Monday, November 17, 2014

BECAUSE I'M AN IDIOT, THAT'S WHY

I have often said the phrase "I've never felt so stupid in my life."  It's one of those hyperbolic things that you'd say when you forget your debit card at Wal-Mart or forget where you park your car.  However, I've never meant it quite as much as I mean it now.  I'm fairly certain you'll agree with me.

I'd taken the day off last Thursday.  I was sitting in the living room eating lunch and watching TV when someone knocked on the door.  The knock was cheerful, so I thought it was the lady across the street (who incidentally is the only one of our neighbors who comes to our house, usually.)  I answered the door and two girls were standing there.  They said that they were collecting votes that would help them win a scholarship.  I honestly can't tell you why my brain didn't engage right then, I'd like to think it was because I'm just a nice person, but I think it's because I'm stupid.   I said I'd vote for them and they asked to come inside because it was so cold, so I let them in {STUPID #1.}  I didn't really understand what it was that they were asking me to do, but it turned out that they were collecting votes: i.e. selling subscriptions to magazines that were donated to a children's hospital and the ones with the most subscriptions would win this contest.  I'd had a similar thing happen a year or so ago when a girl from our neighborhood came by and asked for donations for a school thing, so I thought this was the same thing.  I realized pretty quickly that this was different all together when one of the girls pulled out a receipt book and started writing out a receipt but, I still wasn't catching on.  They were starting to make me nervous, because they kept getting really close to me and I kept having to step back.  The thought actually went through my head that I'd have to fight them off because they were close enough to stab me.  That didn't happen, of course.   One of them asked to use my bathroom, and I said OK {STUPID #2} but that's when it hit me that something weird was going on.  I stood where I could see the bathroom door as the other girl showed me the receipt, which was for way more money than I could pay her at that point, so she wrote another one for half (only one outrageously overpriced magazine subscription instead of two) and so I moved over the write a check, hoping they'd leave if I did that.  The only time the bathroom door was out of sight was while I was writing that check, but the girl had been in there a long time.  I know the girl never used the bathroom, because the toilet never flushed, and she had opened the bathroom door very quietly, because when I walked back to the door of the living room, I looked up and she was standing there in the bathroom doorway.  When she walked back to me, her demeanor was very different, so I'm fairly certain she took a hit of something while in the bathroom, which pissed me off.  I started looking at her to see if she had anything of ours on her, but I couldn't tell.  They started asking me all kinds of questions about Butler, about this and that, but I finally got them out of my house. 

I ran around looking to see if anything was missing and I didn't notice anything.  I'm very grateful that I had been wearing my grandmother's wedding band, which would have been in plain sight of the girl in the bathroom had I left it where I usually do while I'm taking a shower.  I looked up the name of the business that they said they were working for and saw that it is fairly well considered to be a scam.  The main complaints were about not getting magazines that were ordered, but since the business lives in a kind of loophole where they are technically within the law, they are allowed to operate.  I know that girl was looking for stuff in my bathroom, and I know they were trying to get a look at what we had in the house while they were in there.  They were very good at trying to distract me, but I still have no idea why it took so long for me to realize what they were doing!  Of course, now they have one of my checks and they've been inside my house.  I'm pretty much terrified that they are either going to try and get into my bank account, or come back and rob my house.  Not that we have anything valuable that we leave lying around, but still.  Ugh.  I'm so stupid.  If I can get off relatively cheaply by the business just cashing my check and no magazines getting sent, I'll consider myself lucky. 

Seriously, though...this is the dumbest I've ever felt, and if you know me, you know that's saying something!
 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A QUICKY: FOOT IN MOUTH. FOOT DEEP, DEEP IN MOUTH.

This happened on Monday and I'm still cringing. 

I'm really no stranger to speaking before my brain fully engages. You all know this.

Monday afternoon, while I was at work, one of our church members came in to visit with the pastor.  The church member, the youth pastor, and I were all around my desk talking while I was sorting through the mail.  I was completely on auto-pilot while doing this and I came across a letter from a medical company that has been trying to sell us an Automated External Defibrillator.  I'm all for us getting one, because quite frankly, our church is fill of old people who could short circuit at any minute and I'd like to think we could at least try and keep them kicking until a medical professional could get there and take over. However, I haven't been able to convince anyone else this is a good idea.

I hold up the letter and said "Do you think that a defibrillator would be a good investment for the church?" 

As it was coming out of my face, I knew I shouldn't be saying it, because the man I was talking to had just lost his wife due to sudden heart failure where using a defibrillator had not worked.  That was so incredibly tactless of me, and had I been thinking, I would have never asked him that.  Granted, I don't think I upset him by asking, and he also agrees we should have one, but that doesn't make me feel any better about it.

I'm just awful sometimes. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) My hair is pretty much back to normal, from what I can tell.  At least the blue dye is all gone. It took more than a week to get that mess washed out, and although I can't be sure, there may still be some in very small spots in the back because combing my hair is still kind of hard if I'm not careful. I went online to look at reviews of the stuff, and 90% of the reviews were people who had the same problem I did.  Perhaps I should have read those first?  I just wanted blue hair, is that so wrong?  Geez.

2) Speaking of blue, I just need to stay away from blue stuff, I think.  I ate a blue popsicle the other dayand, of course, my lips and tongue turned blue.  I didn't think anything of it until the next morning when I got up and my lips were still blue.  I bathed and everything!  My lips weren't normal again until after lunch, which made me scared to think of how much dye must have been in my body.  Also, Sunday afternoon, I had a piece of blueberry pic, and my teeth and tongue turned blue for hours.  People are going to think I have smurf DNA.  :(

3) Last Saturday, I was a lump.  Steve was going to be going out of town to help a friend move, so I was left to my own devices.  Normally I hate just not doing anything and watching TV all day, but that's exactly what I did.  There was a Harry Potter movie marathon on, so I blame that because I wanted to see them. I literally sat in my pajamas until I made myself take a shower, and I just put on clean pajamas after that and finished watching the movies. I did cook a little in between, but mostly, I did nothing.  I'm not proud of myself.

4) The funeral I sang for after the Color Run was for a woman at our church that I liked very much.  She was a member of our church, had been close friends with Steve's mom, and she was the one who made my wedding dress out of curtains. : )  Her husband, whom I once worked for briefly, asked me if I would sing a song called "Ain't No Grave" at her service.  It's a very fast, very cheerful song, which seemed a little odd to me, but I feel about funerals the same way I feel about weddings: I'll sing whatever you want and wear whatever you want, so I put the CD into my purse that morning.  Just as we were about to walk out the door, I walked into my office and grabbed a performance track to "It Is Well With My Soul" and stuck it in my purse, too.  I don't really know why I did that, except that I got a weird feeling that her husband might be sorry he didn't pick a more appropriate song and I wanted a backup, just in case.  Not that the song he picked was inappropriate, exactly, but it was just...fast and loud.  I don't know.  Anyways, when I got to the funeral home, the director took my CD to do a sound check in the chapel.  The CD wouldn't work, at all.  Not on any of their sound equipment or on the computer in their business office.  I'd used that CD many times without incident, but it wouldn't play at the funeral home.  Luckily, I had that other disk in my purse, so I didn't leave them hanging.  The next day, I took the CD that wouldn't play at the funeral home and tried it in our church's sound equipment, and it played just fine!  I can only deduce that the lady who passed away didn't want that song sung at her funeral after all!  Weirdness!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

I HAVE BAD JUDGEMENT

OK, I did a really dumb thing last night.  It wasn't supposed to be dumb, it was supposed to be funny, but it turned out to be dumb and now I just have to wait it out!

For the past couple of years, I've wanted to dye my hair a wholly unnatural color.  I don't know why, but I do.  I realize I've crossed the midpoint of my thirties, and it's really not that appropriate for me to have blue or purple hair, but I thought it would be fun to do, at least once, before I turned 40.  I was actually going to do it after Sara's wedding two years ago, but because I'd just started working at the church, I didn't.

I finally talked to the pastor and asked if I DID do something like that, would it be a problem. See, at church, I don't see a whole lot of people who don't know me, and the people who do know me wouldn't think it was weird.  Well, they might, but they like me and they'd be OK with it.  However, since this IS a church, I didn't want to do anything inappropriate.  The pastor said he wasn't going to tell me I couldn't do it, but that I was representing the church when people saw me.  Basically, he wouldn't just tell me no, but he didn't want me to.  I can understand and respect that, and since having blue hair isn't really something that is vitally important, I don't mind not doing it.  We are a kind of old-school, conservative Baptist church and the only blue hair around here belongs to the old ladies, and they have earned it!

Just because I decided I wasn't going to dye my hair, doesn't mean I'm not going to threaten that I'll do it.  Honestly, I like to keep our pastor (and youth pastor) on their toes, and the fact that people with strange dye jobs and tattoos are immediately labeled as "strange" by them both, kind of makes me want to get both done just to spite them.  I usually just threaten to dye my hair (a tattoo seems a bit extreme for spiteful reasons) and whenever they start annoying me, I throw that out there.  They never know if I'd really do it or not, so it's fun for me.  I thought I'd just get a wig one day and wear it in, but I refuse to spend $50 on a joke (unless it's a really, really good one.)  So, the other day I saw this while at Wal-Mart:






It's supposed to be a very intense, but temporary, colorant for your hair.  Of course I bought it, because this was a perfect chance to play a joke on the pastor AND have blue hair, albeit only for a short time.  Steve made me promise not to put it in close to a Sunday (buzz kill), so I decided to do it on a Tuesday (last night) which would give me plenty of time to wash it out.  The box says it's supposed to coat your hair instead of penetrating it, and I've used (I thought) stuff like this before when I used to color my hair in high school.  So blue hair, freaked out pastor,...an all around win!  Only, it didn't work out the way I thought it would. 

I actually watched some videos of people using it, just to make sure it worked, and everyone seemed pretty happy with it, so I went into the bathroom and started putting it on my hair.  It had really strange directions.  It said your hair should be dry and untangled (check) and you should section off what you want to color.  Then when the stuff was dry, you comb your hair, don't shampoo it and voila!  Unfortunately, the stuff is very liquidy and it doesn't have an applicator of any kind, and trying to keep it in one place was impossible, so it got all over my hair.  As I waited for it to dry, I noticed a problem.  My hair was blue, a dark blue owing to my own dark brown hair, so no problem with the color, but my hair felt like I'd rubbed glue all through it.  I mean that literally.  My hair was stiff and sticky, and when I went to comb through it, the comb got stuck.  Not only that, but my hair was sticking out all over my head.  I looked like the bride of Frankenstein, but blue.  I tried combing it again, but I couldn't get the comb through it. I managed to get some of it brushed, but the underneath part wouldn't budge.  It was like trying to spread a sheet over a bed full of pine cones!  I knew that I couldn't go to church like that, and no joke is worth looking like Lady Gaga on a bender, so I washed it out.  Actually, I tried to wash it out.  A lot of the color came out, but my hair got really sticky.  Whatever this stuff is made of must have come from the bowels of hell, because I can't get it to come out!  Also, once my hair dried, I saw that it wasn't dark blue anymore, it was gray-blue on top of brown!  I still can't properly brush it, because it's still stiff and sticky, and so it's all wild and tangled looking.  Steve said I look like someone who was stranded on a deserted island and didn't have a brush. Nice.  I honestly don't care what color my hair is, so even though it turned greenish brown this morning when I washed it again, the thing that bothers me the most is that I can't brush my hair.  I can't even get my fingers through it!  Ugh.

Karma got me before I even got to play the joke.  Not cool.

On the bright side, my hair would really look awesome if it was blue.  Maybe I'll get it dyed after all.  :)

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

THE HAPPIEST 5K ON THE PLANET

(TL:DR- I did a fun run. Now go about your business.)

Otherwise....

So...guess what I did!  I participated in the Color Run (The Happiest 5K On the Planet!) (TM)!

What?  No, seriously, I swear.  Stop laughing.

Rude.

Anyway.  I'm not really comfortable explaining my motivations as to why I decided to do a 5K.  That sounds mysterious, but really, it's because my reasons embarrass me.  Let's just say that I had a moment (while in Disney World earlier this year, which happened to coincide with their marathon/10K) where I realized I had no excuse not to at least try.  It was as simple as that.  I also knew I needed a goal of some kind to work on, because y'all...I don't do anything.  *Try to disguise your shock, please.*  I have nothing to work towards.  I stay busy a lot, but really all I do is work and go to church, and God forgive me for saying it, but I need something somewhat enjoyable to throw in there on occasion or I'm going to get sick of both of them. Although a race isn't something I'd necessarily consider enjoyable, I'd already decided that would be what I'd do. Who knows, maybe I'd love doing it and I'd have a new hobby.  Anything is possible, right?

Now, I'm sure if you look hard enough, or at least know what you're doing, you can find a 5K going on somewhere all the time.  Alas, I'm really clueless about those kinds of things.  Also, I'm fairly sure that even if I found some random race going on, any serious, or even semi-serious, runner doesn't need a novice like myself getting involved in a race if they have no idea what they're doing, because they'll just get in the way.  Randomly, and trust me on the fact that I was sure it was a long shot, I decided that if I could find "one of those races where they throw colors on you" I'd do that one. Those looked way less intimidating than others, plus, you know...colors.  So I sat back, somewhat certain it would be a while before anything like that happened, and prepared to forget about it.

Less than a month later, the ad for the Color Run showed up on my Facebook feed. I took it as a sign. Oy.

To give myself a little credit, I didn't punk out on it.  I saved the information and when the day came to actually sign up and pay my entry fee, I did it.  In fact, I did it on the first day so that I wouldn't have time to talk myself out of it.  At the time I didn't know it was considered a "Fun Run," but only because I thought a 5K was a 5K.  I didn't know the difference.  It was also a fundraiser for the Arts Council, and hey, I like art, so win-win!

I had to start totally from scratch on this one, and by that, I mean I had to Google "5K" and see what that equaled in American.  No, I'm not kidding, I had no idea how far a 5K actually was.  Turns out, it's 3.1 miles.


That's....actually not that far.  Not really.  Now, I say it isn't far, but I only know miles in terms of driving, so 3.1 miles didn't sound completely un-doable.  I began going to the gym more often to see if I could actually run/walk that far without dying.  I had to train a little bit, I knew, because I'd never done anything even closely resembling a run before.  I called what I did training, albeit an imperfect kind, because I know running inside of an air conditioned building on a treadmill isn't exactly a great way to get ready for an outside run.  My allergies, however, insisted on this kind of thing.  Apparently, I'm allergic to everything with leaves, and sometimes just driving home with the windows down is enough to seal off my sinuses and give me migraine strength allergy headaches. So, I figured that I'd just run inside and then see what happened outside! 

I actually did get much better.  By the time the actual race was close, I could run almost half of it, which for me is huge.  Not great, not Olympic qualifying, but for me it was great!  Baby steps, right?  I was getting excited about it, which for me is like getting excited about getting an injection. It was confusing. However, I was informed by a lady to whom I happened to mention I was doing the Color Run to, that it was really not a big deal at all. She literally shrugged.

Her words made me go all Sad Monkey inside.
I hate going Sad Monkey.

Understand, I wasn't looking for her approval or anything, and I know I'm not so sensitive that everyone needs to give me a big ol' pat on the back for doing something that can be done by a six year old, but I'd been WORKING towards this, damnit!  To me it was at least kind of a big deal, if only because I was stepping way, way out of my comfort zone to do it. I rarely ever do that. By the point I'd talked to her, I knew the race itself wasn't serious, but it was still something difficult for me, and when she said that it made me feel less excited and more...I don't know...dumb.  I felt dumb for being excited about it, and for considering it to be an accomplishment of any kind. Stupid, I know, but she totally harshed my buzz.  I know she didn't mean to be dismissive on purpose.  She is one of those people who doesn't have a mean bone in her body, but she also doesn't have a great deal of tact, so I won't hold it against her!  THANKS, BUZZ KILLINGTON! :)

Anyways, it kind of took some of the fun away, but I was still going to do it.  Don't let the muggles get you down, right?

The closer it got, though, and I started to wonder if I'd actually do it!  Not because of what that lady said, but because it was such a weird thing for me to do. Honestly, they are called comfort zones for a reason.  I don't usually do exercise things.  I certainly don't make it a habit to just sign up for stuff like this without someone else talking me into it, and really, this kind of fun run is something you do with friends or with your kids or whatever.  I was beginning to feel very nervous about the whole thing. I wasn't worried about actually running/walking the thing, but it was more about it not really being a "Me" thing to do. Does that make sense?  Anyways, I kept thinking "What am I doing? Why am I doing this?" and I kept answering myself by saying "You aren't wasting the money you paid to do this, now shut up and quit being a weenie!"  I don't always get along with myself, so...yeah.  Anyways, I was asking myself what I was doing right up until I was walking up to the starting line. Really, I was very confused.  

Although the fun run isn't timed, I still ended up having a relatively small time frame I had to be finished in, because I was supposed to sing at a funeral later that morning.  Within a couple of hours I'd have to do the whole run, get home, clean off whatever colors I was covered in, change into something appropriate and be at the funeral home before the service started.  Great.  I couldn't even just be lazy and mosey my way through.  OK, then.

Steve dropped me off at the starting place and I made my way through a sea of white t-shirts and people wearing tutus and colorful knee socks.  I don't really understand the tutus, but they actually sold them in the Color Run shop, so I guess they're a running thing? You got me. I was surrounded by strangers!  Eek. I was also trying to get near the front so that I could go out in the first wave of runners so I could get done sooner, but there were thousands of people there and I was stuck in the second wave.  No big deal.  I saw a lot of funny stuff.  A person in a full on Unicorn costume (he was a mascot of some kind) and a guy wearing a rubber horse mask, people wearing funny hats and things like that.  People watching was a lot of fun. Music was being played LOUDLY while a guy who sounded like a morning-drive DJ shouted things like "WHEN I SAY COLOR YOU SAY RUN..."   If it tells you anything about the people around me, one of the songs they began blaring was something called "Cha Cha Slide" or at least one of those kinds of songs you hear at wedding receptions that give you directions.  A girl in front of me shouted "Oh, my God they play some really good music!"  Oy.  I really just wanted to get started!  I don't like shouting one thing when someone else says another thing, or waving my hands like I don't care. I just wanted to run and get color thrown at me!  Also...funeral. I had to get out of there in time to do that!  After the national anthem, they let the first wave start.  I think they waited about 5 minutes, and then my group was allowed to start. As Forrest Gump once said:   I. Was. Run-ning.

I actually started off really strong.  I was running and thinking...hey, this isn't so bad!  Someone on the sideline gave me a high five.  People were cheering and it was awesome!  I don't know how far I got, but it wasn't that far, when my lungs said "NOPE."

I imagine they looked something like this, only they were also giving me the finger.

My allergies to outside have caused me to develop a mild, but nonetheless annoyingly persistent, adult onset form of asthma.  I'm usually fine, but occasionally I need my inhaler.  I usually go ahead and use the inhaler before I do anything that might require me to breathe a lot (shut up, you know what I mean) and I completely forgot to use it before this run.  My lungs locked up fast and hard, and since I wasn't getting enough oxygen, my leg muscles also clamped up, so I had to slow down to a walk.  Dad-gummit.  I actually had a moment of panic thinking that I couldn't breathe at all, but I got that under control. I didn't want to be the first person in Huntsville (maybe even history) to die doing a fun run. How embarrassing. Not once while running inside did I ever lose my breath like that, but outside it happened fast.  Oh, well, I just figured I'd walk until I could catch my breath and then I'd run again. It took a LONG time before my breathing eased, but it was partly because I walked as fast as I could.  I was able to kind of jog through the first color station (yellow) but breathing in cornstarch didn't do my lungs any favors.  I walked through the second (purple) and then there was a long stretch before the next station (pink).  During that stretch people were passing me, and I was passing others.  I began feeling a little irritated at myself that I was still walking, but if I can't breathe, I can't run.  Also, I was getting distracted because the route went right through the historic district and I kept looking at the houses along the way.  I couldn't help it!  It was the HISTORIC district, of which I am endlessly fascinated.  It got fairly hot and humid, which is never any fun, but I finally managed to pick up the pace a little.  Just as I was about to turn the corner, someone handed me a bottle of water.  That was nice, and the water was very welcome, but it's really kind of hard to run while holding a bottle of water if you aren't used to it.  I kept looking for a place to throw it away, but there wasn't anywhere, and I didn't feel right about throwing it down on the ground.  So, I had a Kanye West moment where I was resentful that I had to be responsible for a bottle of water.  The pink station came up and the lady throwing the color basically squirted me right in the face with the stuff.  They are supposed to keep the powder fairly low down, but I think she got distracted because it hit me right in the ear and floofed all over my face.  Yuck.

By that point I was breathing a whole lot better, and I managed to alternate running and walking more often.  I was getting hot and tired and I'm fairly certain I'd begun to hallucinate a little.  I swear I saw Andy Gibb on the sidelines, and unless I'm mistaken, he's dead.  I didn't stop and talk to him though because I was almost done!  Right before the last color station (blue) I saw Steve again!  Yay!  He took my picture as I rounded the corner and he got a couple of pictures of me there.  I went through the blue and onward to the finish line!  Just before the end, there was supposed to be a photographer, and I'd mentioned to Kenny that I was afraid any pictures that they took of me running would wind up looking like this:


However, he (a seasoned triathlete who gave me a lot of good advice about running my sad little fun-run) told me to find the photographer beforehand and basically be prepared to ham it up as I passed him.  So that's what I did.  Just as I reached the inflatable rainbow that signified the finish line, I put on a ridiculous smile and ran past him as if I was not hot and winded and had NOT just seen a deceased member of the Bee Gees!  So even though I felt like this:
Ok, so maybe with a little less dangling intestine...

I looked much happier crossing the finish line!  See?

I'm STILL holding that damnable bottle of water, too!

So I was finally done, and it felt really awesome to cross that finish line because I'd never done that before!  Yay!  I wasn't able to stay for whatever shenanigans that were supposed to happen once everyone got back in, so I handed someone my packet of color powder and headed home to get cleaned up.  It was very fun, and I'd like to do it again!  I'd also like to eventually run a real race of some kind, but that probably won't happen any time soon.  I'll work on it, though! One step at a time!

So there is the grand, sweeping saga of how I, inexplicably, decided to run on purpose!  YAY!
 

Monday, September 15, 2014

STUPID NATURE

Do you want to know what happened to us this weekend?

Yellow-jackets! That's what happened to us. 

Stupid, evil, vindictive yellow-jackets.

Do you remember a couple of entries ago, I mentioned that I got stung by a bee while mowing the lawn?  Well, it turned out it wasn't a bee.  Unknown to us, a very large colony of yellow-jackets had built a ground nest near the edge of our property.  It's right up against the property line with our neighbors, so it isn't a place we spend a whole lot of time hanging out and we had no idea  it was there.  The last time I mowed, I guess I just barely disturbed them because I was only stung once, and because Steve said there were some bees hanging around the crepe myrtle, that's what we thought got me.  This time, though, I apparently did more than disturb them.  I must have disturbed them and said something horrible about their mother, if their reaction was any indication!

Since getting stung last time, I was careful to wear blue-jeans when I mowed.  I should have worn tennis shoes, too, but I didn't.  I thought that jeans would be enough, because really, statistically, how often can expect to get stung while mowing your lawn if it's only happened once in 14 years?

So I'm working on the last section of our yard, which is the big part in the front.  I usually start by going around the entire perimeter, and then sectioning it off.  This time, I was doing that, but decided that I needed to go over the same ground since I missed a spot, which was apparently the wrong thing to do.  I hit the nest twice, and as I went over it the second time, they came after me.  The first one got me in the ear!  THE MOTHER-EFFING EAR!  As I sat there, holding my ear, I got stung on my foot, my hand and my calf.  I panicked.  I literally couldn't figure out how to get away.  I realized, way too late that I was on a riding lawnmower, which I then managed to drive into the center of the lawn.  I was still in a panic, so I couldn't figure out how to turn it off, so I just jumped off and ran into the house.  For all I knew at that point, they were still following me.  I ran through the house, stripped off my clothes and I jumped into the shower to drown anything that was still on me.  Poor Steve had no idea what was going on, so he walked over to where I had been and he got swarmed.  While I was in the shower, I heard him running through the house and getting into the other shower.  He'd been stung 11 times on his legs.  He'd still managed to get the lawnmower inside and the garage closed, so points go to Steve in this instance.  We are so lucky that neither one of us is allergic, but we still popped Benadryl just in case.

Y'all, I'd like to say I was stoic and able to deal with the pain with no problem, but I'd be lying.  I always believed I had a pretty high tolerance for pain, but I was proven very, very wrong.  I'd only been stung 4 times, and I think the three on my hand/foot/leg weren't that bad, but it was the one in my ear that nearly drove me insane.  Imagine someone stabbing a needle into your ear and wiggling it around for hours without stopping.  The pain wouldn't back off.  The longer I sat there, the worse it got.  Steve said that his stings hurt, but they weren't that bad.  Me, I just laid down and cried.  I did everything I could think of to help them: we put Neosporin on the stings, we crushed up aspirin applied that, baking soda paste, cortisone cream, but nothing helped.  I finally decided that if I could just go to sleep, I could get away from it.  But I couldn't go to sleep.  My muscles were twitching so bad that I couldn't even doze off.  I tried icing my ear and applying heat to it, but nothing helped.  I even kept trying to take Tylenol and stuff like that, but nothing touched it.  We finally had to go to Target and buy some kind of after sting stuff (that did nothing) and I bought some Z-quil because I figured that if I couldn't go to sleep on my own, I'd drug myself into it.  By the time we got home, my ear was hurting a tiny bit less, but my hand and foot had begun swelling up like balloons.  I did fall asleep, which was a blessing, but I didn't stay asleep for long.  I finally just got up, took the sleeping stuff, and went to sleep for real.  I was going to avoid the pain as much as possible.  That probably doesn't speak well about my coping skills!  Steve said his stings had stopped hurting, but had started to itch like crazy, so he stayed in the living-room all night so that he wouldn't wake me up while he scratched. 

I woke up at around 4:00 that morning, and took more Benadryl, which was not smart on top of all of the other stuff I'd been taking, which made me too drunk to go to church!  Steve was not hurtinganymore, his bites were itchy but he was ok, so he went ahead to church and had to run the sound for me.  I slept for a long, long time.  When I finally woke up, I went into the bathroom and looked in the mirror, and...you guys, my ear was 3 times bigger than an ear should be!  It was so gross!  I had a cauliflower ear, for real! It was so swollen that I couldn't even bend my earlobe!  My foot and hand were also swollen up so badly that they didn't look like they belonged on my body.  You know how babies have those little fat, boneless looking hands and feet?  That is what I had on one side of my body.  When I'd walk, my foot looked like a water balloon being compressed.  YUCK! So much yuck!  I WAS A MUTANT! 
Artist's Rendition 

I hid in the house for the rest of the day like I was the Elephant Man or something.  I probably could have gone to church that night, the pain was all but gone, but I was afraid everyone would be staring at my ear.  Seriously, it was like freak-show big.  It was still really swollen when I went to bed, but it did go down a lot during the night so I was able to come to work today. Besides, I can stand three people looking at my ear, but not dozens and dozens of them looking.  

At any rate, now we are mainly just very itchy.  My hand a foot are still swollen, but that is getting better.  I'll be glad when I can wear a normal shoe again, though.  We'll be lucky if Steve has legs left after he finishes scratching them. He really did get stung a lot, but he was able to stand the pain much better than me.  I felt like such a weenie.  

So, that was my weekend!  I hope yours was much better! :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

**AWKWARD CRINGE FACE**

I'm beginning to wonder if I'm not deeply and irrevocably flawed, or maybe just an enormous jerk or something.

I go onto Facebook every day.  I'm pretty sure that the cool kids don't do that, but I'm not going to lie about it.  I get bored and I want to pretend I'm hanging out with other human beings, so I go on Facebook and see what everyone is doing. Most of the time I see the requisite "Oh, my kids are awesome" or "Look at this place I visited! My vacations are fantastic!"  I'm OK with that.  That's what Facebook is for: mostly living vicariously through people we barely remember from high school and pretending like we talk to our actual IRL friends more than we really do.  That's OK! It's good we have at least that little bit of communication with people these days! 

Occasionally, though, I come across these...I dunno...odes (for want of a better word) to people from their family members/significant others in the status updates and sometimes it makes me incredibly uncomfortable.  Now, let me be specific: It isn't across the board uncomfortable. Like when someone dies, or is born, or if there is some kind of really special/significant thing that happens, I'm fine.  There is a time and place for holding someone up, and I recognize those things.  Mostly it's just the over the top birthday wishes, or mother's and father's day essays, or (and this one is the absolute worst to me) the husbands or wives getting on there and just, oh dear God, gooping the place up with their anniversary wishes, or birthday wishes, or *shudder* just the "oh how wonderful you are" mess that people do. You know, feeeeeeeeeeeelings.  It's gross.  It makes me feel gross.  I actually have to scroll past those things really fast because I become physically uncomfortable knowing that it is just out there for everyone to read.  It's like when you're watching a movie with your parents and a particularly graphic sex scene pops up, and you know that you want to run screaming from the room, but you can't because that would mean acknowledging it, and the last thing you want to do is react, so you just sit there until the scene is over, wishing you were dead instead of watching this movie with your parents?  That feeling.

Now, before anyone accuses me of jealousy or sour grapes, I assure you, that isn't true.  If Steve, or anyone else (you know, one of my various secret admirers), got on Facebook and said goopy, personal things about me in such a public forum, I might actually die of embarrassment. I'd feel my face catch on fire and I'd probably fall into a puddle of boiling, writhing, discomfort. I don't want that.  If you love me and want me to know, just tell me.  Do it in person, over the phone, or in a letter. I even accept YouTube videos set on Private.  I'll probably still be embarrassed (pleased, but embarrassed because I have a very hard time taking compliments) but I'd be OK with that.  Of course, if I die or something like that, you have my permission to say whatever you want about me on Facebook.  Heck, take out a billboard.

I know this is kind of weird and out of nowhere, but I just saw something so personal on Facebook from one spouse to another that I feel like I need a bath. It also bothered me enough that it made me write this.

That is all.  Carry on with your day.