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  • You want to do what to my what??

    Oh hey look at that, it’s 2017. If you are reading this, than you made it. Congrats. I could prattle on and on about how 2016 was a Trumpster Fire and all the horrible shit that has happened, but what would be the point? If you want to read about that, go on facebook, I’m sure you can find an article or two. My patience for this has waned in recent months. It turns out when you lose an internal organ it gives you some time to reflect on a few things in your life.

    Some people are aware of what has gone on with me the last couple months, but most probably don’t. So saddle up kids its story time.

    Several years ago, while I was still in college, I went the Emergency Room with stomach pain. It turned out to be a minor GI problem (most likely due to poor life choices regarding unlimited pizza and fries in the cafeteria). But while they were trying to figure that out, they discovered some weirdness with my Kidneys. There was stuff… and it was all over them. When I returned home for summer break the doctors visits and testing began. I was never given a diagnosis disease, they eventually concluded that I have angiomyolipoma’s,  these are tumors that consist of fatty tissue, muscular tissue and blood vessels. They tested to make sure I didn’t have these tumors hanging out anywhere else in my body. I was told to keep an eye on them and if they grew too big to have them taken care of. This is something that is most often seen in women over 40.. so basically I am an over achiever.

    So we kept an eye on them, and for the most part they just hung out and we agreed to ignore each other. Until about Christmas two years ago. When a couple of the tumors decided it was time to become assholes. They had grown large enough that intervention was needed. So I scheduled a surgery to have the doctor go in and embolize them. This basically means he shoved a tube into my Kidney and blocked off a bunch of blood vessels feeding the tumors. The point of this procedure was to shrink the little bastards back down.

    I should mention the problem with this type of tumor and the makeup of mine specifically is that, they are very vascular (read bloody sacks of ass) so if one were to sustain injury or get a wild hair, it could burst and randomly start to hemorrhage and potentially put me in a life threatening internal bleeding situation.

    So I get the operation… it went ok. I somehow managed to get high blood pressure out of the deal due to a complication involving a vessel that may not have gotten totally blocked off. I learned to live with this and given some pills. I am also told to just continue to monitor the tumors.

    Fast forward the weekend before Thanksgiving of this year. Friday night, I had some mild discomfort in the kidney area that I was REALLY hoping was just gas. That lasted until Saturday morning, when I went from “hmm this feels not great…” to “Oh my fucking god I am dying! an alien is going to pop out of my stomach and tap dance across the floor “.  So off to the ER we went.

    Pro tip: Writhing in pain in a wheel chair at ER registration desk will get you seen pretty quickly. I tell them about my little kidney decorations and explain I am worried there is a bleed. So they take some blood tests and send me to get a CT scan. I may have forgotten to warn the tech about the freak show kidney before the CT scan so it was awesome watching the look of panic and seeing someone get sent sprinting to the doctor. By this point I am high as a kite on pain-killer. They got the blood tests back and everyone agreed, “yup, your shit is broke and bleeding all up inside you”(not a direct quote)

    Off to surgery I go. This is the same surgery I had 2 years ago, but this time they are going in with the goal of stopping the vessel from pumping blood into my abdomen. I get to be awake-ish for this process. The team of gentlemen were very nice. Luckily I had recently shaved my bikini line, so I was able to avoid that bit of unnecessary bonding with the dude who was my nurse. (They shove the tube through a hole they make in your groin area to access your femoral artery to reach your kidney. So you get shaved if you’re furry). The team did their thing and blocked stuff off and sent me to recover.

    They give me a room and admit me for a night of poor pain management and lots of crying. By mid morning I am not feeling right and have a sudden pop and excruciating pain in the same area, so they start the testing all over again. It’s another tumor bleeding. So I go back down stairs to the same team and they go in a do it all over again. this time they block of 4 vessels, the day before they blocked 2. The team of doctors I have collected at this point are all twisting their hands and telling me this should do it. Except one : the interventionalist, the one who actually blocked the vessels is saying the kidney is shit and it should get tossed. The Urologist and nephrologist over rule him. So I get released, and I go home to recover.

    Except, I didn’t seem to be getting better like last time. I was still weak, I didn’t feel right. I returned to work, I over exerted myself enough to scare me into going back to the ER to check if their was another bleed. (there wasn’t). At this point I now know nurses on site and they welcome me by name. I go back home, still feeling pretty crappy. I schedule an appointment with my general doctor to ask her why I feel so crappy. She does a blood test and sends me for an ultrasound. These come with poor results and she sends me back to the ER. She tells me that my body doesn’t have enough blood. This usually indicates a bleed. She reminds me it’s faster to go the ER to get the test done rather than try to schedule appointments that could take weeks.

    There is something very disconcerting about hearing your primary care physician tell you to go directly to the ER. So off I was swept to the ER by my wonderful coworkers. After a short wait, I am taken in back and assigned an ER doctor. She actually took the time to talk with me about this whole shenanigans and I explained what has happened. She runs more tests and tells me going in for a 4th CT scan is probably not a  healthy idea given all the radiation I’ve been exposed to lately. She brings the Nephrologist, Urologist and Interventionalist into the mix again… the urologist rolls in and lets me know that it’s never good to come to the ER and be considered an interesting patient and I am a very interesting patient. my general response to this was “well…. shit.” This team of doctors is arguing about how functional it is to send me for a CT scan and try to block off (embolize again) the likely slow bleed that is stealing my blood away. One thinks it’s a waste because the kidney is shit, the other two think maybe the kidney is helping a little and we should try to leave it in there.

    Fortunately, I have my family of medical professionals that are breathing fire into my cell phone telling me what to ask for and what they should do. Protip number 2: Always listen to and trust the nurses who are much smarter. On the advice of my mother who has 40 years of nursing experience, I asked the doctors, why they don’t just test the kidneys to see how functional each one is, that way they know if it’s worth keeping or should be tossed in the bin.

    It was amazing to watch the light bulb go off in his head. It turns out, that between the three of them arguing about what should be done, it didn’t occur to them to actually check on the function even though it was the simple solution and would settle the argument 100%. So they send me to nuclear testing the coolest sounding department in the hospital that is totally anticlimactic .

    Before I went it they told me we are hoping for at least 20% or more functionality on the right kidney so I can keep it for a bit longer and potentially delay the need for dialysis later in life.

    I was able to watch the testing, they shot me full of stuff that can be seen on the scan and the left side is lit up like a Christmas tree, the right…. is basically a couple of dots and a weak shadow. It doesn’t look good. The stuff also makes you need to pee like crazy and you get to watch a clock that counts down when you can go to the bathroom. This is about 1000x worse than just waiting without knowing.

    They read the results and tell me that the right side is functioning at a whooping 6% meaning the interventionalist wins and doesn’t have to do any more work on me and the fleshy bag of shit that’s stealing my blood. They had me stay the night for observation and are now arguing about when they are cutting this bitch out of me. I am on very explicit instructions that they will not be taking ANYTHING out of my body without my mother there first. They complied to this demand request They scheduled me for the surgery a few days later with a doctor who is familiar with the procedures and does this frequently. This is a better choice than getting stuck with the on-call doctor who is winging it because this got put on his schedule last min.

    I get sent home, mom and dad show up to help. The hospital mails me a bunch of gross sticky wipes and tells me how to shower and clean myself with said wipes. Sitting in the waiting room is a weird experience, because you don’t know what to do with yourself. One of my amazing coworkers stopped by for moral support. It was wonderful and touching and a needed distraction from thinking about all the ways I could die on the table.

    I go in they prep me and take blood samples. Eventually they knock me out I wake up and I have 5 glued shut holes in my abdomen. Turns out the tumors were so big they had to scrape them off of other organs to get it out. I asked to keep it and they said no, I was a little upset, they wouldn’t even take a picture. I spend another night in the hospital, and get sent home to heal. This went well for about 12 hours until we realized I have a bowel obstruction (meaning my bowels are shut down and refuse to work) and I get to go spend two more days in the hospital on an all liquid diet. I was finally released to go home Christmas eve, this is the best present I could have asked for. Since then, I have hung out at home doing the healing thing, while trying to walk a little longer everyday. My parents left shortly after I was released and my father in law came to stay for a week. I don’t think I would be in as good a spot as I am now, if I didn’t have this support system to help out. My husband has had to take care of everything and everyone since all of this started. He has done all of this without complaint and constant encouragement and love. I couldn’t be more thankful to be married to him.

    So for about 2 months I have been in and out of the hospital dealing with this bullshit. It has changed the things I care about in life and what I worry about for the future. For 2017 I just want to love my family and friends and be thankful for the time I have with them.


  • A note on showering.

    We made it to Voodoo Doughnut, I have already had my Capitan Crunch doughnut so all is right in the world. The Bear has been baptized in the confectionary goodness of the Voodoo church. He has seen the light and is a complete convert.

    The day has ended on a much higher note than it started. Not in small part due to the RV camp facility having working showers. You learn something about yourself when you go camping. And no I don’t really consider RVing “real camping” it’s “Glamping” at best, and you know what? That is just fine with me. I have been real “go shit in the woods and bring your own paper” camping. That was a lot of fun. I got to sleep on the ground, bathe in a lake, get woken up by my mother screaming about bears and my father mumbling about raccoons. It was awesome.

    After minimal reflection I can say I have noticed something about myself on these excursions. For starters on the average day,  I hate using public facilities to shower, you always worry about foot rot and stepping on weird hairballs from unknown sources. I’m not even a huge fan of publish restrooms for a host of other reasons. While camping in the wilderness, I would have sacrificed an unnecessary appendage to have any amount of hot running water. The RV shower would have been a gracious gift from god… all six gallons of hot water in it.

    While RVing the shower becomes something of a dreadful situation to be dealt with. You have to turn the pump on, turn the water heater on, wait for it to heat, find all of your soaps and conditioners. Next comes the performance of varying feats from Cirque Du Soleil to wash all of your parts, but quickly because there isn’t much hot water and it’s cold as hell in here. Then you clean it all up, dry it all down and hope the condensation buildup isn’t too horrible. Oh and you have to watch your gray water levels because the tanks must be dumped appropriately. Based on this, you can see how a camp site shower suddenly looks like a spa day.

    The bear found out the hard way that not all RV sites maintain their public showers properly. After the debacle that was last night, he figured getting out of the RV for a bit might be a good idea. So he gathered his shower pack and headed up the hill to the facility. After turning the water on, he noticed that the handles felt like they were buzzing. Initially he assumed maybe it was a vibration from the pipes, turns out.. nope. The water lines were electrified somewhere and it zap him when he touched them while turned on. Logically, he Noped right the fuck out of there. Needless to say, I skipped that option as well.

    After dinner tonight I took a stroll up to the shower at our new site, they were spotless clean, the water was just the right level of scalding hot and it felt like I was being showered with angle kisses. On an average day if you asked me to get naked and shower in that bathroom I would still opt to just wait till I got home, today it was heaven.

    So what did I observe? Your willingness to do things that are outside of your normal comfort level can be drastically changed given the circumstance.


  • Day 4 Walmart and Driving

    Today started with an impressive display of lazy ass Elk hanging out at next to the Little Red School house at the RV site. On our way out one of the regulars at the RV park engaged us in conversation and I witnesses something I’ve never seen before, Coco barking at a stranger. Based on this response we are convinced he was probably an axe murderer.  We packed up and headed into one of the larger towns for a mediocre breakfast.

    We needed to stop at the super Walmart because it turns out that the sewage tanks fill up quickly and need to have special poo dissolving chemicals added to them every time you empty the tank. I am not involved in this process, if you want to know more about it ask the Bear. I’ve always heard the best time to go to Walmart for people watching was late at night. It was midday on a Tuesday and this place was like an episode of national geographic. Sleep pants, fully visible bras, and shoeless children were the order of the day. They all seemed nice enough but you could supply the People Of Walmart website for a month at this location alone in a single day. We collected our goods and an unhealthy amount of impulse snacks and hit the road. (I’ll let you know my thoughts on the Lays Biscuits and Gravy chips after I gather enough courage to try them.)

    We drove through the rest of California and into the middle of coastal Oregon today. We saw more Elk along the way, as well as some deer and spoiled cows. The beaches changed a little at first from open coves with sandy beaches to sheer rock faces that drop off directly into the ocean from dense forrest. There are a ton of little logging towns and some have cranberry bogs. It took us a while to figure out what the hell those were along the way. We didn’t stop for lunch or go on any hikes, but we did stop along the side of the road to take pictures of some of the coast. It was freezing cold, windy, and rainy. We love it.

    The driving can get stressful because the roads here have a lot of rock slide areas and rough spots. I’m much more comfortable driving the RV then when we started but it’s still an unfamiliar vehicle that is basically a giant blind spot that doesn’t break real well and depending on the grade of the road will not accelerate past 60 mph because the pedal is on the floor. If you are not aware of this, I am the only driver on this trip. It takes a lot of concentration and energy to spend a day driving a weird vehicle that handles awkwardly and has the turning radius of a freaking ship. By the time we arrived at our next lodging location I was very tired and getting hangry. I don’t have much patience for shit when I’m hungry. And of course I have to back this big bitch into the camp site, at night in the rain. I am fortunate that my husband knows the drill when I turn into a food harpy. I ended up making hamburgers on the stove because the rain cancelled our steak cooking plans. Turns out we didn’t bring any condiments. We don’t even had catsup. The Bear failed to see why eating only meat on bread was a problem. This is how he eats all of his hamburgers. I still hadn’t eaten and my crazy was ratcheting up to 11. To clarify, I don’t yell, I don’t even raise my voice, but I do get Forrest Whitaker eye and my blood starts to boil. Luckily it all turned out lovely and we ate food and the demon within went away.

    Not very exciting I know, but tomorrow we see the Dunes and Thor’s Well which will be amazing.


  • but that’s none of my business.

    Everything on the interwebs is always in extremes. You must hate this, we must stop that, we have to stand up for/against this. The problem with being moderate is that I disagree with all or part of almost everything. My parents are Very conservative, my husband is VERY liberal. I am just very argumentative.
    guns
    For example: I am a gun owner, I enjoy guns. I have no interest in giving them up or taking them away from people who are stable, responsible and trained on the proper handling. I also think we need better methods for making sure that guns do not get into the hands of the mentally ill. I also believe that mental illness should not be stigmatized and that everyone should have  access quality care when it’s needed. Active Military and Veterans in particular are getting the shaft when it comes to treatment.

    hunting-meme-6
    Since we are talking about guns, I am a hunter. I enjoy hunting but not for the killing part. I hunt deer occasionally. Deer are a fast breeding, high population animal that can over populate an area and cause considerable damage in areas that have depleted predator populations. Areas like my uncle’s farm in upstate NY for example. You know what we do with those deer we hunt? We eat them. We share any extra meat with people in the neighborhood who need it. Hunting permits are given out as conservation efforts in the U.S., not to decimate a population.  I think big game trophy hunting is fucking pointless. Congrats, you shot something somewhere with someone and spent a shitpot full of money to do it.  You wasted the meat and the animal to take the skin and paid someone else to re-imagine what it looked like so you can put it on your wall. All so you can sit in your den and mentally jerk off about that one time you looked a (insert endangered animal here) in the eye before you killed it.  People that do this shit should be punched in the head.

    greed
    Since we are talking about New York, I think people who work 40 hours a week at any job should make a living wage. By that I do not mean they should barely scrap by with government assistance. I mean they should be able to live dignified lives. New York recently passed a law that has fast food workers eventually earning $15 an hour. Many people were angry about this, I found that understandable. The direction of their anger is what I don’t understand. Many people were miffed that a group of fast food workers DARED to stand up to their collective companies, and demand to be paid higher wages. And they won. “Many nurses, LPN’s, paramedics, police officers and other hard working people are barely making that amount, who do these burger flippers think they are, asking to make so much money? ” That is the exactly wrong question. Why aren’t you asking “Hey, I work double shifts at the hospital taking care of sick people and wiping asses and I have to bust ass to make ends meet… I had to get training and schooling to do it,  why aren’t I paid appropriately for the training and skills that I have?” Why not stand up and fight the same way? If they can do it, why can’t you? They forced the change, the door is open, organize and make it happen. Don’t stand there yelling at your neighbor because they had the audacity to asked for soup instead of shit.. and they got it.

    BlackLivesMatter-AllLivesMatter
    Since we are talking about inequality, yes all lives matter, but you know what? Right now there is an issue with the lives and experiences of black people in our country and we need to put some focus on that. Black Lives Matter and we need to fix the horrible issues they are dealing with. Racism is alive and well in this country and if you don’t see that you are probably part of the issue. There is nothing wrong with focusing efforts towards working on some resolutions for this. White privilege exists, the best description I have seen of this was actually from a web comic I like to read Least I Could Do it depicts the main character (a white male in a nice car) getting pulled over. He points out how he now understands white privilege, because he knew exactly how the entire exchange would go, he at no time was afraid for his life or nervous about his actions. He was completely comfortable and trusting of the officer. That is not the feeling most young black men have when they get pulled over. That is a problem. Black people and people of color should feel just as comfortable interacting with law enforcement as white people. But they don’t. We need to fix that. Black people are not the enemy.

    Copblock_Good_Cop
    Since we are talking about Law Enforcement,  I love law enforcement officers. My father is in law enforcement, I wanted to be a police officer most of my life. It didn’t work out for me. The VAST VAST VAST majority of police officers out there are great people with loving families who go to work everyday to help people. They get paid peanuts and are shit on everyday by the public. They work long hours and they are constantly exposed to the worst our society has to offer. They see dead bodies, abused children, rape victims and mentally ill drug addicts, every single day. They get yelled at, spit on, cursed out and attacked. They are very under appreciated and extremely over worked. There are here to protect lives and they do it everyday. We should respect that and respect them. They are not the enemy.

    bc
    Since we are talking about life, I believe that as a female I have the right to decide what goes into and comes out of my body. No one has the right to tell me what to do with it. I think contraceptive pills should be over the counter or at least easily accessible to any woman and that she should be educated on the proper use of it. I think people are grossly uninformed about how Planned Parenthood works because certain news channels enjoy smear campaigns about anything that confuses them or will work to enrage the public. OH BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BABIES!?!! Calm your tits, the abortion business isn’t exactly booming. In fact its at record lows. If you taught a proper sex education class and provided prophylactics and birth control this would be even LESS of an issue. But that probably won’t happen right? So lets talk about abortions. I’m not going to go through different scenarios that a female could result in them needing/wanting an abortion. You know why? Because it doesn’t matter. The same people that go postal about abortions are the same people who harp on welfare and government assistance. Basically saying “Don’t get an abortion you murderer!” but also “all these sluts on WIC are just leeches on society” So you want to force her to birth the child but not give her any help taking care of it? “But what about adoption?” Adoption is my favorite thing, but it isn’t something you should force another person to go through with.

    flag
    Since we are talking about rights, lets talk about flags. I was born and raised in South Florida, I went to college in Tennessee. Rebel flags have been a daily sight my entire life, but I don’t believe that it is necessary or appropriate for it to fly over a government building in the United States. Why? because it’s a building in the United States and we are all in this together. This does not mean start ripping down state flags with similar designs or defacing confederate monuments. As far as personal use and sale, go on about your business. You have the right to wear, fly and sell whatever flags you want. That is your right as a citizen of this country. If a company no longer wishes to sell that flag, it’s their company and they can change their inventory in whatever way they want. If you want one on your car, your belt, buckle, your bathing suit and your coffee mug go right on and do what you want to do. For the people who don’t like the Rebel flag, this will be big red stars and bars symbol of someone they probably won’t fundamentally agree with. Now this also means if you choose to fly that flag you are accepting responsibility for the fact that a large portion of society will think that you are an ignorant trash ball redneck who may or may not have frequent relations with a family member. But that’s your right.

    opinion
    Look at that! I talked about seven different hot button issues in one blog! I was thoughtful about each and every one. I feel very strongly about them and my opinions can (and possibly will) change with new facts and experience because that’s how learning works. Crazy right? So maybe people should stop comparing different things that people are upset about. You can have strong feelings about more than one topic at a time. It is possible. One of things that annoys me about topical discussions is the habit of at least one dickwit to say “Why are we talking about (blah) when (blah) in country (blah) has it so much worse?! #FirstWorldProblems #I’mAMassiveTool” people are talking about it because that’s what the article is about. Just because someone or somewhere else has it worse it does not mean that whatever we are talking about isn’t also bad. This isn’t a dick measuring contest about Current Events.


  • I’m done being an adult today.

    reading

    Here is something funny I have learned about myself: I’m not great at processing fear or anxiety in a reasonable way. If something scares me or causes internal turmoil, I don’t cry, I don’t yell or get angry. I shut down, put on pajamas and read a book. If I’m in a REALLY bad way, my husband will find me in the fetal position laying in my closet staring at a wall or reading. This all waits until I get home. This doesn’t happen in public. In public the most you will notice is that I am not as focused and I’m quieter than usual. My husband doesn’t fear sobbing or a quivering lip. He fears the silence. Not the everyday quite of inactivity or sleepy puppy snuggles after work. Rather the silence that surrounds someone who has vacated reality for a time. I haven’t succumbed to the closet monster since we moved to California. I have read a about a hundred books though.

    Reading was an incredible struggle for me as a child (between having the attention span of a hummingbird with a cocaine addiction and enough dyslexia that I still misread things in very amusing ways). My mom spent countless hours reading to me or having me read to her before naps or bed. I honestly don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have this literary escape. If I wasn’t able to put reality on hold for enough time that my brain is able to sort through whatever feelings I don’t have the courage to face head on. This is how I cope.

    Lately I’ve read a lot. Specifically I have reread books that I love. I am doing this because they are a guaranteed escape that I will enjoy, in a world I already know, with characters I already love. When I get to part of the story that I know will pull at my heartstrings.. I skip it. because that’s what I am avoiding now. feeling.

    Several years ago a doctor stumbled upon an anomaly on my kidneys. After some extensive testing, I was told I have a some benign growths on my kidneys that would have gone unnoticed until someone performed an autopsy on my very dead, very old body. I was advised that I should consider getting them checked every couple of years just in case.

    This year I remembered that I am actually almost an adult and I should really get those looked at. My last ultrasound of the area was in 2006. So I went in, explained to my doctor that my kidneys have polka dots and that she should take a look at them. So she did. and she asked me to have my records sent over. So I did. and she said “hmmm….”

    I can say definitively that this is not a sound you want to hear from your doctor. It seems that my polka dots decided that color blocking was all the rage in Kidneys this season. The largest spots were much larger.

    She sent me to a Urologist. This was probably one of the more amusing doctors visits I’ve ever experienced. Mainly because I walked into the waiting room and a dude with a piss bag strapped to his leg was just chillin in the corner. Before you get all huffy that I am making fun of someone who is clearly sick and suffering, know that it was 55 degrees outside and  he was wearing shorts with his bag hanging out in all of its urinary glory.

    He owned that bag.

    He ROCKED that bag.

    He is my ZFG hero. Believe me when I tell you that trepidation about a doctors visit will be cured by the site of an old guy who doesn’t give a single fuck that his piss bag is showing.

    They promptly took me to an exam room to wait for the doctor. I guess it never occurred to me that men frequent Urologist more than women as this little gem was hanging on the door.

    20141124_084547 copy

    There is nothing more reassuring than the site of a flaccid penis on the door and flyers for Cialis on the counter. You could say it warmed my cockles.

    When the doctor came in, I assumed he had only recently earned the right to buy cigarettes and drive alone in a car. (I found out later that the adage about Asians not aging until the day they just deflate into something closely resembling a raisin is entirely accurate. It turns out the doctor was in his 40s.) I’m pretty sure he learned bedside manners from Dr. House. I found his straightforward lack of empathy strangely reassuring.

    These positive feelings were somewhat diminished when he actively googled my condition on his phone while we were talking about it.

    He explained that the growths were quite large, and let me know that there were options available to prevent further growth. He mentioned the results of one of these little bastards continuing to grow involved words like Hemorrhage and kidney failure. I asked he what he suggested I do given the size of the growths. He said that the choice was mine. This is not the answer I expected. I tried to explain to him that I am  not a doctor and I haven’t even taken a biology class since high school. I really didn’t feel qualified to make decisions about the future of an organ whose use I couldn’t define outside of it had something to do with pee.

    He mentioned a procedure that involves cutting a hole in your artery and shoving a tube inside to snake into your kidneys to blast a couple of mini silicon balls to block the blood flow to the growths. Apparently this is totally normal. My other option was to just wait around until they burst either from trauma or they grew so large then started to affect the function of other organs. But he stressed it was entirely up to me because clearly I know enough about this to make an educated choice. Obviously I would like to avoid the side effects mentioned.

    The urologist then told me to talk to a more special specialist at another facility to schedule the procedure. This guy was kinda cool even though he totally name dropped during our phone consult. He basically told me that if I’m not a pussy I should be up and moving fairly soon after the surgery and that I would only feel slightly shitty. He seemed pretty relaxed about the whole thing.

    In these last few months, I quickly learned that after each doctors visit I was basically rendered useless for about half a day. My brain would shut down because mortality isn’t something I like to address. It seems to take me about that long for my brain to freak out and recover. In that time I would bury myself in a book while to help distract from the reality of life. I let all of this information process. I would eventually fall asleep and be good to go by morning.

    At times I have trouble reminding myself that it’s not that big a deal and that I will be fine. But my greatest issue is talking about it. You see, I don’t like to telling people stuff like this. For some reason I am afraid my friends will think I am just looking for attention and sympathy. This is not the case, in fact I would rather not mention it at all to anyone. But if they found out later they would be pissed I didn’t say anything. I don’t like the look of sympathy, like I’m some sad Sarah Mclachlan commercial. I’m fine, I need you to think I’m fine, so I can actually convince myself that I am fine, and everything will be fine. There are people who are diagnosed with cancer and horrible disease and they battle on like the bad asses that they are. I don’t feel I have the right to be concerned about something so minor. I know it makes sense that I’m having a bit of a moment about it because this is happening to me and it sounds scary. It’s just easier to ignore it by running away in a story and going on adventures where kidneys don’t exist and I can still be an assassin mage princess ninja.

     


  • Who are you calling a princess?

    Lately it seems that if you want something to go viral make it a Disney princess mashup.

    Like most american girls, I was brought up watching Disney movies. I had every princess movie, I played dress up and make-believe.  I went to Disney World several times a year for most of my childhood. Sleeping Beauty is still my favorite Disney movie.

    I was fortunate to be taught to take care of myself. I can change the oil in my car, change a tire, replace the breaks, fix drywall holes, mend busted sprinkler pipes, and a whole slew of other life skills. I was never told I couldn’t do something because I was a girl.  My family supported me (and pushed me when I was ready to quit) to complete my bachelors degree. They have encouraged me to pursue a master’s degree or higher when I am ready to take on that challenge.  When I knew it was time to change jobs I knew I had a solid foundation to make that change.

    I was never told that I was a princess who deserves to have Prince Charming come take care of me.

    The video below explains it rather well but there are still things even I disagree with.

    My parents taught me to have the life skills necessary to support myself and my family.

    They explained that life can change quickly so you better be able to step up to the challenge.

    I was not raised to depend on another person for financial support.

    You want a nice pair of stupid expensive heels? Great! Get a job earn some money and buy those hot ass shoes.

    You want a big beautiful house with a white picket fence? Awesome! Get a job, manage your money, get a savings account, take out a mortgage and buy that big beautiful house.

    Too many girls seem to think that all they need in life is a rich man who will take care of them. Why? What makes you so special that you’re entitled to spend someone else’s money without contributing?

    To clarify, I am not referring to Stay at Home Mom’s and Dad’s. That is an unpaid full-time job;  you are taking care of the house, managing the budget and raising kids. I am also not referring to people are physically or mentally unable to work. That would be a ridiculous standard to hold someone to. We can only do what is within our abilities.

    What I am referring to are the girls who are waiting around for some guy to come rescue them from their mundane life. This is not a life goal sweetheart.

    If your life sucks, that’s your fault. Go make it interesting. If you want money and nice things, go get a job, learn some skills and earn that money. If you want to be more cultured, go travel or read something other than a magazine.

    Why are you waiting for someone else to handle it? If you aren’t happy with your life, that’s on you not on the person you will end up with.

    Put your big girl panties on and take charge of your own damn life.

    I don’t think its fair to the guys. Why should a man be expected to pay for your shit? We pressure men to make enough money to support a wife and kids. Ladies, we fought to vote, we are still fighting to stand on equal footing in the business world. why are we working this hard to turn around and expect or partners to pay for everything? You are not entitled to sit there and let some poor sap shower you with gifts and money. Reality TV shows are not something you should aspire to. Relationships are about working together as a team to meet your goals. If you and your partner decide that it is practical for you to stay home, that is great and you are very fortunate. I am sure you support them in a multitude of other ways. But to live with the expectation that you deserve and are owed the privilege to sit at home and do nothing but shop and drink while someone else takes care of you, that is complete bullshit. You are not a princess this is not a fairy tale. Grow. Up.

    We all wish we had enough money to live in a mansion and do whatever we wanted all day everyday. That’s a great dream, that no one will hand you. You need to bust your ass to get it.

    I read an awesome response to a girl who referred to herself as The Pretty Girl asking about finding a millionaire boyfriend. A response was given by someone claiming they are a millionaire. Basically they laid out why dating her is a poor business choice. Their money appreciates over time, her attractiveness will substantially depreciated as she gets older. She is not an asset. She has no skills to add to the bargain. Therefore it is a waste of time for them to do anything more than date attractive women. Millionaires are better off marrying women who are successful in their own right as they have something to offer to the partnership.

    The only person responsible for your happiness and success is you.

    If you want something, go get it.

    If you don’t know how, learn.

    If learning is hard, TOUGH! Life is hard. If need to ask for help it doesn’t mean you can’t do it. You might fall. Get up.

    You have to work. If it wasn’t challenging it would be called play.

    End motivational speech.

    Random Disney side comment:

    Ariel : No one told her she had to give up her fins for legs. She did that her damn self. She’s lucky he wasn’t a damn psycho.

    Jasmine: Your dad keeps you locked in a castle against your will, be pissed at him. You turned down everyone and had to be tricked into liking someone…

    Aurora: You were raised by three old ladies in the forest because your parents abandoned you, how the hell do you even know what a man looks like? Stockholm’s syndrome much??  Maybe don’t marry the guy who raped you in your sleep

    Bell: Beast is nuts and violent. understandable as he was turned into that thing and can’t function. He locked your dad and you in a freaking dungeon cell. You think the dishes can talk, you need therapy not a wedding dress.

    Cinderella: Move out, get a job as an animal trainer with Aurora. You can make clothes and shit.

    Pocahontas: should have let your dad kill him. It ended badly for your people.

    Snow White: Bitch all you have to do is cook and clean for a bunch of little guys who mine jewels and they feed you rent free?? what are you complaining about? And don’t take food from strangers because it leads to random dudes raping your in your glass coffin. #justsayin

    Rapunzel: Seriously? again with the kidnapping, stockholm syndrome and therapy. Get a group rate going.

    Mulan: Bitch gets shit done.

     


  • Roaming in Wyoming

    I was in Wyoming for work last week.

    Before I get started with my review of this experience, I feel that I need to air out my misconceptions concerning this state. This will give you a better understanding of my response to the experience.

    What I expected:

    Sheriff Longmire in a hat, on a horse, in about 10 feet of snow, or 100 degree desert weather.

    A waffle house, general store, and someplace famous for their chili that is run by a lady named Miss Patty.

    Native Americans EVERYWHERE.

    At least one buffalo.

    What welcomed me the first day:

    Not a single thing on the list above because Longmire lied to me.

    6 “Asian” restaurants and 1o Mexican places

    The Walmart where every single People Of Walmart photo was taken.

    While we were driving to Rock Springs, Wyoming from the Salt Lake city Utah airport (a.k.a The land of numerous wives), I observed that the landscape looked similar to West Texas. Dry, covered in dirt, with sad little scrubby plants, and a few out of place flowers. It looks like a desert. At any moment you expect a band of cowboys to come riding down the ridge to attack a wagon train or some crap.

    IMG_0321

    On our first full day we started to notice some storms off in the distance. A phenomena I haven’t witnessed since I left the flat lands of Florida. And then it started raining and raining some more. In fact, it did not stop raining for two days. Yet for some unknown magical, mystical, middle of nowhere, bullshit reason my lips chapped and the inside of my nose crusted over with a blood infused cement booger hybrid. Every morning I woke up and praised Jesus that I didn’t asphyxiate in my sleep.

    We had asian food, steak, sushi (because it was different than the Asian food place) and the free dinner the hotel provides. Much to our surprise we didn’t actually die from eating sushi and it was the place everyone recommended when we asked where to eat. The steak house was a steak house, there was booze, meat, 70’s wood paneling and the necessary taxidermy that provides just the right amount of testosterone overload to season your steak. This was the nicest place around. Everyone that worked there wore bow ties and looked appropriately miserable.

    We stopped at Walmart for snacks and at some point we were transported to middle earth.  It was like a strange middle america petting zoo filled with normal creatures dressed exotically. It’s like the Fashion train stopped at the Little House on the Prairie and everyone got the hell off. I learned at lot about the possibilities of layering. For example, I was unaware that one could layer various pieces of leopard print lycra with intermittent layers of bright red lycra that had been sold by the acre. They didn’t really have a “No Shirt, No Shoes, no service” policy so much as a “Cover your naughty bits ’cause Jesus is watchin'” policy. It seemed to work for them. I’m pretty sure that everyone has a plaid couch and a deer painting somewhere in their house.

    What they lack in current fashion options that aren’t plaid or camo, they make up for by being just about the nicest people on the planet. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone one say anything stronger than “well they’re somethin’ else, I guess…” as a negative remark. Though that could be the midwestern version of “Bless their heart”. After three days I started to recognize people, by day four we all started to say “Hi” to each other. I think it’s the water. The urge to start teasing my hair grows with each passing moment and I considered buying aqua net on more than one occasion. If I pickup a three wolf moon picture I give you permission to cut my hand off and ship me back to California.

    Other than the Walmart, there was a strip club somewhere that I was never able to locate called the “The Bareback Saloon” and oddly enough, considering the name, was suppose to be mostly naked ladies not dudes. There wasn’t much in the way of entertainment other than a few bars and a  drive thru liquor store. I don’t drink anymore so bars turn into a weird exercise in freaking out social drinkers by ordering a coke and watching them try and figure out if I am a recovering alcoholic or pregnant. The answer is neither by the way. I just can’t drink alcohol in any amount without getting migraines.

    As if the rain wasn’t enough of a pain in the ass, at some point during the week the temperature decided to dip into the 20’s at night and maybe squeaked into the 50’s and 60’s during the day. I had exactly one jacket. Im pretty sure it saved my life. I didn’t realize until I walked to the car one morning that I had on brown steel toe boots, brown man-pants, and my brown jacket. I looked like a giant walking turd. My options were continue to look like a poop or freeze my tits off. I chose warmth. On the topic of freezing to death, we were informed that it can snow  12 months out of the year in Wyoming and the question still remains, why do people live there? We finally had to ask what all the weird fences were next to the road. It turns out they require fences to stop the snow drift from closing down roads. These are not temporary structure brought out in the winter. These are permeant fixtures because the frost giants like to visit year round.

    The day we drove to the airport to fly home, we stopped at Little America (combination truck stop, diner, motel and final resting place of your last scrap of dignity if you sleep there) for breakfast. It was the only place with trees for about 300 miles. They have road signs starting from 100 miles away and they are posted just about every 50 feet in case you missed the last one because you were distracted by the splendid vistas.

    IMG_0322

    Road sign 600 of 900000. 

    IMG_0640

    look at this picture, now imagine this but for hundreds of miles with the occasional Butte thrown in for variety. 

    Little America was built whenever classic diners were just diners. All the buildings are brick with colonial white columns. The whole place looks like a slasher movie set in the 1950’s. Except there is a dinosaur in front of the restaurant and the random nightmare penguins on all of the roofs.

    IMG_0671 IMG_0669

    We enjoyed a decent meal and completed out 3 hour drive to the nearest international airport that happens to be in another state.

    We arrived home safely and my body is happy to be at sea level. My skin is eternally grateful for the humidity. My brain trembles at the possibility I will be returning to Wyoming in the near future. Next time  I will know to bring a parka, a teasing comb, my hair spray and a bottle of angel tears to moisturize my skin.

     

     


  • “10 things all _______ should stop/start doing right now!”

    I imagine we have all seen articles that definitively state a number of things we should start or stop doing right this minute, or things we MUST try before we die or places you MUST see before you’re __ years old.

    I hate this trend in articles. I have gotten to the point where I will purposely avoid reading them because I dislike the way they formatted their title. I don’t know if I am the only one that feels this way or if it’s just a weird mental quirk of mine but it just irritates me. I feel that these articles should have a sub title that adds “in our opinion” at the end of it.

    I understand that there are whole websites that are dedicated to lists of crap they feel you need to conform yourself to. I even read some of them, like http://www.buzzfeed.com and http://www.cracked.com . I just get annoyed when some ass-hat writes an article telling me how to live my life. As though their advice and vast existential wisdom will somehow change my life by telling me to “let go of negative thoughts”. Thanks, I don’t know how I have managed to live my life without that little gem of guidance. I can now move forward and with my mundane existence feeling enlightened by these blessed bits of knowledge. 

    The worst to me are articles telling you what you should NEVER say to women/men/children/sentient vegetables or whatever. Most of the time these articles make an assumption about the context or are so freaking obvious that it doesn’t merit being added. If you need to be told by some random dude with publishing ability online, that telling your significant other that they are fat slob and you find them sexually underwhelming, then article isn’t going to suddenly make you a less terrible person. Its too late you are irreversibly a catastrophic fuck-up.

    Soo good luck with that.

     


  • burlesque beauties

    Halloween

    I’m not real big on holidays. The one exception is Halloween. It’s just about the best thing ever.

    A holiday where you get to dress up as anything you want.

    You go out and watch drunk slutty chicks channel their inner Naughty (Insert any noun here), while being hit on by guys dressed as (whatever costume will most effectively drop panties).

    This is People Watching GOLD my friends!!

    I love seeing all of the costumes. The good, the bad and the ridiculous.

    I willingly admit to being a slutty costume  aficionado, they are my favorites.

    This will be my first Halloween in a place that actually gets cold.

    For this reason, when the Bear and I went to a costume party at a local bar this weekend, I opted for warmth over slut (modern day Function over form). Funny how marriage changes a lady…

    If we were hip (we aren’t). we would have gone clubbing in San Francisco. Nonetheless, paying a $50 cover charge per person sure as HELL wasn’t going to happen.

    Instead, we found a bar that was advertising a costume contest, a Prince cover band, and a burlesque show. We checked that is wasn’t located in an area of Oakland that was likely to get us shot at. And we headed over dressed in our finest (& warmest) pirate garb. (nerd level expert : achievement unlocked)

    I had never before seen a burlesque show; but I always heard really interesting and awesome things about them. So I was more than a little excited to go.

    (MOM STOP READING HERE!)

    I have been more than a few strip clubs in my life. I think they are hysterical and usually a lot of fun. I spend most of the time considering how athletic and bendy the dancers are.  I also enjoy watching how stupid male patrons act in the presence of several sets of nipples. They turn into drunk toddlers.

    In my experience, Strippers tend to fall into two loose categories (yeah I went there).

    There are the chicks who work at it and treat it like the job that it is. They are usually pretty hot, have an awesome complicated erotic dance routine and take very good care of themselves.

    The other group are usually the girls that dance because they have to make money fast for any number of terribly depressing reasons. They usually aren’t in shape and their routine is more  of an interpretive gyration of tragedy.

    I was under the impression that Burlesque was just a watered down version of stripping with better music.

    Burlesque shouldn’t even be mentioned on the same page as strip clubs. So far superior is the quality of entertainment. Yes, they do take most of their clothes off while dancing to music. But, That is where the similarities end.

    These performers managed to take the act of undressing ( something that often provokes feelings of negative body image in women) and turn it into a moment of empowerment and self love.

    These are not women who are paid to dance naked for tips. These were women with normal soft bodies. They carried extra weight, they had rolls and cellulite. And. they. were. GORGEOUS!

    The confidence and sex appeal they exuded was palpable. They didn’t just dance and swing their boobie tassels. They had well thought out, incredibly humorous dance numbers that also happened to be sexy as hell.

    After watching these ladies shake their things, I left feeling like they reached out and sparked the inner sex kitten in every female in the crowd.

    Can you even grasp how huge that is? Women showing other women that they can be sexy and love their bodies. That they should embrace their love handles and jiggly bits.

    Burlesque dancers show the world that you don’t have to be a size 2 to feel sexy.

    It was an amazing show and one of the best Halloween parties I have ever attended.

    As you might expect, the guys were still drunk toddlers. After all, those tassels were attached to nipples… and fleshy mammary glands seem to make men happy and just a little stupid.