Peanut butter is basically the perfect food.
Unless you’re allergic to peanuts, in which case, we probably shouldn’t ever share close physical contact because I’m basically 68% peanut butter. Plus I don’t like strangers touching me, and respecting boundaries is important. But mostly because of the peanut butter thing.
Peanut butter is one of those foodstuffs that I don’t buy very often because, if it’s in the house, it calls my name until I have consumed it. All of it. In as short a time as possible. I’m like a peanut butter Hoover. All I need is a spoon and some privacy, and I can actually do without the privacy if necessary.
This sudden and frankly uncalled-for exposition about my peanut butter habits, by the way, is being brought to you by my having an apple left over from something I was baking earlier in the week. Because you see, if an apple isn’t being cut up and incorporated into a dish or baked good somehow, then its only other purpose is as a vehicle for peanut butter. I mean…I know there are people who eat apples out of hand without slathering them in peanut butter first, and that’s fine. It’s WRONG…but it’s fine. More peanut butter for me.
Apples aren’t the only foodstuffs I’ll use as peanut butter delivery devices, oh no! Bananas, banana bread, biscuits, brownies, carrots, celery, crackers, cookies, dates, ice cream…I’ve gleefully smeared peanut butter on, or stuffed peanut butter in, all of them. I’ve put peanut butter on pancakes, muffins, even tortillas (both flour ones and corn ones. The corn ones were a mistake, but hey, mistakes are how we learn).
The most holy form of peanut butter consumption is on toasted bread, of course. I have a deep and abiding love for English muffins and I feel their highest calling is to be toasted and smeared with peanut butter. Second to English muffins would be a good whole wheat or sourdough. I’m not afraid to put peanut butter on rye toast if my hand is forced, though. You think I won’t do it? Oh trust me, I will, and it will be DELICIOUS.
The only person I know who likes peanut butter almost as much as I do is my dad. Maybe it’s a genetic thing? Maybe our DNA has made it so that our brains register the taste of peanut butter as a magical explosion of delicious joy? Maybe we’ve got some kind of peanut butter werewolf curse, where instead of turning into werewolves on the full moon, we…just really like peanut butter a lot. That one might need some work. BUT STILL. You get my drift.
My preferred brand of peanut-based crack is Teddie, preferably the super chunky variety. Teddie is just roasted peanuts and salt. No added sugar, no hydrogenated oils, 100% amazing. This post isn’t sponsored by Teddie, but I’ve never in my blogging life wished more that a company would see me promoting their product and decide to send me some.
Teddie, if you’re reading this, drop me a line. I’m sure we could work something out.
Did you like how I posted a week ago and didn’t mention anything about where I’d been for like the six or seven or whatever number of previous weeks? I thought that was pretty well done, myself. That’s some advanced-level avoidance strategy shit right there. Learn from the master, friends. I’ll have you perfecting your own existential crises in no time!
Time has passed. Shit has gone down.
My mom got sick with some heart problems back at the beginning of March and spent basically the whole month in the hospital. You ever notice how time just kind of…falls apart when you’re staying in / visiting a hospital? Airports have the same effect, I’ve found. But at least with airports, you’re usually going to get somewhere eventually. Hospitals are like limbo. You step into this weird in-between world where you can’t do anything except wait for someone to come along and tell you what the next thing you’re waiting for is. Anyway, my mom got to come home for a while and was doing relatively well, but that all kind of went to shit this past weekend, so back to hospital limbo she went. We’ve been orbiting the cardiac care unit so much the last eight weeks that many of the nurses now recognize us and greet us with familiarity. On the one hand I’m grateful that such caring people work there, but on the other hand…well. There are far more preferable places to be recognized and greeted as a regular. The words “surgery” and “bypass” were finally eased into conversation yesterday, as the minimally-invasive things they’ve been trying just aren’t consistently helping. So…that’s a thing that’s apparently going to happen, though we don’t know when yet. It’s not a situation where she needs the surgery very immediately, and I’m extraordinarily grateful for that (as is she, I’m sure). The flip-side is that the longer she puts it off, the harder it’s going to be on her physically…and it’s already going to be a hell of a slog as it is. I tend to take the view that it’s better to rip the proverbial band-aid off all in one go than to slowly pick and peel at it, prolonging the pain and amplifying the mental stress…but this isn’t my band-aid to rip.
Which, I suppose, is as good a segue as any into the fact that I, TOO, had an episode of atrial fibrillation, right around the same time my mom went into the hospital for it. In fact, I was woken at 6am on a Tuesday by a text about my mom being taken to the ER, when I had just spent the previous evening in the ER myself. My atrial fibrillation was paroxysmal – a freak thing, basically. Except, it turns out that it maybe wasn’t so freakish after all, as we’ve learned through this process with my mom that there’s actually a pretty strong family history of a-fib and that there may well be a genetic component at play. Anyway – I self-regulated out of my episode (and there’s a joke about that being the only time I’ve ever successfully self-regulated anything, surely)., and was sent home with advice to stop taking Adderall to treat my ADD, at least until after I met with cardiology. ‘Sure, no problem’, I thought, ‘it’s not like it helps me all that much anyway”. A battery of tests with cardiology determined that I wasn’t having regular bouts of a-fib and didn’t really need any special treatment for it (YAY!), but then there was the bad news: my cardiologist thought it would be best if I stayed off stimulant meds from now on. Adderall, as you likely know, is a stimulant, as is basically every other effective ADD med.
I had been off meds for about six weeks at that point and had been really struggling with…everything, basically. My particular flavor of ADD involves some classic focus problems, but it also comes with a big ol’ steaming pile of anxiety as well. If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you know that it’s often irrational, and always very difficult to shut off once you get into that mode. It starts out as this little dinky toy train chugging along a track, spewing out thoughts like ‘hmm, what was that weird pain I just had’, and ‘Boss just closed the office door, he must be talking about me’. Eventually it grows into this gigantic roaring high-speed passenger train full of brain weasels, hurtling toward me with gems like ‘I can’t seem to accomplish even the most simple tasks without screwing up 14 times and clearly everyone thinks I’m a loser and they only hang around with me because they feel sorry for me and once I lose my job due to being a fuck-up I’ll be homeless and I won’t be able to take care of my dog and I’ll have to give him up and my husband will leave me because he’s only hanging around for the dog anyway and it’s not even going to matter because that weird twinge in my leg is clearly a blood clot that’s going to travel to my brain and I just wish it would happen already and get it over with so I can finally get some fucking rest oh my god normal people don’t think shit like that what the fuck is my problem maybe I need to be committed’… you get the picture. Adderall certainly didn’t CURE me of that constant barrage of mental fuckery, but it usually turned the volume down on it. It allowed me to more easily get shit done, which in turn made me feel like less of a failure in general and kept the doom-train at a reasonable size. But I can’t have Adderall anymore. So you see the problem there.
My doctors are great and they’re definitely trying to help. I started a new, non-stimulant med (Intuniv – apparently it’s not used much for ADD in adults, more-so in children) on Friday and it will take a few weeks to titrate up to a therapeutic dose of that. It’s already helping a little bit in that it makes me sleepy (I take it at night) and it seems to be making me actually sleep THROUGH the night, which I haven’t done on a regular basis like, ever. And I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, before we had smartphones and tablets and all this other shit, so when I wasn’t sleeping through the night at 12 years old, it wasn’t like anyone could blame Faceblotch or Snapcrack or whatever devil music whippersnappers are into these days. *shakes cane thoroughly*
Anyway – the point of word-barfing all this at you was just mostly to make myself feel a little better, I guess. Having focus problems makes me kind of a quitter (I even said it at the very beginning), or even worse, it makes me someone who just lets things peter out because I’ve lost interest / hit a road block / feel like I’m not good enough at it…and I fucking hate that. Every time I catch myself being like ‘meh, maybe I’ll just abandon the blog’, I get pissed off at myself and vow to MAKE myself post. Except, then I sometimes see a butterfly or some shiny tinfoil or a donut and get distracted, but I do get back here eventually…
…if only to make myself feel like less of a big quitting quitter McQuitface with Quits Disease and a massive deficiency of Vitamin Do The Thing.
Did I mention I miss Adderall? That’s where this whole thing was meant to be going.
We live in what I think of as the rural equivalent of an apartment complex. Instead of one big building with lots of units stacked on top of each other, there are several smaller buildings with two units each, plus one single unit in a stand-alone house with a garage (which, those people are clearly just showing off). The way our building is set up, there’s an apartment in each end and a maybe ten foot wide covered entryway in between that we share.
Over the two years we’ve been here, we’ve seen a few neighbors come and go in the unit we share the entryway with. There was the suspected tweaker, there was my boss from my high school job at the local general store (that was…awkward. Especially during his poker nights when a giant cloud of weed smoke would come rolling out his front door every time it was opened. Not that I have the slightest problem with people smoking weed…it just seems odd when it’s someone who was an authority figure in your young adult life, you know? It’s kind of like if you happened upon your high school principle or soccer coach packing a fat bowl. Part of your brain is like ‘coooool’ while the other part is like ‘wait, WHAT?’), and there was the last guy who just moved out at the end of February. We’ll call him D.
D was basically the perfect neighbor (at least, for us): he was a trucker so he was often gone for a week or more at a time. He was also quite hard of hearing, so even when he WAS home, he wasn’t bothered by our yappy dog, my husband’s propensity to sing along to music while he walks said yappy dog, or my propensity to talk to the neighborhood wildlife. He happened to also be a very nice guy, what little we knew of him, so we were sad to see him go.
The new neighbors moved in last weekend. Aside from a mysterious pile of cat vomit that materialized next to our welcome mat (which I strategically ignored until it disappeared about 24 hours later.WIN!) the day they moved in, and the fact that the female inhabitant smokes in our shared entryway, they’ve given me nothing to complain about.
Except…and I know how batshit crazy this is going to sound, but that’s never stopped me before…
…they leave their outside light on. Like, ALL the time. 24 hours a day.
I didn’t think much of it at first because they were in the process of moving and that’s stressful, you know? Half your shit is at one place, half is somewhere else, everything’s in boxes and all you want is to cook a grilled cheese but you have no cheese and you can’t find the right pan and the cat hates the new apartment so he’s spite-vomiting in inopportune places. I totally get it.
After three days, though…it seems like you should have probably bought some cheese. You should have probably put the pans away and found a place for all your shoes and gotten the cable hooked up and hung the curtains. You should probably be better acquainted with the location of light switches. You can probably remember to shut the outside light off, if not when you go to bed at night, then certainly when you get up in the morning and the sun is shining.
And yes, I know, I’m an asshole because I’m not considering that maybe one of them works odd hours or maybe they came from a place where shit would get stolen or vandalized if people thought you weren’t home or any number of other reasons why they might choose to leave the light on. Also, yes, it’s their electric bill not mine, so what the hell should I care whether they leave the light on or not.
You’re not wrong. Just for the record. I’m not saying you are.
But it still fucking bothers me. It makes my god damned teeth itch.
But Tuesdays…Tuesdays are for impotent rage, I’m convinced of it.
I don’t like Tuesdays, in case that wasn’t clear. And this particular Tuesday has been especially rife with fuckery of highly non-amusing sorts (although my propane tank didn’t actually blow up or anything, thankfully). It’s mostly work stuff so I can’t really get into it, but just trust me when I tell you that if I could procure a boat right now, I’d name it the S.S. Fuck Right Off, pack it with as many boxes of Pop Tarts and bottles of Rex Goliath merlot as I could afford, and shove off from the nearest dock to start my career as a small-time pirate queen. Imagine an obese female version of Jack Sparrow. That would be me. I’ve already got the eyeliner and the struggling to remember words down pat.
I need to do something to counteract the angry. Sending people mail makes me happy, so tonight I’m going to go home and address a bunch of holiday cards.
If you’d like a holiday card from me, you can add your mailing address to my address book here and I’ll happily send you one.
Although, caveat: if you’re international, the card may not get there by Christmas because I’m very bad at judging how long international mail takes to get from point A to point B and also sometimes I have every intention of getting my ass to the post office but then get distracted and end up carrying a bunch of cards around in my bag for an extra week. Just so we’re all on the same page.
Also, you have my solemn oath that I will not sell your address or use it for any other purposes, nefarious or otherwise.
And if you don’t want to give me your address, that’s totally cool. I still love you, and I’ll just beam you holiday cheer with my mind instead.
I should probably pick a specific day and time to do it though, otherwise you’ll spend the next few weeks wondering if every random warm tingle and whiff of gingerbread you notice is me beaming you that cheer I promised you.
Or you might maybe start to worry that you’re having a seizure or a stroke, and I don’t want to do that to you, because after all, I might be a small-time pirate queen, but I’m not a dick.
A couple weeks back, a funny thing happened. A good friend of mine who also happens to read this blog sent me a private message on Facebook, and the following exchange ensued:
Friend: Sooo…I have a slightly awkward question for you.
Me: Oh, fun! I love those! Hit me.
Friend: Ok. I feel like we know each other pretty well in a lot of ways, but politics is something we’ve never actually talked about and I’ve just kind of been wondering…do you support Trump?
Me: WHAT? NO. OMG. No, no, no. Uuuugh. (barfing noises)
Me: What, uhhh…what gave you the impression that I would be a Trump supporter?
Friend: Almost every time I go to your blog, there’s a Trump ad at the bottom of your post. Like, nine times out of ten. It got weird enough that it started to make me really wonder.
Me: Holy shit. Thank you so much for telling me. I must find a way to fix this.
A matter of hours later, another friend who DOES know my political leanings pointed out that he had seen a Trump ad on my latest post. Two days later, several more folks brought it up as well. My guts churned every time someone else piped up about it.
I was livid. I pulled up my WordPress account and clicked all around looking for an ad filter, preferences, ANYTHING that would allow me to stop the Trump ads from appearing on my posts. It turned out that the only option was to upgrade from a free account to a paid one.
It didn’t take me long to decide that that racist, narcissistic, tax-evading dumpster fire is NOT getting the benefit of the eyes of my readership, however small it might be. I’m not saying that you have to agree with my politics in order to read my blog. I’m just saying that I will not knowingly provide his campaign with ANY avenue to further spread his hate-filled rhetoric. If you can even call what he says ‘rhetoric’.
So, long story short: I just coughed up $35 real, actual dollars from my bank account to upgrade my WordPress account so that you guys wouldn’t have to keep seeing Trump ads at the end of my posts.
THAT is how much I love you all. At least $35 worth.
Last weekend we were at a gaming event with some friends. Almost all of them had downloaded the Pokémon Go app and were happily spending their down-time between actual card games walking around hunting Pokémon. One friend especially, Geoff, was pretty obsessed. He clocked something like three miles of walking over the course of the day, all in the name of catching electronic critters. I had a couple conversations with people about how the game worked just out of general interest, and I MIGHT at one point have said “if my phone wasn’t such a piece of crap I’d download the game and try it”, but aside from that I didn’t think too much of it and had pretty much forgotten about it by the time we got home on Saturday evening.
Wednesday morning, Mark walked into the kitchen and held his phone out for me to look at. It showed a little picture of a guy on a bright green map with roads traced in grey and a cheerful blue sky full of puffy white clouds on the horizon.
“REALLY?” I asked, rolling my eyes. The map he was showing me was the main Pokémon Go screen. He had downloaded the game and installed it onto his phone.
“YES! Where’s your phone? I’ll download it on yours too!”
“It won’t work, I don’t have enough memory,” I hedged, and busied myself with making breakfast.
“Sure you do, I’ll clear your cache. See? TONS of memory freed up!” He held the phone out to show me, beaming. As I stuttered out protests about how I didn’t know what Pokémon even WAS or what the point of the game was aside from walking around picking things up, he was tapping away happily and downloading the app. Clearly this was going to happen no matter what I said. Knowing that my phone is a temperamental little shitbox, I figured that the app wouldn’t even open once it was downloaded or would crash catastrophically, thus giving me an out for deleting it and retaining what minuscule shreds of adult-ness I could desperately grasp at.
Not so much, it turns out.
The phone DID run the app, so after breakfast I set up my little character. Mark took off down the driveway to see if he could find any Pokémon but I stayed inside, drinking my tea and generally not paying that much attention to my phone at all.
Then the phone buzzed. I looked down and it said something about a wild Charmander appearing. After a few botched attempts, I managed to catch the Charmander, to much fanfare from my phone.
“Well, that’s nice,” I thought, and then shut the app off so that I could go get ready for work. Mark came back just about then, looking forlorn.
“I walked all the way to the corner and back and I didn’t find ANYTHING,” he said.
At that point I felt the beginnings of something start to unfurl in the dark recesses of my lizard brain.
“Oh, really? That’s funny because I didn’t even move from my chair but a Charmander popped up and I caught it,” I said smugly. He looked slightly affronted, but then HIS phone buzzed and he was distracted by catching some kind of critter of his own.
Since Wednesday morning I’ve developed a bit of an addiction problem. I can’t stop playing this stupid game.
On the drive to work yesterday and today, I pulled over at almost every single rest stop / turn-out / lay-by on the side of the road to see if there were any Pokémon hanging around.
I read something about certain types of Pokémon only showing up in their specific environments in the real world, so I went out of my way to drive to the beach this morning and sit there for five minutes hoping some kind of water Pokémon would appear.
Last night it was 85 degrees and about 90% humidity but Mark and I walked the dog over a mile out to the end of our road (where there is a conveniently located Poké Stop, it turns out) and back, just in the name of finding more Pokémon.
I have already caught myself several times today pre-planning my errand-running route tomorrow in order to maximize time that I can explore known Pokémon-laden territory.
I don’t even know what the fuck any of these animals are, what they do, which ones are rare, how to battle with them or ANYTHING, seriously…but it doesn’t matter because they’re out there and I WANT THEM. And not only do I want them, but I want more, bigger and better ones than my Husband has. I’m generally not that competitive of a person, but apparently when it comes to building menageries of imaginary animals, I MUST BE QUEEN.
It’s totally weird.
(And it’s basically all Geoff’s fault.)
I finally figured out how to get my favorite blogs to actually show up as links in the sidebar. HUZZAH! It’s only been, like…a pretty embarrassing amount of months. In my defense, it’s not like WordPress makes it especially evident or anything. It’s kind of hidden under three or four layers of internet WTF’ery.
So, yeah. I enjoy the blogs I’ve linked to off to the right there, and I suggest you give them a look.
FYI, if you comment on my posts I always click through to your blog to check it out. If you’re a non-commenting lurker but you have a blog you want me to check out, let me know! I don’t bite, I promise. I’m more afraid of you than you are of me. Also, I should not be exposed to bright light, fed or gotten wet after midnight. Just…in case…
We have this neighbor named Steve.
Well, Steve might not actually BE his name, but that’s what we call him.
He also technically might be a “her” rather than a “him”. It’s hard to tell, honestly…
…because Steve is a chipmunk.
The Steve Saga started back last summer. Our actual human neighbor, Gary, has his mailbox affixed to this antique standing scale. One day last summer I was walking Junior, Professional Harsher of Mellows, down our road. As we rounded the corner by Gary’s mailbox, a chipmunk came barreling out of the underbrush growing along the edge of the lawn and dove straight under the platform part of the scale that the mailbox is attached to.
Ever since then, Junior has been OBSESSED with the platform. He let up over the winter while the chipmunk was hibernating, but this spring when things started thawing out, Junie was right back at it – sniffing, digging and making tiny angry Wookie noises every time he got near the platform.
Mark decided the chipmunk needed a name a few weeks back, so he started referring to him as Steve.
It wouldn’t have been a problem if not for the fact that I have this terrible habit of talking to the dog while I walk him. Not just general guidance like “good boy” and “no, don’t eat poop”, but often fairly extensive one-sided conversations.
I mean, Junie never actually answers me BACK, so that’s a step in the right direction, but it’s still probably somewhat disconcerting for the neighbors to look out their windows at 7am and see me wandering around mumbling in a sing-songy voice about how Steve’s not home and can’t take your call right now but if you leave your name and a brief message…
I bought some grapes while grocery shopping on Sunday.
It was a mistake.
The grapes themselves are fine – it’s me that’s the problem.
You know those awful memes you see on Facebook where someone buys a bag of grapes and then notices there’s a GIANT FUCKING SPIDER in the bag?
Those things haunt my dreams. I’ve always been vehemently anti-spider (or, anti-spiders-in-my-space, I should say. I have no problem with spiders who respect my personal boundaries), but those spider-in-the-grape-bag memes have fucking scarred me for life.
Except, I forget things a lot (due in large part to the inside of my head constantly being like a freshly shaken snow globe. The snow being thoughts, not cocaine. Just so we’re clear…ish…), so sometimes the things that have scarred me for life kind of take a little while to bubble back to the surface and become Big Fucking Issues…
…which is how I ended up with a 3-pound bag of grapes on my kitchen counter that I subsequently spent quite a lot of time eyeing suspiciously, examining for signs of movement and/or arachnid legs.
THEN I started thinking about how the grapes had been in the house long enough that any spider living in them had probably crawled out by now and made a home behind my fridge or something. MOTHER. FUCKERS. At that point I began contemplating the feasibility of nuking the entire site from orbit. But, nuking would have meant having to move in with my parents until we found a new place which, at 36 years old and newly bankrupt from having bought a nuclear weapon, seemed…less than ideal.
My husband finally saved the day (albeit unwittingly) by breaking into the bag of grapes and eating like half of them yesterday while I was at work. When I noticed he’d been eating them, I told him how I bought them and then couldn’t make myself put my hand in the bag because of the spiders and how the grapes were all too close to each other in the bag so I couldn’t see, like, AROUND the grapes enough to be sure that there wasn’t actually some kind of lethal (or at least super hairy) spider in there, and how I was relieved that he had finally eaten some so now I could see they were safe and eat some too, but also that I felt kind of guilty for thinking that because I didn’t purposefully WANT him to eat unsafe grapes but I appreciated that he (again, unwittingly) took one for the team. So to speak.
I think he probably stopped listening somewhere around “internet memes of spiders”, because he’s known me a really long time and that’s usually where things start going downhill quickly for me.
I managed to nut up and take some of the grapes to work with me for lunch today. They were OK, but they weren’t really worth all the mental turmoil they caused. I think I’ll stick with apples. Or pears. Fruit that I can see completely around and inspect thoroughly before consumption. And if any of you assholes send me memes about spider-infected apples, we’re done. DONE, you hear me?!
Also, side note to any Federal agents who may have been led to this site by Internet bot scanners (don’t lie, it’s a thing. I’m not paranoid, you’re paranoid) picking up the phrase “bought a nuclear weapon” , chillax. If I had that kind of money, I’d be in a secret bunker, covered in puppies, drinking high-end merlot through the longest twisty-straw I could find, and paying a group of scientists to come up with a coating for Cheetos that doesn’t stain your fingers. PRIORITIES, YO.