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Life and other annoyances

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Life has not been fun lately.

I’m having a hard time adjusting to this new semester–I like all of my classes individually, but together…I don’t know. I think part of the problem is that I am going to school six days a week, and so I don’t feel like I’ve got much time to relax.

I did start on an anti-depressant, but I had the bad luck of getting hit by a head-cold/ear infection pretty much the same time I started taking the pills, and so I’ve been headachey and dizzy, and I don’t know what’s side effects from the medicine, and what’s because I’m sick.

Emotionally, though, I’m feeling more stable, so that’s a plus. I’m not losing my temper the way that I have been, and while I’m not happy, I don’t feel hopeless.

Even with the beginnings of stability, I feel like I’m being kicked in the teeth. And it’s nothing big, it’s just the little things that keep piling up until they get overwhelming. It’s the anxiety, the frustration of trying to understand the reading, the not being able to sleep, making stupid mistakes then paying the price…. You know, life.

 

Finding Happiness

Things have been rough since the semester started this week.  Between the stress that comes from new classes, campus going from the ghost town it was over the summer to downtown Mumbai, coupled with some minor health concerns, life has not been fun.  And the beast that is depression has reared it’s ugly head, and is determined to take it’s share.

I have an appointment to see a therapist on Wednesday, and I think I’m going to ask for some anti-depressants.  I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting really angry and pissy lately–between the times when I just want to sit down and cry.  I’ve been off my meds for more than a year, but I think I need something to lift me up emotionally for the time being.

To that end, last night I asked my Facebook friends to share with me what makes them happy.  I did ask that they not talk about their children because, well, that biological clock is ticking pretty loudly, and hearing how other people’s kids make them happy makes it worse.  I love the responses I got:

being with people

ice cream

Dr Pepper (twice! I dislike Dr Pepper’s aftertaste, so I’m going to chalk this down as “a sweet treat”)

watching a favorite movie for the millionth time

reading a favorite book for a millionth time

exercising (’cause of the ice cream and Dr Pepper, I guess)

being in nature

going to the library

laughing so hard you cry

sticking your hand out the car window on a nice day

the stained glass window at the Orem Library: 

(which I have to admit, I’ve never really paid attention to–this window is in the children’s book section, and when I go to the library, I’m headed off to non-fiction than the fiction section.  I’ve glanced at the window, but next time I go to the library, I’ll be sure to go look at it)

Life is always better in the light of morning so I added my list:

that moment that something I’m making–be it a painting or some baking or a story or a blog post–begins to come together and I know it’s going to be awesome.

re-reading a good book

reading a good book for the first time

little dogs waiting to greet me when I come home

hummingbirds fighting at the feeder

waking up because your body tells you to, not because your alarm clock tells you to.

And of course, wonderful family and friends.

 

So, if you were to add to this list, what would you say? What always cheers you up?  I was amazed at how therapeutic just coming up with a list was.  I’d love to hear in the comments what makes you happy, but if you don’t want to share with the world, come up with one for yourself.

Bully

Okay, this will be the last post about the lolcat. (also here and here). Probably.

If you missed the edit from my last post, the lolcat doesn’t live directly below me. A very sweet, kind and understanding woman does. She came to talk to me after reading my letter, and after explaining what was going on in detail, she was appalled, and promised to keep her eyes and ears open as well.  I was embarrassed that I had thought the worst about her, but she agreed that my deduction made sense.  I know have a new suspect for the role of the lolcat–one that I find much less worrisome than the woman who lives downstairs.  For one thing, I know my new suspect has a temper.

After meeting my downstairs neighbor, I had something of an epiphany. The lolcat, whoever she is, is nothing more than a bully–and I learned how to deal with those in Middle School–ignore them when possible, laugh along with their teasing and above all, don’t give them the rise that they’re looking for, and eventually they’ll wander off to find someone who is more fun to pick on.  Not only is the lolcat a bully, but she’s a coward. I shouldn’t let a woman who refuses to air her grievances with me face to face have any control over my life–much less put me in a funk for two and a half days. So, I’m done with her. I’m going to continue to work on keeping Max and Lulu quiet in an effort to be a good neighbor, but I was already doing that. And I’m not going to take extraordinarily measures to keep this woman happy–because, if she’s who I think she is, I’m not sure there’s a whole lot that could keep her happy.

Childhood Danger

Bombala's (perpendicular) back-in parking style.

Image via Wikipedia: My parking lot kinda looks like this. Only, you know, less backwards.

I think I’ve gotten to the point where I can start writing again–while the post-a-day is too much, I’m going to aim for a post a week. Maybe, once I get back into the swing of things, I’ll start writing more.

Yesterday, during Max and Lulu’s afternoon walk, I observed one of my neighbors in some questionable activity. It’s not what you think. (Although, I HAVE seen what you’re thinking, on various other walks. I’m not looking for it, people just don’t close their blinds.)

This woman left her apartment with a car seat and her about four-year-old son.  She headed to her covered parking spot, while her son waited patiently in the row of cars closest to the building. Upon getting the car seat into the car, she sprinted the 30 feet or so separating  her from her son, and picked him up. The kid quite literally starts kicking and screaming at this point, and from the way she held him at arms length, this was a normal thing.

So, holding the kid at arms length, she once again runs the 30 feet back to her car, and a few minutes later, leaves.

Grand total of vehicles entering the parking lot during this event? 0.  And even if there were, she was parked after the storm drain/speed bump/giant pot hole (or possibly other storm drain; either way, it was filled with water, and I’m really careful when I drive over it) gauntlet that WILL damage any vehicle whose driver isn’t paying attention.

I watched this in a bit of disbelief. The way I see it, the mother’s method of getting a perfectly mobile child to her car put him in more danger than letting him walk himself the 30 feet to the car. The chances of her tripping seemed infinitely greater than him getting hit by a car. Heck, while I was watching this, Max and Lulu were running around off leash (which I know is a stupid thing to do, but they get more exercise that way) and the kid had a good 3 feet of height on them.

Yes, a kid is different from a dog, but her kid was well-trained enough to wait in the comparative safety of a row of cars for his mother to come and pick him up and risk his life. How much better off would he be if she taught him to look both ways, and carefully walk across while she’s putting the car seat in? Or, if that’s too “dangerous”, (hint: It’s not) than holding his hand and walking across the parking lot with him–you know, while teaching him to look both ways and proceed with caution.

While I was watching this, I was thinking about a post written over at Free Range Kids; click here for the actual post, and here will get you the video Lenore is talking about.

I’m not a parent. I don’t know what it’s like to worry about my child’s safety–but I firmly believe that “protecting” kids from every bump or bruise or overly hyped “Stranger-danger” is, in the long run, harmful to a kid that one day will be expected to grow into a fully functioning adult.

 

Sigh.

It’s been a rough day.

I woke up this morning with a headache–which is and of itself is unusual.  I get headaches frequently, but very rarely wake up with one.  I took some Advil, and then took the dogs for a walk.  When we got home, I still had a couple of hours before class started, so I laid back down, hoping that a little more sleep would make my headache go away.

Not only did it not go away, but when I woke up again, class had already started.  And by the time I would have been able to catch the bus to campus or walk there (I’m being realistic about how fast I move, here) it would have been over.

Even though it was just one of the institute classes, not one I had to pay for, I’m still really mad at myself for missing it.  I realized, later on that I could have driven to campus and parked in a pay lot–in fact that’s probably exactly what I would have done had it been one of my college classes.

This stupid headache hasn’t gone away–and it’s made me tired and irritable all day.

My other goal for today was to figure out my online class.

So, here’s the thing–I had signed up for what I thought was an online math class.  I was getting anxious that I hadn’t received any information about how to access my class–math is not one of my strong suites, and I didn’t want to fall behind.  I thought that maybe I needed to pay tuition first, but  I took care of that yesterday, and the website was showing I was all paid up.

I finally decided that I needed to get as much information as possible before I called the help desk, so I started digging deeper into this class, finding out stuff like who my professor is, and, oh, wait, what’s this?

It’s not an online class, it’s a second block class.  Which means I’ll be going to a classroom and meeting with him face to face, but not until the middle of October.

Yeah…I’m feeling really smart right now.  I have no idea why I thought it was an online class.

I’ve spent a good part of the day studying–more than I strictly feel that I need to.  Still, it will be good to get in the habit, right?  Part of the reason I struggled with college the first time around is the fact that I didn’t study.

Here we go again.

Yesterday, while I was complaining about not being able to sleep, my Mom found herself in the emergency room.

Yeah, that totally put me in my place.

Mom’s not going to like me telling the world this, but, here goes anyway…

Mom has hip dysplasia.  Or she did, before the hip replacement surgerys.  All three of them.  I inherited it–though my bad hip is in better shape than Mom’s good hip.

One of her new hips isn’t tight enough, and can pop out of joint.  That’s what happened yesterday.  She went first, to the emergency room local to her, but they weren’t comfortable popping it back into place, so they sent her to the closest big hospital–an hour and a half away.  Add in all the administrative stuff, and that makes it two hours away.

She’s okay–really sore, but okay.  I, however, have been recruited to come help take care of her, and clean house in preparation for the party that is being thrown for my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary.

So…yeah.  I’m at my parent’s house again, for a few days, at least.  We’ll see how it goes.  Max and Lulu aren’t to happy to be back here again, but at least this time, there are no little hands to pull ears and tails.

Which is good, because I do too much of that as it is.

Tomato, Tamatoh

On Thursday of last week, I had a case of vertigo while I was driving.  I was coming home after running errands, and was stopped at a stoplight, waiting for my turn to make a left turn.

This particular stoplight is located on a hill, so I was facing downhill.  My car was in drive, and I had my foot on the break pedal.   There was a pickup truck ahead of me, taking his sweet time, so I wasn’t actively looking for a break in oncoming traffic large enough to allow me to turn.

Suddenly, it felt like I was moving backwards.  I pushed down harder on the breaks, and sat straight up, worried about my car.

While I was still waiting for my chance to turn, I realized that it probably wasn’t my car–being in drive and facing downhill would mean that if my breaks slipped, I’d go forward, not back.

Later, I talked to Dad about it, and he suggested vertigo, caused by the vehicles going straight through the light–the ones I wasn’t paying any attention to, but would be able to see in my perhephrial vision.

The next day, I went to Sis’s house, and the zoo.  On the way home, I got motion sickness, which turned into an internal distress that Mom got mad at me for discussing on Facebook.

I had to stick pretty close to home on Saturday and Sunday–going to church notwithstanding.  This morning, I was still feeling–if not exactly healthy, then not exactly unwell enough to keep me from my daily activities.  Big, not-daily activities, like dealing with the administrative stuff for school on the other hand…

I did manage to go grocery shopping, and the store was having an amazing deal on roma tomatoes, so I loaded up on them.

Upon returning home, I made a simple lunch–a cheese and tomato sandwich that was baked in my sandwich press.

Now, a sandwich isn’t going to use a whole tomato, even a smallish variety like romas.  I don’t like refrigerating tomatoes–they have a flavor compound that shuts off if it gets too cold, and doesn’t turn back on again.  Tomatoes are right on the border of foods I like vs. foods I don’t like, so I’m not going to press the issue.

But–with my sandwich cooking, I’m left with half of a roma tomato that I can tell wasn’t very good quality to begin with, but I don’t want to throw it away, and I don’t want to refrigerate it.  So I pulled out the salt and I ate it.

Apparently, if you’re not getting enough fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, it makes you feel all wonky.

And that tomato was the best thing I ever ate.

Honestly, it was such a strange combination of a not very good tomato being the tastiest thing I could imagine while I was eating it.  All I know is after eating that tomato, and drinking like a gallon of water, the upper part of my body is feeling much better.

Sis is in the hometown, taking G to swimming lessons.  I laughed at this, but apparently, she missed the sign-up day for her local classes, so she’s spending a week at my parents house.

I got a call asking where I was–when I was at her house on Friday, I bought a book of amagumri patterns, and said I’d come down for a day or two so we could make these little toys.

Well, apparently, she thought that when I said a day or two, it meant I’d come down today.  Which, because I’m a sucker, I did after getting her phone call.

G welcomed me with “I had swimming lessons today.  I know how to swim now.” and then promptly hurt himself and started to cry, which woke E up, and got him crying… yeah.  I’m glad I came down.

Fun fact: Once you’ve had heatstroke, you don’t ever really recover.

I hate to complain about the weather, mostly because it’s been consistently 5-10° cooler than average this summer, and all y’all on the east coast are in the midst of a heat wave.  Seriously guys?  Thanks for taking the worst of our weather this year.

So, there’s a new gorilla at Hogle Zoo, and, as gorilla’s happen to be G’s favorite animal, Sis suggested taking a trip to the zoo to see it.  The zoo was fun.  Afterwards…

I love my nephews, I really do.  And I’m glad that I can do fun activities like go to the zoo with them.  The problem is, activities like the zoo wear out little boys, to the point of orneriness, but not necessarily sleep.  So, while wedged in the back with a 3-year-old going back and forth between throwing a tantrum and stealing his brother’s pacifier, and a 9 month old who wanted to go to sleep but couldn’t because his pacifier kept getting stolen, I started to feel sick.

Like,”Oh, crap, I’m going to puke.” sick.

I get car sick, and know that I can’t, say, read while in a car, but usually just driving, even if I’m in the backseat isn’t enough to make me sick.  Especially on paved roads.

The B-I-L mentioned that it was a warm, if not super-hot day, and it might have been brought on by heat exhaustion and dehydration.  Which actually makes sense to me.  I had full-on heatstroke as a kid, and, like I said in the title, you don’t ever really recover from heatstroke.  Once you’ve had it, your sensitive to heat for the rest of your life.

Of course, the extra weight I’m hauling around isn’t helping anything.

I did make sure to bring some water, but, G liked my stainless-steel water bottle, and ended up drinking most of it.

Anyway, I ended up staying at Sis’s house for longer than I meant to, trying to recover before heading home–I would have stayed the night except I didn’t take the dogs.

So I’m home, alive, and still feeling whatever this is.

The good news is, I’m tired enough that I’m actually going to get to bed at a decent time tonight.

Learning to Live

Last night, I had one of those nights where I saw the sunrise.

Which meant I spent yesterday sleeping.

Which now means, it’s 1:50 am, and I’m wide awake.

The dogs hate it when I do this.  Or maybe not.  Right now, they’re curled up in the center of my bed, in the spot where I like to put my legs, and so don’t let them sleep.  Lulu’s snoring loudly, so, obviously, she, at least, isn’t too concerned about my strange sleep habits.

Montaigne (I promise I’ll cut down on the Montaigne references.  I’m just really enjoying his book.)  Says that he who has learned not to be afraid of death has learned how not to be a slave.  I’d like to add that this is true only if you are not afraid of living, too.

I have Facebook friends who remark on the passage of the week, saying stuff like “Happy Wednesday!” for instance or, “Almost Friday!” Part of me is glad for these updates–if nothing else, it helps me keep track of the days of the week.  But on the other hand, they do mark the passage of time–time that I’m not taking advantage of.

For someone who was mourning lost opportunities a few days ago, I’m sure not taking advantage of the ones I have right now.

“Why is the world all sideways? Oh, probably because I can’t straighten my head…”

There’s part of me that wants to put “The Storyteller Chronicles” on hold until further notice–until my life becomes more interesting, or less interesting, or I have more to write about, or whatever.

Another part of me chimes in and says “No, dammit.  Corianne, you’re not going to give up just because things are getting hard.  You WILL find something to write about, it WILL be interesting, and you WILL enjoy it.”

At which point the rest of me blows her nose, whimpers because that hurt her ears, and goes back to bed.

From the shoulders up, I’m feeling much better, actually.  My ears have gone from constantly hurting to a dull ache like when you travel up in the mountains, and they need to pop, but won’t.  I felt good enough to join my sister in meeting Mom in a park a half hour away from my house–kind of a mid point between where Sis lives and Mom lives, for a picnic, and to pick up some stuff that Sis needs to take her family camping.  With my ears feeling better, though, my stomach has started to hurt.  I’m hoping that it’s either a) the constant stress in my life that’s been put on the back burner since I got an ear-ache re-manifesting itself, or b) the gunk from my ears draining down the back of my throat into my stomach, the way it should.

I guess I spend too much time reading Free Range Kids, but I marveled at the fact that it didn’t take G long to be surrounded by a group of five boys (and one girl) all close to his age playing together. Granted, they all wanted to hit the mini punching bag Mom had brought, but still…

I’m glad there’s a place, and people in the world who will let kids be kids.

It was good to gather with the family, even if the weather was less than cooperative.  We ended up moving our picnic inside of Mom’s car–you know, when the wind started blowing down branches big enough to knock a man out.

I’m getting more and more excited about going back to school.  I want to start classes, its just…I hate getting bogged down in the administrative stuff.  And  I tend to let the little stuff you have to do before you do the big stuff keep me from doing the big stuff.  Crazy I know.

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