Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Entertaining Spiders

Lest you get the wrong impression and think I find spiders to be at all entertaining, I can assure you that is not the case. Not at all. Nope. No way. Rather, I find them to be creepy multi-legged monsters that have absolutely NO DAMN BUSINESS being IN my house.

Outside? Well, that’s a whole new ballgame, and one that I will just leave alone. At least for this post. 

Anyway, we’ve been mucking out the living room of Chez Chaos. It hasn’t been done since Tam moved in and was long overdue even before she got here. Lots of things had piled up in corners, on level surfaces, and shoved under furniture. Eddies of piled crafting supplies mingled with magazines and books on various subjects. Some of it was there on purpose, most of it wasn’t.

Lots of dust, animal fur, and pieces of daily living that just found their own little piece of paradise and stayed put, well out of the reach of a dust mop, broom, or duster. Mainly because dust mops, brooms, and dusters aren’t used with much regularity around here. We’re a little on the casual side when it comes to being tidy.

Ok, I’m a slob and she puts up with me. Happy now?

Back to the story.

We’d been cleaning and moving things around for a couple days and were enjoying a quiet evening of rest and internet when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but FUCKING SPIDER-ZILLA racing across the floor. It stopped at a barrier of cords used to power the vacuum cleaner and seemed to be confused. I’m not sure why, after all, it was large enough to macramé the cords into a lovely hanging basket for my fern. But there it sat long enough for me to announce the presence of such a creature. I believe my exact verbiage was “HOLY SHIT!” I jumped up, stuffed my feet halfway into my sandals and proceeded to entertain the beast (as well as Tam and Li’l Red) with the song and dance of my people.

It sounded a lot like, “AAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!” stomp. Stomp-stomp! AAAAYYYYYEEEE!!! STOMP!STOMP!STOMP!!!!! and looked even more ridiculous.

The little huge bastard had the gall to RUN TOWARD ME, avoid my lightning-fast feet, and duck under the entertainment cabinet. I would have had better luck if I’d been wearing better shoes; shoes that did not have straps flapping around my ankles just begging some long-legged arachnid to grab on and take a jog up my leg.

Yes. Despite all my efforts the spider got away clean while it, and my family, had a good laugh at my expense. However, even though the monster had taken cover under the cabinet, we three humans spent the next several minutes sitting around with eyeballs the size of ostrich eggs. My cat, on the other hand just sniffed and turned away as if saying, “Silly human, THAT’S not the way to treat a snack.”

It was after we’d all had a chance to relax and return to our regularly-scheduled activities of doing very little, that I happened to glance over to the wall above the entertainment cabinet. Up near the ceiling was the dreaded beast, just chilling and waiting for an encore.

I had to oblige, but this time I used a prop. The vacuum with the long attachment was our big finish.

I think.

Because the next day, while Most Minor Minion was over, and after he’d heard the story, he came up to me and said, “Wow, there’s another monster in the living room.”
“If it’s on the couch, then that’s no monster, that’s Li’l Red.”
“No, this one’s on the floor near the vacuum hose. It’s really big, too.”
“The hose?”
“No, Mom, not the hose.”
“Is it alive?”
“The hose?”
“No, Son, not the hose.”
“Oh, the spider. Yes, it’s most definitely alive.”

I approached with caution to find a rather spectacular specimen that was either the same size or a slightly larger version of the one I danced for the previous evening, I couldn’t quite tell. It looked a little rumpled and I wondered if it had spent the night rummaging around in the dust and other room detritus in the canister. But I didn’t care. I turned on the vacuum and… and… oh, god… The spider was so large, I heard AND FELT it tumble up the hose and land in the belly of the machine. At least this time I think it’s really dead, with all that banging around it did on the way in.

Believe me when I say, “fuuuuuuuck, that was gross”

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My Day on Drugs

I had to have an MRI the other day, but never fear, the good doctor prescribed a lovely anti-anxiety pill for me to take in order to keep me from freaking the hell out while stuffed like a 52 year-old sausage in a vibrating, hard plastic casing.

Seriously, it was so… I can’t… Ok… wait… deep breath…

They asked me what kind of music I wanted to hear. They asked me this after telling me that it was going to be a tight fit and then they strapped me down. All I can say is, “hell yeah, happy pills” because they’d have had to use duct tape and a baseball bat if I hadn’t been drugged.

So there I was, securely Velcroed to the table while trying to decide what I wanted to listen to besides the thrumming and bumping of la machine.
“Do you have any Jethro Tull?”
“Yes!” the lovely technician said, “But it’s at home.”
“Oh. Can you go get it?”
“No,” said the unlovely technician.
“Um, Enya?”

So, Orinoco Flow sashayed through my ears while they put me in the tube. It was a tight fit and I’m very thankful for the pill, considering the tube was so close to my face, I couldn’t focus on it.

When it was all said and done, and they were pulling me back out, my arm (the one they strapped in place) got caught on the lip of the machine and I wasn’t going anywhere.
“Um, can you move a little to your right?”
“Maybe. I know I could if I was listening to Jethro Tull.”
“You planning on staying in there forever?”
“I’m moving! I’m moving!”

I finally got out and sat up. I vaguely remember being happy. The technician handed me a plastic sack.
“Here’s your bra. You can put it back on right over here.”
“Nope. I’m gonna skip that part. Probably couldn’t do it anyway. Too complicated. I’ll just take it home like this.”
“Do you want a wheelchair?”
“Naw, I’m good, but I could use some directions, because I appear to have no idea where I am at the moment.”
“That’s part of my job,” said the helpful technician as she led me away. I remember a hallway, a door and some people. Tam was there to take me home, but first we had to find our way out. Apparently, I was ready to do some exploring. Tam was not. We passed the admission desk and I remember the woman saying, “Enjoy the rest of your medication!”
I assured her I was doing exactly that. There was laughter. Tam later said she told me to enjoy the rest of my VACATION!” Whatever.

Tam said I talked to everybody, waving and having a great time. We got to the car and I asked if she wanted me to drive. She said no. She also said I was having a hard time trying to figure out how to get into the car. Evidently I had the same difficulty getting out of the car once we got home. Something about my bra caught on my shoe.

There were people at the house, but I can only believe Tam when she tells me that I was visited by all three of my children. Then there was the part where I took the bird from her cage and fell asleep. Said bird promptly took to grooming me, walking all over me, picking at my ears, my hair, my shirt, squawking in my ear. Tam took a picture.

I don’t remember a thing.

Then my mother called while I was in a state of semi-consciousness. Something about a website “for the computer,” in case I didn’t know how the hell to get to a website. Now, I know I’m technologically impaired, and it is especially problematic when I’m drugged, but cut me some slack, woman, even stoned out of my gourd I know what a friggin’ website is and how to get to one. Sheesh.

There was another nap and a lot of slow moving. I don’t know when everybody left (although I do know Most Minor Minion took off the next day) and I have no idea what happened that evening, but I do know I survived my MRI.

And you know what? I have another pill for “just in case.” Just in case of what, I don’t know, but I guess that’s not important. Maybe I’ll use it on the day we sign our lives away for the shop.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


This week has been one for the therapist, let me tell you. It started out pretty normal, then Tam got sick. Really sick, like coughing up a lung, running a temp kind of sick. It was loverly. So very loverly. She’s such a delight when she’s sick. Calm, cool, quiet.

I’m going to hell for lying, aren’t I?

Anyway, while my darling was busy finding new and interesting ways to die, someone (and that would be me) had to do SOMETHING with all the stuff we’d bought to put up. We’ll start with the 20 or so pounds of plums for jelly (ok, maybe 20 lbs is a bit of an exaggeration, but I got 25 half-pints of plum… stuff (because I couldn’t find a recipe and it didn’t all set, so I’ll have to do it over, but I’m going to wait until winter when heating up the entire house doesn’t cause the floor to melt under my feet).

Oh, yes, that kind of week indeed.

Then there was the 40lb box of beans. 40. Pounds. Of. Beans.

Spawn came over and helped me put up 25 pints of dilly beans (oh, YUM!) yesterday, then I wrangled three more quarts of the dilled lovelies and one gallon bag for the freezer. After that was all done, Thing showed up and I chopped up three pounds of jalapeno peppers for a treat I call candied peppers (they’re like bread and butter pickles, only sweeter and much hotter). But I made a slight mistake and only got five pints out of it, so I used the sweet brine on some garlic and pearl onions. Then in a stroke of genius, I filled the last pints with the leftover (sweet, spicy, tangy, and delicious) brine which I will later (in the winter months) make pepper jelly. Let me tell you about pepper jelly, when it’s right, it’s amazing on cheese, chicken, veggies, old sneakers… you get the idea, it is some bad-ass stuff and I love it.

Anyway, I’ve been canning for the past three days in some of the hottest weather we’ve had all summer. And I’m loving it, except for the part where I’m too tired to edit.

But the other thing that’s been going on is this pain in my shoulder. I hurt myself at work and I’ve been going to occupational therapy for it. It’s not working. The doctor said I need an MRI. Doctor is a sadist because she doesn’t think the open MRI’s do a good enough job, so she wants me to go in for an enclosed MRI.

Not. Good.

This old dyke has some major issues with claustrophobia and simply thinking about being shoved headfirst into a long metal tube and closed in there for who-the-hell knows how long makes me panic. Doctor pulled the “nice” card and prescribed an anti-anxiety pill to take one hour before my appointment.

You know that part of my life where I’m in my kitchen and canning everything that doesn’t move? Guess who forgot to go get her happy pill? Cue the “crazy attack” where I send my sick wife to the drug store to pick it up for me because I cannot leave whatever I’m cooking to do it. Yay, she got it. If she hadn’t, it would have been difficult to get me into the tube.
“Ok, Karen, we’re going to roll you into the tube now. Oops! Put your arms down, please.”
“I can’t.”
“Yes you can, just put them down.”
“Fuck you. I’m not going in there without a pill.”
“You’re being one right now, Karen.”

Last, but certainly not least on my list of things to do sooner rather than later, is look into financing for our shop. After a lot of talking to the owner and discussions between ourselves, we’re going to do whatever it takes to get that shop and get the hell out of the jobs that are killing us. Somehow, I need to come up with a very large sum of money (which will mean a lien on the house again, but oh, well) then we’ll be free to move into a better phase of life, mainly where neither of us is beaten, pinched, scratched, spit on, bitten, choked, scorned by supervisors, cheated out of a promotion because a supervisor doesn’t like us, or the usual litany of crap on the job things that make people want to get on the rooftop with a slingshot and a large supply of turds and just cut loose.

It’s a dream and one that I think we’ll be realizing sooner than either of us thought. I just need to sell a few thousand copies of my book, and we’ll be there!