Of course, I've only been awake for an hour, so there's time for that to change. Days I can sleep in make me happy. :) I also woke up surrounded by my pets, which made me smile. I usually have my dog and one cat snuggled up to me, but today I woke up with one cat on the spare pillow in front of me, one cat snuggled against the top of my head, my dog between my back and my other spare pillow, and my other cat stretched out along my legs. The cat at the top of my head was grooming me--and she's the least lovey of my kitties.

I love my furbabies. :)

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So, I determined the origins of the coat tree I received the Friday before Christmas. It was from my aunt. It was nice of her--it was what was on my list, so stop making that puking noise, you in the back!

I told her I'd already put it together when I talked to her on Christmas--I didn't want to hurt her feelings by telling her the box had been sitting on my kitchen floor for a week. So naturally, there are no screws or pegs or anything in the box with which to hook it together! And a web search for the "company" she ordered it from turned up nothing. From the home-printed packing slip and the fact that the pieces were wrapped in the December 16th newspaper, I'm thinking it was an ebay purchase.

It's going to fun dragging the pieces to a hardware store and trying to find bits to assemble this.

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I don't have a particular feeling about the new year as a point of starting over, etc. I think the only reason I feel introspective is because I remember what was happening and where I was a year ago. There are few days that I know exactly where I was at that time, so naturally days where I can clearly identify where I was lend themselves to looking back.

A year ago today, I was living in a different town. I had an actually pretty good retail job, with good pay and good benefits. I was probably going to be promoted to store manager soon. I had friends that I saw on a daily basis, because we worked in the same store or the same mall. I was close to my cousins. I wasn't single; instead I was in a confusing relationship with someone I'd been in a relationship with (off and on) for a long, long time. I thought we might make it work this time. (A year ago tomorrow, I spent the day brokenhearted and sobbing because of that person. I never learn, I guess.)

Generally speaking, I was happy. I felt like I had things to look forward to. Now ... I live 80 miles away from the place that was home for three years. I rarely see my friends. I rarely see my cousins. I'm waitressing full-time, with unstable pay and no benefits--my store got closed down, and I went back to school. I guess that's good, but I think I'd rather be able to go to the doctor when I need to than be going to school. I'm alone, I have no friends here and no significant other, and I'm struggling. I'm struggling to keep my head above water in every way--financially, emotionally, in terms of my health.

I feel unhappy, scattered, and not secure. I feel like at any moment I'm going to lose my grip on things, lose my grip and not have the strength to claw my way up and get through another day of responsibilities and stress. But I don't know why I feel like this! Logically speaking, I'm not in a terrible position. There are people much worse off. But I feel like I feel when I'm out of Prozac, only I'm not out. When I got home from a birthday party last night, I sat here and cried for about half an hour. Why? I don't know why.

I think some of it is isolation. For two years, if I was feeling lonely or bored, I had at least seven people I could call and they were all within ten minutes of my house. I could go to one workplace or another and hang out with people. Up here .... I have family, but it's not the same. I can admit to my friends when I feel like I'm suffocating, but I have a harder time with family. All I do now is go to work, come home, and once a week or so see my dad. I haven't seen any friends since November. I have people at work that I talk to and am friendly with, but none of them are really friends yet.

Basically I'm feeling sorry for myself right now, I guess. I've been in a funk since Friday, and I can't seem to get out of it. I don't know if it's the time of year or what. Maybe I just need a vacation? I don't know. I don't know how to make myself feel better. I've basically been spending almost every spare moment reading--you can gauge how unhappy I am by how much I immerse myself in other peoples' fantasy worlds. I read a lot anyway, but when I'm distressed I tend to re-read things that are familiar, that I can lose myself in without really having to engage my mind. It's better than crack, I guess.

I just have to hang on. Just keep plugging along, and things will get better.

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I didn't think I'd ever heard and Iron & Wine song before I saw Twilight. I fell asleep reading on the couch tonight, and woke up to the end of an episode of House ("Wilson's Heart"). I'd seen it before, of course, and I remembered sort of liking the song and figured I'd go and look it up. Surprise! It's an Iron & Wine song called Passing Afternoon.



This is how I acquire music--slowly. :)

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Two days of double shifts will do that to you, I suppose. Every time I try to get up, I feel like all my muscles have locked up. I'd like to curl up in my bed for the next week, but the next fourteen hours will have to be sufficient. God I'm tired.

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I knew that one of my classes I'd only scored a D in. The other, I thought I had a high B. So imagine my surprise when I logged on and had a D listed for both.

Turns out that there's an entire category of stuff that had grades listed, but that weren't added in to the final grade. No, that's not confusing.

Fuck.

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As we were pulling in to the Wal Mart parking lot tonight, a very large man came out and started across the crosswalk. My dad and grandma were in the front seat, and I was in the back. My grandma did her usual "LOOK OUT FOR THAT MAN!" thing, because of course no one else can drive; and my dad said he saw him.

And then he added "Jesus Christ, look at that fat fucking slob." Or something along those lines, I forget the exact words. But it pissed me off.

"You have a fat person in the back seat, you know. Don't be nasty." I started. I guess I was a little more vehement than I realized, because my dad sounded sort of surprised when he said "Okay, okay, calm down." My slightly-less-than-with-it grandma hijacked the conversation with some random observation or story or something at that point, so I didn't end up launching into a full-on fat acceptance speech ... but it was right on the tip of my tongue.

I think my dad assumes, like most people do, that I'm perpetually on a diet/thinking about a diet/worrying about being on a diet/whatever. I think he assumes that I think I'm a thin person who just looks fat right now. I don't think he realizes that not only do I look fat, I feel fat (in the way of "this is how I am", not the "OMGGGGGGG I'm such a whale!" way), and I identify as fat. And I'm okay with that. So when he calls some random person walking down the street a "fat fucking slob", I basically think he thinks that about me.

Thanks to my grandma being ... well, herself, I didn't get that far. But I'm sure it'll come up again.

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There used to a website for Iwanex Studios, that had about 20 pictures of celebrities and showed both the before and after for the photos they'd re-touched. It was there three days ago .... and now it's gone. Which sucks, because there were some example of some really atrocious retouching--atrocious as in the changes made were fucking ridiculous, and are perfect examples of why the media makes people hate themselves. This link has one example, of Cameron Diaz, but it's not actually the worst. Actually, in that one, the retouched image doesn't show her jutting hipbones the way the first photo did, so I guess that's a good thing, to minimize the anorexic ideal.

Some of them aren't as bad as others--for example, this photo of Cate Blanchett where they basically erased her freckles and any lines. Oh, and changed her hair color. And possibly her eye color. And the color of her lips. But at least with this picture, you can say that the look could be achieved with makeup and/or hair dye. The retouched photos of men were basically the same--smooth out wrinkles, even out skin tone, etc.

But some of them ... holy cow. Check out Penelope Cruz, or rather check out how different she looks after clever Photoshpper has changed her skin tone slightly, evened her breasts and slightly changed the shape of them, and nipped in her waist. And look at the different in her hair--like the strand on her forehead that was removed, and the others in the top left that have been erased. Can't have her hair moving like a regular person's hair would in a breeze! Or have it be her actual color, either. Her left ear has suddenly appeared in the "after" photo, too. Why do they change these things?

This is fun: watch Eva Longoria suddenly be thinner, with bigger hips! And her hair suddenly has highlights, and her smile is different, as is her skin tone. And maybe her eye color? And the bust of her little nightgown is more transparent in the second photo as well.



Last one, I promise. Now, you have to look beyond the weirdness of the photo in the first place--why is Beyonce slicing peppers, in a bikini, with a machete? Then look at how her hair has different colors in it. And how her boobs are bigger. And how, in the photo on the left, you can see "muffin top" and even a "roll" on her stomach! Check out her right calf, and how much bigger it is on the right than on the left. Look at how, on the left, she sort of looks tired.

You hear all the time how celebrities don't even look like celebrities, and it's so true. It's not even that people are trying to look like celebrities--celebrities are above average, generally speaking, but they're human. But there are people killing themselves to reach these goals that can only be accomplished with digital manipulation.

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My plan was to come home from work and studying through the night. Then I'd go take my exam, go to my doctor's appointment, and then come home and crash for as long as possible before going back to work.

What actually happened: work was awful, completely draining. I came home with my head throbbing, my blood pressure probably sky-high, feeling sort of lightheaded and generally exhausted. I also had been having lovely stabbing pains up the side of my neck that made me feel like gagging, and also resulted in me dropping a bunch of plates at work..

So when I got home, I dug out my heating pad, set an alarm for the middle of the night, and gave myself some time to relax. Unfortunately, my neck pain spread down into my shoulder while using the heating pad--I have no idea how or why. It was so bad I gave up and took three more Advil and went to bed, because lying completely still was the only way to minimize the pain--any movement, including breathing, hurt. I knew I needed to study, but sitting up and turning pages was .... ouch.

I've been awake for nearly an hour; not that I really got any sleep anyway, since every time I'd roll over in my sleep the pain would wake me up. Since waking up I've been staring at my study guide blankly, feeling ridiculously overwhelmed. I'm basically screwed, I think.

Then again, whether I get 40% or 100% on this exam, it won't change my letter grade. I guess I shouldn't worry. The exam is in 25 minutes, it's not like I can do anything anyway at this point. It's my own fault I'm in this situation with my overall grade anyway, I just have to suck it up already.

I just hope the nice doctor can give me a muscle relaxer or something, because this pain when I breathe? So not boding well for a busy Friday night at work. Or the two days of double shifts after it.

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I thought my final tomorrow was just over the last few chapters. Oh no! It's cumulative! It's that fucking awesome?

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Nothing like being stuck within a ten foot radius of the bathroom at all times.

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I got home, and I got my last discussion posting of the semester done. I gave up my lunch close shift to do this, in fact, because at 22 points it's sort of a lot of my grade (I tried to do it before but couldn't access the movie I needed to watch). The deadline was five o'clock, and only one other person did it, which makes me think the sneaky professor announced during a class I missed that it was optional, or something.

After that I fell asleep on my couch for a while, and woke up with knots in my muscles all over. And now I don't know what to do with myself. I'm bored of reading, bored of tv, bored of sleeping. I am bored and irritable. I was feeling pretty good earlier in the day. Now, I feel fatter than fat, lethargic and cranky, and at a loss for what to do with myself.

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A couple of my coworkers, let's call them Joe and Jill, got married on Saturday. Yay for them! I guess? I sort of got the impression they did it because her father is having serious health problems. They've been together a while, but still, the timing seems suspicious. Anyway.

Last Tuesday, the manager had made a sample of our new dessert for everybody to try. Jill wasn't there that day, but Joe was. So Joe asks the manager ...

"Are you going to be making one these tomorrow too?"
The manager says yes, and why?
"Well, I was hoping you'd hold off until the next day so Jill wouldn't be tempted when she works tomorrow."

At first, I thought, "he's seriously asking management to not show employees the new dessert we're selling because his fiancee is on a diet?"
Then I thought, WTF? Why is he asking? and I piped up. "Why does it matter?"
Joe says, "Because she has to still fit in to her wedding dress we just spent $XXX on!"
Everyone else seemed to think that was logical, but I couldn't contain myself. "ONE COOKIE is not going to affect that!"

I should've known I'd get attacked from all sides--here I am, the fatty taking about food! (grr)
Another coworker, who's always complaining about how she's sooooo fat, says "Yes it will!" A couple other people jumped in. Joe at least has a somewhat rational response--rational from the point of conventional wisdom, that is: "No, but one of everything she's tempted with might."

I just shook my head and let the group of ignorant people around me go about their jobs. I knew I wasn't going to convince them in those few minutes that:
a) the idea of looking as thin as possible for that one day is fucking insane
b) a naturally thin person is not going to become fat from eating
c) one bite of a dessert, even one entire fucking dessert, is not going to make her blow up even if she's not naturally slender
d) "succumbing" to one "temptation" doesn't mean you're going to eat everything in the world
e) it's wrong for society to be enforcing these ideas
and
f) I'm not just saying it because I'm fat.

(In reading this over, I can see how some might think Joe was being controlling, as well. But knowing them, I can say with almost 100% certainty that she asked him for this "help".)

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Awesome. I woke up with that scraped, gunky cold feeling in my throat. Didn't I just go through this a month ago? I don't normally buy the idea that being in the cold will make you cold, but it does seem oddly coincidental that last night it was below zero when I left work, and my car doesn't really warm up until I'm almost home, and now I'm getting sick. It didn't actually feel that cold to me; I mean, it wasn't pleasant, but I didn't even have a coat on and I felt fine. Maybe I'm not really getting sick, maybe it's sinus drainage. Here's hoping.

Also, I'd really like to brush my hair, but my brush has mysteriously vanished from all the places I keep it.

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I had dinner with my dad's whole family tonight. These events are always slightly uncomfortable--I've always felt like an outsider. Tonight's dinner, I lucked out, and was at one of the table with my cousins while the "adults" were at the other end. So I got to spend most of the meal wisecracking with them, which was great.

Not so great was a brief exchange over my ... cousin-in-law's dad's health (we'll call her Stephanie). A couple of months ago he was having some heart issues. The way his daughter described it was that all the parts of his heart were contracting at different time. I don't know how accurate that actually is. I had just asked her about her dad, and all she said was that he was doing much better and the prognosis was good.

Then my aunt asks: "How's your dad?"
Stephanie: "He's great! (something about his attitude) and he's lost 20 pounds--"
Aunt, who used to be a nurse, cuts her off: "That's great! That's really good!"
Stephanie: "--from not being able to do anything. Yeah, it's great!" She's totally serious.

So ... a previously averagely-active, golf-playing guy loses 20 pounds after a couple months of inactivity, and this is a GOOD thing? Yes, he's technically "overweight", and of course TEH FATZ KILLZ!!!111!!! But how much of that generic "weight" loss is loss of muscle from suddenly becoming completely sedentary? How much of it is from not eating because of medication-related nausea? How much is because he's been so depressed and emotional about the prospect of dropping dead any moment that he hasn't been eating?

Wait, I forgot. Weight loss is always good, no matter how it's achieved. Silly me.

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Please give a gift receipt, as nobody will do freaking exchanges anymore without it. Jeez!
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Because you know my neighbors just can't properly appreciate the sight of me shakin' my thing to Deelite until my socks have completely turned around on my feet and I have a cramp in my side.

Then again, maybe nobody needs to appreciate that.

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to watch this video and not be entranced. I love it!


It's by Iron & Wine, and the song is called "Boy With A Coin". I admit I never would've heard of Iron & Wine if I weren't a Twilight geek; because of that I heard "Flightless Bird, American Mouth", which is my song du jour(s).

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Don't mind me. I was getting undressed when my dog started barking to go out. Aren't my cherry-printed underwear cute?

(No, my neighbor didn't actually see me. But it occurred to me he could've been out there after I'd opened the door.)

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(This is a sponsored post)

I think this could be a really fun sight! acobay.com is brand-new, but it allows you to network with other people who have the same items/like the same things you do. It's very specific, not broad categories. For example, I went in and put in "My Stuffs" that I have a Blackberry Pearl. Now, at the moment, nobody else seems to have registered as having a Blackberry Pearl. But when they do, I think it'll be a cool resource for "hey, how can I make it do this?" or "how can I fix this?"

I also listed myself as liking "The Princess Bride". I didn't write a detailed review, but again, I think when other people join, it'll be fun. The people I work with get tired of me spouting random movie lines at them--so I can do it on Acobay!

You can list all sorts of things. Music, movies, cars, phones, cameras, restaurants, locations. It'd be cool to be able to log on and look up people who like my favorite Chinese restaurant, and then check out other ones that they recommend.

It is a brand-new site, so it doesn't have the huge number of users yet to make big networks--but if you all go join, it will! :)

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I forgot I didn't have any refills left on my Prozac prescription, and have been too lazy/forgetful to make an appointment to get a new prescription. D'oh! I know better than that ... but apparently I don't, because I've done this.

And, as always, the first few days, I was fine. Then I started getting irritable. I'm now at the stage where perfectly normal everyday things are making me want to scream and punch somebody. Little things, like, you know, going to work.

I don't know why I do this. Maybe, deep down, I'm not as reconciled as I think I am to the fact that I probably need to take it forever. Or maybe it's simpler than that. Maybe I'm just lazy. :)

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I mean, I'm sure there are some clever references in here I'm just not picking up on. Or perhaps it really is just bizarre random hilarity. Either way, Ben Bernanke is apparently a furious magician.

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I was going to move my bed. But she looks so happy in the sun!

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I'm not sure why I've been so exhausted the last couple of days. Yesterday, I slept until 1:30. I fell asleep again at about 11, and slept until 10:30 this morning. It's now almost noon, and I feel like going back to bed.

Aw, fuck. I know why I'm tired. It's getting to be that time again. That time, every 30 days, when I have to suffer for my particular reproductive organs. Dammit. Now I want to go back to bed just because I'm cranky at this day.

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I'm not sure what's up, and so I'm not sure what steps to take to correct it. I felt fine when I got home from work; then I got more and more annoyed by my printer's refusal to work properly. Then I rushed to Walgreens, rushed home, and rushed to my dad's house. When I got there, I felt nauseous and headachy, but I attributed that to the winding road and changing elevation. And then I started to feel weirdly lightheaded and sort of dizzy, but I thought it was from not eating. But after dinner, it continued.

Coming down the hill, I again started feeling ill. Now I'm home, and have been for an hour, and I feel .... weird. Not dizzy, but like the after-effects of dizzy. Sort of nauseous, but kind of hungry too. And, the weirdest of all, randomly twitchy. Oh, and then I have this sorta metallic taste in my mouth, on the sides of my tongue. I feel like I should know what that means, but I don't know what's up. Did I not eat enough today? I did go huge intervals without eating. Is it from being overtired? I don't know. Is it from going up and down the mountain? That usually dissipates by now. I just don't know.

The good news is my dad liked his present. He was sort of mystified by it at first, and then seemed sort of ambivalent. But once he understood that it wasn't just one photo on a digital screen, he seemed to really like it. He's so hard to buy for, so it's nice to feel like I scored a win this year.

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I should be asleep. But I suddenly thought maybe I'd start playing around with the digital photo frame I got for my dad for his birthday ... seeing as that's today and I hadn't opened it. Erm. Yeah. Anyway, I started digging around in an unopened box looking for pictures, and I found one I hadn't counted on. I knew I had it, but I hadn't thought about it since I packed up my apartment in July.

It's a picture of my parents, from about twelve or fourteen years ago. They'd just gotten back together after divorcing and being apart for four years ... and they look happy. They look happy together. My grandmother gave it to me after they split up again, and for a long time I couldn't even look at it. Eventually, I hung it up in my living room, and it was comforting, because it was important to me to know that the two people who are the reason for my existence weren't always like they are now (which is a whole separate thing).

I'm basically okay with it now ... most of the time. But pulling that picture of the box unexpectedly like that was sort of a punch in the stomach.

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For changing my sheets and pillowcases. And turning my back for ten seconds. Ain't she adorable?
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Yesterday after my grandma's hair appointment, we were trying to decide whether we should eat somewhere nearby or wait until we got closer to home. I said it didn't matter to me, I hadn't eaten in so long that it didn't really matter to me. She says "Skipping breakfast isn't going to help you lose weight!" I shrugged and said I'm not trying to lose weight, so it doesn't matter.

She reached over and slapped me on the leg (not lightly) and said "WELL YOU BETTER!" I couldn't help it, I laughed. "Why?" I said.

"What, do you WANT to be heavy?"

"I don't care, I'm perfectly happy."

(silence) "Oh." She said something else then, but I don't remember what it was, that prompted me to say that there have been a lot of studies that fat isn't as unhealthy as people think and I don't feel the need to conform to some stupid beauty standard. I don't think she believed me. She then told me how she wants to lose weight, she'd be happier. I changed the subject. I wasn't going to convince her anyway.

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I didn't get enough sleep; which is my own stupid fault. When I woke up, I was really hoping I could persuade my grandmother to reschedule her appointment. I wasn't looking forward to a seventy mile drive in the snow. But I'd told her I'd take her, and she said she couldn't reschedule, and so I got in my car and headed out. I traded cars with my dad (long story), picked up my grandma, and headed south. There wasn't time to eat beforehand after all, which sucked. Five hours later I dropped her off and headed to work.

I feel bad saying it, but spending that much time alone with her is absolutely exhausting. Every time, it's the same conversation. I hear about my great-uncle's heart problem, and how my dad should stop drinking. I have to explain how the carpool/toll lane works again. She points out, every time, the church she has a craft show at, and how to get there. She tells me when to get into the next lane to exit the highway, usually at the wrong time. When I try to tell her that I've already heard the story she's repeating, she continues anyway. And it's just exhausting to try to feign interest in things I've heard a million times. I suppose that makes me a horrible granddaughter.

I got home two hours ago, and have spent most of that time sort of idly killing time--starting to do something, then feeling nauseated or headachy and lying down again. Maybe sleep will help, maybe I'm just over-exhausted. Or maybe it's got something to do with having eaten once today, about 11 hours ago.

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About twice a year, I randomly remember this and spend a couple of days frightening innocent bystanders by talking about Uncle Arnie's hex vision. This is one of those times.

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So I've been trying to find more work shirts, which is surprisingly difficult. I'm supposed to wear a plain black polo with no logos. The problem is that it's December, and nobody has short-sleeved shirts. Waitressing in a long sleeves is so not going to happen--I overheat as it is.

I tried Lane Bryant again today, and after about an hour of trying on different things that I knew weren't going to work, and trying on some other stuff, I was about to give up. One of the sales staff asked what I was looking for, and it turned out they did have exactly one thing that fit the bill. Sort of. I'd tried it on before, a couple of months ago, and I didn't like it. I'm not a big fan of rouching, at least not on my boobs--making them look smaller just makes my stomach look bigger. And that's what rouching does, create the illusion that the fabric is puffy, not what's underneath.

But, I'm pretty much desperate. I have four good work shirts, and I've been working eight shifts a week over five or six days. I don't have a washer and dryer yet, and my backup work shirts are increasingly hated. Once or twice I've rocked a plain v-neck t-shirt, and I haven't gotten reamed for it, but I can't do that too often. So I bought two of these shirts, and I wore one to work tonight.

Almost everybody there when I arrived said they liked it, and that they liked my earrings. I said I felt like it was too revealing because it's got a lower neckline than my usual polos; one of the girls told me I was just trying to make better tips. I laughed and acted like I was going to pull my shirt open ... because at that point I didn't realize the buttons were real snaps, I thought they were just decorative, so imagine my surprise when I pulled my shirt open in front of a bunch of coworkers. :) Luckily, it's only a couple inches' worth of an opening, and my bra was black anyway, and they were all women, so it wasn't too embarrassing.

A little while later, someone else arrived. She and I sort of got off on the wrong foot anyway; she took something I said as being snotty rather than expressing admiration. Anyway, we've been mostly okay now, but not overly friendly. So I'm standing next to her and she turns around, takes one look at me, and says "WHOA." I laughed and asked what, and she said "Your shirt is really ...(vague GIANT TITTIES gesture)". I forget what else she said, but it made me all self-conscious.

I asked three different people if they thought my shirt was inappropriate before I thought ... why the fuck was I doing that? The shirt isn't low-cut; you can't see even a hint of cleavage. I admit that the rouching and sparkly buttons between the boobs do draw a bit of attention--but it's nothing obscene. There's minimal skin showing, it's not tight across the bust, it's not sheer fabric. It's a goddamn black cotton polo with sparkly fucking buttons.

Why was I letting myself get hung up on it? I have boobs, fairly large ones. They're the same size regardless of if there are sparkly buttons between them or not. I would wear this shirt around my grandmother, my father, and anyone else. So why was I letting this one chick's snarky comment make me feel uncomfortable and like I was being "bad"? Why was I walking around feeling like I should slump and try to minimize myself? Why was I engaging in any sort of body shame?

Still, I have a nagging feeling that the managers aren't going to approve. That wasn't helped by a random, drunken-sounding phone call from a different coworker, saying happy birthday and she thought I looked hot. So what do you all think? Is this inappropriate? Am I going to offend lower middle-class people who come in to a chain restaurant? Maybe scar some poor innocent children out for chicken strips? Will my Chesticles of Doom bring about the end of BigChainRestaurant? Or is this chick just jealous because her funbags are currently a dairy center?

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And I'm so freaking amused by my book selection, I've taken a photo and labeled it. If you're bored, you can click on the picture to see all the labels.

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I started working on unpacking another box. Yes, I've lived here since August, STFU. :)

And this is like Christmas! I found a lipstick I had forgotten was in existence--it took me a good ten minutes to remember where/why the hell I had it. I don't wear lipstick! I mean, I went through a crazy makeup phase a few years ago, and I bought two "long wear" lipsticks, and then a handful of 99 cent ones (NYC at WalMart). This is a Mary Kay lipstick. I remembered it cost about $14, but it took me ages to remember that I'd bought it from my aunt, sort of out of guilt.

And then there's this ratty old shoebox, taped carefully shut, and full of something rattling and heavy. I couldn't even being to fucking guess what's in here. Holy shit, it's all my perfumes!

And at the bottom of another box, my fridge magnets--including my ultra-classy Vegas dice picture frame. In that frame is the only damn thing in Vegas I found with my name spelled right on it: a business-card sized hooker ad handed out on the street. My mom and grandma loved seeing that on the fridge of my old apartment. Oh yes. I am made of class.

****

An hour later ..... this is why it takes me so damn long to get anything done. I'm so easily distrac .... look! A squirrell!

Seriously though, I have a habit of ending up reading a book I haven't read in a while, or looking up a fact something reminded me off while unpacking, or whatever. Usually the book thing. The particular time, it's the book of The Princess Bride. And yep, I still fucking hate the book. Buttercup's an idiot, Westley's sort of a douchebag, and generally I just don't like it. Going back on the bookshelf for another nine years, at which point I'll probably forget what I hate it so much and read it again and be just as pissed off!

****

I've been 27 for 59 minutes now.

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Does anybody else find this dude's voice supremely fucking annoying? The guy doing the voice-over, not the "husband". Their current commercials are all about carbonara, and every time I hear this pipsqueaky voice I want to hit my television and never visit Olive Garden again.

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I ramble. My adviser must now think I'm a fucking loon.
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And I'm not sure why. Other than possibly just lack of sleep. Night before last, we were having crazy wind gusts--and I like wind chimes. The noise didn't bother me, but apparently was bothering my dog, who kept snorting and walking across my head. And then last night ... I couldn't sleep. Felt wide awake. Finally at some point, probably around 4:30, I fell asleep watching "Angel".

And naturally, I'd forgotten to set my alarm, so I slept through my classes. Now I'm awake; it's snowing; my dad is cranky at me; I have no food except popcorn; and I just generally feel like curling up on my couch and crying. Actually, that's not accurate. I feel like curling up on my couch and staring off into the distance aimlessly.

Instead, I'm going to fend off my fat cat while eating popcorn for a late breakfast, and then go meet with my "adviser" who I've never spoken to before so I can get a four digit code and register for spring classes, the prospect of which just depresses me right now.

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Whichever way this goes, part of me is going to be disappointed.

My friend who was thinking about moving in is still thinking about it; she has another option she's considering too. So at this point, it's up to her. If she wants to move in, awesome! My expenses will be cut in half! If she doesn't want to move in, awesome! I can still run around in nothing but my earrings!

I'm really warming to the idea, though. It might be nice to have company. It'd certainly be nice to have the extra money. And maybe I'd be a little more organized if I had to keep my shit straight instead of throwing it on the floor.

She hasn't come to look at the house yet; before she does, I have quite a bit to do. For example, I want to move my bed into the other bedroom. I think. I'm not sure why I chose the one I did; I think the other one is actually a little bigger. Certainly my furniture will fit better in there. I do feel oddly squirmy about it because it's at the front of the house, rather than the back, which means my neighbors will be walking by my bedroom window. I didn't think about it when I moved it, buy maybe that's why I put my bed in the other room. Obviously I have shades on the windows, but it still makes me feel odd.

But if I'm going to have a roommate I pretty much have to move into the other room--the way my current bedroom is set up I can't fit my bed, dresser, vanity, and bookshelf into it without blocking a window, heater vent, or closet. And the potential roomie has less stuff than me. But of course I don't want to have to come look at the place and then have her move in and have my room have changed, so I'll need to be working on that. Along with a million other things.

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.. but there are so many blogs out there that I cannot stomach reading no matter how great the content might be. If the blogger can't bother to capitalize, or use punctuation, or occasionally break up a giant paragraph with a line break, chances are I won't be reading more than the first few lines of the first post. If you use possessives instead of plurals on a regular basis, I might stick around, but not if it's a permanent fixture.

But really little things bother me too. For example, I keep coming across blogs that use "ya" instead of "yeah". "Ya" belongs with "how ya doin?", not with "Yeah, I'm good." I admit this is a nit-picking thing. It's being filed under "stupid things that bother me". But it drives me nuts.

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Girl #1 read "Skinny Bitch" and totally bought all the crap in there. Girl #2, who apparently is crazy vegan, is going on and on about how great it is. I kept my mouth shut about that. I just mentioned to the first girl that she needs to be careful with combining her foods to make sure she gets all the necessary proteins and fats. Girl #2 haughtily cuts me off with, "That's a myth."

If she had just said something stupid, I might not have snapped at her. But she said something stupid AND was rude. And I snapped at her. "No. I'm studying nutrition, and it's not a myth. There are certain fats and proteins your body can't make. I'm not saying it can't be done on a vegan diet, just that it's hard."

She gave me a nasty look and ignored me for the rest of the night. Oh well. It's not my fault she's stupid. Which I say not because she's vegan; I say it because her attitude about it sucks.

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Those who can count, and those who can't.

Apparently, I fit into the second category, because when I took my change in to the bank today, I had $74. I figured there'd be a little variance, because I didn't count the pennies. But I didn't have 900 pennies, so apparently I just can't count at all. At least the error was in my favor! My big fat credit card payment will go through will room to spare. And what I made tonight will keep my cable and internet on tomorrow. And what I make tomorrow will put gas in my car and food in my fridge, and what I make Thursday will keep my electricity on. And after that ... well, after that some other financial issue will strike, but one thing at a time. :)

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Bath & Body Works Twisted Peppermint stuff smells awesome. It makes me feel all happy. Hopefully I haven't put on so much that my customers gag. :)

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Trying to fall asleep, and I out of the blue realize my spinning copper sun ornament isn't out front anymore. In fact, the branch it was hanging on isn't there anymore either. I wonder what the maintenance people did with MY damn ornament when they pruned the tree. Fuckin' fuckers.
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I made $63 too little this weekend to cover my big fat credit card payment that'd automatically debited out of my account tomorrow, and that will cause hell fire to rain down upon my financial status if it doesn't go through. Long story. Anyway, I poured all my change out on the floor and started counting, because my other option was to write a back check for cash back at the store to get cash to cover tomorrow's bill, and then hope that tomorrow night's pay covers that check--and if not, then tomorrow's night's tips and Tuesday's. But instead, I'll be taking my change fund in to the bank tomorrow because I counted it and it just so happens to have $65 in it--lots of quarters.

So, I'll be starting December off right, rather than behind by even one shift. I'm going to work as much as I can this month; I have finals to worry about too, so I have to study, but I'm at least not going to take any days off ... not even my birthday (sigh). Well, that's not totally true, I am taking Friday night off, but it wasn't by choice. I couldn't get there until five, so they took me off the schedule (grumble). But other than that ... no days off. Not even the day after Christmas, which is going to really aggravate my dad. He's got this whole big family Christmas shindig planned out, he wants everyone to come up Christmas Eve and stay through Friday. But I'm already losing Thursday because of Christmas, I can't give up Friday too.

I haven't told him that I'm working on my birthday yet, either. He'll probably be cranky at me; when I worked at the local family-owned place and tried to work on my birthday, my dad called the owner and took the day off for me. I'd like to be able to rest and relax on my birthday. I'd like to go out with my friends. I'd like to not work. But as my dad is so fond of saying, back in the real world, it's just Thursday.

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I like living alone. I love it, in fact. LOVE. IT. I can sit around in my underwear, sing at the top of my lungs, leave my things all over the floor. I have two bedrooms here and one of them is still full of unpacked boxes and random stuff, because I live alone and don't have to worry about it.

But living alone also costs me about $850 a month, and so I'm considering the ultimate horror: a roommate.

Okay, so maybe it's not the ultimate horror, but the idea still doesn't really thrill me. I'm an only child. I didn't learn to share. After living with my parents, I lived on my own for three years, visits from the Australian notwithstanding. For about six months I did have a kinda-sorta roommate, but she basically lived with her boyfriend and was only at "our" house once a week or so. After that I lived with my aunt and cousins for two years, but I had the basement to myself, had my own living room and my own bathroom. And then I lived alone again for a glorious year and a half.

But now, someone at work, who I've started becoming friends with, is looking for somewhere to live. She's actually excited at the prospect of my four pets, which is saying something all on its own. And I could definitely use the financial relief. It would be $400 extra a month that I could use elsewhere. That'd be pretty sweet. I could get chunks of my credit card debt paid off sooner. I wouldn't have to stress so much about making money. Maybe I could get that new computer I was whining about a couple of entries ago. Maybe I could save up a decent car down payment. From the financial side of things, it's brilliant.

But from the "I hate wearing pants any more than absolutely necessary" perspective, and the "I'm basically a hermit" perspective ... not so much. I spend so much of my time worrying about other peoples' personal space and wants and needs, and home is where I come to not have to smile or be nice or acknowledge the existence of anybody else if I don't wanna. I don't want to give that up.

So what to do?

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But Count Rugen is about to get dead! And even though it's a DVD and I could watch it tomorrow, I want to see it nooooooooow!

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This actually does make me happy, it's the first snow we've had, which is really unusual. And it looks so pretty!
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It's bad enough I had to ask my dad for help with my rent. But last night he told me he can't help me. I had to ask my ex for help. Luckily, he's very sweet that way and is going to help me ... but it's humiliating. Stupid economy/credit card bills.

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I'd rather stay home and watch the marathon of House episodes I've seen a dozen times.

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My computer is basically an internet/music box. I don't play high-graphics games or run big programs. And a couple years ago I did upgrade the RAM. But I'm starting to accept that my computer is old and decrepit and needs replacing. iTunes slows it down a lot, and my new Princess Bride game freezes up and stutters (and it's a cartoon game, not some crazy graphics thing). And then there are just a lot of random little freezes and blue screens of death and stuff.

Crap.

Money issues aside, I still don't want to get a new computer. It's a huge fucking hassle all the way around--picking it out, customizing it, waiting for it to arrive, and most of all, transferring all my shit to a new machine. I don't even really know where I'd start--transferring files to my extra drive and hooking that up is simple enough, but I'd have to re-download a fuckton of applications too. And then there's the fact that everything seems to come with Vista now, and I'm perfectly happy with XP and that's what my programs are for. I'm not sure if some of them will work. Or there's the Mac option, theoretically--ha! Then there's laptop or desktop. Anyway, it's just a big headache.

I guess I should be grateful that I haven't been forced to get a new computer--this one will be eight years old next month. So it'll probably crap on out me soon. And after I get a new computer and completely sterilize this one, I mean like triple erase and scramble the crap out of it, I can give this to my mom because hers is even older and more funuckered up.

Although all of this is moot right now anyway, since it would be absolute idiocy to add another thousand dollars to my debts. Maybe I'll get a really, REALLY big tax return. Oh wait, I need a new car when feasible too. And I'm a waitress. Forget it.

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I actually got quite a bit done yesterday. For me, at least. And considering that I slept really late and then went to a movie. But between that I put away laundry, unpacked three boxes, did dishes, tried to fix my shredder, cleaned the cat boxes, and took out the trash. It's more impressive when you consider I hadn't done dishes in two weeks and the boxes were full of a ridiculously random assortment of stuff. And that after that, the trash was considerable (collapsed boxes, stuff I should've tossed instead of packing and moving, etc.).

Today ... today I'm not doing much of anything, at least so far. I slept late, I had some lunch, I'm playing a game. I should probably stop harvesting flowers for Buttercup and do something around my own house. Maybe just one more level and then I'll do something.

Hey, I found my black lace bra I didn't know I'd lost!

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I was looking up at the sky night before last, and there were two planets visible. I knew one was Venus, but I wasn't sure about the other. Apparently it's Jupiter, and tomorrow night the crescent moon will be right by Venus and Jupiter, which will be two degrees (a finger's width) apart in the sky. Very cool!

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My father can stress me out without even trying.

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Seriously, who doesn't love The Princess Bride? I mean, I'm sure these people exist, but I've never met one. And if I did, we certainly wouldn't get along.


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I thought I had an extra $30 or $40, but it turns out I have ... umm ... $12. I forgot about one of my automatic payment doomahickeys. Fuckity fuck fuck.

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Ages ago, when I first became aware of the existence of The Fray (which was about two years after the rest of the world, and who knows how many years after the rest of Denver), I downloaded a copy of "Over My Head". I don't even remember from where now. A couple of months ago, iTunes inexplicably quit being able to play my WMA files, which meant I had to re-download about 86 things. Very annoyingly, all the versions of "Over My Head" I could find were ... different. Just slightly. Most people probably wouldn't give a rat's ass that the guitar sounded a little more echo-y, and the inflections were slightly different in some places.

But it bothers me! And I downloaded every version of the song I could find that day. All of them were the same. I thought maybe I was nuts, and listened to them again carefully. Nope, definitely different.

I tried again tonight, and I found similar copies! Yay! Except ... why do all these sound so much quieter? GAH! Why won't fucking iTunes just play my fucking songs!

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It really bothers me that so many songs in my items library don't have album covers to go with them. What's the point of browsing by album if it's not all pretty-picture-codified? But at the same time ... ugh, it's just too much effort. :) I have so many songs that I have only one song by that person--like Culture Club, I mean, who needs more than "Karma Chameleon"? :)

I occasionally will spend an hour or so working on this "problem", but eventually I just get freaking fed up with it. But it still bugs me.

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My boss appears to be the type of woman who's always on a diet. She was on a diet when I worked for her six years ago, she's on a diet now, she's made comments about diets in the interim. And it drives me nuts. All fat acceptance, HAES issues aside, she's not fat! She's just not a size zero. Or maybe a two or even an eight, but she is not fat.

The type of diet she's on now drives me nuts, too, because she keeps talking about how "healthy" it is. It's a very low calorie diet, using a low-carb approach to regulate hunger by limiting insulin. And then, of course, there are the protein drinks she has to buy from the center, and the sack full of pills she carries around to take all the time.

Basically, she drinks two or three of these protein shakes (which have no fat or carbs) a day and eats dry meat, vegetables, and fruits. But of course, only certain kinds. She's not supposed to have salad dressing, cheese, milk, caffeine, etc. etc. Her diet coach told her balsamic vinegar has sugar in it so she's not supposed to even put that on anything.

I'm restraining myself from saying anything to her, because I know she doesn't want to hear it. She's already gathered that I don't agree--when she said yesterday she couldn't have cheese, I shook my head and she said "I know, you don't approve." I didn't want to get in to it. I just said "It's not that, I just couldn't do it. It's too restrictive." To which she responded "but it's SOOOO healthy!"

Diet plans like that specifically drive me crazy. I think that a lower carb diet can be very healthy--lots of fruits and vegetables, lots of nutrients there, adequate protein and other nutrients from meat, adequate amounts of fat from meats, healthy oils, etc. But this type of plan is essentially trying to court both sides: the "carbs are bad" side and the "fat is bad" side. By doing so, it's unnecessarily restrictive and cuts out a lot of nutrients--hence the sack full of pills.

So basically, on a daily basis, I'm watching someone I like, and would like to be friends with, eat a ridiculously restrictive diet and swallow a lot of expensive pills because she's been told that this is the only cure to the weight problem she doesn't have. It's very frustrating, but I'm going to keep my mouth shut. It's not worth it.

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Please stop watching Charmed. It's 2:15 in the morning, and it's a DVD, so you can watch it any time. Sleep already!

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I just signed up for MyPoints.com. I don't do much in the way of online shopping (too freaking poor), but apparently I can get points from other things. The profile has a section about that amuses me:

Are you affected by the habit of eating?

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What a productive use of my time!

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I've been reading personal finance blogs lately; just my latest min-obsession. However, it's not making me feel very good about myself. SavingDiva at Saving For A Home Of Her Own has a post from last May about feeling like she's behind in life, which is exactly how I feel when I think about it too much.

I'll be 27 in a couple of weeks. My net worth is ... errr .... about negative fifty thousand, if you include my student loans. If you don't, it's still about negative seven thousand. I have seventeen dollars in my savings account. I'm single. I have a two-year college degree, but that's about useless, and I have another two years before I'll have a bachelor's degree. I don't own a house. I don't even own a car ("my" car is my dad's), other than my Mustang which doesn't run now anyway.

From that standpoint, it's pretty depressing. At work, I'm surrounded by people who are married, have kids, and own houses. A few people have degrees. It makes me feel like I've accomplished nothing. And I have; I've racked up quite a few college credits to go with that chunk of student loan debt, and I'll have a degree soon. I have job experience. I've cut my credit card debt down to under $9K from a starting point of $23K (and about $5K of that debt is new from stupid Christmas shopping and some other things).

From a less statistical point, I'm almost happier than I've ever been. If I didn't miss the town I used to live in, and my friends there, I wouldn't say almost. Most of the time, I'm fairly content with my life, and content to keep pushing toward the goals that I have. But sometimes .... sometimes I feel like it's pointless, like I'm so far behind I'll never catch up, like I'll never accomplish what I want.

Which is sad, because what I want is pretty basic, after all: I just want to be able to pay my bills and have enough money leftover to have some fun (like, say, go to a movie without beating myself up). Is that too much to ask? Right now it seems like it, considering the fact that right about the time I finish paying off my credit cards, I'll have to start in on those student loan debts, which is probably going to be about a $600/month payment by the time I finish another year and a half of school.

But I guess I'll always owe someone, and an education is a good thing to go into debt over. I'll deal with it when it comes. For now, I'm going to set my sights on getting my credit cards paid off as soon as possible. Then I can hopefully have some time to set up an emergency fund before hitting those student loans.

For now .... for now I'm going to go do something to distract myself, because despite rationalizing and planning, I still feel very depressed. Oh, and the jealousy? That's because I have no financial security, and I know it, and so I'm scared and jealous of people who are stable.

Distractions now!

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It's 9:25 a.m.

Crazy college kids.
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I was expecting to be wide awake and devouring my textbook. Instead my eyelids are drooping and I feel like I'm about to pass out. Stupid non-helpful caffeine.

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I have an exam at 9 this morning.

So ... I went to a midnight showing of "Twilight". Then I went through McDonald's for food and caffeine. Yes, I know, I'm a model of frugality and health. WORSHIP ME, BITCHES. Now I'm off to stay awake for another eight hours.

Hooray!

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Or maybe it's totally normal to have sex dreams about completely fictional characters?

No? Alright.
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Actually, it's more of a re-christening. It used to be known as the Ghetto Buggy. This car is 18 years old, a little black box on wheels, and I don't exactly like it. I'm grateful to have a car that gets me from A to B, and that gets decent gas mileage to boot. But I liked it a lot more when the speedometer worked. And the odometer. The the dash lights. And I liked it even more when the gas gauge worked. I was only supposed to have this car for a couple of months, after my last car, well, caught on fire. That was 3.5 years ago.

A few days ago, I was sitting in my house and heard a car alarm going off. I didn't think anything of it until I walked by a window and saw the lights on my car flashing. Certainly this was strange; the only time it'd ever gone off before was when a friend gave me a jump. That was fun, I hadn't even known there was a an alarm on the car before.

So I threw on pants and trotted outside to disable it, thinking maybe a cat jumped on the car or something (of course, I once found muddy pawprints all over the car and that didn't happen). Came back inside, and before I even sat down .... off it went again.

This has been going on for a few days now, at totally random intervals. Sometimes once, sometimes three times before it stops. Sometimes if I start the car and let it run for about thirty seconds, it stops. I'm sure it just thrills my neighbors, since it does this at two in the morning sometimes.

So I'm taking my car to my dad today, and hopefully he can fix it. This means I have to clean my car, though, or risk a serious lecture. Crud.

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Yesterday at work, I thought it was time to get back on the healthy eating bandwagon, because my left knee was hurting me. I know that when I eat less carb, I'm less swollen, and my knees hurt less. But when I went to the store today ... umm ... I forgot. I bought two boxes of cereal.

This is especially strange because I don't normally eat cereal. Now that I think about it, it was totally a response to seeing the box of Honey Bunches of Oats. I saw it, and it sounded good. And then I saw the box of Quaker Oat Squares and got those, because I totally love those--but I've only bought cereal two or three times since moving out of my parents' house eight years ago, so I don't know why I suddenly succumbed to the urge.

Since getting home, I've felt constantly hungry and have eaten way too much of said cereal because of that. And that's exactly why I don't usually buy cereal! I've also been very tired; I got up at 10:30, went to my appointment, came home and fell asleep at 3:30, woke up at 10:30, and felt tired within an hour. Side effect of carbs, or not sleeping well, or stress, or screwed up sleep cycle, or ..... ???

Eh. It's all good. I haven't done much at all today, and I feel sorta groggy, but I still feel fairly content. :)

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I knew my credit score was bad, but I didn't know it was quite that bad. It's dropped almost 100 points since December. :( It's because after Christmas I got behind on a couple of credit cards, plus my medical bills might be affecting it, I'm not certain yet.

Speaking of medical bills, I've had good news and bad news. The good news is that it turns out my allergy stuff isn't expired! I talked to the nurse who mixes the vials, and she said that the insurance companies require her to give them three month expiration dates--I assume to prevent people from doing exactly what I did, have vials mixed before their coverage lapses. So I've got through January to use the first set, and February for the second. I'm hopeful that I can get through them that fast, I just have to make certain I go in twice a week instead of once. Of course, I'm not sure if the university health center is open next week (Thanksgiving) or what the hours are like over Christmas. I might have to see about going to a local doctor's office over Christmas especially.

The bad news was that I went in for a post-op appointment with my ENT, and his office staff quite snottily informed me that I had to pay. Even though I was told that all my appointments were included in the price of my surgery. But they kept insisting it was only for three months after my surgery. After I left, in tears (I cry when I get angry), it occurred to me that I got charged $200 for a post-op visit within that three month period, too! I'll need to call them tomorrow.

I decided to use my account with Dell computers to buy a digital photo frame for my dad for his birthday/Christmas. I wanted to get that for him last year, and then again for Father's Day; but I didn't have the cash, and it didn't occur to me that Dell might have them. And I shouldn't really accumulate any more debt, but I think even I can handle a $15/month payment, and it'll probably be good for my credit. And I want to give my dad something nice; he helps me so much, and I've always struggled with what to get him. But I think this will be perfect. I'll load it up with pictures of me, and warn him not to put it on his moss rock fireplace mantle or he'll fry it. :) It'll be worth the extra payment.

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Their commercial for their new mushroom burger totally makes me want to hop in my car. Mmmm.

But I'm not going to. I have $5 and that doesn't need to be wasted on fast food. I went to the store today, I have food for the next couple of days until I work again, so I need to be that, you know, responsible thing.

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... I would totally go buy the Charmed Complete Series on DVD. Even though I already have the first three seasons. It's one of my favorite, favorite shows.

And if I had $30 extra, I would buy this necklace. I've actually thought about getting a tattoo of that symbol. Not because I'm such a rabid Charmed fan, really, but because I like the symbol. One of my favorite pair of earrings are triquetras, and I have an awesome triquetra Hair Glove too. Which I need to find, actually, now that my hair is finally long enough for it again.

Aw hell. If I had an extra $22, I'd totally buy another Hair Glove.

I'm forcing myself to stop browsing things I can't afford now. Yep.

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I admit it; I used to be a television snob. I hated reality tv shows. I did once watch an episode of Fear Factor, mostly because I fell asleep watching something else and woke up to people drinking acid squeezed out of cow's intestines. I was so disgusted I watched the rest of the episode. But other than that, I eschewed from reality tv.

And then ... a friend of mine got me in to Rock of Love with Bret Michaels. Not only is Bret Michaels hilarious and absolutely hot, the skanks fighting over him are incredibly amusing. Some of the women seem like genuinely nice people; some are smart; some are dumb; almost all like to drink in excess, wear incredibly trashy clothes, and backstab the others. I never thought it would be the kind of show I would like, but it totally is. As adorable at Bret and Ambre were together (season two), I will totally be tuning in on January 4th for the third season!

Rock of Love Charm School takes women from both seasons of the show, and puts them into a Miss Manners type of "school" run by Sharon Osbourne. It's not as great as Rock of Love--no Bret, after all--but it's still pretty hilarious. The cat fights, the backstabbing, the drama ... it all makes me feel normal in comparison!

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(Hey, 1.5 is an exponent!)

So I started saving all my coins for a car down payment. I pay everything except my bills with coins, and every cash transaction I break a new bill. I still have a long, long way to go; but I suck at trying to save "real" money, so I figured this is a good option.

I'm trying to save real money to, $10 a week, which I transfer from my checking account to my Paypal account to my savings account at my credit union, which is a pain in the ass to access. So far, I have ... umm ... $10. :)

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So while reading Saving For A Home Of Her Own, I discovered the concept of "PayPerPost", which basically allows bloggers to choose certain things to write sponsored posts for.

In browsing some sites, I discovered that some people think this is ethically questionable. I think it's totally awesome! I already love to shoot my mouth off about things (that's why I have three separate blogs, and why people at work get sick of listening to me talk), so why not get paid for it sometimes? Totally sweet!

Of course, I have to wait for my blog to be approved. I meet all the basic criteria, so I think I should be good. I think this will be fun. The first post I saw for PayPerPost on Home Of Her Own was about Burn Notice, which is one of my favorite shows. I'd love to get paid five bucks to tell people how Michael Westin is made of cool.

Anyway, we'll see how it goes!

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And how did I miss hearing about the Bigfoot Hoax?

And why on gods' green earth would somebody buy the bigfoot hoax body off ebay for $250,283? Oh wait, more money than brains, that's why.

(No, "gods'" is not a typo. In case you were wondering. :) )

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Instead of being in bed, asleep, resting so I actually have energy to do things tomorrow ... I'm awake, stressing about bills and ways to make a little more money or save a little more money, and feeling terrified of my vast student loans that I'm going to have to start paying on right about the time I finally get my credit cards knocked out.

Stupid brain, shut off already!!

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I was feeling pretty mellow until I got home. After hearing my dog yelping in the back yard and her running in and acting weird and not letting me touch her, I discovered the cat urine on my mouse pad. Yeah. That was just full of awesomeness. I can't begin to guess why she did that. It's not the first time, either, a couple of years ago she peed on the notepad I was using for my mouse.

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So at work tonight, I noticed something. Several of the girls there, especially the ones in their twenties, are always talking about how they're "so fat" and "need to go on a diet!" etc. etc. Well, really, the problem is that their jeans are a size or two too small. There's one girl whose jeans are so small the "fat" on her hips sticks out over the waistband at least an inch in every direction. And she doesn't see that it's her pants that are the problem and not her. It gets very frustrating. Then again, quite a few people are wearing jeans like that, maybe it's some new stupid fashion trend. :)

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Why in the FUCK did my cat piss on my MOUSE PAD?

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So I've been trying to find this commercial online, but I can't, so you'll have to deal with my description! In this commercial for Secret Clinical Strength deodorant, a man and woman flop, laughing, on to a bed. The room around them is all empty, white, and glowing, and the bed is similar. The man is wearing a tux; the woman a wedding dress. There's a sort of catchy musical piece over the thirty seconds or so of her smiling adoringly at her new husband while he nuzzles her arm, seemingly repeatedly, right up into her armpit, where he smiles. Then a voice over says "It doesn't take much to ruin a moment like this."

Excuse me? This is supposed to be the happiest day of this woman's (and man's, although that's less societally pushed) life. This is the man who's supposed to worship her and share everything with her, supposed to be there for everything, sickness and health and all that crap. One can assume they've just gone through a long ceremony and rehearsal dinner and party. They're now on their honeymoon, the most romantic night of their lives, the first night of their marriage .... but one whiff of swear will "ruin the moment"? Are you kidding me? Is there seriously a man out there who would run for the hills in this situation? Is there seriously a woman who buys in to this crap?

(Hey, I'm not the only one annoyed by this!)

Oh wait. I forgot. Women aren't supposed to be human. In the words of Samantha Jones, "Men don't like women to be human. We aren't supposed to fart, douche, use tampons or have hair in places we shouldn't." Not that all men think that way, but apparently enough that a) marketers tack this tack and b) apparently it works.

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Problem one: I had to get up before ten.
Problem two: I got three hours of sleep.
Problem three: It's ridiculously windy.

All of these things I anticipated. What I didn't anticipate was:

1) I studied the wrong material. In fact, upon closer scrutiny, I studied material I didn't need to study at all this semester. Yeah, I'm smart. Still, I probably passed the test, it was mostly on management stuff, and there were psychology questions, and there were things that were obvious if you have a good vocabular and understand word roots. Annoying nonetheless.
2) Got to my second class, where the project was due. Yeah, the project I stayed up most of the night working on, neglecting studying for the other class (although I guess I'd've just studied more wrong material anyway probably!). Yeah ... surprise! That's now due on Monday. So I'm now exhausted for two shitty useless reasons.
3) Went to find out the status of my allergy shots, since I hadn't been in ages (first two weeks I was irresponsible, next two weeks I was sick, this week I dragged myself in). I was expected to be set back a couple of doses. I was prepared for that. I wasn't prepared to find out that my current vials expired in October, and my next set of vials expired this month. So even if I hadn't gotten sick, I'd still be out $300 for the second set of vials because I wouldn't have been at that dosage level anyway, and certainly wouldn't have gone through it in a month. But since I was sick, I'm out $600. AWESOME. Theoretically it's really my dad who's out the money; but in reality I've been seeing this allergist for a year and my dad hasn't paid him a dime yet.

Normally, I'd laugh at myself for #1. I'd be ambivalent to #2. I'd be annoyed as hell at #3 but would take it in stride. However, combined with the three hours of sleep and the impending twelve hours of work, I ended up sobbing on the phone to my mom on the way back to my car and feeling like I'm wearing a "kick me!" sign or something.

I know, I know, I'm whining. I shouldn't whine. None of it is that bad, and I fully realize that. I am completely conscious of the fact that my feeling of despair is a result of lack of sleep. But that knowledge isn't banishing the feeling. Hopefully, though, I'll have some time between serving shifts, during which I can nap in my car. :)

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So the chapter I studied for this test? It was the wrong one. I realized this while picking up a pair of socks today.

Genius.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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I also did the practice quiz for my exam tomorrow, and without even having read the second chapter (which is about management, which is what my entire other class is about!), I passed with a comfortable margin.

So now I can get about 3.5 hours of sleep before my exam and the rest of my day. Better than none I guess?

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So I have an exam tomorrow. And then a project due right after that. And then I have to go get my allergy shots--or find out if I can even still get them anymore considering how long it's been--and then I work a double shift. This all starts in 6.5 hours. And before that, I need to read another 60 page chapter. And finish said project which my group started and I have to finish, but have no idea how to finish.

Basically, I'm staring down the barrel of a long, exhausting day on no sleep. And there's nothing I can do about it. It's not even totally my fault. I did procrastinate on studying, but it's not my fault I couldn't open the project document days ago to start on that. And now I'm procrastinating more here by writing this, but I can only beat my head against the wall for so long before I give up.

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I just saw gas under two bucks a gallon! I must be dreaming. In which case, this is a lousy dream because I just got to work.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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I don't mean that. Maybe she's just naturally thin. I've had CMT on while studying (yes! studying! amazing!) and this is the first time I've heard or seen her (yes, I kind of live in a cave). I'm not impressed, she seems pretty unremarkable.

She's also the kind of person who I look at and wonder where they keep their internal organs, because she looks like I could break her over my knee.

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So I took a nap because I couldn't keep my eyes open. Now I've woken up, and I feel worse. I mean, I feel less tired, but my ulcer is hurting. Isn't that just fabulous?

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Just like I thought, I crashed and didn't make it to class. I passed out on my couch watching Charmed at around 6:45 and woke up having missed class. I'm don't remember even feeling sleepy. I was watching "The Fifth Halliwheel" and then I woke up.

I slept until 2; and now I'm tired and sleepy and I wanna go back to bed. I have plenty of studying to do, but my eyes are watering and stinging and I feel sort of weak. WTF is up with this shit? Is it psychological? Is my brain trying to give me a reason to procrastinate? Is it a lingering effect of the cold that still hasn't gone away? Did I not sleep well? Is it the weather? Can I push through it? Should I go ahead and nap?

I'm really just having one those days where I wish I could be normal, at least in terms of my sleep and energy levels.

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Take note: sinus rinse solution goes up your nose, not in your eye. Stupid sensitive squeezy bottle.

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It's 4:45 in the morning. I've been awake since nine yesterday morning. I worked a long double shift. I was tired all day and dreaming of coming home and falling in to bed. So why, when I got home, did I instead find myself wide awake and unable to rest?

I'm supposed to go to class in three hours. This not sleeping thing doesn't bode well for that, since I'll probably crash in about an hour. I hate being a night person.

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I spent half an hour last night sitting in a tub absolutely overflowing with foam because my dad didn't seem to get that. He was certain that sitting in his spa tub would clear my cold-clogged sinuses, so he turned up the thermostat in his room, got me a stack of towels, put on music, flipped light switches until I told him I had plenty of light, thank you, and then before leaving me alone he poured a bunch of Suave shampoo into the tub because he thought I'd like a bubble bath. I figured it'd be extra frothy, but I wasn't quite anticipating the wall of foam that rose over my head. When I emptied the water out of the tub, it was still completely full of bubbles. It took about half an hour of running water and scooping bubbles toward the drain before I gave up and left his tub with several inches of froth in the bottom.

My dad. He means well.

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Today didn't get off to a great start, though. When my alarm went off, I thought I hit snooze, but apparently I turned it off, because I woke up 28 minutes after I was supposed to be at work! Oops! Nobody seemed too pissed off at me though. It was a slow day; I made enough to put gas in my car, which is all I was really after today anyway.

After work, I rushed home and frantically cleaned for two hours because a couple of friends were going to be in town and I was embarrassed about my house. So I swept and mopped and scrubbed and vacuumed and scraped cat hair off my couch and coated every soft surface in Febreze and put away stuff that was just lying around in the way--including a big sack of random stuff that'd been sitting around at my apartment, so had been sitting around for two moves, but it was really random stuff like a wreath, a lunch box, two cat litter collecting mats, etc.--hung up some windchimes that were in the way, did all my dishes, wiped down the front of all my cabinets, cleaned my stove, cleaned out my fridge, generally gathered up trash, sorted papers, and in a week-late triumph, found my humidifier filter! I'd looked all over for it ... except for in a bag of random mail hanging on my small book shelf, because it just didn't occur to me it might be in there. Shows what I know.

So after all that .... my friends didn't come over. I ended up meeting them somewhere. But at least my house is clean now! And after I came home, I cleaned out my humidifier and got it going. It's only three months later than I should've done it, shut up. :)

I'm still feeling slightly sick; not really congested but still having some drainage, so my voice still sounds like hell. Hopefully a night of breathing in freshly humidified air will help. Yeehaw!

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It's a little thing, but it pisses me off: this article on the UK's Daily Mail website by Liz Jones, trashing women who get tattoos. Not men, of course--just women.

The title is "Why DO women get these tramp stamps?" To me, a "tramp stamp" is a tattoo on someone's low, low lower back that's visible when they bend over in crop-tops and ultra low-rise jeans. But to this writer, all tattoos--on women--are "tramp stamps". The entire tone of the article can be summed up by this quote:

"They are a mark of temporary insanity,
instantly turning the classiest, chicest
woman into trailer trash. ... Yes, I am
talking about tattoos, the most tasteless,
tacky, tawdry, terrible plague to infect our
nation since mad cow disease."

This article wouldn't bother me so much if the author took issue with tattoos on anybody. Some people just don't like them, and that's fine. Even in that context, her vehemence is a little off-putting--does she freak out about multiple piercings, too? (That reminds me I need to put earrings in.) Probably, considering she refers to the residents of Hoxton (an artsy area of London, from what I can gather) as "half-wits". How dare they be different!

But the fact that this article trashes exclusively women is just infuriating. She does mention three men: Winston Churchill, Johnny Depp, and David Beckham. Churchill, of course, she merely states that you "may be surprised" to know that he had an anchor on his arm. Depp and Beckham she trashes for their type of tattoo ("Winona Forever"), not the practice of tattooing.

No judgment, no trashing. No, she saves that exclusively for women, calling them trashy, "desperate" to fit in, and whining about how their tats aren't going to "look good" when they're old. All in all, it's just another way of bitching about women not conforming to a societal standard of uniformity and beauty. I bet if I read all her articles, I'd find plenty of bitching about ZOMG FATTIES, too.

The worst part, though, is at the end of the article, where she attempts to give her point a "message". She does this by talking about her friend's grandmother, who has a prisoner ID tattoo from the Holocaust. This tack-on at the end of the article serves no purpose other than to try to give the author's ridiculous intolerance a veneer of righteousness. Exploiting the death and suffering of millions to shore up your hatred of something as ridiculous as body art? Now that's trashy.


(In skimming some other articles, I've discovered Liz Jones apparently also hates people who eat meat and dairy products, and people who have more than one child. And oh, yep, there's the fat hate, complete with a picture of a "fat" girl eating chips, ice cream, and candy. Why am I not surprised.)

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Arizona, Florida, California, and Alabama: I'm looking at you. Get over your problem with teh gayz already! I'm most shocked about California, I thought there was no way Prop 8 would get passed.

On a happier note, South Dakota's abortion ban failed, as did Colorado's asinine amendment to declare a fertilized egg a person (70 to 30%, bitches!).


In decidedly non-national news, I'm still slightly sick. Definitely better, though. If I'd been scheduled to work today I could've made it through my shift. Which is good since I actually am scheduled tomorrow. Hopefully by tomorrow I'll sound better too, right now my voice sounds like a gravel pit.

I actually feel hungry for the first time in about a week, too. When I get sick, I stop being hungry, although I generally force myself to eat because I know I need the energy to get better. And I'm seriously craving a big, juicy burger. It's 12:15 at night, and I'm about to put on jeans and go to Wendy's. I guess I need protein? :)

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What an idiot.


Hello, people who came here from crooksandliars.com! Sorry this entry's not more exciting. ;)

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When I first heard about Barack Obama, I honestly didn't think about him much for one simple reason: I didn't think there was a hope in hell of a black man, with a "foreign-sounding" name, even getting the nomination. When he did, I thought that meant McCain was a lock for all the same reasons. Despite all the talk about us being "free" and "equal", blah blah blah, I was sure there were way too many "good old boys", closet racists, and idiots who'd believe Obama was a terrorist, for him to win. I was wrong, and I am just so goddamn proud of my country!

Sitting in a Red Robin with my cousin and my best friend when, hours earlier than we expected, we saw "OBAMA ELECTED" on the restaurant's televisions. We thought it couldn't be certain yet, and we rushed across the restaurant to read the closed-captioning on the television. A few minutes later, we walked back to our table bumping fists and giggling with glee, and I've been grinning ear-to-ear since.

This means that the majority of people in my country were able to be blind to skin color.
They were able to accept that having a "Muslim" name didn't mean someone was a terrorist.
They were able to think critically and not just buy the GOP's accusations about terrorism, demolishing the coal industry, etc. etc.
This means the majority of my country didn't fall of the "aww shucks" schtick of Sarah Palin.
This means that the majority of people in my country chose the new, chose someone genuinely different, chose not to elect a familiar face out of fear.

I haven't felt this patriotic since I was five years old.

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... that I sleep in my bed, rather than on my couch, for the first time in a week. I'm not coughing much. I'm not terribly congested. I still sound like death, but my throat doesn't even hurt. I might be able to stretch out flat on my cushy mattress instead of being propped up on the couch. Hooray!

Of course, that would require putting clean sheets on my bed. My cats and dog have been rolling around on my bed all week, so there's a fine layer of black and gray hair all over my white sheets. I should probably do that while I still feel awake, if I wake until my nap-induced awareness wears off, I'll end up sleeping on the couch out of laziness.

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Because today I'm still sick and had to call into work again, but tomorrow I have to drive 90 miles one way to vote. Isn't that just spiffy?

It's my own fault for not doing my research. My school's website said that student were legally entitled to vote on campus. I should've looked into it more; I would still have had to register to vote up here. But I didn't. So now, if I want to vote, I have to drive to my old home town, burning most of a tank of gas in the process. And there's only one polling place in that town, so god only knows how long that line is going to be. Sonofabitch.

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So I've noticed quite a few people ending up on this blog because of an entry last year where I mentioned having a pannus rash.

(Some of the other search terms are hilarious: "exercise fuck" (the best kind of exercise!), "fucking sick of starter wife ads" (me too!), "fat people need to STOP eating" (really?), and my personal favorite, "warm from the elephant's ass" (umm.).)

Anyway, since I've had quite a few hits from that, I thought I'd write something useful on the subject. I know it's sort of an embarrassing thing to talk about; after all, if we weren't fat, we wouldn't have that flap of skin, and therefore wouldn't have a rash there. And since being a ZOMG FATTIE is all our fault in the eyes of society, therefore it's embarrassing to talk about a condition that results from it. Also, in my case at least, the rash sometimes oozes and smells bad. Double embarrassing as it's not that far away from the female bits. Also embarrassing when it happens under your breasts, although it can probably happen anywhere there are skin folds.

So: what to do about this unsightly rash? It can be caused by several different things:

  • heat rash
  • bacterial infection
  • fungal rash
Without seeing a doctor, you probably can't say for dead certain what it is. But if you're too embarrassed to see a doctor (which I understand!), you might try the following remedies that have worked for me. Keep in mind, I am not a doctor or at all an expert; these are just things I've tried, and your mileage may vary, so to speak.

Heat Rash

I think the times I had this rash because of heat/sweat were the worst--it stings, and burns, and feels like the skin is being rubbed raw. Sometimes it helped the immediate pain to hold an ice pack against the rash (or a bottle of peppermint schnapps I'd kept in the freezer, when I was desperate). One thing that just makes it worse: baby powder. That was the first thing I tried, thinking that it was chafing (from being a disgusting fatty, natch), and oh my god, the hell. I might as well have put sand under my gut.

Much better: calamine lotion. Although when it dries it can get sort of crumbly, it's very soothing and almost always seemed to cure the problem after a couple of days. One caveat: I wouldn't try applying it with cotton balls, cotton pads, or anything else papery--that will leave wisps of stuff behind that will be further irritating. My preferred mention of application was just to pour stuff onto my hand and apply it that way--no bits left behind.

At one point I also tried applying deodorant to the whole area to stave it off; I don't believe it worked very well.

Bacterial Infection

For a year or two, I had a recurring, super obnoxious rash. This was the kind that oozed puss and smelled bad and made me horribly embarrassed. I'd put calamine lotion on it, it'd go away, but then it would come back--usually after I had an itch and scratched my stomach (which allowed the bacteria into the skin). Sometimes this rash would spread to the tops of my thighs or up my stomach. I never saw a doctor about it, because I was too humiliated.

I didn't really get a handle on this until I was on a heavy dose of antibiotics after my sinus surgery. I'd been on antibiotics before without it helping; I think the only reason it helped then was because it was a really hefty dose. A topical antibiotic would probably have cured it, but I'd never tried it.

Again, don't try the baby powder thing. Yuck!

Fungal Infection

I thought that it might be a fungal rash, and so I tried a generic over the counter cream for it. It didn't help or hurt in my case, but it might for someone else. I don't have much input on this particular cause. This thread talks about some different cures. Things that make all of these worse are hot, moist conditions. Panty hose, especially, are terrible for it. Make that synthetic, non-breathable fabrics at all, actually. Ewww.


Since my post-surgery antibiotic overload, the rash has started to come back a couple of times, most notably when I woke up late after a double shift and didn't have time to shower before work (gross). Generally, to prevent it coming back, I do two things: make sure to wash under my stomach daily, and occasionally wear bikini underwear as opposed to briefs. Don't want to hear about my underwear choices? Too damn bad. :) I prefer "granny panties", but I'll wear bikini (or thong if I'm worried about panty lines) underwear because they go under my stomach, which wicks away moisture. The important thing to remember here is that it needs to be a breathable material, cotton for best results, or you'll make it worse. Keep the area drier and you'll have less issues.

My luck, now that I've shared all about my oozing rash and underwear preference, nobody will ever search for "pannus rash" and end up here again. :)

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I realize that "motherfucker" is not an appropriate word for basic cable. So I wasn't expecting "Die Hard With A Vengeance" to be unedited. But you'd think they could come up with a better replacement for "motherfucker" than ...."melon farmer".

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Every November for the last few years, I've thought about taking on the National Novel Writing Month challenge and writing a complete novel in a month. Just, you know, because. :) Because I used to write, and I miss it. But every year, I'm too busy. This year, I'm arguably less busy than I have been in years, but I still feel like I don't have time.

I've only got one job, finally, plus school, but I'm going to spend most of the month trying to work more--I need to make, like, $400 a week to pay bills this month. That's only eight shifts a week if I average $50 per shift. But I'm only scheduled for five a week. So basically I'm going to be driving to the next town eight extra times a week, and yelling into the kitchen "Anybody wanna go home?" This will continue through December and possibly January.

I've also basically backed myself into a corner with my classes--if I don't seriously buckle down, I'm not sure what the results will be with one of them (only because this professor thinks attendance is an important part of a college class and actually gives a grade on it, the douchebag. ;) ). And attendance has never been my strong suit. I struggle with it for a simple reason: if I can do well enough to pass without going to class, why go? Why drag myself out of bed when it's still dark out, when it's cold, to go listen to somebody blather about things I already know (in the instance of these two classes)? I'd rather sleep, then cram. But I know that's a very bad habit, and I'm determined to break it in these last two months of class.

All of this doesn't leave much time for writing, but of course there's always going to be something stopping me. But maybe next year ... which is what I said last year.

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