Saturday, March 25, 2017

S%@T I Did Not Buy

I know I will probably be showing my lack of worldliness and sophistication because I don't know the true translation of these words, but come on.

Gelees already implies gelatin, one of the world's most disgusting substances. ("Hey you know what I think would make an AWESOME desert?  Boiled cows knees!") 

These people just go ahead and put it right out there. The truth, nothing but the truth.

Morbid Gelees.  Really?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

On My Phone Issue

So it’s Mardi Gras day.  I’m in Rouse’s (a grocery store) looking for something yummy to take to the Biloxi parade, where I will be with my Mom, brother, sis-in-law, Nieces 1 and 2, and the whole in-law clan.  It should be a fun day.  I am marginally excited (I mean, I am up early and in a grocery store, I’m as excited as I’m gonna GET about that), and then…

I need to call my Mom to get her approval on what I’m getting.

I need to call.  CALL.  On the phone. 

I’m standing there looking at the trays of mini muffulettas, looking for the phone icon on my cellphone, which I have hidden from normal view for reasons which will soon become evident.  I see that my hands are shaking.  As I look at my phone, a woman comes up and grabs all but 1 of the muffuletta trays, so I panic and grab the last one, then go back to trying to call Mom. 

I could go to recent calls and just click that, but that is a facetime, not a regular call.  I don’t want to facetime in the grocery store.  I’m not THAT girl.  So, I figure out how to call her.  My anxiety at this point is about a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10.  She answers, I say hey, she can’t hear me, we talk over each other.  My anxiety is now a 6.  OK now we can hear each other, so I start telling her about the mini muffulettas, and then the call drops. 

Now I’m at about an 8.  She immediately tries to call me back on facetime.  I bite her head off (completely undeservedly) and say I don’t want to facetime in the middle of the grocery. I’m sure she thinks I’m just being bitchy, and I AM.  What I can’t explain is that I am now at a 9, and my brain has taken me smack-dab back to September of 2005, sitting in a mildewy hotel conference call surrounded by 10 or more phones RINGING OFF THE HOOK, and on the end of EVERY one of those calls is a person with a story I am not equipped to hear. 

I get the stuff at Rouse’s, all while reliving those calls and stories in my head.  I am thinking about those calls at the checkout.  I’m thinking about those days after on the way home to my Mom’s cottage.  I am thinking about the worst of those stories.  Seeing, in my head, the scenes I can’t ever forget.  Thinking about all those people.  All those animals…
I can’t control it. 

I get to Mom’s, and I’m down to about a 5.  My hands are still shaking a little, but I have done some serious soul-searching in the meantime and I have come to some realizations. 

1>     I’m an accountant, not a psychiatrist, but I think this may be some legit form of PTSD.
2>     I very much feel like I don’t have any RIGHT to have any form of PTSD. I didn’t lose anyone. I didn’t lose my house, my business, my car, my school... I didn’t have to deal with insurance companies.  It only took me a few DAYS to find out that everyone in my family was ok, not WEEKS.  I feel like I don’t DESERVE the knot in my stomach.  I haven’t earned it. 
3>     Then, I think about one of the youtube videos I watched recently, I wish I could remember who, and her words came back to me…
“I feel guilty for feeling this way, but the fact of the matter is, this is still the worst thing that has ever happened TO ME. So, I feel the way I feel." 

And you know what?  She’s right.  Yeah I’m going to continue to feel horrible that I have any stress about the issue at all, but the fact of the matter is this:  I was in a situation over which I had no control and I was woefully unequipped to handle.  Now, 11 years later, the reminders always bring some certain level of stress. The vacant lots where houses once stood (there is one directly across the street from my house) keep my anxiety present, though at a low level.  But the phone.  OMG the phone. 
For weeks after the storm, I talked on the phone. For HOURS – at least 8, sometimes 12, sometimes MORE- EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.  To people who had lost everything.  To the woman who climbed in her attic to escape the flood and had to watch her 80-year-old mother drown.  To the woman who was staying at a friend’s house when someone else staying there committed suicide. To the man whose dog died along with many others in the back of a semi-trailer full of pets being evacuated when the air conditioning went out in the trailer and the driver didn’t know. To the people who had lost their houses AND their jobs, and maybe did not know if everyone they loved were even alive. To people crying, sad, panicked, terrified. Just terrified. 

All day. Every day. And the phone connections were HORRID.  Dropped calls constantly.  Busy signals, busy signals, busy signals, CALL CANNOT BE COMPLETED, static.....static...

I was not equipped.  I broke out in hives from the stress and had to get steroid shots.  I looked like I had the measles.  That is the only time that has ever happened to me. 

My job during those calls, as a Federal Financial Institutions Examiner, was to get these people – these scared, devastated people – to open their financial institution.  Sounds callous, right?  But it truly wasn’t – their members were also devastated and scared and needed access to their money.  We got that job done, and I am still not ready to really talk about that part of it.  The point is, people got to their money, we tried to help in any way possible, and we did everything we could possibly think of to do to ease the burden of what we were asking.
Again let me say - I am an ACCOUNTANT.  Once, I had to take a personality test for work.  It ranked 50 personality traits.  Empathy was one of the traits.  It was number 49 on my list. 

And yes, I supposed that probably APPEARS true, but I think it is actually a rebound result.  I think perhaps I have purposely suppressed my empathy as much as I possibly can in order to just FUNCTION.  It still peaks through where I can’t control it.   I can’t watch anything on TV where an animal gets hurt.  I can’t even watch Bambi.  It tears my HEART OUT and I can’t take it. I can’t STAND to see anyone in actual physical pain, or even watch an actor pretend to be in physical pain. Any scenes like that just play over and over and over on a loop in my head until I feel like I’m losing my mind.
And as for actual, real-live people being in emotional pain?  Well, I’ve just been able to pretty much AVOID that my whole life. 

Except for after Katrina, when I had no choice but to talk to people and hear their stories and cry with them and be scared for them.  It ripped my soul out, and still does. 

The other day I was in a store with Mom and my friend Shannon when the talk amongst the patrons and owners of the store turned to Katrina.  After just a few minutes, my anxiety was at about a 6, and I just walked outside and removed myself from the conversation.  I can’t always do that. 

My point is this:  My lingering anxiety about this is real, I can’t control it.  Yes, I still feel incredibly guilty for having any anxiety about it at all, but there is it.  I was thrust in to a situation I was not equipped to handle, and I did not handle it well.  A ringing phone, a bad connection, a dropped call, all bring it rushing back to me and deposit me right back in to the hotel conference room.  I can still hear the pain in those people’s voices and see it in their eyes when I finally did get to meet with them. Yes, they were work associates, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t care deeply about each and every one of them.  And I still do. 

And NO, none of us are “over it yet”.  None of us ever will be.  

Call me a weenie, a wuss, over-emotional, whatever.  You can do your part in keeping my anxiety under control by 1> TEXT ME, for the LOVE OF GOD, just TEXT ME 2> Do not say things like “aren’t y’all over that yet”, and 3> if you do see me panicking on the phone, just pat me on the head and tell me it’s all going to be ok.  One of the positive lessons I learned through this experience (and yes, there were many) is that a little bit of compassion really DOES go a long way. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

SIDNB Feb 2017

And now for the return of  everyone's favorite blog feature.....

I am currently in Dallas helping proctor a test for work. Proctoring is a fancy word for "reading instructions out loud and making sure people don't cheat." It is only for two nights, and the hotel gift shop has red bull, so it's all good.

Last night my new friend OHR Lauren and I went took the hotel shuttle over to the Galleria Mall. (I know a lot of Laurens. This one shall be known as OHR Lauren, since she works in OHR.) We walked around for several hours. She turned me on to some new products at Sephora, we looked at all the super cute jewelry in Nordstrom and elsewhere, ate great pasta (believe it or not) at a restaurant where we could watch the little kids taking their ice skating lessons, and got free froyo at the yogurt shop because it was National Froyo Day or somesuch.  It was pretty much an awesome, easy, fun evening.

In one of the little shops (I don't remember which one), I spotted a clearance room in the way back of the store. And in this clearance room, OHR Lauren spotted one of the best SIDNB's ever.


That, my friends, is a spray painted tree branch, with sparkly bit stapled on the end. On clearance for $88.88. My mind boggles.

While I'm at it, Here's another Thing I Did Not Buy at the airport:  

WTH is "Real Fake Gum"???

Monday, January 30, 2017


Sunday 10:21pm
plenty big, comes in 22 colors
I like the second one
yeah I kind of really like that one too
Not so much
I like this best I think, and it's cheap enough to buy 2 to layer
We dont want 2 bedspreads
We want a bigger version of tge green knit one and a bedspread
I like the second color of the stripe one or the grey
Either one
K. Like sage better.

Monday 1:01pm
Hi love
Hows it goin
I miss you
Hey hon, miss you too
I am trying to find good gel insoles
on amazon
I am trying to find a bedspread
you don't like that striped one?
I like it ok
I just think it is too much
the one you showed me last was 100% polyester
which... the green one we have now is 100% cotton with poly fill

so I dunno how it would feel
but is it 100 for the striped one?
yeah cotton would be better
everything I like is too freakin short
I'm back to the JC Penney one. all cotton
but I think I like the red one better. It's cheerier, and it would layer with either of the ones we already have
so you don't like the neutral?
I just worry the red isn't going to look good against all that dark wood. we don't really have a lot of red anything.
the quilt we already have with the birds on it has the same colors as this - some read, some blue, brown, green, coral
the neutral one - oooo is that what you meant by the 2nd one?
I could live with that
and yeah actually I think that would look better with the sheets
I didn't even really look at that one before
yes that is the one I meant by second. Sorry didn't remember thename.
it isn't cool like the blue/green one, but not as bright as the red one
I see now
but if the red ones will make you happy, then get them.
now I like the neutral better haha
hmmmm now I like red
how do you still love me
I think to myself, "What would Jesus do"
omg you just almost made me spit protein shake all over my computer in the middle of class.

Friday, January 27, 2017

No, Jason, You Cannot Just Draw Boobs

My spouse is ever suffering, ever tolerant of my whims, indecision, general scattered-ness, and lack of ability to complete a project. 


There are a few things that drive him nuts, and he is usually really good at gently but firmly talking to me about them and helping me get back on track. 

Example of his tolerance:  There is still a giant pile of mulch in the driveway I promised to move to the backyard.  I have stuck the stakes in the ground for the mulch holder, and that is where that project ended in oh.......November?  I'm GONNA DO IT!!!  I really am!!

Example of his intolerance:  The empty frames in the living room.  I blogged about them in 2013.  YES 2013 SHEESH GET OFF MY BACK!!!

They drive him nuts, but I pretty much don't even see them any more.  I DO (really - I do) constantly look at pictures of frame galleries on pinterest and think about what I may want to do.  But I can't commit.  PART of the reason is that when I do think I may like something, I don't think he will, so I do nothing. 

And then today, we had the following discussion on the FacePage (My Dad never could remember "Facebook".  He called it "FacePage", or "MyFace", or perhaps the most accurate..."FalseFace")


OK OK I'm going to fix this frame situation.  ACTUALLY, I just last week hit the FRAME JACKPOT at American Thrift Store.  I bought like 8 million frames - GOOD, solid wood frames WITH GLASS and mats, for $48.  (Ok well 13 frames, not 8 million.  Same thing.)

Now I just need to take them apart, paint them with the miraculous wonder that is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, put them back together, and figure out how to arrange them on the wall.  THEN I will be ready to put something in them. 

I mean, how long could that take?  Like a day?  I anticipate this whole wall art project will be done by the end of February at the latest. INCLUDING finding or making the art to go IN the frames.  Who wants to take that bet?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

TWITCH (not the amazing dancer who I love)

There is a building in which I spent a lot of time. I will leave the name and location of this building a secret, to protect the innocent. The building is very nice. I love it. It is like home to me in many ways.


One feature in this building makes my eyelid twitch a little. I point this out to people often, but they generally just look at me like I need to find a new hobby.

So please tell me, dear readers, would this not make you nuts?

Here's the situation.

The building has 4 elevators. Two on one side and two on the other, facing each other:

On each side of each door, there are beautiful marble panels. So 4 panels per side...

It's hard to get a good picture of the situation because the hallway is narrow, but here's an actual photo:

Now in this particular example, you can sort of see that panels B and C (the middle 2 panels) are mirror images of each other.What is harder to see, so you will have to take my word for it, is that panels A and D (the outside panels) are also mirror images of each other.
Makes perfect sense, right? It's pretty.I like it.
Problem Part I:
On some floors, panels B and C match, and panels A and D match, as in the photo above. On other floors, panels A and B match, and panels C and D match.
The fact that there are two different patterns at all makes me twitch a little.I mean why? Why have 2 patterns?

Problem Part II:
On the 3rd floor, the panel pattern IS DIFFERENT ON EACH SIDE.
So one side has the A-B, C-D pattern:
And the other side has the A-D, B-C pattern: 

And yes, I am well aware of the EXTREME category of "1st World Problems" into which this falls.
Still makes me twitch.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Magic Belly Button Healing Wand

So.....I haven't blogged about it yet, but I have a new job!  Since November 2015, actually. Same agency, but now I'm teaching in a classroom full time. This means I'm in Virginia a lot more than I used to be.  So far - loving it!

BUT, as y'all know, I don't get out much.  I am perfectly content to never leave the hotel.  I'm trying to BREAK OUT OF MY SHELL and move my body more.  So, two weeks ago my new coworker Amy and I went for a walk.  On the way, we saw a Tai Chi place about a block from our hotel. Talked about how we had both always wanted to do it. We went in, talked to the instructor, and signed up for an introductory class a couple of days later.

He was (and still is) super nice. 

And then, we started getting texts.  Texts of videos touting the amazingness of the MAGIC BELLY BUTTON HEALING WAND.

It cures diabetes and cancer and kidney disease and migraines and ebola!

Y'all, I cannot make this stuff up. 

SO.....even though I was feeling a little uneasy about the torrent of belly button videos, I went to Tai Chi.  The guy told us to get there 15 minutes early.  Y'all know I am not capable of doing a single thing 15 minutes early, but I did get there about 5 minutes early. 

Walked in, had to take my shoes off (my feet were stinky, too, because I just ran down to a store to pick up something for my BFF Dale before the store closed), and was sweetly escorted into the Tai Chi studio by the woman working there. 

And there was Amy (who had dutifully arrived 15 minutes early), sitting on the floor watching a video and using the BELLY BUTTON HEALING WAND.   I wanted to laugh/die of awkwardness, and then he told me to get one of the wands off the rack and sit down.  OK AWKWARD.  But Amy was a sport, so I decided I would be too.  I did the wand.  It was WEIRD, and made my belly button sore, and I only did it for 5 minutes.  Amy did it for 15 minutes.  Hers was sorer.

Then more people started coming in for class, and we did a great bit of stretching and then learned the first few moves of Tai Chi.  The guy was very nice, very supportive, made us smile the whole time.  I felt great from the stretching.

And really, he showed us this BELLY BUTTON HEALING WAND, and lots of videos about it, but never even once suggested we purchase one.  I appreciated that, and it made me feel less weird.

And who am I to say this thing doesn't work?  I know that the next day, the problem I was having from EATING SO MUCH CHEESE at Thanksgiving the week before fully resolved itself.  Was it all the coffee I was drinking?  The stretching?  OR THE MAGIC OF ANCIENT EASTERN MEDICINE?  I don't know the answer. 

I'm still not fixin' to buy a BELLY BUTTON HEALING WAND, but I have sort of been tempted to poke myself in the stomach from time to time just to see what would happen.....