a step forward

Still trying to stay positive. Last couple of days were really rough, but I’m still here so I guess that’s a win.

Today I donated money to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank in the name of my endless angst. I am grateful that I still have the means to do that, as I enjoy being able to help people without having to actually talk to them.

Want to know something funny? The entire reason I am so freaked out about not being able to find a job is that once, 16 years ago, I couldn’t find a job after a round of layoffs. It took 9 months for me to find any kind of work whatsoever, and it was a soul-crushingly horrible job that I still have nightmares about. I’m terrified of that happening again, even though I have no real reason to be.

No, YOU’RE irrational.

fresh start

I’ve spent my entire summer worrying myself sick and unable to enjoy most things. Today is October 1st, and that stops now. I will attempt to post at least one good thing that I am happy, no matter how small, for each day in October.

So, with that in mind: today I found an online, Canadian source for the spicy gummy hearts that I loved from Sugarfina (which were discontinued). I also found a whole bunch of other awesome gummy flavours (spicy. chai.), so I placed a huge order for exciting yummy goodness.

Gummy party at Halfwack! Who’s in?

photo (22)

maybe we won’t soak them in everclear this time

i love these walls (i hate these walls)

September, you done me dirty.

It’s usually my favourite month of the year. There’s a lot to look forward to: the end of summer, the delicious start of fall, new iPhones, international travel, anniversary smooshes, peanut butter pumpkins, and skeletons getting all festive to ring the start of the spooky season.

September 2018, however, has been thoroughly lousy. I can’t wait for tomorrow to get here, to bring the promise of a fresh start shaped like October. I’m just so .. worn down. I’m having near-daily anxiety attacks because I don’t have a new job lined up, I’m still petulant about my vacation being cut short, I had to get my insides swabbed and was told I need a mammogram, Ed is super sick, I’m literally trapped in my house because jerks are moving in and have been blocking my entire garage door for almost 7 hours, and I’m getting a cold. I can feel it in my throat and sinuses. This all comes after finally vocalizing to Ed on Friday night how unhappy I was because of cabin fever and neverending stress, and hoping we could do something fun to take my mind off of government cheese and EI cheques. He got really sick almost during that conversation, so we couldn’t really do anything (fun or otherwise) all weekend. None of this even touches upon the news, which is a whole other horror story. I just want a break. From anger and disappointment and rejection and my unending feelings of worthlessness.

So, no pressure October, but I’m hoping you’ve got some good things in store for me and some maybe peanut butter pumpkins, because that shit is delicious.

 

drama queen

We came home from our trip a week early, because:

cominghome

Basically, something was wrong with Hobbz (oldest kitty and Ed’s one true love). In the weeks before we left, he had started peeing on the floor in the downstairs bathroom. We’d catch him in the act, he’d stop for a few days, then start up again. Nothing else seemed wrong – he would just very deliberately pee on the floor, then leave like nothing happened. He hadn’t done it in the few days before our trip, so we just hoped he was being a prima donna about the state of his litterbox.

Unfortunately, the floor peeing got a lot worse. Our neighbour and cat sitter both reported in that he was a veritable fountain of pee; hosing down the bathroom at all hours of the day and night. He was also being unusually skittish, wouldn’t let anyone touch him, and was looking pretty rough. All of these are highly unusual, but when pee started to appear outside the downstairs bathroom, we knew something was seriously wrong. We asked our cat sitter to please take him to the vet, which went about as well as expected: he fear-peed all over everything to the point where he had no more pee for the vet to take. Blood was drawn, then they were sent home so Hobbz could be put in isolation in an attempt to capture some pee for testing (didn’t work – puppy pads are REALLY ABSORBANT).

Meanwhile, Ed and I are in Lille and feeling like horrible cat parents and terrible people all around. We discussed it briefly, and made the decision that we would cut our trip short and fly home as soon as possible. We were pretty much in the middle of nowhere, which complicated matters – but I searched through every possible combination of cities, trains, and airports and managed to come up with a return trip home that didn’t cost $2500 each, leaving on Saturday. It was Thursday at this point, so we left Lille and headed to Brussels as originally planned. We’d get a day and a half in Belgium (better than nothing), then leave from Brussels early Saturday morning to take a train to London and fly from Gatwick at noon.

Brussels was truly lovely, but both Ed and I were really distracted with worry about Hobbz so we didn’t get to see nearly as much of the city as we normally would. We made the best of a bad situation with many beers (for Ed), statues of small children peeing, crazy waffle concoctions, and huge epic castley things. I ate a weird taco. Pay toilets are both awful and great. Tourists are fucking rabid about Manneken Pis, which is surprisingly tiny. A great gay store named Boris Boy reminded me of my long-standing grudge against women’s sex toys and roused my outrage all over again. I drank the Diet Coke I smuggled into the country smugly. Angst aside, we had a lot of fun.

I was struggling, though. There’s a 9-hour difference between Brussels and Vancouver, and our cat sitter would arrive around 3pm each day so I’d be awake well after midnight, waiting for updates and passing along information for the vet. We had to be at the train station by 7am on Saturday for our train, so I was up at 5:30 to shower and finish packing and make sure everything was ready to go. Worry for Hobbz, stress about being so far from home, lack of sleep, angst over cutting our vacation short, and wracking internal sobs about having to return to the reality of my work situation a full week earlier than intended has taken a huge toll on me – I am not myself, something Ed has repeatedly noted over the last few weeks.

Still, we made it home. Our plane landed on time, all our luggage arrived, and by 4:30 we were pulling into our garage, desperate to see our cats.

All of whom were totally fine (and beyond ecstatic that we were home).

The vet thinks Hobbz has a slight kidney or bladder infection, or possibly a stone. Most (but not all) of the peeing has stopped, leading me to suspect he was being a complete fucking drama queen because Ed wasn’t home. We had to collect a urine sample from the floor to take to the vet, but that’s happening today and we’ll get a course of treatment for Hobbz .. who, incidentally, perked up a thousandfold the instant he saw Ed.

I am trying very hard to be pragmatic about our melodramatic diva of a cat, but there’s a liiiiiittle bit of resentment there. I’ve STILL never been to Amsterdam, damnit.

I know we did the right thing, and Hobbz isn’t out of the woods yet. Still, I can’t help but feel cheated out of what was supposed to be a complete distraction from the last few months – it kinda feels like I can’t catch a break. I wasn’t supposed to return to work until the 17th, but since we’re home and I don’t get paid time off, there’s no reason for me not to work the week. We’ll also need the money to cover the extra train tickets and flights home, because even though we had trip insurance, I don’t think it covers pet illness or emotional manipulation via floor urine. I haven’t been able to submit the claim yet, but I’m not hopeful. And I feel just weird overall – I’m glad to be home, but at the same time this is the last place I want to be.

I’m trying not to be all fatalist about this maybe being the last vacation we’ll ever take because once I lose my job we won’t be able to afford stuff like this (not to mention this trip was booked with proceeds from the sale of Sparta), but I am REALLY GOOD at being fatalist.

Pictures soon!

IMG_8636

two point two pictures

HELLO

I’M STILL ALIVE

Funny story: I haven’t written in a long time because I had nothing good to say – my life is a never-ending series of whines, rage tears, and vaguebooking. I didn’t want to make a triumphant return to my poor neglected blog only to complain about how awful my ridiculously priviledged life is, so I kept my head down and cried my sad tears and posted dumb little Facebook updates about my unhappiness and then guess what.

I sort of exploded from the stress, and desperately needed an outlet that wasn’t poor Ed talking me off the ledge. Oh, if only I had a safe outlet in which I could vent about my FEELINGS. If only there was a friendly, non-judgemental place where I could air my dirty laundry and extreme dissatisfaction at my lot in life and also throw in the occasional random reference to movies from the 90s. OH IF ONLY.

I never claimed to be as smart as I tell the internet I am

So, here we are. Strap in, everyone. I’m going to cleanse my soul the only way I know how: dumping it out onto the internet for the seagulls to pick through and poop on.

Continue reading

the dope show

I made a list of things I needed to do after we had moved, because I am highly organized and anal retentive. At the top of that list was “transfer prescriptions”. There are a large number of chemicals keeping me alive these days, and seeing as “being alive” is pretty much the only thing I have going on right now, it was imperitive that the spice flow.

I stupidly assumed that because the pharmaceutical industry is highly regulated, pharmacies themselves must have solid, air-tight procedures when it comes to all things people and medication related. This is .. not true. In the slightest. It was exceedingly difficult to transfer my prescriptions from one store to another (in the same chain, no less), taking multiple online submissions, two phone calls, and three in-person visits to the pharmacy to prove my identity only for the entire thing to be not be done at all correctly. The last straw was an attempt to refill some medication online and being told my birthdate was incorrect. Frustrated to the point of picking up the phone (I really really hate the phone), I called the pharmacy to get my birthdate corrected. Oh, you sweet summer child – your birthdate isn’t wrong, it’s your prescription number. That’s from the old store. You need to download the pharmacy app and manually set your home store to be the new one, and your prescriptions will just show up. Why don’t you know this? Women just don’t get technology.

Great (if condescending) advice, right? And straight from the pharmacy owner’s mouth, so clearly I was in the wrong here. If only I understood how mobile apps work!

Yeah, the pharmacy doesn’t actually HAVE an app. Never had. The steps I was told to take not only cannot be done, but do not exist and have never existed. I don’t know what sort of drugs the pharmacist was sampling, but they made him dream up a process, place it into a non-existant iPhone app, then chastise someone for not knowing about it.

Few things piss me off more than someone I have to trust with my life making careless mistakes. When they make mistakes that are not only beyond careless but in the realm of dystopian fiction, I see fucking red. I’d once chewed out my previous pharmacy for refilling all my medications except one (prior to being able to refill them myself online), because the actual dose was a 2-parter and they missed the second part. They apologized, everything was great, and we had a good relationship until I moved. There was no excuse for the new pharmacy to fuck up like this, so I complained on three official channels: Twitter, email feedback on the website, and a call into corporate.

I got the standard boilerplate apology from all three channels, which whatever. Twitter went one further, and asked if they could pass my information onto the pharmacy owner so he could contact me directly to apologize. Since he was the one I spoke to in the first place, I did not want this and I told them so. They’ve promised to review their processes and that this will not happen to anyone else. That’s all I need.

I’ve now been emailed three times, called three times (once from South Africa), and had a note attached to my last refill request, asking that I speak to the pharmacy owner. I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS. I already DID speak to the owner, when he called me at 6am to apologize. All I wanted from him was to ensure he and his staff knew the proper procedure, and to not give shitty and 100% incorrect advice to anyone else when to comes to things like this. That’s it. I don’t want grovelling or a refund or a discount or a fucking scholarship opened in my name – just promise me you won’t mislead someone else who may not be able to figure out the depth of your bullshit as quickly as I did (I’ve been using the official app since day one, as it helps me to avoid talking to actual people. I knew there was no “pharmacy app”, and that the “very simple” steps I needed to take did not exist). Luckily when I picked up my last prescription, he wasn’t in the pharmacy. I told the tech who rang me out that I did not want to speak to him and to please remove that note and any other that may exist on my file.

This was before we went to Hong Kong. In that time, he called twice and left voicemail, and emailed me again yesterday afternoon. FUCKING CUT IT OUT. I am under no obligation to talk to you, and I’ve been more than firm about this. If he attempts to contact me again, I’m calling corporate and moving my presciptions to a different store altogether. I don’t want to be stalked, let alone by someone with full access to my medical history. This is not cool.

Hong Kong was great, but also not cool (it hovered at 34C with 87%+ humidity the entire time, dropping down to 29C at night). We’re heading to New York this week for a combination birthday trip, coming home for a biopsy, then heading to Seattle for a birthday party. And I’m in Redmond all next week at the mothership. I am busy.

Here is a picture.

hong kong and kowloon at dusk