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Buh buh buh music meme in your face.

My letter, [info]_paradoxboy_ says, is B.

I literally have a "Box Full of Letters." But it isn't as charming as I find this song. It's more painful and nostalgic and annoying. I need to get rid of that box, yo.

Sometimes I forget about XTC. And then I remember XTC. And it pleases me - "Ballet for a Rainy Day."

I know all the words to every song that was ever sung by Matchbox Twenty. Does this add to my hipness? Perhaps not. But "Busted" is my favorite of their songs and it totally makes me all flushed and crazy every time I hear it. And this video is a live performance of it from 1998 so it's apt - 1998 was a flushy year for me.

All of Eisley is lovely but "Brightly Wound" makes me cry like a little girl because it reminds me of my little sister and then I can't talk about it anymore.

Doughty. Forever. ("Busting Up A Starbucks")

Inside outside upside downside.

inside: I told the ultrasound techs and the doctor this morning, "I just wanted you to sneak up behind me and jam that needle in my neck. Like, while I was reading magazines in the waiting room." The doctor put down the needle and said, "Okay, forget this. We'll be over around midnight." And I laughed because I like it when complete strangers go with my bits. And then the bastard jammed this huge needle full of lidocaine into the front of my neck. And I went like this - ooowwwmph. 

The biopsy wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. But the jabbing! The horrible jabbing. It made the nerve that goes all the way up my neck to the left side of my face hurt more than anything else. Which explains, with the enlargement of the gland, why that side of my face hurts like that sometimes. This whole deal is very revelatory. It also explains why I wake up choking sometimes, even though I can actually breathe but my esophagus is telling me that I can't - the poor windpipe is getting shoved around in there. Fricking Megan Fox. 

Which is the name of the growth on my thyroid.

outside: The above desktop, which my brother-in-law built for me before he and my sister went back to Australia a couple of years ago, finally gave its last gasp and the power supply completely went kaput. When I took everything apart, I saw that I could probably replace the supply myself but I decided it was time to have a new thing that is new and mine and new. So I bought a laptop. It's a Compaq Presario and, combined with an external enclosure for my old hard drive, it's the sexiest thing I have ever owned. I have a serious but complicated relationship in the works with Mr. Pink.

Which is the name of my computer. (Thanks for the brain-storming name-storming, _paradoxboy_ .)

upside: I feel like I know who I am. And how to be who I am, even when people are telling me that they don't like or don't understand who I am. There is so much to tell with this part of things that it's almost beside the point. I'm more Aarika now than I ever thought I would be able to be. It's a little bit of a relief.

It doesn't need a name.

downside: I ponder hiring this girl I know who advertises herself as being an organizational professional. I have her business card in my wallet and I flip past it sometimes when I'm retrieving my debit card or my insurance cards. I hate that I'm not good at figuring out how to get my stuff into some sort of System. I wish my brain worked like this but it doesn't and it won't, no matter how much time and money I spend at Staples or how much daydreaming I do at Office Depot. I have eight different types of Post-It notes, I realized today when I was cleaning out a bag of paperwork and miscellaneous office stuff. Six of the packets of notes are still wrapped in the plastic. I don't know how to do this. So I don't do it and I drool at Apartment Therapy which exists (I think) to show me that there are people in the world who are Totally Getting It. And I am Not. It probably makes it worse that I work at a home improvement store. I blame my job for almost everything!

Or maybe I just need to make my happiness a priority. Or some similar emotionally-healthy sounding thing. NaNoWriMo, by the way, is going to be my bitch this year. Trust.


Oh, James, that good looking guy that you just keep hanging on to every word and get excited to see him even if he treats you like shit every time but you think this is the time he will realize how awesome you are and you hate yourself for coming back for more because you consider yourself a total feminist and this isn’t you but you are just mesmerized by his skinny build and his tats and his ability to talk about deep things even though he can’t do simple things like do his dishes or his laundry and oh my god he is such an asshole but oh my god he is really hot. Not like I have experience with anyone like that or anything….

--from The Dairi Burger, a blog written about Sweet Valley High books that always makes me think that I want to be friends with the woman who writes these things

The bonus is that it reminds me of all of my teen reading conversations that skogkatt and I have ever had. 

Double bonus is that, of course, this particular character is named James. Of course. There is no other possible name. I actually blushed when I read that paragraph. Oh, to be young and dumb and then also old and dumb!
I turned thirty. The day before my birthday was very, very hard for a variety of reasons but my actual birthday I spent at work and was distracted and fine. The night after my birthday, I drank the bottle of Prosecco that I bought at the food show in Cleveland last November. In twelve minutes, from opening to drunk, with an assist from some cold orange juice and innumerable ham sandwiches on everything bread. It is a combination of my lack of certain key moisture-absorbing internal organs and my genetics that make me an awesome drinker. Plus when I choose to drink, I am very determined to DO THIS THING and not be a weakling about it. Because not being able to chug poison is weak, you see. Duh.

My co-worker's daughter, who is six, got me a gift bag that has Tweety on it and had pens and Twizzlers inside it because "Aarika loves Twizzlers." This child does not know me that well at all but she was very correct on this particular point. I said, "Hey, can I have a hug?" and she said, "Um, yeah" and we hugged and more of my icy heart towards children melted. She wrote inside the card "You are the best!" Chhhildren, jeez.

skogkatt sent me one of her patented "it's your birthday, here's some stuff!" care packages. Which included: a drawing she did during her sordid D&D past (see above), a book that tells me how to plan the perfect party with disgusting recipes for beige dips and even more disgusting wordplay on the invitations and, the star of the show, MusiVation presents "I Can Do It! Positive Self-Esteem Songs for Kidz! (with Michele and her animal friends)." This is a disturbing Australian (maybe?) woman who sings with her animal friends some creepy ass lyrics. Such as track 13's "I Am Perfect" with Carlos the Coqui Frog from Puerto Rico:

I am perfect
I am perfect

I am now being who I am
because I am perfect

Yes, I am perfect in every way
I love who I am
I am perfect
I am smart
I am unique
I am beautiful

I love how the lyrics get all capitalized at the end because it makes me think of a bratty child screaming after he's pushed over your dining room table, "I AM PERFECT. MY MOM AND MICHELE SAY SO IN SONGS!" Highly recommended download.

Otherwise, the year was celebrated in various ways and I felt loved to various degrees. That sounds clinical. Birthdays are weird for me. My father, in his peculiar way, always tried to be nice around my birthday or do something particularly special for me but it would usually fall through because we never got along well for extended periods of time, even without the pressure to get along for a certain holiday, and also the man didn't have fantastic follow-through on his plans. I have no idea who else I know who's like this. 

Fortunately, I have time to re-teach myself.

Unfortunately, that would require spending time on myself beyond the basics of dress, cleaning, eating, working and basic socializing. Which doesn't happen very much lately.

My mother had a particularly bad week. I finally had to tell her today in a clear, loud tone, "You are scaring the fuck out of me, quit sleeping all day and let's go get something to eat." This after she almost fell down because she thought she was awake enough to walk but wasn't and, indeed, scared the FUCK out of me. If I hadn't been there to draw her attention that she was trying to make her body do something it could not do because it was not quite fully conscious, she might have fallen and then aggggh, parents. One of my friends was texting me during the time my mother was giving me the silent treatment because I scolded her (for an hour and then she brushed it off and started looking more like herself) and was spending the day with her own parents in Pittsburgh. She texted, "When did both of my parents become whiny three year olds?" I nodded at my phone.

I have this tension in my shoulders. It's not the weight of the world. That's different. I've had that. It's more like the weight of the waiting. The wait for the weighty things that could and should and might be figured out by someone smarter and more rested and less drained than me.

[[Televisionally, "Breaking Bad" is quite amazing. But "Mad Men" is still better.]]

Downrods, blades, globes, life.

Directly in front of where I work, there is a massive display of ceiling fans. I hear a lot of chatter about ceiling fans on a daily basis. I sell a lot of ceiling fans. Ceiling fans can be heavy. I have become very good at hoisting and maneuvering ceiling fans. I can shake a ceiling fan box and tell you whether that rattling sound is, in order of probability: the hardware tapping against the globes, the globes tapping against the other globes or shards of globes smashing into styrofoam/other shards of globes. If there is not evidence that the ceiling fan that you want exists in our store, I can order one to your exact specifications, have it shipped to your house and call you with the UPS tracking number within three (3) to five (5) business days so that you can eagerly stalk and anticipate your blessed ceiling fan. If you call me and ask me questions about your order, I will remember your name, where you live, that your wife just started chemotherapy and that your daughter just got into Ohio State and I will assure you that everything is fine and I will give you my name, my extension and my best wishes for the entire family. If something goes wrong with any part of this process, I will call or fax or research to make it okay and I will tell you honestly if I made a mistake and it's going to take longer than I said it would or if you need to reselect because that bronzey model is now a brassy model and I just know it will throw off your entire kitchen color scheme. I know who to talk to if you have questions about how to install the ceiling fan and I will ask him to call you and talk you through it because our electrician adores me and is awesome. Your ceiling fan experience will be exactly how you always hoped and wished it could be and you will recommend me to your friends and ask for me by name when you come into the place.

I'm good at things like this. I take care of people. It's rewarding to me. My mother had back surgery last Thursday and she's home for a couple of months and I'm taking care of her in between the working times. I don't mind doing this. That's not accurate. I do sometimes mind doing this. But I'm good at this.

And I'll be thirty in three weeks. And I know who I am. And who I am not.

So why the hell can't I figure out when my life will actually begin? Or, on the other side of the coin, why can't I decide that this IS how my life is and just accept that this ... is how my life is? The middle ground is so vastly obnoxious, guys.

Do Not Globalize.

If I am mad at one person, I will group that person into a checkbox and then I will hate everyone who is that.

Groups I have hated recently:

people in relationships
dog people
insurance adjustErs

I could probably come up with a reason for why each segment of the population raised my hackles into a bunch but it isn't a lingering hatred. I mean, I can call it back up when I have to, don't get me wrong, I've still GOT it. But it isn't eating me alive. It's just a thing. That I have to do. I have to hate some people. Or I can't go anywhere.

ebay attention deficit.

Things I have looked for on ebay today (and almost every day) (lately), in order:

Puppy Puppet Party: A Prompt.

([info]_paradoxboy_  made me puppet out.)

Via Grandpa Wikipedia:

The official commentary included in the CD set Celebrate: The Three Dog Night Story, 1965-1975 states that vocalist Danny Hutton's then-girlfriend June Fairchild suggested the name after reading a magazine article about indigenous Australians, in which it was explained that on cold nights they would customarily sleep in a hole in the ground whilst embracing a dingo, a native species of wild dog. On colder nights they would sleep with two dogs and if a night was especially cold, it was a "three dog night"

The three puppies of the puppetocalypseCollapse )

Three Years in Tibet

Today is my third-year anniversary of working at the same place. There have been so many different emotions regarding this fact.
Hence an outline:

1) Jesus Christ. How can I be three years older and in exactly the same place?

A) Which isn't fair. Because I'm, emotionally, in ten times a better place and, for the most part, working at this place has been incredibly helpful in the confidence-building department.

i) I wish where I worked had a Confidence Building Department. Then I could direct people to go there when they were looking a bit confused and/or sad.

ii) Or lost.

iii) Or "Lost." The show with which I have fallen back in love after a year of avoiding it, then catching up on it in one big week of back-to-back watching before the new episodes of this season and then freaking. the fuck. out. every week when it ends. Goddammit, Nestor Carbonell. Kees me.

2) I am better than this place and should work somewhere else.

A) This is a difficult one. Because, see, I'm just a small-town girl. Living in a lonely world. And I don't think of myself as being particularly skilled at anything, actually.

i) Except rolling with the punches. Which you can't put in a resumé.

ii) And I'm not THAT good at it all the time.

B) I've been doing this particular line of customer service for so long now that I think I'm pretty good at it.

i) I win awards sometimes. My assistant manager told the gathered group of my store's 100+ employees at our four-times-a-year Sunday morning meeting that I treat all the customers like I've known them for fifteen years and instructed them to come up and watch me do my thing some time.

ii) Which makes me think about someone setting up risers behind me.

iii) With popcorn. And candy. And pretzels.

C) I'm hungry. Prednisone, though I love thee: I also hate you so very much.

D) And I don't know if this particular medicine combo is making me more prone to blushing but I am just constantly red in the face. I almost typed "read in the face." Which is also true. Everyone knows if I'm angry or sad or turned on or worked up about anything at all. It's like my worst introverted nightmare COME TO LIFE.

E) The job can be very satisfying in a few different ways. When I go home, I can feel like I helped people with their lives and made their days better. And what else could a little Gemini attention freak love more, really?

i) Except for something else. With actual possibilities?

I have lost all control of this outline.

The other night, one of my co-workers passed away at his house of a heart attack. He was in his early seventies and had recently had some surgery. But it was still very difficult for all of us. We all talked about it yesterday because it had just happened. And then today, I think we were all trying to sort of ignore it by just snipping at each other and then apologizing in a sort of way that you can do with people you've worked with for a few years.

It is very special to me that I can be so close to these people and be loved by them so much. It makes me think of when I first started working there and was very quiet and didn't let anybody see any part of my personality because I was afraid they would judge my weirdness or not find me as charming as I find myself most of the time.

But they really dig me, most of them, and even those who don't are sort of cool with me. I'm very big into inquiring into the health of their loved ones or the upcoming birthdays of their little children or whatever creature they care about. It is part of my continuing resolution not to turn into a flaky friend, no matter how mishmash my deal can be at times. I will not be like that. I am not an asshole.

I missed three weeks of work with another bout of the Badness in my Body. And people cared, which was nice, and my job was secure the whole time, which was also nice.

Because I suppose the bottom line is that it not may be much of a job but it's my job and I'm very good at it and people care for me there and I care for them and it's probably not the final stop for my life but it's an okay place to heal. And fix things. And work on myself.

Yesterday, one of my favorite customers was pulling into the parking lot as I was walking into work and he yelled out to me, "Feeling better?" and I replied, "Yeah. Mostly." He said, "I thought you had quit! I was freaking out."

And I said, "No, not yet. That dream's down the line a little bit. Give me time."

It reminds me of a story.

Let's just take a gander above the front d...agggggh!

The violent scene ten feet above my front door.

Every time I see a nice bank (herd? flock? MURDER?) of icicles, I think of one of my friends who once described for us in great detail how easy it would be for her to kill someone with an icicle and get away with it forever. It involved letting the icicle drip into her kitchen sink to destroy all evidence. There was no description of what would be done with the be-icicled body but perhaps if I asked her now, she'd have come up with something.

Or maybe, in her mind, the person would also be meltable. In the tub. With some calming bath beads.