19 February 2008

the internet is awesome, yet again

check out this blog, stuff white people like. this satire pleases me almost as much as the idea of making gloves out of babyskin. Even funnier (for me) is the fact today I am actually wearing the sweater pictured on the girl on the rocks in the current masthead. heheheheheh.

on dogs, for example:

White people generally believe that dogs have human emotions and that they are capable of loving certain TV shows, films, and music. “Buster just loves watching Six Feet Under!” Even though most dogs would enjoy watching Hitler if he were getting attention every time it came on the TV.

They also believe that their dogs share similar tastes in food - “Little Ben Kweller likes the Organic food the best.” Forgetting the fact that dogs enjoy eating their own feces, and pretty much anything that falls onto the floor.

I dare you to read it and not chortle. and yeah, I totally feed the cats special organic food and let Zoe groom my hair even though I know she licks her own asshole with that tongue, so.

thanks to pandagon for the tipoff.

18 February 2008

mostly good stuff

So, we got a gorgeous new place in the 'ville. Click on the photos to make them larger.





Not visible in the pictures are also a back porch, small office nook, laundry in the basement, dishwasher and waste disposer in the kitchen. OMFG, how beautiful is this place? Two bedrooms! We freaked out when we saw it, it was so nice.

The couple currently living there (and don't they totally have good taste? I hope I can live up to their decorating stylishness; not to mention they are both professional photographers, which is one of the reasons the pictures are so well-thought-out. Erik's website is here. Yes, the site uses flash but a photographer's website is a totally appropriate use of flash, I think. Even though I am allergic to flash.) Anyway, the couple currently living there are moving because they've bought, and they wanted the lease to be taken over by a young couple who would really dig the place. Which turned out to be us. Yay! (they were also a little overwhelmed by the immediate response to the place. It doesn't surprise me that they got a huge response, given those pictures and the amenities, but I think it's cute that they were surprised.)

So tra la la and Dave and I have spent all weekend packing. Actually he has been doing most of the work packing and I have been fighting depression, or, as I like to call it, insanity. I'm seeing my prescribing pysch at the start of next month. One of the things I recently learned is that migraines and depression appear to have a strong back-and-forth link, and you can go on antidepressants that will also act as a preventative medicine for the migraines. That would be really nice, since I'm having about 3 - 4 migraines a month.

I try to be proactive and aware and treat them so they don't interfere too much with my life, and basically that works. But it would still be nice not to have to deal with them so often.

Also it would be nice not to dread opening my eyes in the morning. And this time around (maybe always), one of the symptoms of craziness I am experiencing is irritability. Everything rubs me the wrong way. I feel like I spend most of my time snapping and apologizing, snapping and apologizing.

I can't get any perspective on anything, either, which means that I've got no control over my moods. So work, of course, has been an unadulterated joy, since I have no fucking idea about how to gauge my actual performance and feel terrible about everything. I'd guess my attitude hasn't been very good lately, but that's just a guess, I don't really know. In point of fact, I don't hate my job - the work is interesting and they treat me well - and I would like to avoid being fired.

I was lying in bed this morning thinking about how different my life was 5 years ago, in the hope that this would make me feel better. Even remembering that when I was 24-going-on-25, I lived in New Zealand and was therefore isolated from friends and family, I was unable to work because my ex-husband hadn't bothered getting his working holiday visa changed to a normal visa (which would have entitled me to a working visa), so we were broke, I was lonely (with no money and no ability to get a job and being in a foreign country, my only friends were the cats and the internet), and the climate was really humid and mildew blossomed on the walls in what was basically a two-room apartment (and on clothes and shoes in the closet, if they hadn't been worn in a while.) We were broke. I know
I mentioned that before, but we were SO BROKE (in large part because my ex handled all the money and, uh, spent it on whatever he wanted, which seemed mostly to be restaurant food, nights out drinking and hardware that he would then fail to invoice his customers for until the job was finished, months later.) Anyway. So broke I'd have to make decisions about whether to buy conditioner or moisturizer, because I couldn't afford both; or maybe the choice would be between moisturizer and a better brand of cat food. It was fucking awful, partly because I was completely without resources or control over my situation and partly because I knew I'd handed over that control to my then-husband. Also I didn't want to tell anyone how awful my life was, because I was ashamed of having made such bad choices; and finally, I didn't know any better. I thought that's what marriage was like. I thought all husbands got their wives alone and told them how useless and stupid and lazy they were.

So, fast forward to 29-going-on-30 and I am no longer living with my ex; in fact, I am living with someone different, who doesn't treat me badly, who is responsible with money and calls to tell me if he'll be out late or all night, instead of turning his phone off and hitching a ride home on the garbage truck in the morning. I live in a four room apartment with wooden floors and I'm about to move into a 5 room one. I can afford to buy moisturizer and expensive cat food and conditioner all at the same time! I'm legally able to work and I have a good job!

But here's the insidious thing about depression: none of those considerations mattered or made me feel better about myself. All I can think about is the work of packing and moving, the fact that I haven't been doing my share of that work, the fact that poor Inty is sick (she's going to the vet this afternoon because she just keeps throwing up and it's chronic) - anyway, that'll likely entail blood work and an x-ray and hopefully will be treatable and I won't end up paying 500 bucks to find out my cat is going to die soon.

And it just feels endless, this stuff, which I think it is, I'm pretty sure that life is all good and bad mixed up together at the same time and usually both happening faster than is ideal, maybe. (In fact, our existing landlady sold the house at the last minute and refunded our security deposit, which was not something we thought was going to happen. So, financial windfall, in a way. Plus now we've got two weeks of overlap in which we'll be into the new place and not yet have to be out of the old one. This move should be relatively painless, as much as a move can be, anyway.)

So even though logically I know I'm lucky, I'm in a good place and I'm set to get into a better place, it's so much fucking work to keep breathing in and out and pretending like nothing is wrong that anything extra - the cat, the move, assorted wedding planning stuff - is huge and impossible. And the attempts to cheer myself up by looking at my own progress just make me feel worse about myself, because then I feel ungrateful and lazy and like a complainer.

So ... here's hoping that the move goes smoothly, that my grasp on sanity continues to hold and that the prescribing psychiatrist thinks I'd be a good candidate for something that will help with the migraines and the depression. And that the drugs work.

12 February 2008

unforeseen developments

so I was singing along to The Immaculate Collection while making dinner* and thinking, wow, this stuff sounds really dated. Still good, mind you, but really dated. It's also much much more interesting than any of the safe, boring stuff Madonna has put out since about 1999.

however, I have to say that Crazy For You is just not one of the stronger songs on the record. Also everything that comes after Open Your Heart pretty sucky, too. Still, she is wearing nice fake eyelashes on the back cover and wearing some kind of clown outfit, so I forgive her.

Digressions aside, I was howling along to Papa Don't Preach and dammit if I couldn't hear when I missed the note (which was most of them.) I'm pretty tone deaf, range-free** and always have been, but maybe somehow I have learned to tell the difference between making the note and not? I didn't know that was something you could learn. And how come no one told me? Y'all just allowed me to humiliate myself at karaoke every 5 years instead. That was an AVOIDABLE MISTAKE, people. You did not have to listen to that.

*how I got to that point exactly is a long and boring story. trust me.

**as opposed to free-range; there's like one octave my voice will do when I sing. Supposedly I have a nice speaking voice most of the time though, according to others. I get pretty shrill when I'm hanging out with my girlfriends, though. Again, according others.

11 February 2008

it's hard to think of seven wierd things I haven't told you all already

For Maya. I love memes. And talking about myself. What's not to participate in, here?

I. I re-read Hamlet once every couple of years. Usually when I'm feeling especially sorry for myself.

II. I am so hyper-clean that I've been known to use q-tips when cleaning the toilet; my fish, consequently, fail to thrive because I ruin their little ecosystem because I can't stand all that dirt in the tank.

III. I'm pretty sure I'm one of those people who taps their teeth and drums their fingers and jiggles their leg but none of it is on purpose so I don't usually notice. I bet it's annoying for other people, though.

IV. I am the boss of my cats. (Unless you have cats, that's not going to sound weird, but it's at least unusual. To the non-cat people: trust me when I say that generally the cats are the bosses of the people.)

V. In college I could read 100 pages an hour (actually I think I can still do that) and take legible notes at the speed that the professor talked. Without skimming or using shorthand. Everyone always wanted to borrow my notes. (I definitely can't write fast any more, and legibility has gone south too.)

VI. I can pull my left thumb out of the socket and bend it around like a chicken wing. (Starting to reach for things here.)

VII. Despite the second item on my list, my car is usually dirty and smells like ass, especially when the weather has suddenly warmed up and you put on the a/c and a terrible mildewy smell comes out of the vents, like the breath of a dying old man with gum disease. I guess that's not exactly weird but it is gross. Sorry.

02 February 2008

let the good times roll!

okay, so remember how I was all ranty and shit about overvaluation of property in somerville and also talking about subprime loans and how my landlady had put the house on the market? (Probably you don't remember, but that's what the link function was made for. Also: in retrospect, we should have moved right then.)


Chickens have come home to roost, motherfucker! I found out completely by accident on Thursday night that my house (which is still on the market) has actually gone into foreclosure and is going to be sold on Tuesday. As in this Tuesday. Three days from now. February 5th, at 2 pm. Jesus motherfucking christ. I called the bank which currently holds the morgage and verified. I can't believe the landlady didn't mention it to us!

She cashed the rent checks right on time, though. And the first foreclosure notice was published before the hot water pipe in the kitchen burst, so ... there was an opportunity there to say something. I don't know what her deal is or the circumstances behind the foreclosure or what happened on her end, but as a tenant in good standing, this sucks a whole lot for me, too.

Here's what I understand about how it will shake out: our lease will be void in the event of a sale/the event of the property reverting back to the bank and we will become tenants at will. The new owners of the property are most likely to want us to leave as soon as possible so they can do what they want with it, which I'd guess will be sell it to a developer or develop it into condos themselves. Hope no one tells prospective buyers about the dealer down the street - his customers seem to like to break into neighborhood cars and first floor apartments a lot.

So a move is in our immediate future - probably within 30 days. Awe-SOME! Everyone wants to find a new place to live in the middle of winter in Somerville on short notice a couple of months before a wedding, right? Now I can cross that item off my bucket list! Next on the list: skydiving naked into a cactus forest!

Did I also mention that Dave's classes have started up again, and he's in class three nights a week (about 15 hours). He'll probably need to study at least 15 hours a week outside of class, too. Yes, he works full time too.

However. This stuff is completely immutable and out of my control, so Dave and I are trying to be positive about this. We could move to a second-floor apartment where the roof doesn't leak! Where the fuse boxes don't have melted pennies! And a friend pointed out what a really good thing it could be to start a new (married) life in a new place without baggage and memories and stuff. Don't get me wrong, I like this place a lot, but fresh starts are always appealing.

In fact, I am unaccountably perky about this whole deal. I think it's the thought of living in a place which might have ... a dishwasher! or a waste disposal! or laundry! or that doesn't require 300 gallons of oil per month to remain really cold!

Also, thanks to Dave's bouts of mania, we are pretty much ready to move. I mean, we'll need to pack, and I don't know where the hell we'll find the money for the upfront costs of moving (first,last and security - plus money for movers for the king-sized bed, also the oil company will probably get paid in $50 installments over the next 2 years ... grrrr on having just filled that tank though) ... but the basement is perfectly clean and tidy and organized, and our apartment is usually in pretty good shape.

I felt pretty sorry for myself for a while, though, I have to say. And while I think the situation justified a wallow, maybe it's time to try a different tactic. Because this current tactic that Dave and I are both using*, the one where we work really hard all the time at work and then come home and clean up cat barf and make dinner and do dishes and other projects so that when we *finally* sit down at 9:30 or 10 we immediately fall asleep. Then the alarm goes off the next morning and it's time to get up and do it again. Weekends are more of the same - housework and social obligations until by the time Monday rolls around I'm glad to get back to work, because it's easier than the mammoth task list I set for myself at home. No wonder my performance review was less than stellar this year, if I was using work as my down-time (a little bit. I also did my job. But I don't think I excelled at my job, particularly.)

Anyway, that tactic? Not really working. While the end goal - where Dave finishes school and starts working as an RN and we eat pretty healthy and we exercise a lot and we have a clean apartment at all times - the end goal might be a good one, but the thing about life is that you can't really be sure about if you're going to be able to fulfill your goals. Things happen. Car accidents happen. Foreclosures happen. Divorce happens. So you (I) need to make sure that the progress to your (my) goal is just as enjoyable as you (I) imagine life will be after you've (I've) hit whatever your (my) milestone is.

So I think we're going to try this new thing, called Spending Time Together and Remembering Why We Got Along Well In The First Place. We tested it out this morning and, instead of spending the morning cleaning cat barf and de-hairing the couch and de-crudding the fishtank and bathroom, we went shopping for cell phones and ... actually enjoyed ourselves! And didn't squabble the whole time!

Plus, I got a smartphone that has wifi and a web browser so it can go on the internet wherever I can find a wifi connection, without having to sign up for t-mobile's edge network and a data plan. Also it syncs with Outlook (at last! I can have all my appointments in one place!). The Outlook thing is what I really cared about, the interwebs is just a nice bonus. And a qwerty keyboard, which is nice since I text a LOT.

So spending my afternoon and evening at home - Dave has a show in NH which I skipped. I've got a friend who's singing locally, which would be fun and I'm a little sad not to be going, but I'm going to hunker down and wear jammies and clean (SOME cleaning still needs to be done; just not at the expense of couple-time any more) and I have wedding crap to do plus I could, I don't know, maybe RELAX a little bit? And I have a migraine I've been fighting all day anyway so that's another reason not to go out. Midrin works really well for me, thank dog, but I would like this headache to go away rather than continue to hang around in the background and I kind of think forcing myself to go out and be social would not help the headache, much though I would enjoy it. I guess I don't really have to justify taking care of myself, especially not on my own blog, but hell, I typed it all out, I'll leave it. Even knowing that not going out is the right thing for me this evening, I feel guilty for not supporting my friends.

Oh! Actual good news updates:

Zoe's insulin shots seem to be working really well. So far, so good. Diabetic cats are hard to keep stable so I'm not expecting this to last forever, but she's so perky and chatty and happy and affectionate in a way she hasn't been for months, it's completely worth the trouble and expense.

Also, Dave's medicine seems to be working really well. They don't have a blood glucose test for sanity the way they do for diabetes, but there seems to be a big change. He says he feels better and I know he's a lot easier to deal with (another reason to mind this foreclosure-induced move a little less.)

Some tentative reasons for hope, there.

* I guess using is the right verb for a tactic ... something about the sentence seems really awkward, though. Probably if I was less lazy I'd rephrase it, but then if I worried about unimportant things (like grammar and sentence structure and rational trains of thought) I would totally not have a blog. Instead I would have the experience of a bunch of quickly-forgotten ideas in the shower, and a blog is more fun. Mostly because no one comments on your shower ideas.