survival update: thanksgiving 2007

Well, we made it through the holiday. I feel better equipped to write about the event now that it is one week in the past. If I had written about it earlier, I may have been misleadingly negative due to the strain of clearing the chaos of visitors from the house. It is always interesting for me to see how much the man and his mother are alike. I have only met her a few times, since they now live in Oklahoma and don't make it back to WI but a few times per year. I find it particularly amusing when she claims to not know where the man got some of his personality attributes, such as his stubbornness and temper, when I have personally seen her exhibit these same traits.

Overall, the holiday was okay. It was more work that was promised, but it went well. So well, in fact, that the "family" plans on coming to our house every Thanksgiving. I, however, will not tie myself down to that promise. It seems as though the man's family often forgets that I have a family of my own whom I would like to spend holidays with. This annoys me. I have already mentioned that I would likely be going home next year and not to anticipate my assistance in the planning and execution of the event. It would be nice if the man were able to come home with me, but since his folks will be visiting each Thanksgiving, I wouldn't want him to miss out on spending time with them.

As always, there was turmoil amidst the festivities and their visit was bittersweet for the man. I found the whole event to be stressful and it made me miss my family and their traditions even more. Traditions where things are fun, not tedious and the food is prepared the way I like it - with lots of butter and gravy and sarcastic comments about the way you are making things with tons of butter and gravy.

In other news, my body is completely fucking up. My heart is experiencing severe bouts of abnormal heart rate exceeding 120 beats per minute. I go see a cardiologist soon and will probably have to wear an event monitor and have a battery of tests. My mother swears that I wasn't microwaved as a baby and that no drugs were involved in my conception or incubation stages, which I believe because my mother has never smoked so much as a cigarette. I am hoping that they find something easily treatable like a hyperactive thyroid and that it isn't a complication due to my heart murmur. Only time will tell and I'll keep you posted.

As for now, I'm on vacation (though going to the doctor twice in less than 24 hours isn't much of a vacation) and am working on my thesis. So far I've been making steady progress. I'll write more about it later.


My beta fish Orpheus died this week. It was upsetting, but I'm okay. I loved Orpheus, but we never bonded like I did with my previous fish Homer. Perhaps it is because Orpheus was a gift and I had been mourning the loss of Homer at the time of his arrival. Even so, I had grown very attached to Orpheus in the nearly three years we were together and I am quite saddened by his passing. I don't think I'll be getting another fish for quite some time.


things i hate today

  1. The person in the cubicle outside my office playing Josh Groban.
  2. Josh Groban.
  3. The weird pissing thing the sky is doing that is neither snow nor rain nor sleet.
  4. The fog.
  5. Not being able to drink decaffeinated coffee because decaffeinated coffee still contains significant amounts of caffeine. Thus, it is not aptly named. It should be lesscaffeinated coffee.
  6. Receiving Dexter: Season 1 Disc 2 before receiving Dexter: Season 1 Disc 1 from Netflix.
  7. Black Thursday and the commercialism associated with it.
  8. Making travel arrangements for people other than myself.
  9. Thinking about the lack of money to pay bills and still afford Christmas.
  10. Did I mention Josh Groban?


reasons my hair might fall out this week

  1. The man's mother and stepfather are coming to stay with us for a few days over the holiday. We don't quite know when they are arriving.
  2. The man's mother and stepfather may be bringing their dog, which would cause Jammer to go into convulsions and have a nervous breakdown.
  3. We are hosting Thanksgiving for somewhere between 12 and 18 of the man's family and stepfamily.
  4. We have to prep the house for hosting Thanksgiving.
  5. I don't know the majority of those coming to spend the entire day of Thanksgiving at our house. I wonder if it would be rude to have people wear "Hello! My Name Is _____" tags.
  6. Jammer doesn't react well to large numbers of strangers in the house. There is bound to be much barking (some of which will be likely directed at little old ladies, whom there are quite a few of in the man's family).
  7. I am taking four days off next week (Tuesday through Friday) and this is a short work week. I am drowning in things to get "wrapped up."
  8. The man's boss is giving each employee a turkey for Thanksgiving. We do not have a freezer large enough to accommodate a frozen turkey. We are not responsible for the Thanksgiving turkey preparation. I will never cook a turkey. I hope someone will take it home with them.
  9. The doctor told me to completely cut out caffeine due to my elevated heart rate. I consume very, very little caffeine as it is and now I will have to make sure that I am stringent in deleting it from my diet.
  10. These same stepfamily people are the same ones who asked the man (in my presence) about our matrimonial possibilities at last Thanksgiving. And now they will be in my house for a whole day.


maladies #8: syringes and balls

My latest physical therapy appointment was definitely more promising than my last doctor visit. However, I have an additional three exercises/stretches and a new treatment. I was given (I actually bought it) a rubber ball the approximate size of a cantaloupe to use in stretching out my IT band (muscle on outside of leg between hip and knee). I lie on the floor with the ball under the outside of my leg and use the ball to stretch the muscle. It hurts like a motherfucker and I was instructed that it should not be used directly on the hip area, as it would likely be too painful. At least this was not a surprise.

The treatment I was given (which I did not have to pay for out-of-pocket) is a band-aid type thing with a batter attached. I inject medicine from a vial onto the pad on the underside of the bandaid, tape it to my hip, pull a tab to start the battery and let it inject medicine into my muscle for a few hours. I have yet to try this, but will keep you posted as to what it actually does. I hope it is helpful, as I have four treatments for each hip.

I find the treatment to be kind of interesting, but it also kind of freaks me out. I wonder what the man's mom and stepdad will think if they open the medicine cabinet to find a bunch of syringes and vials of meds. Perhaps I should label them "heroine" to see what sort of fun ensues.

one small step for man

My brother's kid learned to walk yesterday. I have the feeling that this kid is going to be a holy terror once he figures out the power he has now obtained.

I wish my brother and sister-in-law all the luck in the world. They are pregnant again, and Brady (pictured above) isn't even one year old yet. I hope, for their sakes, that he uses his power for good instead of evil.


let them eat cake

Wow. I had forgotten how easy cake is to make. Cake mix + oil + eggs + water = CAKE. In case you are wondering why I would be making a sweet delight such as cake, it was a coworker's birthday. I made a "Funfetti" cake. It was delicious. I don't even like cake very much, and this cake was good.

I must remember that:
A.) cake is easy to make,
B.) baking a cake makes the whole house smell delicious and nothing like the putrid nastiness the roommate cooks (fish + something else disgusting), and
C.) people like cake and I could win friends and influence people with a steady stream of cake.


the black donnellys

I loved this show. Only six episodes of The Black Donnellys aired on NBC, but the man and I loved it nonetheless. We just finished watching the rest of the season/series (rented from Netflix). I can't believe it was canceled. It seems that I have a knack for liking shows that not enough of the American populous watches.

The series was written by the writer of Million Dollar Baby and the team of writers behind Crash, both of which won Oscars. As for The Black Donnellys, I either loved the characters, or loved to hate the characters - I think that is key to genuinely connecting with a show.

If you are looking to kill a day, rent the DVDs. You can get the whole series in three discs. Keep in mind that the series ended as if it were going to be picked up for a second season so you may be left wanting more. The man was content with the ending, but I believe that too much is left unresolved. All in all, it is still definitely worth watching.



I've set the wheels in motion for a week away from work to concentrate on my thesis. I'll be taking off November 27-30 to focus solely on my thesis. I'll be working and staying away from home, free from all distractions (namely: the pets and the man). I will also be out of the office December 7 and 9. I have appointments those days, but will be taking full days off from work. All I need now is final approval and I'll confirm the arrangements.

I may also be making updates to this site more frequently during those times (there won't be that pesky thing called work to get in my way of posting).

I am hoping that the time away from work will help me to come back feeling less frustrated. At this point, the bitterness I have about my work is creeping into every aspect of my life. I think a few days off will remedy this...at least I hope it will.


architectural cream

This weekend was actually quite good. I was able to spend a significant amount of time reorganizing my filing system. To the average human, this would sound tedious and quite boring. In my twisted world, this is categorized as "fun." Good, productive, time-consuming fun with an obvious result. The office is finally coming together (with the exception of the extra furniture we had been gifted that we are afraid to do anything with). I would like to paint the walls this color (Architectural Cream by Ralph Lauren):

However, I do not see any painting in my future as painting seems to only be done based on how much it "needs" to be done. Thus, I am secretly hoping that the walls begin to peel, which would necessitate the painting of the room. I have the rest of the room nearly to my liking, right now it is just the stark walls that are inhibiting the flow of my perfect thesis environment.



All of my negativity is now manifesting itself in the form of a sinus headache, nose stuffiness, and sore throat. It began yesterday when I was already feeling pitiful and has now developed into a cold. Even though I resolved to end the bitterness, lo and behold a cold appears. Thus, I could blame myself for lowering the power of my immune system through negative thought. However, I prefer to blame the children.

Of course I don't have children, but my coworkers do and I know that one of them has sick children. Children are carriers of the evil viruses that cause adults to miss work. Missing work is hard enough when you are doing it on purpose for, say, a vacation. You come back to work to find that the amount of work you missed is exponentially larger than the amount of hours missed. It is even worse when you are sick. You get to stay home, but you are miserable the whole time so it isn't even worth it.

The man has many coworkers who have spawned. These coworkers also bring their children's viruses to work and infect the man. However, the amount of chemicals in the food that the man eats has preserved him, giving him superhuman strength to fend off the majority of illnesses. I, on the other hand, am often the receptacle for the viruses unable to make their home in the man. This is not the man's fault. In a way, he is just the messenger. The messenger of evil from the children who hope to cause my suffering and nose runniness.


maladies #7: you can't handle the truth

Well, well, well, where do I start. The appointment can be summed up in one word: shit. The doctor is shit. His diagnosis is shit. I'd like to throw shit at the doctor. I feel like shit. The doctor is happy with the progress I have made, but is unsure of any next steps other than a very pricey, possibly beneficial, possibly detrimental, extremely painful series of procedures that may, might, possibly, when pigs fly out my ass, could fix the problem. So, now that my pelvis isn't all wonky, he's going to have me continue with physical therapy twice daily for the next three months, and possibly, if I do not feel much worse by that time, I might be able to cut it down to five times per week. But, there is no telling if it will make the pain go away. I might end up with killer six-pack abs, but what good does that do if I still feel like the wishbone from the Thanksgiving turkey.

I'm going back to my physical therapist next week to see if he has any additional or altered exercises for me to do. If not, I will likely not have to see him anymore. There was much talk of deep tissue massage to break up the scar tissue, but the doctor doesn't necessarily suggest that, but he doesn't necessarily not suggest it either. It might work, he said, but it might not. Wow! I found the only doctor who can get by with the mindset of a meteorologist, "it might rain, but it might not - I'd say there is a fifty percent chance." You know what doc, I say there is a fifty percent chance that you'll walk out your door tomorrow morning to find a flaming bag of ... you guessed it: SHIT.


maladies #6: chilly with a slight chance of my head exploding

It is cold outside. My body feels it, my muscles feel it, my bones feel it, my joints feel it. I get to go to see the sports medicine doctor again today (the doctor that prescribed the physical therapy) to see how I've progressed and to get a recommendation for the next course of action. I know that I have made progress and that I should be happy with that. I shouldn't complain or pity myself because all-in-all, things could be much worse. However, I'm human and I don't like being in pain all the time. That pain is what keeps me focused on trying to find some sort of remedy. That pain also keeps me constantly on edge, which sucks for those who need to be around me.

I'm optimistic about my appointment, because the goal of the physical therapy was to realign and stabilize my pelvis, which has happened with the exception of a couple instances or relapse. My optimism, as always, is tempered by the thought that this pain has been constant and sometimes overwhelming for nearly ten years and I question what can be done now that hasn't been attempted already. Let's hope that this doctor has some sort of miracle and that it isn't going to cost me too much to get there.


november rain

When it rains it pours, that's for damned sure. I've had a busy November so far, and it is only the 6th. I was able to take yesterday off from work, which did wonders for my weekend happiness, but I'm now buried under paperwork back at the office. I think everyone finds themselves in this cycle: take a day off from work, work normal hours plus hours taken off to make up work missed on day off. Ah, I am doomed to keep repeating this until I find a way to get ahead of the work streaming into my inbox. If you invent time travel, let me know...I'll be the one beating her head against her desk.

I was productive over the weekend. I reorganized the furniture in the den in preparation for the man's parents, who will be visiting over Thanksgiving. Also, I did a bit of financial management. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I have a handle on my finances. Yes, there are the student loans, an auto loan, and many monthly payments to consider, but I have a well-devised plan to cut down my debt substantially in 20 months. Of course, this plan does require that I cut out nearly all my discretionary spending, but that is something I am willing to do in order to wake up one morning in 2009 and not feel like I'm sinking in payments. I've been tinkering with my budget for over a year, but I finally think I can make my planned and actual budgets match now. Already, I am feeling quite relieved.

The budgetary planning success has given me an idea as to how I can feel like less of a failure on a daily basis (regarding my thesis). Similar to my financial tracking and monitoring, I will be creating workload and chapter plans with measurable milestones. I will set timelines to keep myself accountable and update them daily. I am beginning with a home office overhaul. As it stands, despite my attempts, the office is still not a space I consider conducive to studying/working. The only use the room even gets is a depository for my files and a playground for Cat Named Jack. If work is to be done, it will have to be done in this room. Progress is set to begin today after work.


I've become a pothead without smoking pot. In other words, my short term memory is shot and I zone out quite frequently. Since there is absolutely no herbal intake, I blame stress. However, this is only selective short term memory loss as it is not affecting my work life. My personal life, however, is another story. Either my memory is crap, or I just don't listen. The man has gotten quite irritated that he has to repeat things to me that he has told me before. Perhaps I'm turning into a man.



I've apparently gone crazy and dressed up the animals. However, it was Halloween and I'm a firm believer that everyone should dress up for the holiday. As a result, I present Jackson Pinkerton III and Princess Jammer Leia.

Jack didn't mind the costume, but didn't want to sit still long enough for me to get a clear photo. He was bribed with treats to get the one I posted above. I think he looks quite dapper in his tie. Unfortunately, this "dress-up" led to this:

It may appear to be sniffing, but about two seconds after this photo was taken, the teeth and claws came out to remind me "Dude, don't fuck with me. I don't like clothes."

Conversely, Jammer has always loved clothes, though we don't usually let her wear anything other than her collar and bandanna. She loved everything about this outfit, except for the "hair."
Jammer didn't wear the outfit for long, only about ten minutes. We don't get any trick-or-treaters so we dressed her for our own amusement and then went along with the evening as we normally would. Don't call PETA, no animals were harmed in the making of a happy Halloween. Actually, they did more damage to me than I did to them. Jammer freaked out when I took off her costume and she realized she was naked, nearly knocking me to the ground. And I don't need to explain how much damage a pissed off Jack can do to human flesh.