Category Archives: Rants

Just me, whining and complaining

Such a Pain! (On a scale of 1-10…)

It’s funny, I haven’t blogged for quite a while, but I felt the need today, and when I came to write the post I found this one already started but not finished, on the exact same subject!  It was drafted from January of LAST YEAR, so some of the details are no longer current, but I’m gonna leave the text anyway and just add to it at the end…

Circumstances this week (1.5 years ago) brought to my attention the fact that I, perhaps, hide my pain too well.  I’m not sure how that’s the case, I feel like I whine about it non-stop sometimes.  I am constantly upset with myself for not being able to better hide my pain.

I have dreams once in a while in which I’m tortured relentlessly, but somehow manage to make it through without uttering a whimper.  I wake up from those dreams feeling both proud, that I was able to go survive it all without caving, and disappointed because I know I can never come close to that in real life.  The trauma and emotional upset, of having been tortured all night long, tends only to hit me later.

And therein lies the rub.  I am in in constant pain, and have been since I was young.  I take a number of meds that help keep it at a bearable level, but I think bearable for me is quite different than what bearable would be for anyone else.

When I see a doctor, and he asks me what my pain level is, I just throw out a random number.  I have never understood those pain charts (though at least this one is cute:  Every time I have broken a bone I’ve started laughing uncontrollably.  The worse my pain is, the more I try to smile and laugh to make it through.  I may grimace in between, I may moan and groan, or whimper uncontrollably when I am half asleep, if it’s bad enough I may sputter and cough, or cry out uncontrollably, but under most circumstances I will do my utmost best to hide it, or brush it off with humor.


Here begins today’s rant…  The whole pain-scale thing is really starting to get on my every last nerve.  Every single time you talk to someone at a doctor’s office now, they want to know where your pain is on a scale of 1-10.  They have to mark it down in their notes so they can feed it into their computer, presumably to track whether they’re “helping” you or not.  It’s such bullarky.

My pain scale is different than your pain scale.  My pain scale today is different than it was 6 months ago.  Pain is relative by it’s very nature, it’s also fluid.  When you’re in constant pain your body adjusts to it, and one pain is not the same as another.

So when a doctor asks what my pain level is I have to ask “overall, or in the realm you care about?”  They always look at me sideways when I ask this.  “Well, where is your pain?”.  Everywhere!  It’s everywhere.  My neuralgic pain is system-wide.  My arthritic pain is clustered in and radiating from myriad joints.  My muscle pain depends on what got ‘over-used’ 2 days ago.  My back pain varies from moment to moment.  My arm pain is ever present, but sometimes so bad that I can think of nothing else.  When one pain relaxes a little, the others start screaming louder to garner my attention.  I sometimes rejoice when I get an acute injury, because I know I’ll have one focal point stealing my attention for a little while, and the rest of my pain will be forced to fade into the background, if only for a short time.

I can’t explain this every time, though, so I generally just leave it at a “yes, everywhere” and the doctor or nurse either says “well, just give me a number to put in the chart” or they say “let’s focus on the pain you’re here about today”.  And this is where I guess a number, randomly, because the pain chart is completely meaningless to me.  1 is no pain, they say.  10 is the worst pain you can imagine.  I can’t imagine saying anything less than 3, just because I can’t even remember a day with no pain, I have no idea what that would be like anymore.  The worst pain I can imagine?  How can you imagine a pain that’s worse than the worst pain you’ve felt, if the worst pain you felt caused your eyes to roll back in your head and your body to move involuntarily?  If that happens fairly regularly, then you can’t say it’s the worst you can imagine, because experience tells you there’s always something worse.  The worst pain I could imagine would probably kill me, maybe put me into a coma, how the heck do I know?  If I can process your words and respond then I can’t possibly be at 10.  The worst pain I’ve seen so far must be a 9, but I’ve seen it fairly frequently lately.  3-9 doesn’t leave all that much room for nuance, really.

Average is supposed to be somewhere in the middle, though, right?  So the middle from 3 to 9 is what, 6?  Can we use fractions?  Am I having an “average” day?  Maybe I should say 6 or 7 if it’s a ‘normal’ day for me?

But here’s the rub. if you tell medical professionals that your pain is nearly always higher than 5 they don’t believe you.  At best, they think you’re exaggerating — maybe they think you don’t understand the scale — at worst, they think you’re drug-seeking.  If you’re smiling and trying to grin and bear it then you’ve just broken their entire scale of sad faces, so you can’t possibly be being accurate.  For your own protection, it’s best to round down.  Except if you’re not in a high amount of pain then your care doesn’t seem pressing, either.

It’s a catch 22, and I absolutely hate it.  I hate dealing with it every single time.  I’ve gotten to the point where I just want to tell them to look at my face and try to figure it out for themselves, but I know that would screw with my medical charts in very bizarre ways.

Do you have to deal with this on a regular basis?  Have you figured out a solution or do you just pick random numbers as well?


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Filed under Disability, Other, Rants

To a man I used to respect…

This was a letter I wrote after a particularly bad series of encounters with a person I greatly respected for years.  I wrote it a few months ago and did not have the courage to finish it or post it back then.  I’ve finally finished it, and after much internal debate, have finally decided to publish it.

Dear Sir:

You have no idea what I would give to be “normal”.  To keep a regular schedule.  To work a regular job.  To have a family.  To have all of the regular things that you probably have in your life, that probably bore you to tears.

I used to work normal, monotonous jobs.  I was happy with them.  I never had big aspirations, a simple 9-5 with a livable salary was fine with me.  I babysat, I worked as an envelope stuffer, receptionist, customer support rep, tech support rep, database administrator, programmer, consultant, and did various odd jobs.  I was happy with most of them.  I would be happy with any of them now.  My bosses loved me.  I took less pay than I probably should have for the work I was doing, but I never really cared.

Sometimes it feels like my entire life has been one long string of learning to give up the things that I love.  I was never the couch potato type.  As a child, I loved baseball, basketball, bike riding, crossing monkey bars, jumping rope, swimming, and just about anything else that involved lots of physical activity.  But as my grip got worse I had to give up the monkey bars; as the injuries piled up from falls I had to stop running and jumping,  no more basketball, baseball, gym class; as my legs got weaker stairs became more and more impossible, out went climbing, no more slides, I had to move to a new school with less steps.

As the pain levels rose and nerve function declined I had to start making adaptations to try to hold on to things in my life, in came braces, crutches, canes, wheelchairs.  I had to start counting my steps, weighing every movement to see what was required and what I could sit out.  As my hands got worse I started typing everything I could, I changed my signature to a few initials so I could still sign paperwork on bad days.  When I ran a stoplight, because I couldn’t move my foot to the brake on time, I got hand controls installed on my car.

I’ve spent my entire life trying to find new ways to work around my physical limitations. Every time I lose more function, I struggle until I find a new way to still do the things I want and have to do.  But little by little I’ve had to give up things, because there simply wasn’t another workaround.   Despite all of this loss there have been a few islands of progress thrown in, but they usually come out more like 2 steps forward, 3 steps back.

When I was in college, I finally got my neurologist to help me look into medications that might help.  A muscle relaxant dropped my pain levels so much that I was able to concentrate on my school work again, but he pulled me off of them after a few months, when he saw that the muscles in my calves had dropped significant mass, I was left with serious withdrawal symptoms (I didn’t know what they were at the time, I had no idea the med was addictive).   Also while in college, I discovered lightweight wheelchairs and wheelchair sports.  I was able to get around well for the first time in years, and I was even able to start playing wheelchair basketball.  Unfortunately, so much wheelchair use caused my hands to atrophy.  The withdrawal, combined with my hand issues, combined with the severe fatigue and other symptoms that came with cold weather led to my having to drop out of college altogether.

I eventually found a neurologist that would work with me on meds again and we finally found my miracle drug, which turned out to be Tegretol of all things.  My nerve function increased, and my pain levels dropped lower than they had been in years.  By all appearances things were much better, and I had a few great years.  Until, it seems, the Tegretol caused another disorder that led to frightening disorientation, eye problems, and the need for 2 different surgeries before I kind of figured out part of what was happening and learned some ways to cope.

After I had been away from college for a while, using my wheelchair a lot but not nearly as much as I had then, my hands started to regain some of the muscle mass they’d lost, and after that I realized that, given time and rest, my nerves were actually able to recover some function after injury.  This is something I was taught could not happen, and it makes little sense given the fact that my neuropathy is progressive, but my nerves apparently have the same philosophy I do, and they keep finding workarounds that baffle my doctors.   (My doctors have long been fascinated by my nerve studies, because the amount of function I have makes no sense at all given the extensive nerve damage.)  Armed with this knowledge, though, I started trying to use my legs more again, and discovered, to my surprise, that I actually could, as long as I was very careful about which ways, how much and how often I used them.  It was around this time that my right arm just stopped working one day, out of the blue, due to a nerve entrapment that may or may not be related to my genetic neuropathy.

Through all of the setbacks and heartaches, though, I did my best to find a workaround every time. For most of the physical issues, I have managed so far.  But the one thing I cannot manage is the fatigue.  My muscles are very healthy and very strong, my neurologist would tell you I’m built like a tank.  When my nerves are capable of telling them to move they do, when my nerves are capable of telling them to hold, they hold, and when my nerves are capable of telling them to let go, they let go.  But my nerves are damaged, inconsistent, and constantly under attack from my immune system.  My nerves have nearly forgotten how to send the “off” signal altogether.  My muscles are randomly being told to tense or move and almost never being told to release.  This keeps me strong despite the nerve damage that would normally cause atrophy, it also keeps me in pain and exhausted.  The solution is to take medications that dampen the signals and tell the muscles to relax anyway.  Of course those are also meds that themselves cause fatigue.

What you do not understand, is that the physical issues I have are not the real disability.   The pain levels and the fatigue are the real disability. I simply cannot function day to day, with the amount of pain I have, without meds.  I simply cannot function, with the amount of fatigue I have, without meds.  But the meds that help the pain also increase the fatigue.  The meds that decrease the fatigue cause a different type of fatigue, which means the best I can do is find a middle ground between the two, where I can sort of function… and sleep, a lot.  Since my disorder is auto-immune, I also go through cycles where my immune system is busy attacking me.  This causes the type of fatigue  you get when you have the flu, on top of everything else.

So I require 10 hours of sleep on the good days, and I go through days, sometimes weeks, where I simply cannot stay awake.  It is not rare for me to sleep 3 days straight, just getting up long enough to visit the bathroom and refill my water bottle.  This is not laziness.  When I was in school, I handled this by staying home on the bad days.  I cried from the pain until I could eventually fall asleep at night, and my parents or siblings fought tooth and nail to get me to wake up for school the next morning.  On the good days I got permission from my teachers to listen to music or read books during class, so that I could distract myself into staying awake enough to hear what was taught (and I still got great grades).

When I was working full time, I set multiple alarms to wake me up in the mornings.  I handled the fatigue at first by sleeping during my lunch breaks, when the disorder progressed to the point that wasn’t enough, I dropped a few hours on my work week, when that wasn’t enough I took Wednesdays off so that I could sleep a day in the middle of the week.  But it got to the point where that still wasn’t enough, I was regularly falling asleep at work.  My employers generally let me get by with this, because I was doing great work in spite of it.  But eventually it got to be too much, so I stopped trying to work a regular job and decided to do consulting work instead.

When my arm went out, I was at a complete loss.  I had spent my entire life finding work-arounds for my legs and my hands, but I had always been able to count on my upper arm strength.  After all of the things I had had to give up already, I simply had no idea how I was going to function without both upper arms working.  The pain in my arm was off the charts, and supination and grip were impossible.  I couldn’t drive safely.  I couldn’t type.  I couldn’t get my wheelchair out of the car.  I couldn’t use my crutches.  I had another medical problem caused by the meds at the time that left me unable to sit up, so I had to spend most of my time laying down.  I had a major project underway that I simply couldn’t complete, and my customers lost a tens of thousands of dollars because of it.  I had started back to school to finish my degree but had to drop out again.

When my arm started to recover, I went to the vocational rehabilitation department for help figuring out what I could do.  They had no answers.  They refused to help me find anything, because they felt working was beyond hope for me.  They talked to social security, who had a fit because they thought I should have been on full disability years before.  Where most people are denied those disability benefits, I was forced onto them.

I was not willing to give up, but I was not able to keep living in California.  I moved back to Ohio, against my better judgment, because I thought I would have a better support system here, the cost of living is a lot lower, and I figured I’d eventually find another work around that would let me keep being productive.  I also knew there was a surgery that could help my arm, and I figured someone would be willing to do it.

Fast forward a few years, and most of the people I encounter seem to see a fiercely independent girl that can take care of herself.  Because I live alone, and don’t really have a support system here at all, I simply don’t have the ability to venture out into public on days when I can’t function well.  Because most homes around here are not accessible, I simply don’t visit you unless I’m doing well enough to handle it.  Unfortunately, this has led to the perception that I must always be doing as well as I am when you see me out and about, which is very far from anything close to the truth.  The days I venture out are my very best days, and the act of venturing out generally takes quite a toll on me once I return home, making the following days even worse than they might have been.

It is all I can do to keep up with the necessities of cleaning, laundry, yard work and such, but I do as well as I can.  I have always been independent and I want to stay that way as much as I possibly can.  And I desperately want to be supporting myself as well, despite the situation I’m in.

So I started my own business making toys.  It probably wasn’t the best idea in retrospect, to start a business where I had to use my hands, but it was the best idea I had, and at least it was something.  At the time I thought that my arm would recover, and I could make things on the good days and sell them on the bad days.  The business has done well, all things considered, but without startup money a business can only grow so fast.  With weeks and months where I can’t be productive, it’s bound to grow slowly, and with an entire year where I had to shut down because of uncertainty in the toy safety laws, I lost all momentum and had to start over.  But assuming I could keep plugging away and didn’t lose more function, I really believed I could build the business into something that would not only support me, but allow me to hire others.  That was my goal.

But that was not good enough for you.  You told people behind my back that I’m stealing from you by collecting disability.  You joke about how I’m taking advantage of you and robbing you blind.  You think I’m just fat and lazy and milking the system.  But you’re only showing your ignorance.  You’ve never even asked me what’s wrong.

I would give anything to have a regular job, or even go back to consulting, but what kind of job do you take when you don’t know from day to day which limbs will be functioning?  How do you look an employer in the eye and say you’re right for the job when you don’t know whether you’ll be able to stay awake for more than 2 or 3 hours in any given day?  What kind of person takes a job, knowing full well that they probably won’t be able to handle the schedule?  What kind of person takes a job, when they know they may have to call in sick for an entire week?  What kind of person takes a contract job, only to watch their customers lose tens of thousands of dollars when they can’t make the deadline?  Do you really want me lying to get a job I’ll end up losing anyway, when so many better suited workers are desperate for jobs right now?

Perhaps you would prefer that I grabbed a piece of cardboard and sat on a street corner, begging for my living.  You could watch me rock and moan in pain, off my meds for lack of insurance, with uncontrollable spasms.  You could laugh at me as I collapsed, while trying to walk somewhere to find a place to sleep.  Perhaps then you would realize how bad off I am without these supports, perhaps you would be disgusted, and think that someone should do something to help people like this.  More likely, you would just assume I was a drug addict, on welfare, and would rant more about how people like me are stealing from you and robbing you blind.

You have been blessed.  You have a loving family, a good job, and have come through life relatively unscathed, with your abilities intact.  Sure, you have had setbacks, you have had injuries, you have pain to live with, but much of that is due to hard living and reckless decisions in your youth.  Perhaps you are hard on yourself.  Perhaps you blame yourself for the pain you’re in, and that makes you want to blame others for their pain.  But not every situation is the same.

You did not come out on top because you are smarter, or braver, or worked harder to overcome your struggles than everyone else (though you are smart, and you may be brave, and you do work hard, and that is commendable).  You came out ahead largely because good people were praying for you, supporting you during your down times, and giving you second chances when you screwed up.  Instead of thanking God for your good fortune and passing on some of the goodwill, you’d prefer to rub it in the faces of those who have not been so fortunate.  And instead of offering a simple word of support, that could do more good than you’d ever imagine, you’d rather try to break someone who’s already down.

I wonder if your bitterness towards those of us who are struggling is blinding you to your own blessings.  Can you even enjoy the privileged life you lead?  I feel sorry for you.  I wish I could help, but you’re too busy pushing me down to see that you are drowning.



Filed under Disability, Personal, Rants

How to lead the best church ever!

This list is intended as a funny way to call attention to some of the major problems in churches today.  In case it’s not painfully obvious, nearly everything that follows contains pure, dripping sarcasm.  Unfortunately, I have encountered some or all of these issues/attitudes in most of the churches I’ve visited over the past decade or so.

  • Your church does not need to be accessible.    After all, you don’t want any disabled, injured or old people in your congregation anyway, right?  They’ll just get in the way.
  • Those posted hours?  Not important.  There’s no reason to show up for services, no one’s coming anyway.  And don’t ever leave a note on the door if you happen to go elsewhere or cancel service, no one’s gonna come by to check out your church on the one night you’re gone, especially if you have a big blinky welcome sign out front.  Whatever you do, do not call your regular members and let them know what’s going on if you have to cancel a service, they won’t care if they show up and the doors are locked.
  • If you’re a pastor, be sure to complain about former members that have wronged you, or the church, from the pulpit.  Your congregation needs to know you’ll snipe at them behind their backs if they ever do you wrong.  It won’t look bad on you personally, and it’s not gossip or anything.
  • Stay far far away from the internet.  No one who just moved to your area will ever think of looking for a church online, and no one wants to keep up to date with church activities on sites like twitter or Facebook, the whole of the internet is a silly, evil fad, and it’ll eventually go away if you ignore it.  Never return emails or phone calls either, if it’s important they can ask you face to face.
  • If someone misses a week or two, just forget about them.  If they really care about God they’ll come back eventually, and if they don’t you were better off without them anyway.  No one wants their church family calling to check on them when they’re sick or unable to get to church.  And they certainly won’t want to hear a friendly voice if they’re depressed or oppressed.
  • Any visitor that comes through your doors and doesn’t meet your personal standards for dress, hygiene, adornments, skin color, class, or anything else should be immediately ostracized so that they know they’re in the wrong place, preferably before they even get a chance to sit down.  This can be accomplished with dirty looks, scowls, whispers, and random gasps from a trained congregation, assuming you don’t wish to take a more direct approach.  It’s only fair that they know from the get-go that they aren’t welcome, it’ll save awkwardness later.
  • Be sure to complain regularly and loudly from the pulpit about the horrible people that keep calling the church asking for help and handouts.  And whatever you do, never ever let the song leader sing songs with lyrics like “God loves a cheerful giver”, “give me Your love for humanity” or “they will know we are Christians by our love”.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, find something for a church member to do if they come to you asking how they can help.  No one really wants to feel like they’re doing something constructive for God or the congregation, so they must have an ulterior motive.  If you deflect or ignore them enough they’ll give up and leave you alone, a sure sign that you were right and they really didn’t want to help in the first place.
  • If someone is too loud, sings off key, gets too excited during worship and actually shows emotion, yells “amen”, or has the audacity to bring their child into the sanctuary with them, you should make sure they’re immediately pulled aside and schooled on proper church etiquette.  Patriarchs like David never danced, or sang, or acted ‘crazy’ when they got excited about God, and Jesus never would have let kids get close when he was preaching!
  • The pulpit is the best place to call out the sinners in your congregation.  If you find out someone’s fallen into a specific sin you should preach a sermon against it as soon as possible; be sure to stare at them the whole time so they get the message, and so that everyone else knows who you’re talking to.  If that doesn’t work, you might consider going to them in private later.
  • Outreach is overrated.  You’ll reach far more people if you refrain from doing any activities where you interact with the community at large. Stay away from any charity or missions programs, never interact with other churches, and make sure that no one in your congregation has any idea how to witness.
  • If your church has to relocate, for whatever reason, you should not even think about calling your members, recent visitors and attendees.  Anyone who really belongs to the church will have heard about the move already or can ask a member that already knows.
  • If a member brings a visitor to your church, and that person is obviously not saved, you should make sure to take the first opportunity to scold the church member for being “yolked with unbelievers”.  They should know better than to bring unsaved people into the church!
  • Things like taking prayer requests or setting up prayer lists and prayer chains are unnecessary.  No one should ever think that the church cares about major problems or illnesses they are dealing with, and they should never get the idea that they have an adopted family backing them up when they’re going through a hard time.
  • Every single sermon should be positive, affirming, comfortable, saccharine, and uplifting.  Never preach against sin; never preach about accountability, leading a holy life, or working for the Lord; never teach your congregation how to flee from temptation, grow their relationship with Christ, deal with adversity or persecution, or get through tough times.  As long as you pretend the Christian life is all smiles and roses their lives will be perfect, and so will yours.  It’s fine to just ignore or rephrase any Bible verse that seems ugly or difficult.  As long as you keep tickling everyone’s ears their money will keep hitting your coffers… and that’s the real measure of success, right?
  • Hypocrisy is very attractive, you should show it whenever given the least opportunity.  “Do as I say, not as I do” is a great philosophy for any Christian to live by, especially a pastor.
  • The music service should be all about entertaining your congregation.  It’s really just a feel-good concert and should be approached as such, after all, they’re paying for it right!?  If people happen to worship God some while they’re at it that’s okay, I guess, but your top priority should be making sure everyone’s happy and entertained.


I’m sure I could add a lot to this list, but I’m getting tired so I’m gonna call it.  Do you have any to add?



Filed under Bible Study, Rants, Tips & Advice

Those pesky little things…

I’ve had to handle a lot of changes over the years.  I’ve resigned myself to staying home nearly all the time.  I’ve adapted to spending years without a vacation, even though I used to live for road trips.  I changed majors in college and have made 2 major career changes due to progressions in my disability.

Over the years I was forced to give up on baseball, then basketball, then bike riding, then wheelchair basketball, and I’ve all but given up on adapted kayaking as the nerve damage has slowly taken more away from me.   So far I can still swim if I have the right equipment, and I pretend I’m getting exercise when I ride my lawn mower.

My house is a mess.  I gave up long ago on trying to keep it straight, because I just don’t have the energy.   Recently I’ve had to adapt to living in a space that isn’t just cluttered and dusty, but is also dirtier than I’d like…  I can barely handle sweeping the floor or cleaning the bathrooms anymore, so it just doesn’t get done very often.

I seem to be okay with the big changes.  It’s not easy, and sometimes it takes a while to overcome the upset, but with God’s grace I eventually manage, I find a way to get by.  I find something else I can still do, or I find a work-around, or I find a way to live without whatever it is.  I’m not sure my solutions are always healthy, and often it takes a lot of counseling from a good friend and a lot of prayer to come out the other side, but I’ve managed so far.

What really gets to me are the little things.

My keyboard isn’t working right?  My world will not be right until I can fix or replace it.  The internet goes down?  It doesn’t matter that I was planning to be away from the computer all day, my day is shot.   I got up planning to wear a certain outfit only to find it’s in the laundry?  It may take me an hour to find something else I’m okay with.

The little things are crippling.

If there are dishes overflowing my kitchen sink I cannot start any other work until they’re done — and if I don’t have the energy to do those dishes? I won’t get anything done that day at all.

If I’ve lost something, I cannot move on with my life until I find it.  I’ve had a certain drill bit missing for weeks now and I cannot seem to make myself do any of my toy work, despite the fact that the work I most need to do does not require that bit.  I need to find it.  It’s driving me mad.

The problem is that life is full of little problems and upsets.  I drop half of the things I touch, but one little mess can throw me off for the rest of the day.  I lose things all.the.time!  Things come up at the last minute, I get sick, it rains on the day I wanted to mow, a customer emails and I don’t know how to answer their question, paperwork needs sent somewhere, a friend has to cancel something… all little things that can throw me for a complete loop.

Perhaps this is normal, but other people seem to be able to ‘not sweat the small stuff’… perhaps I just expend so much of my mental energy adapting to major issues, that every small thing is a proverbial straw… but it sure would be nice if little things didn’t get to me so much.


Filed under Rants


I *hate* mornings like this.

I’m awake at 7:30am.  Anyone that knows me knows that I’m NEVER awake at 7:30 am unless I just haven’t gone to bed yet.

But I woke up this morning with the same dang throat infection I’ve had for an entire week now (dang antibiotics aren’t helping one bit! arg!) and the overwhelming sense that something is wrong.  I can’t go back to sleep.  I hate this.

I can’t stay up either, cuz I’m too dang tired and sick to stay up, and I can’t call anyone because seriously, who wants a call at 7:30 in the morning?!?



Filed under Rants

Ever had a knife thrown at you?

I almost forgot to blog about this, but it was so bizarre I just can’t pass it up.

At the craft fair this weekend I was sitting there talking with a customer and the lady from the booth across the way, and a KNIFE came flying at us!! It came within a foot of my customer’s calf, and ended up landing underneath my wheelchair (thank God I was using my solid tires that day). Apparently the guy in a booth about 25 feet away THREW it our direction… we didn’t believe what it was at first, but after my customer picked it up and we all realized it was, indeed, the knife it had looked like, our jaws dropped and we stared in the general direction it had come from.

When I said “uhm, did someone just THROW a KNIFE at us?!?” some lady said “uhh, I think he was trying to hit a fly”. A FLY?!?! I know I’m in hick country, but good glory.

I’m still astounded.

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Filed under Humor, Rants

Religion and Politics *GASP*

I never have, and never will understand the people who avoid subjects because they might turn into debates.

How can ANYONE who really honestly believes anything want to avoid the subject just because it might get heated? 

Don’t talk about religion or politics?  Are you kidding me?  Aren’t those a couple of the most important things in a person’s life?

I can see avoiding those subjects when you’re meeting a client for a business lunch, when you’re meeting someone’s parents for the first time, or with perfect strangers.  But if you can’t bring yourself to discuss your religion with people you consider your friends then you must not care much about your religion, and if that’s the case, then why even bother claiming it in the first place?

This extends to so many areas of life…

If you disagree with someone on a particular subject, apparently the PC thing to do is to ignore it, because heaven forbid you have a disagreement, or a debate, or *gasp* an argument.  But seriously, if the subject is very important to either one of you it’s either going to keep coming up, or it’s going to become a giant elephant standing in the corner.

Have a conversation, have an argument, have a freakin knock-down-drag-out fight if you need to… but don’t just avoid the subject.  If it’s not that important, then you’ll have a discussion and you’ll decide to go on disagreeing.  If it is important then you’ll have a discussion, maybe even an argument or a debate, and someone might actually learn something or change their mind in the process.  If you disagree strongly enough, and it’s important enough to both of you that you actually get in a fight trying to discuss it, then chances are you’re not compatible anyway.  Better to find out now than 5 years down the line, right?

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Filed under Deep Stuff, Rants

leaks and pains

Just leaving an update for anyone who cares…

My arm was out for about a week this time… It stopped working on a Wednesday (the day after my car blew that gasket), and was completely useless for about 4 days, then I had about 3-4 days of partial use.

It’s not back to normal even now, I can’t lift anything heavy and it’s randomly dropping things, but it’s back to semi-normal and it doesn’t hurt to look at it.

My car was out from that Tuesday through the following Thursday I think, borrowed about $600 to fix the coolant leak, and it seemed to be running okay again, but I didn’t drive it much.

Then I went to the neuro Monday (my aunt drove me down). He took his lunch hour to see me, and had some intern with him to show me off… turns out he had just presented my case as a case study at a conference too.

He tells me that if my arm goes out again, I’m just supposed to eat ibuprofin like candy (his exact words were “take a REAL dose” and then “people our size need at least 600-800mg every 2 hours”… “just make sure you take an antacid so you don’t destroy your stomach”), because there’s nothing else they can do for it. Great. He is sending me to an ortho that he seems to think is the best in the world though, so hopefully I’ll get some useful braces for my arms or something, and some new leg braces (for joy for joy). He also gave me some real pain pills too.

I got home from the dr office and crashed, threw my neck out sleeping in my easy chair with my hair up, and had a massive headache that kept me in bed most the time through Wednesday. Went to the store Wednesday night, wore a ball cap and my head stopped hurting, til I took the cap off and the entire top of my head turned read and hurt like I’d bruised it… what the heck? Didn’t stop hurting til Thursday afternoon. I woke up Thursday with a nose/sinus bleed, took a shower, got it to stop, then got a regular nose bleed. Got that stopped, got ready to leave, got in the car to drive an hour and a half and got the sinus bleed and bled down the back of my throat the whole drive.

Get to Urbana, and my dang car is leaking coolant AGAIN!!!

My niece had a nice birthday party, got to play with the kids, headache was gone and everything, sinuses stopped bleeding about the time I got there. Headed home late, went to bed early so I ccould get up and get the car to the shop.

So this morning I can’t get up… this afternoon I still can’t get up… finally pull myself out of bed only to discover that the blasted headache is back full force and my left eye doesn’t feel like it’s opening all the way. I examined myself in the mirror and it looks okay, and looks like it’s open all the way, or at least close to it, and if I try to open it further I can. If I start seeing double or catch myself losing coherancy I’m gonna go to the hospital though…

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Filed under Disability, Personal, Rants

Chevy makes crappy cars

Never buy a 2000 Malibu…

Replaced (on just the cooling system):

Radiators 2
Water Pumps 2
Pressurized Coolant Tank 1
Leaky  Coolant Tank Cap 1
Coolant Hoses 3 sets + 2 individual
Gallons of Coolant >30 over 5 years?
Intake Manifold Gasket yeah, like I can afford that now

And this doesn’t count the 8 or 9 mis-diagnosed problems, the alternator that was blown by a tech replacing a radiator, or all of the diagnostic tests over the past 5 years.

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Filed under Rants

I never do this, but

I felt like doing it this year…

1. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before?
I signed papers on a house, got a product featured on a blog, and turned down the biggest retail opportunity of my life.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I never do new year’s resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A cousin did.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No one close, a few extended relatives and a friend’s father.

5. What countries did you visit?
heh, none.

6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
Enough money to stop hiding from creditors and live comfortably.

7. What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Dates almost never remain etched in my memory, because my memory sucks.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting along with my mother (for the most part).

9. What was your biggest failure?
Another year without a local friend.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Nothing stands out.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
The american public, following like sheep to the slaughter house.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Blocks & bills.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The opportunity I ended up having to turn down.

16. What songs will always remind you of 2006?
I never remember songs by year.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. Happier or sadder? uhm, I don’t know, probably sadder
ii. Thinner or fatter? same
iii. richer or poorer? poorer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
(n/a already over)

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
Stupid question for anyone that knows me.

22. Did you fall in love in 2006?
uh, no.

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favourite TV program?
For lack of cable: House, M.D. and Bones

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

26. What was the best book you read?
Don’t remember.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
What’s a musical discovery?

28. What did you want and get?
A color laser printer, burning tools, and a lot of really needed Christmas presents.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
Uhm, I haven’t seen more than 2 or 3, so i’d have to say Cars, which I got for Christmas.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Cookout, 27.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
fashion? lol

34. What kept you sane?
sane? lol

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
fancy? lol

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
ugh, the entire political front is full of equally disturbing issues, let’s just say the total abandonment of the constitutional concept of freedom and unalienable rights.

37. Who did you miss?
my best friend and my grandmother

38. Who was the best new person you met?
uhm, a cute little boy at church named Sammy

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006:
Intelligence is completely useless in this society.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“Home, let me go home (why don’t you let me go home?) this is the worst trip, I’ve ever been on.”
that sums up my entire life.

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Filed under Humor, Rants