Tuesday, December 09, 2008

evil trolls, gah.

i just got off the phone with the credit card people again. seriously, they're unhelpful. i'm happy to pay them however much i can each month, i would gladly do it as an effort of good faith--but not only do credit card companies not understand a good-faith effort, they employ trolls to answer the phone. mean trolls who don't understand that i actually do care about paying off this stupid card, i just can't afford the minimum payment right now. so i've quit paying. from my conversations with the troll people, i have gathered that (somehow) it is better to pay nothing than to pay less than the minimum each month. this really makes no sense to me. i'm like, take my money! and they're all, not unless you can come up with x amount!

the first person i talked to was nice--cheery even--and she told me that in the current economy they're very interested in helping out customers by setting up a payment plan before they miss too many consecutive payments. so i was like, sweet! this sounds good. and then she transferred me to troll-man, who apparently didn't get that memo and was not at all interested in helping me with anything. i told him what was up, again, and he said to call back and set up a payment plan later when i have enough money to pay them. when i asked what would happen if i couldn't meet the minimum on the payment plan, he laughed and TOLD ME I WOULD BE IN TROUBLE. can you say that to an adult? is this in a script somewhere? i wonder if the sinister laugh part was also written into the script.

as an aside, my interview monday went very well and i'm hopeful that i'll get the job. i was told they have more interviews scheduled this week but will make a decision and call me by next week. i took it as a good sign that they scheduled my interview on the first day of interviews, and i'm choosing to ignore the part about more interviews. mere technicalities. they loved me, i'm pretty sure.

after today's phone call i really need to get this job because if i don't i'm afraid the mean credit card troll people will send in the mafia, or maybe tonya harding, to break my kneecaps with a crowbar. at least that's what i imagine YOU'LL BE IN TROUBLE translates to.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

ode to despair.*

i wrote a long post about my dying grandmother but decided that several paragraphs about death? was way too depressing (so i'm opting for a couple of not-too-long paragraphs instead because that's clearly better). my original post was amusing in a very tragic sort of way, but still. it was hard to write and was making me sound and feel like a horrible person when i said things like this: SHE NEEDS TO JUST DIE ALREADY. see, that sounds awful now, too, but that doesn't make it any less true. sometimes sick people need to die because the alternative is much too painful. she's old and ill and is only getting worse but she's stubborn as hell. the doctors and my family have suggested this is the only reason she's still alive. in this case that's not a good thing because this crap is just dragging on and getting worse and oh my god i don't want to get old. when i tell my mom this she says, let this be a lesson. take care of yourself now so you don't have to go through this later. word.

my grandma, she refused to go to the doctor for years (she didn't want to know if anything was wrong) and then once she went to the doctor she refused to take her medication (she didn't think she needed meds) and on top of that she smoked for 50 years (and spent the last 10 of those years sneaking around smoking because she told my grandfather she had quit). see? kinda funny but tragic in the end! i mean, it's almost unforgivable to take an ailing old person and be like, you did this to yourself. that's not right. no one says that to her. this was all avoidable though. i love my grandma and she's had a good life--the first 80 years treated her well--but now the situation is reminiscent of this:

just sayin'.

so i have an interview on monday for a job that i have mixed feelings about. i'm confident i can get the job because i have more than adequate experience for it, but it's doing something i don't really like doing. it kind of sounds like i'm alluding to stripping or prostitution or something equally demeaning (but profitable!). but really this job--which is sort of demeaning only because i hate paper and inefficiency and this is a government job so there are excruciating amounts of both--involves lots of paper and moving it around and then spending time, in between dealing with the paper pushing, thinking about my life slipping away. i know this because i've done it before. it drove me to grad school so i wouldn't have to have jobs like this anymore, and grad school ended in divorce and you know what that means? JOBS LIKE THIS TEAR FAMILIES APART.

but the thing is that i can't really be irritated about having an interview for this particular job because i was the one who, um, applied for the job in the first place. i think at the time i was thinking, i'm qualified to do this! and not, i want to do this! a couple of weeks ago i changed the direction my job search was going and actually started applying for jobs i wanted to have. novel, that. something finally clicked and i realized i didn't have to have a job i disliked. well, except now i really do need a job and if i'm offered this one it would be rather stupid to pass it up. it's a permanent job with benefits and i can't argue with that. also, the salary is negotiable so if they offer me the job i'll ask for more money than they're offering. can't hurt.

and this because it sums up the above quite nicely:

*ETA: as in the website, not the feeling. i'm not that histrionic.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


susan and i have been trying to make new friends for the past few weeks, an endeavor that has silmultaneously made me feel grateful for the friends i have and completely burned out on trying to befriend anyone else. and all this without ever meeting a single person! that has got to be an accomplishment of sorts (though not what i was striving for), or at the very least extremely funny. here's how it went: we put an ad on craigslist. people responded. downhill from there.

from a sociological perspective it's been a fascinating experiment. again, not my intention, but if that's all i get out of this then that's good enough. my plan was to meet people that we have things in common with and then partake in some common interests, instead of just gathering information about people who i thought maybe we had something in common with, except oh wait, i was wrong, dammit.

we exchanged emails with about half a dozen people who responded to our online ad advertising our need to fill our friend void. i should mention that i've tried this before with no luck, because last time i forgot to go into detail. this time i knew what not to do and assumed i would be more successful by being very specific about what i wanted: non-girly lesbian friends who like to hang out at home, watch movies, discuss politics or pretty much anything else, have bbqs and dinner get-togethers, and go to coffee shops. i mentioned i like to read. i also mentioned beer and football for susan's sake because she groups football watching and beer drinking together and wants friends to watch games with. alcohol didn't figure prominently in that list. there was a lot to choose from. i assumed that anyone who likes any combination of these things would have something in common with us.

so during the exchanging of emails phase of this failed experiment, a couple of things became clear:

1. lesbians, as i mentioned in a previous post, are flaky.

2. lesbians who like the aforementioned activities? are lushses.

i don't know if this is true of lesbians as a whole (maybe? yes? no? only in austin? am i allowed to generalize like this?) but i can say that the people who wrote to us are overwhelmingly flaky and lushy. i can deal with flakiness much better than lushiness because spending weekday nights getting drunk in bars--i thought people got over that once they were out of college. and then i remembered:

3. austin=party town

i forgot. i am so not the partying type. and then i remembered that that's why people live here. got it.

but the people who wrote to me--when i said i was more inclined to stay home and have people over than to hang out in bars--they were like, ugh. bars. i'm so over that scene.

then they invariably would send me a text message that said: going 2 6th st 2nite. wanna meet up?

and their facebook would advertise just how much they needed a drink right this very second, or how they drank too much the night before.

that was when i realized that lesbians, or at least the ones i thought i had things in common with--i probably do, drinking aside--consume alcohol more frequently and publicly than the average person. which leads me to:

4. craigslist, not a good way to make friends.

Friday, November 14, 2008

when life doesn't work out the way you planned.

so yeah, i've decided that i definitely somehow managed to offend the people that susan and i were supposed to hang out with and that is why they're not talking to me. the other option is that they're beyond flaky, which i guess is possible BUT NOW I'LL NEVER KNOW, will i? nope. and since i won't know i'm having to make up my own stories to make myself feel better. possible explanations include: one or both of them died in a house fire, had to leave town because of a family emergency, or are swamped at work and don't have time to get in touch with me. none of my explanations are all that plausible in terms of good reasons not to talk to me, except for maybe dying in a fire since one of them is a firefighter. however, i know she's alive and not totally disfigured or dead because she's been on facebook every day this week. more likely explanation: people suck.

also, i just ruined my (what was until a few minutes ago) excellent credit when i closed out a credit card account that i could no longer afford to pay the minimum balance on. because being unemployed and broke? not conducive to paying bills. it was an absolute last resort and one that i'm probably going to regret, but i didn't have any other choice short of maybe dedicating myself to a life of crime to make money. mmmm....crime. so much easier than finding a legal job.

i tried but was talked out of going the credit-card cancelling route several months ago when i called my bank and the representative i talked to advised me to keep paying my credit card bill so as not to ruin my credit. not sure if she was being helpful--she sounded sincere, so maybe--or if she just wanted me to continue sending the credit card people money so she'd continue to get a paycheck; either way, i managed to hold out a few more months. until today. this makes me nervous. one of these days i'm going to look back on november 14, 2008 as that day i totally forfeited my ability to buy a house or get a loan or maybe even get a job for at least the next ten years. on the other hand, maybe there are worse things than having bad credit? i sincerely hope so. i feel like a straight-A student who just failed their high school anatomy class. oh wait! i already did that! check.

i guess i didn't fall over dead then, either. everything will (eventually) be okay. i hope.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


i'm feeling incredibly blah right now. last week was looking up with the election and my head feeling less tilt-a-whirl-ish, and then susan and i (i thought) made some new friends who seem cool and funny and nice and down to earth. i'm all about down-to-earth people. they make my day. so, last week: happy. this week i'm crying and i can't even blame it on pms. i hate that. i like to have excuses to cry.

so over the weekend the ear ache that i've had on and off for the past few weeks began to make my head feel like it was going to explode. i wanted to make sure it wasn't an ear infection so i went back to the doctor and was like, what now? she said my eustachian tube isn't draining correctly. two months ago when i had a cold that started all this head crap, stuff hung out in my sinuses then drained to my ear and refused to evacuate. the good news is, no infection. the bad news is, i have to deal with the pain until it subsides.

my head is a bit better today since i spent a lot of time yesterday coaxing my ears to drain. this involved much massaging of my eustachian tube, and wow that really sounds dirty. anyhow, it must have worked because i'm feeling less like my head is on fire today. also, i bruised that half of my head with the repeated massaging. no pain, no gain.

so the head thing is getting better--again. good.

now on to a completely different topic that is making me unhappy: since i overreact to everything because that's just what i do, i'm freaked out that we haven't heard from our new friends in a couple of days. we were in the middle of making plans to hang out this afternoon, then--silence. for a normal person this probably would not be reason to freak out. i mean, two days without hearing from someone? chill the fuck out. not a big deal. but for me, it's cause to recall every single thing i said to them to determine whether i said something offensive or lame. the answer is pretty much no, i didn't, and if my sweet charming self said something to offend them already? it probably wasn't going to work out anyway. also, i'm afraid because this has happened before. this is familiar and not in a good way. austinites (lesbians in particular) are famous for saying they're going to get together with you and then, nada. or, you start to befriend someone and they disappear. i've heard this complaint a lot, from people who are not me. no idea what that's all about but i was so hopeful that this was going somewhere and now i'm thinking it's not. it's making me sad.

this likely wouldn't be causing me so much anxiety if not for the fact that over the past two days, one of my friends moved out of state without telling me (wtf?), and another insinuated that we really aren't very good friends at all (again, wtf?). this has left me feeling, um, horrible. probably not unlike how mccain felt when he realized he was going to lose the election (from what i've read, even after things had started to look very bleak the man sincerely had no clue he was going to lose, and when his staffers finally decided it was time to break the news to him his response was: how did this happen?). yes. that right there.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

my parents saw a chupacabra, among other things.

my parents called me today, and i thought they were calling because it's my step dad's birthday and it was mid-afternoon and i hadn't called him yet to wish him a happy birthday. sometimes they do that when i'm not quick enough to call them but it turns out that's not what they were calling about. they wanted to tell me they saw a chupacabra while driving through southwest texas. my parents are always seeing weird shit when they're alone, which is what i told them on the phone. my mom's response: but your grandmother was with us when we saw it! knowing my grandmother, that really doesn't help my mom's case because my grandma has been known to make up her own version of reality. i love her, but still. not exactly a reliable source.

for anyone not familiar with the legendary chupacabra, check this out. the artist's depiction makes it look like it's a half human, half spiky amphibious power ranger gecko thing. that's not what my parents saw. sadly, they didn't get a picture of it--they were reaching for their camera when it ran sauntered away, and i refrained from asking why they didn't follow it to take a picture if it was merely strolling--but my mom said it was more like a wolf-fox-dog hybrid. that sounds more plausible than other descriptions, so why not? she described it as skinny with long hind legs and a long tail. she said it looked like nothing she had ever seen. she didn't mention any spikes. or fins. good, good.

so this dog hybrid thing frequently makes it on my parents' local news station (definition of local: from a city three hours away), usually once every few months. and it's not so much the dog thing that's on tv as it is the people who spotted it, who describe the same dog hybrid thing that my parents saw and THEN call it a chupacabra (tomato, tomahto). when i was in middle school my town's local newspaper ran a front-page story with a VERY LARGE headline about the chupacabra striking again alongside a picture of a dead sheep. it's pretty embarrassing to admit that my hometown's one local news source touted a legend about a vampire dog that kills sheep as real news. this is why i don't go back there. this is why the town's population growth has remained stagnant for at least the last 20 years.

perhaps it likewise should be embarrassing that my parents now have claimed to have seen a chupacabra--they're actually calling it a chupacabra, which is funny--but i believe them when they say they saw something unidentifiable (and my grandmother can corroborate the story!). also, this doesn't strike me as all that odd since today's sighting is the latest in a list of other things my parents have experienced when no other credible witnesses are around, including (but not limited to) la llorona, which they heard but didn't see along the rio grande; a huge round metallic object with blinky lights silently hovering over them in the desert sky (glad i wasn't around for that since i probably would have fallen over dead); and the ghostly figure that wanders around their bedroom looking creepy, then throws open doors just to get the point across that it's really there.

Friday, November 07, 2008

crystal failure.

i'm pretty sure the physical therapist i saw on tuesday helped fix me. i'm hesitant to declare being completely 100% better, in part because i'm not there just yet, but the vertigo is gone (yay!) and the other icky balance-related problems are subsiding. i'm very hopeful that i'll be totally well soon.

physical therapist woman was very nice but she did scare the hell out of me by saying i should probably have an MRI to make sure my brain is okay. when i asked her what could be wrong with my brain (i'm very sensitive about brains; could we please not talk about them? mine especially?) she said she didn't want to say anything else because she didn't want to scare me. too late. sufficiently freaked out. she said it was just a precaution and she doesn't think i have a brain tumor. i don't, either. of all the things i think i could have, a brain tumor definitely is not on that list. hypochondria? sure. brain tumor, not so much, if only because the latter negates the former and since i clearly have hypochondria i cannot have a tumor. hello, logic.

after she was done scaring me she ran some rather unpleasant tests to verify that my inner ear is jacked up. these tests wouldn't have been unpleasant if my inner ear were fine but since it's not they made me all kinds of dizzy. also, based on the tests she doesn't think i have a brain tumor (told you so). these are both good things and the best part was that since she could tell that i had vertigo she could fix it, which she did. i was impressed. because the ear nose and throat doctor i saw two weeks ago? he told me what was wrong with me and then didn't do anything about it. this is why i reserve a special place in my heart for most doctors, right next to satan and george w. bush.

just kidding. mostly.

once she had physical therapied my head i had to keep it still for two days. the explanation for what she did to my head is relatively simple: the calcium carbonate particles in my ears, the things that essentially keep you balanced, were knocked out of place and my brain was misinterpreting this as me spinning around in circles any time i made a sudden movement. so she moved me around really quickly to get them back into their proper place, and then i had to stay still to let them settle.

i explained this to susan and that conversation didn't go so well, i think because i used the word crystals instead of particles. she immediately became suspicious.

susan: crystals? are you sure this isn't some kind of new agey crap?

me: um, no, it's real.

susan: but crystals? are you sure these things exist?

me: yes. i promise. they're in your inner ear. you just can't see them. they're tiny.

susan: i don't know if i believe that.

me: are you sure evolution really happened? you can't see it, either.

this conversation happened before we'd had coffee or breakfast and we should know by now that it's a bad idea for us to speak to each other before she's had coffee and i've eaten. also, i made a mental note never to use the word crystals around susan again. now i call them calcium carbonate particles. she seems more accepting of that. what's funny is that she never doubted i was having balance issues but she doubts the scientifically proven cause of the problem.

so i kept my head immobile for two days, during which i spent a lot of time looking very unnatural and perhaps complaining a bit. i had to keep my head propped up at night by sleeping on several pillows and i couldn't turn onto my right side. this does not make for good sleep. when i moved at all i had to move my head and the rest of my body as one entity, a la frankenstein. as of yesterday afternoon i could move my head again like a normal person--and the vertigo was gone. this is a huge improvement. i've had this stupid problem on and off for nearly 20 years, and i'm v. impressed that doctor woman made it go away. this is good. i'm now able to drive/ride in a car without wanting to die, which means now i can work again.

next up: finding a job.