Monday, April 26, 2010

When your day starts with a live slug on your foot...

don't give up, it might actually get better.

This morning when I let Littlefoot in and Little Miss out, I felt kind of a tickly sensation on one of my feet after I closed the door. I looked down and saw a slug on my foot.





I proceeded to have what Patrick McManus describe as a Modified Stationary Panic, which involves jumping up and down and screaming, in this case, screaming "GETITOFFME!"

That's an exceptionally silly thing to scream when you live alone except for two dogs, one of which is outside and neither of which have opposable thumbs. Eventually, I did what any sensible person would do--I scraped the slug into the wastebasket, immediately removed and triple-knotted the bag, and then threw it out into the driveway. After that, I rinsed my foot with hydrogen peroxide and vomited.

Hell of a start to my week, and it got even worse at work. Saturday's mail was waiting for me, and it included a letter from the VA regarding one of our guardianships, telling us about the new procedures the VA has decided to start. It's not enough that all accounts going forward must have every single bank statement stamped or sealed by the bank each month, it must be done retroactively for accounts turned in as of 01/01/10. Bastards. Couldn't they go find some actual veterans to, I don't know, help? Instead, they mess around nit-picking the people who are actually helping.

Fortunately, things improved. I worked half a day for Mom, then headed north to have lunch and network a bit with my former co-workers. I got hugs from everyone, reference letters from two of the attorneys, and a compliment from another one. When she hugged me, she said, "Ooooh, you smell good, like flowers and stuff." I was wearing BPAL Swank on top of Skindecent's Sultana dupe, so lots of fruit and not many flowers, but it was still a nice compliment. We had a lovely long lunch at Zoup, then I stopped at the Lush store on my way to Maresche's house. Even though she'd left lunch before me and I'd spent about 30 minutes at Lush, I beat her to the house, so I dragged the Annabelle hydrangea she and her husband had dug up to my car and stuffed it in the trunk. I also got the trunk closed! Yay me! When Maresche got home, I had just enough time to point out her birthday present (a birdbath) and hit the road before rush hour peaked.

I came home, unloaded the hydrangea, which I will plant tomorrow after work, and let the dogs out and in with no slug-related ickiness.

So even Mondays can be newts and get better.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Letter #1

Animal Control
Attn: [Facily Manager's Name Redacted]
460 E. North St.
Akron, OH 44304

Dear Ms. Manager:

Enclosed is a copy of a flyer which was posted on my home mailbox earlier this week. Please note that the flyer specifies that all animals come from the Summit County Animal Control Facility and that the new Executive Director is XX. As I’m sure you remember, the only reason cruelty charges were dropped against XX was that her daughter agreed to plead guilty to the charges against her.

The day after I received the flyer, I called your office, but the young man with whom I spoke dismissed my concerns quite casually. I would very much appreciate some reassurance that Summit County will stop allowing Heaven Can Wait to take animals from your facility or that you are monitoring the health and safety of any animals so removed.

Thank you for your anticipated attention to this matter

Very truly yours,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I can't even work up a good mad about this, I just keep starting to cry.


I have been calling the outsourced HR services of my late, unlamented former employer since my last day of work, trying to find out about my COBRA benefits. They kept telling me I couldn't sign up until the first day after my severance ran out, April 1.

So on April 1, I call to sign up, am told that the paperwork will be sent to me, and that the coverage will be retroactive to 4/1.

The paperwork and bill are actually sent on 4/11, and I am billed for approximately 3.5 times the figure I was quoted per month, AND I was billed for two months, April and May.

When I called to ask about this, I was told that the $179/month (not the %57 I was quoted) was correct, and that even were I to give them a credit card number (which I don't have) right this minute, my coverage would not be effective until after outsourced HR received the payment and forwarded it on to the insurance company, who then would add me back to the policy.

So for the crown I may need, I can go ahead and pay the approximately $500 up front and then request reimbursement from the insurance company.

Yes, because we all know how easy that is.

Basically, I have to give Aetna almost $200 of my money for a month in which they are going to do absolutely nothing for me.

Monday, April 19, 2010

An Akron woman was just sentenced to house arrest for animal abuse and neglect. Here is a lovely picture of her mother, Patricia, at her daughter's sentencing.

So tonight, I get home from work, and find a flyer stuffed between the mailbox and the flag. I open it up to fold it neatly and put it into the recycling, and discover that Heaven Can Wait is holding a big party to reopen this Saturday. The flyer invites the reader to adopt one of the dogs or cats rescued from the Summit County Animal Shelter, and to meet the new Executive Director, Patricia Mihaly.

When I came home from water-walking, I left a voice mail for the reporter who wrote the story I linked to, telling him about the reopening and asking if he knew how this "shelter" is getting more animals from the county shelter. Tomorrow, I will look into finding out how to get the papers necessary to qualify as a 501c and seeing if there are sponsors who might not want to have their names associated with an animal abuse case.

Tonight, I shall fantasize about picketing the shelter open house on Saturday, carrying a blown-up version of Patricia's lovely picture.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

MS Walk 2010, Columbus

Yesterday morning, I got up at O'Kogi Hundred (4:30 a.m., if you don't know what potters' schedules are like), had one cup of coffee, let the dogs out and in and fed them, got dressed, brushed my teeth, and was ready when Mom pulled in the driveway at 5:30. We stopped in Mansfield for coffee and then made it to my brother's house before 8.

Yesterday was my nephew's birthday, but as he told us, he was not officially ten until 4:50. He still got hugged and got a token present from Mom (since he'd already had his real present in the form of a five-day trip to NYC). I hung on to the card and cash I had for him until after the Walk.

The sun was shining, but it was extremely chilly, mostly because the wind was really strong. This was my first time doing the MS Walk in Columbus, and I don't know if it's always at the Zoo, but because of that, everyone needed to get a ticket and a wristband for admission, even those of us who had registered online ahead of time, like Mom and me. I have to say that I was extremely unimpressed with the lack of organization. At the Akron Walk, if you register ahead of time, you just need to drop any cash or check donations and start walking. There's also a marching band and balloons and t-shirts and beads at Akron. I saw people with beads and shirts, but I didn't get either. :( Columbus just had everyone standing in a giant mob in front of the registration table, out in the coooooold wind for thirty to forty-five minutes. Ugh.

The Zoo was very nice, and we took a lot of pictures with the boys and the metal sculptures of various animals. I also made my brother take one of me with a manatee sculpture, what for comparison. ;) We didn't walk the whole loop of the zoo, but we did stroll around for about an hour, and I got to look closely at sleeping flamingos, which was pretty cool.

When we all agreed that we were done with our walk, we went out for breakfast at a place called Marie's Scrambler (I think). I gave my nephew his card and $25 in cash. I had spent a bit of time looking for a good birthday card for him, but I had no idea that the hoops&yoyo card would be such a big hit. When I told him I was giving him cash because I couldn't find any Prince of Persia Lego stuff, he said, "Any Lego would do, Auntie Jammies." I thought that was pretty sweet of him, but now he can buy what makes him happiest. I also printed the Lego version of him with his black belt on heavy card stock so his mom can frame it and hang it in his room.

After breakfast, the Pickypants family headed in for a family nap before the big party. Mom and I headed home, with a stop at Michael's. I got some pretty cotton yarns that were on sale, and in the car, Mom helped me cast off the hot pink washcloth that I was planning to surprise her with on Mother's Day. Instead, I tucked it into her bag and told her I'd find something else for her. As usual, she told me to save my money, but we all know I'm not good at that. On the way home, she drove, I knitted, and when she dropped me off, I let the dogs out and in, and then collapsed into bed for a good long nap.

Thanks to everyone who sponsored Mom and me. And even though Mom thinks the Akron MS Walk is boring, I prefer an animal-less walk and fewer registration hassles, so next year, I'm going local again!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

WTF is wrong with me?

First I burst into tears when I see a big, black-and-white, Shepherd-y mix hanging his head out of a car window and having fun.

Next, I get teary when Jonathan gets auf'd from Project Runway.

Then the conjoined Barbies at water-walking make me furiously angry.

And now, I'm all ticked that Gail Carriger's latest book ends with a freaking cliffhanger. I hate cliffhangers, but I shouldn't be quite this irritated.

So WTF is with all the overemotional reactions lately? It can't be hormones, I don't have hormones anymore.


Friday, April 09, 2010

MS Walk 2010

Mom and I are walking together in Columbus this year, along with my brother, sister-in-law and both of my nephews. If you're interested in making a donation, send me an e-mail and I'll send you a link.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A Little Fall of Rain

I've always loved that song and I've almost always loved the sound of rain falling.

Very early Sunday morning, there was a brief shower over Casa de Jammies. I'm not usually the type of person who can wake up and be awake--I need my coffee and some time. However, when I hear what sounds like a dog piddling in my bedroom at three-thirty, I tend to be awake very quickly. Once my adrenaline rush had worn off, it was nice to hear a soft shower through my open bedroom windows. It would have been nicer had I not had to get up at 6:40 for work.

This morning, at 4:54, I heard the same sound, but quickly realized it wasn't raining--Little Miss was piddling on my bed. I jumped up just as she finished, whisked off all the bedding and threw it downstairs, then put her outside for a bit while I started laundry and the coffee. I tried twice between waking up and leaving for the day to get a urine sample from her, but no luck.

This afternoon, I came home, took Little Miss out again and still couldn't get a sample, so I loaded her into the car and headed for the vet's office. I got there early enough for one of the techs to come outside and follow us around to see if we could get a sample that way, but again, no dice. We gave up after ten minutes and headed inside, where the tech showed us to the dog room. Thirty seconds after walking into the room, Little Miss shivered, peed all over the floor and pressed up against me. The tech ran for a pipette, laughed that apparently all we needed to do was scare the pee out of my dog, took the sample to be tested and cleaned up the floor. I chatted with the receptionists as I waited, then Dr. B came in.

We joked a bit as he and the tech hoisted Little Miss to the table, as he had the tech take the dog's back end. He checked her gums and her heartbeat while telling me that she did have a UTI. However, although he found a lot of bacteria in her urine, he did not find a lot of red blood cells, so I caught it early. I gave him credit for teaching me what to look for, and thanked him for fitting my sick pupster into his schedule. He gave her ten days' worth of antibiotics, which means ten days of cream cheese, which will make for a happy puppy, and with any luck, any rain I hear tonight will be more Norah Jones than nightmare.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Entitled or insecure?

If someone asks for advice on a message board, and one of the respondents posts a 500-word patronizing, condescending, polysyllabic bloviation in response, what does it make said bloviator when she then returns to the thread to complain that the original poster hasn't thanked her for her post? Specifically, when said bloviator says she wants back the time she invested?

Disgustingly entitled, or horrendously insecure?