Category Archives: rant

Just What Exactly Does Normal Mean?

I guess it would come as no surprise that I come at things a little differently. I figure everyone looks at the world through little different lenses because no two people are the same, not even the ones who grew up identical twins. That being said, my kids both know that, when anyone talks about normal, the only think I know of that is normal is the setting on the dryer (the washer too, depending on your make and model). Even normal body temperature isn’t “normal” just average.

So now we are 6 months in to Covid 19. I live in the United States, so I guess that makes me part of the “me” country. Yes, I realize that we are who most of the rest of the world looks at and shakes their heads. I look at us and shake my head.

We fought the good fight for about two weeks when two weeks was what was set out as the game plan. But people got stir crazy. People wanted to go back to normal.

What normal are they wanting to go back to?

Unemployment benefits are being paid out at often well over what people were making while employed. There was a moratorium put on foreclosures and evictions. People who had never even thought of using a food bank before had to start to rely on food banks. People who never ate at home with their family around the table started to spend time with family around the supper table again.

Unemployment boost (the extra $300, $400, $600) will end. People who are unemployed will have to subsist on what “normal” unemployment is again. The moratorium on not losing your home because of back rent will end… and if you can’t make up all of what you owe, landlords and banks will be able to process the evictions.

What “normal” will that leave everyone with? What will “normal” now look like for those families?

People want normal schools.

People want normal lives.

People are demanding normal Halloween.

“These kids deserve normal” (Kids, from what I’ve seen, seem to adapt far better than their parents)

“I want my kids to grow up the way I did” (Take away the electronics then, go back to board games and four channels on the TV)

“If any sheep wearing masks come to my door trick-or-treating they will get nothing from me” (I kind of like the picture of mask wearing sheep… but that’s just because my mind works a little differently)

“People call this the new normal. There’s nothing normal about this!” Why? Shit changes. Shit changes every single day. You don’t like it? Okay that’s great. Start being part of the solution rather than being part of the thing that is getting the US laughed at.

Fifteen years ago, my normal changed. I went from being obese and trying to get in better shape running to having the rug ripped out from under me when I got the phone call that the lump on my finger wasn’t a cyst it was RA and oh by the way I had been having active RA, at that time, for about two years. I was moderate to advanced already. HA. So there.

Enter drugs that dumb down my immune system and enter singing happy birthday twice every time you wash your hands and oh yeah carry hand sanitizer everywhere and clorox wipes to clean off the tables in restaurants and finding creative ways to push buttons on the elevator and the soda machine. Enter being terrified to buy lemonade at lemonade stands because kids are kids (and kids ARE kids and they will always be kids). Enter looking at EVERYTHING just a little differently. Enter a new normal for me.

Was it a pain in the ass? Yep. Was I terrified? Yep, still am to a great extent.

Do you have any idea how happy I am that there are now “tools” that are being imagined and delivered that make MY life easier? I have a hook to pull open doors, to push open doors, to push elevator buttons, to not touch a lot of things that I used to look and try to puzzle through the best way to cope? Do you have any idea how awesome I find it that I have fashion choices I can make with masks that I’ve wanted to wear but the paper ones just didn’t work for my head size and the skin under my glasses? Do you? I took a mask I bought at Walmart to my mom’s with a couple technical shirts in hope that she can reverse engineer the mask and make me some sexy running masks so when races start again (and the bitching at Disney for cancelling the January and February races has been rampant since the announcement came out… and don’t get me started on “social distancing” in races and runners on the left and walkers on the right unless I’m a runner and there are too many runners and I can elbow you to the face because you’re walking a race and you’re IN MY WAY) I can wear something that I am comfortable in and that I think looks good.

No, you probably don’t unless you are one of the people for whom this is… WAIT FOR IT… normal now.

Normal for my siblings growing up was having polio.

Normal for my siblings growing up was barn work and putting in hay in the summer and making trips to the store maybe once a week maybe once every two weeks. Normal for most of us was a land line that had a rotary dial not a computer you toss carelessly around like a $2 notebook.

Normal?

You want normal?

And what happens when YOUR normal changes?

I’m tired of rhetoric. I’m tired of being taken for granted. I’m tired of knowing that a lot of the people I live around figure that I’m expendable because they want to go back to what they had a year ago. I’m tired of knowing that (despite the fact that I have a job and I contribute to society) I’m one of the people who should just suck it up and die quicker so the rest of the people can get on with their lives and maybe be able to rely on herd immunity.

I’m tired. Mostly I’m tired of seeing just how little regard an awful lot of people have for each other. I’m tired of the new normal making it okay to name call and bully but hey, that’s a great part of the new normal that no one seems to want to get rid of because THAT is just wicked freaking awesome to be able to completely turn off what filter you had and let your bully flag fly. I’m tired of it being okay to call people sheep because you’re too self absorbed to know that there are people like me living right beside you. Maybe I should COMPLETELY turn off my filter (what little filter I have, any way) and tell people what I think of them and THEIR wicked awesome new normal… but oh wait… it’s bad if I say something to you but it’s okay for you to say something to or about me… I forgot… YOUR normal is good, but only yours.

I don’t know what “normal” will evolve in to but it will continue to evolve. At some people even the United States will be able to claim that we have managed to beat Covid into submission (albeit long after the rest of the world minimized confirmed cases and deaths). At that point, normal will be a NEW NORMAL again. Maybe at that point people won’t be angry at that new normal.

As for me… my new normal is… This morning I noticed I’m starting to go gray. I’m wearing one of my masks around my neck. I’m a little concerned I woke up with a headache but a couple of napproxen and an extra 90 minutes sleep beat it back. For now, normal is waking up on the futon mattress on the living room floor with four dogs for company and checking on Bear to make sure he is still breathing. This morning, normal was putting on a hoody to ‘go to work’ in my office 60 feet from the living room. Halloween will mean bagging up candy and putting several baggys on a table to be picked up by trick or treaters. I won’t make fun of them regardless of whether or not they wear masks. I will wear my mask and keep my distance because I know that there are people out there who are asymptomatic and if I catch it from them I probably won’t be.

And… I’m late for work, but I needed this diatribe. Will anyone care? Those who already care will care. Those who don’t, won’t. And if I get any snark… I just might snark back…

Love and light
AprilJoy
9/23/2020
Happy Fall….

Denied…

I am… lost… scared…livid… frustrated…

Probably not this month… Should be tomorrow but probably not this month…

I have been on Orencia INFUSIONS (that’s when they run an IV into your arm and deliver the meds in the infusion center) for eight years (a little more than 8). EIGHT YEARS… eight years… Six and a half of those years has been with the same insurance carrier… before they got acquired by a drugstore chain… one I’ve had issues with before because my stupid doctors refuse to write my prescriptions in the way the drug store chooses to be able to fill them… and yes, it is THEIR CHOICE to not be able to fill them the way the doctor writes the scripts.

Yesterday I got a letter in the mail telling me that my infusion (the one that was supposed to be tomorrow) was denied. The decision was made in August (woman on the phone let that little gem slip), the letter was written September 8 and postmarked September 9 in Arizona. It took six days to get to Ohio from Arizona.

To start with… it took six days to get me the information that the infusion that I start to really need by four or five days before the 4 weeks are up would be denied… it was supposed to be 9/16. It’s not yet cancelled but it probably will be today because… yeah…

The USPS couldn’t get it to me in less than 6 days. Good thing they are being way more efficient now that we have that shiny new head of the postal service… sigh…

I called… I called the clinic to see what they could tell me… they are working on it. THEY sent the follow up paperwork a week ago when they got the notification that after 8 years the insurance company thinks maybe I should just do things differently now.

I called the insurance company.

I got a very nice man that commiserated with me, but who had to put me through to the mega drugstore chain who owns them and who decided that suddenly they need more information.

At that point I became a very stupid four year old who needed to be patronized. The woman on the phone explained four times that they need more information. More papers need to be provided before they can decide again whether or not my meds are justified. After I got pissed and told her that I’m not a stupid idiot and that I READ on my letter that the doctor needs to provide more information and that, no, indeed, I did not need her to read me the letter again telling me that they just need more information and that I can file an appeal.

I snarked at her. I snarked hard.

She finally coughed up the information that the denial is typically because the doctor hasn’t prescribed the maintenance meds in such a way to ensure a 90 day supply… of IV infusion meds… that get administered in the clinic every 4 weeks… and have been for 8 years.

I can file an appeal.

That will take 15 days for the first level… then they will send a letter… which will make it 22 days if past history is anything to go by… letting me know if it is approved or again denied… at which point I can again file an appeal… and another three weeks later (that makes my 4 week infusion at worst 10 weeks out unless it is completely denied then suck farts old woman).

And all of this came two days after I watched someone dear to me drink a Pepsi… She has RA. She is finally (after several years… after MTX and plaquinil and enbryl and weaning herself off of 7 years of prednisone) pretty much controlled. Her hands aren’t working “right” any more and she has to pick up her Pepsi bottle with two hands to drink it because she can’t physically pick it up with one hand any more.

All of this while I sit and examine the nodules on my fingers that so far aren’t getting any bigger.

All of this while my fingers and toes are feeling like someone has poured hot ground glass into the finger joints and the joints where my toes connect to the big part of my feet.

All of this while hospice.

All of this while trying to hold it together

All of this… all of this… all of this…

And you know, <sarcasm> stress certainly doesn’t make any of this worse and it certainly doesn’t trigger a flare and it certainly doesn’t make me fall apart</sarcasm>.

I have to take walks with bear. It means too much to be able to push his chair all over the neighborhood and spend evenings out and about together. No matter what it takes, I have to push him on our walks. No matter what it takes. Time is so short and so precious… I have to… we have to… no matter what. What if the last walk was the last walk? What if… what if…

AprilJoy
9/15/2020

Just The Flu

<rant (fair warning)>
You logic (or maybe your humanity???) is flawed. It’s not that I have a particularly thin skin. I have been bullied my entire life. I get it. I have a kick me sign. Dynomutt, scag, nerd (okay that one turned out to be true… ), dogface… I get it. But sometimes the stupid just hurts my brain so badly that I can’t help but scream.

This is my scream.

It’s not COVID… it’s ONLY the Seasonal Flu!!! DUH.
Okay, let’s suppose that your premise is true. Let’s just suppose for the sake of argument (and because I’m just too tired to give two shits and a poptart) that that were the case. Let’s just suppose that the reason you don’t wear a mask… that you don’t stay the hell away from me in stores… that you don’t stop the endless bitching is that it is the flu and everyone knows that the flu kills WAY WAY WAY more people than the stupid SHEEPLY Covid crap has.
Two things.

1, if it is flu it isn’t covid. you can’t have it both ways. Pick one and get on with your kvetching.

2. if it is the flu and EVERYONE EVERYWHERE knows that the flu kills bazillions and bazillions of people every year so duh… then that makes the argument even worse.


IF for the sake of argument it is the seasonal flu then um, the season is over and all of those people dying to make your life inconvenient are just stupid and wrong and not dead… so there


If, the the sake of argument it is the seasonal flu and wearing a mask will keep someone’s mother, father, grandmother, great aunt Eloise on their mother’s brother’s cousin side from dying of the Just Plain Flu… then why is it such a bitch fest to wear the mask while you are in the store…


I get that getting drunk and slobbering and coughing all over people at the bar is just freaking awesomely fun. I get that wiping your runny nose and touching the door knob and grabbing those nachos and using your hands in the salad bar is just so much freaking fun. I get it.


And I get it.


I want desperately to get back to ‘running’ in a race that’s a real race.


I want desperately to go back to Disney like we were supposed to be going to do this past March just the two of us that will never happen.


I want to sit in my office and look out the window and watch the freighters wind their way down the Cuyahoga.


I want to not have to know that I’m watching someone I love desperately die.


But you know what? This whole “JUST THE FLU, DUH” adventure has taught me a lot. It has taught me that an awful lot of people just don’t give a tinker’s dam about other people.

They don’t.


Know what else? When all of this is over and all of the bitching and gnashing of teeth stops (well, okay, whatever… people are acting like it is nothing and over now so… whatever)… I’m going to get my flu shot because I’m one of those inconvenient statistics that everyone keeps throwing out there. I’m one of the expendables. But when this is all over… whenever that is… I’m going to keep doing the needful. Flu season, I’m going to carry my handy dandy mask with me and when I’m around anyone I’m going to wear it. If this is JUST THE FLU, then this is just the flu and it’s all good and my trying to keep myself, the people I love, and even your sorry ass safe from JUST THE SEASONAL FLU and being one of the BAZILLIONS who die EVERY YEAR from that, K? For what it’s worth… my wearing my mask isn’t hurting you at all. It is not a political statement. It just says way the hell more about me than it does about you.


Don’t like the government regulating that you pretend for one hour every couple days or so to be a caring human being, fine. Whatever.
I have a limited number of give-a-damns in any given day and… guess what… just used them up. Get too close to me, I’m going to suddenly have a HUGE WET MEATY COUGHING FIT. I am.

Might start carrying a cane and accidentally trip you if you step into my bubble. Consider this fair warning.


I wish with ALL OF MY HEART that I could go back to February and do so many things differently… with all of my heart… because maybe things would be different for this house right now.


This whole JUST THE SEASONAL FLU adventure has taught me how many people just don’t care.


but it has taught me, too, just how many people do. And for that, thank you…

Thank you.


I’m tired. I am deep down bone tired.


</rant>


Time to get on with Tuesday.

Love and Light
AprilJoy
6/30/2020

I’m just so freaking tired…

So, yesterday, I did a thing.

I posted a gif on Facebook of a man who is talking about how 70 – 700 people dying so the US economy can rally is acceptable. The off camera person said… so… 70 is the number that’s okay? Man: yeah… 70. Off camera: Let me show you 70 people.

70 people in that man’s family came around the corner of the street.

When he realized that there were 70 people who were in his family and that 70 suddenly had faces and relevance his numbers changed.

Was it staged? Um… Duh.

Was it to make a point that every single one of the “acceptable losses” is a person? Um… duh.

I’m so tired right now. I’m so incredibly tired.

A friend of mine from elementary school commented on the picture.

But on the other end of this horrible double edged sword, is the awful fact that's thousands have not received a penny of unemployment in 7-8 weeks or more. These folks are losing their businesses and not even being able to afford food.. terrible situation whole way around. 😞

<because… again… duh… it’s not like I don’t know that too… and I KNOW those faces as well> and I answered… I answered because I’m tired. I am so sick and tired of all of the bullshit. ALL of the bullshit.

I know. I really do know. And I’m terrified of the way the economy is and the way it is heading and I hate the way the country is handling this so incredibly horribly compared to EVERYWHERE else. But people are very very cavalier with “eh… 70 to 700 deaths are acceptable as long as it fixes everything ” (which it isn’t going to fix everything like people believe. there is no magic bullet in this case) until they are faced with the acceptable losses being THEIR losses.

Would all 70 acceptable losses be in one family? Not likely. But people don’t put faces to the acceptable losses they keep throwing around. People use a tone of voice when they talk about acceptable losses… like… Yeah… whatever… a few more dead people… so what… pffft

I have family in the same situation… where they don’t have an income and they are waiting and waiting and waiting for stimulus checks and unemployment that feels like it will never come. But I also speak as someone who cavalierly gets lumped into that big giant “Eh, F$%^-em let them die so the economy can be as fabulous as it’s ever been” feeling you get from seeing people talk about acceptable losses. Three people who live in my house would very likely die if any of us got Covid.

I guess that’s three from someone else’s house that wouldn’t have to… but still… I’ve had it right up to the eyeballs with hearing about how it’s “only” the elderly and vulnerable who are likely to die so what’s the problem.

I’m tired of spending 12 – 14 hours a day sitting in my office at my computer busting my butt working only to be made to feel like a drain on society.MY point in this is… every acceptable loss is someones family… someone’s brother, sister, son, daughter, mother, father, best friend….

I want desperately for people to be able to go back to work and to be safe. But I want people to be safe. I want people to not have to get shot in the face for telling people to put on a mask. I want people to not get spit on for asking someone to please stand 6 freaking feet away. Hell, I don’t want people close to me than that when it’s not this fugly mess and I will deliberately run into assholes in the store before all of this if they ride my heels with a cart or shove their smelly armpits in my face because they HAVE TO HAVE THAT whatever that happens to be where I’m shopping and they can’t wait the 45 seconds it’s going to take me to get my whatever from where they HAVE TO BE.

I’m tired.

I’m tired of bullshit.

Everyone else gets to go “LOOK LOOK LOOK at what those assholes in the <whatever political party they are “against” and are HATING… and I’m so flipping sick of the hating> are doing to make the whole FU#$%^& world so much FU#$%^& worse than anyone else in the whole FU#$%^& world could make it!!!!!”.

I Just thought maybe people might need to be reminded that every acceptable loss matters to someone somewhere…
or maybe not

I was good. I didn’t reply right away. Probably should have. If I had done anything at the time, I probably would have just taken the post down… because I don’t make waves and I don’t voice my political opinion because I’ve been bullied my whole life and I really don’t need to provide more fodder for people to use to take pot shots at me.

But I am tired.

I’m tired and I’m scared and I want about 2/3 of the time to go sit with my back against my favorite tree at the park and wrap myself in the throw I’ve been working on for years and cry until the tears won’t come any more.

This whole mess has taken its tole on my house.

Squirrel is so on edge most of the time and she is facing the knowledge that her girlfriend can only handle the good times and can’t handle it when Squirrel falls apart. She is facing friends that have already told her that, if she wears a mask to school or around them for any reason they will make fun of her. She just started Humera… added to the other two immunosuppressants… you know what… Covid hunts people like that down. Would she die? Statistically probably not. But that’s a chance.

Monkey Butt has started to shoulder the responsibility for keeping the rest of the house from going completely bat shit crazy. HE (my jaded son who has hated humanity for years) has started to hunt for the bright sides to show that it’s probably really not so bad.

Bear? Hospice. I’m not handling that really well, either. Hospice makes it really really real. Last night we <all four of us> went to Lowes. It was the first time Bear had been inside of a store in over two months. I needed fence to keep my dogs out of my garden and I needed containers to grow some of my plants in… and I needed soil for in those containers… I needed stuff to work on my witchy SHTF prepper stuff outside so I don’t have to worry quite so much about what is coming… and to keep us as healthy as we can be inside our walls. I needed Monkey Butt because bags of garden soil are heavy. Squirrel needed to get out of the house because… she hasn’t been venturing out even when I have made my panic filled ventures out into the craziness. And Bear needed to be out. He needed to be out and where people outside of the four of us (and his hospice nurse Dave) are. The last time we were at a store together, he pushed the cart. Yesterday he drove my truck, but he needed his wheelchair because he knows his legs won’t carry him even with the cart through the store. It’s getting that real. What would Covid do if it came into my house?

And me? I am just tired of the stupid things that people do to each other. I’m tired of people ridiculing the choices we have had to make. I don’t LIKE doing a half marathon virtually with a mask on. I don’t like being terrified every time I walk into a store that is full of people who have apparently decided that the current situation is an excuse for them to let their asshole flag fly high and proud. I have been loudly and publicly ridiculed and laughed at in a Walmart isle because I chose to have a mask and gloves (and because losing 50 pounds has messed with my ability to maintain feeling warm) and a hoody on a 50 degree day. I’m trying to keep up with everything in the house. I’m trying to hold it together because Bear can’t handle it when people lose it in front of him… so I hold onto my control as long as I can until I can’t any more. And I spend hours at my computer working because I do still have a job to “go” to and I need to keep that job. I try so hard to down out the TV when it’s on because everyone talks about acceptable losses and how it is “only” (except when it’s not only) the elderly and vulnerable and fragile who are at risk any way. I’m one of the at risk. I take my own immuno-supressants and I qualify for elderly. Would it kill me? I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not. I know that I’m feeling very lost and very scared and I struggle a lot of days just to make it through the day without falling completely apart.

But suddenly I don’t understand both sides (either side) because I’m trying to point out that NO ONE anywhere seem to be faking the attitude that would feel better when they talk about acceptable losses. I guess when you talk about it in terms of acceptable losses it depersonalizes it. Like when you talk about the HUGE numbers of people who are struggling to survive the devastating unemployment numbers. Like when you see cars lined up at food distribution centers. We get to see the faces of the nurses and doctors who are saving lives. We get to see the faces of some of the people who have beaten it. And those faces give my hope. They are a very good thing. But there are faces behind every number that gets thrown around. The numbers of people working devastating hours in what currently amounts to nearly a war zone at stores (if three people can shoot a guard for saying you have to wear a mask and you are in the position of working in stores like that IT DOES AMOUNT TO A WAR ZONE). The numbers of families (mothers, fathers, children) who are facing another day without money… without food… without <in a lot of cases> hope. THOSE are faces too. They aren’t numbers. They aren’t statistics. THEY ARE FACES!!!

I guess I will leave my soap box now. Will it do any good? Will it matter? Yeah, probably not. But it did clear my head a little and give me a voice through witch to scream.

Love and Light
AprilJoy
5/11/2020

An Open Apology for Being Me

Okay, so the title is a little disingenuous.  I do not ever (any more) apologize for being me. You don’t like it?  Chuck Fou Yarley… drive on by.  I get tired of people trying to make it my fault for their shit.  I’m done.

That said… I was running through the groups, on Facebook, that I really (sometimes) enjoy reading this morning and I feel like this all needs to be said…

To the person with RA who’s response to someone asking for help/advice in desperation who’s only response to the cry for help was “buy a dishwasher or stop washing dishes”… you’re not part of the solution, you, my dear troll, are part of the problem.  If you are in the group because you have RA and your only ONLY response is snark, I’m sorry that the rest of us take up space in your world . It must be nice being queen of the May, but you know what… bite me. I may not have answers for the person asking but I’m damn sure either going to say nothing or try to be supportive and understanding.  RA sucks.  Being a b#$%h sucks worse.  She didn’t deserve your snark.  I apologize for trying to maintain as normal a life as I can while gagging down a fist full of pills every day to help me do that.  It keeps me semi-functional.

To the person who felt compelled (again) to bitch about those of us who are such dismal failures that we can ‘only’ finish a half marathon in 2:45  or longer who are taking up valuable space on the road (having paid our 100 – 200 – 300 dollars to be in the same freaking race as you) by walking part of the race while your narrow ass is… oh wait… yeah… STARTING BEHIND US else you wouldn’t be bitching about us being there you would have already crossed the finish line…  Walkers shouldn’t be allowed in races.  Really?  What exactly is the cut off for speed in a race?  Because, you know, I may not be doing a 4 minute mile for 13 miles, but I’ve improved significantly over the past year.  What is the speed cut off to be in your special neck of the world?  You’re not talking about running Boston or New York or even Chicago… your talking about running a freaking Disney race for crying out loud.  If the people you are bitching about are in any way in front of you, that says way more about you than about them.  The only exception to that statement is the Dead Last Club who start out with the balloon ladies and see how many kills they can accumulate by the finish line.  Them I get, but you know what… they have manners… they probably would rather have more slower people in the race so there are more people they can pass.  You… princess butt muffin… you are just whining to whine.  The waaaaaaambulance is coming so hop on.  To you I apologize for taking up your valuable space and air.

I apologize for not running when obviously the fact that I can run walk run faster than you can flat out run simply makes me a poser.  My race, my pace and when I pass you walking while you are running, I won’t pass judgement on you, I will just run my race.

I apologize for caring and trying to be a friend when it has become obvious that lies and deceit are what was driving everything.  If you read this and you understand that this time it is directed at you… good.  If not, whatever.

And finally (and this one is genuine) I apologize to WW for passing judgement when I shouldn’t have.  I still don’t get the logic and I still kind of track in a way that works for me (ie… If I have a smoothie and I know that the smoothie is one cup and it WILL hold me for a few hours… I will still track it as 0 points).  It worked for me.  Online worked for me.  Meetings are working for me (albeit the early early early one so I can still do crap on my Saturday).  I’m 2 weeks in to maintenance and one week out from infusion still tracking to my goal weight.  Yesterday I ate too much… today will be better.

And to you… I apologize for the rant.  But when my head is going to explode because it is so full of the stupid banging around in there, I feel compelled (driven) to let it out before it spills out on my family and co-workers.  It’s Monday and a no-run (rain and rest day and post leaf blowing day) day and there are days when rant is the only way to stay sane.

Love and Light
April
11/5/2018

Well This Sucks (on no plastic straws)

I watched a video this morning on the banning of plastic straws and its impact on the disabled community.

I’m all for saving the planet.  I’m all for saving the animals that are impacted when plastic straws (plastic lots of things) enter the water and the wilds.

But at what cost?

I’m ‘lucky’ (tongue in cheek sometimes).  I’m able to buy alternative straws (forever straws… my wicked cool metal foldy straw is supposed to be coming in November… knock on wood) and to use them.  But there are many people who can’t invest that kind of money in a straw.  There are a lot of people who require a straw that bends (haven’t seen a forever straw that is bendy yet).  There are a crap ton (a metric crap ton to be more exact) of people like me, who look at the straws in the older dispensers that are not wrapped and that lord only knows who has touched or coughed in on and mentally freak because either they have issues in their brains with germs or they have compromised immune systems and have issues in the rest of their body with germs.

The report had it’s due diligence done.  People went out and asked companies in the cities where straws are already banned if there were straws available to people who can’t bring a cup to their lips because they don’t have the use of their hands and arms to do so.  The people wanting their freedom to live the lives they have in the most independent way possible sometimes need the simpler things just to be able to be functional.  There were many companies that didn’t even have straws available to be used by the people who NEED them.

I don’t NEED a straw.  Sometimes it is nice to have a straw but it isn’t something that I need.  If I do want a straw, I do want one that is either within my control to clean or that is wrapped.  I don’t want the people who go to the bathroom and leave without washing their hands and who cough into their fists and then wipe their nose with their hands touching my naked straw (or silverware or whatever).  And don’t get me started on people who grab your glass by putting their fingers into the glass when they hand it to you at the fast food places.

People who are differently abled have the right to their independence and the people who provide goods and services have a legal responsibility to provide them with reasonable alternatives when requested as necessary.

It sucks enough to NEED to need the extra assistance.  Adding to the troubles that people with disabilities have by taking away their ability to interact with what they need to survive isn’t the answer.

 

Love and Light
April
8/13/18

 

It’s NOT Okay

It’s not okay… okay?  It’s just FREAKING not.

I’m a little edgy this week, I’ll give you that. Today I go see my PCP and I haven’t seen her since I got pissed and started Weight Watchers.  I’m down but probably not down as much as she will want and she might just get an ear full on how… you know… Sunday when I did just under 13 miles (at least per my fitbit… map my run thinks it’s more… ) I burned almost twice as many calories as I consumed (Yay 23 points… YAY 752 calories intake…. WOOOHOOO… not… ) and how I’m not certain that this is a sustainable “life style choice” for the long haul.

I’m a little stressed.

So yesterday’s reaction to a situation might be a little skewed.  I didn’t THINK it was, but by the comments… and comments to comments… I’m not so certain any more.

I run.

And I’m actually enjoying running.

I’m down 30 pounds.  I’m kind of enjoying how that feels too.

I run in leggings. I wear either a tank, a technical t-shirt or a technical long sleeved shirt.  Running get up tends to not flap in the breeze, it usually fits more on the tighter side.  That’s just the way running stuff is.

I have a running skirt that I’ve been really wanting to try out… but I’m not sure how I will feel about running in it any more… not after yesterday.

Yesterday I went for a walk in Public Square at lunch time.  I wanted to hit my step goal and that was probably the best way to do it.

As I was walking through, a woman who was out for her lunch time run came past me through the park.  She was wearing all black.  She had leggings to her ankles.  She had a long sleeved technical shirt.  She had headsets.  She was going at a dead run.  I wanted to be her so badly.

A herd of piggies (you know the male chauvinist kind) found it necessary to engage in somewhat questionable cat calling.  It wasn’t for her benefit.  It wasn’t just a whistle.  It was rude.

“Look at them titties bounce”
“Man, that is one fine tight little ass”

I guess maybe I over reacted.

I suppose in the “Merca” we live in today that is perfectly acceptable.

I mean there were only about 30 kids under the age of 8 in the park for the lunch time fun that Cleveland has scheduled this summer.  It’s not like they are of an impressionable age, right?

I posted on facebook.  I was really pissed about the piggies.  It’s NOT alright to treat someone’s daughter/sister/mother this way.  It’s just not.

And I got some people (more, I’ll admit, amongst my running group than ‘regular’ facebook) that were as pissed as I was.  When you hear stuff like that, it kind of strikes home that you are not always as safe as you would like to think you are when you are out running in a public place in broad daylight with your headsets on.

There aren’t a lot of people around when I run so I’m not apt to hear the comments.  But there aren’t a lot of people around when I run… so… yeah.

One woman agreed with me and pointed out (RIGHTLY SO) that in today’s political environment, this kind of talk is not only condoned, it gets you elected president.  At which point it was pointed out that… you KNOW… Billy did bad things so it’s perfectly reasonable that it’s okay to say you could grab them by the <you know the rest> and to treat them like less than second class citizens.

Someone from work (who is at Disney as we speak… I’m so jealous) pointed out that… at Disney… there are women who are walking around with furry nether regions sticking out and with shirts cut low enough that nipples are becoming visible (and not during breast feeding) and if it were him with his junk dangling out of his shorts he would be arrested.  He’s right.  There is a HUGE double standard.

It was pointed out to him that body shaming is never acceptable when he said that he and his wife explained to their LITTLE GIRLS (read… I think maybe 6 and 8) that it’s not a good thing to have your nether regions on display so EVERYONE (including the CTV cameras that live stream Main Street USA) can see if they are natural blondes or not.  We aren’t talking about beach attire here.  We aren’t talking about being AT the beach.  Hello…

People are HORRIBLY offended at the THOUGHT of someone who is trans using the same bathroom as they are using… that someone might SEE something… something on their DAUGHTERS or wives… that they shouldn’t see.  Hell, they don’t have to worry about perverts pretending to be trans to sneak in to bathrooms to catch a glimpse… all they have to do is walk through a public place and wait.  It will come to the perverts, they don’t have to seek it out.

It’s a double standard.

Monkey Butt thinks I’m a freak of a feminist… and I guess I’m a freak in general so why not as a feminist.  I don’t think men and women should be treated differently.  I think if a man is arrested for his dangly bits being on public display, then maybe women should have the same experience.  That apparently makes me unpopular.  Women should be allowed to wear whatever they feel comfortable in wherever they feel comfortable wearing it (or… you know… not wearing it) irrespective of location and audience.  I think, if women have chairs and couches in the lady’s room… that men should have them too.  I think having locks on every freaking lady’s room door at work (all… every single one) but none on the men’s room doors is also somewhat hypocritical.

And I’m sitting here thinking… you know… I know I can get away with (in my head) wearing things that I haven’t worn in YEARS… shorts for example… leggings… shirts that aren’t as huge as I can find to hide in…

I know I can wear things that are cuter or that fit better.

But if it means that piggies are going to find it acceptable to make comments… am I really ready for those head games?

I know, I know… piggies will be piggies… and piggies are everywhere.

But that doesn’t make it okay.

 

Love and Light
April
6/12/18

Fear Factor… Reading Race Posts for the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2018

So… I’m feeling all hyped and at the same time apprehensive for the 2019 Princess Fairytale Challenge.  10k Saturday, half marathon Sunday… February 2019… Yesterday it became official… we booked through a travel agent for the challenge bibs, rooms, dining plan and park tickets for 10 days.  I’m actively working towards a goal completely terrified I won’t make it… but a goal none the less.

I’ve been eavesdropping on conversations on Facebook groups about this year’s race.  Some I can so totally relate to… some not so much… but it’s all information and it’s all good.

This morning I saw a post that stopped me dead in my tracks…

I had the flu but mostly recovered, did the 10k but the morning of the half had a sore throat and fever but I wanted to do it anyway but <ajw THANK GOD> couldn’t… found out I had strep….

I had the flu and did the 10k but couldn’t do the half…

okay…. pretend you are on the other end of that discussion ….

I spend an OBSCENE amount of money dumbing down my immune system. My body hates me and attacks itself if I don’t. I find any way I can to not touch things like tables in public places, elevator buttons, gym machines that inconsiderate ass holes use and hang all over and sweat all over the treadmill and walk away without listening to the signs saying that after you sweat all over everything wipe it off…. I am overly cautious and I’m overly cognizant of this kind of thing…. frankly because I have to be. I read posts DUMPING on inconsiderate people at the races who walk in the wrong places or jump into corrals where they don’t belong…. and then I read the posts that say that they have incredibly contagious diseases (in a year when a lot of people…people like me…. people like….oh you know… the little kids you’re around) from just these diseases. But I guess that contaminating the happiest place on earth is way less inconsiderate than all of the other stuff because it’s you?

Do I know there are people who don’t think… yeah. Do I know there are people who just don’t care, yeah. But as long as you are talking about entitled people being inconsiderate to you, realize the mirror works both ways.

Okay…

Rant over…

Coffee consumed….

Off to infusion time to dumb down my immune system some more…

Love and light

April

2/28/18

Inogen Customer “Service” rant

It’s sobering to realize how much people take the simple act of breathing (and not HAVING to be concerned about whether or not they will have the oxygen that they need when they need it) for granted.
I just got off the phone with ‘support’ for Larry’s Inogen portable concentrator. He’s been having an issue getting one of his batteries to charge in the external charger… it never seems to be charging but the ‘charging’ light blinks off and on off an on off and on red. One battery lasts 4 hours. One battery takes 6 – 8 hours to charge. He has three. Each one cost over 500 dollars.
The EVER so helpful man on the phone suggested that I plug in the battery and leave it blinking for a few hours and stick it back in to the concentrator. Do this for a couple days to see if it might just be a fluky little thing or if it really is a problem…
DO THE MATH
use the battery 4 hours until it is dead
Plug it in for 3 hours or so (while you are depleting the SECOND battery) and see if maybe the battery charges to half without you knowing it is even charging at all and without maybe guessing if it matters or anything. If it doesn’t HAPPEN to be charging, that means you are down to having 4 hours on one battery, one external charger you can use, two batteries to charge and nothing to assist with the next 12 hours.
But you will know if your 500 dollar paper weight will charge when it is doing blinky blinky blinky red light which isn’t what it’s supposed to do when it is charging.
Really? REALLY REALLY?
Do you think that anyone bothers to actually think about what they are telling you or do you think they just have a “your’re getting a call from a pain in the ass customer” script? I paid an OBSCENE amount of money to these people and after three months I should just play around and see if maybe we can get this baby to work…
It is warrentied for a year. Not a couple days. not even a couple months (and he’s had it almost five months now). A year. I don’t care if there are know little glitchy thingys that mean I don’t know if the battery might or might not be charging but we can hope and maybe it will maybe it won’t (but you don’t ACTUALLY need to breathe for the next few hours anyway, right??? )
I’ve never had a HUGE amount of patience with people on customer service lines that can’t be bothered to think at all for themselves or who get mad at me for questioning the sanity of what they are suggesting.
We are 2 weeks from going to Disney.  I will have to leave a battery in First Aid charging once it is depleted.  He has 12 hours of battery available to him at all.  If I can’t rely on the battery to charge in 6 – 8 hours, by the end of the day he will have no oxygen to get him back to the car.  I know this is a trifling thing if you don’t have to think about every breath you take but when you do it is a sobering thought.
Man was rather irritated that I wanted the battery warrentied.  I wanted to be able to rely on it working rather than hoping like heck it might work and taking a chance it might not.  I guess I was being difficult.  I know he thought I was.  He kept trying to get me to take a few MORE days testing out his little suggestion and see if maybe it is one of those little glitchy things (like in Wreck it Ralph?) or if it really REALLY needs to be replaced.
I honestly hope that the people who don’t get it never have to be in a position where they HAVE to understand what I’m trying to explain to them.  I sincerely hope they never have to worry about breathing (or hurting, or being able to walk, or what they eat, or when they have to take their meds to keep being okay or if they can drive because they have uncontrolled seizures or whatever the condition is that makes life less than ideal for someone).
But if for some reason they or someone they love happen to have something like this to deal with, I also hope they have someone with a brain and compassion to deal with as well.

It Makes My Head Hurt

Okay… here is a ran.  Be forewarned.

Math puzzles irritate me.  More to the point, math puzzles on facebook irritate me because it makes painfully obvious that people can not think.  They irritate me more when I’m 5 weeks out on a 4 week infusion schedule, so I’m really not feeling overly conciliatory right now.

One rabbit saw 6 elephants while going towards River.
Every elephant saw 2 monkeys are going toward river.
And Every monkey holds one parrot in their hands.

Now, honestly, I don’t care how many were going to the freaking river.  The puzzle reminds me of one I learned as a kid…

As I was going to St Ives I met a man with seven wives, every wife had seven sacks every sack had seven cats every cat had seven kittens… kittens cats sacks wives, how many were going to St Ives…

Sometimes I read through the comments and shake my head at the math (there were answers ranging from three to five to thirty one to twenty five)

TODAY I read through the comments and lost it.  One of the comments was that it had to be three… one rabbit and two moneys because parrots are birds not animals.  The EXACT same comment was on a post when I googled the math puzzle to see what other responses there were.

Now, I’m no math wiz, but I do know that a parrot (and a seagull and a freaking pigeon) are not plants, they are not insects, they are not rocks or dirt… birds ARE ANIMALS!!!

I don’t care how bad at math you are, I don’t care how much you think you know about absolutely everything… birds are animals.  They are not mammals they are birds, but animals they are indeed.

It frightens me that our schools have failed so badly in that simple thing.

 

Sorry
rant over
coffee time
and maybe some Napproxen

 

love and light
April

4/14/17