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

new home, who dis

We’ve been in Halfwack for a month and a half now, and we’re almost entirely unpacked. There are several random boxes in the garage that have no home, but as I located the last of the missing items (three pairs of boots and a picture of oranges – all vital), I find myself completely out of fucks to give about the unpacked and clearly nonessential leftovers. I can’t get rid of the contents – someday I will need my rainboots – but I’m happy knowing that they’re somewhere in the corner of the garage.

We had a whole lot of custom cabinetry put in to make the best use of our space. The very last of the pieces went in last week, and now the garage is outfitted with a workarea and ample storage for garage-type things. The media centre looks awesome, and having a TV again is weird: we don’t have a cable package and the digital antenna only picks up three shopping channels, KVOS in Bellingham, and two Jesus channels. We’re totally set!

Our place is huge, and the novelty of having stairs and multiple floors and offices has not yet worn off. Basically, things are awesome. No complaints.

And yet .. complaints. I don’t know what to do with myself. Since we signed the papers last May, my entire life was consumed with planning and packing and purging. Now that it’s all done (and we’re never ever doing it again), I don’t know what to do next. I was momentarily entertained with vacation planning – we’re going to Europe in late summer – but that’s not for another 120 days. I need to find some sort of mojo to shake this overwhelming apathy. I’m worried that I’ve become a weird hermit who’s rapidly losing touch with the rest of the world – I miss being a vital force. I don’t know what I was a vital force OF, but I feel like I was one and now I’m not and I don’t want to fade away. HI WORLD. NOTICE ME. I’M STILL HERE. I STILL HAVE WORTH!

This is entirely unsettling and it is too goddamn early in the month for an existential crisis. Buck up, buttercup. This is a temporary hump that you’ll get over, and you’ll be back to your usual effervescent self in no time.

.. right? That’s how this works, right?

 

it’s nice here in the sand

You know that thing when you really really have to do something but you are sort of paralyzed with fear and procrastinate for an eternity because you’re scared? Yes, that. Right now. It me.

I need to see a doctor about an alien growth near my armpit. I have an odd mole thing on my upper body that I’ve had since birth: it is a birthmark. However, it is disconcerting to look at. Anyone who sees it tells me I really ought to get it checked out, which happens a lot because I am frequently naked all over the place. The birthmark has all the hallmarks of a Very Bad Thing: it is irregularly shaped, sort of lumpy, and a variety of unappealing colours. I usually ignore it and the repeated advice of “go see a doctor” because I know I’ve had it since birth, and because seeing the doctor for something that looks like skin cancer is scary as hell and I am an ostrich.

It’s been easy to ignore my dark mark (not to be confused with the Dark Mark, or my brown friend Dark Mark) because it was quiet and unassuming and it didn’t really do anything at all. However, it’s been bothering me a lot lately in the form of an irritated open sore. On my irregularly shaped, funny-coloured, lumpy weird mole.

You can see why this is slightly terrifying.

Logically, I know several things. I know I’ve had this birthmark forever, and it’s always been unusual. I know it’s changed shape because I’ve changed shape; it grows and shrinks with my body whenever I decide to diet/forget to eat for extended periods of time/gorge on cheese-filled cheese pies. Lastly, and probably most importantly, I know why the mark is irritated and sore and open: the underwire of my bras end precisely on the mark and rub against it all day long, tearing at the skin and giving me the ow. Everything going on with my mystery spot can logically be explained away, so I have nothing to worry about.

.. right? Looking up melanoma symptoms at 2am when your mystery spot is damp and hurting is not very good for peace of mind. I am worried. Someone please tell me I’m just being paranoid so I can get back to ignoring my various flaws until someone points them out next time I’m naked.

I do not like my dark mark.

screw your way to happiness

Oh, sorry, did I say “happiness”? I meant “searing carpal tunnel pain”. I always get those mixed up.

The majority of our furniture arrived on Sunday, and we’ve spent the last couple of days putting it all together. We went not-IKEA for most of our stuff for basically the first time in our lives, which has been terribly novel due to the lack of flatpacks. Unfortuneately, no flatpack does not translate to no cardboard: last night we threw in the proverbial towel and scheduled a junk removal service to come get it all. This works as a deadline as well, because now we have to get everything put together before they come to get all this fucking cardboard out of our place. There’s so much cardboard. If we weren’t exhausted every night, we could build some epic forts.

Assembling furniture basically means a lot of screws that need to be screwed into various screw holes. The majority of my hand/arm pain comes from all of this screwing, along with a heaping side of lifting and box throwing. It’s caused things to flair up, which is never the good time it sounds like it should be.

I used to have really bad carpal tunnel syndrome, which I eventually learned to ignore when it became evident that this “internet” thing wasn’t just a passing fancy and I’d likely be typing at people for the rest of my life. In addition to the sore legs from walking up and down our stairs dozens of times a day, my arms and wrists have been swollen and stiff for the past week – a pain that was all too familiar. I looked up the symptoms I was experiencing anyway, and after I discarded the ones that claim I’m pregnant with cancer, I found the culprit and went “oh duh”. All that screwing I’ve been doing has caused my carpals to get swole, and it hurts. Please don’t challenge me to a fight, because I am unable to make a fist. I would have to simply bat at you ineffectively while you laugh at my weak fighting style, and then I would cry both in humiliation and frustration. Do you want that on your conscience? I am an ugly crier, so I bet you do not.

It’s been a slow process, but all things considered we’re moving along at a steady clip. My new Lady Cave is fucking amazing, and as soon as I bedeck the halls with art I will share pictures. It is epic. EPIC!

Okay, back to trying to hide swears in this EULA.

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enemy has boxes

NUMBERS!

  • Total number of boxes or box-like things packed: 137
  • Number of boxes with unknown contents: 1
  • Break it down, now:
    • Boxes destined for the garage: 7
    • Things ambiguously marked “Spare Room” but half of them should really be in the living room: 23
    • Living Room things: 9
    • Behold the Kitchen: 31
    • Master Bedroom: 33 (the fuck?)
    • Number of boxes containing Ed’s office things: 4
    • Number of boxes containing my office things: 29
    • I don’t know where this box goes because someone packed it without using my numbering system/spreadsheet and I hate this box it is stupid: 1
  • Boxes with contents listed as “Unmentionables”: 3
  • Boxes containing Cheerios: 4
  • Number of times I predicted I would cry on move day: 3
  • Number of times I actually cried: 1
  • Casualties of War:
    • The large cheap door mirror
    • Ed’s over compensating clock
    • One small glass bowl
    • 5 art prints
    • The bowl for the food processor
    • Another small mirror
  • How soon we’re going to move again: fucking never
  • Embarassing vibrator-related incidents: 1

The move went smoothly and without any major problems. Normally I’d be thrilled with that, but since I’d been planning and preparing for this move since May of 2017, damn fucking RIGHT it went off without a hitch. I’m less giddy with relief and more purring with self-satisfaction: I got the keys for the new home, the closet installers showed up about 5 minutes later, the movers arrived when they were done, the window screen guy showed up to measure the windows, Ed made it in one (frazzled) piece, and the internet was up and working that same day. While I was out getting the keys, the cleaners arrived at Sparta, followed by the carpet cleaners. Everything happened more or less the way it was supposed to, and we are super grateful to Shan who gave up a vacation day to come over and cover the places we couldn’t be and wrangle the cleaners. Shan is the best.

The major thing (which is still pretty minor) that did go wrong on Move Day was an unforeseen circumstance: during the winter rains, our off-site storage locker took on some water and several boxes were soaked and mouldy. The hardest hit box was the large one containing all of the art from my Happy Wall – this was the source of the Move Day Tears. When the movers arrived at Sparta, they brought the wet boxes into the lobby for me to open and go through to assess the damage. Luckily, most of the art seems to have survived: I lost several prints and a frame broke. I think the prints are replaceable (most of them were from Society 6), but the good news is that the completely irreplaceable items – the Aaron Kraten pieces I bought last year, some limited edition Dave Perillo prints, the embroidered pug Heather made me – survived. Given that the ruined prints were in the middle of the box, I am really really happy that the overall damage was minimal.

The new place has officially been dubbed “Halfwack”, because it is half the distance to Chilliwack. You may refer to our home thusly.

We still don’t have our new furniture, which is creating some challenges while unpacking. I can’t set up my office (and am working out of the kitchen) because I don’t have a desk, and our living room is an empty cavern of half-empty boxes. We’re hoping to get most of it this week. The closet built-ins are helping a lot, but I still had to rage purge while unpacking the bedroom: WHY do I have so many goddamn clothes. I purged at least two large boxes of stuff I won’t miss, and have juuuust managed to get everything contained in our huge closet. I’ve been angry at myself for the last several days for amassing so much clothing that I never wear, so I ruthlessly purged and will donate the aftermath. I’m also going to take a serious look at my shopping habits to try and cut back there. I am but one person who generally doesn’t wear much clothing at all: I cannot possibly make use of so many fucking socks.

Ed and I were in Sparta for just under 8.5 years, and in that time we said “we should paint!” repeatedly. Like, twice a year. We never got around to it, so this time we decided to Be Logical about it and we hired painters to come in before our furniture arrived. They came this past Monday, and our walls look amazing. We didn’t paint the entire place because it is huge and we are not millionaires, but we did paint Ed’s office, the guest room, the master bedroom, and one wall each in the living room and my office. I’ll take pictures when everything is all set up (just got word our furniture is coming on Sunday), but it’s important that you know this: my wall colour is “Pleasant Stream”. Make of that what you will.

The cats are settling in nicely. I ended up driving over with all three cats in the mini, and the two boys were NOT. HAPPY. Lemon spent the rest of the week being vocally angry, and Hobbz peed himself multiple times out of fear and spent the first five hours in Halfwack basically catatonic (no pun here, it was really scary). He snapped out of it a bit after Ed showed up, and after that, was completely fine. He’s actually the most adjusted out of all three, which really surprised us. Dilly is afraid of strangers and the unknown so it took her several days to come out from under the bedroom blankets, but now she’s wandering around and looking for places to jump to. She and Lemon are OBSESSED with the master bedroom closet, and I keep having to dig them out of there. We’re gonna end up with child locks on the doors, because the laundry is two floors down and I am not gonna wash all my stuff repeatedly to deal with the cat hair.

Okay, that’s enough words for now. Pictures soon! And a housewarming party! Don’t bother wearing pants!

we’ve already lost half of these

just the essentials

When we move, I’m going to be at the new place hours before anyone else or any of our things. I’m also bringing two of our three cats (the third is easily upset, so he’s staying with Ed) to get them settled in the spare room before chaos descends. To this end, I’m bringing some things with me to make the transition a little easier. Just the necessities – I don’t have much available room on account of the Mini being mini. I’ve packed two small suitcases and have several fabric bins filled with only the most important of moving essentials:

  • Cat food (for sustinance)
  • Cat treats (for bribery)
  • Toilet paper
  • Water dish
  • Litter box
  • Peanut Butter Pretzels from Trader Joe’s
  • 6 litres of Diet Coke
  • A plaid suitcase full of stickers and battery-powered LED lights
  • Two bags of M&Ms (peanut and peanut butter)
  • All of my underwear because it is basically prescription underwear and it’s fucking expensive and I can’t risk having it all disappear
  • Enough portable batteries to last me a week should there be some sort of catastrophe
  • A straw (for drinkin’)
  • Hand soap (not recommended for drinkin’)
  • Blankets to build a fort for the cats, who will want to hide
  • All the medication
  • Most of my makeup because it would be a heinous bitch to replace it all
  • One (1) Bag o’ Laptops
  • Shiny things to keep me amused while I pace the floors
  • A clipboard with all of my spreadsheets printed out so I can cross-reference boxes and locations when the movers arrive
  • Socks (it’s been a long time since we’ve had hardwood floors; my feet will get cold)

It feels like I might be missing something, though. Have I forgotten any must-have move essentials? Keep in mind that the entire rest of my life will only be 2-4 hours behind – I am just Super Organized, and like to be ready for anything, everything, and all the What Ifs in between.

Two more sleeps, and so much to do between now and then.

giphy

patron saint of our new home

 

 

t minus two

I’ve been meaning to post about our upcoming move for a while now, but seeing as it’s less “upcoming” and more “two fucking days”, I’ve sort of run out of time. For everything. AHHHHH!

After learning that completion of our new place was going to be delayed by a couple of months, we held off on the original plan of listing Sparta for sale in November. There was slight concern that selling in the new year would be more difficult, but we didn’t really have a choice: the show must go on, and we needed the money from the sale of the condo. Luckily, our realtor MJ is a superstar and with her heavy guidance, we made Sparta look as attractive to outsiders as possible. I had assumed that the giant yeti would make an excellent selling point, but MJ disagreed so the yeti had to go. He’s currently enjoying a life of leisure in Sardis, with Shan’s mom. We visit from time to time.

Giant Yeti

yeti days (featuring yeti for days)

The listing for Sparta went online without a hitch, and the open house was held the first weekend in January. It was a pain in the ass – not only because we had to keep the place SPOTLESS while we were still living in it, but also because we didn’t want to leave the three cats in the unit while it was being shown. Ed and I gathered up the cats and supplies and camped out in the garage in our cars during the two open houses. They were not happy. Lemon was so stressed out he actually bit me at one point, so I brought him back upstairs figuring he could just hide in the bedroom while people poked through our home. It was a great plan; one that lasted for 15 whole minutes before MJ texted me: Lemon was perched on the bed hissing at people when they tried to go into the bedroom. We had to take him back downstairs.

The plan was to hold a second weekend of open houses if no one showed any interest in Sparta, but we got an offer on Sunday evening and after a little back and forth, we had an offer we were happy with. Papers were hastily e-signed, and by 10pm that evening, Sparta was sold. Conditions lifted a week later, and things became a hell of a lot more real: it was time to start* moving.

*: technically I had been moving since the previous May so the sale just made me move faster

Now that we knew what we were looking at moneywise, it was time to spend it all. We ordered an entire house worth of new furniture, have made 5 trips to Ikea to date, and had a clearance sale of our remaining items that almost ended in a restraining order because the internet is a terrifying place. The plan was to take our entire bedroom and set it up in the guest room, but I used heavy logic to persuade Ed that a couch/bed solution would make way better use of the room. Wheels were dealed, and our truckload of furniture should be arriving in Vancouver sometime between today and Friday, to be delivered to us in our new home next week.

We’re two days away from moving. The house is 99.4% packed – all that remains are some bathroom items, the reduced contents of the fridge, and the cats. I have an enormous spreadsheet with all of our box contents, a timeline for the move, a list of rooms and measurements, a list of furniture and measurements, a site map, a legend for my box and room coding system, and several postal codes because we can’t determine which one is the correct one. We’ve enlisted Shan to help us out on Move Day, because we can’t be in three places at once and I had to cram a lot of things into a four hour window. Friday is going to be a finely choreographed ballet of super tight timelines and stress. I can’t wait! I get to see all my STUFF again! It’s been SO LONG!

The new home doesn’t have a name yet. I’ve been toying with “The Hive” on account of the bright yellow door, but we’ll see. Sparta was only named thusly because 300 was on TV the night before we moved in, so perhaps something equally catchy will land on my face on Thursday evening.

Stay tuned for house warmings!

I_admit_it_the_only_reason_we_re_moving_is_coz_I_need_a_bigger_wall.__happywall__supportartists__wholelottaholes_preview

oh, i can’t wait to see you again / it’s only a matter of time