Advertisements

Category Archives: Life

Fibro Feels Fantastic…

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia back in June, after going through my own personal hell thanks to a horribly herniated disc, a procedure gone wrong, and subsequent back surgery. The diagnosis came as a surprise, especially because I had always looked at fibro as one of those diagnoses that was used when all else failed. I thought of it as something people faked in order to get pain pills. I never took it seriously until it slapped me in the face.

fibromyalgia-effects

I’ve only typed a paragraph so far, and already my back is on fire and my arms feel like they were smashed with a hammer. Last night, I couldn’t sleep no matter what I did. Saturday night, I only got an hour of sleep, even though I was so exhausted, I could barely move. I’ve had weeks where every single day, I have a migraine or a cluster headache. I can’t vacuum the house without taking breaks, and there are far too many times when taking a shower either requires a pep talk or just doesn’t happen because I don’t have the energy.

The pain is ridiculous. It started in my ankle, and was in the leg that experienced pain when I herniated my disc and had sciatica, so I thought it was related to that. The pain spread up my leg, into my hip, and then over my entire body in the space of a week. I tried explaining it to my specialist, but they kept insisting that it was simply inflammation in my back that was pressing on the nerve and causing the pain. No matter how many times I said that the pain was different and that it was spreading, they didn’t change their minds and treated it as if it was either a reherniation or a simple swelling issue.

Fibromyalgia-stats

I eventually got in with a doctor who listened, and she ran tests and determined that it was indeed fibro. There were tests to rule things out and tests to confirm her diagnosis. On top of that, I found out that I was once again anemic. Thankfully, my awesome husband went out the very next day to grab me some iron supplements to take and get it under control. It’s not quite there yet, but I hope it’ll get there.

I’m taking fun medications for my fibro. Cymbalta is one, imitrex is another. I have a fun muscle relaxer that sometimes relieves the pain and sometimes has no effect at all. The medications don’t even get rid of the issues, they just fix things so that it’s not bothering me 24/7. I get small breaks where I feel fine, but taking advantage of those breaks to be productive means that the activity takes a toll on my body and I end up right back where I started when I’m done.

fibrobrain

I usually love staying up late with my husband on Friday and Saturday nights, but last Friday, I couldn’t keep my eyes open once 8pm hit and I went to sleep as soon as it was possible to do so. I then woke up shortly after my husband went to sleep because my hands were tingling, my jaw hurt, and my legs felt as if I had just run a marathon. I can’t remember the last time I had a normal night of sleep, and it’s wearing on me.

My skin is overly sensitive, I get nauseous and throw up, I’m often confused and don’t hear or understand people when they are speaking to me, I’m constantly worried, and I feel totally useless. I haven’t been able to work, and AETNA (disability insurance through my company) denied my claim because the claim manager decided to completely overlook the diagnosis and treated my case as if my only issue was ankle pain. While it is in the appeal stages, I am not getting paid a dime.

1470615931-1024x682

My husband set up a GoFundMe, and we’ve raised a little over $700 at the time of this posting. It has helped, and I’m so grateful, but we’re still in a scary hole. My son’s birthday is coming up and I can’t buy him presents or take him out. My phone was nearly shut off because the bill was so late. We now have a second car payment because one of our cars died and we had no other option. Things are a mess.

I’m afraid and I feel alone, even though my husband has been doing everything he can and then some to support me. I feel guilty for not working, even knowing I physically can’t cut it. I feel like a liar sometimes; there are a lot of people who assume that fibro is a BS diagnosis or a made up disease; I was one of those people at one point. This is a scary time in my life. I need to get this thing under control, but trying to figure out how is quite possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

Advertisements

Disabled And Desperate

I hate asking for help. So much so, that my husbad took the initiative and created a GoFundMe to ask. I had no idea he was doing it, but I’m glad he did.

https://gofundme.com/2d3d96as

I’m a wreck. Beyond a wreck, actually. We’re struggling and there seems to be no way out. A dollar helps. Anything. The most I can offer in return is to promote something you care about on this site and my twitter. Please donate or share. I greatly appreciate any help you can give.

The Customer Is Always…

My first job was at Chick Fil-A when I turned 16.  From there, I worked retail at Belk and Shoe Carnival, and had a stint at an Outlet Mall.  I have waited tables and bartended at Chili’s, Applebee’s, Shoney’s, IHOP and more, and worked sales at a wholesale and retail warehouse.  I’ve managed customers for a landscaping company and handled patients at a chiropractic practice.  At this moment, I work for a massive drug development company in a position that requires absolutely no customer service work, and I love it more than words can express.

I’m grateful to currently be in a position where I don’t have to worry about the whole “customer is always right” philosophy.  If someone screws up, I tell them to fix it.  If someone is rude to me, I don’t have to put up with it.  When I’m put in front of a client, I’m not the one who has to answer to them, so it’s not a stressful environment with me feeling like I have to pop my customer service voice on and play nice.  There’s a mutual respect rather than one or both of us feeling an obligation to fake it.

Just because I’m out of the field doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten what it feels like to have to slap on a smile only to have some customer tell me it’s not good enough.  Or yelled at because of a store policy I have no control over, a long cook time on a Friday night, the temperature being too hot/cold, the credit card declining, or one of countless other complaints.  Or touched without invitation or permission.  Or told I should be fired over something that has nothing to do with me.  The customer is “always right” and they know it.

10837159-large

I don’t understand why customers feel that they have ownership over those in the service field.  Yes, they are here to help you.  No, they are not your slaves.  It’s unbelievable to see people take the “I’m always right because I’m a paying customer” idea to the extreme, at the expense of whatever poor hourly employee happens to be standing in front of them.  On the tame end, you have people who refuse to say please, snapping their fingers to get an employee’s attention and refusing to make eye contact or speak to them like they would an equal.  On the other side of the spectrum, it’s terrifying.

I’ve had people try to hand me dirty diapers and sanitary products (excuse being that the receptacle in the women’s room was full. Gross).  I had a kid piss everywhere inside a store and the mother look at me, say “she can clean it up,” and walk away.  I’ve had things thrown at me.  I’ve been called all sorts of names.  I dealt with a customer who would tip his server $100 in order to get extra “services” later.  I’ve been cussed at because I didn’t give a customer my phone number.  I’ve had customers demand I be fired on the spot for following store policy.  I’ve been stiffed on tips after running my ass off for people.  I’ve been called racial slurs, a slut, and an idiot.  I once had someone try to follow me home.  And my experiences aren’t even the worst of what happens.

Your cashier at Target is a person, not a punching bag.  But once someone becomes the customer, the employee turns into a being that is less than human, one made to absorb a verbal beating (and sometimes a physical one) and smile as they take it.  It is the most illogical thing, but people do it consistently and do it with confidence.  The customer brain directs a person to think they have a right and an obligation to treat service workers as rodents.  Less than rodents.  Like rodent shit.

funny-fat-woman-cart-trolley-shopping-meanwhile-walmart-pics

I don’t give a damn if the lady at the drive-thru doesn’t smile so widely at you, you can see every one of her teeth.  Leave her be.  I don’t care if you disagree with store policy, it’s not the doing of your cashier so shut up about it.  Quit trying to scam your way into free meals or store credit with your whining and bullshit.  Stop making the life of retail and food service so incredibly difficult for the people busting tail to make your experience a good one.  Just because someone’s job is to serve you doesn’t mean that your job becomes being a right twat, hell bent on making their life miserable.  Retail and food service isn’t as easy as most people think; dealing with assholes all day takes its toll.  Be the one person who decides to keep their trashy attitude to themselves and don’t follow the entitled herd.  Retail people are people too.  Don’t forget that.

 

Recovery

It’s been five days since I’ve had my microdiscetomy and I’m guessing that I’m doing as well as can be expected.  The anesthesia didn’t cooperate with me as well as I would have wanted to; I choked and threw up (clear liquid, thankfully) when they removed the breathing tube from my throat and kept telling the nurses “something is wrong,” being unable to form the words “Hey, I feel nauseous.”  Took me a good 20 minutes to explain to them that I felt nauseous, so the proper meds were slightly delayed getting to me.

untitled

At home, my husband set me up to stay upstairs on our giant mattress with my Percocet and every pillow in the house.  I didn’t think outpatient surgery would hit me so hard, but I felt like my entire body was under attack for the first 48 hours.  My appetite is almost non-existent; yesterday was the first day I was able to eat a somewhat normal amount of food, and it has made me feel pretty godawful today.  I’ve been sleeping as much as possible; my body gets to the point where it give up and I can’t help but close my eyes.  I’ve also been trying to walk as much as I can to promote healing, which is super fun since I can only walk like a drunk penguin at the moment.

The nurse blew a vein in my right arm trying to set the IV, so a second nurse had to set it in my left arm.  I’ve never had issues with IVs before, but my right arm is bruised and my left is both bruised and sore.  Straight out of surgery, I couldn’t bend my wrist without a shooting pain going up my entire left arm.  My hand, where the IV was inserted, is sore to the touch, but thankfully no longer swollen.  Safe to say, my irrational fear of IVs has now reached another level.

imagesUK0S0FRS

The good news is that the pain I was feeling prior to surgery seems to be gone.  I can still tell that my nerve is damaged; the numbness in my foot is still very present (I thought it had let up, but I think the Percocet had me confused).  I’m going to have to get back into physical therapy to make sure I heal properly and don’t reinjure myself in the future.  I still have over 2 weeks before I’m allowed to even drive again, and who knows when they’ll let me go back to work. It seems crazy that such a tiny movement in my back destroyed my whole body, and then a small surgery in my back makes me feel like a cripple.  It’s all been a huge wake up call though; I need to start taking better care of myself from here on out.  Don’t expect me to turn into a crazy health nut or anything, but changes definitely need to be made, because screw going through this ever again.

Friendly Neighbors

My husband and I have been in our new home for a little over a year now, and I couldn’t be happier about leaving the world of renting far behind me.  The downside to home ownership is that, unlike apartments, your neighbors remain pretty consistent.  Move in next to a lovely family, and you’ll have an easy ride.  Get stuck by a bad neighbor and you can expect to deal with nonstop nonsense for the next 30 years.

While our home was being built, I was excited about the existing neighbors, who had a child around the same age as my own.  He was a very polite and well-spoken boy who lived there part time (divorce/separation having half his time with his bio-dad).  Other than seeing some pretty ugly drama between the woman next door and her ex, things were pretty quiet.  Even the first time they threw a party, the gentleman next door came over to let us know there would be noise and cars, and I really appreciated that.

The second time they had a party, there was no friendly warming before the bouncy house was inflated.  There were drunk people sitting in our front yard, littering cigarette butts everywhere. There were kids in our driveway.  The man of the house (who I christen Pussy Whipped) blocked off the entire street with flashing lights so the dozens upon dozens of kids could run around screaming.  Their house is at the end of the street next to an empty cul-de-sac and giant field, yet they HAD to play cornhole right at the edge of our property, resulting in people all over our yard.  Not cool.

In the spirit of neighborly love, we let it go.  When one of their children was standing in our driveway, shooting darts at cars, we let it go.  When they lost their baby in our yard because the lady of the house (who I’ve named HorseFace) was too busy Facebooking on her phone, we let it go.  When their new puppy continuously got loose and came scratching at our back door, we let it go.  When their child started picking on my kid and stole his toy, we let it go.  When HorseFace confronted me about “kicking her kid out” of my yard, asking me if she did something to offend me, I let it go.  I didn’t want to let it go, seeing as how her stupid kid was standing in the middle of my yard to play catch and upsetting my dog, not just retrieving a ball like she said he was, but I did.

Things got to be too much when HorseFace and Pussy Whipped suddenly decided that having a dog was too much work.  They began chaining the puppy outside around 6:30am and leaving her outside for most of the day.  The puppy would be outside in the pitch dark and cold until nearly 10pm, barking nonstop while my kid tries to sleep.  On the weekends, we would be woken up early by the barking.  Just like the postal service, that puppy would be outside in rain or shine.  Alone.  A couple weeks ago, they moved the puppy’s chain so she’d be further away from the back door (which also meant she would be in two yards that didn’t belong to her)  After hearing the poor dog bark to be let inside for NINETY MINUTES STRAIGHT IN 50 DEGREE WEATHER AND POURING RAIN, I contacted animal services so they could do a wellness check.  I don’t care who you are or what you have going on, there is no excuse for neglecting your dog.  And that is exactly what leaving your dog out in the rain while you’re comfy inside would be called.  Neglect.

Yesterday, we saw a message on NextDoor, a community message board for my neighborhood.  It was titled “Friendly Neighbors” and read:  “Don’t we all feel like if a neighbor has an issue with a pet in the neighborhood that for whatever reason is bothering someone as a community they should be an adult and go and talk to the other neighbor before they call animal management for instance?  Just really annoyed that we have neighbors make complaints on a puppy for barking but they have a dog as well that barks as well!”  HorseFace’s strong suit is not the English language.  Or punctuation.  Now, I do agree that talking to a neighbor should be the way to go if it’s an issue of noise.  This was not.  This was an issue of neglect.  A puppy needs attention and direction, not a chain and alone time for hours upon hours.  I would never call animal management out of spite.  I called because that dog needed help.  As far as MY dog barking, of course my dog barks!  Every time their puppy comes by our door, my dog barks.  What my dog does not do is get left outside unsupervised to bark his head off until someone gives a damn.  Idiot.

An awesome person on NextDoor replied to HorseFace saying:  “If a dog is barking that much, that means that it wants attention and the owner is not taking responsibility for it.  Yes, no owner is perfect, my dog barks too, but when a dog is left outside barking non-stop, that means the owner is being ignorant.  People also have to remember to be responsible pet owners.”  This is my new favorite neighbor.  HorseFace replied:  “Well barking was not the complaint and she only barks when she is wanting back in.  We pay plenty of attention to her as well as play with her.  The people even make it a point to park across the sidewalk so my kids can’t ride their toys in front of their house so I don’t believe there is a true issue except they are simply being childish.”  At this point, we are enraged.  I park my car at the end of my driveway not to spite her kids (honestly, who they hell accuses someone of doing that??) but to stop cars from turning around in my driveway.  The cul-de-sac is not paved, so people use my driveway, resulting in headlights shining through our windows at all hours and people leaving skid marks everywhere.  We had drunk people leave tire tracks all over our drive as they peeled out after a party, and we had a motorcycle do donuts in the street and our drive, marking it up.  That aside, HorseFace (and half my street) parks in the exact same fashion, completely blocking the sidewalk.

My husband has had it at this point, so he says we need to go over there and talk to them face to face (I recorded this conversation so they couldn’t try and spin it later).  As he rings the doorbell, HorseFace says “it’s them, I know it’s them” before opening the door.  My husband greets them calmly and asks if there is anything we need to talk about.  HorseFace says “I don’t know, you guys seem all of a sudden, don’t seem to wave, don’t seem to care, we have a complaint on the dog, you’re our only neighbor.”  Pussy Whipped is standing behind her, holding their baby.  My husband let them know that of course we filed a complaint on the dog because she was out in the rain for an hour and a half.  HorseFace says BULL!  My husband says it’s definitely not bull, as we live right next door and can see/hear everything.  At this point, they’re talking over each other, HorseFace saying we should have come and talked to them, my husband saying it’s not his job to convince people to be good pet owners.  Pussy Whipped and HorseFace both then tell us to go right ahead and call the police/animal control/etc.  So I guess now it’s okay to call?  It’s hard to keep track.

My husband says “if you have something to say, don’t go online and say it.”  Pussy Whipped then says “I tell you what, get your fucking car out of the way, how ‘bout that?”  Cute how he grew a pair while not noticing that his car is blocking the sidewalk as we speak.  Pussy Whipped then accuses us of blocking the sideway to keep kids away.  My husband explains it’s because our driveway is the go-to for cars to turn around in because they don’t want to use the pile of rocks that is our temporary cul-de-sac.  HorseFace starts complaining about her kids having to go out in the street, seeming to forget the countless times her kids are playing in the middle of the road, ignoring cars that come through, while unsupervised.  Pussy Whipped brings the topic back to our dog barking, where I step in and say the reason he barks is because they moved their dog’s chain so that the puppy can come into our yard.  Pussy Whipped then says he can’t go outside without my dog sounding like he’s going to tear through the wall and attack him.  For those of you who have seen my dog, do you see him capable of breaking through the walls of our house and attacking our retarded neighbor?  No?  Me either.

HorseFace continues to deny that their puppy was outside in the rain for so long, or that they neglect her at all.  I need to stress that this puppy is continuously left outside along in godawful weather and/or in the dark.  Not once have we ever seen this dog be taken for a walk; she’s just thrown in the backyard.  I guess to their credit, they do have a dog bowl sitting out there for her, which is helpful when she’s left alone for hours on end, barking her little head off.  HorseFace THEN says that animal management never even came out, which is strange considering her post about animal management coming out.  At this point, my husband gives up and we walk away while HorseFace yells out the door about how childish we are.  Pussy Whipped comes out of the house now; my husband is on the other side of our driveway and I am barely in my own yard at this point.  She’s still yelling at us, so I lose it a bit and call her out on having drunk idiots in my yard and driveway.  She yells back about me being mean to her poor little angel boy (because saying verbatim “hey, can you please get out of my yard, you’re upsetting my dog” is PURE EVIL).  The same boy who crushed another neighbors young tree while playing in their yard.

So NOW, Pussy Whipped says “we were here first, bitch.”  I start walking back to my house, saying “fucking asshole” as I turn around.  He THEN says “Yeah, do something!”  I point out that he is holding a baby while trying to antagonize me.  Idiot.  He yells “yeah, you’re so tough!” and accused me of starting shit.  While holding a baby, Pussy Whipped keeps trying to  get me to “do something.”  Me, not my husband; the guy wants to fight a chick.  As much as I want to punch this bald asshat square in the face, I go back inside my house instead so we can laugh at them in private.  Big shocker as well; for the rest of the day on Sunday, they let their puppy back in the house as soon as she started barking.  Weird how that works.

I don’t regret calling animal management for one second because the end result seems to be that now the puppy will be let back in when she barks instead of left outside for hours unattended.  With winter coming and the temperature dropping, I’m happy that she won’t be suffering.  I mean, her owners are idiots, but outside of that, she will be fine.  Now, I might have been more willing to go and speak to her about the puppy if her reaction to the whole kid in the yard thing had been more positive.  Not once did she acknowledge that the kid shouldn’t have been in someone else’s yard; her first reaction was to accuse me of having a problem with her family.  That isn’t what a rational adult does.

Since I’m not dealing with a rational adult, talking is pointless.  The three minutes we spent “talking” to them yesterday proved that even more.  There is no reasoning with HorseFace, a woman convinced her children are so charming, anyone would be honored to have them running around in their yard.  There is no reasoning with Pussy Whipped either, a man who hides behind his wife and child, threatens a woman, and thinks that being somewhere first means you own the entire block.  The air being let out of two of my tires this morning could be a weird coincidence, but I’m getting as much as possible on record now because people who use the “we were here first” argument are the same people petty enough to damage someone’s property.  I need a lawyer.  And a shotgun.  And a ten foot fence.

Improving Yourself From The Inside Out – @shellystins (Guest Writer)

I’ve always been kind of fascinated by people who can change their life in dramatic ways. It’s like one minute they’re living this life that leaves them feeling tired, empty, and lacking. And the next, they’re completely satisfied down to their soul and grinning from ear to ear because they feel so good about themselves and who they are. And what I’ve noticed most about the people who achieve this type of almost miraculous transformation is that it generally involves them altering their lives on both a personal and professional level. In the case of this post, it can occur when changing your diet and also pursuing a career in the field of health coaching.

It only makes sense, really, because when you go through the changes yourself, it puts you in the perfect position to help others who need to go through the changes to reach their own goals too. It gives you the ability to say, “Hey, I’ve been there. I know how it feels, but I did it and I know that you can do it too!” It also enables you to give little tips and tricks that you used to get through the dreaded lack of motivation phase and to overcome the hurdles that threaten their ultimate success.



wiki-personal-trainer

Take the story of Jil Larsen, founder and owner of Magic Mix Juicery in New York City, for instance. She was diagnosed with melasma, a skin disorder. Upon doing research about how she could effectively deal with it, she learned that she was eating too much, but not enough of good, healthy, vitamin-rich foods. So she started juicing and eating healthier in an effort to regain her health, which she did—and her melasma joyously reversed. Born from this experience was her desire to help others eat less and eatbetter so they too could experience better health. This is when she opened Magic Mix Juicery and now serves healthy food to people in the Financial District in New York City. 

Of course, one part of achieving this level of life change requires making changes in your own life. How? Fortunately, there are a number of ways. For example, the American Heart Association recommends expending as many calories as you eat, eating a wide variety of foods, and making sure those foods are full of good nutrients. This basically means eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy, nuts, poultry, fish, and other good-for-you menu items. It also means limiting the amount of processed foods you eat (think crackers, chips, cookies, and things like that). 

But if you need help figuring out exactly what changes can provide you the greatest impact and the greatest ability to change your life, another option is to do what Jil did. Take a health issue near and dear to your heart, maybe one that is affecting you personally. Then, learn as much about it as you can and start making positive health-based changes to help ease, if not eliminate, the condition or concern. You could then become a health coach (or enter a similar career path) to help others in similar situations make the necessary changes in their owned lives to enjoy a better and higher quality of life.

This is the same basic principle behind what makes Cancer Buddies Network such a success. When people can work with someone who has walked in their shoes, who not only struggles with the physical issues they face but the mental ones too, there’s no better feeling. It’s like receiving a hug from a long lost friend, reminding you that everything will be okay.

Say Cheese

I always wondered why certain people would choose to cut amazing food groups out of their diet.  Vegetarians, vegans, the “I don’t have a gluten allergy but I go gluten free for the health benefits” crowd.  I used to say often that if I was allergic to peanuts, I would lose my mind.  I love food that is worthy of the highest critical praise and I love a greasy basket of fried nonsense from the state fair.  Eating surrounds so many events in life and it’s best to go in with zero restrictions.  Or at least it was.

In early August of 2015, I was diagnosed with severe lactose intolerance and a milk allergy.  I can’t even eat something that “may have” come into contact with dairy without getting horribly sick and feeling miles south of the worst hangover I’ve ever had combined with what I imagine the human body feels like after falling off a cliff.  Farewell pizza, cheese curds, most baked goods and alfredo sauce.  Hello soy cheese and almond milk and butter made out of oil.  Forget casually going to a restaurant and ordering whatever sounds good because half the time, there’s some milk product hiding away in the meal that keeps me from getting close to it.  Hell, I washed dishes the other day that had sour cream on them and got a godawful rash on both of my arms.  Things are very different for me now.

adult-cheese-costume

What I’ve noticed more than anything is that the world isn’t friendly to people with dietary restrictions.  Order something without cheese and be prepared for people to look at you as if you have leprosy.  It’s not fun being THAT person who has to turn down birthday cake at work or pizza parties with friends or Halloween candy because your body will reject it in all sorts of fun ways.  It’s difficult to avoid allergens when it seems that virtually everything is processed in a factory that also processes food items with nuts and milk and gluten.  I won’t even get started on how expensive it becomes to find things that are acceptable and safe.

At work, people look at me with sad faces when I turn down certain foods and give them an honest reason why.  When I don’t feel like giving a reason, they look at me funny, as if I’m a freak of nature for declining an 8am doughnut.  Dealing with this for the last month and a half has made me very confused about why there is barely any focus on dietary restrictions.  I have to make separate shopping trips to get what I need because stores just don’t carry it.  I don’t expect the world to cater to every individual need, but lactose intolerance is hardly a rare thing.  Mine may be more serious than most, but it makes me wonder why such a large population of people are left without reasonable options.  My goal is to find a way to get more options; I just need to find the starting line.

29 More Years To Go…

Sometimes I wonder if I’m meant to live in a world with other people or if my true wish is to be on a small island with only a handful of others.  My husband and I moved into a house in order to get away from cramped apartment living.  We were tired of sharing a wall, tired of people blocking our driveway, tired of kids playing right outside our back door in the shared yard, and just tired of not having a space to call our own.  Last October, we said goodbye to our townhome and hello to our house.

download

I should have expected to still run into issues, and I don’t know why I thought that all problems would vanish once the ink was dry and we had keys in hand.  We have a house full of dudes on one side of us; they have at least five vehicles, possibly six, and initially tried to make the front of OUR home their permanent parking space.  The house, at max, is a three bedroom unit.  Three bedrooms, five dudes, possibly one younger female, a few older females who come and go, and occasionally a kid or two.  One resident wears nothing but a tank top and sandals, and just about all of them act like it’s a frat house.  At least the keg is finally off the front porch.

Across the street, the frat house’s friends installed a urinal in their garage to accommodate their guests during parties.  A garage urinal, conveniently located next to the full size garage fridge and underneath the wall mounted garage flat screen.  Oddly enough, since the garage urinal was installed, they haven’t had a single drunken party.  The last was the Mayweather fight where the guests left tire marks all over our driveway as they hurried to turn their cars around and speed off home.

tn_skid-marks-301

On the other side of our home is a family with four kids, one of which belongs to the couple and three that belong to the wife/girlfriend only.  I had high hopes for them because the guy was really friendly towards my husband and the oldest son was friendly towards our kid.  Didn’t last long.  They had a party where they not only blocked off the street with flashing lights (because… they own the street?), but had drunk idiots sitting in our yard and leaving cigarette butts everywhere.  They not only lose track of their puppy in our yard, but lose their baby in it as well.  Their baby.  They have thrown balls into our house multiple times, the parents only directing them to stop AFTER we stick our heads outside.

The middle boy is the worst kind of kid and will stand in the middle of our backyard while playing catch.  After upsetting my dog (who I value more than anyone in my neighborhood), I told the middle kid “I need you to please get out of my yard, you’re making my dog upset.”  Nicer than I wanted to be since the adults were outside having a garage sale, but he moved after glaring at me a bit.  After this happens, the delusional mom approaches me and the first thing out of her mouth is “did we do something to offend you?”  Seriously, lady?  Your kid is standing in the middle of my yard playing catch.  Not on the edge, not popping in to retrieve a ball, but just standing there.  My dog is upset by this because it’s his yard.  I tell him to move, very nicely I might add, and this is your response?  It took all my self-control not to go off on this woman, who thinks her family and children are so charming, that others should feel honored to be in their presence.  Every time their dog gets loose while she plays on her phone, I wish terrible things on her.

download (1)

No one puts their dog on a leash, and we had three dogs run up on our (leashed) dog and scare him pretty good, so now he hates the site of any of those dogs.  Not that the owners care.  I hate to have to worry about my dog biting another dog while trying to defend me, then having animal control tell me that my dog is dangerous, all because some twat decided their precious pooch was too good for a leash.  I don’t want to see a dog get hit by a car due to careless owners.  Unfortunately for me, everyone else who feels the same way I do lives on another street.  My street is asshole heaven.

Maybe I’m being too picky, but we are investing serious cash into this house and really aren’t asking for much.  Don’t make the curb in front of our home into your permanent parking space.  Don’t tell your kids it’s okay to play in our yard.  Put your dog on a leash.  Don’t throw shit at our house.  Don’t leave trash in our yard.  Keep your drunk asshole friends off our property.  Don’t play cornhole on the sidewalk right in front of my house when you have room to do it elsewhere and stay out of my yard.  Understand that there are shared spaces around us that need to be respected, AND that private property should be respected even more.  If everyone quit acting like they were the only people in the entire world, got out of their bubble for a minute and thought of how their actions affect others, life would be much happier for us all.

Hey, @comcast, You Are Literally The Worst

Imagine the worst person you have ever dated.  Add some extra emotional abuse.  Take away their common sense and make sure they argue with you constantly, especially in situations where everyone knows they are wrong.  Add in the ability to ruin quiet evenings at home at the drop of a hat by simply refusing to do the one thing they are meant to do.  Oh, and they also have herpes, which they graciously gave to you, so expect them to always pop back into your life, in a manner of speaking.  This is what life is life if you are or ever have been a Comcast customer.

download

My husband and I bought a home in October 2014.  Prior to closing, I researched the cable providers in our area and was told that Comcast and Direct TV were our two options.  After reluctantly calling Comcast, I was told that our street was not wired because it was “too expensive” and “not worth doing at this time.”  Thankfully, a very helpful customer service rep at AT&T let me know that our street was set up for U-Verse; all they had to do was wire our home and we could transfer our service over.  I love AT&T.

Yesterday, we found a note on our door stating “We will be doing construction in your area for cable television.  All known existing utilities will be located and exposed to prevent damage to them.”  It even had an adorable cartoon construction worker on it.  I called the number on the back of the card for more information and was told that yes, our entire street was going to be “serviced.”  They will be boring eight inch holes in the yards to look for utilities.  Then they will fill them back up and spray paint the areas.  When I asked why, they told me it was to wire the neighborhood for Comcast services.

img_54ca59d86a234

Now, they could have EASILY done this during the time AT&T chose to wire the neighborhood, when NO ONE WAS LIVING THERE, NO ONE HAD GRASS, AND NOTHING WOULD BE DISTURBED.  Instead, they are now going to dig for treasure in yards that have finally established a lawn and in yards like mine where my husband and I have spent hours in the yard trying to get things going and spent quite a bit of cash investing in seed and hay and tools.  And the kicker is that by law, they are allowed to dig up any yard in any neighborhood and don’t have to do a goddamn thing to fix it when they are done.  Awesome.

Comcast gave us less than a week’s worth notice.  They failed to put their name on the notice, give the neighborhood adequate information about what they were doing, and failed to do things properly in a way that made sense and didn’t annoy the piss out of everyone around them.  Since they don’t have to make repairs, I fully expect that we will have some lovely round dirt holes where grass used to grow once next week rolls around.  Comcast doesn’t care and they could not be more clear about that fact.

download (2)

It appears that I have no course of action here.  For some reason, MY property isn’t MINE when it comes to digging and installing cables that no one needs because we all already have cable services and sure as hell don’t want shitty Comcast.  I’ve been assured that it will cost me “about $20 to fill in my yard with seed and topsoil, depending on how many holes they dig.”  That’s reassuring, thanks.  Basically, I have to bend over and take it.  I don’t understand how this company is still in business, I don’t get how customers stick with them (unless they are still stuck on hold, which is a strong possibility).

It took us three weeks to leave Comcast, as their systems were always down when we tried to cancel, forcing us to drive quite a ways out to drop off our equipment and cancel for good.  Years later, they are still finding ways to screw with us.  Never have I ever seen a company care so little about their customers and still manage to keep them.  Comcast is the worst kind of business and I hope one day, they burn to the ground.

Up In Smoke

I don’t smoke cigarettes, I don’t smoke weed, and I don’t smoke anything you have to buy at a dimly lit street corner from a guy with shifty eyes that smells like a musty basement and bad decisions.  But I will smoke a cigar without question or hesitation.  My grandfather used to sit out on my front porch when I was very young with his favorite cigar, blowing rings into the air as I played in the yard.  The smell of cigar smoke is very nostalgic for me, but I also simply enjoy the hell out of them.

My husband recently got a great deal on a pack of ten through an advertised deal he found in one of the many free magazine subscriptions we get delivered to the house every week.  To keep myself from dipping into his new supply, I got myself a few at the gas station to tide me over until I could find my own place to get a good deal from.  I won’t knock the gas station cigar; it’s an easy enough option and not pricey at all.  My last Speedway stogie burned out last night, so I need to go shopping for something with quality.

3941954_orig

I stumbled upon Famous Smoke Shop and proceeded to get lost in their incredible selection.  I’ll be honest, I’m not a cigar connoisseur who knows brands and best locations to buy from, so the fact that they have a wide variety of samplers is perfect for me.  I also found a gorgeous foot locker humidor that I am seriously considering buying for my husband (hopefully he skips over this article).  I’m not into vaping myself, but I do have friends who are, so I’ve knocked out a few Christmas gifts as well thanks to their selection.

I am very excited to say that I have some amazing cigars heading my way in the very near future!  With the weather finally cooperating, I’m looking forward to enjoying some nights out on the porch, encased in a cloud of smoke with my husband.  Once he and I are able to try the Famous Smoke collection, I will be posting a review.  Now all I need to worry about is what whiskey best pairs with what cigar.  The possibilities are endless; a shame my wallet isn’t as well…

%d bloggers like this: