The end of an era

At last, all the stars aligned. My bed frame, which was a birthday gift from my mom, has been sitting in boxes in my dining room since August. It was waiting on me to finish my headboard, which started life as old door. Then the headboard was done, and it was waiting on me being able to afford a new mattress, and then once I got my advance check, it was waiting on me to get my shit together. Welp, shit has been gathered!





Dogs and I will have to readapt to sleeping on a regular bed after all this time being dirty hippies. 

Posted in Random Redscylla | 4 Comments

For Larui on her birthday

I hope it’s a good one!

weirdmasteCuz the best part about the internet–finding weird friends!

Posted in Good things, Random Redscylla | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Welcome to my experiment

Two years ago, my eyesight started shifting in ways that made it hard to work on the computer. That or my eyes were just sick and tired of the strain of computer work. I got my prescription adjusted, then got it adjusted again. Then I got into an argument with my eye doctor and didn’t go back for almost a year. I figured, if she wasn’t actively trying to help me fix the problem, there was no reason to dole out for co-pays.

DEFPOTEC

DEFPOTEC

I mean, I knew I couldn’t stay away forever, so with my annual exam a year overdue, I finally made an appointment. I sat through all the exam parts, the blinding, the puffing, the poking, the dilating, the violating. Then, when she started making her notes, I said, “What’s your goal when you write my prescription?”

“To correct it to as close to perfect as we can,” she said, like a little robot. Smiley face! Praise Jesus! (She is very smiley and Jesus-y, which to be honest sets my teeth on edge, though I wish it didn’t.)

“So 20/20? Even though, in fact, I don’t need 20/20 vision?”

She started in on something about best outcomes and something-something, and I finally just cut her off. Bottom line: what do I need 20/20 vision for? I spend all day, five days a week, plus extra hours at home, after work, and on the weekends, working on a computer. A computer that is 3 feet away from my face. Not 20 feet. 3 feet. I also spend a great deal of time looking at my stupid smart phone, less than 2 feet from my face. Often the strain of focusing on these two glowing screens makes my eyes tired.

“Well, that’s why I keep suggesting you get some reading glasses to wear while you work on the computer or read. To adjust your vision for closer work,” she said. It’s true, she’s been nagging at me to do that for years, but I haven’t. Why? Because it’s fucking stupid. I spend the majority of my waking hours needing to have the vision for close work. Why the fuck is the default setting to overcorrect my vision and then tell me to wear glasses WITH my contact lenses for the majority of my work day? Especially as I wear contacts so I don’t have to wear glasses.

I finally spelled it out to her in those terms. I said, “I drive less than 10 minutes a week, and that is the only time that 20/20 vision is of real benefit to me. On the other hand, I need close vision for 50+ hours a week, but you continue to prioritize that 10 minutes over the 50+ hours. In what world does that make sense?”

After a little uncomfortable silence, she said, “Well, if you’re willing to experiment, we can adjust the prescription to retain more of your near vision.”

So after 30+ years of having my vision corrected to 20/20, I am changing tactics. She reduced my prescription, so that my vision is only corrected to 20/40. So far, it’s been a little weird. Driving home from my appointment, I couldn’t read street signs well, and walking across campus, I didn’t recognize someone who was waving at me until I was right up on them.

On the other hand, looking at the computer all afternoon, I can tell that it requires less effort for me to focus on the screen. I’ve been horribly near-sighted for most of my life. I got my first glasses at age 8, about 4 years later than when I actually needed them. I’ve worn contacts since I was 12. It’s weird to be “taking a step back,” to have my eyesight less corrected than is considered optimal, but it makes sense. Correct my vision for what I need, not for some random ideal.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

 

Posted in Random Redscylla, Work is work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Worst. Cinemas. Ever.

So, I didn’t exactly go into Cinemas with high expectations this year, because my mom had surgery on Dec. 22nd. She got her right knee replaced, and none of us thought it was going to go well. After all, 1.) she weighs close to 300 lbs. and 2.) her older sister died shortly after a similar surgery.

On the same day, Biggie Bigs went in for a fairly routine corneal resurfacing to help an ulcer on her cornea heal faster. She came home and was all, “Goddamn, a cone?”

That's okay, I can actually lick my own eye.

That’s okay, I can actually lick my own eye.

But by day three, she seemed to feel fine, and we headed out to Wichita, to spell my sister Sloth in taking care of post-surgery Mom.

Then, this happened:

My fathe feelth puffy

My fathe feelth puffy

And then this happened:

Theriously, thith thucks

Theriously, thith thucks

I schlepped the poor old girl back home, not to see her regular vet, who did the surgery and was now on vacation, but to at least see someone at her home practice, who would have access to all her records. Sadly, that vet sent me back to Wichita with some antibiotics, some pain meds, and some general nonsense about how we’d investigate the cause of the swelling after the swelling went down (and one presumes after the holidays.)

Then … shit got real.

OMG! It's ooooozing!

OMG! It’s ooooozing!

Yep, the swelling got worse, and then the abscess broke open and started to leak. Rather than waste a trip home to see useless fill-in vet, I took her to my sister’s vet, who promptly squeezed the abscess, making me throw up in my mouth a little, and whisked Biggie into surgery. Took out a tooth and started to drain that monster abscess. All told, Biggie stayed in the hospital for three days. Longer than my mom was in the hospital for her knee.

And Josey was all, “What did you do with my sister?”

You are not in the circle of trust

You are not in the circle of trust

And my mom, high on pain meds was all, “Awww, what a sweet puppy. Of course, she can sit on the couch and watch TV.” (For the record, dogs are not allowed on furniture at my mom’s house, except when she is high as a kite.)

Wheeeeeeee!

Wheeeeeeee!

Meanwhile I cooled my jets by doing such crafty projects as … sewing a basket cover for my mom’s walker. Pictured above.

Finally, a day after we’d originally expected to be home, I got Biggie from the vet, and she was all, “Holy shit. What’s this tube? Poking out of my fucking face?”

Still life with tube in the face

Still life with tube in the face

But everyone was happy to be home. And then after the tube came out, there were treats.

Treats are better without a tube

Treats are better without a tube

And there were cuddles.

Mama's lap is the best place when you're recovering from being a tube face.

Mama’s lap is the best place when you’re recovering from being a tube face.

So we did survive Cinemas, but it was pretty darned shitty. Oh, and because my aunt was visiting, we didn’t actually get to watch any decent movies for Cinemas. Or we didn’t get to watch anything that wasn’t carefully curated by my aunt, or talked over by everybody. Next year, Sloth and I have sworn that we’re doing an old fashioned Cinemas, where you stay home and lie in bed to watch movies.

Posted in Bitch n Moan, Dawgs, WTF? | Tagged , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

My limited psychic abilities

Should have posted this back in November, but forgot …)

At my job, I frequently say, “I’m not psychic,” because so many people assume that I’ll know what they want or what they mean or that I’ll be able to predict what crazy thing they’ll do next. No, is the answer. I didn’t know your printer had stopped working three months ago.

Apparently, though, I have some limited psychic abilities, as long as by psychic you mean “able to predict the worst about people.” Because yeah, it seems like I’m rarely wrong when I predict that people will behave in the worst way possible.

In this particular story, the prediction is about sexism and its pervasiveness in academia everywhere. Rather than replace our second receptionist, the decision was made to hire someone to do social media, public relations, and donor development. After a lot of negotiation, the decision-makers agreed that 20% of this person’s job would be as a backup receptionist, and that this person would share the main office. This last point was only agreed to after my strenuous objections that someone who is not in the main office cannot perform backup reception tasks.

When we started the search, I made one simple prediction: “If we hire a man for this job, I guarantee that he will a.) get his own office and b.) never perform any reception tasks.”

Reader, we hired a man. A youngish man, for that matter. Young enough that his nickname must be das Kind. During his first hour on the job, he was ensconced in the main office, in the secondary reception desk. By lunch, the big boss had been in and out of my office half a dozen times to discuss how problematic it was for das Kind to be in the main office. An hour later, it was an absolute imperative for das Kind to have his own office. Of course, negotiating such things is my job, so I found myself with the task of emptying our one remaining storage room and turning it into an office.

Now, das Kind sits in his own office, and he doesn’t answer phones, even when the receptionist is out. He doesn’t make copies, even when the receptionist is out. So far, all he does is go to meetings with big boss. They have a real bromance going on.

A pretty, young secretary

A pretty, young secretary

The sad truth is that a lot of men, especially men in power, are made uncomfortable by men doing what they see as “women’s work.” These men in power hate to walk into an office and see a man working as a receptionist or a secretary. It makes them so uncomfortable that their penises start to shrink. Yep, they just crawl right up inside their bodies.

To get rid of the icky feeling and make their penises come back, these men in power have to find ways to promote the male receptionists/secretaries/administrative assistants. Even if they can’t officially promote the man, they just find ways to make it so he doesn’t do women’s work anymore.

It all reminds me of when The Church of the Valet hired a man as a new administrative assistant. The day he started, I predicted that he would a.) never answer the phones, b.) never do any typing, and c.) stop doing administrative work altogether in less than 3 weeks. That was exactly what happened, as a direct result of the senior pastor and the male office manager’s discomfort with watching a man do women’s work.

So, it’s true that I am not psychic. However, I am not amnesiac, either. Being able to remember shitty behavior from the past just makes me seem psychic.

Posted in Random Redscylla | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Gormp geh-blerp

Apparently, I can only keep certain portions of my shit together at any given time.

Being more productive at day job = falling behind with friends

Clean laundry room = dirty kitchen

Publishy things = less writing

So the contract for the book sale is supposed to arrive any day. You know what that means. People coming out of the woodwork to give me advice. Like I haven’t been ass deep in the publishing industry learning everything I can for the last 20 years? Yes, please, tell me about what the latest studies on book marketing show. If you’ve never sold any of your writing, give me unsolicited advice about basic revision techniques. Also, I would love it if you could lecture me about how to act like a professional adult. Cuz me no have no practice at adulting. I expect this kind of condescension from middle-aged white guys, but I’ve been getting it from some surprising corners lately. It’s times like this I wish my official policy weren’t to keep my mouth shut and nod politely.

Of course, publishing is glacial, so after I sign the contract, I may see some money by year’s end. Or not. In the interim, I had to borrow money from my mother to get a new water heater. It was 19 degrees outside this morning. I just couldn’t face a cold shower, not even for the sake of pride or my self-proclaimed adulthood.

My life feels very scattery and boring right now, but I guess that’s not bad. I get up, I walk doggies, I give doggies breakfast, I do kitty things, I go to work. There’s some working in there. And some fucking around on the internets. Then I go home and repeat the walking and the feeding and the kittying, after which I sit around like a lump. Meh. Perhaps it’s just the onset of winter blahs.

Josey is on another round of pills. Antibiotics. Antifungals. A new antihistamine. It all seems to be working, so perhaps we’ve found a solution to her sad, chewed up paws. Biggie is still her grand old self. She got into it with the plumber, but finally agreed to let him into the house. I’d warned him not to knock, but he did.

Uh, see what I mean, scattered and boring? Well, this is what I come home to every night:

Why aren't we cuddling yet?

Why aren’t we cuddling yet?

And so inevitably, this is what the same scenario looks like an hour later:

Maximum cuddling!

Maximum cuddling!

Me in pajamas with dogs piled on top. Oh well, there are certainly worse ways to live my life.

Posted in Dawgs, Random Redscylla | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

A surprising number of good things *ducks*

So I set out to write a weekly update post and I realized that most of the things that I was going to write about are really good things. This, of course, makes me paranoid. How can so many good things be going on in my life? And what are the odds the universe won’t soon seek to counterbalance them?

I dunno, but in the interim, here is my update. If you’re on Facepuke, you’ve seen all my news, so sorry for the duplication.

1. I officially got my new title at work. If you’ll remember, 15 months ago, I got a new job with more responsibilities, but that was all I got: more work. Then 8 months later, I got the raise to go with the new job. It was a very respectable raise, enough to put me firmly in the Adult category with my salary. Now, after 15 months of doing the job, and 7 months of being paid for it, I finally got the title to go with it. I don’t think of myself as an ambitious person professionally, but it’s kinda cool to have a fancy title to identify myself with. When I call people, there’s a lot more authority in being able to see I’m the office manager of a whole school, rather than the secretary of a department.

2. I sold a book. I mean, really, seriously, sold a book. It’s not that I have anything but respect for small presses, the people who run them, and the people published by them. I totally respect the process and the people. I was thrilled to have my first two novels published by a small press. But this is a whole other ballgame, my people. We’re talking mid five figures. We’re talking an imprint of one of the Big 5 Publishers. An imprint you’ve probably heard of. An imprint you possibly own books from. We’re talking a professional, successful editor, a marketing department, and national exposure. So wow. I’m still trying to process it. I’ll be signing the contract some time this month, and perhaps I’ll see the first part of the money by the end of the year, but who knows?

3. I set out on September 1st with a challenge to myself to consume NO added sugar for 30 days. Certainly, any naturally occurring sugar in fruits or vegetables were allowed, but I vowed to consume no food that was processed with added sugar. Having sworn that, I thought, “Why not go ahead and do the 30 days low carb, too?” And then on September 2nd I had a terrible day and succumbed to Mexican food and pop. So, I set out on September 3rd with a challenge to myself to consume NO added sugar for 30 days. That challenge stuck. Today is Day 30 and, having survived the last 29, I’m pretty sure I’ll make it through the day. I knew I would see some weight loss as a result of cutting out sugar and dropping my carbohydrate consumption under 50 g per day. In my fantasy, I was going to lose 20 lbs in 30 days. I came pretty damn close. When I got on the scale this morning, the magic number was 191. That’s 19 lbs less than I weighed on September 3rd. So 10% of my body weight in 30 days. I’m sure the next 19 lbs won’t be that easy to get off, but at least I’ve got a jump start on the process. Top two side effects of the weight loss: I have more pants to wear to work than the one pair of emergency fat pants I wore all summer AND my uterus is a lot less angry.

4. Having typed out these wonderful, exciting things, I just realized I am probably never going to get laid again. Because that seems like the only likely retribution the universe will exact for my current happiness. Day job is going okay, writing job is fantastic, losing weight, oh, and book money will help me finish the last big projects on my house. So personal life? Sex life? Nah. Prolly not gonna happen. Oh well. It was nothing but a headache when I had a sex life, so I suppose I’ll be fine.

5. Speaking of, in fairly neutral news, I have not heard from Blurter in a while. I think this is a good sign. After all, he chooses to be absent from my life, so why should I have to put up with his importunate texting? Farewell, I say. The dogs and I have settled in nicely to our blurtless life. He would be more complication and might get ideas about things. Nothing good comes of that.

Posted in Good things, My wacky personal life, Work is work, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments