Wednesday, May 29, 2013

10 things . . .

 . . . I found whilst cleaning out my bathroom cupboards today:

10. Seven empty toilet paper rolls that the cats drug into the back of the cupboard

9. Fourteen new razors

8. Sunscreen that expired in 2009

7. Cold medicine that expired in 2010

6. Five bottles of nail polish remover

5. Two brand new toothbrushes

4. Three containers of earplugs

3. Seven packets of dental floss

2. Eleven sample size deodorants

1. Advil that expired in 2004, before I had weight-loss surgery and couldn't take it anymore.

And so goes my ongoing attempt to organize my life.

Remember that date with Joe I accidentally said "yes" to? I thought it was supposed to be yesterday. So I texted him yesterday morning to ask if he had decided where we should go. He texted back that he'll be in town NEXT week, but I must be really looking forward to seeing him since I was a week early. I didn't answer.

Man. Dating SUCKS. In my case, NOT dating also sucks. I popped into OK Cupid, POF & eHarmony today after not checking in for about a month. I had several messages on OK, from either 80 year old men or 18 year old boys. Oh, and one yahoo from Europe. There were 2 messages on POF, both of which had such horrible spelling and grammar I could barely read them. Sorry, but that's a deal breaker for me. My ONE new match on eHarmony was a guy who looked like he should sing with ZZtop. Some guys think it's cool to pose for pictures on their motorcycles. Not this guy. He posed on his 4-wheeler. I can't make this stuff up. Need proof?
I'm sure he may be someone's cup of tea, but I'd rather drink bathwater. What really ticks me off is that I paid for a whole stinkin year of eHarmony and this is who I get matched with. I also keep getting annoying messages from eHarmony asking me to widen the range of my searches. They suggest a 300 mile radius. WTF?? I'm not interested in a long distance relationship. I couldn't handle 45 miles, what the hell would I do with 300? I think I'd rather be stuck cleaning out cupboards.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ta Da!

I just noticed as I opened my blog to write a post that this is my 50th post. I feel like I should write something really profound to mark the occasion . . .

 . . .

 . . . but I got nut'in . . .

The most profound thing I've done in the last week, was to clean out my file cabinet. I found tax records from 1998. When I was married. My name is KJ and I'm a paper hoarder. Well, I was a paper hoarder. I'm happy to report my file cabinet is cleaned out and I got rid of 3 huge bags of shredded documents! I did keep the paper I wrote when I was a junior in college and the original adoption papers from my Cabbage Patch Kids (which are still holed up in my mum's storage room in Ohio) Some things I'm just not quite ready to part with.

I'm half-way through teaching my online summer class. I have a much larger class than I had last summer and jeez-louise, the grading takes forever. And there is one student who is driving me crazy because she/he keeps wanting to meet during my office hours. Gah! It's an online class! I DON'T HAVE FREAKING OFFICE HOURS!

 It doesn't help that I'm crabby and it's probably because it's been gloomy and rainy for the last week and I'm ready to swing in my hammock and enjoy summer. Oh, and it didn't even reach 60 degrees today. Hello? Summer? Where you at, girl?

As I type this, Tonks keeps trying to pull my hand off the keyboard so I can pet her. It's adorable. And a little annoying. But I'll forgive her because she's the best spider killer ever! Except when Luna beats her to the bug. Then Luna is the best.

I've been working at the phone place nearly full time. I love it, mostly for the crazy-people calls. I was taking insurance company calls the other day and it was SO! FREAKING! BUSY! And when it gets super busy, I sometimes mess up the answer phrase. For example, instead of saying "Hi, this is KJ with XYZ insurance, have I reached someone with Greater Altoona Repair Company?" I said, "Have I reached someone with Greater America Repair Company?" The guy who I had called thought it was the funniest thing he had ever heard. I didn't think it was funny, I thought it was dumb I made the mistake. But he laughed and laughed and laughed. He snort laughed. He was British, so maybe it was funny in a British way?

Sometimes when I'm a little bored at work, I will try different accents when I answer calls. I suck at NY accents. But my "hint O'Irish" accent is pretty good.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


If for some reason you are still reading this blog in the hopes of more actual dating posts, you're in luck. But a couple of items of business first . . .

1. My summer job moved locations, and we now operate out of Banbury Place, which used to be a humongous tire factory. It's been converted to house businesses, storage, apartments.

It's beautiful. And old. And I feel very hipster working there. The best part is, we are on the 4th floor, with gorgeous views out over the city.
This was taken after a thunderstorm, for those from EC, that's the RCU bank building on the left, Phoenix Park would be nearly straight ahead. I'm crossing my fingers and toes I get to work July 4th evening because the fireworks will be AMAZING!

2. Why go on and on about where I work? Because when I took the haunted elevator up to work today, I was attacked by this:

That's right! A puppy so cute I actually squealed and nearly died of happiness from the puppy kisses. God bless the man who let me love on the puppy. It seriously made my day and still has me smiling.

3. Which is an improvement from yesterday. A day when I was So! Freaking! Mad! at Gold's Gym. I made a special trip out to the gym for the 6pm water aerobics class, only to find that all of the times had been changed for kids swimming lessons. Was this on their website? No. Was it announced in previous classes? No. Another reason for me to not like kids. (Just kidding. Kind of.)

4. The other thing that happened yesterday? I think I said yes to a date with sauce guy. . .

. . . aaaaand here's where we get to the guts of this post. I have been trying to figure out how to casually "delete" Joe from my FB friends list. Every time I get close, he posts something on my wall or "likes" one of my statuses. I don't want him to think I've deleted him for something he did, so I put off the deletion process.

I know, I know - it's just Facebook, but it's been stressing me out! Then, last night when I got home pissed off from the Gold's debacle, there was a text from him. I thought I had deleted him from my contacts, but apparently my phone remembers who he is. He's going to be in town next week. He asked if he could take me out to dinner. I said . . . sure.



Is this a date? Because I don't think I want a date. Is it a friendship thing? Because I have NO freaking idea how to be friends with a former boyfriend. What the fuck?


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Finals week

Last night I was working on entering grades into our online class support system (Desire to Learn, D2L for short - similar to Blackboard) and I started dinking around with how students could view their grades. And I lost ALL the grades I had entered for the entire semester.

I panicked. I sent out an email telling students not to panic. I let them know I had accidentally deleted their grades, but I'd put them back in soon. Of course, this meant I was going to have to dig up every single email/dropbox submission that was submitted over the last semester. *Ufdah.

As I continued to play with D2L (because, heck, I'd lost the grades, so what could be worse?) they suddenly, magically appeared! I did a happy dance. Then sent another email out to students, letting them know I had figured out how to get the grades back. I did not mention this was a completely accidental discovery.

What lessons can be learned from this?
1. Do not send students a panicked email unless you are absolutely certain you have screwed up.
2. I need an attitude adjustment this last week of school because I'M READY TO BE DONE!!!
3. Teachers desire summer break even more than students.

*Ufdah is a Wisconsin term that can mean many things, such as: Damn! Really?! No way! Mazel Tov! Shit, this is a huge problem!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Today I went to my first water aerobics class at Gold's Gym. It was lots of 70-80 year old ladies. And me.
This isn't them, though it sure is pretty close to accurate. I made friends with Judy and Jane. They were very helpful, telling me where to find pool weights, advising me how deep into the water I should go, and how to avoid getting my hair wet. I had a good time, but learned 4 VERY important things:
1. I'm a bit of a splasher, which did not amuse Judy and Jane. I ended up in the deep end by myself.
2. It is possible to sweat while you are swimming.
3. Don't make friends too quickly at water aerobics. Judy and Jane are "I'm-going-to-talk-to-you-in-the-locker-room-while-I'm-naked" people.
4. There are just some things you can't unsee.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

True Joy

I've been thinking about this post for a while. It's something I started writing a while back. It's been re-written so many times I sometimes come back to it and don't even recognize it. I just can't get it quite right. I don't have the words, the combination of words, to know how to explain what a complicated issue this is for me. It's a topic that swooshes in and out of my brain with great regularity. It's a topic of great discussion, debate and celebration. It can also be a topic of despair, triumph and confusion. World peace? No. The national debt? Uh-uh. Is Lindsay Lohan actually a robot sent from Mars to bewitch us with her addictive personality? Nope.

I want to talk about motherhood. Because on this day that we celebrate mothers, I always get just a bit defensive. See, I made the choice not to have children. Yes, there was a time in my life when I wanted to have them. I was 9 and thought having a dozen kids would be fun. I also wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder.  It was the 70's, so I was probably stoned. (Just kidding - I was 9) Through my 20's I thought I might one day have kids. When I was married, we tried to get pregnant. It didn't happen, then I was divorced. But the really weird thing through all of this was that I always knew I wouldn't have kids.

Don't get me wrong. The idea of having a baby has always been and will always be intriguing to me. I wish I could have experienced pregnancy and childbirth, just so I could be in on the mystery. An actual item on my bucket list is to be present at the birth of a child. Let me know if I can come watch. Seriously. I think it would be a gross, magnificent, humbling experience.

But even though I'm curious about pregnancy and childbirth, the thought of being responsible for the raising of another human being is beyond my comprehension, or to be honest, my interest. There you have it. I am supremely selfish. This is a bit of a chicken/egg situation - am I selfish because I never had kids? Or never had kids because I'm selfish? I have no idea.

While I'm comfortable with not having kids, I find myself often defensive. And there is one specific comment that has been bouncing around my brain, rubbing my psyche raw. I've had several people tell me (and viewed many memes posted on FB) that I will never know true joy until I am a mother. This comment, meant to celebrate the unique connection mothers have with their children, makes me incredibly defensive. You see, it insinuates that my choice leaves me an incomplete person. That I don't know "true joy." I find that elitist and a bit insulting. Perhaps that's my jealousy speaking. Because even though I chose not to have kids, I do wonder about that magical connection. But I would also argue that even without kids, I have a full, complete, truly joyful life.

I guess I'm trying to say that not having kids is OK. It's a choice that doesn't get much discussion or validation in our culture. There is often pity directed at a woman over 40 who has not had children. And I'm kind of sick of it. And I'm sick of the "crazy cat-lady" stigma that comes with it as well. Fine. I have cats and am a bit crazy - but again, that's what I chose.

I also chose a profession that allows me to experience some mothering. While I have never changed their diapers or watched their first steps, my students allow me to mother in other ways. I have helped them pick majors, counseled them through relationships, given them a "come to Jesus" lecture when needed, driven them across the country in a mini-van, fed them, clothed them, applied bandaids and watched them take their first steps into adulthood. This is how I fulfill my need to mother. And it is perfectly satisfying. Perfectly challenging. The perfect, true joy.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Ugly cry

Thursday was the last day of class for the semester (yea!) and I headed home around noon, planning on nesting in to grade. But when I got home, I had no internet, so I couldn't grade. I was so mad and the cable company said they couldn't be out until Friday - UGH!

Then, I got a call from my doc's office. My appointment for Friday was cancelled because the doc was ill. This was the beginning of several hours of the "ugly cry." The receptionist had to think I was nuts, but I had reached my limit of pain tolerance. I was rescheduled for May 20th. I knew there was no way I would survive until then. I called the ortho office, ugly cried to that receptionist, who told me they had no appointments for at least a week.

At this point, I called my mum and ugly cried over the phone to her. I was trying to figure out if I should just go to the ER, because they someone would HAVE to treat me. As I was on the phone with mum, another call came in. It was from my doc's office. A different (new) rheumatologist had agreed to squeeze me in Friday morning. I ugly cried my gratitude.

So, Friday I head in for an appointment with Dr. M. He's the new guy in the department and he is my new favorite person in the whole entire world. He agreed I needed a cortisone injection. He explained each step of the process, even choosing a smaller needle so there would be less pain. My regular rheumatologist retires in August, and I am relieved to know there is another doc in the department I feel comfortable with!

There was some pain from the injection later in the day, but just 24 hours later and I have NO knee pain. It's amazing. No crutches, no cane, no limp. The relief could almost make me ugly cry all over again. This will be my first Vicodin-free day in a month and that makes me SO HAPPY!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Good News . . .

Is that I got an "emergency" appointment with my arthritis doctor on Friday. I let the receptionist know I was coming for a cortisone shot, lest there be any more confusion. I love my arthritis doc - she is patient, doesn't condescend, supports the choices I make (like going off my Enbrel b/c it interfered w/ my immunity to such an extent I was constantly sick) and stays up-to-date with new treatment options. The only problem is, she is really hard to get an appointment with. I saw her last in February and had scheduled an appointment with her for June. Only by the grace of God did she have an opening this Friday!!

I have a cousin who is a physical therapist, and she recommend I look into a TENS unit for help with pain. I'm going to speak with my doc about this on Friday, but I've already started researching it and there's some promising research on relief of arthritis pain. 

Hoping for some relief on Friday!!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's a party!!

Welcome to my Pity Party. It's a doozy. Be sure to bring your own prescription pain reliever because I'm not sharing.

Last fall when I was making the switch from walking outdoors to walking indoors on a treadmill I did something to my knee. It swelled up, was horribly painful and warm to the touch. Went to the doctor and was diagnosed with bursitis. Which in my mind is something that affects you when you are 90. A month of rest and ice, and it was all better.

Fast forward to April of this year. When we headed to Kansas for AFA, my knee kind of hurt. I walked a lot at AFA, and my knee swelled and hurt more. The bursitis was back. Then I spent 15 hours on a bus and my knee and spine (arthritis) were P.I.S.S.E.D. O.F.F.  I have never been so grateful that I didn't have to drive and could take all Vicodin I needed.

By the time I was back from all the April traveling, I had had enough and called the doc. I was taking more Vicodin than I ever had in my life (Vicodin will get it's very own post some day) and was in near constant pain. Of course, the doc (not my regular GP) said she couldn't do anything for me, and referred me to an ortho doc. I was told he would be able to give me a shot of cortisone into my knee and everything would be honky-dory.

Except that didn't happen. First, I had to explain to the ortho doc why I couldn't take nsaids (advil, aspirin, aleve) for inflammation. Then he told me I needed to lose weight (duh) and stay off of the knee for a month. Then he would consider a cortisone injection. He told me I should use a walker. I said no. I countered with the idea of a cane. He said no. We compromised on crutches, which I already own from when I dropped a TV on my foot 2 years ago (that was a fun experience).

I've now been on crutches for 2 days and the stress has caused a flare in the psoriatic arthritis in my hands, wrists and neck. I am just so frustrated and so fucking tired of being in pain.

I really need Shirley McClain to run screaming "GIVE MY DAUGHTER THE SHOT!!!!!" (If you don't get that reference, you should be sad and ashamed that you are not living the fullest life possible because you've not seen "Terms of Endearment") But seriously, how many fucking doctors do I have to go through to get a damn cortisone shot in my knee. Of the 5 doctors I have seen in the last 2 months, every single one has offered to give me/refill my Vicodin rx, but I can't get anyone to give me actual pain relief.

I keep telling myself to "suck it up" and "it will get better" and all those other bullshit affirmations we tell ourselves. But it's not getting better. And it's causing a real crimp in my usually positive attitude.

So . . . I'm having a Pity Party! I'm serving Vicodin every 6 hours and ice to the knee every 4 hours. This is all being washed down with massive quantities of diet Pepsi. And since I can't really do anything, I'm throwing this Pity Party in my filthy house. With a view of my ugly yard that really needs some work. Come on over. But you may want to bring your own chair as mine are covered with cat hair and that isn't changing any time soon.

Friday, May 3, 2013

This is why I never had a freakin' diary

Because I would go gang-busters writing in it for a week, then I'd get bored and quit.

I'm not bored. And I'm not quitting. I'm just so freakin' TIRED!

After recovering for a week from our forensics trip to Kansas, 16 students & 4 coaches hopped on a bus and traveled FIFTEEN HOURS to Marshall University in West Virginia. Do you have any idea what FIFTEEN HOURS on a bus does to an old, chubby lady's body? It's not pretty. My bursitis in my right knee acted up. And by "acted up", I mean my knee developed a grapefruit sized lump and some pretty intense pain. The arthritis in my spine was also pretty pissed about the bus ride. Let's just say that I am indebted to whoever invented Vicodin.

So, we get to West Virginia, compete in a grueling 5 day marathon of speaking, and take NINTH PLACE IN THE COUNTRY!
My team!

My seniors!
This? Was pretty freakin' cool. Then? We got back on the bus for another FIFTEEN HOUR bus ride back to Eau Claire. I was home for less than 48 hours before getting on a plane and heading out with 2 students and my partner-in-crime to compete at the Interstate Oratory Contest. It's a national persuasion contest. It started in 1874. That's right. It's OLD.

And one of my girls placed THIRD IN THE COUNTRY!! This was even more freakin' cool.

What was also fun about Shreveport? The food. I tend to be pretty adventurous when it comes to trying different things. And in the south, craw fish are what it's all about. Craw fish, crawdads, mud bugs - whatever - I was going to not only try some, but "suck the head" just like the locals. It was an experience. Not really one I will try again, but interesting.
                             We also had beignets.
And crab cakes.
Then we flew home.

It is 5 days later and I STILL have tournament hangover. I also still have a knee the size of a grapefruit. This freaked the doc I went to see on Wednesday so much, she thought I had a blood clot. So I got to have my very first ultrasound. No blood clot - yea!! But no pain relief, just a referral to an ortho doc. I see her on Monday and am hoping she'll give me a shot of cortisone in my knee so I can get some relief. I know what you're thinking - a shot in the knee???!!! But seriously, it can't be as bad as this freakin' knee pain.

My travels also made me a fan of "freakin'" - I'm trying to swear less. It's hard. Fuckshitdamn.

Not to mention just how far behind I am on class stuff. And prepping for my summer class. And writing final exams. And grading. And organizing stuff for the forensics banquet. Since I'm so freakin' busy and so freakin' tired, I thought - why not start back at my summer job?!?

So that's what I did today. I've worked for the past 9-10 summers for a telephone answering service. It's pretty cool. We answer the phones for hundreds of businesses across the country. Massage Therapists, Veterinarians, Plumbers, Nail Salons, Chiropractors, Dentists, Psychics, Churches, Funeral Homes, Insurance Companies, Yacht rentals, Seminar Planners, Hospitals, Pharmacies, Lawyers - basically, if you have a phone that can be answered, we can do that for you!! I love the job for a couple of reasons - it is technologically challenging (lots and lots and lots of computer stuff) and it is also absolutely fascinating to interact with so many different kinds of people. The job also gives me the chance to laugh at the very "human-ness" of us all.

I was so excited to start today! And my first 3 calls were hang-ups . . . talk about a let-down. The human race didn't disappoint for long, though. We've all dialed a wrong number - most people just hang up, some apologize . . . and some want to know if you have the number of the chicken restaurant they were trying to call when they accidentally rang the chiropractors office. Why yes, I magically know the phone number of the place you don't even know the exact name of. Silly human.

I'm sure there will be many more fun stories to relay through the summer. At least I hope there will be, or it's going to be a looooong summer.

As for how my dating life is going . . .

 . . . I'm too freakin' tired to even think about it.