Who have you slept with?

That's the line that's in our weekly info letter. That's it -- that and a date and time. And last week there was a condom taped to our doors with some info about condoms and the same date and time.

I'm intrigued.

This is the closest I've come to voluntarily attending a RA function. Not only the apparent topic, but the obscurity around it. They don't tell us anything -- it's just that we infer it's about sex and protection. And free condoms taped to our doors. Intriguing indeed. This is an example of excellent marketing -- I want to know who came up with this so I can tell them how awesome they are. You have me interested... and that's damn hard to do.

That's what stress'll get ya

So I was thinking last night (when I had itchy hives and was watching food network at 4am because my stomach hurt so bad that I couldn't lay down) that I never used to get sick as a child. Now I've got more doctors than I can remember. Why is that?

I can't say it's the surgery (remember December/January where I lost my voice because stomach acid had eaten away at my larynx?). The only thing I can pin down is... stress. They always say that stress will eat away at you. I'm living proof! Well, I guess it could be weight -- but weight doesn't give you hives... at least I don't THINK it can. Then again, what the fuck do I know?

Now I'm itchy and in pain and on lots of vitamins and medications and I have, like, a lot of doctors. What the hell man? Stress -- stress will kill you.

I have lots of stress because I stress out about things that haven't even happened yet and probably won't. I stress and worry and freak -- it's what I do. My psychiatrist asks me why. Why don't you tell me why? CODA says we don't do anything that's not paying off. What's my payment in stressing? Do I get to be the martyr? Do I have an excuse for not living up to my potential? Do I get pity -- from both myself and other people?

Intriguing questions, but it's too deep for me to think about at 1 AM. I'd rather think about it at 3 AM when I'm staring at the ceiling trying to sleep. See, then I can stress out about how much I stress out and why do I do it. I think the answer to all the above questions is yes. This is something I need to work on.

Acknowledgment is half the battle.

Roll your clocks back, people.

Did the fucking time change and no one told me about it? I just saw that my computer clock is telling me it's way earlier than I thought it was. Man, I could so still be in bed.

My first post-op stomach bug. Awwwww, isn't that cute.

I'm sick. Like a lot. It hit me a little after I got to work -- but I was bound and determined to stick it out because I want that job long-term -- plus I was closing and leaving when you have to close is just plain bad.

I couldn't make it -- I made 4 hours of the shift. 4 hours of dry heaving (there's nothing in there for me to vomit) into the garbage can under my register. During one transaction, I was trying to hide it, but my body was trying so hard to vomit that my stomach was just convulsing again and again -- how they didn't notice, I have no idea. And you know how right before you throw up, your mouth fills with saliva -- yeah, I can't seem to turn that off.

My god my stomach hurts. Oh, and I got someone to replace me -- I didn't just leave. I'm gonna send a huge shout out to Ken -- I totally owe him. He's gonna close for me.

I can't lay down because it hurts so much that I just can't be still. I tried to lay down when I got home but I literally ended up crying cause it hurt so much. Help me.

I believe it's jogging or yogging. It might be a soft j. I'm not sure but apparently you just run for an extended period of time. It's supposed to be wild.

Do you jog or run? I see people jogging and running and it never occurred to me how hard that is. How the hell do they do it?

When I had surgery in May and had to start exercising, I went with walking. I couldn't walk a mile -- like seriously, my ass couldn't walk a mile. Now I can walk three (standing ovation for me... little longer... ok, now it's just excessive). So I decided it's time to up the ante -- to jogging. And my ass can't do it. My jogging/running is more like run for 20 feet, gasp for breath for 30, run for 15 feet, gasp for breath for 40... You get the idea.

I'm also finding that I have to pep-talk myself to do it. And I don't mean pep-talking in my mind -- I mean speaking out loud. It goes something like this: "Ok, come on. Come Karen you can do this. I can totally do this. I kick ass. I can do this, I can --- ooooooooooh no I can't." *slow to walk and gasp for breath* So I'm, working on it.

I plan to be able to jog/run at least a mile my the end of the semester. Then we can throw me a party and you can all buy me presents. Or yeah -- I could just do it.

Happy (early) Halloween!

I finally got in the spirit and carved our pumpkin. I went traditional -- sure it's not fancy, but it is fun and cute -- and as the non-english speaking roommate said: "youthful!" I also picked up popcorn balls for the tricker treaters. I tasted one of those balls expecting it to taste like a rice-cake and dang, those things are actually really good.

So yay! I get so excited decorating for the holidays. (I think I'm going to purchase a real tree this year too -- it'll be my VERY FIRST own Christmas tree!)

I tried to explain halloween to the roommate but after I was done and washing off the pumpkin she asked me if we were going to eat it. I take that as she didn't understand a word I said. You know, I'm wondering how she gets through her classes -- she can barely say "Hi Karen, how are you?"

Anyway, back to me and my pumpkin. I learned two things of note this year that all of you should know before carving your own pumpkin. So here I'm presenting my 2005 pumpkin carving tips:

1. Industrial Strength Sharpies are not the same as regular Sharpies. While it is recommended that you draw your design with a permanent marker -- there is apparently an unspoken understanding that industrial strength permanent markers are not to be used. No one told me. I spent more time washing (AKA scraping) the marker off as I did gutting, cleaning, and carving the damn thing.

2. Go ahead and carve the venting holes -- they serve a purpose. I decided to skip carving vents in my pumpkin this year. That is until I cooked a good portion of the lid. I have to say though -- the living room smells lovely. Pumpkin pie, anyone?

The mysteries in life

How do eskimos build the tops of their igloos? Sure, I could stack up snow bricks to make a wall -- but what about when you get to the curve of the roof? Yes, I know the dynamics of arches and such, but until you get that cap stone in there, you don't have the arch. Don't you need someone to help you and help hold it up or something? I never see pictures of two people building an igloo though -- it's always just one poor sap and I want to know how he does it.

Tis the season

Halloween is less than a week away... Time to carve a pumpkin. I have no idea what I should carve though -- last year I just went with a abstract kinda pattern. Most years I've done some nice detailed picture. I don't have the tools for that this year... not that that ever stops me. Should I just go with a face?

I need to go pick one up. How fun! Should I grab some candy to hand out too? I won't need a ton of candy, but there's always people stopping by to trick or treat. Hmmm. Should I get sugar-free so I can snack on it too? Or would I totally suck for giving out sugar free candy? I could give out something like popcorn balls. We shall see -- I need to go pick up a pumpkin!

Note to self: When driving to pick up a pumpkin, don't drive past the movie theater or you'll end up coming home 3 hours later with less money and no pumpkin. ALSO, carry a bottle of water in your purse because water at the movie theater costs $3.50 -- THREE-FIFTY! For that much, I can get a whole freakin' case of bottled water.

Today someone commented that I was such a people person.

Eat that, bitch! And ANOTHER person asked me if I was a happy person or if I was nice only because I'm paid to be nice.

Well, would you look at that. How many gold stars do I get? I better get at least 10 off that.

Bring on the new jewelry

Last night we walked off our dinner with some shopping. While my sister-in-law shopped for my nephews school clothes (the boy is going to be over 7 foot tall, I promise you), my brother and I entertained him at some of stores with more interesting things to look at. In Swoozies, I found myself trying on a bunch of super-overpriced bracelets. I wanted them all... I'm sure the total would have been just under a thousand. You know, not much.

When my mom finally showed up I thrust my arm out to show her my favorite. She looked at it and said -- "look they all fit!" And then I realized what she was talking about -- bracelets never fit me. I have thicker wrists.

Correction -- most bracelets DO fit me and I used to have thicker wrists.

Sweet Jesus, they deep fried balls of macaroni & cheese. Life is so good.

Tonight I had what might possibly have been the best meal i've ever had at a restaurant. We (we being my brother, his family and I) took my mother out to dinner tonight. We had about a million options but we ended up at The Cheesecake Factory. For an appetizer, my brother ordered avocado eggrolls -- naturally, I objected. Heidi backed up my objection but my brother held strong to his decision. So we just ordered our own -- fried macaroni & cheese (they didn't have a picture for this one, not that it matters because the avocado eggrolls didn't look much like the picture on the website).

Can I just say, we were so right. I could die of fried macaroni & cheese and die happy. Good lord, they were incredible. The good homemade creamy mac & cheese -- breaded and deep fried. There are no words. I think we all decided that screw the meals, just bring us a few plates of these. I notice that there is only one location in all of Alabama & Mississippi. Hell, just rename the place "Fried Mac & Cheese" and open 20 more locations. The avocado rolls on the other hand... They seemed to be enjoyed by my family and my first taster bite wasn't all that bad. So I decided to take a bite. Oh, big mistake. A whopping chunk of avocado and red onion. I literally stopped chewing dead in my tracks as my brother, who had been watching for my reaction, burst into laughter. I didn't want to chew it, and I certainly didn't want to swallow it. It was just vile. I came oh so close to spitting it right back out -- but I resisted. Instead I chewed and swallowed as if I were being tortured -- because I was.

Our meals ranged from crispy chicken costoletta for my brother, bang-bang chicken and shrimp for his wife, cheese pizza for my nephew, steak diane for my mom, and honey-maple pork tenderloin for myself. All of them were fantastic. Mine was served with mashed potatoes, carrots, and broccoli. Yum. The vegetables and tenderloin were all fantastic -- and those mashed potatoes... Just give me some mashed potatoes and fried Macaroni and I'll be splendid, thank you.

We also all ordered slices of cheesecake to-go. I'm going to have to give the Cheesecake Factory 5 stars. I've been there only twice, but the food has always been excellent. The atmosphere is great and so is the service. I HIGHLY recommend it if you've never had it.

We shopped for a bit after dinner. Then for the birthday part (mom's birthday) -- we didn't have a birthday cake -- but we did have 4 slices of overpriced but delicious gourmet cheesecake and a lighter. I'm glad to say that mom successfully blew the lighter out -- she can now have her wish. And I'm sure you can all go ahead and assume that dessert was beyond great. I also want to give them a huge kudos on the sugar-free dessert. They have a sugar-free cheesecake (which my brother said tasted even better than his slice) with fresh strawberries in a sugar-free sauce and sugar-free whipped cream to top it all off. Major props to the Cheesecake Factory!

Go give them your money -- it's totally worth it.

Live like you were dying

So while I was driving, I heard the song "Live Like You Were Dying." It's not a great song but it made me think; what would I do if I were told I were dying? And I had a while to think about it.

I'd buy myself a convertible Beetle (stick shift) and I'd go on an adventure. I'd drive around seeing cheesy local attractions. I'd live 40-Dollars-A-Day style and eat out for every meal. I'd have dessert every night. I'd stay in hotels. I'd go to the Smithsonian for sure. Lot's of museums. I'd go to one of those places you always see in movies where you hike up to this gorgeous waterfall with a crystal clear pool at the bottom and rocks you can jump off of -- I've always wanted to go to a place like that. I'd drive to somewhere where there's snow and I'd spend an entire day making snow angels and snowmen and warming up by a huge fire when I got too cold.

And I'd document it all in pictures and write a book. Probably not a book that would ever get published, but a book none-the-less. I'd take pictures of cheesy local diners -- all the places I stayed and ate at -- pictures of the state lines I crossed -- and I'd write. I'd write how I felt, I'd ponder the great mysteries of life. I'd write about everything and funny stories I could recall -- I'd write about the people in my life complete with pictures. I'd document my last days in their entirety. And even if my book didn't get published, which is most likely, I could have it printed up for my family and friends to remember me by. Like a long goodbye letter.

If I didn't have anyone to share my adventure with, I'd still do it -- but I'd love it if a good friend went along with me. Just a huge last blast -- you know? And I'd play lots of monopoly. Especially with my family & friends. Sure it takes time to sit down and get it out and no one ever wants to -- but isn't it fun? Don't you end up laughing together? That's how I'd want to spend my last days -- laughing and adventuring with people I care about. Oh, and driving the dark grey convertible Beetle...

And maybe if I could swing it, I'd go to the Louvre and Spend some more time in Switzerland -- but I'd rather do the great-american Beetle adventure. Maybe if I had a year or so, I could do a great-American Beetle adventure AND a great European Beetle adventure too. What an awesome year that would be. I wonder if I'll still want to do something like that when I retire and actually have the time and money to do it?

Oh that is so wrong.

My moms birthday is this weekend. I'm working on her birthday so I'm going to go to B'ham tonight, spend the night -- take her to dinner tomorrow and then head back here. I'm going to be there for all of 24 hours, right? Guess what, since I'm going to be home for all of one night -- let's paint mom's kitchen! COME ON. Like I want to paint moms kitchen on my day off. I fucking hate painting.

Now, about 2 days ago I said no to something I really wanted to do... and I've regretted it ever since. Why, oh why didn't I just get in the car and go?

You. Are. Killing. Me.

It's been over a week since I went to the allergist. It's been a week since I had all those tests done. I still haven't heard back about the tests. That's fine, some stuff takes time -- I understand this. Tuesday I talked with a nurse who said that the labs were in but the doctor hadn't had a chance to review them yet and they would call me the next day. Cool.

Since no one called yesterday and I'm about to head to Birmingham, I just called them back. They asked me how long ago I had the tests done. I said a week. She said that some stuff takes 2 weeks to get back and that they didn't have them yet.

You lost my labs didn't you?

I told the nurse that I was told Tuesday that they had them -- and I'm sure they had them because the nurse told me some of the results already. Then they put me on hold. I've been on hold for half and hour now.

I swear this is the most crack pot messed up allergist ever -- and I'd post the name of the place in protest, but all I know is the name of the doctors that work there and it might not be their fault. It could just be a completely incompetent staff -- I'm becoming sickeningly familiar with this problem.

UPDATE: They found them. Most of it was normal but not all of it, so they are sending me back to have some more tests. Fun.


I'm a pretty easily amused person. And there are times when I laugh, and then there are times when I laugh. When something just tickles me, I will sometimes laugh for quite a while, and the longer I keep going... the worse it'll get. My family knows this and will sometimes exploit it by egging me on till I turn beet red and gasp for breath. I believe the last time this happened I was watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail with my brother. My lord that movie makes me laugh every time.

Today I had one of those tickled moments. It wasn't even funny -- I think it was a combination of complete boredom and dislike for my teacher. Yes, I was in class. Differential equations, to be specific. The teacher was doing some long problem and at some point integrated sin/cos using substitutions. I, as usual, was bored out of my mind and sitting in the back corner of the room. Someone raised their hand and asked why he didn't just integrate it as tan. The teacher (who has probably lived in America 30 years but has yet to master our language) then gave a spill about how then you'd have to know the formula for integrating tan -- and at some point he posed the rhetorical "what's the integral of tan?" and without missing a step the student spit the formula right out.

And in that pretty silent moment just after, I said way too loudly (as usual) "well, he sure knew that" and I just cracked up. I know it's not that funny -- but something about it just tickled me. And I just could not stop laughing about it. I'd think I was done... and then just crack up all over again.

At least I was entertained.

Short Takes

~ The Papa Johns new Perfect Pan Pizza is so good. You should try it. It's weird because it doesn't taste like Papa Johns at all. The crust is completely different and the sauce is totally different. The sauce is much lighter and fresh -- a bit sweeter too.

~ I went to the dentist today to have my teeth cleaned. She asked me if I flossed and for a few seconds I thought about lying. I don't floss, sorry. Do any of you lie when they ask that? Am I a bad person for not flossing?

~ The dentist I go to is totally in the ghetto. But what's really odd is that there are 4 dentists right there in about 2 blocks. In the ghetto. And we aren't talking about an area where there are a lot of businesses. I don't get it. And it makes me wonder if the people who live there have really clean teeth. I bet they don't.

~ I've got to stop watching the Health channel. There's all these shows (for example "I Lost It") about people who lost weight -- the girl on there right now "went to college weighing 180." That's TV show worthy? My lord, when I hit 180 I'll be thrilled to death. And her boyfriend is on here saying that "he saw past the weight." Fuck yall -- 180 isn't THAT bad. Shows like this make me not want to go out in public. I'm gonna have to take a Klonopin if they keep acting like she was too fat to go out in public or I'm not gonna be able to go to class. And of course I'm watching this while having lunch. And I'd do my usual -- oh I'm horrible for eating, but I skipped breakfast and a girls got to eat.

~ Back to the dentist, I think she was threatening me. I have a cavity I need to get filled. I'd get it filled today if they wanted to do it for free -- but they don't. They wouldn't drop it -- she even looked up the price of a root canal and said "if you wait it will cost ____ or you can pay this now -- I can get you in on Monday." No. How many ways can I say no? She lectured me about it forever. Dude, I know how much money is in my checking account. You want to give me fillings and whatever that stuff they put on top of your teeth to prevent cavities is and you want to rip out my wisdom teeth and you want to give me braces too. I'm in college. I have a budget. I'll do these things eventually but right now they aren't on my priority list.

~ Driving past Books-A-Million reminded me of this lady that came in B&N this past weekend. She wanted her membership canceled. That's kinda odd because you pay for the card for a year and then you're done. There's no more commitments or anything -- you can forget you did it if you want. But she wanted it canceled right then. Why? She worked at BAM and felt "like a traitor." I really do think she felt bad for even being in the store. It was really odd.

~ I've seen three butterflies today -- in October. They were all orange & black, but I hesitate to say what kind they were because I can't be positive. One flew right over my head so low that I thought it was going to hit me. I saw another while driving -- it fluttered past my car while I was in the turn lane... and then it got hit by a car. I shit you not. I didn't think butterflies could get hit by cars. I'm not sure that it's dead or not -- maybe it floated just over the car like when you run into a drifting plastic bag.

~ Someone did a search for "Alabama Psychiatric Services" and my blog was the 26th result with the lovely quote of "Everyone at Alabama Psychiatric Services can burn in Hell for all I care." YES! That makes my day -- I hope they heed my warnings.

Still afraid of roaches too

Bugs scare me and I have no idea why. If I see a bug, I will kill it, yes -- but I'll be screaming like a banshee while I do it. Especially if it turns and starts to move towards me -- UGH. And lord if one gets on me I will go cry in the shower. Especially roaches. I would literally rather see a snake than a roach. I don't scream as much when I have to kill a snake -- but show me a roach and I'm dying.

And logically I know that chopping a snakes head off is way more dangerous. I know that snake could bite me and put me in the hospital. The most a roach could do to me is... well nothing really. But the roach -- the roach is just evil. I mean LOOK at them -- all those nasty legs and those long antennae and they're brown. Ugh -- why won't they just go extinct already.

Ugh! And those big ones that can fly short distances! If a roach starts flying, I will panic. Once I was in my moms yard and one fell on me or flew on me from a tree and I totally freaked out running around flailing. And somehow it ended up in my shirt (I'm telling you, I was panicking) but it stopped moving so I thought it was gone. Then I start doing the damage check and looking just to make sure it's gone -- lord when I saw that it was in my shirt, I ripped that shirt off right there in front of the neighbors and everyone. In fact, just remembering it makes me feel violated.

Can we develop something to just kill them all off? I really don't think they play that much of a role in the ecosystem -- we'll be okay.

I wish I had a reason; my flaws are open season

I am fully aware that I have been sleeping far too much lately. Be it sleeping late or just "naps." I know it's not mentally healthy, but I've been using the "physical" excuse (itchy hives). It doesn't make life any better -- but it sure does make it easier. I could deal with life... or I could just sleep. I don't worry when I'm asleep. I don't freak out when I'm asleep. I'm not lonely if I'm asleep.

That last one is very important. Plus time passes. Maybe I'll meet someone tomorrow -- tomorrow will come faster if I take a nap.

I'm mad at God. He knows it. We've talked about it. More accurately: I talked to the wall about it. I'm tired of hearing "It'll happen" "God has a plan for you" "There's someone out there for you." How do we know God has a plan for me? How do we know "it'll happen." In my near 23 years I've never had a guy. NEVER EVER -- not even some stupid pretend relationship. NOTHING. And sure you say -- "oh you're so young" -- screw you, you were "in love" when you were 18. How many relationships did you have by the time you were 23? And don't give me some shit about they didn't mean anything -- at least you had someone -- at least someone gave a shit about you.

I'm tired of being alone. And tired is a HUGE understatement.

I'm so tired that I'm sick. I'm so tired that I just want to sleep -- and then sleep some more. Life sucks and I'm tired of being awake for it. Who cares? No ones gonna notice. IT'S JUST ME.

If I'm gonna be alone for the next 80 years then I'd rather skip it, thank you. I want someone to love -- I want someone to cook for and pamper and make happy. I want someone to hold and to hold me. I want to know that at the end of the day -- no matter how shitty my day is, it'll be ok -- cause we'll be together.

But it won't be ok. And I'll be alone. And god I'm so sick and tired of it. I'm fucking pissed at God and He totally knows it. And He can strike my ass down for it -- cause at least then I won't be alone anymore -- or at least I wouldn't care anymore.
"Wish I was too dead to care
If indeed I cared at all
Never had a voice to protest
So you fed me shit to digest
I wish I had a reason;
my flaws are open season
For this, I gave up trying
One good turn deserves my dying

You don't need to bother;
I don't need to be "

Seller of Books

I suppose I should post about my new job, but I really don't have much to say. I just finished my third day. So far I like it. I like almost all of the people I work with. The job seems easy enough. I've managed to make it through all my shifts still smiling at the customers and wishing them well. So yeah, so far so good.

I'm still not happy about having a job -- no more days off to sleep late and lounge around my apartment. But having a job will be good for me, I think. So everyone say a prayer that I will like it and be happy there. Then call and ask to speak to a manager while pretending like you were a customer and had the most wonderful service from the young girl named Karen -- you know, get me in good ;)

Man, there is so much stuff in there I want to buy. I have to keep telling myself that -- one, I don't need any of it -- and two, I have no money. There's these cute little stuffed dragons that match some book and they are just SO ADORABLE and I want one. But do I need a stuffed dragon? Hell no. However I keep looking at how cute they are and they're only 15 dollars and I get 30% off... You see? And it's not even things as trivial as stuffed dragons -- lord I want everything in there. Books and non-books. And lord at the bargain books.

The location I work at has the largest bargain section of ANY B&N all over the country. And it's a little store in Huntsville Alabama. I find it fascinating. When books don't sell, they are sent back to the publisher. The publisher then sells bookstores the extra books at next-to-nothing. These "bargain books" are then sent out to all the different stores. The more bargain books a location sells, the more they will be sent. That's how our store ended up with such a huge section. We are talking hardcover books for 3 dollars. And they have those huge gorgeous art books that are usually 70 dollars for only 14. Man, I could buy ALL OF IT. And whats amazing is that the store makes more off of selling you that 3 dollar copy of what used to be a 30 dollar book then they do on the other books. Isn't that weird?

There's going to be a week near Christmas when we will get 40% off. I'm going to go crazy. I know I was going to try to keep myself from giving everyone B&N stuff for Christmas... but I won't be able to resist. Everyone's getting B&N for Christmas so you might as well go shopping and just tell me what you want ;)

Now the weekends over and it's time to switch my focus from work to school... blech.

5 Months post-op

Today marks exactly 5 months since I had weightloss surgery. I'm down 48 pounds since the day of surgery and 60 pounds since April. I can finally notice that I've lost a little but I'm still extremely disappointed in how slow I'm losing. Seems like the scale hasn't moved in FOREVER. I'd post measurements but then I'd have to take them and I'd probably get depressed and regret the lasagna I just ate.

Mmmm... it's good lasagna too -- I made it. I've been cooking so much lately. I was on this frozen dinner kick, now I'm on the cooking kick. I made some awesome chili the other day with turkey instead of beef -- my nutritionist would be proud. Usually cooking seems so expensive because there's a lot of ingredients and I'm a college student so it's not like I have a pantry of stuff. But when I'm just cooking for me, taking the time to cook a full course meal is worth it because I can stick it in the fridge and have full course homemade meals for days! Ok, so it's the exact same meal... but I'm not that picky.

Anyway, I'm psyched to finally be able to tell I've lost some. I've lost 2 (or 3 depending on cut) jean sizes! So hopefully I'll have an even better report next month.

A Haunting in Georgia

I'm watching "A Haunting in Georgia" on TLC. Let me just say, if I start hearing voices and seeing things and doors slam on me and a light is still flickering when I unplug it and I wake up with claw marks -- I'm not hanging around. I don't care if it's ghosts or demons or natural phenomena or if it's that complete mental breakdown finally sneaking up on me -- I'm so out of there. And if I had unplugged that lamp and it was still going crazy, I'd have smashed the shit out of it and started pleading the blood of Jesus over my house. There'd be a full on casting out of demons too -- complete with Bible readings.

Why do these people stay around these places? "Oh... it went on for years." What? Why didn't you MOVE?

I hope these people are all lying, because if not then they are just absolute morons. The guy claims that a ghost clawed him up in his sleep. *shivers* I wouldn't be playing any of those games. I'd be gone the second I woke up -- wouldn't even take a shower or get dressed. I'm just gone. Period.

I shouldn't be watching these shows -- I'm going to have nightmares tonight. And if I wake up with claw marks, I'm getting in the car and I'm going somewhere. I don't know where -- but I'll be gone... because I'm not a moron.

The soon-to-be-infamous shooting spree I will embark upon when I finally snap is drawing nigh

Does everyone have this many problems with doctors offices and prescriptions or is it just me? I mean seriously, this is just a huge unrealistic pain in my ass. Let me bitch about the latest fiasco. I wasn't going to, I was just going to lay in bed and watch must-see TV. But no, my Chinese freak of a roommate starting eating something so loudly that I could hear every single slurp over my TV... through the closed door... from across the apartment. Are you KIDDING ME? Am I on some game show where they try to break me? Is this like a long term "boiling point" where when I finally freak out someone will hand me a hundred dollars and laugh -- cause let me tell you right now, I will not be amused.

So last night Izzy showed me the light that is DrugStore.com. If you have not checked this out, you have to. Every single prescription I have looked up is cheaper there than at the drug store (95 dollars vs $120, $21 vs $43.99, and $63 vs $79.99). I'd be crazy not to transfer all my prescriptions immediately. So I am... trying.

First, I called Walgreens to get them to transfer my Effexor prescription -- I can save almost 40 dollars a month just on that ALONE! They refused. She said that they couldn't transfer prescriptions over the internet. I told her that it's a pharmacy like any other with a real live pharmacist to call and gave her the number. She said they couldn't do it. After a lot of back and forth, she said she'd call them and look into it and I gave up.

So I called my psychiatrists office to just get them to call in a new prescription for me. Now yall know that's not gonna go well for me. But I tried it anyway. Surprisingly I actually got a nurse on the phone -- thats amazing for these people (That's Alabama Psychiatric Services, the Madison Office -- never ever consider dealing with these people. Also avoid the Decatur and Brookwood offices). She tells me that they can't call anything into that pharmacy. I then had the exact same debate as I just had with Walgreens. This one ended quicker though because she said that I still had refills on my last script and so they couldn't prescribe me anymore. Reasonable win for her.

So back to Walgreens I call. Same argument -- they wouldn't transfer it to them. Then she slipped up and said that since they had already dispensed part of the script, it couldn't be transfered so I'd have to have a new one written. BULLSHIT. I've had prescriptions transfered before -- they just don't want to do it. Walgreens is holding my prescription hostage. Evil. I got a manager on the phone after that. After explaining it to him, he finally said that I would just have to get the pharmacist for DrugStore.com to call them. Thank you, that only took 2 hours.

*NOTE: I've spoken with DrugStore.com twice on the phone today while setting up my account and trying to get everything transferred. They are surprisingly super easy to get on the phone -- they're nice helpful English-speaking people too. And they have great prices -- and free shipping on orders over 50 dollars -- and free express shipping on orders over 100 -- and they bring your prescriptions to your door. Man, I already love these people.

So remember those 500 dollar prescriptions from the allergist? Those came next. Apparently, the doctors office still hadn't called in a new one. Considering they had over half of the business day yesterday and this morning too, I decided to call and leave another message. Then at 4PM when no one had called anyone, I decided to make a third call. This time, I pretended to be making an appointment so I could get an actual person on the phone -- I'm sneaky like that. Obviously, the receptionist wasn't very happy about it. She explained that office procedure was for me to call and leave a voicemail with the nurse. I told her I had already done that and no one responded. She spilled more procedure crap and I tried to explain that I just saw the doctor yesterday morning and only needed a simple change made. After lots of back and forth, she finally put me on hold... for half an hour.

Finally a nurse picks up and I explain it all to her. She says that she had spoken to the allergist already and that since I just had gastric bypass, the doctor felt that the liquids were best for me and so they wouldn't change it. ...

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? They won't change it? So I explained to the nurse that I can crush the tablets and that I already had the pharmacist check to see that they were crushable -- they are and it's perfectly safe for me to do. I told her that there is a 300 dollar price difference and that if the prescription isn't changed, there is no way I can afford to purchase it. She says she'll talk to the doctor again tomorrow.

If they refuse to change it again, I'm going up there and I'm not leaving till I speak with the crackpot doctor herself. What the hell is wrong with all these people?

You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to write my Primary Care Physician a letter about how much I appreciate his office staff. They are always prompt and courteous, concerned and helpful. Apparently that is super rare.

Great idea

I have decided that my life would be made easier if I had a large white dryerase board. How much do those run? That would make my math and computer homework much easier. Tonight I have to design a BCD to Grey code converter using NAND Gates so I can build it tomorrow in lab. And it occurs to me that I use a lot of paper on stuff like this -- if I had a big white board I could write it all out without changing the page and have it all right there in one glance -- and erasing and changing things would be super easy too.

I think I should look into this.

So the video iPod is finally here

Now everyone can finally stop speculating. What I don't understand is why ALL videos in the iTMS are 2 dollars. A 3 minute music video is two dollars, a 10 minute Pixar short film (love that they have those available) is two dollars, and a half-hour episode of Desperate Housewives is two dollars. Shouldn't the price vary somewhere in there?

Oh and for the Desperate Housewives fans out there, you can buy the entire first season and put it on your new iPod. Now that's nifty. I read something about not being able to rip DVDs to it, but you know it's only a matter of time before someone puts up some freeware for that.

I gotta say, watching DVDs on my shiny new 60 gig iPod with 2.5 inch color display sounds pretty darn nice. Imagine traveling in an airport with THAT. The thing is tiny, has every song you ever liked loaded on it AND your favorite DVDs -- plus the Audioslave "Like a Stone Video" that Chris Cornell is so hot in. Man, I gotta get one of those.

Most frustrating doctors appointment ever.

Spent three hours at the allergist's office this morning. She felt positive that it was a food allergy. So food allergy testing we did. I'm posting this for the googlers who want to know what to expect at the allergist. I couldn't find anyones experience when I searched.

The nurse came in with a rather large tray of needles. This made me nervous. I asked if it would hurt -- she said no. LIAR. She had me stretch out my arms and she drew a grid on the inside of them and numbered 1-50. Then she began pricking me with all the needles. Sure, it's not an 8 on the scale of pain, but being pricked 50 times on the sensitive skin of my inner arms is not something I would describe as pleasurable. Then she wiped off the excess liquid (from all the test substances) and told me to keep my arms stretched out for 15 minutes and not to touch or scratch. Now, I already was itching from the hives (the reason I was there) and then she goes and pricks me 50 times and tells me not to touch. I just laid my head down on the table and waited. ...and waited ... and waited.

Eventually she came back and used a little ruler to measure all 50 little pink dots. Nothing was positive. I asked her about number 2 which had formed a welt. That was the control histamine. Gee, thanks for giving me more things to scratch...

So no, doesn't look like Karen is allergic to any foods. It does, however, look like Karen is an obsessive compulsive junky considering she has a grid of track-marks up her arms.

So the allergist said it could be some infection somewhere in my body. So tomorrow I go for blood tests, urine analysis and sinus x-rays. These are really just to rule things out though. Apparently, in cases like this, they don't find a cause 85% of the time. In that case, all they can do is let it run its course and try to manage the symptoms. How long is its course you ask? The average is 18 months and it could just last forever. Wow, what WONDERFUL news!

Really, I thought medicine had come further than this. 85% of the time you can't figure it out? What the hell is that? I asked her what we do if the tests all come back fine. We do nothing. NOTHING. Are you kidding me? My eyes and throat are swelling closed and we do nothing and just let it run its course? Gee, I'm so glad everyone convinced me to go to the allergist!

She said she sees this happen to a lot of people who had recent surgery. She said there's just some trauma in the body and all you can do is let it run its course. I swear to god this all sounded like medical advice I would give someone. I honestly thought medicine was WAY further along than this. "Well there's something wrong with you somewhere because of something and all we can do is let it run it's course and manage your symptoms."

So, on to managing symptoms. Zyrtec and Zantec each twice a day and Benadryl as needed -- oh, and epipens, but I already have those. And dude, nurse lady was so weird. I told her I already had epipens and that the doctor had already shown me how to use them. She didn't believe me! She went and got one of the testers and said "show me." Ok...

So anyway, I left with some prescriptions and frustration. On my way home I dropped off said prescriptions and asked how much they would be. THEY WERE ALMOST FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS (that's $500.00)! There are not enough ways for me to say no. No no no no no no no. Cancel it.

I know anyone who reads this blog is already aware that I pay $250 dollars a month for Effexor, and really I should still be on Klonopin but I couldn't afford all the prescriptions so that stopped getting bought. Now you want to make my prescriptions SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS (that's $750.00) a month? Christ no! If that is the case then I'm just gonna have to go on a prescription fast and be a very anxious suicidal itchy person with swollen eyes and trouble breathing.

Am I allowed to ask what the hell this doctor was thinking? Was she just unaware of the PRICE of this shit? I mean you may be a doctor -- but I'm not. Some of us are what is known as "poor." I will not even consider buying those prescriptions -- the only reason I'm willing to pay so much for Effexor is because it has the very obvious effect of keeping me from killing myself -- and even with that, I still question if it's worth the price every single time I get it refilled. So after some back and forth with the (very nice) pharmacist, they said they would call the doctor and get her to change it. She had prescribed me the brand name liquids, they're gonna call and ask if they will change that to tablets that I can just crush up. Now, I told that doctor that I could crush up tablets because she asked me if I could take pills and I specifically said no but that I could crush up tablets. If they don't change it, then I'm just not getting it. Period.

So now I'm just left frustrated and still not knowing what is causing me to have this reaction and I have much less hope of figuring it out. Life sucks.

Oh yeah, and I was looking at the test orders (they give me the paper work, I go find someone to do the tests) and they were totally wrong. First, I asked the doctor why urine test wasn't on there because she had told me I needed that. She said it should be and she corrected the form. Then I was looking over it and I asked her if she could explain to me what these tests were for. As, I've said many a time, I don't know crap about anything medical. So she looked over the sheet with me and began to explain what they were -- only she realized that the whole form was almost completely wrong. It had tests I didn't need and was missing lots of tests I did need. What the hell? Doesn't anyone even glance over these things to make sure they are correct? I know errors happen, but come on -- the only reason anyone caught this was because I'm the one who asked her to look over it and explain it to me. Everything about this appointment totally frustrated me.

Need. Clothes.

Well... Having been hired for a new job on the same day I learn that I own 2 pair of pants (which happen to be jeans which can't be worn at said job), I had a bit of shopping to do today. I needed some pants and I needed them before Friday. First I went to Lane Bryant to check out any clearance (no paying full price for pants I'll shrink out of). That's when I learned that I am now a size 22... where as I was a size 28. Isn't that just so nice? Told you all my pants were too big. So I did pick up a nice pair of khakis. They were still over priced, but they were on sale and I was psyched that I can wear a size 22 pant now. My goal of 12 is getting closer...

Then I headed over to Target because one pair of pants ain't gonna cut it. Well the first thing I did was look for the amazing green coat. I couldn't help it. They didn't have it. This pissed me off because I was going to consider buying it for real if I could fit into a size down (the one I tried on the other night was the size I usually wear). So, I did the completely irrational thing to do and drove all the way over to Jones Valley to look at the Target there.

They had the jacket... on a sale rack. It was with the other jackets that were on sale for 50 dollars. You HAVE to be kidding me. I also tossed on the size down and not only did it look good, it fits perfect! Now I don't know about yall, but I call that a sign.

Yes, I'm wearing the pretty green coat as I type this post -- Oh I'm gonna wear it. I may be in my pajamas... but I'm gonna wear it. No, it wasn't on sale -- but since some idiot put them all on the sale rack, Target had to honor that. Nice eh? I also picked up another pair of pants. So now at least I have 4 pairs of pants that fit. Oh, and I replaced all my socks. ...and bought a new purse. I also considered some sunglasses incase my eye swells again, but I decided that we want to get rid of the problem -- not cover it up.

All in all, I spent entirely too much money today. Good thing I have a job now.

I also went through all my clothes. Yeah, I totally don't have any clothes now. But what I do have is stylish and looks damn good on me. A lot of it I'm just going to trash -- but some of it is really nice stuff. I've got 2 pair of pants, 2 tops and a skirt that still have the tags -- plus a lot of expensive things that are barely worn. Does anyone know anyone who is a 26 or 28 that is stylish? I'll give it away for free to anyone that wants to come get it. We're talking a few hundred dollars worth of clothes here. I'd be upset, but I'm too happy that I'm wearing the green coat and a size 22 pants.

Did something good just happen?

I have now officially rejoined the world of the employed. I am now a "bookseller." First day is Friday, and they are even paying me for the 3 hours I spent doing paper work this morning. Nice, eh?

So yes I went to my interview today -- hives and all. They're really bad today but thankfully they aren't showing on my face this morning/afternoon... yet. I didn't sleep at all last night... again. But at least I can open both my eyes again.

So it went well! I was about 10 minutes late -- and she commented on that -- and yes, I apologized like crazy. Honestly, the reason I was late was that I couldn't find anything to wear. I've only been wearing jeans to class and such and since I had some pants that had been previously too small, I "knew" that I could just wear them. Yeah... apparently the only pants I have that fit are blue jeans. And we aren't talking a "wearable" too-big. You just can't wear dress pants that are 2 sizes too big. Whats sad is that 2 pair of them are nice pants that I purchased on sale and never have worn. They still have tags! What a nice problem. I'm used to not having anything to wear because it's all too tight -- not because it's all too big. That's nice :) I'm going to go through tonight and get rid of all the stuff that's too big - it'll be depressing and exciting all at the same time!

I'm also wearing my new pink shoes today. Yep. I totally bought some pink shoes. I never have had any particularly cute shoes. I never have any money to buy shoes and well, I just never splurge and buy cute ones. These are pink suede -- so cute!

Also on a odd note -- I've lost two shoes sizes. All my socks are too big too. Isn't that strange? I usually wear a size 10 womens shoe -- I even have some 11s. I have extremely flat wide (but totally cute)feet... now they are extremely flat and less wide. I'm now a perfect 9 -- and that was with thick socks.

So I have hardly any shoes, no pants, one proper fitting-bra and very few shirts. I also need lots of new socks. And yet no one can tell I've lost any weight. And don't tell me that's not true because it is -- no one can tell except for my family and I'm starting to think they might just lie to me. I'm just edging to the 50 pound mark. I'm not quite at 50 lost -- but I'm at about 48 and a week shy of 5 months out from surgery. Sure everyone else loses that much in a third of the time, but nothing ever works particularly well for me and 10 pounds a month isn't too bad. I'm scared to death that I won't get anywhere near my goal (which is 160-170). Really, I'm starting to think I won't make that and to have given up so much already, that's a damn depressing thought. And really, if I don't lose it now -- I never will. It's not like I can not lose it with weight loss surgery and exercise then diet it off when I'm 30.

Since April though, I've lost 65 pounds. Man, that's a LOT. And the change in my fitness level is amazing. I'm in better shape now than I was in grade school.

And I got the job I really wanted and some pink shoes too. I should be terribly happy right now... I'm trying.


I have gorgeous eyes and I'm told I have flawless eyebrows. But that's really hard to tell when I can't open my left eye because THERE ARE FUCKING HIVES ON MY EYELID AND IT'S SWOLLEN SHUT.

And I have a job interview in the morning. And class tomorrow. And I can't take any antihistamines because I have to see the allergist on Wednesday and I can't have anything for 4 days before I go.

This is anxiety. My psychiatrist wants to know why I have anxiety. Everyone can't understand why I'm constantly freaking out about shit. I HAVE MY MOTHER FUCKING REASONS, OKAY?

It itches, it's gross, it's ugly and horrid. And I have hives all over -- all over my face too, so it looks like I am the poster child for hospitalization-worthy acne. You know, makeup can't cover this up. How can I go to class like this -- MUCH LESS A JOB INTERVIEW. My throat better swell shut soon so I can give myself one of those shots I paid a hundred dollars for.

Find your happy place, Karen. Find your happy place.

"I'll buy you a puppy if you want one."

That's what my mother said to me. That's how horribly lonely I am. Isn't that sad?

My mom is such a sweetheart. She knows I'm super lonely and I keep joking that I'm going to steal her Bon to keep me company. (We got Bon as an adult so we didn't get to name her -- her name is Bonnie. Bonnie is not a name any ****k would have ever chosen to name a dog. She's been abused and then abandoned and already has obvious anxiety problems so we don't have the heart to put her through a name change. So we call her Bon Bon and I just call her Bon for short -- she's such a sweetie -- and I don't even really like dogs).

I told her that if I got a dog, it would go from cute to pathetic rather quickly. I'd put it in little hats and post pictures of it on the internet and become one of those people I hate. I know I would. I would gush over it and love it to death and it would become my precious baby.

I don't need a dog -- I need a man.

This coat was made for me

Tonight while shopping at Target with mom, we found the most gorgeous coat. I was gawking at all the ugly fur coats when I spotted this one in the corner of my eye. I wasn't particularly impressed by it, but it was lime green so I threw one on. I showed mom and she just gushed at how gorgeous it was. I pointed out that it was 70 dollars and took it off. She told me that I had to go look in a mirror. She kept on me so I finally went to the dressing room to have a look.

She shouldn't have had me look. I swear this coat was made for me. The picture does it no justice -- it doesn't show the fabric or the color well -- plus it makes the collar look huge. In person though... mmmm. It's exactly my style, exactly my color, and oh so flattering on me.

But it's 70 dollars.

Nope, we didn't buy it -- much as we both loved it and wished I could have it. I feel bad actually because I know mom would have liked to have bought it for me. We just aren't in a spot to toss 70 dollars out on a jacket I don't need and will soon shrink out of to boot.

Damn that's such a nice jacket though. If I get the chance, I'll snatch it up -- maybe it won't sell well and they'll clearance them out.

The art of running a resturant

I just got back from lunch with my sister at Frontera (La Frontera Mexican Grill, to be exact -- it's in Trussville). It's probably in the running for my favorite restaurant. It's owned by the same people who run Habeneros in Roebuck. Same menu, same food, same prices, same waiters -- it's just a much more upscale location.

The reason I'm posting about it, is just the sheer efficiency with which they are run. I've never seen another restaurant like it. Today I was literally shocked by it. This is no ordinary dining experience where you wait for an incompetent waiter to refill your tea -- this is a whole new way to dine.

Let me try to explain what I mean. You don't really have a waiter or waitress. When you go in, you are almost always immediately seated. It doesn't matter how many parties just walked in, someone will grab you and take you to a table. Within seconds, someone else will be placing chips and fresh salsa (OMG the salsa is sooooo good) in front of you and taking your drink order. They will then retrieve those drinks immediately, and if for some reason you manage to make it a few seconds without a drink, someone else will ask you what you would like to drink. No one is assigned a table -- it's a bunch of very fast, very accurate people running around and waiting to pounce on your every need. Someone will take your order and someone will bring it out. I've probably eaten at this restaurant almost 30 times (and I mean that quite literally) and they've never gotten my order wrong. And as anyone whos eaten with me knows, I'm always switching stuff up. Today I got a lunch number 15 (burrito relleno) with no guacamole, chicken instead of beef, and double on the rice instead of beans. And even though a different person took my drink order and a different person took my food order and a completely different person ends up bringing it out... they always get it right.

And don't think you will ever run out of drink. The second you start drinking, someone's already there top off your glass. Your glass will always be topped off. And while this might sound annoying -- they don't get in the way at all. There's no interruption in your conversation -- they are in and out before you've even noticed. And apparently they keep track, because they know what you are drinking. And your bill will always be correct too. That's what amazes me.

It seems impossible to me that it can appear so random and yet work so seamlessly. I swear that today we had our food sitting in front of us within 2 minutes of us walking in the door. And believe me, this is awesome food at great prices. If it wasn't awesome, I wouldn't eat there all the time. In fact the perfection of service was our topic of lunch conversation.

I wouldn't expect such great service in a very expensive restaurant, much less one where my entire meal and drink comes out to about 8 dollars. It's like the second you enter, you are swept up and tended by personal servants. Seriously. And the atmosphere is superb -- I LOVE that place.

My sister says it's because of the owner. You'll know the owner -- he's always there keeping the ship and he will stop by your table to make sure everything is perfect. He doesn't put up with crap. He expects them to literally run to your table and if they aren't constantly running and on top of everything, they are fired on the spot. Now THAT'S how to run a restaurant.

Last night I ate at Ruby Tuesdays with a party of 8. We all had simple orders, but she managed to completely screw up 4 of them. I ordered chicken fingers. How hard is that? Two of us ordered chicken fingers. When the food came out she was like "there's 2 orders of chicken fingers?" Yes, idiot. She also ruined the steak orders. The most cooked steak was ordered medium well, she brought out 2 well-done steaks. No one ordered a well done steak. So half of us had to wait on our food. She also continually screwed up the drinks. The service was horrible -- and that's what a lot of restaurants have come to. And then I go to Frontera and I'm simply amazed that such a place can possibly exist. It pleases me greatly to know that the art of service is still alive and well.

And it pays for them -- Oh it pays. The restaurant is always packed -- always. And I'm told that the waiters make a killing in tips alone.

If you are ever in this area, you simply MUST eat there.

Frontera Grill
5974 Chalkville Mountain Rd., Trussville Alabama

NOTE: This post is being written at 3AM after I've hardly slept in 4 days and just downed like half a bottle of Benadryl.

I'm covered in itchy red swollen skin... because god hates me. I just know I'm going to go to the allergist Wednesday and he's gonna tell me I'm lactose intolerant. (How sure am I? I took the time to make the word know bold AND italic).

That will bring me up to being unable to eat sugar, dairy & my beloved milk, bread, hamburgers, deepdish pizza, and reeses cups... but I'll still be fat. Because god hates me.

And if that is the case, then Wednesday night I'm going to go buy 1 pound of red skittles and a small bag of blue skittles and a small bag of the new smoothie skittles and I'm going to pour them all into a big lime-green bowl and I'm going to sit down with a gallon of 2% milk and I'm going to die.

Death by skittles.

If I don't die of my intestines splitting open or choke on my own vomit, then I will die of anaphylactic shock when my throat swells shut. Goodbye cruel world, I hardly knew ye.

Tim's Toy

Today my brother took my nephew on his first ride on the motorcycle. Of course I had to grab my camera for that!

Check out my bro's bike. It's his graduation present. It's a hell of a nice bike too -- and please note the size. Look at my car behind it for some reference -- And please take note that Tim is very nearly 7 feet tall. That bike is WAY too big for me. I'm about the only one who hasn't gotten to ride it yet -- Tim says he's gonna take me out on it tomorrow. We'll see. I've ridden on a bike with my bro before, and he's not one to go slow.

I wonder if he'd let me drive it by myself...

RGIS -- A trip down memory lane

Someone searched for "RGIS sucks" and came across my little rant box here. All I have to say is...


That job was shit -- pure shit. RGIS is an inventory service (Retail Grocery Inventory Services). They don't just do grocery stores though -- they do everything. If you have stuff -- RGIS will count it for you. We did lots of grocery stores, department stores, clothing stores, stuff stores, I even got stuck counting liquid filled bras for 6 hours once. And yes, you can count just about anything for hours. Just counting. 4 cans of corn plus 6 cans of corn plus 20 cans of corn plus 2 cans of corn. Typing in skew numbers and prices and counting. God awful job. You have to wear knee pads because you are on your knees on hard floor crawling around for hours. And don't talk. Dude, don't talk or you will be punished. I almost always got stuck in some backroom inventorying piles of junk because if I was counting near someone I felt the need to strike up a conversation. Talking and counting is a HUGE no-no at RGIS.

Their promotion and raises are also totally messed up. That's why I ended up quitting in the end. I had hated the job for a long time. The hours were horrible and it put way too much wear on my poor POS car. We had to be available to work any hour anywhere in the 3 surrounding counties. So most of the time we'd have to show up someplace in the middle of nowhere when everythings closed and only the gang members are out at 3 AM. Dangerous annoying job.

But I was inventorying at a Kmart in Inverness one fine Saturday and this new chick was totally cherry picking. Now if you just choose to count the nice easy to count things, you can blow through a ton of sections quite accurately. But that's not the job -- everything has to be counted, not just the nice endcaps. So this bitch was just going around and cherry-picking her way through Kmart while I mindlessly counted the things she kept skipping because that was my job. And since she was going so "fast," she got an on-the-spot 50 cent raise. I remember it perfectly -- I was counting some cheap-ass bras when John gave her the raise. That was my breaking point. I quit right then.

Screw that crap. Some people loved that job -- had worked there for years. I just can't take that kind of work-environment. I need stability. That job is anything BUT stability.

And the uniform is horribly cheap uncomfortable polyester. Blech.

Home with the family

I came home to Birmingham this weekend. It's been a while since I've been home -- almost 2 months. It's so ...nice. I've been super stressed out lately. And I get the genuinely happy to see me vibe from my family. Not that they aren't usually happy to see me -- but this is the full on huge hug happy-to-see me. It's really quite nice.

(Of course it's nice right now... my crazy alcoholic sister hasn't gotten home from work yet -- but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it).

All the Halloween decorations are out -- and moms got the pumpkin spice candles burning. Man, I LOVE this season. The smells and colors -- LOVE it. And Cindy's gonna make pumpkin bread on Saturday. Mmmm. Oh, and last time I was home, I totally cleaned out my room... NICE. So I have a nice clean room with a huge soft bed to sleep in.

I hesitate to feel so comfortable here though. Last weekend I got pretty stressed out and wanted to come home but I made myself stay in Huntsville. I have to make sure that I know school is where I belong. Making my life in Huntsville is where I belong. No running home to mom. Home is only nice when it's every 2 months -- I have to remind myself that it wasn't so great before I moved out...

One of moms friends has sent me a huge box of stained glass from old church windows -- AWESOME. I haven't had a chance to look at it yet. I know what I'll be doing tomorrow! Maybe I'll make some little decorations to hang around -- we'll see. I'll post pictures if I accidently cut my arm off.

And Saturday I have been invited to a "slumber party." For the uninitiated out there, when adult females have a "slumber party" that's code word for a party where... Well, how do I explain this? You know how there's Tupperware parties and candle parties and such -- where someone hosts it and they sell Tupperware or candles or pots or whatever and they make money off it? Well a "slumber party" is the same thing except they sell kinky things like vibrators and fancy condoms and 5 inch heels with boa feathers. Sounds fun, no?

The picture of bad health & Everyone at Alabama Psychiatric Services can burn in Hell for all I care

I saw a guy attempting to run to class today. He was a rather heavy guy loaded down with books smoking a cigarette and he looked like he was in one hell of a hurry. Have you ever seen someone jogging or running with a cigarette? It's so very odd to see. Smoking is bad anyway, but if you're running and gasping for breathe, how is that smoke helping you? The guy looked like the poster child for the about-to-drop-dead-association. I'd have offered him a ride if her weren't smoking. It was just such a strange image to me -- it's stuck in my head. If the guy fell over and I ended up calling him an ambulance, it wouldn't have surprised me at all.

On a completely unrelated note, I hope that all the Alabama Psychiatric Services offices are suddenly engulfed in some 'Carrie' like hellfire earthquake. I've been to three of these offices now. Brookwood, Decatur, and Madison. For some reason, the whole system seems to be absolute bullshit run by only the most incompetent people. It literally angers me to a stomach ache. I got off the phone with them today and just wanted to throw my phone. And I'm stuck with them -- it's the only psychiatrists my insurance covers and my PCP doesn't deal with psych meds.

Burn in hell, APS.

Oh Well

So I get in the elevator with a guy today -- and I recognize him.
"Hey, we had a class together -- didn't we? Franklin, isn't it?"

"Yeah, what class was it?"

"Lord if I know, some Math class."

"Linear Algebra?"

"Yeah, I think that was it! Man that was almost 2 years ago... and I'm usually so bad with remembering names."

"Yeah, well I'm the guy in the wheelchair -- everyone knows the guy in the wheelchair."
That was kinda a conversation killer. Then he got off the elevator and I was just kinda in shock -- I think I offended him.

You know what? The wheelchair didn't really have anything to do with it -- it's that he looks exactly like the guy from the Jeffersons.

I think I'm just confused.

I think I'm still grasping the concept that I can be okay and not particularly happy, but not depressed. I'm sure this is something you all picked up on when you were about 3, but I didn't catch that.

I don't really know how I feel about anything right this second -- neither good nor bad... and it's odd. It's just such an odd feeling. I wish I could better explain. Sure lots of things are wrong, as always -- but unfortunately life just keeps rolling on oblivious to whether or not I'm ready for it to keep going.

And there's emotions that I'm struggling to understand -- and I wish I could post about it, but blogs aren't always the place for such things. And there's no one I can talk to about it either -- and lord knows if I know what to do so... I guess I just roll with the punches?

I think I should get a new psychiatrist... again. I want to go back and discuss my meds and life in general... but I don't like the guy. He makes me uncomfortable. He gives off the "I'm better than you" vibe and I don't want a "I'm better than you" vibe coming from my psychiatrist. Actually I don't want a psychiatrist at all, but I kinda need one -- I accept this.

I know I'm rambling on about nothing, and I know my recent posts have been boring as fuck, but I'm lacking in someone to talk to about shit right now, so I'm talking to my blog. It makes me feel better.

I'm doing pretty good in my 2 computer classes, it's weird -- I'm finally learning relevant information I might use in the future. We had a test Tuesday that no one finished. It was administered by a teachers aid (because why would the teacher who is getting paid to be there actually show up?) He wouldn't even give us an extra 5 minutes. And when I say that no one finished, I mean he said time's up and everyone was still there writing as fast as they could. The teacher told us it would be long -- but he said we'd have time to finish. Liar. God those math classes are stressing me out.

I applied for lots more jobs today. I wish the managers I speak to would just be realistic about wether I have a shot at the job or not. They all get excited that I want to work weekends and act like I'm a shoe-in. Of course the fact that I've now applied to twenty something places kinda says a different story. I went back to B&N (I'm a determined bitch, aren't I?) I spoke to the woman who does the hiring and she says they were actually going to call me next week. I don't know what that means... but she said the positions were still open and they might consider me. So who knows -- the ultimate job is still in the running! At least they know my face and my name and that I really want the job. There's nothing beyond that that I can do -- well, maybe I could make them a cake or something. Do people do stuff like that? "Here -- I baked you a cake... please hire me. It has cream cheese frosting."

After running around doing that all morning (I really just wanted to go to sleep, but to avoid depression and the bottomless-pit of being out of control of anything in my crappy life, I felt the need to get out there and TRY -- cause no ones gonna tell me I didn't at least TRY). Anyway, after all that, I had about an hour before class -- so I stopped at Arby's for lunch. Mmmmmm Arby's. I picked a spot in the window for lunch -- took a bite -- and then promptly ran to the bathroom to throw up. I still can't eat bread.

And it occurs to me that we put up with a lot of shit in our lives. We always think -- I can't take anymore. Yes, we can. Look at me. I had a surgery that causes me to randomly run to the bathroom and throw up -- I deal. I'm actually starting to question if it was worth it. I haven't yet -- but I'm about to, and once I hit that questioning phase -- it's all gonna be downhill. Twice a day, I grind up Effexor and drink it -- it's the nastiest thing I've ever had to drink and I don't know if it's the revolting taste or the drug itself -- but it makes me very sick. So I usually have to sit down for about ten minutes and tell myself not to throw up the expensive medicine. And I pay out the ass for this medicine that makes me sick twice a day. I don't feel that I currently have a choice. And then -- the hives. Do I really even need to elaborate on that -- I've said enough. I'm dealing. It sucks. No one cares.

We put up with a lot of shit, eh? And that's life. It seems that all I do is put up with stuff. I do it because I have to. I do it because it's what I'm supposed to do -- but what do I do because I WANT to?

I got the Nickelback CD today -- I wanted to do that. And last night I got to watch Medium. And I try to fill in spaces with things like that -- things I want to do... but it doesn't seem to be working. My life feels so pointless and empty. And when I say that, I'm not saying it from a place of despair -- it's more from a place of apathy. It doesn't matter how much I try -- it doesn't seem like I have any control of anything. I know exactly what I want -- but I can't have it or get it.

So what? Do I listen to the new CD I bought -- or do I lay in bed and stare at the wall? Who cares if I go to sleep? And what difference would it make -- this nights going to pass and tomorrows going to come either way. And really, I don't know if I particularly care.

My roommate annoys the crap out of me, by the way. Different cultures, I guess. Yesterday I left my door open, because I don't want to sit holed up in my room. Then she started slurping something so loud that I could hear it over my TV. I'm sorry, but I can't take that. It seems that no matter what she eats -- she's going to make as much noise as possible while doing it. And this is me, I've never claimed to be able to even sit next to someone chewing gum -- so really this situation sucks. And she's always... around. And it's really hard to explain that. It's like she's always just THERE. She's never not there.

Look, let me open my door. Why look at that, she's RIGHT THERE AT THE END OF THE HALL LOOKING AT ME. And if I were to walk down the hall to the bathroom, she'd watch my every step and never say a word. And then she'd watch me wash my hands... and then she'd watch me walk back down the hall. This is not paranoia, this is weird. And it's about time for her to cook dinner. This means that she will grab that radio that I hate so much and set it right outside my door while she does something with that raw meat that is always sitting on the coffee table. And it will smell horrible. An no, I'm not just saying that -- every time someone enters this apartment, the mouth to me "what is she cooking?" Fuck if I know. Just fuck if I know. I know it's nasty -- thats it.

I honestly can't tell if it's just me or not anymore. I mean I'm sitting here and she's listening to church hymns louder than I would hear them in an actual church service. And I can't tell if I'm going crazy, or if she's just really fucking weird. And she never goes away.

Ok, so I've rambled enough. Too much. I don't think I made any sense. I don't feel any better either. Can anyone help me? Some word of encouragement -- so word of something? What's the point of life? What do you do to pass the days?

Awww man, this sucks.

Hives are back. Yay. I'm posting to remind myself. Man, yesterday I went the whole day without them -- awesome. I took a nice shower and shaved and got all clean -- felt all clean. I laid down for bed without worrying about how I was laying and how much I was itching. And don't think I didn't thank God. My prayer went something like "thank you thank you thank you that the hives are gone. And thank you that I did well on my test today -- thank you thank you thank you..."

They aren't bad right this second... but I woke up coughing. And I want to think I just had something in my throat (which is now gone, and don't worry -- I'm calling the doctor in the morning -- no one yell at me) but I'm thinking... yeah, no.

But yesterday, when they were gone -- I totally admit that I didn't have a care in the world about going to the allergist and back to the doctor -- they're gone, I'm good. So serves me right. It was like night and day -- I went from 24 hour itching to fine... and I was fine with it being left at that. So looks like I'll be calling the doctor in the morning and asking why they still haven't called me about the allergy testing.

Allergy testing... looking forward to that. When am I just going to go ahead and choke already? Why do I get stuck with the most irritating thing possible -- just on the verge of a hint of the really bad... but really just the grotesquely annoying. Figures.

Dang -- that's bad.

I don't know why, but I've been watching a ton of medical shows lately. It's funny because my family loves these shows -- but since I know nothing of anatomy or medicine -- I usually skip them. So anyway, I'm watching some show about the ER on TLC and I am mortified.

First, is everyone that ends up in this particular ER rednecks or is it just me? This guy's sister bit his ear off with her TEETH. But that's not what's killing me. What is killing me is this old mans foot. He has diabetes and got a cut on his toe. Now half his foot is black and you can see the infection going up the veins of his leg. He said his neighbor told him it was gangrene and "that scared him." No shit man, I could have told you you had a problem there. Why didn't he go to the doctor? Why did he wait until it's so bad that his foot is going to have to be amputated to even go to the doctor? My lord. His foot is black -- and it doesn't even look alive -- it looks like something on a mummy. He didn't see this coming? I know he didn't just wake up like that. That had to be getting worse and worse for weeks. Damn. Just damn.

I watch these shows and cringe. I have no idea what the sick fascination is. Crazy stuff.


Apparently, screaming at people in public can take you places. Big places. That's how Charlize Theron got her movie career. No, really:
Charlize's agent first spotted her acting talents after she went "nuts" in a Hollywood bank. The stunning actress was left furious after a bank cashier refused to cash a cheque her mother had sent her. So she gave the clerk a piece of her mind - not knowing she was being watched by the man who would give her the break she wanted.

She recalls: "I went to a bank on Hollywood Boulevard to cash a cheque my mother had sent me A clerk refused it and I just went nuts. After the shouting was over, a man handed me his business card and told me to get in touch I thought he was just another guy full of bullshit but he turned out to be a genuine talent manager called John Crosby"
And to think, she was having a really bad day -- a really bad day, and then her whole world changed. My break is coming, yall.

So, you went to jail -- Yay, for you.

Why is Martha Stewart so huge now? She's got the new Apprentice show on NBC and the new episodes of "Martha Stewart" are being hyped up on commercials. I just watched one of the new episodes and it's a whole lot of audience clapping for nothing.

So she went to jail -- who cares? Why is her "comeback" so huge? Oh and please note that on the Apprentice, when one of the girls said she wanted to cry -- Don't think Martha didn't throw out that women in business don't cry and that she had been through everything -- even jail. Man, that amused me.

Am I the only one who remembers that Martha was going downhill before she went to jail? Who cared about Martha anymore? Then she goes to jail, gets out and she's all the rage. Man. I don't know if you can attribute that to "perseverance" or just a keen business sense. The woman can even make jail turn out good.

Wait! Don't anybody move.

There are no hives. It's like they forgot to show up... I don't know what to do. Should I wear long-sleeves just incase? Can I wear short sleeves and hope for the best? Shouldn't I be scratching? Am I jinxing it by mentioning it?

Ugh I was SO SICK yesterday. And there's so much crap to worry about that I was freaking out all night. I don't know if this temporary relief is part of a torture technique -- or Maybe God finally just took a look at me and said 'poor thing, let's give her a break.' Either way, I will happily take the reprieve -- thank you.

Test today. Ugh. However, I'm already more freaking out about the test I have NEXT Monday. These classes are killing me. And I've still got to find a job -- fast. (Don't make me mention the weight and money issues, cause lord knows they're in here running around with everything else).

Nickelback CD comes out tomorrow (October 4th). I'm gonna enjoy that.

When am I going to die?

Washing Laundry

I never seem to get around to household chores until later in the day -- usually night time, actually. And the strange thing is that I woke up really early today. Well, for me at least. I was up at 9. Too much itching to sleep late.

I could attempt to post something without mentioning hives -- but then I'd also like to be living without them and apparently I'm just never going to get anything I want.

They're worse. And they just get worse... and worse... and worse. Shoot. Me. I'm barely hanging onto anything here. BARELY. I can barely handle life when my skin is normal -- I'm not cut out for this kinda of shit.

Speaking of, I've figured out what I need. Whatever it is that they give you before surgery to make you relax -- just before the anesthesia. Whatever that is -- I need that every morning. I remember talking to the doctors before they knocked me out -- I was totally relaxed. Thumbs up man -- I'm ready to take a nap now. What is that stuff? Can I get it in a liquid or a chewable? I think it would help me.

Today I fell asleep leaning against the wall. Must have been the benadryl and lack of sleep last night. I was in my PJs, and a hoodie -- with the hood on my head, socks and hugging my little stuffed dog. I'm sure I looked my age. There's three things that will get me through a long night. That little dog is one of them, and I'd explain that except that I can't really do it without ending up insulting someone in the end so I'll skip it.

Anyway, do I have a topic here? I'm waiting on my laundry to get done in the washer so I can stick it in the dryer. I ran out of clean pajamas. I need clean pajamas.

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