Oh Baby!

Yup, that’s right; I’m preggers.

Hold up. Don’t congratulate me so quickly. For us, it wasn’t difficult to get pregnant. In fact, it was exceedingly unexpected.. and came at an inconvenient time. But, as I’ve been told a lot lately, that’s usually how it works.

I’ve learned a lot since getting pregnant. The first thing I learned was that I can no longer eat the foods I love… except Chinese food; the baby loves Chinese food. YES!


The baby hates chocolate, the majority of sweets, potato chips, most pizza, etc.. etc..

Not only has it been difficult to find food that doesn’t turn the inside of my mouth into a sewer-tasting cesspit, it’s been hard to keep said foods down.

Texture, people… texture is everything. No more bananas or anything that could immediately turn to mush in my mouth.
Is it chewy? Nope. If I have to chew for an extended period of time.. not only is it not going down, it’s going to bring everything else back up.
That means cutting my meats into eensy teensy pieces, limiting the bread, and spitting out the rest.

And did I mention the gag reflex? Let’s just say brushing my teeth is like playing Russian roulette. It’s this damn gag reflex that is exacerbating my morning sickness 24/7 nausea.

However, this has led to a eureka moment! I finally figured out how Mother Nature gets the pregnant woman to think that the act of giving birth in and of itself doesn’t sound so bad.
You know, the part where you have to push a watermelon out of a hole the size of a toilet paper tube. Yeah, it scares the crap out of me. (Probably literally when the birthing process begins.)

Well, when I give birth (and go through the weeks of after birth pain… fuck you Mother Nature..) I can eat again!


So, that means I can eat chocolate without it tasting like a cow pasture smells. I can eat bananas without the texture making me masticate in reverse. And.. I can eat potato chips, again!

No wonder women gain weight after they give birth. They can finally eat!

The Hundred Year Fiasco

It was July 5th. The morning sun had not yet broken through the clouds as I groggily fired up the PC.

The tower hummed to life as all of the familiar lights flickered. I let the computer wake up while I brewed up some coffee and toasted my english muffins. The air was full of buttered bread, coffee, and small shadows that began to creep across the floor as the sun poked out between the clouds.

I sat down at my computer chair, munching on my muffin and sipping my cuppa. I typed in the password and waited impatiently as I fingered crumbs off my plate. A finger was still in my mouth when I looked up at the screen and saw it..

No. Internet. Connection.

My mouth dropped open and my finger fell to the desk. My eyes grew wide and my heart began beating a little faster. All of the usual withdrawal symptoms.

Wait… this can’t be right. I climbed under the computer desk, A.K.A. dust-bunny land. Down on all fours in my pajamas, I began a frantic check of the wires going to the modem and computer. Was it plugged into the jack?

I sat up and sighed heavily. I’d have to recycle the power to the modem. For such a small chore, it seemed a huge dread. It only took a few minutes, if even that, but they seemed to drag on.

I followed the age-old procedure of unplugging the power cord, the dsl cord, and then the ethernet cord. I unplugged the jack. I waited the horribly eternal one minute and then plugged everything back in.

Nothing. All of the lights were green except for the important one. The DSL light was totally red.


I decided to try restarting the computer, this time sighing and tapping fingers while it rebooted. Acid kicked up in my mouth. This shouldn’t have any impact on whether the modem is working, but it was a last ditch effort.


“What the fuck?!” I’m sure I had woken half of my neighbors, but I didn’t care as much as I should. I had no internet! They’d understand.



This is how my day started. Well, maybe not *exactly* how.. but it gets the point across. I didn’t have a lot of time to mess around any further with the blasted thing since Hubby and I had to get to work. I figured it was just another “outage”.

Oh how wrong I was.

I contacted my internet provider once I got home. I spoke with a lovely woman who said that a technician had been out in the area recently and had “accidentally” turned off the internet for our entire area.

Fucking Christ.

She assured me that our area was being rerouted to another server, but if the problem continued, I should call back after 6pm that night.

It continued. I called back. And then I realized that everything I had been told was probably a lie.

At 6pm, the alternate customer service reps take over. I actually got the same customer service rep that I talked to with the last outage. She was very helpful the last time.. not so much this time. Everything I said was met with heavy sighs and a strained voice that said every word as if she were speaking to a toddler.

She had a very thick accent and I couldn’t understand her very well. I’m sure this is what was causing her distress. It took about five repeats from her end before I realized she wasn’t asking for my company address, but my complete address. I felt like an ass for repeating that I was not a business. Ugh.

The longer we spoke, the more furiously I paced. Hubby started following me around asking if I was okay and rubbing my shoulders as I made fists in the air.

“No, the only red light is the DSL light!” I roared into the phone. I had answered the question a million times. She would click off to put me on hold and then click back on, probably with a question she had already asked me. I knew that she knew what she was doing. At least, she did last time. Why was she doing such a horrible job this time?

Despite the problems, I finally got an appointment set up for a technician to come out.. in a week. I hung up the phone, infuriated. Not just at the long wait, but also at the obvious miscommunications taking place. Hubby calmed the situation with the notion that in a week, it would all be over and we would have the internet back.

Again, we were very wrong.

The week came and went. No technician showed up.

I called back on my lunch break to make sure I would get ahold of a primary CSP (customer service representative) . I got a CSP that seemed honest and that I could understand. He apologized for the obvious inconvenience. (Was that all it was? It felt like I had lost a limb.. maybe I was being dramatic..)

Apparently, my inside wire insurance had been removed and then re-added to my account.
Gee, I wonder who could have done that.
For some reason, the system thought that meant the tech appointment had been cancelled. He put me on hold and contacted the technician supervisor to get it straightened out. I got another tech appointment. Another week’s wait. I was just happy to have an end to this nightmare.

He assured me the technician would be there on Thursday the 21st, and only after I was off work. I breathed a sigh of relief.

To calm the wait and our fraying nerves, we spent the hours after work for the week playing Solitaire and watching YouTube videos on our phones. What was the point of having a computer if there wasn’t any internet? Oy.
I was getting increasingly good at Minesweeper and Hubby had found some Pen and Teller magic show.

That Tuesday, I went to pick up my husband from work, just like every other day.. but I found out some grim news. Our landlord had gotten ahold of my husband while he was at work. He asked about an internet technician. It was Noon when he texted. It was Tuesday the 19th.. not Thursday the 21st.

While I drove home, Hubby called the internet company back, again, and explained the situation. The CSP assured him that the appointment was still set. Apparently, if a tech is in the area for a call, they will swing by and see if they can knock it out instead of having to make the drive later on. It seemed feasible.

I didn’t hold my breath, but I hoped the tech would show up on Thursday.

On the 21st, I sped home so I could do a quick clean of the place before having to speed back into town to get hubby, and then speed home again to get there before the tech (hopefully) showed up.
I sucked up dust-bunny-ville with a powerful cyclone (A.K.A. Hoover) and pulled everything away from the modem and wall jack. I picked up Hubby and we both waited, with half-baited breath.

At 8pm (an hour after the cutoff point), we admitted defeat and went to bed.

The following day after work.. well, you know the drill by now.

The CSP I spoke to, still a different one than all the others, apologized profusely. She said that the only thing she could do was to set up another .. yeah, you know.

This time, however, we set it up for early morning on Saturday. The CSP put in the notes that we would absolutely not be home until then. I wasn’t sure if it would make a difference, but I was grasping at straws here.

I explained this to Hubby as we drove home. We both agreed it was a good idea. He had to work all day Saturday, but I would be at home. Neither of us dared to ask if the notes in the computer would actually keep a tech from stopping by at a more convenient time .. well, convenient for them, anyways. We were too superstitious by this point. We had become internet jaded.

Once home, Hubby and I sat around in the living room, soaking up the air conditioning. I sat in the rocking chair, petting the cats. Hubby was eating and watching Pen and Teller on his phone. I hate Pen and Teller.

Suddenly, he popped his head up.

“Uh, we have internet.”

I jumped out of the chair, cats racing to all corners of the room as if a tornado was going by.


We both looked at the modem. All of the little lights were on and were green. Even the DSL light.

“How did that happen? Did a tech come out and not tell us?” I checked the windows. No tech vans.

Hubby shrugged. “We should keep the appointment in case it goes out, again.” I nodded and rubbed my greedy little hands together. “Mmmm, sweet internet,” I whispered. Hubby slowly backed away and retreated to the bedroom to watch more Pen and Teller.

Ah, two problems solved. Life was good.

Spock Mode Activate!

When I was younger… I know. Ugh. “She’s going all the way back to then. Pass the chips, Earl, it’s going to be a long read.”

Seriously, it’s going to be okay. Just hear me out.


When I was younger, my family called me “Ms.Spock”. I was forever saying, “That’s not logical,” to the point that it drove people crazy. I have not lost this gift *cough* annoying habit.

It tends to rear it’s ugly head when I’m browsing my social media feed (I’m looking at you, Facebook!) and I see those sickeningly sweet quotes. You know the ones. They’re in creative fonts and are plastered across pictures of serene fields, or flowers, or laughing children.


Because you are a special snowflake.

Ahh, that’s the stuff. Cliched and soppy saying? Check! Serene field and bonus sunset? Double check!

Here’s the thing that immediately pops into my head when I read this: “It takes 80 milliseconds for the human brain to process anything so we are constantly living in the past. This makes no sense.”

That’s it. Not, “Awww, that’s totally on point! We should all make the here-and-now more enjoyable.” Nope.


The alliteration just killed me. I am totally not stressing anymore, though, since I don’t have a heartbeat. I guess it worked.
Seriously, I guess your catchy and rhyming phrase has totally changed my life. I now see the error of my ways! Oh how wrong I ..

You get the idea.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have emotional responses to these things.. every now and again. I’m not a total robot.


Fuck you, buddy. Seriously, just back the fuck off and take your rose-colored glasses with you. No, I don’t want to hear about how I can reach enlightenment. Do you want to hear about how I can make your head reach the ceiling with one kick. No? Buh-bye, then.

I’m not bitter. I swear. Just sick of seeing these memes.

People! Stop with the memes!


Unless it has cats in it. Cat memes are always acceptable.  It is totally logical.

Thank you and good night.

Planting Fascists

So my feet have been hurting. I don’t mean in the sense of, “Oh wow, my dogs are really barking. I better take these shoes off and put my feet up when I get home. Ahhh, that’s better.”
It’s more like, “Oh my god, I’m the evil queen from Snow White and someone has put piping hot iron shoes on my feet,” kind of pain that keeps you up at night, makes you cry in your car on your lunch break, and turns you into a raging pain monster.


This is what happened to Snow White’s Evil Queen in the original fairy tale. Seems legit.

This began about two weeks ago when I started a new job. The job itself isn’t so bad, it’s just that it’s 11 hours a day, 6 days a week, and on concrete flooring. You don’t just stand there, thank the gods, but you are constantly walking and pounding that concrete.

Enter my completely flat feet. I mean completely. They actually make suction fart noises when I walk barefoot across linoleum. Yes, they are totally flat.
Why have I never gotten help for them before? It may or may not have something to do with my “Suck it up, buttercup” attitude. May. May .. not. Anywhoo, now I have to get help.

Help for my feet. Yes, I probably need the other kind of help as well, but one thing at a time.

'We've spent considerable time on it now. Isn't there anything bothering you besides your feet?'

‘We’ve spent considerable time on it now. Isn’t there anything bothering you besides your feet?’

I finally broke down after having to take two days off of work and went to the doctor’s office.
She listened to my symptoms, made me take my shoes off so she could feel my feet (a brave woman), and then said, “Yup, plantar fasciitis.”
“Plantar fash-what-is?”

So basically, my feet are taking root to turn me into a Fascist. Oh. That’s not what it means. Oh, tendons. Right. I totally knew that.

She explained what causes it and showed me how the foot moves with one of those foot model thingies and lots of pictures, because going to the doctor is like reverting back to Kindergarten. Must have visual aids!

Every word she spoke was like an, “Oh my God!” moment in my head. “Yes!” I would shout as I pointed at the picture or the model. “That is exactly what’s been going on!” It was so relieving to know there was something wrong that could be fixed/managed, and that it wasn’t just me being a big wuss.

So, a prescription of Ibuprofen, directions on stretches and ice packs, and some fancy-shmancy insoles later.. I am feeling pretty good about this whole thing. I won’t have to quit my job, afterall!

Ah, there is a catch. One minor hitch, really. It’s like it doesn’t even exist it’s just small..


Just a token, really. A trifle.

If the swelling doesn’t go down (right now my arches are actually sticking out of the soles of my feet) then I have to go back and get a steroid shot.. in my arches.

So, the one thing on my body that is causing copious amounts of pain will be made to feel better by sticking a needle in it.


She wanted to do it then and there, but I said, “No,” as I walked out the exam room and to the “check out” area.

No. No. No.

Please God No.

At any rate, I’m feeling pretty comfortable with the knowledge that this thing can be managed. I might have to get my ass to a Podiatrist and get some of those ridiculously expensive orthotic shoes in the near future.. maybe it can be my Christmas present. Sigh. Welcome to adult hood.

At least my feet won’t hurt anymore. Now, pass that ice pack.

All My Friends Are In My Head

Well, not really. At least, not in the Kirk Cobain way.

I mean the TV show “Friends”. Yes, that’s right, I like that show. I binge watch reruns on Netflix. I reference the characters. I love the TV show “Friends”. I even took an online quiz to find out which “Friend” I was most like when it hit me, I have a little piece of each one.

Monica: Monica is an over bearing, OCD, mama bear type. She wants everything in it’s place, everyone to do what she says, and to protect all of her friends. If it came down to a fight, my money’s on Monica. She squirrely and oddly strong for such a little person. I may not be able to take someone out in a fight, but I can sure as hell be OCD! Case in point: A couple months ago, I asked Hubby to clean the bathroom. Actually, it took a few weeks of nagging and outright threats to get him to finally ‘clean’ the bathroom. By ‘clean’ I mean empty the trash and wipe the swiffer gingerly over the floor a bit. Not clean.
So, I e-mailed him a document that explained how to properly clean the bathroom. He thought it was a joke. It wasn’t. I am not making a binder that explains how to properly clean every single room. Yes, I am that crazy.

And yet, I am probably more like “Fat” Monica than anything else. I actually think her “fat” portrayal looks more like a normal woman, but this is T.V. we’re talking about..


Rachel: I know that I do not share Rachel’s fashion sense. In fact, people often make assumptions about my sexuality because of the way I dress. If it’s not comfortable, why bother wearing it? I do, however, share in her air-headedness. Some might argue that Phoebe is far more scatter-brained, but she’s just more eccentric. No, Rachel is the airhead. It’s not because she’s stupid or doesn’t care. I think Rachel just gets caught up in her own little world and kind of forgets about other people. I do the same thing. I have often found myself on the receiving end of some unpleasant behavior from others because they thought I was being mean. I wasn’t. I’m just clueless about things like that.



Phoebe: As I said before, Phoebe is eccentric. She’s experienced a harsher life than the other Friends, so I think her coping mechanism employs blurring some lines of reality. She’s mystical, crazy like a fox, and has her own style. Unfortunately, I think I just possess the eccentric part.. though I do like to mess with people, sometimes.



Ross: Ah, the geek. Ross is a true geek. He doesn’t just share the interest in Star Wars. No, he is also completely obsessed with science. Not just any science, Paleontology. I can get Ross because I, too, become obsessed with specific sciences. I was obsessed with computer sciences, biology, and mechanics. It’s all just so fascinating and it can be difficult to find a group of people that are also intrigued by it.



Chandler: He really means well but Chandler has issues. We all know about his parents and his super crappy childhood. The thing is, he’s coped pretty well via his sense of humor. I have a similarly awkward sense of humor that often does more harm than good, though it’s nothing as rampant as others’.



Joey: Food. The only thing I have in common with Joey is that we both love food. I am not a slut, I do not get into my looks a whole lot, and acting has never appealed to me. But food? Yeah, I’m right there with ya.



I think that pretty well sums it up.

Snow Child: Chapters 1 – 3

I just have to say that this book is a delight to read. Ivey is great at using descriptions without letting them get in the way of the book. It’s almost as if she has been able to pull you out of your own mind and put you in hers while she walks you through the story.

That being said, she also uses her descriptive powers for the characterizations. She’s not just good at fulfilling your senses about surroundings; she also gives you a feel for the characters as if you have also been through the same things, experienced the same thoughts, and had the same emotions.

Warning: Spoiler Alerts





Warning: Possible Triggers (suicide)

I suppose it helps that many of us have been through some of these circumstances: unable to have a child whether due to physiology or finances, losing a child, or suicidal ideation and even attempts. Many of us have had to carry these heavy burdens. Relating to the characters in such a way is definitely an added bonus, but I think Ivey would convince many to relate even if they never had those specific experiences.

Due to all of these reasons, I am hooked. I am right there with Mabel as she’s precariously walking along the cracking ice that rests on the deep river, my toes curling as if to grip onto some unseen sheet of ice myself.
I can feel the cold air and imagine the body aches and callouses Jack has developed after working so hard in the elements.
I can feel their thin clothes on my own skin and imagine what it must be like to subsist off of carrots and potatoes, alone

But I wonder, of all places, why Alaska? I’m sure I will find out later on, but why go so far away. I know they wanted to get away from the gossip after losing their child, but I’m sure Mabel could have used her family’s influence to secure a decent job for Jack and, quite possible, herself as well. Why travel to Alaska in the 1920’s when the homesteads were still being cleared.
As is stated many times in the book, Jack is no spring chicken. Why choose a way of life that is so physically difficult?
I’m sure an explanation is coming, but until then, why?

I think a lot of what comes through for me is “making due”. It seems like that is what many people are struggling with, today, and is something that is universally understood.
Hell, when I had my first closet apartment, I had to make due plenty. I washed my clothes in the sink kitchen’s double sink, bathed in the small bathroom sink, and used a single ‘burner’ hot pad to make my weekly portions of spaghetti. Every now and again, I was lucky to be able to afford to buy a bit of hamburger to put in. No wonder I was so skinny, I was living off of pasta.
I digress.
Getting by is something that everyone, aside from the 1%, can relate to. Not only when it comes to the physical aspects of life (washing clothes in the sink), but also the emotional (trying to keep a lid on the simmering anxiety that rests beneath the surface). These are things many of us struggle with on a daily basis. It is an inherent part of our lives.

Another thing that is related to this is the seeming lack of control we have over our own lives. This hits home with the fact that Mabel and Jack have to live off of  whatever they can grow in a season and on a small plot of land. Also, when Jack notices the snow in the mountains and thinks to himself about how it’s going to be snowing in the valley soon.
We very often forsee circumstances in our lives that we know we have little to no control over. All we can do is “hunker down” a.k.a., make the necessary preparations and brace for impact.

Many of us employ coping strategies to convince ourselves everything will be alright. Like George Benson did when he gave advice to Jack about just needing a bit of moose meat to get through the winter. Benson seemed completely satisfied in this information and seemed to think it would change Jack’s situation for the better.


All it takes, is a little moose.

In the third chapter, I think the loneliness Mabel feels really hits home. She feels like an outsider to Jack finding new friends. She was under the impression that the two of them were in it together, everyone else be damned. I think this is a sentiment I can readily relate to. And also the fact that her husband, Jack, is pushing Mable further and further away while growing ever more close to the neighbors around him.
Mabel doesn’t understand that this friendship is not just needed emotionally, it’s needed to survive. It takes more hands on deck and the romantic notion of cutting one’s own bit of land out starts to fall apart.
Granted, the only reason Jack is trying to keep Mabel isolated is to prevent her from being hurt, again. He feels guilty for not being there for his wife and his solution is to keep her contained.

The experience of having the Benson’s come out to help Jack is very showing of the uncontrollable emotional circumstances Mabel is facing. Mabel knows what she should say and do to be polite, but is unable to due to her confusion and pain. This just increases her isolation as she supposes everyone carries a negative opinion of her because of said behavior.
Having struggled with social anxiety my entire life, this is something that I can absolutely relate to. I know how people see me, or at least I think I do, but there is nothing I can do about it. It is what it is.
But this is the same struggle Mable deals with as she attempts to socialize with the Bensons and answer their innocuous questions.

Most importantly, my question is answered. Why they moved to Alaska of all places. Sounds like something I would try to force my husband to do.

So, in just three chapters, I’ve come to learn about the nuances of not only Jack and Mabel’s marriage, but also how they are each coping with it. They are both of them so intent on doing what they think is best for the other, that they are tripping over their good intentions and falling flat on their faces

Sounds familiar.

I am also revelling in the interactions between Jack and the Bensons, and Mabel and the Bensons. I feel like a fly on the wall. “If only Esther knew the real reason Mabel was reluctant. It’s not solely about the moose.”
I was taken a little aback by the Bensons. Although I heartily enjoy their hard working attitudes, they do know what Jack and Mabel are going through survival wise. It would have been nice if they had given them some meat since they have boys of their own who can hunt.  Jack and Mabel could have proved themselves another year when they were more prepared. It doesn’t sound extremely neighborly to me.

I knew I was going to relate to this book, I just didn’t think it would be so thoroughly. I am a little reluctant to continue, but I am eager to learn about what is next to come. Will Mabel finally shed her proper upbringing and get her hands dirty? Will Jack finally let her?

The Snow Child

Every couple of months, I find it in my schedule to make a trip to the area chain of used bookstores. I prefer Half Price Books, but I have found decent selections at The Salvation Army and Goodwill as well.
On my most recent stop at HPB, I picked up a book out of their clearance aisle. The title being, “The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey.  Now, this book was only $2.00, so that probably had a lot to do with me picking it up. However, I did browse through it a bit to see what it was about.. I swear. I don’t just buy books for their covers. Though I almost did. Ahem.

As far as I could tell, and as far as the inner jacket of the book told me, this book is about a couple living in Alaska. This couple is unable to have children and so, one day, they build a child out of snow. Then something peculiar happens.. the child becomes real.


This kind of hit home for me as I am also past the time in life where I think having a child is a good idea. Still, part of me wonders what would have been. It really is impossible to satisfy both sides of this coin, so grieving is a good way to accept what is and move forward.
I think part of me picked this book up because of that.  The only thing I worry about is that this will turn into some story where the couple gets the child of their dreams and all is merry and right with the world once again.If that’s what happens, I will make a new window when I throw this book at the wall.


I could start my own demo business – just give me bad books to read.

Still, with my reservations, I am beginning the book.

I wish I had a book club to go to that was also reading this book, so I decided to start a conversation about it on here. Every week, I will read so many chapters and jot down what happened, how I reacted, and the whys. I will talk about the characters, the situations they face, and how I can relate to them.
I am really hoping someone else out there will want to talk about this, too, but I know how vast the Internet can be. So I’m not going to hold my breath.

Still, if you have anything to say, it’d be great to hear from you!

On to Chapter One!