Wednesday, August 31, 2011

No Attention Here

I am having a hell of a time concentrating today.  I know part of it is because I skipped school yesterday.  I allowed myself to have a day to recoup, relax, and re-energize.  I gave a lot of thought to how bad it would be if I missed classes yesterday, and decided that it wasn't so bad.  It's just the third day of classes, and I did all the necessary readings ahead of class, did my assignment for Judaism, so all I'd miss was the day's attendance points, and I'd be able to to extra credit for Judaism to make those up.  Of course, I'd miss the day's content and notes, but having already done the readings, I wasn't going to actually miss much.  I've already taken the Anatomy lab once, and so I already have all the fill-in-the-blanks for the lab notebook.  I'll just have to look them over a few times to remember them.

Obviously, I am trying to make myself feel better about making a not-so-good decision yesterday, but I really needn't put that much thought into it.  I feel a lot better today, physically, and I feel like I'm more ready to take on the amount of work I have facing me.  I feel rested.

The other part I know is contributing to my inability to concentrate is that my grandfather is in the hospital and on life support in the ICU.  He went into the hospital sometime last week, complaining of chest and abdominal pain.  He thought he was having a heart attack.  Turns out he had a duodenal ulcer, which needed to be repaired via surgery.  He went in and came out, and everything looked okay.  He was even feeling well enough to complain about not being allowed to drink alcohol (he's an alcoholic).  He's 81 years old, and weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 300-350lbs, he's got prostate cancer that's spread to his lymph nodes and God only knows what other health problems he hasn't told my mom about.  Oh yeah, and this is my maternal grandfather.

Anyway, his recovery stopped and went backwards at some point, and right now he's in multiple organ failure and on dialysis, breathing on a ventilator, and in septic shock. 

This man has been one of the many banes of my existence.  He's my mom's dad, and he's not a kind guy.  He's sharp as a tack, he spent much of his live in the Navy (retired at the rank of Commander), and he can be real mean.  He has no filter for what pops into his head and comes out his mouth, and he doesn't care who he offends or hurts with his words.  My mom didn't speak to him for a long, long time after her mother died of a heart attack, because he didn't call my mom to tell her that her mom was in the hospital, until after she died.  It's been in the last 3 years or so that my mom has been trying to make amends with him because she knows he's old and not in the best health.  My parents flew down to see him for his 80th birthday last year and again for his 81st birthday this year, and my mom has been trying to keep in touch with him as much as she can.  She's his only biological child, although when my mom was 10, the family adopted her brother as an infant, and my mom is pretty close with him.

I feel numb.  I was not close with this man, I have almost no fond memories of him (although I'm told he played games with us when we were little)(we lived in Florida and visited often).  I'm aware of the pain he put my mom through, and even recently he's gone out of his way to make her life (and mine) miserable, when he co-signed on a private loan for me and I was late making a few payments.  I understand that he's family, and honestly I am upset only really because my mom is upset (my dad, too, he was crying last night when he called me and again in the car this morning), and I feel sad that he'll be gone, and that his wife, Wilma (wife #3 for him) will be without him.  They were kind of cute together - she plucks her eyebrows all the way off and he would draw them on for her every day because she's legally blind.  So I'm upset for that part.  But for all the anger and pain and suffering he caused my mother, I am not too upset.  I didn't know him well.  I knew the story of his life for the most part, and I knew what my grandma used to have to put up with, and what my mom went through with him.  I know he stopped sending me $50 on my birthday because I didn't send him a thank-you card one year. 

I'm upset because my parents are upset, and because he's a member of my family.  I'm not upset to see him go.  I'm using the last $400 I have left from school to pay for a plane ticket to Florida, where I'll be spending the weekend, probably packing up his house and his things, helping out Wilma as much as possible, maybe scattering his ashes somewhere on the coast, and drinking with my mom and her brother.  I know he's not gone yet, as of this moment, but I can say with some certainty he'll be gone within the next couple of days.  As strong of a bastard as he is, his condition is really bad, and his age and weight are factors going against him. 

I think my dad is flying down tomorrow, and I'm planning to fly out early on Friday morning.  My little sister may or may not come with me, depending on if she can get off of work, and if she can stand to miss a day of classes.  If she doesn't come with, I'll have Phoenix stay with her.  Otherwise, he's going to have to stay home with Nali and Rainey and Meredi and Linda.  I think he'll probably be just fine to do that, I just know it will confuse him, and that's when he gets freaked out I think.  But it will only be a couple of days, and he loves Meredi. 

I'm trying to make myself feel better again.

I don't like feeling uncontrolled.  I don't like that I have to spend money that I was saving (although I was sort of saving for just this kind of situation), I don't like having to miss a day of work, I don't like having to leave Phoenix, and I don't like knowing my parents are spending money they don't have right now.  I didn't want to spend my three-day weekend stuck with my parents who increasingly annoy me the more time I spend with them, I didn't want to have to adhere to a schedule of any kind.  I wanted to sleep, relax, do some running, and sleep some more.  I guess that's out the window.

I am trying really hard to keep up with my reading and my homework, but I just cannot concentrate on it.  I read a paragraph or two, and then my mind wanders off into la-la land and I forget what I just read, so I have to re-read it.  It's a borderline waste of time to try and read when my brain is incapable of comprehending what I'm reading.  I just really want to try to keep up with all this stuff though, and make it though this semester without any big worries.

I probably shouldn't have taken yesterday off.  But there's nothing I can do about it now.

Also - I should have cried a bunch of times by now and I haven't.  I think something's wrong with me.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day Off

I took today off from life.

I expect it will resume as normal tomorrow.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Subsequent Monday

This one is a quickie today, because it's 4:30, and I still have reading to do that I'd like to get done before I get home.

First, I am extremely proud of myself.  I did the entire reading for my Judaism class tomorrow, which was a lot.  It was 39 pages in one book, 9 pages of an excerpt, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 separate chapters of the Jewish Bible.  I've already complete the short, 10-point online quiz that is required, and am on to the reading for my Social Psychology class, which is a little more dense, but I understand it better.  The problem I had with the Judaism readings is that I have no contextual basis for much of it, being a Protestant Christian.  I don't know most of the stuff that Judaism encompasses, and although the readings today were an introduction to the Torah, the Jewish Bible (called the Tanakh) and the basis for Judaic belief, I still had no clue what much of it meant.  I don't know Hebrew, so I didn't have any idea what any Hebrew words meant, and I was able to put together much of the Genesis and Exodus stories based on Christian belief that I already knew, but what I already knew is comparatively little to what I had to read about today.

Either way, I got that done.  I can finish the SP stuff at home if I have to - or I can leave for class early tomorrow and read when I get to school. 

I had the hardest time waking up this morning - I'm pretty sure it's from being so active all weekend.  So I plan to get to bed early tonight, although that's going to depend on how sucked into Lost I get.  I'm at a really good part right now and had to force myself to stop so I could do some homework today.

My legs are really sore still.  I feel like I should have bruises in all the areas that are incredibly tender.  But I don't.  I iced all night long last night, and for awhile at work today but the fucking air conditioning in this building is up so fucking high that I thought I was freezing to death at one point today and had to take it off.  Tomorrow at the school gym I will probably do the stair machine and the elliptical again to give my joints some relief.  The shoes I need cost somewhere around $100 so I have to figure out how I am going to pay for that on top of everything else.  I have a ton of things I have to pay for, including a $20 increase in my cable bill and the addition of $50 each month to go towards my IRS debt.  I could theoretically just pay it off now with the money I have left from school and be done with it, but I really want to use that as a cushion.  I have gone ahead and requested the second half of my loan to be released early to cover the laptop I need, but I don't want to have to spend any more of that unless it's an absolute emergency.  It's my savings for a probable move after graduation.

I'll get it figured out.  What's interesting is that my bills will pop into my head at some random moment and I will have a momentary freak-out, but I remind myself that I'll figure it out when I need to and not to focus on it and let it alter my mood.

I checked my Judaism syllabus today and it looks like I have three days of no class due to Jewish holidays coming up, so I will be able to schedule some appointment sometime to get to Denver and speak with a Navy OCS recruiter and get more information and start that whole process.  I am still considering officially declaring a second major in Sociology, and if I do that, I can take a couple classes in the Spring without a lot of pressure and get all the grant money I've been awarded.  Which sounds like a better and better idea the more I think about it.

There is a lady sitting in the chair in the lobby right now, talking on her cell phone.  She is a tenant but today is the last day I'll see her because her company is moving out of the building, so she is building up a big good-bye or something.  I know she's going to freaking tie me up talking and talking once she gets off the phone so I need to try to stay busy for the next 13 minutes or so. 

Either way, that's all I want to write about for now.  I need to get started closing up shop.

I'm looking forward to this week.  Hopefully it goes by as quickly as last week.  Then I get Monday off of work, and Tuesday I have no Anatomy lab, so I'm out at noon.  It will be a nice little break for me.  Just gotta make it through the next 4 days.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Need New Shoes

Mother.  Fucking.  Ow.  Did the regular two miles with Z just about 40 minutes ago and my legs hurt.  A lot.

Aside from that, the day was pretty uneventful.  I woke up at stupid 8am, decided to go ahead and get up and do my ab work, then I went back to sleep for a little while.  Got up, went to the parents house.  Grabbed Lucky and went to the dog park.  By then it had clouded up a lot and there was a nice breeze.  Spent about an hour there, then went home and helped get dinner ready.  The plan was tacos, nachos, and homemade jalapeno poppers from home-grown jalapenos.  I made some homemade salsa, helped my dad prepare the jalapenos, and hung out with my mom and the kids.

Dinner was good - I made myself chicken instead of having the ground beef - and the jalapenos were ridiculous hot.  Like, so hot I couldn't stand it.  Hurt my eyes hot.  Made my nose run and made me sweaty hot.  Jalapenos are not supposed to be that hot.  Otherwise I'd have eaten a lot more of them, but as they were I had one and a half.  Holy shit.

Then Z and I went on the run, which he complained for the entire time, and my legs hurt a lot.

I'm home now, and I want to get into the shower and get some ice on my legs and drink about 5 more gallons of water because I had 2 beers before the run.

I had some interesting dreams last night, and they've been flashing through my head all day long at random times so I need to try to remember to write about them tomorrow, if I have time between watching Lost and doing my homework.

That is all.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lovely, Lovely Day

Oh my gosh.  So tired.

Ran 3.5 miles today, and it was hard.  Not as hard as its been in the past, but not easy.  I also got real sunburned.  Z was even tired before we got home.

Went to Kohl's to spend my Kohl's cash, bought some workout clothes and a couple work blouses.  Went to GNC and bought some protein shake mix to supplement what I'm not getting by not eating too much each day and needing to have something for before my runs.  We'll see how it tastes tomorrow.

Spent a couple hours babysitting with my little sister, and the kids were pretty much great.  Super cute and funny.  I finally got to hear all about Z's first week in kindergarten, and when I asked him what he thought, he replied, "So cool!"  That's great.

Dinner was delicious, the day was hot, the airshow was going on out at the airport so we had crazy loud plane sounds going on all day long.  I award today an A, for exceeds standards.  It was pretty great.  We'll see about tomorrow.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Clarity of Thought

I'm not sure why, but my drive to work took longer than usual this morning.  There was no unusual traffic, no long stops, nothing.  But it literally took me longer to get from home to work today.  I timed it.  On the way, I got lost in my thoughts, which I haven't really done in a long time.  I barely remember the drive.  I just thought about how I think I might be living in my version of hell.  I was thinking about how I know more girls my age who are married and have kids than who are single and are focusing on a career.  In fact, I don't know a single woman my age who is focusing on a career, and putting off marriage and kids.  I know women who are single, who have jobs, but I don't know anyone who has a particular goal in mind for a career, who are purposely postponing marriage so they can achieve a certain career status first.  I find that really weird! 

When I graduate from undergrad, I plan to move forward with a career plan.  I'm not sure what that is yet, but I have to refuse to work in a job that is not in a field that interests me.  After this job, I will never again work in something that's just a "job."  I think it's going to be especially frustrating to try to find work in a field that will further enable me to climb the career ladder to whatever goal I choose.

When I mention that I might be living in my own personal hell is that the women I know, especially the ones my age, are living the life I wish I could live.  I wish I could be a wife and a mother.  I wish I had a companion, someone to come home to, someone who could take care of me, both emotionally and financially.  Being alone sucks, sometimes.  I try really hard to make my peace with it for the most part.  I don't have a choice, you know?  I can't just choose to not be single anymore.  I've certainly been trying to change my circumstances with respect to that, but I can't seem to be able to.  So I have to live with it.  And make the best of it.  Which is what I'm trying to do.  Some days are harder than others.  But I feel like I do okay living with the disappointment of not being able to have the life I want, or the life I wish I had.  I write a lot about how terrified I am to graduate college and not be able to move forward with having a career that I like.  Because if I can't have a husband and a family, then I have to have a career that I love instead.

Anyway, I wanted to write about that before I forgot, because I think this is something really important that occupies my thoughts more often than not.  It may be my only post for the day, but it may not.  I don't usually write this early.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Much Better Day

Today was another COMPLETELY exhausting day.  And that's not a complaint.  I am loving being so exhausted.  It means that I did something.  It means that I accomplished something.  It means that I challenged myself, and all those things are really good.

Obviously I am feeling a lot better today than I was feeling yesterday.  I was in such a pissy mood by the end of yesterday I didn't even want to write.

I really love being in school.  I feel like I stretched and toned my mind as well as my body.  Although I really wanted to pretty much die while I was in Judaism because today was a find-a-partner day, and everyone around me just turned to their OTHER neighbor.  It was like a scene out of a movie, I swear.  So I just sat there and waited for the professor to notice that I wasn't speaking to anyone, so she could pair me up, and she paired me up with a girl who had already raised her hand in class twice and I found to be kind of annoying.  But oh well.  The little assignment we had was lost on me because I was so upset at not having a partner and being forced to do partner work in the first place.  She did the talking for when we got back together as a class and analyzed our answers to the questions we'd been given.  Eventually I went back to my seat to take notes, but I took an opportunity after class to ask if she just wanted to stay partners for the semester to make both our lives easier, and she said yes.  So that is something I can breathe a little easier about.  She reminds me of an old friend of mine, Natasha, who I met while working as a hostess at Hapa.  She looks like she's of middle-eastern descent and she flips her hair a lot when she talks, but she's really bubbly and smart.  I miss Natasha.

After that class I went to the gym and discovered a whole other cardio area that's much brighter and has fans and overlooks the pools. I used the stair machine for half an hour (just about a mile distance and over 130 floors climbed), which HURT, and then used the elliptical machine for 15 minutes which was another mile and a quarter.  Then I went downstairs to the little women's weight room in the locker room and did my ab work. By the end I was totally spent, and it felt totally wonderful.  My legs were like jelly, I could barely move my arms, and my legs still hurt (although not really in that good-sore way, more like maybe I pulled something, although I'm just fine).

I took an opportunity in the Anatomy lab to be kind of like Kate, and just be gregarious.  I told a few people that I had my EMT and it was my second time taking the lab, so if they had questions or didn't understand something, to ask me because chances are I'll know or at least have an idea and can help them.  I don't know what it is about that lab that makes me want to flaunt my smarts about the subject, but I just want to freaking teach the class.

After the lab was over - and it was so tedious today - I went to see my advisor, who miraculously wasn't with anyone, to ask her about the discrepancy on my degree audit.  She just needed to change the date of my matriculation to the college of arts and sciences to remove the extra 18 credits that was on there.  As of today, I am officially on track to graduate in December.  In theory, I don't even need to do well in any of my classes, I just need to complete them.  In real life, I want to do well in all of them to raise my GPA to where it should be for someone of my intelligence.  An A and a B over the summer upped it a full tenth of a point, so theoretically some combination of four A's and B's should raise it another couple of tenths of a point.  It's not much, but I'll take whatever I can get.  After that I rode my bike to the Admissions building and submitted a statement requesting that my spring loan be released early, so I can have some extra money to put away in case I decide to move somewhere.  And there's enough for me to get a laptop.  If by the time I graduate, I don't have a plan, I'll just keep taking a few more classes, and that'll get me a bunch of grant money, too.  Maybe... That will need some research.

Anyway, I headed home after that, and I stopped at Walmart to pick up some lettuce for a salad for dinner, and I found it extremely hard to process the instructions from my brain that told my legs to move in a normal fashion to propel me around the store.  By the time I got home I thought I might fall over.  I managed to cook up some chicken for my salad and put the whole thing together, which was delicious.

I fell asleep for about an hour and a half and pretty much just woke up so that I could take a shower before going to bed.  Which I'm planning to do shortly.

I really seriously considered what it would take for me to drop the Judaism class and take another class instead because of how uncomfortable I was.  I could just attend the Juvenile Delinquency class I wanted to take but couldn't because I'm not a sociology major and talk to the instructor about getting placed into the class, but that would require me to miss a Judaism class, and there's no guarantee I could actually get into the Juvenile Delinquency class.  I decided to just try to stick it out in Judaism.  It would actually take a whole lot more work to switch classes than it would to just sit with the discomfort of being in the Judaism class, and I need another challenge.  I need to learn how to make do with the situation I'm in and not go out of my way to make unnecessary changes.  We'll see how it goes.

I need to get into the shower now.  I also need to catch up to Kate on Lost, since she's now further ahead in the series than I am.  That will be the remainder of my evening.

My CB older sister bit the bullet and asked me to babysit tomorrow while she's working and while my mom picks up my dad from the airport, and I agreed.  I love those kids, and I'm considering it as a favor to my mom and not my sister.  So tomorrow evening it's family time.  Then hopefully I can go running with Z this weekend since I didn't put a ton of pressure on those areas of my legs today and they feel okay.

Also, I'm going to open up the Dyson.  It's going to be glorious.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sweet Licorice Sandwiches I'm Fucking Tired

I cannot remember the last time I was so tired.  I can hardly walk now.  It was wonderful to be able to sleep in an extra hour and a half today, although I got ready as though I were going running, so Phoenix was disappointed when he realized he wasn't going with me.  I so wish I could have taken him.

School was...interesting.  I discovered how little my running has helped my lungs get into shape after riding my bike up The Hill once again.  It was hard.  My first class was Social Psychology, which is going to be a really cool class, I think.  I wish I could take more Sociology classes.  Those are the people that understand that taking a midterm and a final are not enough for a student to demonstrate their mastery of the material, so there are in-class and homework assignments along with the mid-term, final, and final project, which thankfully is not a group project.  We were forced, however, to exchange phone numbers with someone in the class, so I think I will be sitting next to my person on Thursday and try to make a new friend.

The first day is always "explain the syllabus and clarify any misconceptions about the class" day, so we got out early from SP.  I sat outside in the sun and people-watched while I waited for my next class, which was Judaism.  Apparently the course is Intro to "Judaism," because Judaism is not something that can be clearly defined or constrained, which I hadn't really thought about.  I'm kind of dreading this class, and already feel like an outsider because so many people in the class are taking it with friends or people they know (and it's like 90% female), and part of the class is having a partner with whom you do the daily in-class assignments, so I'll have to have one assigned to me, I think.  However, I know next to nothing about Judaism itself, so I'm looking forward to learning about it and I think it will supplement my Anthropology knowledge quite nicely.

After that, I headed straight to the campus rec-center.  It was nothing like I was expecting from the research I did on it online.  It's humongous, with both a large lap-pool and a regular pool, it's got a rock wall, and the locker room goes on and on and reminds me creepily of the dreams I've had of locker rooms (I've had a lot of those), but I was really confused because in the locker room is a weight room, obviously just for the ladies, and I was hoping for a greater variety of machines to use.  I also almost prefer free-weights and there weren't many of those.  I looked around (briefly because I didn't want to seem lost or out of place, even though I was), and couldn't find a mixed-gender area for weights.  I'll look a little harder on Thursday.  The area with the cardio machines consisted of 5 treadmills, and like 20 ellipticals, and it's in a little carved-out square area in the main floor of the rec center with absolutely no air circulation so you're breathing everyone else's hot air and sweat.  Pretty gross.  I've thought about finding a place to lock my backpack up and just running around campus, except that my legs hurt so bad from running today that I'm going to have to just use the ellipticals for awhile.  I also sweat my freaking ass off so I might as well have been outside in the heat.  I like treadmills because they're so controllable, but I would have just rather run outside today.

Anyway, I didn't use any of the weight machines while I was there because I was getting stares from people which I'm sure was nothing out of the ordinary, so I just went outside.  It turns out there ARE books that are required for the Judaism class, so I went to the bookstore on campus and got them.  It was an absolute ZOO there.  Like Black Friday at Walmart busy.

After I left there, I went and sat outside at the fountains and stuck my feet in the water to cool them off which felt amazing, and laughed at a guy who was wearing a sandwich-board and yelling things about the fires of hell and the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  The sandwich board had stuff on it about "Fornicators," and "Drunkards" and "Potheads" among other things, on the front, and on the back it said "Fear God," "Repent," and "Turn or Burn."  People actually gathered around him, but not to listen to what he was saying, to make fun of him and laugh at him, which I'll admit I did.  He wasn't there when I sat down, so when I noticed him, I definitely laughed.  If he thinks he's going to change the mind of a college student by doing that, then he's totally crazy.  I wonder how long he was there before campus security escorted him off campus.

By then I had to head towards my Anatomy lab, which I am no longer waitlisted for but enrolled in.  It was the usual, a group of Integrative Physiology majors, many of whom know one another, so they immediately cliqued up.  I sat next to a girl who didn't have the lab manual yet, so I shared mine with her and talked to her about how hard the lab is and probably freaked her out a bit with everything you have to know during the course of the lab.  And I feel like I probably know the material better than my graduate TA and undergrad TA, and I am definitely a better teacher/instructor.  Both of them sort of talked like they had no idea what the hell they were doing there.  So that will be fun, trying to learn from them.

We got out early today, and I'd gotten a call from my lady doc to come in and get my next shot, so I headed home as quickly as I could, which wasn't very fast because for whatever reason I was only able to get behind people driving 5 below the speed limit both on the way into and out of Boulder.  I got home, made myself a fancy sandwich, and then left again to get my shot.  It wasn't until then that I realized how physically exhausted I was.  Riding up the hill, then running on the treadmill, then riding around campus, then riding back down to Downtown all while wearing a progressively heavier and heavier backpack was a lot more work than I'd anticipated. After I got home from getting the shot, I had to lie down for awhile, and I slept for about 2 hours with ice on the tendons that hurt the most today.

And that brings me to now.  Other things that have been occupying my thoughts besides school today - Brian getting married, for some reason, and my grandfather.  I guess my grandfather went to the hospital yesterday complaining of pain and had to have surgery to repair a duodenal ulcer late last night.  He's 81 and over 350lbs and has prostate cancer that has spread to his lymph nodes, and so his health is not great.  Surgery on older folks is extremely risky, only for the reason that they may not make it out of it because the anesthesia has changed their brain electricity to the point that they're no longer able to breathe on their own and their bodily functions that the brain controls are basically turned off and just don't come back on.  He came out of the surgery okay, and he's off the ventilator today and seems to be doing pretty well, but the rest of his recovery is totally up in the air.  When our bodies get old, they just sort of wear out, and healing takes especially long for older people, so my mom and her brother are worried that the healing process isn't going to go as it would for a younger, healthier person.  So I may have to fly down to Florida for his funeral at the last minute sometime soon.

As for thinking about Brian, he just popped into my head this afternoon and has kind of stuck there.  I don't like it, so I'm trying NOT to think about him, but when you try not to think about something, you're still thinking about it, and so now I'm going to dream about him sometime soon.

If it's believable, I am actually kind of looking forward to work tomorrow.  A chance to not be moving around a whole lot, a chance to get my little bit of homework done, a chance to watch more Lost (which I'm totally hooked on and accidentally watched 3 episodes last night after I got into bed).  I've been consciously trying to not drink alcohol, but I caved and let myself have a glass of champagne tonight, but just the one.  After this it's either grape soda or water.  Probably water.

I can't really even explain how much my legs hurt.  Last night I did a bunch of the physical therapy exercises I've been given over the years, and I did them with a "theraband" which is a stretchy piece of rubber meant to be used for resistance exercises and to strengthen joints.  I think that may be why my lower legs hurt so much today.  I made a point of doing a lot of the exercises until my ankles were kind of fatigued last night, and the tendons that hurt are the ones that I worked on a bit.  They need to be seriously iced down for like 24 hours I think.  Which I'm totally fine with except the plastic bags I have all leak like crazy once the stupid ice-cubes melt and I'm so tired of spending money that I just want to go one stupid day without spending any at all.  Tomorrow might be that day, because today sure wasn't.

I need to get in the shower now, in order to be in bed by 8:30 which is the time I've tentatively set for myself to be in bed because I'm so goddamn tired.  I'd like to make it through tomorrow without wanting to fall asleep and I've been doing pretty good about not being totally out of it at work.  So that's it.  First day back at real college: Done.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to School Nerves

I keep having this dream that is so vivid and so distressing, and I haven't really put much thought into it in my waking hours until the last time I had it.  In the dream I am in school, enrolled, and although in my mind I know it's college, it's in more of a high school setting.  In the dream, I'm enrolled in three or four classes, but I forget about one class, only one, until I haven't been to class in weeks.  When I suddenly realize that I'm going to fail the class, I go, but I am so far behind that it's impossible to catch up.  I have no reason for not attending this class, usually it's Chemistry and Biology or something in the natural sciences, except that I don't want to go to the class.  Sometimes I feel really stressed out by the other classes I'm taking, and I think that's why I forget that I'm even enrolled in this class until it's too late.

I'm nervous about school starting.  I don't know why, though.  It's not like I didn't just attend classes in June.  I think it's that I haven't been in school, real non-summer term school, for many years now.  3 years, I think.  I'm 26, and I'll be in classes with a bunch of 21 and 22 year-olds.  I might get lucky and have a few older people in my classes, but that'd be pure luck.  So I really can't figure out where these nerves come from.  It might be the fact that I may not actually get enrolled in an Anatomy lab.  It might be the fact that I still haven't totally made up my mind about which lab I want to try to get into - the 2-4 one, or the 6-8 one.  I keep talking myself into and out of one or the other.  This morning I had my mind set on the 6-8 class, but I'm really having trouble reconciling having to drive to campus twice each day, having to ride my bike up the hill or take the bus twice each day.  I have just been thinking about how when I get home from class I'm not going to want to go back to Boulder each day (thanks, Tiffany for planting that one!).  So I think I'll just plan on the 2-4pm lab.  That will still leave me a little bit of time for the appointments I have to make and things I have to do during normal business hours.  Right now, my plan is to go to the gym between my second class and the lab.  I can totally stick to that, and maybe I'll decide to go back to the gym after the lab some days.  Who knows.  I'm waitlisted for both labs, and I'm number one on each waitlist.  So there's a good chance I'll get into the lab.  I'm sure at least one person will drop after the first or second lab.  It's a really hard class to take.

When I woke up this morning, I was in a crappy mood.  I got to work, and just tried to enjoy seeing all the students going to school, and enjoy the day, and my mood got more and more positive.  Right now I'm feeling pretty good.  I went ahead and paid the fucking $1,200 for the student health insurance, which is required.  Once I get enrolled in the lab, I'll owe around $700 more, and anything I have left might be able to pay for the laptop I want, but then I won't have anything else left for emergencies.  I have until the 9th of September to request that my spring loan be released to me now, but I don't want to do that a.) unless I decide to just hold on to it and can figure out a way not to spend it unless I absolutely have to.  I know that I will probably go ahead and ask for it unless I find out that I really do have to obtain 18 more credits as per the most recent degree audit I printed out.  I'll ask my advisor on Thursday because she won't be there tomorrow.  Hopefully then I'll feel a little more like I've gotten my shit sorted out.  I think that's where my nerves are coming from - feeling like I'm just not quite all finished making sure that I have everything I need. 

I feel like such an adult.  I'm going to make myself grilled tilapia and carrots for dinner tonight.  I'm going to finish up my laundry, and put it away and get my backpack ready for school tomorrow.  Just like when I was in high school...I'm a big huge nerd.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Nothing Exciting. Seriously.

Well, if I die in my sleep tonight or go into a diabetic coma or something, at least you'll have this.

I woke up this morning feeling really low on energy, so it took me a little while to get going.  I went to Boulder to buy my one book, whereupon I realized that I am going to be in college.  Again.  A part of the college community and all that includes.  It's a little scary, a little annoying, a little exciting.

I did some grocery shopping and picked up my meds, then went home and took a nap.  After I got up, Phoenix and I went to get some dog food (I've opted not to go ultra-fancy-natural just yet) and we went to my parents' house to pick up my dad's bike and some salsa for Tiff.  Which I then brought to her.  Then I went home.  Kate called me and I sat and talked to her for a short while, but while I was talking to her I started to feel like I was high or something.  Light-headed, really shaky and my heart was pounding.  It just went away by itself, I guess, but while I was in the shower just now it came back, and it took every ounce of energy I could muster to finish showering.  I am still kind of shaky.  I feel like I've got low blood-sugar, which is impossible because I ate a big salad a couple of hours ago, with feta, croutons and ranch dressing.  So I definitely have sugar in my blood.  I feel sort of bloated, like I'm really super full, even though I haven't really eaten anything today except some salsa, that salad and some pink lemonade.  I don't like feeling this way.

It hit me while I was in the shower that maybe it's diabetes, since I have a lot of the symptoms of the onset of it.  Peeing a lot, being super thirsty, low energy, etc.  So if I die in my sleep from diabetic shock, someone needs to make sure they look at that.  Obviously I'm being facetious and a hypochondriac (gotta stick with your strengths!), but the fact that my heart rate is way too high even though I'm not doing anything is disturbing  me a bit.  No pain, just some nausea and shakiness.

I had a loooooong talk with Kara last night, and it was great.  She called me around 11pm and we talked for over 2 hours about life, mental illness, how stupid people are, etc.  I miss her a lot, but I'm really glad I got to talk to her for a good long while and get caught up with her.

Now I need to go to bed because I really do feel like crap and I'd like to wake up not feeling like crap.  *Hope*

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Think This Makes No Sense.

So.  Tired.  Got up this morning, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 9am.  Got up and going right away for some reason.  Went over to my parents house and took Phoenix running.  Did 3.5 miles today, and even contemplated doing more.  I'm really glad I didn't because I was pouring sweat by the time we got home, although the run didn't really hurt that badly.  I'm definitely a little sore in the normal spots, but nothing too horrible.  I'm thinking about not running tomorrow just to give my legs a little break, but at the same time, I feel like my tolerance is increasing so I also want to do a 4 mile if not longer.  I think it will depend on how I feel when I wake up tomorrow.  I should probably also spend the rest of tonight with ice in all the right places.

I took my stupid car in to get the brakes fixed, which turned out to be a $500 fucking job.  Which was about $300 more than I was expecting, so there goes one of the funner things I was hoping to get out of my loan and grant money.  I'm really mad about it, but I'm trying to let it go.  I'm trying to remind myself that there isn't much I can do about it, especially at this point.  As much as I don't want to keep this car much longer, I have to come to terms with the fact that I am probably going to have to, so I might as well keep it in good working order.  Just ugh.

I took the suburban to Sprouts to get veggies, for dinner and to make some fresh salsa for Tiffany who's had a pregnancy craving for it.  Then I discovered that I could get 50% off a Dyson vacuum with my little sister's employee discount at Kohl's, so we went and got one.  I wasn't able to put it on her or my Kohl's charge, and didn't have cash, so we put it on hold and went to the ATM and then picked my stupid car up.  By that time it was like 4, which is sitting and drinking and talking with my parents time, so we just went home.

I grilled the steaks, but left them on a little too high and so they were a little overdone.  I made the veggies, too.  Oh well.  After dinner my sister and I went to pick up the vacuum finally, and I got it for $270, when it was originally $450.  So I'm pretty stoked about that, although spending $500 on my car was an unanticipated expense, so now I'm really hesitant to even open the stupid box in case I change my mind and decide to get my money back.  Somehow I got $70 Kohl's cash, which is a freaking lot (it's like a $70 gift card), so maybe I'll buy my little sister something nice to say thank you.  Although she did ask me to help her dye her hair for the 80th time, which I did sort of in exchange for her helping me out with the vacuum, so maybe I'll just get some new work clothes.  Definitely feeling some major guilt and uncertainty about the purchase, because I really don't NEED a $450 vacuum, whereas I do need an $800 laptop.  Which I may not be able to get now...

Anyway, I'm finally back home.  It has been a long-ass day and I'm real tired.  I definitely had a lot of different thoughts today, ranging from how much I love the end of summer because it just feels more relaxed and tranquil to me, to how I need to really chill out about money and just do the best I can.  Ugh.  Still just ugh.

I need to get to bed, as much as I want to vacuum.  Which is a really strange sentence.  I need to sleep on my  day's decisions and see where I am tomorrow.  I really hope I'm feeling up to running because I want the challenge.  Also, I'm now craving some of my salsa, but it's at my parent's house.  So, crap.  Oh well.  Time to make the best of it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Negativity Abounds

Not feeling topical today.  Not horrible, not great.  Kind of emotional.  I get these random pangs of want for adventure, and there's nothing I can do about it.  My life is my life.  I can't just conjure up money so that I can have adventures, and adventures generally cost money. 

Something that occupies a lot of my thought space is being able to find a course, a career, that I like.  Something that I enjoy, something that I'm good at, something I can do with pride, and something that makes money.  I'm absolutely beyond terrified that I'll be stuck working in a crappy job that I don't like, that I dread getting up for every morning, and that doesn't make me enough money to be able to support myself comfortably.  And I feel like time is running out.  I'm not really sure why I feel that way, but it's really scaring me.  Stressing me out.

I gotta stop drinking.  I think it's really fucking with me.

Also, it's giving me digestive problems.  I feel like crap today! 

Yes.  I am pretty sure I hate today.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I'm so ridiculously tired.  It has been a long, long day.  I woke up around 9am, and upon waking up checked to see if my refund from the excess money from my student grants and loans had come through, and they had.  So I got going right away.  Went to my parents house.  Gave them $1600.  Went on a 3.5 mile run in the 95 degree heat with Phoenix.  Came back, hosed him off and sat down and attempted to rehydrate for about half an hour.  Decided it would be a good idea to go to Walmart, except that when I got into the store, I get really light-headed and began sweating profusely, despite the high air-conditioning, so I did my shopping and research as quickly as I could and then went home to eat.  I assumed my almost passing out was because of the fact that I hadn't had anything to eat yet.  So I ate, and by the time I knew it, it was time for my dentist appointment.  That took about two hours.  Turns out I have mild gingivitis in my upper molars and some plaque and tartar in my lower incisors, and a tiny cavity in an upper cuspid.  That might be my best dental checkup ever.  It's going to cost me about $600 to get my teeth cleaned because they want to scrape below the gums, inject antibiotics and then give me a laser treatment, just in three areas of my mouth.  The rest of it is okay, I guess.  I may or may not let them do that.

When I got home, my parents had returned from their Ikea journey.  They went to the new Ikea store in Centennial to get my little sister a bedframe.  They also got me two little "nightstands" which were $15 each, and are basically just little wood  boxes without two of the sides.  It's really all I needed.  After that I took my dad with me to price and browse laptops, because that is something that I really need and can now afford.  He told me I needed to do a little more research on the specific laptop with all the "bells and whistles" that I want, so that's what I'll be doing at work tomorrow.  Then I grabbed some alcohol from Total Beverage, which might be my favorite store on the planet (they have green apple Four Loko!).  We went home, I helped my mom get dinner ready, and my parents and I just sat and talked for about 45 minutes, drinking and shooting the shit.  It was glorious.  It just felt nice to have some intelligent conversation.

I left a little while after dinner, assuming I would be going home, putting together my new Ikea stuff and relaxing, but right as I was finishing one of the nightstands, Meredi asked me if I wanted to go to the dog park.  Phoenix hasn't been there since before my trip, so I said yes.  We spent about an hour there, left just after dark, and got ice cream.  I got something called Peanut Butter Blast which had cookie dough and peanut butter cups in peanut butter ice cream.  I'm not a peanutty person, but this was really good, so I got a cone.

And now I'm home.  Today was pretty much one of the best days ever.  Apparently I need to be busy all day in order to retain any semblance of a good mood, and I'm mostly okay with that.  It makes sense that I'd get done with work and be grumpy.

Now I have to go hop in the shower and shave my legs so I can get to bed.  I guess today is another day that I don't do ab work.  I blame Meredi for this one.  Overall - great day.  I could use more like this one.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Something that concerns me is my irritability.  I find dealing with other humans, especially ones that don't pay attention, especially taxing.  I've discussed my boss before on this blog, about how nice of a lady she is.  I think she sort of looks at me like a pseudo-daughter, since I'm about the same age as her daughter, but her daughter lives out in Oregon.  She annoys me so much!!  I think it might be because she doesn't realize that I like to be left alone, I'm not super social, I don't like to sit and shoot the shit with her - which involves her telling me the inane details about her life.  I just want to do my job, and in the time I am not answering the phone, or faxing something, or helping someone, not have to hear about her life.

That sounds incredibly mean.  I don't intend for it to sound that way.  It's just exactly how I feel.  I cannot stand ignorant people.  People who have clearly not taken the time to get necessary information.  I am not thrilled with asking for help, so I do everything I can to make sure that I have as much information as I might need.  Beforehand.  I must be one of just a few people who do it this way.  Other people, they just depend on other people do be able to figure things out for them.  I feel like I can tell the difference between people who are stupid (the ones who purposely lack information; the purposely ignorant), and the ones who genuinely tried were not able to prepare as well as they wanted to.

This guy who works for a company that just rented an office in my building annoys the absolute SHIT out of me.  He tries to make conversation with me, and I make a point of not making eye contact with him, being short with him almost to the point of rude, because I can't think of any other way to make him understand that I am not interested in knowing him, knowing about him, or his life, and I'm not interested in going out with him.  I really worry that he's misconstruing my being nice to him (as is stipulated by the terms of my job) as interest.  He's a stupid.  He's for whatever reason unable to interpret my outward disinterest and use it.  He just keeps standing here, keeps talking.  Even if I'm clearly working on something, clearly watching something, clearly directing my attention elsewhere.  He comes out of his office, asking me if they have any mail, if the mail has come yet, if I have something he can borrow, time after time after time.  I think he is trying to make sure I haven't forgotten he exists, which I am trying very hard to do.

I'm tired of getting phone call after phone call after phone call, from the same person for the same company who refuses to leave a message for some reason.  I'm tired of hearing, "Well, maybe you can help me." 

I am really worried that the reason for my intense, unwavering irritability with the rest of the human world is due to the fact that I drink alcohol.  Obviously, on the antidepressants, you're not supposed to drink.  In the past, I have been able to physically feel the difference in my mood and attitude after drinking.  I think that might be what I'm feeling now.  But I don't know if I can stop myself from having another drink.  All I've been thinking about all day is how relaxed I'll feel when I can be done with work and have a drink.  And here's the thing: if I don't have a drink, I'll be just fine tomorrow.  If I do, I'll want to drink all day long.

I think this might be the point at which I can make the right choice and not end up an alcoholic.  I've always joked a bit about the fact that I'm an aspiring alcoholic because I can't figure out how someone could become an alcoholic.  After one episode of a lot of drinking, I can swear it off for awhile.  But I like to drink.  It relaxes me.  I think I have a high-tolerance for alcohol, and I'm also at high-risk for anxiety.  Maybe I need to be on Xanax or Valium or something instead.  Just for a little while.

I have a lot of trouble comprehending how people, like my current boss, and my old boss that called me last week, how they can be so patient and compassionate with people who I deem "stupid."  I think my irritability and anxiety are serious flaws in my personality.  This is something I'd like to work on.

Otherwise, I haven't got much else to say for today.  I am supposed to see the dentist for a teeth-cleaning tomorrow, the first one in years and years.  I'm not too worried, I've been taking pretty good care of my teeth.

When I left for work this morning, I went to get my leftovers from dinner last night out of the refrigerator, but they were gone.  From what I could tell, Meredi cleaned out the fridge last night.  I say Meredi because I know that Linda wouldn't actually put forth the effort to do that kind of cleaning.  After Memorial Day, we stopped having any sort of order in the fridge.  Before that, I'd had the top two shelves (the least amount of space possible, I swear!) of the fridge, but after Memorial Day, everything was just everywhere.  It's been that way ever since.  It started bothering me when I got home from my trip and couldn't find my mayonnaise.  I'm going to ask them if we can just go back to the way it was before.  Freaking Linda.  She has so much space in the kitchen and I have so little.  I'm relegated to one shelf in the pantry, one in the fridge and that's it.   She has an entire cupboard, and two shelves in the pantry.  From what I can tell she's taken up so much space that Meredi had to buy a new cabinet for herself.  I'm actually pretty thrilled that the fridge got cleaned out at all, so I'm trying to focus on that aspect of the whole thing and not that food I'd just bought that was perfectly good got thrown out.

God, I am really grumpy today.  I hate feeling this way.  So much.  I feel like I can partially blame PMS.  My hormones are all over the damn place.  I still have to go back to the doc this week at some point to get my next shot or else I'm going to be hemorrhaging come Monday.  FML sometimes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Little Bites, Big Itch

"I had no right to sell off the team's equipment like that.  It won't happen again."

I've got A League of Their Own on right now.  It's on AMC.  I've always been hesitant to name my favorite movie because there are so many that I just love.  But I think this might be it.  I can watch it over and over and over, recite every single line, and still want to watch it again.  If it's ever on TV, I will watch it over anything else on.

I'm feeling pretty good today.  I had nothing that I absolutely HAD to do, maybe for the first time in a really long time.  I really wanted to go running but my tendons are so inflamed I feel like I've been kicked in several places in my lower legs.  I thought about going to check out the CU gym today, but I didn't feel like going up to Boulder if I didn't really have to.  I'll have plenty of time to do that during my off-time between classes.  Right now I'm waitlisted for two different Anatomy labs, one from 2-4  and one from 6-8 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I may just do the 2-4 one so that I have a solid hour and 45 minutes to hit the gym between classes instead of 5 hours and 45 minutes.  I don't think I'll ever spend that much time in a gym.  Two hours is good.

Jesus, I keep finding new itchy bites on my legs, and I don't know from what.  I'd guess mosquito, because we leave the back door open a lot, but I haven't seen any mosquitoes in the house, just a lot of flies.  Better not be fucking bed bugs.  I will lose my shit if it's bed bugs.  I have dreams occasionally about finding hundreds upon thousands of bugs on the floor and in my bed at my parents house, and I have to go around spraying all the bugs and cleaning up the bug corpses.  Last night they were big, giant cockroaches.  Not as many of those since they were huge, but thousands of other smaller bugs that I had to kill and clean up.  Freaking yuck.

I did go to Walmart and spend way more money than I should have today.  In my defense, it was all stuff that I needed, including chicken, fish, and vegetables, as well as things I can take to work and school for lunch.  I didn't buy anything that was unhealthy.  I did a bit of back-to-school shopping, too.  Bought some new pens and a notebook and a binder.  Plus it looks like the first half of my financial aid went through to pay my school bill so I should be seeing the rest of it later this week.  Hopefully.  Otherwise I'll have to write a check that's going to bounce to buy books.  Actually, so far, I only have one book to buy for my social psychology class, although there may be one for Judaism that I need that just isn't listed.  I already have the Anatomy lab book.

I made myself a good sandwich for lunch and napped the rest of the afternoon away.  We had some thunderstorms, so it was nice to just lie and listen to the rain and the thunder and have nothing else to do.

For dinner I made myself some whole-wheat penne with canned tomatoes and sauteed chicken and green beans.  Pretty balanced, I guess.  My focus is on eating lean protein and lots of veggies.  So far, so good.

I feel a lot better than I did yesterday.  I think I needed a day to get back into the real world and vent about my dumbass sister who I think for the purposes of this blog I'm going to start calling CB for "Crazy Bitch."  It seems mean, but I give a lot of other people monikers and I feel like that's the most descriptive.

I haven't decided on whether or not to do my ab work tonight.  I'm not feeling terribly motivated, so if I do it, it will be kind of a miracle.  Holy cow.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rather More Thorough

Fuck.  I think I'm having a relapse.  I'm incredibly hesitant to admit this because it means that I have to admit that the depression is real, which is something I've been trying so hard to ignore.  I think that I wanted so badly to be able to break away from it and experience a normal life, and I wanted the real opportunity to be able to apply for OCS with a clear conscience.  I wanted to be able to say, truthfully, that I am okay.  That I'll never fall into the pit of darkness and unhappiness and pessimism and fear again.

Unfortunately, it looks like that is not the case.  I've been thinking a lot about what it will take for me to apply for the OCS program with the Navy, and what it will take for me to be accepted despite the diagnoses I've been given.  They're going to require my medical records.  I could simply just lie and say that I have none.  That won't work, though, because I have to be on medication for my thyroid for the rest of my life.  I can't just hand over the complete medical records, though, either because those have information pertaining to my mental illnesses as well.  So if I really want it badly enough, I will have to request all of my medical records from all of my various doctors and go through them, page by page, and take out every reference to mental illness.  Which will be a lot of work.  And it indicates a level of dishonesty that I am not certain I want to reach.  Even writing about it is a bad idea, honestly, because the information that I am trying to refrain from giving the government is totally available to them through the internet.

That's a whole other thing for another day, though.

I realize that I never wrote about the actual incident between my sister and I last week.  It was last Tuesday evening.  Because I was so exhausted from not getting home until after 1:30am, I took the day off work (by lying, no less).  When I finally got up, I went to my parents house to return the camera and the iPhone cord I'd borrowed, and to pick up the rest of Phoenix's stuff that I hadn't grabbed when I picked him up the night before.  I figured I'd stay, hang out with the kids, talk to my parents, and just relax for awhile.  As my sister had broken the truck while I was gone, she was trying to get it working again on Tuesday while I was there.  Her ex-husband had taken a look at it and suggested that she try running new oil all through it, since the problem clearly had something to do with the fact that the truck already had a slow oil leak and needed more oil put in every couple of weeks or so, which she hadn't done.  Anyway, she was outside trying to get the truck running again, and my mom and I were out on the deck.  My mom had said she wanted to hear about my trip.  My sister came through and asked my mom to watch the kids while she tried driving the truck around the block, which my mom did.  But when she got back, my mom came right back outside to sit with me.  That pissed my sister off.  She came back out, yelling about how my mom felt that talking to me was "more important" than her getting to work the next day.  For whatever reason, she thought that she'd be able to get the truck working well enough to get to Boulder and back the very next day.  Which was completely delusional.  The truck needs to be professionally worked on.  It's going to take a couple thousand dollars of work, I'm guessing.  Not just an easy "let's run some brand-new oil through it and it's good as new!" fix.  Anyway, she was all shades of pissed off, so she started in on her usual rant about how big of a loser I am, and how if she had to live my life she'd want to kill herself, blah, blah, blah.  For whatever reason, I just couldn't sit and take it so I asked her why the hell she didn't clean up the damn house and clean up after her kids and make something for dinner when she had all fucking day to do these things.  I told her I thought she was lazy and a terrible parent (both of which I really do think), and that just pissed her off even more.  I honestly can't even remember what came out of her mouth after that, but I know that I shut up but rolled my eyes and whatever she was saying, which somehow upset her even more, and then I stuck my tongue out at her and she lost her shit and attacked me, hitting and kicking me.  I just sat there.  She was walking away and I just stared at her, but I must have had a hint of a smirk on my face or something because she kept asking me why I thought anything was funny, and saying that she was going to wipe the smile off my face.  I'm pretty sure I had my hand over my mouth, and I know I wasn't laughing because I was shaking so badly from her physical affront.  My mom stepped in at this point and pretty much just shoved her in the house, and told her to stop screaming because she was upsetting the baby - which she was, the baby was crying by this point.

As far as I know I didn't do anything to really warrant her being so incredibly upset with me.  Earlier in the day, before my parents had made it home from Boulder (my dad had to pick my mom up), I asked my sister if she was going to do anything about dinner, because I knew my mom would be upset if there was no dinner when she came home, especially when two adults had been home with the kids all day long.  She blew up on me for that.  Basically, she's a ticking time bomb, and when my mom chose to sit and talk to me instead of watching the kids while her dumb ass tried to "fix" the truck, it set the bomb off, and I just happened to be in the blast radius.  She centered her attack on me because she thought I was telling my mom not to help, which I wasn't at all.  In any way.

So my mom and I continued to sit outside and talk while my sister dramatically went around closing and locking all the doors and windows of the house, locking me out.  I think that she thinks that the way she reacts is totally normal, and so she expects everyone to react the same way.  I think she thought I would try to get into the house all batshit crazy the way she did that one time.  My mom eventually had to go around the house to the front to get in, and yelled at her to stop being such a fucking nutcase.  After a little while, she came out, saying that she'd thrown my purse down the stairs and broken the glass that was in it.  The glass was a little souvenir from my trip that I'd been thinking about giving my parents.  It was a glass from the brewery where we'd had the rehearsal dinner and where we'd gone after the wedding.  One of Kate's friends had taken the glass after I finished my beer and smuggled it out in his suit coat and then given it to me.  I really liked it, and I really wanted to keep it.  It had sentimental value.  Upon throwing my purse down the stairs and realizing she'd broken the glass, she had gone through everything in my purse, including the little notebook I carry around with me that contains important information about my thousands of logins and passwords, and random ideas I come up with, and contact information for people I need to stay in contact with, and it also contains a list of all the guys I've slept with.  She brought it outside and read it off to my mom, making a big deal about how she thought I lost my virginity to Brian, when really he was my fifth.  I fucking lost it.  I slapped her across the face as hard as I could.  It was all I could do not to punch her in the face.  Between breaking the glass and reading something that she had no business reading, I can't remember the last time I was so mad at her.  I started gathering my things up to leave, when I discovered that my wallet wasn't in my purse.  She'd moved it to the bag that had all of Phoenix's stuff in it, and pretended not to know anything about it. 

I don't think I can actually make this shit up.  She really does act like she's 12 years old.  Throwing things, breaking things, reading my private stuff, and hiding my stuff and lying about it.  She kept yelling at me to get out of her house and to leave her house and not come back, and that's the point at which my mom couldn't stay quiet anymore.  She started yelling about how it isn't my sister's house, that she's paid the mortgage for twenty years, and it's her house, and my sister has no right to tell me to get out when it's her own delusions that are upsetting her anyway.  My sister went to pick up the bag in which she'd put all the piece of glass, and I pushed her down the stairs.  I sincerely hoped that she'd fall and get hurt, but she caught herself and then went all cry-baby and tattle-tale, telling my mom I'd pushed her.  That's when I went outside.  The boys were playing out there with the neighbor kid (who is an entity all unto himself, and a ridiculously badly-behaved and annoying one, at that), and my sister and mom could be heard screaming at each other for at least another 5 minutes.  The boys were all wide-eyed, asking me what was happening, and why I'd pushed mommy, and telling me they were scared.  They asked me to stay until the yelling stopped, and so I did.  I tried to explain to them that their mommy and I had had a fight, and that their mommy had done something very inappropriate and so I got mad and hit her.  And that it was wrong.  I had to go back inside to get my stupid phone, and by then the yelling had stopped and my mom had gone back outside.

Even now, I am furious.  I'm mad about the glass, I'm even more mad and embarrassed about the notebook, and I'm perplexed as to how she has been married, had three kids and gotten divorced when she has the mentality of a 12 year-old.  It just doesn't make sense.

I'm also furious with myself for allowing her to push my buttons to the point of striking her.  I have no excuses to make aside from that she is able to elicit in me such rage that it can only be compounded by physical violence towards her.  It's like watching a child have a temper tantrum, the way she acts.  It isn't "like," it is.  Watching her throw a temper tantrum when she doesn't get what she wants.  Her wants and needs absolutely come first, above all others, including her kids.  And that is reason #1 why she should not a.) have kids to begin with and 2.) have any custody of her kids, because any time spent with her is time she's spending fucking them up emotionally and mentally. 

I had to pick my dad up this morning, and take him to work with me.  Then he was driving my car to his doctor's appointment, and then driving it back to Boulder to leave with my mom, who will be coming to pick me up with it at 5pm, and then taking the Suburban back home so he will have it for errands during the day.  When I got there, Z ran right for me and gave me a big hug.  He wanted to tell me about how "Mommy scared H when he went down to wake her up" yesterday morning.  He didn't give me all the details, but I asked my dad, and I guess yesterday morning, when H went down to wake her up, she yelled at him to "get the fuck out" of the room.  What kind of a mother does that??  There is no reason for that kind of language used on a four year-old.  He came upstairs crying, saying he was scared, and my mom went straight downstairs and told her to get the fuck up out of her bed.  Apparently they had it out.  My sister kept saying she didn't get enough sleep, she'd gone to bed at 4am.  And whose fault is that?  Did the kids or the baby keep her up?  No!  She stayed up because she is a selfish, irresponsible person.  During the day when she is home with the kids, does she spend all her time with them, entertaining them, finding projects for them, and cleaning up after they leave a room, or a mess?  Nope.  She sits out in the garage, smoking, and texting, or playing games on her phone (which my parents discovered cost $5 a pop, and yet don't make her pay for).  Then my mom comes home from work and gets to clean up the dishes in the sink, and pick all the toys up off the floor.  It's beyond ridiculous, and it seems as though there is not a goddamn thing anyone can do about it.  She's not going to miraculously change.  She's just going to continue to put herself and her needs first above everyone else.  If it doesn't benefit her in any way, it's not worth her time. 

She should be institutionalized.  I swear to the sweet baby Jesus, the next incident that occurs, the next time I have to pull her off one of her kids, or she attacks me unnecessarily, I am going to call the police.  I have said it and said it, and that is pretty much the only threat we have that will scare her into behaving in any human way, but I'm tired of using it as a threat.  I've talked about it with my parents, and told them that the only reason I haven't done it already is because I worry about alienation from them for being the reason they don't get to see the kids anymore, and gotten their "permission" to do whatever I think is necessary the next time something happens.  As an adult, I don't do much in terms of making "adult" decisions.  Mostly I look to my parents to be the ones to make the difficult decisions.  It's time for that to stop. 

The bottom line is that I think it will be less destructive for the kids to be raised by their dad and his side of the family, than to be verbally and physically abused by their fucked-up mother.  She has no business being in any kind of position of authority when she can't act like an adult.  If it weren't for the fact that she's living with my parents, and under a microscope, I'd have already tried to get the kids taken away from her.  It seems to me that her medication is not working.  Every person I have discussed any of this with responds with, "those poor kids," and they're absolutely right.  Those poor kids have a mother who will fuck them up in any way, shape or form that she can, simply because she is too selfish and irresponsible to care for their needs above hers.  She thinks that she is doing the right things by over-disciplining them and screaming at them and treating them as though they are animals (and by her standards, animals are okay to abuse), but all she is doing is creating connections in their tiny sponge-brains between violence, anger and ways to get what you want.  It is absolutely terrifying to observe.  I'm pretty much completely convinced that she's setting them all up for lives of violence. 

When they do inevitably get taken away from her, I'm hoping that I've kept a decent enough relationship with their dad, been kind and compassionate enough with him (despite all the ways in which he has fucked us all over) that he will let me, if no one else, have a relationship with the kids.  They love me a lot.  I have worked really hard to nurture a kind and compassionate and normal relationship with them so that they can see me both as a friend and as an authority figure.  They respond to me in instances where I have to discipline them, but I don't discipline them unless I absolutely have to.  I heard my sister yelling, last Tuesday, at H because he had pooped in his pants.  Instead of being soothing and comforting, she yelled.  That's the kind of shit that straight-up causes problems like wetting the bed later into life. 

I don't know whether or not I should place any blame on my parents.  It's so hard to figure out whether or not my sister turned out to be a sociopath because of how she and I were disciplined by my dad, or if she was just destined to be this way.  I wish I could pinpoint one event in her life that may have been the turning point.  Am I genetically enough like her to have become a sociopath given the right circumstances and events?  Or is it something about how we were raised that shaped her and I into people that were more likely to become sociopathic?  And if so, why didn't I turn out that way?  Why do I have depression instead?

Kate and I have sort of talked about creating an unofficial study about nature vs. nurture on the ultimate emergence of sociopathic behavior.  Her kiddo's dad is a sociopath - he behaves the exact same way my sister does.  He believes that the rules don't apply to him, he believes that his behavior doesn't need to abide my the same laws as the rest of us, he is manipulative and dishonest and overall just a terrible human being.  Selfish and irresponsible.  But Kate's kiddo gets to grow up with minimal influence from his dad's perception of correct behavior, so if he turns out to have characteristics of antisocial personality disorder, we will know that the weight of such an outcome lies within genetics.  With my sister's kids, if they all three exhibit sociopathic behavior, we'll know that a lot of it is due to the fact that they were born to a sociopath and had a 50% chance of turning out exactly like her, but the fact that the kids will spend their normative years only with my sister 50% of the time, it will be interesting to see what happens.  I'm not saying their dad is a saint by any means, but when it comes to some of the more important aspects of life, like putting the needs of your children before your own, I think he's got his head on straight.  We just want to see how much the influence of being raised by someone with an antisocial personality affects the chances of having it on a child.  It's in no way a formal study because we don't really have a control group, and neither of us knows much about how to structure a study like this, and neither of us is by any means a social or psychological scientist.  But we have unique perspectives on the whole thing, in that neither of us has antisocial personalities, but we are both in close proximity both to people who are and to their offspring.

Shitballs, I wrote a lot today.  Maybe that will make up for the lack of writing I've done over the last week.  I have more in me, too.  I just don't feel like writing anymore.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Rare Bad Day

Today was pretty much the worst day ever, and for no apparent reason.  I told Z I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but he didn't understand the expression.  Apparently no one had explained it to him prior to today.  Personally I think it was the Four Loko I drank last night.  It was a bad choice.  One of my many bad choices.

Regardless of my lack of motivation, I knew I'd be really unhappy with myself if I didn't force myself to go running.  So I did.  I went to my parents house, watched the kids run through the sprinklers and sat and ate lunch with them.  When Z and I left the backyard, the first thing Phoenix did was leap over the creek so he could run back and forth and bark at Bella, his old girlfriend.  When he leapt back over the creek, he ran and jumped full force on me and scratched up my leg.  Then when we got to the park, I saw a person up ahead so I put Phoenix on the leash, but he went NUTSO because he wanted to see the other dog, and it took us awhile to get past them.  Once we get past other people with dogs, I can always let Phoenix off the leash because by then he's forgotten about them, but not this time.  He ran right back and I think maybe he thought the other dog was a squirrel or a cat or something because he went full force at it, and scared the shit out of the owner.  That's when I knew it was going to be a tough run.  That was pretty much it for his bad behavior, but my leg started hurting almost right away.  I really wanted to try for four miles today, but there was no way we were going to make it that far, and I was already in a shitty mood.

When we got back, Z had to go down for his nap, and I sat and iced my leg for a few minutes.  Then I took my dad to go fill up a propane tank and put some gas in my car.  I made a comment about how closely the guy behind me was following me, and I was trying to maneuver into the spot next to the gas pump and my dad said that the guy didn't expect me to do something so stupid.  I had to pull into that spot because of the location of the gas tank on my car, and it really annoyed me that he made a comment like that when I was doing him a BIG favor by getting the propane tank filled.

We got back home and I tried to find some food I could bring home to cook myself for dinner because I couldn't stay there for dinner tonight since my asshole sister would be home from work and there's no way I will suffer myself being around her under any circumstances.  I grabbed some pasta and some frozen chicken.

When I got home, I went right to sleep.  I was really hoping that I could maybe sleep off the bad mood and maybe attempt a start-over.  I got a couple of phone calls from my parents that I chose not to answer.  I got up and made myself dinner - sauteed the chicken with some garlic and pepper and rosemary and boiled the pasta and added some artichoke hearts to it and ate it all together.  It was really good.

I just called my parents back to find out why they'd called earlier.  Apparently my dad was getting ready to leave to pick my sister up from work and tripped over his scooter and ripped his big toenail off.  They'd called me to see if I'd come over to help with the kids while my mom drove to get my sister.

I just want to cry with the frustration I feel.  Between my parents having to drive my goddamn sister back and forth to work every goddamn day, and having to be the guardians of the kids while she works her $4/hour job, and the ridiculously poor timing of my dad being immobile and his incredible ignorance of his extremities (not just now because he's in a cast, but ALL THE TIME) and how much more unnecessary pressure that puts on everyone else, I want to scream and pull my hair out.  Why, oh why, can't things be easy?  Every time my dad trips and falls, he gets seriously injured.  Literally.  He once fell on the side of the house and trying to catch himself he tore his rotator cuff.  He fell off his bike and shattered his wrist and had to have surgery.  He once tripped on one of my little sister's toys in the middle of the night and woke the entire house up with his wailing in pain.  He permanently dented his leg from falling on a doll-cradle he himself made.  It is his clumsiness that puts extra pressure on the whole situation.

Tomorrow morning, I agreed to let him use my car as needed.  I'm going over there before work, picking him up, and he's driving me to work, then he has a doctor's appointment.  I'm getting a ride home from work from my mom.

I'm so frustrated I don't even think I can cry.  I've given myself a little pass on my over-emotional embargo so that if I need to cry, I can.  But I haven't cried yet.

I'm also ridiculously frustrated that I can't run the way I want to.  I want to be able to run miles and miles without being in pain.  I'm tired of worrying about whether or not there will be long-term effects if I overdo it one day.   I hate that the tendons in my leg began hurting almost immediately after I started running today.  I hate that running doesn't feel like it's getting any easier, either.  I get just as tired running two miles as I was on my first run after not running for months and months.  I want to be able to push myself and challenge myself and be proud of myself for being able to run a faster mile or being able to run more miles.  I tried to console myself with the excuse that my body just isn't built for running distance, but even that makes me mad.  It's not fair.  The one time in my life that I want to run miles and miles and I can't fucking do it.  Even when I tried doing cross-country in high school, I couldn't run the 8 miles with everyone else, and I couldn't keep up with the timed run around Ketner Lake.  It's just never been something I could do.  But I hate it.  I want to be able to change that.  If I had insurance, or any money, I could go to the doctor and have the surgeries and physical therapy I need to be able to run without the pain, at least for awhile.  But I don't, so I can't.  All I can do is try to buy the right kinds of shoes and do the right stretches so that I don't do any more damage than has already been done.

I think I am just mad today.  Mad at the world.  Mad at the unfairness of it all.  Mad that I can't just live my own life outside of my family without feeling immeasurable guilt over it.  Mad that I have to suffer and my parents have to suffer, financially and emotionally, because of my batshit-crazy sister's stupid and irresponsible choices and her selfishness.  Mad that my body is such a fucking mess and that there's not a thing I can do about it.  Mad that I'm trying SO FUCKING HARD to create a better reality for myself but I'm running into obstacle after obstacle and it's like I'm not supposed to be happy, even though that is the only thing that I really, truly want.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to be happy and independent and responsible when there isn't one thing that is available to me to help me survive?  I think that's an exaggeration, but that's how it feels.  I feel like all the effort that I'm putting into trying to get healthy and happy is being SUCKED out of me by circumstances that are outside of my control.

I am trying.  I am trying harder than I have ever tried.  I was thinking about it when I was waiting at the airport, about how easy it would be for me to just let go, and let my unhappiness and inability to control anything just wash over me and live with it that way.  It would be really super easy.  But generally, the thing that is the easiest is not always the thing that is correct.

I'm hoping I can wake up in the morning and feel all better, after having shed a few tears (yup, crying right now!) and slept and poured all these thoughts out of my head and just start over new tomorrow.  I'm still optimistic.  I still plan on trying to figure out how to keep running and keep working out because I really like how I feel like I do have some control over something, even though it might not actually be the case.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Short Post. I Blame the Alcohol

I might be drunk.  Having gotten there all by myself.  Well, half the Four Loko was when I was at my parents.  The other half was when I was at home.  By myself.  With the dogs.

I did go for my run today, and fuck.  It hurt.  It was really hard.  Tomorrow is an attempt at 4 miles.  I have to do this.  I have to do this.  It must be done.  Two miles is nothing.

So from now until I pass out it's nothing but water.

Also, Life, As We Know It is delightful.  I am quite enjoying it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Is It Friday? My week has been so screwed up I'm having trouble knowing what day it is...

I feel sad.  Right now.  I wasn't feeling sad earlier.  In fact, I was feeling pretty awesome - perhaps still high on endorphins from yesterday.  But my old boss just called me (at work, no less) to get my email address so that she could send me a little slide show of her dog, who passed away a couple weeks ago.  I worked with this woman at my first job after Brian and I returned from Florida.  We wanted a dog really badly, but we felt like we wouldn't be able to afford one, so when my boss traveled anywhere, we got her dog.  I'm sad for my friend, because her pup was really important to her - and she was 15, so she got to live a long and full life.  I still think of her dog every now and then. 

Anyway, this slide show (which I haven't seen yet), has pictures that I took when we would doggysit Kona.  So these pictures will include Brian, and the stuff we had when we lived together.  Now, I've been doing pretty well not thinking about him much, although I definitely dreamed about him last night.  But in this dream, he was slightly disturbed by my presence, because he was still with Bryn and she'd invited me along for something.  I think that change in content is really good.  I think it means that I've changed my attitude about the whole thing, which I've been trying really hard to do.  Instead of thinking on my memories fondly, I'm trying to detach emotion from them altogether and just look at them as memories.  It doesn't matter what I felt at the time, they are just what I can use to remember what happened in the past.  That doesn't make sense.  Let's just leave it at detaching from the emotions.  I'm getting there.

In that same avenue - I didn't cry at the wedding!!  I teared up when Kate was walking down the isle, but the trick that's been working for me when I start to tear up is to take a deep breath and say to myself, "Control your emotions."  It's pretty simple and it's worked so far.  I haven't had a good cry in a long-ass time, nor have I cried just a few tears for no apparent (or good) reason.  I think that means I'm growing.  Making progress.  I tear up a lot, but I'm getting better at calming myself down.

Except for that I did cry over the slideshow.  Not for myself but for Kona.  She was hilarious and wonderful.  I don't know how the fuck I am going to manage when I lose Phoenix.  Holy God, I don't even want to entertain that thought.

Okay.  So the plan for the evening is as follows: drive home, but stop at the gas station for a Four Loko first.  Get home.  Maybe go to the parents house since the kiddos are there tonight.  Maybe not, if my sister is home.  If not, then it's salad for dinner and a Four Loko and a muscle relaxer for my stupid back.  Which hurt so much during the night that I could not get comfortable.  Then it's sleeping in tomorrow morning. 

Something I wanted to touch on is my discomfort with whatever you might call my "dating" life right now.  I'm definitely over the whole Pilot Guy fiasco and would prefer not to give it any more thought, so I won't.  But I am definitely craving some companionship after seeing Kate and Chad (that's Fiance) together, and happy.  I could use some of that in my life.  But I'm still not sure if I'm ready for anything serious, and I am really doubtful that I will find anything that will satisfy me anyway.  I'm jealous of those with companions, but not in a bad way.  I think it was envy before, and not jealousy.  There is a difference.  My jealousy isn't about to make me upset or unhappy, it's just a wish.  Kind of like wishing I could live in the Bahamas and scuba dive for treasure every day or something.  I think it's intangible for me at this point in my life, but it doesn't mean it's totally impossible or even improbable.  Just not right now, I think.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Did a Good Thing

I know I haven't been writing much.  It's leftover fatigue from my trip, I think, and also family shit that has put me in a terrible mood.  I won't be writing much today, either, but I'm hoping that I can motivate myself to write at work tomorrow.  We'll see.

Today, I woke up at 7:30am, voluntarily, on my day off.  I had to take my parents to Boulder to get a rental car since my fuck-up sister has broken the truck.  They needed to get the brakes on the Suburban fixed and today was their only available day to do it.  After I dropped them off at the rental place, I went to school to talk to the financial aid people to make sure that I'm going to actually receive all the financial aid I've been awarded - the grants and the loans.  I checked online yesterday and the system is so confusing and it looked like I was going to only receive about half of the awards.  It has something to do with my enrollment and that I'm only at 9 credits with 2 credits waitlisted.  The guy assured me that I would receive all the money I was awarded, but I'm still skeptical.  At this point all I can do is wait and see.  I did find out that I can request that I receive my allotted spring loan for the fall semester, which I may do and then just put away in case I decide to move somewhere.

When I got back to my parents house, I had to notarize something for them, and then Phoenix and I went for a run.  I averaged about a 10 minute mile, which is pretty cool.  I did feel pretty tired afterward, and my legs are a bit sore.  But I'm hoping that I can keep running for awhile.  I need new shoes really bad, so when I have some extra money, I will get some.  First I need to get my stride analyzed to see what kind of shoes will be right for me, especially since my legs are all fucked up anyway.

After the run, I went to Kohl's to look at blenders, because a few weeks ago I went to make a drink for Meredi and myself and discovered that we have no blender in this house.  While I was at Kate's, we needed to use a blender she got for a wedding gift which is just like a Bullet, but it's called a Rocket, and I loved it.  It's super easy to use and clean, and it doubles as a food processor.  So I think I'm going to get one.  I didn't buy anything while I was there because I realized that I had a coupon back at my house for at least 15% off (turns out it was 20%) so I grabbed Phoenix and we went home for awhile.  We took a short nap and then went back to my parents house.  I'd told them that I wanted to come over and unload all the firewood that was in the back of the truck that I'd picked up from a neighbor's house awhile ago that never got unloaded.  It's a huge pain in the ass, though, because where my parents keep the firewood is literally the west side of the back of the house, and the gate to the backyard is on the east side.  So it took me 4 trips with the wheelbarrow up and down the hill and stairs.  Another house in our neighborhood had a bunch of firewood sitting outside with a "free" sign, so I took my car up and filled up the trunk as best I could with wood, and did two trips for that.  I unloaded it all onto the front lawn and then took 6 more trips with the wheelbarrow to get all of that to the backyard.  That shit was heavy - a lot of that wood was big huge chopping-block sized chunks.  Surprisingly, I only got a couple of splinters in my hands, and otherwise did not get hurt!  I swept all the crap out from the truck bed and sprayed it out with water, and vacuumed my trunk out.  There were three big bags of gravel in the bed of the truck to add weight to it for when it snows since it's rear-wheel drive and that sucks.  So I had to unload those as well.

By the time I was finished it was about 5pm, so I sat and had a beer and talked with my parents, and then ran to the store to get some salad and bread for dinner.  We ate, I helped clean up, and now I'm home.

I'm exhausted.  My back is pretty sore in the spot where I messed it up in March, and my arms feel like noodles but otherwise, I feel great.  I did a lot of stuff for my parents today that was extremely helpful for them and I'm so glad I could help them out.  I wanted to do things today that kept me active - and I feel like I lifted weights for like two hours lifting the wood and pushing and pulling the wheelbarrow.  It was perfect exercise.  I actually considered doing another two-mile run after dinner, but I really worry about pushing my legs too hard since I haven't run in a couple of weeks.  I did push myself, though.  I just felt like I needed to do something physical and so I tried to challenge myself a little.  I probably won't sit and do all my planks and ab work tonight since my back is sore, but I plan to really get going on pushing myself physically for awhile.

I also feel like I didn't waste a moment of my day today and that feels wonderful.  I got to play with Phoenix, he got some exercise and went swimming, and we spent the entire day together, which is really important to me.  I did some really nice stuff for my parents, and that feels amazing.  I even did it without them asking, and I think that was what was important to them.  Without my sister there, it was a really pleasant day, pretty relaxed, although physically taxing.

I'm all showered and ready for bed already so that's where I'm headed now.  I'm a little worried about my back, so I may ice it for a little while before I actually go to sleep.  Otherwise, today was a win for me - physically, emotionally, and mentally.  I feel GOOD.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Phoenix puked.  On the bed.  At 3:30 this morning.  I woke up to him making the dog-puking noises that dogs make when they're about to puke (a gag?  Can dogs gag?), and didn't have the heart to make him get off the bed.  When you're about to throw up, do you want to move?  I pretty much don't.  There are the times when you don't realize you're about to puke until the extra-watery-mouth feeling hits and then it's almost too late so you bolt for the bathroom and sometimes you make it.  But he wasn't even awake I don't think, so I just let him puke on the bed.  Everything is washable.  Luckily for me it wasn't crazy watery nasty puke, it was like the dog food he ate was sitting in his stomach and just got mushy and came back up.  So we got up, I cleaned it up, and he went outside for a few minutes, then we went right back to bed.  Nothing crazy.

I worry that it was stress that caused him to puke because for some reason, he gets sick when I get stressed.

....I totally just lost interest in writing......I might finish this post later....

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Selective Amnesia?

I am so angry I have no words.  Got into it with my sister tonight.  It's like she's getting even crazier.  She broke my dad's truck and so now they have one vehicle for three adults.  She's gone through 2 cars in just about 8 months.  Unbelievable.

I took today off of work and I'm ridiculously glad I did.  I spent most of it sleeping, but I don't feel like I've gotten any sleep yet.  My eyes keep closing on their own.  So I'm going to wash my hair and get into bed.  I have never been so happy to have done a really good deep clean on my bedroom before a trip because it is still way clean and it makes me feel much more relaxed.

I meant to write today, but I also meant to be at work today.  So I'll hopefully get everything covered tomorrow - the trip and the drama with my sister.  She's so goddamn crazy I can't even believe it sometimes.  It's like I forget, and when she does something to make me remember, I'm surprised all over again.  What the hell.