeeeevil things that are going to happen to your computer now that I'm not going to work on it." Argh.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A light spring rain

A blue spring mood. Although I had a nice dinner with Doc last night, I am sad and irritated with myself for being sad today. I didn't get to go to Pittsburgh and see Imp & Bel & Dampy because my stupid car needs $220 worth of brake work, and I'm just sort of moping around. Pleh.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Robin Redux

Last year, I had a robin bashing himself against my living room picture window.

This year, I have a robin bashing himself against my bedroom windows.

Some people wake to birdsong--I wake to frantic fluttering and thumping.

Ahhh, spring.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Lucky Jammies

Lucky to have a family I love and who love me.

Lucky to have land to garden on.

Lucky to have the house I adore.

Lucky to have cold spring days full of sunshine.

Lucky to have amazing friends.

Lucky to have cuddly puppymonsters.

Lucky to have money for frivolities as well as necessity.

Lucky, lucky Jammies.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Very very funny stuff

I sent a box to a friend from the Lush message board this week, and this was what she posted in the BPAL thread after she got the package:

We interrupt this episode of "Days of Our BPAL" to bring you this special news bulletin.

Today I come on home to find a package waiting for me. ¿Qué? I have nothing from ebay coming, it's too big to be Queenies decants, and it's not from the Lab. What is this curiosity? I do not immediately recognize the name on the return address, although the town is familiar.

Well, I must immediately open this, even if it is a bomb, or a severed head, or some disgusting curse from that crazy woman who thinks she is a Wizard-demon and hates me (I meet such interesting people...)

Well, opened it I did, and I must say that JAMMIES IS THE SHIT!

Yes, it was a lovely and unexpected package from our own RedJammies. And I just remembered that you PM'd me a while back asking about scents and I forgot to respond. Please excuse my rudeness, and anyone else I failed to respond to, I've been sick off-and-on for the past few weeks with a virus with a stupid name I won't even attempt to spell (although there are a lot of x's in it, and possibly a pound sign or ampersand), and even under the best of circumstances I am forgetful and easily distracted.

Jammies was kind enough to send me a little mini-suitcase filled with all sorts of goodies. There were some Julphia scrubs, a wee keychain imp holder, and some chocolatey things I'm just praying are coated with ecstasy. But the pièce de résistance is, naturally, a silver-sparkly phallus-shaped soap, scented with Lurid Library, and filled with...lemons? She said it was supposed to be a clockwork penis, to match my clockwork necklace, and I must believe her. I suppose once I use it, I can discover what those nebulous shapes floating mid-peen really are. Regardless, I love everything you sent me. Konichiwa, Jammies-chan. I just totally inserted four languages into this post, w00t!

RedJammies, thank you. I sincerely mean that from the bottom of my clockwork heart. And thank you, and the United States Postal Service, for the perfect timing as far as delivery goes. For I had a guest at my opening of the Mystery Box Full of Penis.

My mom.

Helpless Lush wrote:
LOLOLOL!!!! I love it! Jammies is the shit!

What did Mom think?

*scene opens on Miss Owls opening the Jammies care package*

ME: "What is's not anything off of eBay..."

*finds card, reads card*

ME: "OH! It's from a friend of mine."

MA OWLS: "Who do you know in Cuyahoga Falls?"

ME: "Oh, it's someone I know from online."

MA OWLS: "You know them in real life?"

ME: "No, we're on the same forum---er, it's like a place to talk and post messages. It's a, uh *embarrassed cough* soap forum. And, uh, those little perfumes I wear that you always manage to describe in such a way that makes me never want to wear them again."

MA OWLS: "So someone online you don't know, and never met, is sending you packages you didn't expect. Is that chocolate? You shouldn't eat that, they could be poisoned."

ME: "What?! Ma, they're not poisoned, it's fine, I know her."

MA OWLS: "They could be, you don't know. You hear things on the news, on the myspace, it's all full of crazy shut-ins."

ME: "MA! I'm online."

MA OWLS: "My point exactly. What the hell is that!?"

ME: "Er, nothing, it's soap."

MA OWLS: "No it's not, I saw it, it's a dildo!"

ME: "MA!"

MA OWLS: "Oh, stop blushing, I know you know what it is. Why are people you met online sending you dildos?! What the hell are you doing online?"

ME: "IT'S NOT A DILDO! It's the shape of one."

MA OWLS: "Well that's stupid. Won't your body heat just melt it?"

ME: "Wha-MA! That's-tha' *sputter*"

MA OWLS: "You know you're not supposed to use soap down there. You'll get the yeasts."

ME: "Ma, please, for my sanity, just stop talking about it. It's not for...that. It's just amusingly shaped soap."

MA OWLS: "And why do you need strangers sending you perishable dildos anyway? There's that shop down by the U-Haul where you can just buy one."

ME: "MA! Please, for the love of God, don't give me sex-toy shopping advice!"

MA OWLS: "Well, I mean, c'mon, when was the last time you went on a date? Things must be getting dusty downstairs."

ME: "Excuse me, Ma, I have to go...wash my brain off with bleach."

MA OWLS: "Oh, the scrubby-thing smells nice."

*end scene*

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Garden update

Some more of the obsessiveness Sherri thinks is cute, i.e. a list of where everything in my garden is right now.

Daffodils: Most are at half-height, some have reached full height and three have bloomed.
White grape hyacinths: Sprouted and budding.
Crocuses: Done blooming.
Purple grape hyacinths: Sprouted.
Lilacs: All have baby leaves.
White pussy willow: Catkins. Yay!
Pink pussy willow: Teeny-tiny leaf buds.
Mock orange: Too early to tell, I hope.
Clematis: New growth on all of them.
Lamium: Teeny leaves, but hopefully in good shape now that I've removed the cover of dead leaves.
Chives: Sprouted, growing vigorously.
Tulips: No sign of them, probably eaten by deer or bunnies.
Dusty Miller: Signs of new growth on about half, this is a victory because these are annuals from last year.
Irises: Apparently didn't make it. :(
Bluebells: Sprouted, some budding.
Hyacinths: Two sprouted & budding, one didn't make it.
Blue columbines: Two sprouted, one didn't make it.
Sweet woodruff: No sign of it, hopefully just because it's early.
Hibiscus & hydrangeas: Hopefully it's just too early for them to be awake.
Campanula: Appears to be growing, but is also a magnet for deer & bunnies, so who knows?
Weeds: Too damn many already.
Butterfly bushes: One didn't make it, the other five are doing well.
Viburnum: Doesn't look alive, but again, might be the earliness.

I'll revisit this list in a month and see how everything is doing. I am trying not to get my hopes up with some of the plants, as we did have a couple of truly vicious spells last winter. I've definitely lost my little Korean lilac. :(

On the other hand, I will be able to fill my house with daffodils soon!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Ahhh, spring

We have had a rare April streak of good weather here in northeast Ohio--four days of sunshine and relative warmth. I spent the weekend working for Mom and cleaning the house, so tonight after work was my first chance to get outside and do a little pre-gardening. I got about ten wheelbarrows' worth of old leaves out of my front flowerbeds and onto the compost heap, then had a quick shower to rinse off the sweat and treated myself to opening the box from my friend Kogi. I finally got around to ordering the mugs I wanted with pictures of the 'Foots on them, and they are gorgeous.




This summer, I am planning to make concrete stepping stones with the dogs' footprints on them. Neither of them shows their true age, but I have to remind myself that they are old in dog years, and I want as many tokens of them as possible.

I haven't decided where those stepping stones will go, but I have decided that this year I will not start any new flowerbeds. I am going to work with what I have until I'm satisfied, and then maybe next year I can add one. I do need to get some planting or something done along the back of the house, because right now it is just one GIANT BORING WHITE WALL and I hate looking at it when I'm out back. I'm taking my garden porn into the tub with me every night and plotting and planning and arranging and re-arranging in my head. That's really pretty much my idea of the perfect evening.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Deep breath and walk away...

There's a raging argument taking place on a message board that I've been posting at since 2001. Basically, about half the posters are saying that depression is an excuse people use to get SSDI funds and that it can be cured with "a swift kick in the ass."

One poster dragged out Erick Turner's study. Somewhere on Queen Mediocretia's blog is a discussion of this article, but I'm too lazy to look for it.

The bit that caught my attention this time was at the very end of the article.

"About 80 percent of all antidepressant prescriptions are written by primary care providers and other non-psychiatrists. Before the introduction of SSRIs in the late 1980s, almost all antidepressant prescriptions were written by psychiatrists."

My response:

The "non-psychiatrist" who prescribes for me is a neurologist specializing in MS. In fact, he's the 2007 Ohio MS Society volunteer of the year, as well as Director of the Experimental Therapeutics Program at the Cleveland Clinic's Mellen Center. Oddly enough, all of my friends with MS-caused depression get their prescriptions from their neuros as well. I'd like to see some data on how many of those "non-pyschiatrists" are neurologists, oncologits, etc.

And I'd have to see a breakdown of the patients involved in all of the studies to see what the makeup of the control groups vs. the experimental groups is.

I agree that every medicine we have available to us today is over-prescribed. That's why we have things like antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis. However, I don't believe that it's as much of a scourge as it's made out to be.

Right now, I'm just ticked off and disheartened by the number of people who think mental illness, particularly depression, is faked for benefit. Time to walk away from the computer for a bit.