Category Archives: messed up me


I don’t like bugs. But there’s just something about spiders that give me an extra dose of the willies. Logically I know that there’s a place for them on this earth. My parents are constantly preaching to me, as I’m shrieking down the house, that blah, blah, food chain, blah, blah, ecosystem, blah. But that is no comfort when I’m paralyzed by fear at a spider on the wall.


The worst arachnid, in my opinion, has to be the shower spider. There is nothing worse than disrobing in the morning, when you’re still half asleep, and draw back the shower curtain to find one (or more!) of the little vermin waiting for you in the shower. My coworker says car spiders are worse, but I maintain that at least in the car, you have a layer of protection between you and the spider… your clothes. Getting ready to step into the shower? No such protection. I always have to put on a towel before attempting to kill it, because I’m always afraid it’ll jump at me and then it will be on my skin. Ewwww.

Though a case can be made for the above-the-bed spider being the worst. You know you have to kill it because it might fall into your bed. But if you try to swat it, you might kill it, but it’ll still fall into your bed. However, I am too short to be able to reach it with a tissue, even standing on said bed. So swatting is the only option, followed by an hours-long search to either find its corpse or kill the survivor.

I confronted one of the dreaded shower spiders the other morning, and in my zeal to kill it, I apparently made too much noise. My dad came up to make sure I was OK. Apparently, it sounded like I had fallen in the shower. No, Dad. I’m OK. Just spider-killin’.


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SIM card saga

ImageI had a little bit of a shock this week when I was trying to get my iPad ready for travel to Lombard, IL, next week for the Tonner doll convention. I tried to sign up for cellular service (through Verizon) and received an error message saying my SIM card was no longer supported.

According to the Apple iPad website:

When you decide to activate data service, you can choose the amount of data per month you want to buy — with no long-term contract. So if you have a business trip or vacation approaching, just sign up for the month you’ll be traveling and cancel when you get back.

What they don’t tell you is, if you cancel your cellular service and don’t sign up again for five months, your SIM card is essentially “burned.” Meaning deactivated. Meaning it ain’t gonna work no more.

So yesterday, I left work early and took myself and my iPad to the local Verizon store here in town to see if they could help me fix the problem. From having researched the problem on Google beforehand, I warned my coworkers I might not be back, as it could take a while.

It took an hour and 45 minutes.

Now, to be fair, the folks at Verizon were some of the nicest people I’ve met in a while. They didn’t try to sell me a phone. They didn’t try to get me to upgrade any services. They were only concerned with my SIM card problem. At one point, I had six Verizon employees trying to figure out how to fix my iPad cellular service.

The problem, it turned out, was they couldn’t just give me a new SIM card without activating it first. But they couldn’t activate it with a prepaid plan. But they tried. They tried for an hour and a half. In the end, I just had to sign up to a monthly plan with a promise that I could cancel it when I got back from my trip. No contracts, no deactivation fee. Not what I wanted, but at least I’ll have cellular service on my trip. And I won’t have to go through all this again next time I travel. I’ll just have to go in and resign up for a monthly plan. A little bit of a hassle, but one I can live with.

I would like to thank the Verizon folks for putting me at ease. My social anxiety was going through the roof for the first half hour, but by the time I left, I felt like I had made new friends.

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Talking to strangers


Oreo LOVES his hay!

The other day, my dad and I stopped by Tractor Supply to pick up some aspen shavings and chew toys for my chinchilla, Oreo. Many small pets use cedar shavings for their bedding, but cedar contains resins which can be toxic or irritating to chinchilla physiology. So aspen shavings are the best option when going with a hardwood bedding material.

They were having a sale on the size bag of aspen shavings I buy, so we picked up two. On our way to the cashier, this older man called our attention and wanted to know if we were buying the shavings for bedding. We said yes, and he said that what we really needed were cedar shavings.

Of course, we tried to explain that we had a chinchilla (which he’d never heard of, of course), and that chinchillas were allergic to cedar. They had to use aspen. But he kept insisting that cedar was the only way to go. That he whittled cedar as a hobby and had tons of cedar shavings he could “sell us.”

Ahhh. One of those.

I get annoyed when random strangers talk to me in the store. Most of the time it’s just a pithy comment about something, which is fine, but when they want to have a conversation… no. Just let me go about my business, please. I probably don’t even want to be in the store anyway, so I try to avoid eye contact and just smile and nod when someone says something to me. But to start a full conversation? Especially trying to sell me something? Oh hell, no.

I’m glad my dad was with me, because he shot the guy down really quick and we got out of there with the aspen shavings. If I’d been on my own I would have felt trapped, unable to think of anything to say to get out of the conversation quickly.

Sometimes I feel like I still have a lot of growing up to do.

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Loll stuff you.

I don’t like text speak. It’s probably one of the reasons I don’t text or use Twitter too often. I don’t like abbreviating words. Numbers should never be substituted as words. Spell everything out. Use correct punctuation. Pretend you’re intelligent at least and never use “ur.” Image

But one thing I do use with varying frequency are Internet acronyms. I’m especially abusive of LOL. So much so, it has become it’s own word to me. One I even catch myself trying to use in real life conversation. Say something funny to me and I have to stop myself from saying, “Loll.”

Surely I’m not the only one who does this? Who turns Internet acronyms into actual words in your head? Am I the only one who sometimes wants to tell people to “stuff you” (STFU)? Or who will “roffle” (ROFL) over a grumpy cat picture?

An FAQ is a “fack,” “I’m hoe.” (imho)

“Whizzy wig” (WYSIWYG) isn’t always true.

“Lamow” (LMAO), I must sound insane right now.

Or maybe you’re thinking, “She’s a bamf!” (self-explanatory)

“Oh, tow,” (OTOH), OMG is always O. M. G.

If you think I’m just nuts, you can “Die-aff.” (DIAF)

OK, maybe that’s too harsh. I guess I should just “gaffle.” (GAFL)

Hmm, I seem to swear a lot in Internet acronyms. “Smuh.” (smh)

Perhaps I am the only one who does this in her head. But the day it starts creeping into my everyday speech is the day I need to get “Affkuh.” (AFK)

“Tiffin!” (TTFN!)

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Crying makes it better

I suffer from depression. I don’t know how long I’ve had it, and I sometimes think I am not doing enough to combat it, but most of the time, I can get by. Medication helps a lot. But there are some days where not even that helps and I find myself crying for no reason. Which then pisses me off because so many people in this world have a real reason to cry and I feel like I should just put my big girl panties on and deal with it. But it’s hard. And crying, oddly enough, can make me feel better.

"You're not supposed to look back, you're supposed to keep going."

So when I read a book or watch a movie that makes me cry, it feels almost cathartic to let go and just let the tears fall. I don’t actively seek out books or movies that are sad. Just the opposite. I don’t like crying. My nose gets all stuffed up, my eyes turn red and itch, and my head will just hurt all over. But afterwards, when I put the book down or turn the movie off, and the tears have run their course, I just feel… better.

Last weekend I went to visit my brother in Chattanooga. We stopped by a discount book store after we ate and I picked up a book called “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See. It is a very sad, moving book. I read it in less than a day and must have cried through the entire second half of the book.

Tonight, I watched The Lovely Bones. I had read the book by Alice Sebold last year and fell in love with it. I cried through the book. And even though the movie is different from the book, I cried through it, too. And now I have dried tears on my face and a headache, but I feel better right now than I have all day.

Sometimes I will fight crying so badly I make myself sick. I know I shouldn’t, but there are times when crying can be embarrassing, like at work or a gathering of friends. But when I’m alone, I give in, because I know I will feel comforted after having a good cry, like I’ve let all the stress and little resentments I’ve picked up during the day out with the sad story. But that still doesn’t mean I’ll be renting more sad movies.

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Why I’ll never feng my shui

In the January 2010 edition of  “People Extra” (I’m not a subscriber. My mom is. It was just lying there. Honest.), there is an article titled “100 easy ways to change your life.” Since I’d love to have a different life, I picked it up out of curiosity… just to see how “easy” changing my life would be.

The article was divided into sections. “2 ways to save money.” “4 ways to relive stress instantly.” Stuff I already knew but I my life didn’t feel any different.

Then I got to “3 ways to create a soothing space.” All right. I’m stressed all the time. How can I create my own Zen environment?

1. Soften your lighting. Use accent lamps with bulbs 60 watts or lower; it’s more soothing. My bedside lamp is already at 60 watts because I ran out of 3-way bulbs last time it blew. And I can’t see a damn thing when it’s on.

2. Bring in flowers. Lavender and gardenia add calm. I’m sure I’ll feel less stressed when I’m sneezing my head off.

3. Make your bed. Coming home to crumpled sheets is so not relaxing! … You’re kidding, right?

I never make my bed. The only time it’s ever made is when I change my sheets. I don’t see the point in giving up a few precious moments of sleep in order to get up and tug the sheets back into place, making it smooth and perfect even though I won’t see it again until bed time.

A messy bed is how I get my Zen on

To me, an unmade bed just invites you to hop back in and burrow under the covers. My pillows are in the perfect spot. The rumpled blankets feel more snuggly than neatly made-up ones. And since no one ever sees my bed but me (and occasionally the dog), I don’t feel an overwhelming urge to keep it tidy.

My bed also serves as a hidy hole for various things. My TV/DVD/cable box remotes are under one pillow. Whatever book I’m reading goes under another (unless it’s something massive like Twilight … and honestly, the idea of sleeping with the Twilight book makes me feel all skeevy inside). My 25-year-old Care Bear is in there too. Yes, I still sleep with it. No, I’m not ashamed to admit it.

I always feel a bit uncomfortable for the first couple of nights after I’ve changed the sheets, because everything is so stiff. And not in the good way. Walking into my bedroom at bedtime, my unmade bed invites me in, letting me know my day is finally over.

So I’m sorry, Kahi Lee, design expert on the Style Network’s “What I Hate About Me,” who offered up the tips on how to create a soothing space. My bed, in all its rumpled glory, is my soothing space. However, if you would like to come over to help me feng shui the rest of my room, I’ll make my bed just for you.

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Finding refuge in “Dollhouse”

Even though it was announced a few weeks ago that “Dollhouse” was being canceled, I am still eagerly looking forward to the remain episodes, which begin tonight.

I’ve been a loyal viewer from the beginning, though at first I wasn’t sure I was going to like, as the series did have a bit of a slow start. But towards the middle of the season, it really started picking up. And then I bought the DVDs and watched the DVD-only episode “Epitaph One” and it really blew my mind.

It is a scary, scary future to think about… personality replacement being used as a weapon. But despite the apocalyptic future depicted in “Epitaph One,” I can’t help being fascinated by the concept of the Dollhouse. I’m about to lose some feminism points, I think, when I say that the idea of being a doll is somewhat… appealing to me.

I read a lot. I watch way too much TV for my own good. And I do these things as a form of escapism. “Dollhouse” plays fast and loose with the ideas of morality and ethics, but in a way that makes you think about them. And still, I find part of myself wishing I could be one of them. To escape my life, which I find hard to deal with at times, and to be something more exciting… even if I can’t remember any of it at the end of the day.

And I realize that makes me sound a bit crazy, because if you’ve seen the show, you’d know it’s not just about the exploitation of a body, but of the mind and soul.

And now, to make myself sound incredibly more emo (I’m totally blaming my recent foray into the insanity that is Twilight), I sometimes feel like an active awaiting assignment. I go through the motions of my day. Get up. Go to work. Come home. Watch TV. Go to bed. It’s like I’m waiting for my life to happen. What I wouldn’t give to be someone else, if only for a little while.

Of course, I could never be a doll, because I’m not smokin’ hot like Eliza Dushku, but I can understand why some of the characters chose to put themselves in that situation. Even if it is only fictional.

As I sit here at work, watching the clock tick ever more slowly towards quittin’ time, I eagerly await my two hours of escapism tonight, courtesy of the “Dollhouse.”

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