Category Archives: doctors

Breaking out is hard to do

I am in an abusive relationship, and I need it to stop.

We’ve been together for a long time. It showed up when I was about twelve, all excited about life and ready to start my teenagerdom, which I would, without a doubt, totally win. I was very much looking forward to this new adventure, which, I was sure, would bring a boyfriend, and the ability to fill out a tank top like no one’s business, and a new cutting-edge teenage attitude.

However, I woke up one morning with a huge red swelling to the right of my mouth. I’m not talking about some cute little blemish. No, sir! Not me! Everything about me has always been very go-big-or-go-home. So I’m talking about – well, have you seen those photoshopped photos, the “before” photos in the late-night acne product commercials? I mean, you can tell they’re photoshopped. The eyes always look like they’re on the wrong level, and the acne looks cartoonish. Well, I looked like one of the cartoonish acne before-photos on late-night television.

I have my doubts about Proactiv. I think if you need to market on television at 3 am, you probably aren't very good.

I have my doubts about Proactiv. I think if you need to market on television at 3 am, you probably aren’t very good.

Mom and Dad were all “uh-oh, sorry for the genetics, kiddo” because there are very few photos of them from high school, but the ones there are show a couple of pretty miserable teenagers with really rocky complexions.

Well! This was not acne’s only appearance. Oh, no! It decided once it arrived, it’d set up shop. It was like those disgusting phlegm-monsters in that cough medicine commercial that makes me disgusted. It packed little greasy suitcases and moved on in. My face was its resort town, and it decided to live it on up. No part of my face was exempt, either! Forehead and nose and chin and cheeks! Once, close enough to my lip so it swelled up as if I’d been stung by a bee! Sometimes, right on TOP of each other, like it was living in little apartment buildings! Sometimes? In my ears, so my ears would swell up like a boxer’s! And sometimes it’d take little vacations and move onto my back or chest! And it HURT. Imagine huge swellings on your face and back and chest, sometimes more than one in the same place, as if you’ve been stung by a number of angry wasps. OUCH.

Ugh, seriously, I hate these commercials. STOP MAKING MUCUS TALK.

Ugh, seriously, I hate these commercials. STOP MAKING MUCUS TALK.

It got so bad at one point, someone stopped me in the hallway at school and asked me what had happened. “With what?” I asked. “Were you in a fire?” he asked, in a hushed tone. In a fire! Well. Isn’t that nice! YOU MADE ME LOOK LIKE A THIRD-DEGREE BURN VICTIM, ACNE. What the hell did I ever do to you?

Thanks for the reminder, helpful sign!

Thanks for the reminder, helpful sign!

My parents, who’d suffered through the same thing, finally were grossed out enough that they brought me to a dermatologist, who visibly recoiled when I walked through the door. Nothing ups the self-esteem like having a doctor who DEALS with such things for a LIVING recoil as if you’re Frankenstein’s MONSTER.

BACK! BACK I SAY CHILD OF SATAN! Oh, it's my next patient, come on in, then.

BACK! BACK I SAY CHILD OF SATAN! Oh, it’s my next patient, come on in, then.

Back in the late 80s, if you had terrible skin, they prescribed you Retin-A. I don’t know if they still do such a thing. (Apparently they do, but don’t have babies while using it, or their skulls will be too soft, and I assume babies with Play-Doh skulls are bad. Also don’t get waxed, or it will PULL YOUR TOP LAYER OF SKIN OFF. Good grief.) I also got this…I don’t know, alcohol solution I had to dab onto my face. These things had to happen every morning and every night after I washed my face. Also, I wasn’t allowed to go out in the sun, or if I HAD to go out in the sun, I had to wear like SPF 1,000 sunscreen. (Retin-A thins the top layer of your skin. Somehow this stops your acne. I am not a doctor. I don’t know how that works. But this skin-thinning thing also makes you burn in the sun, and you can’t get waxed, and your face gets really, really red when you first start using it.)

Good grief, it still looks the same 20 years later. Who's your PR person, Retin-A? Time for a packaging overhaul!

Good grief, it still looks the same 20 years later. Who’s your PR person, Retin-A? Time for a packaging overhaul!

I was somewhat skeptical, but at that point, I would pretty much try anything.

Well! Come to find out, RETIN-A WAS MADE OF MAGIC. I don’t remember how long it took, but one day I woke up and although my face was a little red (and I had to hide in the shadows like a vampire-person) I HAD NO ACNE. All the acne had taken off for sunnier climes. I LOOKED LIKE A HUMAN AGAIN. At one point, I even got a – GASP! – BOYFRIEND. (A few of them, actually. Well, not at the same TIME, I wasn’t a teenage WHORE. They were nothing to write home about, in retrospect, but at the time I felt like this was the BEST THING EVER.) One of my mom’s friends, when she and my mom were talking about my skin problems one day, said, “Amy has skin problems? You’d never know! I was just saying to my husband the other day she has just the most beautiful complexion!”


Yes, I looked JUST LIKE THIS! Oh, wait, no, Retin-A doesn't turn you into a model. Sorry. Sorry.

Yes, I looked JUST LIKE THIS! Oh, wait, no, Retin-A doesn’t turn you into a model. Sorry. Sorry.

I stopped using the medication in college – my doctor didn’t think I needed it anymore, and it was very expensive on our prescription plan – and all was well for quite some time.

Until probably four or five years ago.

Acne! YOU TRICKED ME! What IS this shit?

Apparently, what this shit is, is ADULT acne. It is ACNE that appears when you are an ADULT. It is the ghost of terrible complexions past COMING BACK TO HAUNT YOU.

Oh, stop. I had to.

Oh, stop. I had to.

It’s not as bad as it was when I was younger – oh, thank goodness – but it’s very hard to be almost 40 years old and have the occasional breakouts of a teenage face. It’s very embarrassing. I mean, yes. Odds are good that people aren’t going to make fun of you now (what kind of asshole mocks you for breakouts when you’re an adult? we know better now) and you know (hopefully, at least, if you’re female, although I’m sure men can use cover stick if they want to) tricks with makeup to downplay the fact you’ve got a gigantic blemish on your chin or your cheek or whatever.

And NOW, adult acne, you complete wanker, you have decided to pop up OVER ONE OF MY EYES and I’m waking up with ONE EYE SWOLLEN SHUT EVERY MORNING BECAUSE OF YOU and it takes like TWO HOURS for that swelling to go down and I LOOK LIKE SOMEONE BEAT ME UP or maybe THE ELEPHANT MAN. Dude, I have to go out in PUBLIC like this. SOMEONE IS GOING TO ASK ME WHAT IS WRONG. “Oh, just a gigantic pimple above my eye, like normal almost-middle-aged women get all the time,” is a thing I will not love to say at all.

I look a little like Rick from the Walking Dead after he got all beat up, which is nice, right? Very classy.

I look a little like Rick from the Walking Dead after he got all beat up, which is nice, right? Very classy.

My mother’s still getting you adult acne. SHE IS IN HER 60s. THIS IS NOT RIGHT. Somehow, my dad avoided this and his torment ended when he was in his late teens, but me and my mom? We’re still sporting the skin of teens. Sad, sad teens who don’t get asked to the prom.

Acne, you’re going to have to take a hike. I think I’m too old for Retin-A (and at this point in my life, if I don’t get waxed, I’d have a whole other problem to deal with, called My Eyebrows Have a Mind of Their Own and Would Make Me Look Like a Yeti) but there must be another solution. And I’m calling a dermatologist. Tomorrow.

You don’t get to win, bub. I have an excellent prescription plan this time, and I’m a lot angrier than I was when I was a teenager. If you’re not going to leave, I’m going to kick you out. I’m changing the damn LOCKS this time, acne! I am not going to my grave with you still in my life!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go figure out the best eyeshadow to go with one normal eye, and one eye swollen 3/4 of the way shut. I’m thinking a kicky bejeweled eyepatch. Arr, matey. Walk the plank.

Pretty sure everyone would just think it was a fashion statement and not ask me what was going on, right? Right.

Pretty sure everyone would just think it was a fashion statement and not ask me what was going on, right? Right.

The dream girl of every 80s teen heartthrob everywhere

This will probably be brief(ish) but you get a surprise at the end so that’ll take that sting right outta there.

So, as stated yesterday, I had to go to the drugstore and get a mouthguard. The mouthguard is so I don’t continue grinding away on my teeth due to all the daytime stress that translates into nighttime stress and that, apparently, I am taking out on my poor jaw and teeth.

Hee! STRESS SHIELD! Yeah, I'm thinking this isn't going to work.

Hee! STRESS SHIELD! Yeah, I’m thinking this isn’t going to work.

(I think it’s lucky I’m not nighttime-punching or something. Poor Dumbcat. He’d get like a punch in the middle of the night and be all, “MOM WHY ME WHAT DID I DO?” and I wouldn’t even be awake to respond. So I suppose my nighttime destructiveness isn’t hurting anyone but me. Much like most of my daytime destructiveness, if we’re honest.)

This is a terrifying illustration. I don't care for this at all.

This is a terrifying illustration. I don’t care for this at all.

So I went to the drugstore and had four choices of mouthguards. One was the most expensive. It also seemed to have metal and springs involved. I was not too keen on putting metal and springs in my mouth. Doesn’t that seem like a mistake and also you’d wake up and have given yourself, like, LITERAL LOCKJAW or something? Also, I have a tongue ring, and I just KNOW that’d get all tangled in there. No thanks.

The next one down price-wise seemed very reasonable and had reassuring comments on the box.

The other two looked very cheap, and like they would slice my gums to ribbons with sharp plastic. I was not a fan of waking up all bloody-gummed. It didn’t seem like a better option than grinding my teeth to stumps.

So I got the second-most-expensive one and when I got it home, I took out the instruction sheet and HOLY CRAP was it detailed.

You had to boil water. Then put the mouthguard in a special plastic bracket. Then put the mouthguard in the boiling water for three minutes to soften it. Then dip it for NO MORE THAN TEN SECONDS ZOMG! in room-temperature water. Then RUN TO THE BATHROOM and insert (hee) the bracket containing the softened mouthguard in your mouth, being VERY SURE it lined up properly to your two front teeth. Then you had to CHOMP ALL DOWN AS HARD AS YOU COULD for TWO WHOLE MINUTES. This was not an easy task because I have TMJ so I can’t chomp down for longer than a few seconds or my jaw locks up. So I was standing there counting off seconds with my locky jaw radiating out ALL THE PAIN while I waited for this thing to settle into the shape of my teeth.

This is the thing I bought. FANCY SCHMANCY.

This is the thing I bought. FANCY SCHMANCY.

Then you ran it under cool water and made sure it fit your teeth.


But it makes me sound like an 80s nerd when I talk, which is kind of more hilarious than it need be. So I walked around saying things with my mouthguard in like a BOSS.

(Mom was all, “You know you’re not really obligated to TALK with that thing in, right? You’re just supposed to wear it to sleep. And you don’t TALK while you’re SLEEPING.” Well, most people don’t, Mom. I do. I’ve been told by both roommates AND romantic conquests that I’m QUITE chatty in my sleep about a BROAD variety of topics, none of which make much sense, thank you very much.)

So…I promised to show you all my pretty, pretty mouthguard, which will, undoubtedly, make me very popular with suitors.

So I made you a video. Because that’s how *I* roll, yo.


(Yeah, I don’t know what the hell with the lighting in here, either. I promise it’s not as yellow in real life. And my hair usually doesn’t look THAT insane. I mean, INSANE, but a little LESS insane. And why in that picture does it look like my arm is growing out of my neck?)

Happy Friday, people of the blog. I hope you have the best weekends. I have a big weekend of work and running off to Massachusetts to review a murder mystery and then running home to write the review and then crashing out with my new boyfriend, Dentek the Mouthguard.


(Side note: Dad says I’m not allowed to post this because if I DO, you all will start calling me “Bucketmouth.” I asked him to elaborate, and he said “You know, like people get called when they have things in their mouths.” I don’t know that anyone’s ever been called “Bucketmouth” in the history of, like, EVER, but it made me giggle. A LOT.)

Son, be a dentist; people will pay you to be inhumane

I have a whole post I’m working on but I don’t have the time to do it justice because it’s just now 8pm and I’m only sitting down to blog. And at some point, I would like to get some sleep. Because sleep is a good thing to get, sometimes, or so I hear.

So instead, let’s talk about my trip to the dentist. That’ll be good times, right?

What is happening here? This would not make me want to go to this dentist.

What is happening here? This would not make me want to go to this dentist.

First: I have excellent teeth. MOST excellent. They are straight and mostly still white (shut up, MOSTLY, I’m not a teen anymore, age makes your teeth lose their pretty luster eventually, you know) and I never needed braces and I only have one cavity and it’s WAY in the back of my mouth so you’d never know if I didn’t just tell the whole internet.

This is due to the fact that my parents both have terrible teeth and they didn’t want me and my brother to have terrible teeth, so they insisted we take fluoride pills all through our childhood and visit the dentist religiously every six months. This obsessiveness over our teeth led to us having all-American mouths of teeth. (Well, my brother less-so, only because some kid knocked him into a sink with his face in grammar school so one of his front teeth is a cap that you can kind of see, but that’s hardly my brother’s fault. And I totally got together a group of kids and we walked past that kid a couple days later and gave him the stink-eye and he never bothered my brother again. Because I am PROTECTIVE. And, as you can see from this story, always have been.)

My mother said if I talked about dentistry on the internet I had to say, “THANK YOU MOM FOR TAKING SUCH GOOD CARE OF MY TEETH.” So I am saying it. THANK YOU MOMMY. (And peripherally Dad, who I’m sure drove us to the dentist at one point or another.)

So I went many, many years without cavities, until about 5 years ago I had a SNEAK-ATTACK CAVITY way in the back of my mouth and I was so mad because that meant I could no longer say “BAM, PERFECT MOUTH, MOFOS!” and I felt like I’d failed at life. But it was actually kind of an adventure because my dentist is sort of crazy and her dental tech didn’t show up the day I went in to get it filled and so she made me be her assistant and hold all the tools, and why didn’t any of you people tell me how awesome that numbing stuff is? It made the side of my whole face numb and when I tried to drink water when I got home I was all dribbly and that made me giggle.

I sprung for the white filling. Because it was CLASSIER.

I sprung for the white filling. Because it was CLASSIER.

Anyway, my last dental appointment was supposed to be at the end of last July. But, who remembers what happened right before that? Yeppers, fired from my terrible soul-crushing job. Which had dental. And if I wanted to keep the dental insurance through my COBRA coverage, it was like a kajillion extra dollars a month. (I think it was like $50, but when you’re unemployed, that seems like a kajillion.) So I called the dentist and cancelled the appointment because who can afford tooth-care when you can hardly afford foodstuffs?

So since then, I’ve kind of put off going to the dentist because I’m a lazy person who sometimes doesn’t do things in a timely fashion. And also because I can’t figure out my new job’s healthcare to save my life. IT IS VERY CONFUSING. I almost started crying all over friend A. at work over the whole thing. Who is like the levelest-headed person ever, and he was all “Um…there there? Don’t cry?”

How I feel friend A. is mentally looking every time I lose my shit.

How I feel friend A. is mentally looking every time I lose my shit. (He’s much more attractive than this, just as a side note. But also engaged to my wonderful friend K. So HANDS OFF, ladies!)

So I called all the health care places (we seriously have four, one for regular healthcare and one for REIMBURSAL for healthcare, and one for dental, and one for vision. THAT IS TOO MANY PLACES!) and tried to unravel the mess that is my office healthcare.

Mainly what I learned is that I don’t HAVE vision care, because, according to my HR lady, I opted out of that when I started there. (Why the hell would I have done that? That seems suspect. I have glasses! And wanted new ones! But she just gave me some papers to fill out and said she’d take care of it. I hope she meant it. I REALLY need new glasses.)

So the dental place was all, YES YOU CAN GET AN EXAM! ALSO FREE X-RAYS! And I was like, THANK YOU LADY ON THE PHONE! And friend A. was all “See? Why are you crying at work, you are sometimes scary.” (OK, he didn’t say that, but that’s the look he gave me.)

So I called my dentist and at first the receptionist said, “No appointments until September!” but then she said, “Oh, wait, we had an cancellation, can you come in Wednesday?” and I was all YES! Because I hadn’t been to the dentist at this point for a year and a half and I was pretty sure I was going to start looking like a gap-toothed hobo.

OK, I might be exaggerating. Just a little.

OK, I might be exaggerating. Just a little.

So I went to the dentist today.

FIRST, you see the tech. You don’t actually see the dentist. When did this start happening? When I was a kid, I always saw the dentist right away.

So, as mentioned, my dentist (and the people in her office) are a little kooky. I think that’s why I like them. They keep me entertained.

The tech decided she needed to take a kajillion X-rays. She wanted to put me in some sort of gigantic dental X-ray sarcophagus thing but she said I had to take all of my earrings out. Now, listen. I have a LOT of earrings. And they’re really, really hard to take out. So I was all, “I need a little time to PREPARE for the X-ray sarcophagus” and then she decided to do a ton of SMALLER X-rays which took a lot of time. And she had to leave the room for every one, which seemed both time consuming and also if she had to leave, how dangerous were these X-rays for me? (I did like that she put a lead thing on my neck to protect my nonexistent thyroid, though. That was thoughtful.)

So she left the room and came back in and was adjusting the X-ray thing (which, BTW, HURT LIKE HELL, it was all digging into my gums and lower-mouth-area, why are things so hurty?) and this glass table in the room FELL APART ALL ON ITS OWN. Like, with no impetus. No one was walking or shaking anything. The glass on top of the table just FELL RIGHT OFF and BANGED ON THE FLOOR. And all the things on the table went smacking all around, including what would be my little samples of toothpaste and floss and my new toothbrush. I sure do like free shit.



So I was all, “that was disconcerting and this room is potentially haunted” and the tech was all “JUST A MINUTE” and ran out and then ran back in with ANOTHER tech and the secretary and the dentist, WHO WERE ALL WORKING WITH PATIENTS, so those patients were…just…sitting around waiting for them to get back? I don’t know. And they all WONDERED OVER THE GHOST TABLE. And the dentist got on the FLOOR to see why the glass fell off, and hauntings were discussed. And I was sitting in the recliney chair just laughing because it was all so bizarre.

So the dentist finally put the glass and all the things back and gave the table a VERY stern look and left and the tech finished my ouchy X-rays. And an ADDITIONALLY ouchy scaling. Scaling is the worst. That’s when they scape the hell out of your teeth. I don’t care for that. They’re really aggressive about that scratchiness. I’m always afraid they’re going to break one of my teeth off.

Oh, the billion of X-rays? They turned out perfect. As I knew they would. VERY GOOD TEETH BABY!

Then the tech cleaned my teeth and THEN she said some very bad news.

“You’ve been grinding your teeth,” she said. “That’s what this little ridge here is. And your teeth are showing wear. You’re probably doing it in your sleep.”

Heh, bruxism. That sounds naughty. And totally like something I might have.

Heh, bruxism. That sounds naughty. And totally like something I might have.

I KNEW SOMETHING WAS WEIRD! My top two teeth have this little…I don’t know, crease along the bottom. And my bottom teeth are wearing down a little. And sometimes my jaw hurts when I wake up. (NOT A EUPHEMISM!)

So she said I should go to the drugstore and get a mouthguard and try that for a while, and they’d also contact my insurance company and see if they’ll pay for a custom mouthguard.

Yes. You know what’s sexy? A MOUTHGUARD, baby. I’m gonna be on a lot of people’s shortlists for lovin’ with this thing in.

GRINDGUARD! I think it's going to guard against anyone grinding me, that's for sure.

GRINDGUARD! I think it’s going to guard against anyone grinding me, that’s for sure.

“Most people who grind their teeth have stress. Are you stressed?” the tech asked.

If I wasn’t so stressed about my RAPIDLY RECEDING TEETH that I am GRINDING AWAY IN MY SLEEP I would have agreed.

Then the dentist came in for .000001 seconds and said I had amazing wonderful excellent teeth and make sure to use a soft toothbrush and concurred on the sex-ay mouthguard and said, “Ooh, you’re a FLOSSER, aren’t you?” and I nodded that I was but that was totally a lie. I’m not. And it worries me that she thought I was. Shouldn’t she know such things?

Then I got my bag of goodies (fine, I don’t think you can really call dental supplies “goodies” but, as stated, I sure do like free shit) and went back to work.

What have we learned today?





Bye, dentist. See you in six months. I will totally floss in the meantime.*

(*No. No, I probably won’t. But I will go buy, and take a photo of myself depressedly wearing, the mouthguard for you guys.)

The Secret of the Missing Cat (Not Even Nancy Drew Can Solve This One!)

OK, I have like an HOUR to write this and I have GOT to get to bed. I have not been getting enough sleep at all this week. It is completely my fault. I’m getting home late, then I’m staying up all hours doing things that are a lot of FUN, but also taking away from SLEEPING. So I’m running on a sleep deficit. It’s not pretty. I’m kind of sleepwalking at the moment. Andreas was all, “Amy. AMY. You are going to crash. YOU ARE GOING TO CRASH HARD.” And I totally pooh-poohed him but you should always listen to your Science Fellow when he tells you things. You always should. He knows of what he speaks. I was ok for the first few hours today but after that I started yawning like a weird old lady on the bus. What, weird old ladies on buses might yawn, you don’t know. Don’t you mock my similes.

Puppy-yawns! Mine weren't even this cute, I promise.

Puppy-yawns! Mine weren’t even this cute, I promise.

So we haven’t done a checking-in-on-the-state-of-Amy post lately. Maybe you want one of those, I don’t know. Don’t care, you’re getting one anyway. Let’s talk about some STUFF, yo.

So TODAY (your yesterday) was my last full-time weekday at my part-time job. I want to say a gigantic thank you to that job for saving my life. (Actual Dad-quote: “You owe those people a lot. If it wasn’t for them, you’d be working in a whorehouse right now.” “I WOULD?” I said. “I don’t know that there are still whorehouses. At least not here.” “You live in Albany, Amy,” he said. “You have SO MANY WHOREHOUSES there. Don’t even tell me you don’t.” Dad thinks I live in the Red Light District, apparently.)

Here is ALBANY! (Note: not really Albany.)

Here is ALBANY! (Note: not really Albany.)

No, seriously. Not only did that job provide me with so many hours for the past four months, it saved my self-esteem and my sanity. I was able to pay my bills and I got out of the house and felt like a productive member of society and got to work with some of the greatest people in the world who made me laugh every day. THANK YOU JOB. I know people complain a lot about things, and it has made me tired, but I have very few complaints, overall. That job saved my ass. Saved it. From prostitution, apparently.

I said some sad goodbyes to my weekday coworkers today, because I will not be seeing them on Saturdays (I’ll still be working there on Saturdays, even once new job starts.) They actually seem like they’ll miss me, too. Aw! Total genuine emotions happened today! Listen, I worked with those people for four months. I WORKED WITH THE PEOPLE AT MY LAST JOB FOR SIX YEARS. And when I was leaving, they wouldn’t even make EYE contact.


BFF emailed me today and said he doesn’t know if he’s ever seen me this happy. Well, “seen” is relative as I haven’t (sob!) seen my own BFF in YEARS. Five years, I think? When did we go to NYC together, BFF, was is 2007 or 2005? But he “sees” me virtually a lot. And him saying that means a lot because he knows me really well. And he’s right. I just feel like I have this infinite future. And it took a LONG time getting here, but it’s just so exciting. It’s like driving in the desert and all you see is horizon? My whole future is infinite horizon. And it’s all mine. I’ve got this crazy optimistic hope in my chest. It’s disconcerting. I haven’t had that in…um…let’s see…ever? I like it. It can stay if it wants.

Driving in the desert was my favorite. It made you feel huge and small all at once.

Driving in the desert was my favorite. It made you feel huge and small all at once.

So new job starts on Monday. Friend A. that works there sent me email the other day saying I had all new office supplies and an all-new computer waiting for me on Monday. “When I started, I had ALL hand-me-down crap!” he grumped. But I don’t think he was really grumpy. Friend A. is sunshine. He doesn’t grump much.

YAY FOR NEW OFFICE SUPPLIES AND COMPUTER! I do so hope there are post-its.

I like the fluorescent ones, best, Friend A.!

I like the fluorescent ones, best, Friend A.!

Let’s see. What else. Well, I went to the doctor the other morning. It’s the doctor I go to who takes care of my glands. ALL MY GLANDS. Well, the malfunctioning ones and/or ones that were removed due to potential malignancy, anyway. So my pancreas and my nonexistent thyroid. That’s what this doctor tends to.

So he took all the blood and asked me all the questions and here is what we discovered at the doctor’s office:

  • I didn’t even make it up that I lost double-digits of weight in the last four months.
  • My blood pressure is low. And for a person for whom it’s usually pretty low, that was impressive.
  • My blood sugar was utter perfection.
  • My thyroid levels (and my calcium levels, because I have calcium issues now that I’m all broken) were perfect.
  • My cholesterol is lower than it’s been in ever.

“What has HAPPENED in the last four months?” said my doctor.

“Um. I was fired, I published a book, I got two amazing new jobs, I worked like a fiend to make ends meet, and I spent a lot of time talking to the most wonderful, supportive friends in the world, I guess?” I said.

He laughed. “Well, keep that up. You’re a success story.”

I totally won doctoring.

So it looks like I will not be dying anytime soon. Well, of gland-related issues, at least. Or possibly heart attacks. Or whatever a high blood pressure leads to. Strokes, maybe?

My heart is healthy. Good job, healthy heart.

My heart is healthy. Good job, healthy heart.

Finally, this is a story called Dumbcat was missing and I almost died of grief.

So maintenance has been hanging at my place lately. No, not like we’re buddies or anything. First, my main heater broke. And it’s almost winter now. Well, probably it’s winter but I don’t count it as winter until there’s snow on the ground. (SIDE NOTE: Apparently by writing this I brought down the wrath of the weather gods because I woke up to all the snow today and will have to clean off my car to get to work today. So, it’s winter now. WELCOME WINTER. Blergh.) So it’s cold. So I called the maintenance people and I was all “Um. BROKEN HEATER” and then they came over and cleaned all the cat hair out. But then it was broken AGAIN. So I called them AGAIN. “Is it the cat hair again?” they said. “NO NOT THIS TIME!” I said with triumph. So they sent over a man whose answer was, after much poking around with a screwdriver, “This is broken.”

Thanks, Helpful McGurk.

So they sent over another guy, whose answer was, “move your gigantically heavy TV stand three feet away from the heater and then we’ll talk.”


So I moved it which was EXHAUSTING and made Dumbcat excited because the land behind the TV stand was UNCHARTED TERRITORY for him so he walked around back there like he was King of the Land for a while. Then they gave me a new heater. Which seems to work, whatever. I liked the old one better. It had a digital readout. This one looks like it was stolen from a 60s hotel. It’s not fancy.

It kind of looks like this. FANCYLAND IS WHERE I LIVE!

It kind of looks like this. FANCYLAND IS WHERE I LIVE!

So when Helpful McGurk was here, he was all, “want your breaker box replaced?” and I said, “um. I don’t know, do I?” and he said “well, this one’s kind of a fire hazard.”

Yeah, I guess I want a new breaker box, then? Because of the fire hazard and all.

BREAKER BOX! That will NOT start a fire! (Hopefully.)

BREAKER BOX! That will NOT start a fire! (Hopefully.)

So if they were putting in a new breaker box, apparently they had to put in a new heater in my bedroom. I don’t know how the two correlate since they’re rooms apart but whatever.

So that meant I had to move ALL THE THINGS IN MY BEDROOM AWAY FROM THE HEATER. I feel like this is all a trick to make me move furniture.

Today when I got home, they’d punched holes in many walls (one of which is covered in plastic and has duct tape around it; so, pretty, then), left my front door open, all my lights on, taken all the things out of all the closets, gotten sheetrock crap all over my carpet, left a flashlight on the table (Dad was all, “Are you sure that’s not your flashlight?” and I looked at it and told him, “Nope, definitely not mine” and he said, “How do you know?” and I said, “Because when I turned it on, it worked; none of my flashlights have batteries in them” and he made a noise that I have learned to interpret as “HOW ARE YOU MY DAUGHTER”), made a huge crack in the wall, and left a note saying “will be back on Monday to finish the job.” So I came home to what looked like a Law and Order crime scene, then.

You read all of that paragraph, right?


So not only was it freezing in here…Dumbcat. Where was Dumbcat?

Missing is where Dumbcat was.

I frantically looked for Dumbcat, who started out his life as Straycat and therefore makes a break for open doors/windows whenever he gets a chance.

Nope. No Dumbcat.

No Dumbcat under couches or beds or chairs or tables or in pots-and-pans cupboards. NO DUMBCAT.

I called Dad and he was all, “Well, he had a good run, that old cat.”

“Don’t write him OFF, Dad. We don’t know that he’s GONE. He’s just…not making himself visible right now. MEN WERE IN THE HOUSE. He could be hiding ANYWHERE.”

Then after I’d called “DUMBCAT!” sadly for the billionth time he just appeared like a wraith with sleepy blinky eyes and fur all sticking up like cowlicks and I said “DUMBCAT! My sweet boy where have you BEEN?”

He was not telling.

So I cuddled him for like HOURS. What would I do if Dumbcat went missing? I would be LOST AND BEREFT. Also I would hunt down the maintenance man and kill him for leaving the door open, and possibly beat him with his own screwdriver. (NOT A EUPHEMISM.)

Now he is asleep on the bookcase with a cat-smile on his furry little face because he has a secret which is WHERE HE WAS ALL DAY WHEN THOSE LOUD MEN WERE IN HIS HOUSE.

Aw, my furry little guy. Don’t ever run out the door.

OK. I’m already over-time and there aren’t even pictures in here yet. Happy Saturday, darlings. Have a wonderful day. You make me smile. Thanks for that.

Vote Jack the Ripper for a Better America!

I’ve been saving some most-excellent news stories that we have to discuss but I haven’t had the time to talk about. I KNOW! SO BUSY! What with the punctuation and the stats and such. So many things going on here, whoo! Today, for example, I had to go to the doctor. But I forgot I had to go to the doctor this morning so I forgot to go to bed in a timely fashion last night so I am SO SO TIRED today. Blergh. I had to go to the doctor because all my prescriptions were running out and the doctor apparently needed to add to her vacation fund so she wanted to see me instead of just refilling them over the phone like she usually does. I’m not really sure what function this served other than I had to say “yep” a lot. “Yep, I’m still taking the migraine medication.” “Yep, I still have trouble sleeping unless I take medication to help me fall asleep.” “Yep, I still have crazy allergies.” Why I couldn’t just say these things over the phone is kind of a mystery. I long-ago decided that the whole visiting-the-doctor thing was a scam to make money. I’m the most jaded, aren’t I?  Well, mostly I’m broke so I don’t want to have to pay the doctor for something she could do for free over the phone. Anyway, I got a NEW sleeping pill which is supposed to be MAGIC KITTEN RAINBOWS so let’s see what happens. Maybe I will sleep for SIXTEEN YEARS! That’d be nice. (SIDE NOTE! She tried to give me Ambien and I’m totally freaked out by Ambien. Isn’t that the sleep-murdering drug? I don’t want to sleep-murder anyone. So I was all, um, let’s put a kibosh on the Ambien idea, what else ya got? Turns out, she had lots of other options. Apparently, no one can sleep, if we go by all the different sleeping pills in the world. Also, isn’t Ambien the giant-green-moth sleeping pill from the commercial? Oh, shit, no, I think that’s Lunesta. Either way, I don’t want to sleep-murder or see giant green moths.)

Get up offa me, moth.

Anyway, today, we are talking about something that will freak out the fellas, and how if you want to be president, you need to be a psychopath, and how (sigh, AGAIN) people are being idiots about Facebook.


Apparently, presidents and psychopaths are QUITE SIMILAR. This probably surprises no one. I like that science backs this up.

Psychopaths have a bunch of traits (like “criminal versatility” and “parasitic lifestyle” and “glibness”) and through MUCH SCIENCE, sciency science types have discovered that the most successful presidents share a trait with psychopaths: fearless dominance.

Fearlessly dominant!

What is fearless dominance, according to the sciency types?

“An easy way to think about it is as a combination of physical and social fearlessness,” says Scott Lilienfeld, lead author of the study and professor of psychology at Emory University. “People high in boldness don’t have a lot of apprehension about either physical or social things that would scare the rest of us.”

He adds, “It’s often a kind of resilience because you don’t show lot of anxiety or frustration in the face of everyday life challenges.”

This trait helps presidents deal with big things like terrorist attacks and smaller things like public speaking. It’s the same trait that helps psychopaths ignore others’ feelings and negative consequences and do things all weirdly impulsive-like.

According to this study, the presidents that tested highest on this scale were JFK, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Reagan, and Clinton. Aw! Bill! Not you, Bill! NOT YOU!

Not my Bill! Aw, Bill.

SO! When you are voting in November, I guess you want to vote for the candidate who’s most like John Wayne Gacy because he would be most successful? I don’t know if I’m comfortable with that. Wouldn’t someone who has psychopathic tendencies need to be good at hiding them? So if you KNEW the person was a psychopath, they obviously wouldn’t be a very good psychopath. So I’m going to say vote for the person who seems LEAST like a psychopath. In this case, VOTE FOR OBAMA. (No, seriously, vote for Obama. You saw the “47% of Americans are lazy slackers” Romney quote, right? And the “why can’t I open the windows on an airplane?” quote? And the fact that in order to talk to a Hispanic audience, he put on gobs of self-tanner and went out in brownface so he would be easier to relate to? THIS MAN IS OUT OF HIS EVERLOVING MIND.)

Oh, yes. Very relatable. Not at all offensive. Nice. Oompa-loompa-doompety-doo.

OK, moving on from psychopaths, we have people who are very stupid about Facebook.

OK, I’m sure you’ve all heard about people who got fired because of Facebooking, right? Like, people who will friend their boss, call in sick, then post photos of themselves getting super-drunk when they’re supposed to be home with soup and tissues? (There are also people who get fired for Facebooking and I don’t think they should have – like I read about a teacher who was on vacation, had a photo of herself at a table with a bottle of beer in front of her on the table put up on Facebook, and the district let her go. That can’t possibly be legal. How can they even prove that was her beer? And she wasn’t even drinking it? I feel like this might be a falsehood.)


But apparently there are some people who don’t understand that once you post something on the internet, it’s on the internet, even if you post it “friends only.” Here, I will give you a quick tutorial. Even if you have all of your settings locked down on Facebook and it’s friends-only, if you post something, your friends can share that with anyone they want. Who can, in turn, share that with anyone they want. It isn’t locked down. Once it’s posted, it’s out of your control. If you don’t want people to see something – DON’T POST IT ON FACEBOOK. Use a little discretion and common-sense.

Apparently, a gangstaaaaa in New York City was talking about the thug life, yo on Facebook. But he thought he was being all circumspect and marked the more sensitive posts, like the ones with drugs and murder references, “friends only.” But apparently the FBI is allowed to talk to your friends and ask your friends to share your posts with them, and your friends can do that. So the gangsta’s friends shared the info with the po-po (well, the Feds, I guess, what’s that, the fe-fe?) and now the guy’s going on trial for gangsta-ism.

So, we could argue for a while whether or not this guy’s friends were assholes (or, like a lot of people, he just randomly friended pretty much everyone – WHY DO PEOPLE DO THIS?!) or if they were upstanding citizens who wanted to help make the world a better place, but that’s not really the point. The point is that this guy thought he was being secretive and he was just being a jackass.

Rule of thumb: if it’s illegal, don’t post it on Facebook. If it’s potentially embarrassing to someone (yourself, others, whatever) think about it before posting it. Yes, yes. Your profile is marked private. But once it’s out there, your friends can share that with anyone, jellybeans. Use your thinker for thinking thoughts.

Finally: this one’s going to make you cringe, fellas. Sorry.

I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that science has discovered a way to perhaps extend your lifespan so it is equal to a woman’s lifespan! The bad news is that the way to go about it is…well…maybe not something you’d be willing to do.

Researchers in Korea discovered that, after studying the genealogical records of the Chosun dynasty, eunuchs tended to live almost 20 years longer than intact males.

Lord Varys is very pleased with this development.

Yep. Eunuchs. So, in order to earn another twenty years, all you have to do is undergo castration. What do you think, guys? Worth it? Good tradeoff?

Now, before you’re all “that’s because eunuchs lived this totally sheltered and cushy life!” the sciency types are onto you and compared the eunuchs to other men who lived a similar lifestyle. Don’t mess with the sciency types. They know what they’re doing.

I guess this leads the sciency-types to believe that male sex hormones may be to blame for men’s shorter lifespans.

I don’t know that I know too many men that would give up the fellas for a chance to live another couple of decades. But maybe the men I know are all obsessed with their man-junk, I don’t know. I suppose some men have to do this when they get testicular cancer, right?So what’s the thought, men-readers? If you were promised another 20 years on your life, would you become a eunuch? I’m honestly curious about the outcome of this one.

This is a real eunuch. He seems shocked by what’s befallen him.

ALL THE NEWS! OK, off to toil away at the night shift. It’s late-shift week this week for Amy. All the late-night crazies are all mine! All for me! I’ll let you all have some if you want them. I’m not greedy. Happy day, all!

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