Monthly Archives: March 2012

Where Did All This Crap Come From?!

I was stacking the last of my stuff in the ninja’s garage today and I noticed some of the things I moved down here from the Midwest. When I moved to Vegas almost three years ago, I shoved as much as I possibly could into my little blue Taurus and puttered across the Rockies and the desert.  I sent my book collection and a few other things to my parents and I shipped two boxes ahead of me, but other than that everything I owned was shoved into the back of my car. There wasn’t room for even an extra sandwich – every inch was taken.

Life sure has changed, and you can certainly tell if you’ve looked at how I’ve packed for this last move.

For this move, I’ve accumulated 2.5 years’ worth of stuff – clothes, furniture, papers, and all kinds of other crap. I was able to hire a moving truck – I had the luxury of time, money, and space to pack this time. I didn’t have to limit myself to whatever would fit in a Ford Taurus and I didn’t have to cover 2000 miles in two days.  I really only moved down the street and I’ve taken two weeks to do it.

When I moved to Las Vegas I was lucky that I was staying in a friend’s house so I didn’t need any furniture or dishes. I still had to go through all my clothes, books, shoes, and other personal items to decide what made the trip and what would stay behind. How do you make that decision? Mostly, I was looking toward the future and if I could replace something once I made the trip it wasn’t worth bringing along. This included even small things like coffee mugs, hair ties, shampoo. Everything I had was important to me in some way, important enough to take up precious real estate in my Lil Blue Racer.

Stacking boxes in the ninja’s garage today I found two pillows that I brought to Vegas with me that I haven’t used in well over a year, along with posters and art prints that I haven’t bothered to put up in either of the places I’ve lived since moving here.  I found my little Happy Meal toy collection and my favorite candles all still boxed up in the cartons I used in 2009.  I’ve thrown away over a dozen trash bags during this recent move and I’m donating two large suitcases full of clothes and books.  My life out here started so Spartan and I just keep accumulating things instead of really appreciating the things I already have.

Life now sure is prosperous and I have many more choices now than three years ago, but I wonder if all the crap that comes along with it is truly necessary.

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Uptight, all right, outta sight – Character Flaws #1

I’m losing my mind today, thanks to my “perfectionist” nature.

For those of you who don’t know me very well, I’m pretty uptight. As scatterbrained and cluttered as I am I’m a nasty mixture of OCD/Type A/tunnel vision.  Often I feel quite masculine – if there’s something I want I find a way to get it or make it happen.  These qualities have done a lot for me – I’m driven to succeed (with the right motivation) and I don’t take no for an answer. I’m a bit of a daredevil and a dedicated adventurer, which is much nicer than my parents’ label of “perfectionist” when I was little.

Pirate Nurr, age 4

Let me give you a few examples.

  • I keep my budget in a little graph-paper notebook in my purse, check it against the budgeting software on my phone, and meet with my financial advisor about once a quarter. At any given moment I know my investments’ totals, how much cash I have liquid, and how much of that I can spend for fun.
  • When my hands work my shirts are arranged by color and sleeve length (or function, depending on what my work dress code is), along with my dresses and work pants, and all of the hangers face the same way.
  • I stack my tupperware and my lids don’t go missing – they’re right there with the containers.
  • Despite having a well-kept calendar in Outlook and a BlackBerry for work, I have a paper calendar for personal commitments on my desk wall and I keep a spiral planner with all of these things. It’s not just a back-up for my BlackBerry – it’s color-coded and I cross off meetings I make and circle meetings I missed.

 

 

I function in the normal world even if I can’t keep my life organized like this, but I am usually much more care-free and happier when I have my life organized and somewhat planned. I love being spontaneous and I’ve learned my lessons about being spontaneous after a few disorganized disasters in college. If I know where all the pieces in my life and my calendar fit I know where I have free time, free energy, and money to spare.  This way I know how far I can extend myself and I feel comfortable being flexible.

The last point above is probably the most important illustration of my character if you’re going to understand my pet peeve.

When I have events, chores, or purchases planned it’s very important to me to stay on course. I try to be generous and pad my plans but it’s not always possible.  I’m cautious about relying on other people for help or participation because not everyone views deadlines the same way. When I make a commitment I intend to honor that commitment , even if it’s only a commitment I’ve made to myself.  Nobody’s perfect and I fully appreciate that delays and other things happen – I can’t keep my commitments all the time.  Knowing myself and my limitations/needs as well as I do though, I try to make all of this clear to other people when we’re undertaking a project together.

(Can you tell I’ve run a business or two before?)

All together now!

 

It shouldn’t be surprising that one of my biggest pet peeves is when people offer or suggest to do something and then have no intention of following through.  It comes in either one of two forms and I hate them both.

Either people say “Yeah, maybe we’ll hang out on Wednesday after work” or “I wanted to go see that movie, we should go see it” when they have no intention of doing whatever they brought up.  I know you want to sound friendly and like you’re thinking of me, but if you don’t want to do something don’t bring it up!  If you have no intention of going, not only have I wasted my time – you’ve lied to me. I feel totally disrespected and lose faith in our friendship. It’s all relative to what’s being brought up, but it’s the same feeling at the core.

The other form is “I’ll come get you at 7 and we’ll go to the party” or “Wake me up at noon so we can go finish that chore”.  This time, we don’t end up leaving until 9, or I get shooed away for a few more hours’ sleep.  I know that everyone’s perception of time is different, but my time is my biggest asset and I don’t like to waste it.  My stepdad is habitually late and his family always plans around it by telling him to be at a function 2 hours before they plan it to start.  This is one way of coping, but I hate having to plan on other people being late. I see it as disrespect because if you know you won’t be ready until 9, why tell me 7?  I should know that you’re late or take forever, but I expect you to manage that aspect of your life and show me enough respect to be ready when you say you will.

The biggest irritation with this subject is when people say “and if I’m not ready, kick my ass” but then get upset with me for doing what they asked.  Please don’t ask me to do something or say you’ll be ready if you already know you’ll need more time or won’t be able to follow through.  I’m more than happy to respect your schedule and your needs and I only ask that you respect mine in return.

 

I try to communicate my needs/limitations clearly because I know I’m uptight, and on top of it I’m sort of crippled and that can cause a bunch of complications.  One of the biggest compliments you can pay me is to respect my time, communicate your needs, wants, and limitations clearly, and TELL ME if you don’t think you’ll be able to do what you say you’ll do.

I’m going to have a heart attack or an aneurysm by the time I’m 35, I swear.

Categories: character flaws, commitments, pet peeves | Tags: , | Leave a comment

This Bentley Will Be The Death Of Me!

I’m not even joking.

When you’ve lived in Vegas for a while, you get numbed to all the standard luxury cars people drive. For one, cars are pretty cheap here. Mix in the “gotta-have-it” “gotta-be-it” lifestyle fueled by vice, celebrity, and all that other crap that festers here and everyone and their brother has a Beemer. So when I say there are nice cars floating around, I don’t mean someone’s got a Mercedes S550. I’m talking about the Aston Martins, the Bentleys, the real luxury cars that actually get driven around.

I work in a part of town where these luxury cars are pretty common. On my way to the gas station for a soda and a snack I used to see this black Aston Martin at least once every quarter. This guy never paid attention where he was driving, and at least 4 times a year he’d come thisclose to T-boning me in the parking lot or rear-ending me in the McDonald’s drive-thru line. I wish I were kidding.

My friends would joke that I should let him hit me and take the insurance money. I was too afraid that it would somehow be judged my fault and my insurance company would drop me! Never mind getting the cash from the driver to disappear quietly – few people in this town have cash like that, even if they do have cars.

I do not have a luxury car, not even now that I have a brand new little “race car”. (It’s a shiny 6-speed with dual exhaust and I drive it like a bat out of hell when I’m angry or in a good mood)  My old cars? For the last 10 years I’ve driven older models, one of them with the bumper duct-taped on after the car wash guys cracked the rust that was holding it up.

The Aston Martin hasn’t been seen in a good 6 months or so, but this last week its menacing replacement reared its ugly head.  There is a black Bentley in the same neighborhood that refuses to pay attention to stop signs and right-of-way.  The Bentley is definitely more reckless than the Aston Martin and it’s only a matter of time before something bad happens.

It’s only a matter of time.

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I’ll Poke My Eye Out!

My hands are getting progressively worse, and last night I noticed the funniest thing. My nose itched, and I instinctively refrained from scratching it. It wasn’t until the itching was getting unbearable that I realized I wasn’t scratching it.

Instead of scratching my nose as I lay in bed waiting to fall asleep, I thought about why I didn’t just reach up and scratch it. Were my hands hurting? Yes, but not as badly as they had been earlier. Can I feel my fingers? Yes, and they only tingle a little bit. Can I move my fingers? Aha! I can move them, but they are twitching – and when my forearms twitch too there’s no telling what they will do!

 

 

I’m pretty clumsy as it is, so I decided to rub my face against the Ninja’s scratchy pillow instead of risking poking my own eye out.  Oh, I laughed my pretty little ass off at this one.

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The Teenage Microbiologist

I just found discarded foot band-aids on the coffee table.

The Ninja and I took Girl Cookie and her friend Paula Abdul to school this morning, after getting them breakfast. I was in a happy, family-type mood until I sat down on the couch and discovered another discarded science experiment on the coffee table.  The coffee table serves as a dining room table in this tiny apartment, so I found the discarded foot band-aids where I normally work and drink coffee, next to napkins and a Wii controller.

Are all kids this nasty?

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I know I was a messy kid – I did laundry twice a month and never cleaned my room.  Most adolescents are just learning about hygiene and grooming, so I try not to be shocked when I find science experiments in the bathroom or growing in socks on the floor. I do know if I’d ever left a band-aid in a common area, though, I would have been grounded for at least two weeks.

I love the Girl Cookie, and in the interest of building family harmony I try to let some things slide. I know I’m an uptight person in general, so I try to compensate by being more chill than I want to in hopes that I’m reaching a happy middle point.

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Call me Fred.

But toe band-aids on the dinner table? And now that I think about it, GC and her friend had been sitting in the living room waiting for Ninja to drive them to school. Am I the only one this grossed out?!

I haven’t been this grossed-out in a long time.

Categories: you gotta be kidding | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The Frankenstein Chronicles – An Adventure in Referrals

My latest visit to my hand specialist (Dr. Frankenstein) on Tuesday was the perfect fodder for a post and I’m glad I waited a day and a half to write about it because it’s just getting more ridiculous. I swear to God.

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have noticed that I talk about my hands and #DontForgetTheCripple. Long story short, last January I had a nasty fall snowboarding and busted both my wrists/arms.

The bone is still broken, 2+ months later

After a few months the broken bone and sprain healed.  This last summer, though, the pain has come back and God only knows why.  I’ve tried creams, acupuncture, chiropractor, different massages, muscle relaxers, nerve drugs, steroids, injections, splints, and more. I’m at the point now where I can’t hold cups and I can’t dress myself again.

So, I had an appointment with Dr. Frankenstein a few weeks ago and I was supposed to get a referral to a different specialist because we have no idea what’s going on. She wasn’t sure if the new doctor would be able to help me, so she said she’d have the office get in touch with him and then they’d call me to make an appointment. She asked if I needed drugs and I said no, I’d decided to keep trying the horrifically expensive muscle relaxer/anti-inflammatory combo drug we’d started the week prior, even though it wasn’t working too well.

A week and a half goes by and I didn’t hear from her office or the new doctor. I tried calling once or twice, but since I work funny hours I never remembered during normal office hours. At that point the pain was on an 8.5 consistently and I was dropping cups of water and soda cans. The main assistant was out of the office so we didn’t know why I didn’t hear about the referral, but we made an appointment for their next opening.

6pm Tuesday rolls around and I plop myself into the doctor’s office. Mind you, I try to go to bed between 4 and 5pm, so I wasn’t in the best mood. 7:15p rolls around and I actually get to see the PA.  I tell her what’s going on and she starts quizzing me about my referral to the other specialist. Wait, what? I never got a call back, what do you mean I was supposed to be seeing this guy?!

Srsly!

I flipped my lid on Twitter. Half an hour later, I finally get to see my beautiful, brilliant Dr. Frankenstein.  She still has no idea what to do with me and I start crying because it’s late, I’m in pain, and I’ve wasted two weeks. Everything has to have healed in my arms from the fall by now, so I feel like a hypochondriac and she feels like an idiot.

We discuss referral options and she finds out I never saw the specialist she referred me to.  It turns out the referral guy’s office dropped the ball, and since Dr. F no longer has her office manager (who I hated anyway), things are falling apart a little while they try and replace her. She apologizes profusely and we make a plan for the next steps. Even though I hate drugs, we agree they’re best for me now so I can actually do things like shower, dress myself, and eat.

The next day, no call from the new specialist.  I call my doctor back on my way home and the PA sounds like she’s ready to kill the referral office.  Apparently I’m supposed to get “VIP treatment” and get in right away. I’m ready to go to bed (it’s 3pm) so I tell the PA if I don’t hear back by the next day I’ll call again.

Thursday rolls around and I make it to the pharmacy to pick up my drugs. The script’s been waiting for two days so all I have to do is waltz in and pay, right? Nope. There were conflicting instructions and they had to call the doctor to sort it out. I didn’t have time to wait, but the pharmacist said it would only take 15-20 minutes. I was ready to chew off my arms so I decided to wait.  45 minutes later, no drugs because the doctor’s office was busy.

Hoping for better news, I decide to call the referral specialist. The person who makes appointments is out to lunch so I have to leave a voicemail. Irritated, I call Dr. Frankenstein and leave another voicemail telling them that not only are the drugs effed up, I haven’t heard from the referral guy and had to leave a message.

They referral office calls back and the woman wants to call me back again because I’m on the bluetooth in my car. Eff you lady, it’s taken 3 weeks to get a call from you, I’m not letting you off the line without an appointment! After doubting her ability to understand time, I get an appointment for a week and a half away.

I’m beyond fed up. I have the drugs and technically I have an appointment, but there’s no way I’m trusting this new referral. I don’t care if he’s Einstein or Ghandi – my stubborn ass refuses to give him my business because his staff is incompetent and pathetic.  Dr. Frankenstein’s office is too busy to get through, but I’m hoping she can line up another one of my options early next week. She’s one of the few doctors I trust and sincerely respect, so I haven’t lost faith yet.

Categories: crippled | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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