Category Archives: What the flippity-flop?
….ta-daaaaaa!! I’m baaaaaaaaaaack…
So, had shoulder surgery in October and spent the next couple of months alternating cursing the surgeon, the dog, the hubby (poor darling…he was collateral damage, really), the Internet for telling me what a breeze recovery was for some, myself, and all the undiscovered tribes in Bali and other exotic locales..just because I can, okay?
It hurt to have my shoulder ripped apart and put back together. It still hurts, but every day it gets better. My own Marquis de Sade, a/k/a physical therapist, is impressed with my progress. I cursed her too. Often and loudly.
Since we last met, besides the aforementioned surgery, I’ve had:
- my job of sixteen years eliminated
- my sister sue me over a land deal I have nothing to do with anymore
- another patch of property I’m trying to sell come under contract twice – both times falling through
Let’s take these one at a time, shall we? The job, well I’ve known since last spring that the job I have now would likely change. Unfortunately, the new owners of the plant have a very different view of ‘change’ than I do. Their idea of change was for me to drive over 125 miles ONE WAY to work every day as my position is moved to another of their plants. For me, that’s a 2.5-3 hour commute…and did I mention that is ONE WAY? Yeah, so I said thanks but no thanks. I now have to find a new job.
Y’all, I haven’t even interviewed for any job in sixteen years. I have no idea how it’s done anymore, but I find out later today as I have the first interview. It’s like I’m a virgin all over again. I’m curious as to how I’ll come across. Strangely, though, I’m not the least bit nervous. I imagine it’s because I don’t know any better.
Sister, sigh…this particular sister lives in a place we call “Not Reality”. Always has, likely always will. Apparently, she’s managed to convince an attorney to come visit her Not Reality and I’m being sued now. It’s such a stupidly convoluted story I can’t really explain here. It involves property borders and disputes. But here’s the thing, the property in question isn’t mine anymore. I sold it a year ago. A. Year. Ago. Why she’s included me in the lawsuit with the current owners is a question only answered by those living and working in Not Reality. Personally, I don’t go there. Terrible hamburgers.
Property sale…this land is across the street from the land I’m being sued over. ….fortunately it doesn’t attach to any of my sister’s land at all. However, I keep getting people saying they really, really, really, really love it and want to buy it BUT…….(insert something stupid or something that exists only in Not Reality here). It’s getting to the point where if my broker calls to tell me I’ve got another offer on the land I just wait for the punch line, because it is coming.
So, how have y’all been doing?
…and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful riiiiiiiiiiiiiip…
It started from this lovely dog, and ended with a trip…..to the doctor. (and now you’re humming the theme from ‘Gilligan’s Island’ and later today you’ll still be humming it and wondering why…and you’re welcome)
You see, in the one corner on a retractable leash of 16 feet, was my beloved GSD.
In the other, an armadillo. A live armadillo. Y’all there was a live armadillo in Texas. No, really, I can confirm.
The chaos when said dog sets her formidable sights and muscle onto retrieving the creature…excuse me…the live creature without warning the person holding the leash resulted in a resounding rip/tear as the leash/dog combo went from dead run to all stop. And, no, it wasn’t the leash or its braking mechanism that was the source of the tearing. It was my shoulder. Specifically, the subscapularis tendon and muscle.
I think Einstein created a formula for just such an event:
Force of Dog X Mass of Dog + Acceleration of Dog in Pursuit of Prey = HOLYMOTHEROFALLTHATISHOLYFUCKFUCKFUCK!!!!!PAIN!!!!!!!
Or something like that, it’s all very scientific.
I waited a couple of days, but when I realized my right arm was absolutely zero use I decided I might oughta see the doc. She manipulated my arm, making me cry and see stars at the same time….and I’m pretty sure I grabbed her leg and squeezed reaaallllly hard…before saying I needed an MRI and it was probably a rotator cuff tear.
The MRI confirmed it’s a tear.
Next week I see a surgeon, because of course I am one of those who will have to have surgery. Of course it’s a complete and utter tear, none of this partial tear shit for me, nope, when I tear something I go all the way.
There’ll be surgery and rehab and lots of whining on my part.
It’s a good thing that…my Mate is a mighty (sailin’) man, a Skipper brave and sure….
You’re welcome, again.
…and for me it’s a slowly fading memory, but..
I didn’t leave the planet, I just moved to the country on Halloween 2016.
You see…we moved.
Gosh, that sounds so…I don’t know, innocuous? And most of it was not fraught with insanity-inducing happenings, but the stuff that did happen turned me (momentarily) into the hell-bitch from, well, Hell…with a capital “H”.
The packing ladies arrived at the house a couple of days prior to our move, looked around, and proudly proclaimed this an “easy job, 4-5 hours tops” …and then proceeded to pack for 10 hours with one short break. I had known we had a lot of stuff, but to hear professionals mumbling about “all this stuff…” when they didn’t think we were listening was an eye-opener.
An aside – we’d already spent weeks cleaning/purging/packing prior to this. There was a lot of stuff…just…so….much.
Anyway, at the point where these two lovely workers were glassy-eyed and looked about ready to collapse from exhaustion, they finished. We paid them, twice what we’d budgeted, and tipped them generously to boot.
We knew the move would be expensive – though I don’t think either of us thought to double our original estimate, but we’d sold the house and knew that we’d be getting a chunk of change once we closed on it. So, out came the credit card. We’re so cute when we’re being all optimistic and totally naïve.
Two days later the moving trucks and six young men came to move our stuff from the big city town (40K population) to the country town (3K population). They, too, proclaimed this an “easy job” and how it wouldn’t “take long”. TWELVE hours later, with daylight fading, they were still pretty upbeat but it was not longer an easy job that wouldn’t take long.
It was an epic journey, and everyone was so tired we giggled insanely at every little thing.
Well, almost everything.
The one thing we did not laugh about was the one thing we desperately needed once the packed trucks and our packed vehicles arrived at the new farm in 90-degree weather.
Electricity. That was the one thing we needed. It was so important that I’d arranged for it to be turned on three days prior to the move. I’d arranged this, over a series of phone calls, a month in advance. The last phone call, to confirm, had been the day before the service was turned on to the house.
Guess what we didn’t have? No, really, guess.
You’re so smart.
I proceeded to call the electric company we’d chosen, and in the country calling someone on a cell phone is an exercise in frustration…and sometimes futility. I finally found a good signal in a spot about 50 yards in front of the house and within two minutes the helpful young man at the other end of the phone told me his company didn’t service our home. We had to use a co-op.
I proceeded to scream at the top of my lungs at the poor kid, the gist of my screaming was that I wanted to know why someone hadn’t informed me of that sooner.
I scared the absolute shit out of the kid on the phone, and my movers. Every. single. one.
My husband had to tell them I wasn’t normally a maniacal hell-bitch, but no electricity when I had been so careful to make sure we had electricity, that was the proverbial straw.
I’d been working at my job, coming home and packing, cleaning, packing, sleeping little, and so on for weeks. To say I was at the end of my rope is too cliche. I was at the end of every rope, ever.
We finished unpacking the trucks, in the dark, and since it was Halloween and we were in the boonies and it was dark, the sounds of the forest scared the shit out of the young movers. They whispered about curses and witches and ghosts to one another. I did nothing to alleviate their fears when I said, straight-faced, that the house was built on an “old Indian burial ground” and rumored to be haunted. One of them asked me if I was afraid of ghosts, and I told him that since I was a witch I had power over the ghostly realm. I honestly think he believed me. Poor kid.
We collapsed into bed that first night, too tired to even care that it was sticky and warm. All the windows in the house were open, but if any ghosts visited we were too tired to care about them either.
We got the electricity turned on the next morning, but only because I threatened to sit down in the middle of the co-op’s office and cry until they did. I was desperate, exhausted, in need of a shower, and the nice lady in the office had just told me it would be 1-3 business days before they could get the power on at the house. Instead, she took pity on me and by the time we drove back out to the house we had lights and air conditioning and a working washer and dryer.
Too bad we couldn’t locate a lot of our clothes. Somehow, in the move, everything seemed to get separated. We spent four days unpacking and we wore the same clothes all four days. I’d wash them every night, and we’d put them on every morning. We finally found all our clothes, so with that and electricity things were looking up.
Then, our real estate agent called..the old house may not have sold after all. Maybe, perhaps. We need to re-negotiate here. With ginormous credit card bills looming, we listened and we compromised and we got the old house and some land we owned sold.
We spent the rest of the week unpacking everything, and in the end were really only missing a couple of small items and only found a couple more broken.
It’s been a few months now, and we are loving our new home. It’s magical, it’s beautiful, and it’s where I intend to spend the rest of my life. I told my hubby that if he ever got the notion to move again I’d go straight for his throat. After seeing me react to the whole electricity debacle I’m pretty sure he believes it.
Last Friday a snowflake fell on Dallas and the entire world went batshit crazy.
In all fairness, a few pellets of sleet joined the snowflake so there’s that.
Now, my normal commute these days is about an hour. On Friday, it took me THREE AND A HALF hours to make it from work to home.
I think a Kardashian or two got pregnant, gave birth, and started a search for the baby daddy all in the time it took me to get from Point A to Point B.
I saw TWELVE accidents in a 20-mile stretch of highway. All of them single-car, none of them looked like anyone was hurt, and every one of them avoidable if people would just pay attention.
But that’s not the worst of it.
Stuck, sitting on the highway with no exit in sight, I had to pee so badly I created a makeshift bedpan for my car’s front seat and prayed that a. I wouldn’t have to use it, but if I did then b. I’d positioned it properly. (fyi, I didn’t have to test my MacGyver-ish work but I’m seriously considering carrying an actual bedpan for future disasters it was that close)
But that’s not the worst of it.
Then there was the part where I was watching big rigs get stuck on bridges with slight inclines because the bridges were solid sheets of ice, and praying that fishtailing trailer didn’t slam me as I crept past them.
But that’s not the worst of it.
You wanna know what the worst thing was? Other than having to hear my hubby on the phone telling me how pretty the snow looked from in front of the fireplace at home while I struggled to maintain some control over my bladder?
It was the mother trucker from hell in front of me. She appointed herself shoulder police, and since we were in the far right lane and no one was really moving, she had ample opportunities to block drivers who tried to take advantage of the unused shoulder of the highway to move up in the world. She’d pull off to the shoulder every time someone broke from the pack and tried to maneuver their way around. Once an SUV came up alongside me, and I guess she saw them at the last second and pulled hard to the right forcing the SUV off onto the embankment and down in some slick/frozen grassy area. I thought for sure he was going to roll it, but he managed to maintain control and got around her. She wasn’t happy, so she decided to stay on the shoulder because no one, by God, was going to do that to her – the SHOULDER POLICE – again. Since she seemed content to now be the person using the shoulder to move along, I inched my car up until I was about halfway down the length of her trailer. It was at that point she rolled down her window and started gesturing wildly and screaming at me. I rolled down my window, utterly perplexed as I had not tried to use the shoulder to pass her but was, in fact, passing her in the lane. You know, the right of way, the part you’re supposed to drive on.
The conversation went…
CrazyMotherTrucker: Do you want to get run over, bitch??!!
CMT: DO YOU WANT TO GET RUN OVER??
Me: But, you’re the one on the shoulder and I’m nearly passed you now so why don’t you just let me get in front of you and….
CMT: I’M COMING OVER NOWWWWW!!! RIGHT NOW!!
Me: (realizing at this point she had about 40,000 lbs. on me) Uhhh….
And she did…she just kept coming, and I had nowhere to go because right next to me was another truck and he had nowhere to go and so on.
So I stopped.
And I prayed.
And I held my breath and my bladder…the last one just barely.
And she juuust missed me by an inch or two as she did just what she screamed she would.
Crazy. Mother. Trucker.
So, a few weeks ago we bought a farm.
Sweet clothespin jeebus, what were we thinking? Not only did we double the square footage of house we will now occupy, but we like bazillioned the amount of outdoor space we will now occupy. Thankfully, most of the outdoors looks like a forest and that’s exactly how it will remain.
Oh, and hubby doubled, yes fecking doubled, his commute. Mine will remain about the same, because traffic.
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. are we doing???
We’ve also listed some other property we own for sale, put my mother’s property on the market – and it sold in three days, but now we wait for probate and try to figure out the drunken monkeys who wrote the damned mortgage on the property’s thought patterns – and hope/pray/cry/scream in frustration over the whole fecking mess which boils down to will I really be able to sell it at all or must I back out of these deals because when I do sell the property the mortgage company will come after me for the entire mortgage when I’m only responsible for half? Jeebus, I hyperventilate just thinking about it all.
Then, this past weekend we spent 745 hours cleaning, packing, and de-feckifying the current house so the listing agent can come take pictures of it tonight and put it on the market. Let me just say it’s been a while since I dusted anything properly. Apparently. Trust me on this.
We told the kids, they got weepy, the grandkids cried, and everyone decided we had to have a farewell potluck in the old house in a couple of weeks before we actually move – which will happen on Halloween, as you do…or at least as we have done the last two moves.
So, I’m a wee bit distracted and a wee bit exhausted, and a wee-wee-wee all the way home aching from head to foot.
Oh, and this morning my tire alarm went off in the car so I stopped to put air in the tire and was harassed by a homeless guy on a bicycle.
….before the store management asks me to leave
The conversation will go like this:
ME: *engaged in some utterly inappropriate activity in public, oblivious to my surroundings*
MGR: While the staff and I appreciate your level of comfort here, and understand your need to ___________________(insert whatever stupid thing I happen to be doing/saying at the time here) we’d like you to leave.
ME: How soon?
Why do I think this will happen?
Well, ever since that happened, every time I see the manager of the store he gives me the side eye and a wide berth.
Yesterday, I was quietly shopping again, headphones on and listening to Kevin Hearne’s “Shattered”. It’s part of his Iron Druid series, and I totally recommend it…mostly for Oberon, but I digress.
Anyway, I was minding my own fecking business, that’s what I was doing, when I got a text from my son. The one to whom we are (probably) going to gift the mini-van I inherited from my mother.
He’d had it ONE day after I spent over $500 getting some repairs done to it, and he’d slammed a curb, blowing both passenger-side tires, and bending the rims.
I knew he had the kids with him, so my first concern was them. They were fine, so I called him…and…well…
ME: ARE YOU SHITTING ME??????????????????????????? WHAT. THE. FUCK????????????????
(I am screaming this into my phone’s headset – it’s one of those bluetooth things that looks like a collar and the buds come off it and go into your ears, but it’s not readily noticeable, so anyone standing nearby might think I’ve suddenly lost my mind and am screaming at the air..or myself.)
SON: *mumbles something about “sorry” and “can’t believe this happened*
SON: The person in front of me slammed on their brakes, so in order to keep from hitting them I had to brake hard and I rode up on the curb. I was only a mile from my apartment, so I limped it home.
ME: WHY WERE YOU SO CLOSE TO SOMEONE YOU HAD TO DO THAT????????? ESPECIALLY SINCE WE’VE BEEN HAVING ALL THIS RAIN? JEEZUS-CHRIST-ON-A-CRACKER, SON!!!
SON: I know, I know…I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sorry.
Did I mention I was in the middle of a store? Did I also mention by “middle” I meant checkout lane?
Ever see someone actually “skitter” away from you? I did, three employees as a matter of fact, all color draining from their faces. I didn’t care, then, I was so beyond furious.
ME: I CAN-NOT BELIEVE THIS SHIT!! I JUST SPENT HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS ON THAT THING, AND NOW YOU DO THIS!!!
SON: *soft whimpering*
ME: STOP IT. Everyone is fine, here’s what you do, get me pricing on repairs from Discount Tire, and a turnaround time. We have to get this thing fixed right away. Call me back.
It was about here that I noticed the store manager and a couple assistants sort of hovering a few feet away, and realized they didn’t know what this crazy woman was up to or might do next.
Well, I didn’t do anything. I just quietly paid for my groceries, one brave bagger having stepped back into the ring of my fury to bag my stuff, and then I left.
The whole time, though, the manager just stayed there by the register. He never said a word, but he watched me.
Sigh, I’m just one more outburst away from being banned, aren’t I?
p.s. the repairs are going to cost me another $400
p.p.s. one of the things broken on the van (not by son’s stupidity, it was already broken) is covered under a manufacturer’s recall so yay!
Or so I’ve heard, not that I personally have any knowledge of what “drunk” feels like, or even how to spell the word, or that I’ve ever known anyone who got drunk.
But, what is not fun is waking up, getting out of bed, and immediately falling down to your knees.
That. That is not fun. That is painful.
It’s also quite startling for the dog lying beside the bed.
But, it’s what happens when you wake up, stand up, and are suddenly more dizzy than anyone has ever been since the beginning of humanity. And, it’s what happened to me this morning.
The dizziness subsided a bit after I was up a while, but then driving to work I noticed my head was tilted to one side and it was difficult to keep it ‘tween the lines. Good thing I drive a tank, and good luck to everyone around me.
As I sit here, typing at my desk, I feel like I’m on a perpetual roller coaster…or drunk…with much less funnage (it’s a word, now) than I imagine either activity creates.
No, I don’t know what’s wrong, but because OLD I suspect either I’ve got some inner ear fluid thing going on or my rocks ‘er off. And, by “rocks” I mean the inner ear bones that keep the world from going all funhouse (no, that is an effin’ word Mr. SquigglyLine) on me have gotten out of alignment.
It happens, as I said, because OLD. As we age those bones wear down and move out of alignment. When that happens, BAM! drunken old person syndrome (DROPS) ensues. If you do happen to get drunk, you can just tell everyone you have DROPS and because you’re old they will believe you and probably offer to buy you a ham sammich or something.
I just hope the nausea that usually comes with dizziness didn’t come with this funpack, and I hope this shit clears up soon.
Like I said, it’s no fun. And, yes, if it persists or gets even weirder I’ll go see the doc. Another not fun activity I try to avoid.
Walked into my office this morning and..
The ancient building I work in had sprung a leak and the entire hallway was flooded. Apparently, the roof drains clogged during last night’s monsoon (the first rain since 1947 I think), and with nowhere to go the water came inside. An entire closet filled with paper products – letterhead, envelopes, notebooks, etc – was ruined. And the floor and carpet were at least ten feet deep in cold water. Good thing I wore my waterproof workboots this morning, and brought my life jacket. Some guys from maintenance came with a mini wet-vac and cleaned up the water, then turned the a/c on and down to 20 degrees to dry the carpets.
It’s 40 degrees outside, and the wind is howling at a sustained 140 mph, making the wind chill minus Kelvin. So, of course turning on the air conditioner was the logical thing to do.
My hands were numb from the cold in a matter of minutes, and I believe I accidentally bit off a finger while eating my sammich at lunchtime. I won’t know for sure until later when my eyeballs thaw and I can see properly again.
Later my phone rang and the following conversation ensued:
ME: HolyWattageBatmanCompany, this is ME
Irate Female Caller: Yeah, somebody called me from that number just now and cussed at me and called me a bitch, and I just wanted to know who it was.
ME: From here?
IFC: Yes, from this number. It’s on my caller I.D.
ME: Ma’am, this is a power company, no one…
IFC: YES..SOMEONE CALLED ME FROM THERE, SAID SOMETHING ABOUT A PAY DAY LOAN CONSOLIDATION, TOLD ME I WAS A BITCH AND HUNG UP ON ME.
ME: Ma’am, this is a power company. We make electricity. I think you have the wrong number.
IFC: Oh, okay *click*
It’s been a weird day.
No, no it wasn’t.
You know how sometimes you accidentally pause while channel-surfing on one of those “reality” shoes, based in the Deep South, where everyone is mad at everyone and the women get into shouting/shoving matches and they’re so angry you can’t make out the words even though you’re pretty sure “bitch” is used a lot?
Take that, and imagine it in your ear.
And imagine the person in your ear is your mother.
Further imagine this is a one-sided argument, and you spend most of your time trying to figure out what she’s talking about.
Add in the fact that your stepfather is currently in a locked psych unit, the real reason for your mother’s tirade is her fears and frustrations at what might happen to her husband of nearly fifty years.
And then remember that the screaming in your ear is still going on and you’re a fully-fecking-grown woman and dammit you will NOT be treated this way.
Then imagine the tirade abruptly ends before you get a chance to tell your mother that as she slams the phone down in your ear.
I didn’t get much sleep last night.
I have an…shall we say ‘acquaintance’…who is a professional engineer. His wife is a tutor and teacher. They have one child, a son, on whom they can focus all of their energies.
Since birth, I’ve gotten regular updates on the child (prodigy) with emphasis on milestones and achievements.
At 2, he was reading. At 4, complex math. At 7, fluent in one foreign language and starting when he was 8 another language was added.
Every minute of this kid’s day is packed with precisely measured doses of education.
I honestly haven’t heard of a single incident involving bugs, mud, skinned knees, puppies, or a busted lip.
Recently, he was expected to be accepted into an accelerated program at one of the local magnet schools. In order to properly prepare him, his parents altered his sleeping and eating schedule to “obtain optimum cognitive abilities” on testing day.
I’m worried about this kid. I foresee a future with him snapping, and by ‘snapping’ I mean he’ll wear mis-matched argyle socks and his mother will faint.
I’ve met him several times, over the years, and he is poised, personable, handsome, and at 8 yrs. old he creeps me out.
He’s a Stepford child, I’m convinced.
Also, this cannot be common. I refuse to believe this happens a lot to children who really should be spending at least some time every day getting dirty.
I’m really, reaaaaaaaaaaallly curious to see how puberty affects this child and wonder if he’ll just rebel and maybe ditch the khakis for some ripped jeans and a pair of Vans.
I don’t think his parents could survive that kind of shock to their systems, but me…I’ll be doing my inner “hells yeah” dance the day he does.