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!

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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

insurance?

For the last year or more, we’ve been sending my mother post-dated cheques each month to help her out with whatever she needs. It is a royal pain in the ass, because who the fuck uses cheques anymore. I’ve done the research, and it is literally the only way to get the money to my mother because you can’t e-transfer cash to someone who has no e.

The cheques ran out this month, and I had a brilliant idea: why not replace the cheques with a credit card that mom can use whenever she needs anything. Several times this year I’ve had to provide my credit card information to strangers over the phone, because mom needed my help paying for something. I’d have her go and get/do what she needed, then have them call me for payment. It, like most things involving my mother, is a royal pain in the ass. If mom had a credit card she didn’t need to worry about, she could get these things herself. Less ass-pain for me, more freedom for mom. It’s win win!

I just spent half an hour on the phone with my mother, walking her through the complicated scenario of “use this card whenever you need to buy anything”. See, she used my monthly cheque to pay health/car/whatever insurance – how would she pay those without the money I give her? Easily, I explained: use the new card for anything you buy. You won’t be spending your money, so when your insurance payments are due, it’ll just come out of your account like normal.

“Okay so I take this card to my insurance and pay there?” No, you don’t need to do that. Because you aren’t spending the money in your bank account when you do groceries or go shopping, you can pay for insurance. “How will I do that without your cheque?” When you use the card, you’re spending MY money, not your own. “So I can use this card and pay my insurance?” No, mom. You don’t use the card for insurance. You use it for everything else. “Oh so I can buy whatever I need, like insurance?” NO, MOM. “I take the card to the bank and they pay my insurance?” WHAT. NO. “But then how do I pay my insurance?” MOM. LISTEN TO ME. THROW AWAY YOUR BANK CARD. USE THIS CARD INSTEAD. “For my insurance?” NO, MOM. FOR EVERYTHING ELSE. *explains how money works* “Why couldn’t you just give me cheques? This is so complicated!” Mom, we’re giving you more money this way. It’s not complicated. Cheques are complicated. “Well, I’ll take this to the medical office and see if they can pay my insurance with it.” .. sure, mom. Let me know if it works. If you need more help, tell [current elderly man friend] to call me and I’ll explain it to him. “Hah! He doesn’t understand anything, that won’t help!”

As we said our goodbyes, I was slow to hang up the phone. The last thing I heard before my head exploded was “aye yi yi!”, said to her cat and the TV.

Please do not let me have any further brilliant ideas when it comes to my mother.

[end scene]

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the toppings contain potassium benzoate

When we last saw our spunky* heroine, she was stressed the fuck out because of Many Things. Although it’s only been three days, enough of those Many Things have moved and warrant an update of some kind.

  • The completion date of our new place has been pushed out by over two months. That’s bad**!
  • Photographs for our listing are still being taken this week. That’s good!
  • The open house has to move: we’re now going to be listing Sparta in the new year. That’s bad!
  • Ed won’t have to deal with moving in the middle of his Metal Man Cruise. That’s good!
  • I am officially Annoyed to Fuck with my current 3-computer setup. That’s bad!
  • I got a work laptop, so I get my own laptop back for personal use. That’s good!
  • I accidentally bought a new 34″ curved ultra wide super HD monitor. That’s bad!
  • I’m selling one of the aforementioned three computers to make room for it. That’s good!
  • By the time we actually move, some of my stuff will have been in storage for almost ten months and I am vibrating with annoyance over this. That’s bad!
  • Mere hours after my plaintive post about work uncertainty I had a meeting that basically allieviated that stress until at least 2020. That’s really, really good!

So, yeah. Completely grumpy about the new completion date. It’s giving me a whole new exciting set of things to worry about and lose sleep over. On the other hand, the next few months should go by pretty quickly what with all the Fun Times and hand-made tortillas to eat. I’m super angsty, though. Patience is not my strong suit.

*: think less Mary Tyler Moore and more .. sticky

**: This may be a bit of an understatement, as I am literally flipping tables in and with my mind

_tbt_to_when_we_were_creepy_af.

this says it all.

#tbt

It’s October, which means every goddamn thing is pumpkin flavoured. It reminds me of that time I had a Squash Blizzard:

It’s no secret that I enjoy pumpkin pie. I’ve been known to enjoy it year ‘round, thanks to the marvels of deep freeze.

Every year I get excited to see commercials for Pumpkin Pie Blizzards from Dairy Queen. I like pumpkin – I like pie – I like ice cream – in theory, it can only be a small frozen cup of deliciousness. There is no possible way you could screw up something so simple. Right?

Oh, but no. Last year I was delighted to find myself in a position to actually try a Pumpkin Pie Blizzard. I ordered it, almost bouncing with anticipation – pie! Pumpkin pie! Smooshed up into ice cream! This is gonna be SO AWESOME!

As I watched her prepare my treat, I found myself filled with a sudden trepidation. The pumpkin part of the blizzard was being scooped out of a can – okay, that’s fine, I wasn’t exactly expecting them to slice up a pie and toss it in the blender – but something didn’t look right.

I took a closer look at the can she left on the counter. It was pumpkin.

JUST pumpkin.

As in, not pie filling.

As in, canned plain non-spiced uncooked unprocessed pumpkin.

All jack-o-lanterns and delicious fall treats aside, a pumpkin is no more than a festive member of the squash family.

The Dairy Queen made me a Squash Blizzard.

There was a chance I was wrong, but I was pretty damn sure she had made me a blizzard using not pie filling but regular canned squash that may eventually have been turned into pie by someone who wanted to control the flavour explosion but was definitely in no way meant to be poured into a shell and baked at 400 degrees for 45 minutes as is. I didn’t know how to bring it up – “hey, you made my Blizzard wrong!” – so I just took it and went on my way.

It looked about right – orange and creamy with pieces of cookie meant to simulate pie crust. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.

Then I took a bite.

Picture yourself eating a zucchini.

Now picture that zucchini mashed up into ice cream.

Yeah, that’s about how good it tasted. It was fucking HORRIBLE. It was a goddamn Squash Blizzard! It tasted like frozen death! I got through two bites before I had to throw the thing away; the pumpkin was too thoroughly mixed with the ice cream for any of it to be salvaged. I was very sad. My delightful treat turned out to be an unholy terror from beyond the grave.

I hate it when that happens.

#neverforget

punk rock feels

Once of the first (PG13) things Ed did when we started dating was introduce me to punk. Until that point, the only punk I had really listened to was some early Green Day courtesy of a boy I had a huge crush on (which was unreciprocated because his “type” was the complete opposite of everything I am but dang if I didn’t try), so the music Ed played for me was utterly new and totally fascinating. I loved the music, and bands like Descendents, ALL, Bad Religion, Lagwagon, Strung Out, and No Use for a Name became the soundtrack for that period of my life.

Last night we saw the Descendents play the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, and I was immediately hit with ALL THE FEELS for those early, confusing, libidinous days. The show was a bucket list item for Ed, and I’m so glad we went (we have a really bad habit of buying tickets to shows but not going) – they sounded amazing and it was a high energy show with multiple encores. Lots of old songs mixed in with the new, a comfortable venue with great vantage points, and just plain fun to be at a punk show with old friends. I mean, it wasn’t a white boy rap show, but it was still a good time – just faster.

I can’t help but wonder if the not-insignificant amount of longing I am experiencing for the early days of our relationship aren’t caused by the current upheaval in my life, our upcoming Big Anniversary, and my wayward hormones. I recently went through 25 years of non-digital photos to weed out duplicates and things that should never have seen the light of day, so those early years are fresh in my mind. It’d be easy to say “life was simpler then”, but that’s absolutely not true: life was messy and confusing and complicated as fuck. I like the now much better.

I do not know what to do with all of these feels, so I will go back to packing boxes and suitcases. We leave for Ireland in 24 days!

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us in a few weeks

today only: free shattered dreams

I am never going to be a flight attendant, and I am devastated.

Let’s back up a second. I never actually wanted to be a flight attendant – the thought of having to be nice to everyone even when they’re being horrible is why I work from home, alone, in the dark, without pants – but because I’ve specifically been told that I cannot do it .. well, now all I want to do is be a flight attendant. But that will never happen. Because I am never going to be a flight attendant.

We were several hours into our flight to Japan when I needed to pee. I untangled myself from all my cables, shuffled past a sleeping Ed, and headed up to the bathroom. It was in use, so I leaned my tired self against a wall next to the galley to hide the fact that I was doing the pee-pee dance.

I was probably staring blankly at my phone wishing I had internet access when I heard a voice to my left: “ooh, is that London?”

One of the flight attendants was doing galley things, and struck up a conversation about my tattoos. I showed her the skyline tattoo and those of Sasha and Cheddar. She marveled at the work Darci did on my arms, then commented “you know, I just love your hair. And your dress! The whole thing! *gestures at my everything*”. Her voice dropped to a conspirational whisper at this point: “You’ll never be a flight attendant, though.”

I didn’t have time to think about what she just said, as the bathroom finally became vacant and my bladder insisted upon being dealt with. When I had finished, she was nowhere to be seen; undoubtedly disabusing some small child of the dream of being a firefighter or astronaut.

I returned to my seat to think about what she said. Sure, she was very complimentary about my everything, but at what cost? The hopes and dreams I didn’t even know I had? It was like peeking at a whole new world, only to have the door slam shut in my face before I could take it all in. What good is my fun hair, epic cleavage, ridiculous wardrobe, and awesome tattoos if I can’t be a thing I don’t want to be? None. None good.

This could have been me:

BST

picture the exact opposite of this in every way, and that’s me

but now instead this is me:

LMG

again, think in opposites

with a lot of this:

no

EVERYTHING IS SIMPLY TERRIBLE.

aXm6303xjU

it’s the end of the world as we know it

.. and I’m really quite upset about it, thank you very much.

What started as a purely vanity-driven inquiry has turned into the actualization of my biggest fear. It sucks, for so many complicated, irrational, deep-seeded reasons. Let’s explore them!

I saw Dr. Online about some weird symptoms I’ve been having: thirst, a craving for salt, thinning hair, a second head growing out of my left knee. Nothing I found online told me exactly what kind of cancers I had, so it was time to ask an expert .. who didn’t have any answers, so she requested I have some blood work done.

The results came in the next day, and showed that I had too many blood – but nothing drastically alarming, or anything that would account for my symptoms. I was asked to follow up with Dr. Online (who was a man this time), who didn’t see anything unusual in my results .. so he requested a second blood test to see if my levels changed. He also requested a urine test, because peeing in a plastic cup is the most dignified thing you can do in a public washroom. Off I went.

I received a phone call from Dr. Online’s office the day after my tests. No big deal, they said, but you need to go to the hospital RIGHT NOW OR YOU WILL DEFINITELY DIE. Okay then. Turns out one of my bloods was so off the chart I was in immediate danger of falling over all dead. That would seriously put a crimp in my day-to-day schedule, so I packed up a bunch of phone chargers and had Ed drive me to the Emergency Room, one of my least favourite places on earth.

There was a lot of waiting. Someone came around and took more blood (which I am running low on at this point). I peed in another cup – I am not getting any better at it, so I mostly just peed all over myself – and waited some more. Wait, wait, wait. Lots of waiting. Good times.

Eventually, a flesh doctor came in and delivered the news: I have diabetes. Not pre-diabetes or diabetes of the butt or kawaii diabetes, but full-on here’s-your-moustache Wilford Brimley diabeetus.

the internet is an interesting place. i didn’t have to search hard for this image.

So. That was the emergency, then: my blood sugar was in the Danger Zone. They kept asking me if I noticed myself peeing more than usual, which is entirely unhelpful – not only am I on medication that’s SUPPOSED to make me pee all the goddamn time, I have a tiny, tiny bladder. Pee frequency (peequency) is not something that would ever cause me any alarm. The other symptoms I’ve been having are so vague – headaches, grumpiness, lack of sleep, exhaustion – that they can be explained away by anything. I have headaches because I always forget to wear my glasses in front of the computer. I’m grumpy because I’m hormonal and people are jerks. I can’t sleep because I stay up way too late every night playing games on my phone, and I’m exhausted because I’m not getting enough sleep. I’m fiiiiine.

Except I’m not fine, and now I have to go on even more medication and change my lifestyle and not eat delicious things. Also, I kind of hate myself and can’t get past the blame stage: this is all my fault because I am fat and gross and stupid.

Logically, I know better. There are other factors at risk: my age. My mother, who is the Canadian Diabetic. I’m an Aboriginal Hispanic South Asian Asian of African descent. I got them big ol’ depression, and that tiiiny little heart issue. I’m a fatty who really likes garlic bread. The only box left unchecked in the entire “you’re gonna die” list is giving birth to a big ass baby, and frankly I don’t remember what I do every single year – there could have been a big ass baby in there somewhere.

So, yeah. I was always at risk of diabetes, but it was still one of my biggest fears. I’m not so much worried about my health as I am deeply ashamed of myself and wanting to hide in the closet until everything goes away. That’ll work, right?

I’ve never been a big fan of myself, but this is .. something else. But why?

A Tragic Backstory

It’s been drilled into me since the age of 7 that the very worst thing I could ever be was fat. Then, as if to spite my mother, I was a fat child who was fat on purpose, just to make my mother look bad. You can’t love a fat child! No one would blame her if she gave me away. It didn’t matter what else I was – serial killer, bed wetter, space cowboy – as long as I was thin. But because I wasn’t thin, my other qualities didn’t matter. I haven’t been 7 for a very long time, but my mother’s words echo in the darkest corner of my mind and get louder every time I have a bad day. I’m fat, so nothing else about me amounts to a hill of beans. On my good days, I can acknowledge the positive – I can be cute, sometimes I am smart, I have a funny – but even then, underneath all of that, I am a disappointment because I am fat.

I have diabetes because I am a big fat lump who brought this on herself by sucking so hard as a person. The shame is clinging to me like plastic wrap. It’s suffocating. I can’t free myself, can’t see past the behemoth I’ve become. I’ve thrown my life away to be a statistic in US-Fucking-A Today. I deserve this.

I know better, I really do. If someone else shared this news, it would be met with sympathy and encouragement. Those don’t apply to me, though, because this is my fault.

What Comes Next?

I have a prescription to fill, and an appointment with my heart doctor tomorrow. I’ve been doing a lot of reading, and need to stock the house with food I can actually eat. I had planned to clean out the pantry this weekend anyway, so I’ll toss out the snacks and carbs while I’m in there and replace them with .. I don’t know yet. Kale, I guess. Can’t wait.

I need to figure out my head and try to shake off the shame and guilt I feel. I won’t be telling my mom the news – I’m not really in the mood for an “I told you so” lecture. Keeping things from my mother is my standard MO; she doesn’t know about the heart failure (also my fault, obviously). I’m mostly really good at hiding my demons, but this particular one is not something I’ve faced before. This post is basically step one: admitting to myself (and, uh, the internet at large) that I have diabetes. The thought of sharing that – confessing it – to the world sort of makes me want to throw up and die, so I guess I’m on the right path.

Ugh. I really fucking hate kale.

stranger danger

I have pretty severe social anxiety. Meeting new people is my kryptonite; strangers are terrifying and rhyme with dangers for a reason.  They often have candy and vans with blackout windows, and according to the year 2000, every single person on the internet is a deranged sex pervert who wants to chop me up for some sweet Canadian stew. Pretty scary stuff, right? It only makes SENSE to be wary of people you’ve never met. Every one of them is chockfull of BAD DECISIONS.

I’ve been experiencing a low-grade panic attack for the last three days, and it’s getting worse. On Monday morning at 4am, I’ll be making my way to Orlando for a week of meetings. I’ll also be meeting my co-workers in meat space for the first time. We’re all staying in a couple of resort houses, so socializing will be done in a hot tub. And I’m the only woman.

So, let’s recap:

  • Flying to a country in political turmoil
  • With skin an indeterminate shade of brown
  • For work
  • To meet people for the first time
  • In a swamp
  • Filled with alligators
  • Staying in a house with 9 men I work with
  • That has a pool and a hot tub
  • So bathing suits are happening

I am legit terrified. People are scary. What if everyone hates me. What if I say really stupid things and people think I’m an idiot. What if I forget I can’t go in hot tubs and pass out and break my head open on tiles. What if Florida has no Diet Coke. What if crocodiles eat me. What if I get brave enough to put on my bathing suit and everyone laughs at me. What if people realize I have no idea what I’m doing at work and out me as a big faking faker who fakes. What if I didn’t pack enough cardigans. What if I forget my medication and revert to my original form.

WHAT IF.

I hate anxiety. It is a twat.

we are judging you