Not Dooced…

April 28, 2005 at 11:30 pm (Uncategorized)

My boss came in today and told me to cut out the IM and “diary thing.”

It was disheartening but I wasn’t “dooced.” *Sigh*

Don’t be upset with my boss, I’ll be the first to admit, as I already have, that my work has not been up to par recently. It is still my job. They still pay me. I must acquiesce, for now.

Before that, I was looking at the Millennium Tarot set featured in the post below and clicked on “free reading.” It randomly selected cards and then you could click on them to see the meanings. Guess, what I got in my “present” position? Just guess. Awwwwww, come on, guess…

All right, it was the farkin’ Tower card again. Now, I clicked on the “free reading” for fun but when I saw The Tower I just said, “Okay, I get the message.” Interestingly enough, the “mundane meaning” was along the lines of “a new and exciting journey” or something like that but also listed the standard “higher meaning” and the “reversed meaning.” So, okay, upheaval, intense somethingaruther, now you’re starting to scare me. Naw, that’s actually horseshit, I’m not. Its all about perception. Okay, so life might serve me a basket of lemons, I’ll make lemonade. Brave sounding aren’t I?

Really, I don’t see it so much as a warning as opposed to… a hey, hold my beer and watch this! Like, yo! You are not going to believe this shit! Pay attention this is gonna rock. your. world!! Aren’t you guys excited??? Upheaval awaits! Change is afoot! My new and exciting path lays before me!

You know the shit of it? Its never really that exciting. I mean, you expect, literally, like it is on the card, lightening is striking, and the flames are burnin’, people are bailin’ out… but in reality, its much more in the moment and hopefully there’s no flames, unless its some dude’s clothes.

Okay, enough of that. Since I love you peeps and I’m exhausted and still have to pack and all that jazz, I thought I would post the first two chapters of my erotica romance novella over at my NaNoWriMo site linked on the right. Its become a catch-all for meatloaf and tarot cards, not to mention the beginning chapters of MikeyJames and the NannerPeach. I really love that story, I’m going to work on it… not right now… later.

Peeps, I’m out. Have a wonderful weekend.

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Dimension – Part 2

April 27, 2005 at 9:45 pm (Uncategorized)

Death. It has preoccupied my mind lately and I have wondered why. Because I’m boarding a jet plane on Friday? I’ve wondered and wondered and wondered. I even gave instructions to a very trusted friend and blogger, and now two, on what to do should I not make it to my destination. That’s scary isn’t it? What’s scarier is knowing I will indeed look death in the face. As I have looked it in the face numerous times this year.

I’m talking about a tarot sort of death. The Death card.


Image by Dorothy Krause

Death is the 13th card of the Major Arcana and corresponds to the astrological sign of Scorpio. Small wonder. The Death card is sometimes called Transformation as well. It is the card of rebirth. When I see the Death card in a reading, I am well aware that change is afoot. Part of me, or the person I’m reading, will die. They will shed some part of their skin and be reborn.

I can honestly say, were I to pick one card to represent my year, from May 27, 2004, until today, and up until May 27, 2005, the Death card has been MY card. I do feel reborn. As though I creep closer and closer to the person I truly want to be.

However, its this card, The Tower, which causes the confusion and trepidation.


Image by Dorothy Krause

Its number 16 and is ruled by the planet Mars, the ruling planet also of Scorpio. I dread this card. The Tower means upheaval, re-evaluation, necessary change yet that change is dramatic and sudden. But… what to think when it appears in a reading in a very positive position. The position of “what is going for you.” Not that the Tower can’t be a positive card, it can be. It can show us that this shocking moment can and will create new opportunities and make us stronger and wiser. Change is essential or we stagnate.

I talked to Celti about the Tower being in this strange position. Most of the time its in either the “past,” “near future,” or “distant future” positions, not a position in which the connotation is so positive. Ugh, so confusing! I’ve pondered the meaning over and over, as I have not pondered a meaning before. If I have pondered in the past, it is because I was too stubborn to accept the interpretation. Especially when the cards have spelled out how my own desires have clouded my judgment and warned me that it would end in ruin, destruction, and devastation. It has happened every time. No matter how much I imposed my will for it not to.

Does the card mean, in the position of what I have going for me, that I simply weather the upheavals of life well? Is this tenacity being pointed out to me to show that change is good, even dramatic change? Is it to remind me that even as I approach one thing in life that means so much to my heart, that I am not finished? That it is not time to become complacent and change must continue to endure? Or… is it to tell me that I am a catalyst for change to others? That I should not underestimate or devalue my impact on those around me?

Or is it? All the above? I am certain of one thing. I will find out and when I do, I will die and be reborn. Yet, I am also cognizant of what Phoebe wrote today (how thankful I am to the timeliness of this), that our “perceptions do not define Truth” and no matter how certain we are, certainty is subject to forces much bigger than certainty itself. Just another reminder that change continues, whether we allow it to swirl around us or sweep us up and away. Whether we instigate it or resist it. Whether it is welcome or dreaded.

Change is upon us.

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Dimension

April 26, 2005 at 9:35 pm (Uncategorized)

Have you ever been going along and stop and wonder if you’re where you should be? Do you find yourself wondering why traffic seems lighter? Have you stopped and looked around wondering where everyone has gone? Why is everyone moving so slow when my mind moves so fast?

I did this today on my way home from work. The streets just didn’t seem to have as many people as before and the traffic back up on the Interstate doesn’t seem to be as bad and hasn’t been for a couple of weeks now. Maybe its been months.

My job doesn’t suck. I don’t suck at my job. We’ve just become incompatible. I sit and stare at the work knowing what I must do. Knowing I’m fully capable of knocking those two three-inch folders of medical records out but I find myself not giving two shits about the case. I feel sympathy for my client but I already know about toxic mold. I know how it comes to be and how hard it is to eradicate and you’re just better off building a new house and heaven forbid it should get in the duct work.

I know I’m doing a shitty job. My boss isn’t leaning on me too hard but he’s noticing I’m not turning over my work like I used to. And the shittiest thing is … I rarely, if ever, work to my potential. I don’t have to. They’re happy with 75%. To them it seems to be a 100. I seek ways to stimulate myself, none of which has anything to do with work. I can do it. But I don’t want to.

One of the other paralegals, Dee, drug in this morning late and just looked at me with disgust in her brown eyes. I asked her what was wrong and she said, “I just didn’t want to be here today.” The secretary said the same thing. A malaise has descended on us. Or perhaps they have caught it from me. Dee has been a paralegal for over 20 years. She told me the other day she was just sick of it. I failed to ask what she would do if she didn’t have to worry about supporting her husband.

That may be out of line on my part. Although, that empathic part of me says she bargained for something else other than she received and she’s too tired to buck it.

All of my vibrations have been centered on one thing and it seems as though my spirits are sitting back in breathless anticipation ready to pounce when the time is right to advance their agendas. They don’t always agree. Nothing like a spirit fight to get the blood pumping. I hate having to referee the voices in my head. Perhaps I shouldn’t say they’re sitting back… its more like they’re holding back, circling like a pack of jackals, waiting. I mean that in the most positive way possible.

One part of me says I need to stick to what I know and I need to make money if I’m going to move. Yeah, this is true. The other part says I need to stop blogging so much, stop having the comfort of writing a stream of conscious missive instead of something I have to think about and develop. Not that telling a story and writing like this isn’t good, it is. But it has its pitfalls as well.

I found my erotica novella in hard copy and set about reading it and naturally, editing. It feels good. It feels good to look at this thick pile of papers and know that I wrote all of those words. I wrote them and they invoke passion and sadness and joy and excitement. And so many other things.

That is so powerful. I just can’t waste that gift.

(To be continued…)

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Bet You’re Wondering…

April 25, 2005 at 11:30 pm (Uncategorized)

What I’m gonna blog about… well, I dunno. Let’s just go along and see what happens. See, its not that I don’t have ideas its, well, there’s just too many. Or they’re just short. Or they sound good in my head but don’t transfer to paper well. So, maybe I’ll just talk out of my head.

My topic right now is ‘Ted.’ Ted came up in conversation last night and I just thought of him again. There are some famous Teds. Ted Bundy, Ted Koppel, Ted(dy) Roosevelt, Ted Kennedy, Sr./Jr., Ted(dy) Pendergrass, Ted… Ted… ummm… Ted-d-d-d-d *pbbfffbbbtt* Okay, enough Teds. Ted and I met by accident. He thought I was someone else, and I thought he was someone else. We were at the big band festival in a town nearby but he lived quite a distance away where my parents live now! We exchanged addresses and became pen pals.

I was very, very sweet on Ted. He was my first love. No, he didn’t love me back. He joined the service, met some other chick, and buh-bye Nanna. We had a terrible falling out over that (he called and said, “Hey, I’m getting married.” Ever feel your heart drop to your feet? I didn’t take it well and I think my next letter was full of pain and anger and he wrote back that I was inconsiderate and immature) and eventually I threw all of his letters away. You know, for some reason, I would really like to read those now. It would be like a time capsule in a way. I remember we used to find new ways to say good-bye in foreign languages at the end of our letters.

But there is something else I remember about Ted. He was a FUCKING TERRIBLE KISSER!!! Oh my God!! HORRIBLE!! Let me explain… he had very thin lips, which is fine, BUT, he didn’t use them, he used his entire mouth. Have you guys seen the commerical where the cartoon dude is brushing his teeth and he opens his mouth to get the back teeth and its like his face just flattens out and its nothing but teeth? That always reminded me of Ted. He was like a fucking python, unhinged jaw, dark beady eyes… YIKES!! He would use his teeth to scrape from under your nose and part of your chin up to your mouth with plenty of tongue, but it never went IN your mouth… it just kinda slimed around on the outside.

Damn, I had some serious chapping problems. Its like, you get a tube of Chapstick © and use it on your whole face, right out of “House of Wax” with Vincent Price. (Killer flick – Muwhahahahahaahaa)

Lemme tell ’bout the Meatloaf Man. My girlfriends, Beki, Kelli, and myself, were out running around one night and stopped off at another friend’s house, where I promptly fell alseep. Kelli woke me up and told me it was late we needed to get back to her house where we were all spending the night. It was probably about 2:30-3:00 a.m. Now, Kelli was older than us but lived with her dad and stepmom after her divorce and she had two kids to raise. Her step-brother and step-sister lived there as well so we didn’t want to disturb anyone coming in.

Kelli lived in the ritzy hill section above the city where there is never any parking. I found a spot about four cars down from her place and as we got out of the car we saw a figure standing under the streetlight. He raised his hands like a grizzly bear and came towards us mumbling about something. Beki told me later what she heard, but I didn’t really hear shit. I had it in my mind that we three could take him. Problem is, the girls had a different idea. Flee!

When Beki grabbed my hand the phenomena of what I called “transference” occurred. Before she touched me I was perfectly calm and ready to take this son of a bitch on. The moment her hand touched my arm though, she transferred all of her fear through it and into me. I froze. The next thing I remember Kelli and Beki are dragging me behind them down the sharply inclined driveway with Meatloaf Man in hot pursuit.

The space between the car and the carport was barely big enough for a normal sized person to walk and they bounced me between the two like a pinball. As luck would have it, the front door was unlocked and we got inside and shut the door in Meatloaf Man’s face. He started pounding on the door, cussing, telling us to let him in. The most incredible thing is… we had not murmured a sound up to this point because we didn’t want to wake up Kelli’s dad and get in trouble!

So, we got Meatloaf Man at the door. It was one of those with the three diagonal windows. Kelli is on the phone, or rather she picked the phone up and asked, “What’s the num-ber? What’s the num-ber?” I stage whispered, “9-1-1! 9-1-1!” Beki is holding her shaking hands out in front of her almost hyperventilating. As soon as she had let me go, I was back to, “We can take him!!” I grabbed the nearest weapon, a 14 ” cast iron skillet, and told Beki to “open the door.” She just stood there shaking. “Beki, open the door, open the door, open the door.” I had the skillet drawn back like a Louisville Slugger and all I needed was for her to open the door and let him in so I could nail him.

Instead the door to the basement opened and scared the shit out of all of us. It was Kelli’s dad and he had a shotgun. He walked over to the door and parted the curtains with the barrel. Meatloaf Man began apologizing and ran away. There were 50 cops on the hill within three minutes yet they couldn’t find this dude, dressed in ‘grunge,’ who looked like a very dirty, nappy haired version of Meatloaf.

Um, excuse me… wrong Meat Loaf! Can I get some help here?? Geeez Louise, gotta do everything myself.

Here he is. Hey, he looks good here. Anyway, seems that Meatloaf Man and one of his buddies had walked into the house and were eating my friend’s fried chicken!!! This was about 30 minutes after we left so Kelli’s dad was already on the look out when he heard us in the kitchen. When the cops asked us for a description the three of us said, “He looks like Meat Loaf!” Then we continued with the, “nappy hair, nasty, foul, dirty” description.

Not long afterwards, I read an article in a local gossip rag where a guy had pulled a knife in a club. He was described as, “a very nappy haired dude who looked like Meat Loaf.” Indeed, our Meatloaf Man.

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Cuz Nanner Luvs U!

April 22, 2005 at 2:57 pm (Uncategorized)

I’ve been a paralegal for 8 long years. In that time, I’ve dealt with quite a number of death cases. Whether they be misdiagnosed or undiagnosed cancers, slip and falls of delirious elderly people who have been given the wrong dosage of medication (or just the wrong medication for that matter) resulting in broken hips, accidental overdoses, and, of course, car accidents.

Then there are the ones who haven’t died. The ones with life-threatening lupus, toxic shock syndrome, broken bodies put back together by wires and plates and screws. The severely mentally incapacitated young man who was allowed to swallow a glove (yeah, a glove, a yellow plastic Playtex© glove). The list goes on.

Because of this experience, I have researched different types of diseases and their symptoms, read, quite possibly, over 50,000 pages of medical records, medical journals, and expert reports, that I should at least qualify to be a physician’s assistant by now. I have researched front impacts, side impacts, air-bag deployment, seat belt failure, and blood alcohol extrapolation (understanding how and at what rate alcohol leaves the blood stream). I have other bits and pieces of information stuck in my head from other random cases and things I’ve picked up along the way.

That’s what I would like to share with you today. These bits and pieces, some of which may appear to be common sense, others which are not, starting with:

HIGHWAY SAFETY:

* Seatbelts do save lives. Only a small percentage of deaths are caused by wearing a seatbelt. I’ve never had a client die from wearing one, but I’ve seen them die from not wearing one.

* Wear your seatbelt correctly. The lap portion should be as low around the hips as possible, the torso belt should rest snugly against the chest and shoulder. If you’re taller, shorter, skinnier, fatter than a test dummy, they make all sorts of contraptions so it does fit. If the lap belt is across your stomach it can cause injury during an impact. Do not place the torso belt under your arm or behind your back. If its under your shoulder it can cause severe impact injuries to the rib cage resulting in internal injuries and one or more punctured lungs. (I’ve seen it happen.) It’s also useless at preventing the head from hitting the air-bag, steering wheel, or dashboard. You will be ugly for a long time, dead, or a vegetable.

* 18 wheelers will win. Learn where their blind spots are. If you can’t see them, they can’t see you. Speed up, slow down, do whatever is necessary, but do NOT travel in their blind spot. If they want your spot on the road, give it to them. I know, they can be really rude, but sometimes, they just want over so as not to interfere with the flow of traffic. If they hit you, you will have a very, very bad day. They will win. Let me say that ONE MORE TIME… THEY. WILL. WIN.

* Watch tractor-trailers especially in tricky curves. Their loads can shift causing them to tip. Again, you will not win. Back off and give these big trucks some space. If one of them squashes you, you won’t survive to make it where you’re going anyway.

* If you’re in a situation where one of these big guys is across the road in front of you, or any other big truck which sits off the ground… pay attention children… steer for the tires!! STEER. FOR. THE. TIRES. If you don’t, your vehicle will be carried underneath the frame rendering practically every single safety feature on your vehicle useless. If you hit the tires chances are better that your crumple zones will crumple, your air-bag will deploy, and you’ll survive.

I learned that from a volunteer fireman who was involved in this type of accident. He survived, barely. A young woman in the same situation was carried under the truck and was killed.

* Along those same lines, when you brake sharply the front end of your car goes down. If you hit anything taller than the front end of your car, the air-bag sensors will not go off! This happens especially with car/truck head on collisions. When the front end of the car goes down, the truck can override the hood area. This is bad. What to do? I don’t have a good answer for this. It’s the same reason good people instead of drunks end up dead or with broken bones. We’re coherent and brace ourselves. The drunks don’t. My best advice… be a sober drunk.

* Sit as far away from the steering wheel as possible. Two reasons: 1.) Air-bag. Most air-bags are deployed by “rapidly oxidizing solid rocket fuel” in 1/30th of a second. You don’t want to be sitting too close to this phenomena. 2.) The closer you sit to the steering wheel/dashboard increases your chance of impact injuries, especially that nasty “blunt force chest trauma.”

Regardless, I’m sorry to report, there are some impacts which will cause death regardless. Remember, your body, internal organs, and brain are still traveling at whatever speed the car was traveling and the rapid deceleration will cause all of your organs to be crushed against your skeletal system. I know… ugly thought. Slow the fuck down.

* Side impacts are more likely to cause severe brain damage, even at low speeds. An extra second at a stop light can save your brain. There is an intersection near my home where people continue to make a left turn across a busy two lane highway without being able to see oncoming traffic for a variety of reasons. The speed limit there is 50 mph. Typical speed is 60 mph. Imagine… again, ugly thought.

* Motorcycles can stop A LOT FASTER than a car. If ya wanna tailgate… tailgate a big rig, not a motorcycle.

* Do not attempt to jump from a moving vehicle at any time. This is only for stunt people in movies. If you still insist upon doing so, do so on the open road and not in the woods where you can then become trapped between said moving vehicle and a tree. Yes, I’ve seen it.

* Don’t drink and drive. I guarantee your blood alcohol level is higher than you think it is.

MEDICAL TREATMENT:

* Always have an advocate to be a royal pain in the ass for you. Make this someone who is not afraid to confront shitty nursing care with an “in your face” style. I’m sorry Jamie. The nurses around here really, really suck!

* If both of your parents die from colon cancer in their late 50’s/early 60’s and it’s the kind that is in the UPPER part of the colon, which causes practically NO SYMPTOMS until its too late… have a colonoscopy immediately!! Yes, one of our clients had both of his parents die within two years of each other from the same type of colon cancer and NEVER HAD A COLONOSCOPY!!! Until… it was too late. Research shows this type of cancer begins with polyps in the patient’s 20’s. EDUCATE YOURSELF!!!

* Auto-immune disorders (lupus, hypothyroidism, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis) in your family history cause other auto-immune disorders. Example: My grandfather had lupus. My mom and aunts have hypothyroidism, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Their children do too.

* Yearly check-ups, period. Monthly breasts exams, period. Monthly scrotal exams, period. Yeah guys, I’m talking to you. Come on! Feel yourself up, I know you want to!! Here’s how I see it. It may be embarrassing and uncomfortable for some doctor to stick his finger up your rectum, it may be embarrassing and uncomfortable to have a cold, slimy “metal snatch spreader” (thanks Brighton for those LOVELY words) shoved up your twat, and as you get older it only gets worse, but how embarrassing and uncomfortable is it to have your testicles removed? Or your uterus? Or any other body part? Cancer happens. We can do some things to prevent it, but a lot of the time, we just need to catch it!

Case in point: A friend of my family thought since she wasn’t having any more children that she didn’t really need to have that yearly pap smear. She thought that for seven years until the back pain she was experiencing became so intense she finally had to go to the doctor. She had spinal cancer which had spread from her uterus. Her goal was to live long enough to see both of her daughters graduate from high school. She only made it for one.

Case in point: Lex’s father had a sore come out on his shoulder that wouldn’t heal. He kept thinking it would get better. By the time he did go to the doctor he had advanced malignant melanoma which had already metasticized. I believe he died within a year, maybe two. Lex now wears long sleeves year round and basically lives like a bat because he is terrified of it.

However, I also aware there are peeps like a man from my community who went to give blood, they found leukemia in his screening, and he was dead within six months. Or my Grandpa, who hated doctors, never had PSA screening, or a colonoscopy or any other type of health screening and still lived to be a healthy, ornery, 85 years old.

But hey, let’s catch what we can.

* Know your body. Whip out that mirror and take a gander at your nether regions and your back. If you get the feeling something is not right, how are you supposed to know what looks ‘normal’ if you don’t see it when its normal?? Guys, I’m talking to you too.

* If you have the “feeling” something is “not right,” trust yourself. Trust yourself and advocate for yourself.

PERSONAL SAFETY:

Cosmopolitan magazine has an article this month about rape. We all know to watch ourselves on the streets, parking garages, lock our car doors, etc. They point out how unsafe we are at home. I can’t tell you how many times I get out of my car, walk to my front door, less than five yards away, and never look around me. Even at night. Why? Because, I’M FIVE YARDS FROM MY FRONT DOOR!!! I have neighbors on either side of within five yards. I’m totally safe… right?

What do you think? I didn’t get to read the entire article but the tagline was enough for me.

*****

That’s all for today. I hope you guys and gals have a safe weekend… and don’t forget to feel yourself up!! (For some reason “preview” and “spell check” are not coming up… enjoy my mistakes.)

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Some Days…

April 21, 2005 at 1:32 pm (Uncategorized)

you just can’t win….

Medical Provider: Hello. Thanks for calling BADHEALTHCARE. All representatives are busy. Your approximate wait time is … one minute.

(Jeopardy music plays)

Bored Voice: Hello, thank you for calling BADHEALTHCARE, this is Bored Voice, how may I help you?
Nanna: I needed to check the balance of an account.
BV: Are you the patient?
Nanna: No, its for a client.
BV: What’s the account #?
Nanna: 123-456-789
BV: The name on the account?
Nanna: John Doe
BV: Your name?
Nanna: Inanna Moon
BV: Your phone number?
Nanna: (123) 456-7890
BV: Are you with an insurance company?
Nanna: No, an attorney’s office.
BV: Oh, I don’t handle attorney accounts. You’ll need Bored Voice Department #2. I’ll transfer you.
Nanna: Thanks.

(Phone ringing)

BV2 Dept.: Hello, you have reached BADHEALTHCARE DEPT. #2. All representatives are busy at this time. The approximate wait is … three minutes.

(Musak plays – four minutes)

Bored Voice 2: Hello, this is Bored Voice 2, how may I help you?
Nanna: I needed to check the balance of an account.
BV2: Are you the patient?
Nanna: No, its for a client.
BV2: What’s the account #?
Nanna: 123-456-789
BV2: The name on the account?
Nanna: John Doe
BV2: Your name?
Nanna: Inanna Moon
BV2: Your phone number?
Nanna: (123) 456-7890
BV2: The name of your firm?
Nanna: Best Attorneys in the World
BV2: And you represent Mr. Doe?
Nanna: Yes.
BV2: I need you to verify Mr. Doe’s address.
Nanna: 123 Curvy Mountain, Road, WV, 25000.
BV2: And what is Mr. Doe’s current phone number?
Nanna: (123) 987-6543.
BV2: What is Mr. Doe’s birthdate.
Nanna: (What the fuck?? Is this a loan application?) 10/10/10
BV2: And what are the last four digits of Mr. Doe’s Social Security Number?
Nanna: (SIGH) 9630
BV2: Date of service:
Nanna: 06/06/04
(click, click, sound of typing… paper’s shuffling… typing…)
BV2: I’m sorry that account has been referred to LMNO for collections.
Nanna: I see. Can you verify the amount of the bill though?
BV2: (pause) Its been referred for collections.
Nanna: I understand its been referred for collections, but can you verify the amount of the bill from your records?
BV2: You’ll need to call LMNO Collections. Their number is (800) 678-4321. Thank you for calling BADHEALTHCARE. (Disconnects call)

Nanna: (fuming – dials number)

Bored Voice 3: You have reached BADHEALTHCARECOLLECTIONS. All representatives are busy. Your approximate wait time is … six minutes.

Nanna: GAH! (leans back in chair to take short nap)

(Repeat convo with BV2 – until…)

BV3: And you’ll be issuing payment of $300.00 on this account?
Nanna: Yes.
BV3: And when will that be?
Nanna: Within seven days.
BV3: Why so long?
Nanna: Do you want your money?
BV3: Well…
Nanna: Then you’ll wait another seven days.
BV3: Well, you’ll need to make the check out to BADHEALTHCARE but send it to BADHEALTHCARECOLLECTIONS at 666 Satan’s Spawn Ct., Kill Devil Hills, NC…
Nanna: I’ll do that.

(Nanna takes settlement sheet to Captain)

Captain: (Points to BADHEALTHCARE amount) Does that account have a guarantee from us?
Nanna: No, but its still outstanding.
Captain: He doesn’t want it paid.
Nanna: I thought he said he wanted his bills paid off.
Captain: He said he wanted his guaranteed accounts paid.
Nanna: Well, moth-er fuck! (grumbles about wasting time on cheap clients)
Captain: What we have here – is a failure t’communicate!

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*Sigh*

April 20, 2005 at 12:38 pm (Uncategorized)

You guys remember this –

If you’ve just joined the program, those are french-beaded flowers, just like the sunflower in the previous post. Beaded flowers, unlike the necklaces I made for Zelda and AJ’s daughter, Amy, and unlike the projects I’m currently working on which involve a lot of beads and a lot of thread, beaded flowers are made from beads and wire. The beads are strung on the wire and then they are twisted and curled into the shapes of the parts of a flower, then assembled with more twisting and floral tape to create what you see in that picture.

It is labor intensive. I made it for these peeps. Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Actually its for my host father and mother, Horst and Erika, top row from left to right. Beside of my Mama is my brother-in-law Frank, my brother Michael, and my brother-in-law Donnie. (I just visited him and my sister Claudia, in purple sweater, and my nephews, Andrew (with glasses) and Justin, while I was in TX.) To the left in the green is my sister Marion, in the middle, poking her head between her great-grandsons is Oma Benzinger. I blogged about her here.

Oh yeah, this is my German/American family, the one’s I stayed with during my year abroad. Claudia and Donnie met while I was there and married in 1991. Anyway, back to my french-beaded flowers. Labor intensive bastards. That’s a really crappy distorted digital picture but since I forgot the bouquet at my real Mom’s at Christmas and she told me she would send it out and then she didn’t and now… ahhh… this bouquet is no where to be found. It is lost. She says she must have given it back to me. I have no idea. I just know… its not here!! And my house is… A DISASTER AREA!! *help*

As for Jen’s sunflower, I have completed the center portion. I think it looks awesome but that’s just me. I’m biased. Then imagine my dismay when I realized I had no fucking yellow beads. The ones in the rose bouquet would be the perfect shade of yellow too. The only yellows I have are a mustard yellow, as seen here, in the bracelet I made for CooterAng.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
The browns you see in this photo are also the browns I used in Jen’s brooch. I had already used the mustard yellow in the center of the sunflower. I also have a very light yellow bead but I need a vibrant, bright yellow bead. I know, “Hey Nanner, just run out to Wal-Mart and get a couple packages of yellow beads.” Bite. Your. Tongue.

It may not be apparent from the photographs, but the beads used in the roses are a size 10, whereas the mustard yellow beads used in Cooter’s bracelet are an 11 and the two shades of brown are 12’s or 13’s. That’s freakin’ tiny… and they make them even smaller. Now, I just can’t run out and use a big ass size 10 with these teensy tiny delicate 12/13s. Someone else might not know the difference, I could yap about “creative license,” but the reality is… I’m anal. So, its back to the bead store at noon or there abouts to see if the new beading store has any opaque yellow beads, preferably #721.

Oh, yeah, and remember from yesterday about how I worked on this piece and then it ended up messed up and how I had to trash it? Well, I remade it yesterday. The first one was too big, this one was too small… but to hell with it. I decided I would try and loosen a base thread (bad, bad) but it worked so… nah. I also noticed this morning that it looks sort of like… a vagina. Maybe that’s just because I’ve got a doctor’s appointment…

Speaking of annual check ups… I’ve found a ribbon pattern which can be used for all of the ribbon campaigns (pink, yellow, red/white/blue etc.) so I thought I would give that a try. I gotta go. Yearly duty calls. Please, squirm uncomfortably, I will be.

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Its All In The Numbers… And Other Sundries

April 19, 2005 at 10:40 am (Uncategorized)

Gallon of high test gasoline: $2.49
Gallon of milk: $3.23
Gallon of Go-Mart coffee (based on price per 16 oz. cup): $6.40
Gallon of bottled water (based on price of 16 oz. bottle): $10.32
Gallon of Starbucks coffee (based on price per 16 oz. cup): $26.00

I’ll have a cup of high test – straight up.

*****

Whoa, newsflash on the beading information highway! I was working on a bracelet last night and screwed up, meaning I had to trash over three hours worth of work. No, there was no way to save it, I tried. The good news is… as I sat looking at my disaster, it tickled that little part of my brain still functioning and realized I had stumbled upon the answer to another dilemma. That dilemma was how in the hell to make a brooch for Trashman’s wife and it not weigh a thousand pounds and be easily bent. Remember what I’m making? Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Except brooch size. Wearing a brooch means it has to be pretty durable to hugging and brushing up against things. I’m not so sure the french beading (that’s working with beads and wire) was exactly the best idea. But HA! Due to my other fuck up, I have found a way. I may incorporate both wire and thread but I’m really excited and already have part of the center finished. So, all other beading work has halted until I get this done. Should be in TX well before Mother’s Day.

*****

Nate was supposed to have baseball pictures yesterday and I lost my keys. Now, I could have walked him to the baseball field but … his uniform was LOCKED IN THE CAR!!! Must have been a reason we weren’t supposed to be there because I found them a half of an hour after we were supposed to be there. Still pissed me off at the time. Of course the spot I found them was somewhere I had looked five times before, just not with the right roll of the eyes, position of my mouth, and depth of my scowl. Oh yeah, and the moon wasn’t full and in is now in Aries instead of Taurus. Pffft!

*****

My house is still a disaster area. Sigh. I’m not budgeting my time very well. I need to write up a schedule I guess, one that includes housework. Cybele will tell you and I’ll tell you, the Flylady is the shizzet!! I love her and I want to be like her. One day… I can dream.

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This and That

April 18, 2005 at 1:58 pm (Uncategorized)

Troy

Went to see Troy this weekend. We met in Lexington, Virginia, burial place of General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson. Did you know he was mortally wounded by his own men and had to have his left arm amputated? Its buried behind a 7-11 somewhere. He’s buried in the… get this… Stonewall Jackson Cemetary. How original is that??

Beautiful, quaint, friendly southern town. We spent the day shopping and eating. Originally I wanted to go to this particular hobby and craft store but we couldn’t find it and ended up in a variety of other establishments, including a store called, “Celtic Tides,” where we purchased a celtic cross, necklace, and a lapel pin with my family surname on it with a brief explanation as to origin and meaning – no small wonder – my surname means, “defiance.” (Celti, you would have been in 7th Heaven!!) Troy also found some old vinyl records at an antique store.

At another store, where we purchased a Traveller’s Writing Chest (guess who that was for?), the lady began talking to us and Troy told her he was on his way to Afghanistan shortly, she looked at him and said, in the most sincere voice, “May you be safe, and thank you for your service.” I could tell he was touched. After we left I passed along all of your well-wishes and he smiled and thanked me… and now I thank you.

Oh, and that original craft/hobby store? We found it. The bottom floor is 70% BEADS!! BEADS!! I also found some Das air hardening clay and a new bead book. I hope to go back there. In the meantime, I’ll be using the beads for a multitude of projects. I’m still working on the one choker, a bracelet, and amulet bag. I’m selling all of these. Poor Troy, he’s so left-brained he has no concept of this type of creativity.

The Relic

It was fairly anti-climatic dismantling the relic. I didn’t even have to use the damn crowbar. I used a $2.00 screwdriver from Dollar General and puny Nanner muscles. I will probably use a crowbar to further dismantle parts of it. I had no film but I will at least take a picture of the pieces. It became apparent this will be a rather long project.

More Projects

* I’m attempting to fix my dryer. I know its not the thermal fuse. With my luck, it is indeed the heating element.

* Cleaning the computer/laundry/craft room. See, I can’t work on the quilts if I don’t have my table. No table… no quilts. I still need to send swatches of the material I have received from Trashman and Cybele to Angi to see if she can further match for me. Perhaps I can do that while continuing to get this room into shape. I have waaaaaay too much junk!!

* Beading, even more beading… lots of beading. I’m going to try and get enough together for some summer festivals and things. There’s a big Arts & Crafts Fair every November in the capitol city. I’m not sure how much a booth is but I’ll have to see if I even have enough that if I sold every piece I could get my money back from the booth. I’m thinking of combining projects and doing a series of amulet bags using quilt patterns as inspiration.

* I’m also going to try my hand at sculpting faces for bead dolls. I suppose they would be similar to Aimee’s sister’s dolls except they would be made of beads. Well, I guess they would have similar faces. I’m not so sure how this is going to turn out. Should be interesting to see.

That’s it from my end of the world. Hope you guys had a good weekend!

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Is This Allowed?

April 15, 2005 at 8:01 am (Uncategorized)

I talked to AZ yesterday for the first time in at least two months. Normally we don’t go that long without talking to each other. I had reminded myself several times to call him before my trip but it didn’t happen. As I was talking to him, I was also chatting (via IM) with il mio amore and was reminded how very lucky I am. Lucky things never worked out between AZ and me.

As I told my mother more than a while back, I was glad she showed me exactly what type of relationship/marriage I DIDN’T want and how that made me realize if I were ever with AZ romantically, I would be as miserable as she is. I know that’s not very nice but its the truth.

My mom and I had a series of unflattering words when I returned from my trip. She was unhappy with the fact that I informed her I was contemplating, with no real set plans, to move. She said, “Well, you don’t have to leave the state.” Yes, I’m afraid I do. Its not that I’m sick of being here. I love West Virginia, even though she’s dying and has been for quite some time. Kristin was kind enough to send me a thorough review of life in her Texas town and do some job market research. I’m waiting on the 2004 Census numbers to come out so I can compare cost of living for Austin, San Marco, Houston, San Antonio, and the area I live now.

When Trashman gets time to take a deep breath, I’ll ask him for the low down on Austin and perhaps he’ll cajole Jack to look around his area. I have Brighton, my sister, and Zelda and Jethro in the “Triangle of Power,” that is their residences form a nice triangle in different areas around Houston.

Texas is not the only place I’m looking but all of the places are to the south, southwest, or just plain west of where I am now. Its a lot to think about and I was talking with AZ last night about my house and what I should do with it… re-finish the hardwood or carpet it? Tile in the bathroom? New toilet? What about that porch? I appreciate how he’s willing to help me. He’s jealous of my plans. If he were not so heavily invested in the area, he would have already flown the coop.

As for my mom, she wanted to know what would happen if I moved. Who would help me?? Who the fuck helps me now? The babysitter. I hear they have those out-of-state. Nate’s dad runs hot and cold in the assistance department. Sometimes I think he is coming around but he doesn’t have any stamina. Other than that, I depend on my friends. It was Bob and T-Bird who helped me put in my hot water tank. Its my neighbors who watch my cats. Then my mom asked, “Well, just who would you stay with when you come home to visit?”

I said, “What are you talking about?”

“Well, you would rather spend time with your friends than your own parents!”

Here it is my people (as Jeanette would say), that’s it right there in a nutshell. Its not about missing me or Nate, or our happiness, or what better opportunities are out there for us, its about her. I know I won’t explain this correctly but the statement she made above is so indicitive of her, her mentality and attitude.

She’s jealous and she was mad at me for going to see AJ, and she was mad at me for going to Louisiana and Texas to visit my friends and relatives. She is this way because she’ll never have the balls to do it herself. She lives a half-life. I haven’t told her about il mio amore. He’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of, everything I’ve ever wanted. I never knew that caring so deeply about someone could be so peaceful as opposed to the angst-filled, anxiety-riddled, insecure fiascos that have plaqued my life before. My cup runneth over.

I don’t ever want to tell her. I want to wallow in my happiness and peace and not have to worry about bracing myself for the inevitable shit storm. As always, I’m very non-traditional. Did I also mention that I’m totally incapable of deciding anything for myself? Obviously this “moving thing” was someone else’s idea and I’m being “influenced” by outside sources. I am being influenced. I’m being influenced by you, bloggers. I’m being influenced to live my life, be happy, and successful, and that I deserve those things.

When I told her I quit smoking, she asked, “Well! What made you do that?” This coming from a woman who is a very verbal opponent to smoking. I’m sorry peeps if you got the wrong idea about me. I really can’t make any decisions for myself, I have to be made to do something or influenced by an outside source. So sorry I’m not who you thought I was. *dripping black sarcasm*

Now, add to it the fact my dad has been having pains underneath his right arm and down into the ribcage since DECEMBER. No, its not his heart. We don’t know what it is. Why? Because he’s too cheap, CHEAP!, to ask his doctor for a chest x-ray prescription. He wants to wait until he can have it done a hundred miles away for free at the VA hospital, where they are more likely to kill you than cure you. My Dad has silicosis overlaid with asbestosis.

These two conditions put him at an increased risk for lung cancer, gastro-intestinal cancers, heart failure and, the worst, mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelial tissues, the thin membrane linings of the lungs, chest, abdomen, and heart. The average lifespan following diagnosis of mesothelioma is six months. Meso is caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers and I describe it as “cancer on crack.” When Troy worked in the private sector, he represented people with meso and he said the longest he ever saw anyone survive with it was five years. He said he had no idea how the guy lived that long and what life he did have was very unpleasant.

Given how my Dad’s general physical condition has deteriorated recently, I fear something more terrible has taken hold of him. As Trashman noted in this post, there are supposedly seven stages of grief or the process one goes through when dealing with chronic illnesses etc. I, like T-Man, just skipped a few. No need for shock. I already knew a lot of the men my dad worked with have asbestosis. Denial? No. Anger? HELL YES!

Yes, I was angry!! I vented long and hard to AZ in a letter about it. So much so, he actually called me and asked if I was okay and then listened as I ranted and cried some more. I am still angry in a few ways but not like I was. Guilt, bargaining, depression… no. Acceptance. Aw hell. I accept the fact my father’s life will end well before it should. I accept he may not live to see any of his grandchildren graduate from high school. I hate it. Its easier though because, even though he doesn’t like it, my Dad is very matter-of-fact about it. That’s not to say he accepts it but he’s also not the type to sit and feel sorry for himself. He just keeps going.

Perhaps his quasi-acceptance makes it easier on me. Perhaps its my faith that makes it easier. There’s one thing though…

“When I die, you will need to take care of your mother.”

My Dad told me that within a few months of being diagnosed. At the time, I figured that was my lot in life. I love my Dad. I love my Mom. But I’m not doing it. She’s a grown woman in good health and is fairly sane. I refuse to make myself responsible for her happiness. That’s what it boils down to. This is a woman who the last time she came to my house wouldn’t even come inside because it didn’t meet her standard of white-glovedness. She literally hasn’t been in my home for 4 1/2 years, YET, bitches because I don’t go to see her enough.

Don’t even get me started on the discrepencies between how she treats me versus my brother. I could have told her, when she made the remark about me liking my friends better than her and my dad, that she really didn’t make much effort to a) be likable or b) see me. She refuses to “soften” the impossible high standards that I will never meet. Even more interesting is her assertion that I will indeed answer to her for the rest of my life for the mere simple fact that I am her daughter. If she wants to feed me, clothe me, put a roof over my head and wipe my ass… sure, I’ll answer to her, until then, she can want in one hand and shit in the other and see which gets full fastest.

I’ve been made to feel most of my life that somehow my mother’s happiness is tied up in my actions, if not the very core of who I am. I didn’t know at the time I started blogging that I would shed that responsibility. They continue to try and thrust it upon my shoulders. I’m not taking it. I can’t make her happy. Regardless of what happens with my dad, I refuse to be responsible for someone else’s happiness, her’s especially. That’s what my dad meant though, when he said, “take care of her,” he meant, “provide for her emotional needs – at whatever cost to yourself.”

No.

Just, no.

Not over, just over for now.

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