Oh No, Not Again!

If anything can go wrong, it will.

Murphy Was Completely An Optimist!

If things have to go wrong, I’m happy that they’re going wrong now, and not at the beginning of May. Alex is scheduled to touch down at 6:49 p.m. on the second of May, and I’d really like it if my house wasn’t in shambles when he gets here.

Recently, the bathroom sink began to back up any time you ran the slightest bit of water in it. As it’s my landlord’s job to take care of these types of things, I called, and he immediately sent a “plumber” to come and take a look.

I began to suspect that perhaps this “plumber” was in no way a professional when, after punching a hole in the pipe by snaking the drain, his solution was to ask if I had any electrical tape handy. This house needs a lot of work. And a real plumber.

Still, I had use of the kitchen sink, the bathtub, the washing machine, until 1.) the kitchen sink began spraying water at my shins any time I used it, and 2.) water began leaking directly onto the fuse box in the basement.

Suffice it to say, my laundry is piling up, and heating water (acquired from the garden hose) over the stove is not the most fun way to clean yourself up. My mother refers to what I’ve been having to do as “having a whore’s bath”. Isn’t that a lovely notion?

Sorry that I’m behind on my reading and commenting these past few days. I’ll be checking in ASAP, as I miss the morning reading.

14K Fridays: Week 3

Having quite the busy week, so haven’t had a lot of time for blogging, sadly. Hopefully things are slowing down a bit.

I wanted to keep up with my silly little Friday post, though, so, here’s a few more things that make me really happy.

  1. Banana creme pie Blizzards from Dairy Queen. Actually, banana creme pie in general should just be on this list.
  2. Big Hero 6. I only just recently got to watch this film but it quickly shot up to near the top of my favourites list. It’s adorable.
  3. The way my cat loves to snuggle up against the small of my back. Even the way he tends to hog the bed, by continuously putting pressure there and causing me to slide over a few cm at a time.
  4. Loaded baked potatoes!
  5. Discovering new books to read.
  6. Painting and drawing. Digitally or with more traditional media.
  7. Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds revealed the costume for the upcoming film today!
  8. Scrapbooking. Shut up, spell check, it’s a word.
  9. Donating time or money to worth-while causes. I know that people often think that donating money is the thing to do, and of course, money helps. But if you can’t donate your money, your time is valuable, too.
  10. Hearing from friends you haven’t spoken with in a while.

Tales From The Porn Store

Once upon a time, I was a clerk in a porn store.

For the most part, it was a pretty fun job. I found that I had to have a sense of humour, and that I couldn’t really afford to be embarrassed by anything. You’d be surprised what people will come in and ask you. Or maybe you wouldn’t.

The best was when men would approach the counter seeking my advice on what to purchase for their partners.  “How’s the vibration on this one”?  “Does this stuff feel good”? “Would you recommend this”?  As if I’d personally sampled every product on our shelves, or that doing so was just part of my job description. There were a few things in the shop I could make an informed comment on, and if I could, I would, but for the most part, I’ve never felt a need for massive vibrators, dildos, or novelty lubes, etc.

One of the services offered at the porn store was DVD rentals. Now, just prior to being hired, there had been on-site private viewing rooms that customers could use. I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am that they shut those down the week before I started. My very first day I heard such horror stories of having to clean up those rooms from the veteran staff. Ugh.

But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have horror stories of my own to tell. So many times I sent customers back home with the DVD they were due to be returning telling them “You’re going to have to clean that up before I can accept the return”. There were times I wished it was store policy to wear latex gloves before accepting rental returns. I learned to keep a small bottle of hand sanitiser on my person at all times. Thankfully, despite having had to reject returns on many occasions, it was usually a one-time event with a given customer. Usually.

Overall, though, I had little to complain about. Most week nights it was pretty quiet, and I’d stand behind the counter with whomever happened to be on shift with me and make commentary about whatever porn was playing on the TVs above our heads. The adults-only version of “Mystery Science Theater 3000”.

Sometimes, just a little bit, I miss that job. On the other hand, it’s nice not to worry about having a bottle of Purell in your pocket at any given moment.

14K Fridays: Week… 2?

Last week I wrote a post called “Fourteen Thousand“, in which I made a short list of things that make me happy. I thought that maybe, in the spirit of never taking anything for granted, I might make a short list every Friday from here on out of things that, well, make me happy.

Yes, I know I didn’t write the first list on a Friday, but, “14K Fridays” sounds nicer than “14K Wednesdays” and Fridays tend to make me happier than Wednesdays, anyway. We’re going to call this Week 2. Right, enough babbling, on with the list!

  1. Doing the laundry. Yes, you read that right, doing the laundry makes me happy. I love the way everything comes out of the dryer hot and smelling like heaven.
  2. Spring. I just love when winter comes to a close and the days get a little longer. As much as I may complain about the Midwest, spring is really lovely here. It’s not too humid yet, and there’s usually a lovely breeze (or, well, full-on wind, but hey, still nice). I love when I start to hear the birds chirping every morning, and the crickets start singing their songs at night. (The cicadas can go fuck themselves, though, thank you very much).
  3. Tulips. Without a doubt they are my favourite flower. A couple of side notes: One, I am not a huge fan of the idea of giving or receiving cut flowers. I’d rather be given seeds (or bulbs) to plant or a potted plant of some kind. I’ve never complained about receiving flowers, as the thought counts, and that would be rude, but I just like the idea of living flowers better than ones that are slowly dying in front of your face. Two, I dislike roses immensely.
  4. The way that Alex never sees my flaws as flaws. Listen, I’m not putting myself down here or anything, but, honestly we all have our imperfections. Thing is, Alex never seems to see mine as imperfections, and frequently points them out as things that he loves about me.
  5. The sense of satisfaction I get from completing a project. I’m remarkably hard on myself, so when I hit a point at which I look at something I’ve been working on and say, “That’s great. I’ve finished”, I can honestly say I’m proud of it.
  6. The cool side of the pillow. As much as I love doing (and folding) the laundry, there’s few things finer than crawling into nice crisp sheets and resting your head on the coolness of your pillowcase. Thankfully, once you’ve warmed up the one side, you can extend the pleasure by flipping your pillow over.
  7. The feel of lush green grass under my bare feet. As a little girl, I used to get into so much trouble for running around barefoot all the time. As an adult, I do what I want.
  8. My teddy bear. Yes, I just said I was an adult. I also said I do what I want, so if I want to continue to sleep with my childhood teddy bear, I will do just that. He’s kind of a large bear, and he’s great for laying my head on. He might be a little … erm … smooshed because I’ve been laying my head on his formerly fluffy teddy bear chest since… forever.
  9. Tea. Dear England, I’m totally on board with this tea thing. I love a nice hot cup of tea with milk and two sugars. Of course, being Southern by heritage, if not by current location or birth, I also love sweetened iced tea.
  10. Homemade toffee-flavoured lip balm. Yes, I make it myself.

Sleep, Sweet Sleep

Last night, for the first time in about two weeks (seriously, it’s a shame we Americans don’t use the term “fortnight”) I was finally able to sleep mostly straight through the night. I’d been trying to go to bed at my normal time each night, but at best I’d doze off and wake up anxious an hour or two later, unable to get back to sleep.

I  really don’t recommend trying to function this way.

This morning, though, I feel rested. Alert. My head isn’t foggy, my limbs aren’t heavy, and my heart doesn’t feel like it’s been working overtime. It’s lovely. It’s amazing what a little sleep can do, and how little you appreciate what it does when you’re doing it normally.

Since I’m feeling so good, hopefully I can knock out some things on my ever-growing  to-do list! Keeping busy may have the added bonus of providing me with a solid reason to avoid a certain friend of mine, as well.

Ugh.

I must be doing something really wrong, because it seems as if it’s just one thing after another with my friends, lately. Surely the common denominator is just me, when all of it seems to be going wrong at once?

A few days ago, a certain friend of mine asked me for a favour. It was an odd favour, to be sure, but odd doesn’t necessarily mean bad, and it seemed innocent enough. At least it did until the following day when he confessed something that, to me, seems directly connected to the favour he asked for, even though he swears it isn’t. The confession caused the favour he asked for to seem inappropriate, even disturbing and downright creepy. Now I feel sort of used… and manipulated. And I’m finding I really don’t want to speak to said friend.

Ooh, could I be more vague? The whole thing is so weird that I feel awkward and embarrassed just by nature of it having happened to me.

Again, though, all these things going wrong with friends all at once, surely I’m somehow the problem. The only thing they’ve had in common is me.

Trip (Please Don’t Fall)

Love Potion

Alex has booked his flight to come visit me for two weeks.

For my part, I can hardly contain myself. Every time I think about it, my heart starts to race.

The last time we tried this getting together thing, it ended disastrously. I either hit my head and had a seizure, or I had a seizure and hit my head; I can’t recall much past feeling a bit funny as I was walking through the airport in Houston, Texas, so the order in which it happened is unclear. (He thinks I’m clumsy enough that I may have just tripped over my own two feet and hit my head first).

So, I’m crossing my fingers and my toes that this time everything goes smoothly. I mean, he’s a little less accident prone than I am (I think), so I imagine his odds of arriving in one piece are significantly higher than mine.

We’ll be celebrating our one year anniversary during his visit. I think it adds a very nice sense of occasion, of course, but it would be a special occasion if he showed up on any given day. A stormy Monday would be the best day ever, if it was the day he showed up. For the record, I hate storms and Mondays.

I can hardly believe it’s been almost a whole year that we’ve been together. I just hope it’s the first of many, many more.

It’s six weeks yet to go before he gets here, and already I’m wondering how I’m going to bear seeing him off at the airport when it’s time for him to leave. I joke that I’m just not going to let him leave, but must confess I may only be half joking. I probably shouldn’t be admitting to that, because now if I drug him and chain him to the basement wall, well… you know. I’ve left a trail of evidence.

Vandal!

Some little punk decided that it would be fun to mark up the front of my house with “UK13”.

I’ve Googled. I’ve asked around. I’ve no idea what this “UK13” signifies. The little vandal is remarkably silent on the subject.

The neighbours caught him at his little bit of mischief just as he finished. Being that my landlord’s house is just on the other side of mine, my neighbour all but dragged him by his oversized ear straight there. He won’t explain what “UK13” is, but he’d apparently rather spend some of his free time trying to scrub it off the front of my house than have to pay restitution. The landlord thinks a toothbrush might be an appropriate tool for this job. We’ll see how that goes.

Why couldn’t I have been vandalised by someone with some artistic talent, though? I mean, really.

14,000 Things To Be Happy About

Don’t panic.

I’m not actually planning on listing 14,000 things here in this post, but I did own a book entitled 14,000 Things To Be Happy About. It was a cute, fat little book that legitimately listed that many things to be happy about,. Or, I think it did. I never actually counted, and it was not a numbered list.

I used to carry it with me everywhere that I went. When something would make me smile, I’d grab a pen and scribble it down in the margins of that fat little book. Somewhere along the way, I lost that book, and so I thought that I might start a new list.

  1. AlexAlex is almost always the very first thing that comes to mind when I think of being happy.
  2. Family: Some of mine are hopelessly dysfunctional… but I love my family.
  3. Friends: “Friends are the family that you choose”. Again, some of them are dysfunctional, but if I’m honest, I’m pretty dysfunctional. I’m grateful for both the ones I have the privilege of having near me, and for the ones spread across the country, and even the world. ♥
  4. The cats: Because cats. That’s seriously all the explanation this one needs. My cats are fat, lazy balls of fluff (until 3 in the morning, when they run the Kittyanapolis 500 through the living room) and I wouldn’t have them any other way.
  5. Music. Listen to all the music! All right, maybe not all of it, but there is so much to love about so many different kinds of music. And dance. Even if you’re bad at it, dance.
  6. Books. There are few things in the world better than curling up with a good book and getting lost in a whole different world for a few hours.
  7. The way everything smells after it rains. I wish they’d bottle this so I can have it on demand.
  8. Root beer floats. I love root beer all on its own (and Alex tells me that it’s a little harder to come by where he lives, so that worries me a bit!) but it’s absolutely amazing with a big ol’ scoop of vanilla ice cream!
  9. The internet. Well, duh? Obviously the internet. Firstly, it’s an amazing communications tool, and secondly, cats. All the pictures of all the cats.
  10. Red pandas. I love red pandas second only to cats. Oh, and red pandas can also be found all over the internet.

I think that’s a good start.

NB: Thanks to The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden for the video of the red pandas playing!

So What Was My Point?

When I began writing the “The Hardest Choice I Ever Made“, I started with the intent to express some opinions on the abortion debate happening over at Harsh Reality.

As I wrote, though, some of what I wanted to say got a little lost in the flood that came when I began recounting my personal experience. I want to try to correct this. I hope that this time, by taking things one small step at a time, I can actually express my thoughts without getting lost in a sea of emotions.

  1. I am not of the opinion that abortion should ever be used as a form of birth control. If you are having sex, you need to be responsible enough, adult enough, to recognise all of the potential consequences, from disease to the risk of pregnancy. Even on birth control, there is still a small chance that it will fail. If you are choosing to engage in unprotected sex and thinking “Oh well, if I get pregnant, I can just abort”, that is unimaginably irresponsible, at best.
  2. Of course when a child is conceived, that baby is not only the mother’s. I wholeheartedly believe that a man who is part of conceiving a child should be involved in any decision-making process that involves said child, at least under most circumstances. Ultimately, it is the woman and not the man who has to carry the child. It is her physical well-being that is on the line. Every pregnancy carries risks, some far more so than others. If a woman’s health is put greatly at risk by a pregnancy, I believe that the decision to take that risk is hers. If a woman was raped, under no circumstances should her rapist get any kind of say.
  3. On the subject on whether abortion should or should not be legal: I did manage to somewhat express my thoughts on this particular matter in my previous post, but it was at the tail end of what was a very lengthy read. If only “special cases” should be allowed, such as victims of rape, or women who are at great risk, then who gets to determine what qualifies as a special case? Would she have to appear before a judge, or a panel of doctors and “plead her case”? How many rapes go unreported? If a woman is unwilling to report that she was raped in the first place, how is she going to feel about having to explain her circumstances? I don’t want to live in a place where coat-hanger abortions become the last resort of a frightened woman.

People can be so quick to judge.

Most of even the most hard-core Pro-Life people I know or have encountered allow for “special cases”. Most of them will concede that either in the case of rape, or in the case of the pregnancy being the result of failed birth control and being a great risk to the mother, that abortion is “understandable” or “allowable”. When they know my story, they will tell me that they understand that I was in a terrible position, and that they understand why I would choose my health and life over carrying the pregnancy to term.

But, a lot of them, if I left the story untold, if I simply said, “I’ve had an abortion”, would immediately begin passing judgement on me. Thinking, or even outright saying, “murderer”. I have had this said to me, by people who don’t really know me, or know the full story. Hell, I’ve even had some people say it to me knowing, at least partially, what happened.

I wonder, honestly, if they think that I actually need someone to make me feel worse.

The Hardest Choice I Ever Made

Here I am again, up well past my bed time.

There are a zillion thoughts running through my mind right now, most of them to do with two very specific and very traumatic events in my life. On the one hand, I feel compelled to talk about my perspective, and on the other, they are things that I have only really ever discussed with a tiny number of people, and there is so much anxiety wreaking havoc upon my brain that at least tonight I can say without doubt that I know from where my insomnia is coming.

Don’t read the rest of this if you think it might upset/bother/offend you. Please. In the rest of this post I talk about rape and abortion. Consider yourself warned.

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