Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Adventures of Cripple McGee


So I woke up early this morning, and, like any other morning when I have to work, I dashed to my computer and checked all my emails & things as quickly as I could. With about 10 minutes until my shift started, I stood up from the couch & was about to head into the bedroom to change into work clothes quickly.

Before doing this, I stretched. It was a really awesome stretch, it started at the base of my spine and went all the way up to my neck. It felt good.

That is, until something in my neck decided to yell, "POP!" and then send shooting pain through my neck and head. The pain was so bad I literally fell over screaming (luckily the couch was right there). Even once I was laying on the couch, my neck hurt so badly that I couldn't stop swearing, moaning and whimpering. I immediately called my friend Mary, who was supposed to be working with me that morning. I let her know what was going on (it was too early to call work-- the phones are shut off until exactly 9 AM) while somehow managing not to scream in pain while I spoke.

Jay woke up at the sound of my protests, and came out to help me. He brought me frozen waffles for my neck (apparently our ice pack is MIA) and called some people from work to see if he could get coverage for my shift. Then he took me to the ER where they gave me some meds, advised me to rest, and sent me on my way.

Jay has been totally awesome throughout all of this (he carried my purse, took care of filling my prescriptions for me, made sure I was all situated on the couch with pillows, a blanket, the xBox, my laptop, cigarettes, meds and plenty of things to snack on and drink.). He's even working the rest of my shift at work.

I, in the meantime am lying here wishing I could move without pain. What good is a day off if you can't get stuff done?? I'm really bad at just relaxing. Thank God the muscle relaxers knocked me out for a few hours earlier, otherwise I would never have even slept.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

This actually just happened:

I had to call my credit card company because they gave me a $40 late charge for a payment that was ONE DAY LATE. ONE DAY! I thought you had like a 7 day window with these things (most other credit card companies do.) and, I was having a hard time with my online bill pay (it sometimes refuses to let me into my account for days at a time.) so I didn't realize I was paying a day late. I thought it was due on the 1st of June... it was really due on the 31st of May.

ANYWAY. I called about this last week, spoke to someone who tried to transfer me to the bill pay department to see if they could do anything about it. The bill pay department was conveniently closed. So today I called back.

I explained my situation to a woman who obviously was not sympathetic, yet kept saying, "I understand your frustration." She also kept telling me that my other payments had been late (I've been paying on time for months now-- it's a very large payment & it's sometimes hard for me to come up with the whole amount in time.) and basically just was being a douchebag.

I explained how hard this was, and that I was only ONE DAY LATE, and couldn't she make an exception since the Online Bill Pay (run by the same company!) was down for days?

She explained that there are many different ways to pay a bill. But, honestly? If you use Online Bill Pay 100% of the time-- what are the odds you're going to use something else when you still THINK you're paying your bill on time? Plus, phone payments hit you with a $15 additional charge.

She basically was like, "tough, a $15 charge isn't that bad." (You have $15 extra dollars? Great! put it towards my bill, then.) and she kept repeating that there are many different ways to pay a bill.

Finally fed up, I screamed into the receiver,

"THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT WAYS TO HAVE SEX, TOO, BUT DO YOU TAKE IT IN THE ASS EVERY NIGHT?!" made sense at the time. I'm pretty sure she didn't understand.

(Seriously. Just because there are lots of ways to do something doesn't mean that I'm not going to do it the way that I'm USED TO most of the time.)

Hey look, I wrote something!

I joined a writing group in an effort to get my ass into gear. This is my first response to our writing prompt. I've been sitting in a coffee shop for nearly 3 hours writing it. Enjoy!

Karl vs. Routine

The acne covered stockboy returned from the back room with as little enthusiasm as when he had left. He shook his greasy haired head from side to side and told the man standing before him, "Sorry, we don't have any." before walking away without offering further assistance.

Karl Jones' heart nearly stopped. They didn't have any? How could they not? That wasn't possible! Convinced that the first stockboy hadn't really looked sufficiently, he cornered a nearby manager and barked his original request at him. The manager sighed and retreated to the back room, where he made absolutely certain that the first stockboy was correct. Karl waited outside, tapping his foot impatiently. It was almost 10 AM, which meant he had to get home shortly to begin weeding his garden. He didn't have time to waste-- his entire day would be thrown off if he didn't get home in time.

"I'm sorry, sir." he offered once he returned to Karl, shaking his head as sympathetically as he could manage. "but we simply have no white paint."

NO WHITE PAINT? In all 80 years of his life, Karl could never imagine what would cause a store to run out of white paint. In all 80 years of his life, Karl had existed only between his sparkling white walls. They were clean and calming, ageless and comforting. And of course, like anything in an old house, his clean white walls often took on a more dingy look as the years progressed. Times like these called for a fresh coat of paint, which Karl applied slowly and lovingly, caressing those old familiar walls with a paint brush as one might touch a lover.

But now? Now what?

Karl wandered the store, trying to formulate a plan. His dingy walls simply could not wait another day for a coat of paint-- and driving to another town for paint was out of the question. Eventually he found himself again facing the aisles of different colored paints. He marveled for a moment at the many different hues, wondering how it was possible to have every color of the rainbow but not his beloved white. His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the loud whir of a paint mixer, and he turned to see a young girl expertly pouring and mixing a shade of robins egg blue for a young couple nearby.

She looked up from her paint and gave Karl a bright smile while pausing to brush a strand of hair from her face (her hair, like the paint, was also all colors of the rainbow. Karl would normally have disapproved, but something about the genuine quality of her smile melted him a bit inside, and he found himself smiling back.) before saying, "I'll be with you in just a minute, sir."

Karl waited until she was through, and then approached her. He tried to explain his situation the best he could, but couldn't help feeling a little bit foolish when she looked up at him, the same winning smile on her face, and suggested, "Why not use another color?"

Karl felt himself stammering for the first time since high school. He tried in vain to make her understand the hidden benefits of the crisp, clean whiteness that enveloped him... but she wasn't buying it. He wiped a bead of sweat from his forehead and asked her with pleading eyes if there were possibly two colors she could mix together that could make white.

She giggled at this, and again Karl was embarrassed. He just wanted WHITE. Why was this so difficult? She grabbed his hand and pulled him down an aisle. "Have you heard of Feng Shui?" she asked him, bringing him to a display of the prettiest colors in the store. He had not, and although he agreed with her that the colors were beautiful, he couldn't in a million years picture them covering his walls.

"Listen," she explained, pulling a pamphlet off of the display. "different colors can actually amplify different things in your life. Like... painting a wall green or brown in the East, South, or Southeast area of your house will increase the energy of health and vitality in your home. And light yellow creates stability."

Karl wrung his hands in distress. There was no way any of these colors were going to make an appearance, whether they changed his life or not! He was a simple man and he saw absolutely no reason to mess with a good thing. His walls were WHITE. They would stay white as long as they were his walls.

Suddenly, the girl let out a gasp and grabbed at a paint swatch. Excited, she held it up to Karl's face. "This one!" she shrieked with excitement. "According to this, this blue will bring you calmness and refreshment. And it matches your eyes!"

Her hand brushed his cheek as she held the swatch near him, and with the static of her touch, he realized then why it was he felt so drawn to her. Her eyes and her smile were almost exactly that of his late wife, whom had departed this world over ten years ago. His beloved wife, who had become just as much of a constant to him as his white walls, until one day she was no more. It had been quite a blow to him, and although he still missed her with all his heart, it had been her time to go, and he had eventually learned to continue his life without her.

His wife had been a bit like this salesgirl... trying to budge Karl from his daily repetitive, safe routine. One Sunday morning she had insisted that they go feed the mountain goats their breakfast, instead of lounging around with the paper and attending Sunday Mass. Other times she would wake him up at 5 in the morning just to huddle on the balcony under a blanket and watch the sunrise. She had teased him about his ways, but always gently encouraged things more exciting. Most of the time, Karl had rolled his eyes and dismissed her ideas-- sometimes they even annoyed him.

Now, he wanted nothing more then to have her by his side, suggesting they catch fireflies in a jar or drive to a random location on a tattered road map just to have a change of scenery.

With tears in his eyes, he purchased the blue paint that matched them. At home, as he painted over the 80 year old white walls, he hoped that his wife could see him now.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Things I wish my apartment had:

-Free laundry! I don't mind doing laundry constantly, but making sure I always have quarters is a real pain, especially when I'm broke.

-walls I could paint. Seriously, white walls drive me CRAZY. They're okay in some rooms, but in all of them? Noooo.

-A space out back where I could start a small vegetable garden.

-A second bedroom that could be used for creative space... I'd move my sewing machine and all my painting/writing/photography stuff there. It's currently all clogging the already clogged living room, and it's not exactly condusive to getting work done.

-A new couch, preferably one that folds out into a bed if we wish to have overnight guests.

-A new mattress that doesn't hurt Jay's back so much.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dear customers:

When you ask "What time does the pharmacy close?" and I answer, "Ten o'clock." there is no need to confirm, "The PHARMACY closes at ten?" English is not my second language. I heard you the first time. I am not mistaken. YES, the pharmacy closes at ten.

Sometimes when I ask you to spell your name, saying things like "B as in boy, R as in rooster, o as in ostrich, w as in William, n as in Nancy." doesn't help. Especially if you say "B, B as in..." then you have me spelling your name BBROWN. Do not be offended if I have to ask you THREE times even after you think you've made yourself clear.

Sweetheart, I am so sorry about whatever happened to you. But the Plan B pill is not affective 6 weeks after the fact. You have to see your doctor at this point. This is a situation where procrastination is REALLY inconvenient.

Sir, I've been waiting on you at least once a week for three years. NO, I am not new. Way to be perceptive.

That "flashing thing" you saw in my coworkers hand? It was a SCANNER. We use it to ring out prescriptions through the register. I know computers may confuse you, but we have to use them to keep track of inventory. The "flashing thing" was NOT a camera, and my coworker is NOT taking a photograph of your credit card so that she can rip you off.

Hi, Mrs. Smith. Your husband left his wallet here? Yes, he just came in looking for it 10 minutes ago. He didn't find it. We didn't find it. How can I help you? Your... husband left his wallet here? Ma'am, it's not here. He already came in and checked. (WHY ARE YOU CALLING? Did you think he didn't ask the right questions?) Ummm... do you want me to take your phone number in case we find it? Okay. Okay. Good.

No ma'am, you cannot pay for those Oreo's with foodstamps. Or those cigarettes. Or that makeup.

I am sooooooooo sick of my job.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Good news...

The "power team" I referred to a few posts down?
It's back together.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Jay & I are back together.
You may rejoice now, as this means all writing of depressed, sobfest blog posts will come to an end, and I can actually resume writing about my ACTUAL life again, and not my weepy delicate feminine crushed feelings.

I hope you are all as excited about this as I am!
(I love this picture because we a) look like we're in the 80's and b) look SORT OF like ourselves, but mostly... not.)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

coffeeshop, 9 AM

I was supposed to meet a guy to finish up my employment paperwork for camp today, but he never called to confirm and never showed. So instead, I'm hanging out with my netbook, free wifi, and an expensive "50/50" (half orange juice, half Ghiradelli white chocolate).

I'm sick as hell right now, I woke up nearly unable to breathe. I hoped this drink would help, and maybe it has a little bit. I have more meetings to go to today, but I just want to crawl back into bed.

I should be staying at this coffee shop and working on the next great american novel, though. I just don't have it in me today.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Bucket List:

Today at work we were discussing quitting smoking. A guy that I work with is in his 60's with COPD, but he still smokes and doesn't plan on quitting. He said something like "why bother, I probably only have a good 10 years left anyway."

Eventually I said something along the lines of, "Well, who really knows how much time we have left anyway? Any one of us could go tomorrow."

This led to the compilation of "Bucket Lists". You know, a list of things you want to accomplish or experience before you kick the bucket?

I eventually got everyone who was working to at least start writing one. For future reference, here is mine:

-Backpack through Europe (this could be an entire different list within itself-- there are SO many things I want to do and see in Europe that I didn't bother to list them all.)
-Snorkel in Hawaii
-Get married in Vegas
-Bungee Jump
-Meet David Bowie, LeVar Burton, Tim Noah & Bill Nye
-Publish a book
-Graduate college
-Get out of debt
-Swim with dolphins
-Learn to drive stick
-Grow my own vegetables
-Learn basic car maintenance
-Start a family
-Own a house
-Live in an artsy town
-Go camping
-Own a coffeeshop
-Ride in a hot air balloon
-Learn how to work a pottery wheel
-Tackle Thanksgiving dinner
-Get in shape
-Get a pet
-Take ballroom/swing dance lessons
-Show my photography/art in a gallery
-Visit four corners
-Go to Coney Island
-Take my mother to Ireland (hopefully next Spring if I can save up some money!)
-Learn how to shoot a gun (well)
-Go on a whale watch
-Go inside the Statue of Liberty
-Ride the London Eye
-Go ice skating at Rockefeller Center
-Eat at the Cheesecake Factory
-Learn French
-See the Aurora Borealis
-Defend someone's honor
-Avenge someone's death
-Drink REAL Absinthe at the bar Absinthe in Amsterdam
-Eat in a spinning resturant
-Learn how to speak up for myself
-Have a threesome with Asian from nail salon (this is a specific girl, not just a general racist statement. I don't usually like girls but she's amazing.)

What's on YOUR bucket list?

oh, hey! Positive.

In GOOD news, I got hired for a Arts & Crafts Director job at a small summer day camp near me. The program is only a week long, but I am SO ridiculously excited about it.

Also, I've lost 23 pounds since my weigh-in at the doctor last year. And the size 13 pants I bought 2 weeks ago are ALREADY too big. I'm hoping they'll shrink in the wash-- because although I LOVE an excuse to buy smaller pants, I also hate having to spend money on new pants every week!


I can't help but feel that no one understands me lately.

I know that's not really anyones fault, I don't hold it against them. But it's making me feel very, very alone. One of my best friends suggested "don't you think it's time to move on?" and I couldn't even bare to respond to her. No. I don't want to move on... I just want us to get better. I want to fix where we went wrong and I want for us to be able to make each other happy. There's just been so much bullshit thrown in that I don't know what to do.

There is SOMETHING that could be done, or said, to make this all okay. To turn this all around. But I don't know what it is, and that's killing me.

I've always been a firm believer that 'love concurs all'. I could have absolutely nothing else in my life, but as long as I had love, everything would be okay. Yet in this case, we both love each other and that's just somehow not enough.

I am tired of being heartbroken. I am tired of crying and hurting and putting on a brave face. I am tired of hearing him call me his 'friend'. I am tired of mixed messages. Actually, let me rephrase that. I am tired of the NEGATIVE messages. The words 'i've been thinking of getting back together with you... I miss you' and 'i feel like i'm just waiting for you to say the right thing...' are permanently etched in my ever-hopeful heart. It's the negative messages that hurt. When my mind thinks, "but wait... didn't you just say...?" and I don't know what to believe.

I know this is just as difficult for him as it is for me. I know it's difficult for me to see beyond my own pain.

But goddammit I just want to make this better. We were a power team. I am lost without him.