StarTalk Radio is Greater than Cymbalta

earth from spaceEver since the Cymbalta fiasco, I’ve had a real and pressing problem with anxiety. It’s too complicated for me to explain in detail right now, so let me just say that my brain is sometimes in the habit of flipping out over the smallest of small stuff. A piece of mail might arrive, and I’ll shut down. Or, one time I was at Meijer with Dan trying to figure out the new point-of-sale machine, and I was swallowed whole by despair and frustration.

Other parts of my brain function well enough to remind me that my anxiety is irrational, and probably not even my fault. So I’ve been trying to exercise those corners of my brain through meditation. It’s helping.

But I also found help in an episode of StarTalk a couple of months ago, the one where Neil deGrasse Tyson has Susan Sarandon on as a guest and they talk about perspectives. They discuss how looking down on Earth from space changes the way astronauts think of it. And it brought to mind some iconic images I’ve seen of Earth, which helped me create a similar perspective for myself.

Anyway, it’s worth a listen.

Today I Learned: Good Libs Hate Nordstrom and Cake

I commented on a public Facebook post today. I know, I know. We all do dumb things sometimes. Anyway I mentioned that I thought this article was petty: Michigan Gov Threw Wife Decadent Birthday Party with Tacky-Ass Cake While His State Is Poisoned.

Yeah, it’s a Gawker article, but it was shared by I expect a little more from (Not much more, mind you. Just links to articles without anger-inducing, judgmental phrases like “Tacky-Ass Cake” in the headline. (I mean, do we want to Move On, or do we want to bicker?) I shared my opinion that the piece was petty, and I was subsequently accused of being dismissive of the plight of the people of Flint.

So, today I learned that it’s not enough to call for the ousting of Snyder, the removal of the emergency manager system, and the prosecution and punishment of all responsible. Shannon G. from North Carolina insists that I must, in solidarity with Flint, also want to read Sam Biddle’s tirades about how Snyder threw an insensitively lavish party for his wife, complete with high-end brand names written on fondant icing.

Pretty sure Snyder’s not going to give a shit that the people of Flint can only afford a box of Duncan Hines if he doesn’t give a shit that he poisoned them. 

If you’re a bad lib like me, interested in reading articles about Flint that aren’t petty, I suggest:

Shut Up, Lewis

golden girls chronic fatigue syndrome clipIn the following clip, Dorothy confronts her dismissive doctor at a fancy-pants restaurant. At first the doctor’s wife or date or whoever is perturbed that their pleasant evening out is being disrupted, but when the doctor tries to brush Dorothy off again (because the first time at the doctor’s office apparently wasn’t enough) she finds the woman is actually an ally.

“Shut up, Lewis,” is perhaps one of the greatest lines in television. At least for those of us who can empathize. 

A good friend shared this video as it was making the rounds on Facebook recently, and I watched it like I was reliving that whole nightmare with the Christie Clinic rheumatologist or that annoying encounter with the egotist ENT.

I’ve heard a few times that doctors are human, not gods. The problem is actually mine in that I unreasonably believe doctors are capable of fixing me or fixing anything. Which is doubly insulting because first I’ve got a doctor who’s known me all of ten minutes telling me I’m not sick, I’m lazy or crazy. Then I’ve got a handful of people who’ve never even seen my doctor order a latte tell me that he’s probably not all that bad, I’ve just set my expectations too high.

And I’m just over here like…whenever someone wants to support me, that’d be great.

Why can’t I expect every doctor to be as honest with me as I am with him? I’m sitting in a paper gown barely held together with paper shoestrings while talking about the color of my snot and the consistency of my poop the last time I took a shit, but he can’t mutter the words “I’m sorry I don’t know what’s wrong” when he’s stumped? There’s no conceivable way he could not know something, so the only viable alternatives are that I did this to myself or I’m a few ants short of a picnic?

It’s Payday, Whores!

huaraches moroleonIt’s Friday and it’s payday and I am in a really good mood today, despite a lingering head cold and a couple of borked muscles in my lower back. Our tradition here is to have Friday Fun Food™ on Friday nights, and I always look forward to it like I’m an eight year old en route to Chuck E. Cheese or something. Friday Fun Food™ might mean ordering a pizza or getting General Tso’s from First Wok or snagging tacos from Huaraches Moroleon. But it always means no cooking and no dirty dishes to clean!
I’m in such a good mood that about 30 minutes ago I told Dan I wanted to go with him to Meijer today. However, the longer I’m awake the less putting on pants and leaving the house sounds like fun. Wondering if it’s possible for me to stay on the couch and play Fallout 4 in my pajamas while he hunts down coffee filters, Worcestershire sauce, and milk.
I’ve been battling some kind of yuck this whole week and have convinced myself the trip to the condo is what did me in. God only knows what biological contaminants are festering there. Plus, put me through any kind of physical stress and my immune system turns into that one friend who always checks out when the going gets rough.
I’ve got a head full of snot accompanied by a low-grade fever and matching cold sore, any my immune system is all like, “Oh. Was that this week? I can’t. My mom and I have been planning a six-day shopping trip to the outlet mall for, like, ever.”
one million steps week 4So my numbers this week are down a little and reflect my existing maladies, but I’m proud of myself for not really giving a shit. I’ll make up the steps when I’m feeling better—or maybe I won’t. Either way, it won’t be the end of the world. The point of setting goals earlier this month was to show myself what I’m capable of accomplishing. I’ll be damned if they turn into just another weapon in a relentless pursuit to beat myself up. 
Week 4
Y-T-D Steps: 66,229
Steps Remaining: 933,771
Y-T-D Chair Hours: 14
Hours Remaining: 169

The Good, the Bad, and the Pissed-On

20160123_131144On Saturday we met my parents at the Condo from Hell™ in Indianapolis. It was the first time I’d climbed or descended stairs since…June? It was hard.

But a lot of things about that trip were hard for me. Watching Dan and my retired parents do all the hard work, for starters. At one point I was sitting in a plastic lawn chair in the middle of the living room, looking down the long, carpet-less hallway toward the master bedroom. Tears surfaced, and it wasn’t because of the overwhelming smell of cat piss.

I remembered throwing toys down that long hallway for Taubensee. That’s how we played fetch. And then one memory followed another until I was reliving how we left Indianapolis, a short time after losing Dan’s dad and my best dog and canceling our Las Vegas wedding trip. The sad cloud was heavy and dark.

I remembered getting a call on my cell phone as we pulled into the parking lot of the emergency vet to visit Taubensee. It was HR at my current employer with an informal job offer.

It takes strength to sound happy and appreciative under those circumstances.


Life carried on, of course, but if you know me or have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know it didn’t carry on easily. Sometimes thinking about it all stings a little.

2016-01-26 13.09.41But I don’t mean to imply that all of life has been a downer since then. Not even this whole weekend was a downer. After breakfast at Cracker Barrel on Sunday morning, the four of us made a trip to Michael’s. I wanted a couple of new frames to update a picture wall we started, so Dad toted us around town in my parents’ minivan. They had Elton John’s greatest hits playing. So, naturally, Dan and I sang along unapologetically from the back.

Then, while traipsing around Michael’s we came across a young boy and his mother. The theme from Frozen was playing on Muzak, and the child was belting “Let it Go” over and over and over from the front of the shopping cart. His mom was obviously very proud.

All-in-all things weren’t too bad. There were a couple of snags in Indy, but most of the garbage the tenants left behind is gone. (We had to rent a dumpster!) All the peed-on flooring has been removed, the new appliances are ordered, and I’m working on getting Servpro out to clean what’s left. (Yes, we’re hiring the people who clean up after fires, floods, and murders to do the cleaning. We’re also stopping at an interstate rest stop to use the restoom until Servpro gets in there. So, yeah.)