Body Mod

Charlie's going in to talk to the tattoo guy about a phoenix for his back. One of the girls I work with is a student at Herron and has one on her arm that she drew up, so we asked her if she wouldn't mind sketching something for Charlie.
The only problem is that hers is quite a bit more feminine than Charlie was looking for. The drawing is actually really good, but I'm not sure if he's going to go with that or have the tattoo artist come up with something more butch.
I'm jealous because I want to get another tattoo, too, but I've sort of run out of ideas. Other than getting “something” done around the Chinese characters on my wrist (which I got a couple of months ago), I honestly have no clue what my next one might be. Of course, the dragon on my back has yet to be finished, over five years since it was first started, six hours, and three different sittings, but I'm tired of having that one worked on.
The only other thoughts are extending others that I have, or getting the one on my hip re-worked or even covered up completely. It turned out less than perfect, especially since I got it done in the winter and it's right on my pants line, so the scabs sort of rubbed off in places. Stupid, I know. I should have thought that one through as far as timing. But since no one ever sees that, it's not really all that imperative to me right now.
I found these sort of tribal-looking (but not cheesy in a barbed-wire-or-other-tribal-around-the-arm-kind-of-way — no offense to anyone that might have a similar tattoo) swirly, flamey looking things that I considered having on either shoulder blade, but speaking from personal experience, that's a relatively painful area to have a tattoo. Plus I think the dragon would be in the way. Or vice versa.
That's kind of bad. I have no idea how big, or how far up and down, the dragon on my back goes. I rarely look at it.

In other news, I work with a bunch of chatty cathys who can't keep their mouths shut. Someone squeezed some information out of me (I didn't “say” it, I just said yes or no when he guessed it) and I believe that got back to the origin of the gossip because he made a weird remark about that to me this morning. So now I feel bad. But I didn't acknowledge what he said, and acted like I hadn't even heard it.
Way to be passive!

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I Got Diabetes for Christmas! YAY!

I'd have to say I had a pretty good holiday. Except for the weather, which was confusing at best. We boarded the dogs so we were able to stay at my paternal grandmother's Christmas eve until after 10pm. The next day we drove in rain to my maternal grandparents' house in northwestern Indiana. By the time we got back to Indy, the rain had turned into a heavy snow. The roads were all slushy and there wasn't a coffeeshop open in the city except for a Starbucks on the north side of town. I sheepishly admit that, not only did we go, I waited in line for 20 minutes to get a mocha. Sigh.
The gifts we received were exactly what we wanted. My parents got Charlie a surprise, though, a really cool bowling shirt with his name on it that he absolutely loves. I got a pair of black Betula Birkenstock clogs that I will be wearing to work every evening and morning. Well, among other great things, like a really nice Dremel tool for Charlie and a wok for me. I mean, us. Ha, ha.

Speaking of work, my first day back in almost a week is tomorrow. I'm ready to go in and have something to do, plus get a paycheck, but I'm not looking forward to three 6 AMs in a row.

I finally made a doctor's appointment to follow up on her diabetes concerns. I have to make another appointment to have blood drawn. I don't think this is going to happen any time this week; I'm supposed to fast after midnight the night before they test my blood sugar and I can't guarantee that I won't be chugging Americanos at work to get through the mornings. I'll probably do it on Monday but this means I have to call them on Friday to set up the appointment. At least I'll finally be getting it out of the way. I'm somewhat of a hypochondriac, but only in the sense that once something tells me they're suscpicious of something, I get that thing stuck in my head. I don't just create illnesses to obsess over after reading about them on the Internet. I just have doctors tell me there's something they want to look into and I can't stop thinking about it.
For example, this past summer when I first saw this doctor, she had me tested for hirsutism and premature menopause, but there was a two-week gap between when I found out if I was going to be a hairy-wolf-woman/have my uterus removed, and when I actually had the blood drawn. Plenty of time to feel concerned about hair removal programs and hormone replacement therapies.

My main concern with the diabetes is that, from what I understand, it's not covered by any insurance. I don't know much about it (I've not obsessed too much about it, to be honest, so there hasn't been a lot of research on my part), so I have no idea if Type I isn't covered while Type II is . . . Which would be absolutely ridiculous because in the adult-onset cases, most chances are it's your own fault for being fat, whereas in the former you're born with it and have no control, so why would your insurance provider not pay for part of your treatment?
What I do know is that, even if I did have it, it's probably something I could get under control with a little change in diet and exercise. My problem now is that I eat, maybe, once a day, and it's usually pretty late at night. It's a terrible habit to have gotten into, but it just seems that's when I'm actually hungry. I also know that, while my clothes fit looser and I have lost some weight, I'm still probably 10 pounds away from a good target weight.

I don't want to make plans strictly based on whether or not I have Type II – because then it's easier to do nothing (keep smoking, keep not working out) if the tests come up negative. But I know if they're positive, I absolutely have to get my ass in gear.
I have to, anyway. No ifs, ands, or big butts.

Separation Anxiety

It's Christmas Eve and, as I imagine many people are noticing, it's unusually warm. I'm actually sitting outside, looking at my grass because that foot of snow we got, and all the subsequent ice, has finally melted.
I'm sort of glad because it makes for easier holiday travel. Today we're driving out to my grandmother's that's about an hour south and west. Tomorrow we drive two hours north and west to my mom's parents' house. I don't like the idea of it raining, I'd much prefer snow, but I like this slightly unseasonable weather.

Yesterday we dropped the dogs off at the “hotel.” All told, including “playtime,” treats (they call it room service), and three nights, it'll probably cost about half of our total stay at the condo in Florida over Thanksgiving. It's kind of ridiculous because I'd never spend that much on myself for a three night stay in a hotel, but it gives us the freedom to stay as long as we want at family functions. Without Cavan here to keep an eye on the dogs, our trips are generally cut really short. Unlike normal people, I can't stand to leave the dogs alone for more than a few hours. Both of them seem to pee, on average, once every three hours.
I almost started crying in the kennel because I felt so bad. About 20% of it was thinking about how much I was going to have to spend. The other 80% was feeling like “a bad mommy” for dumping my dogs off for three days. People do it all the time and I want to do it more often so the dogs get used to it. Sooner or later, we won't have a housemate to let them out, and if we ever want to do something besides going camping with the dogs, they'll have to stay somewhere.
I've been pretty lucky the past six or so years, always having someone to come and stay, or who lives with us, to keep an eye on the pups. It won't last forever.
Then again, I don't like the idea of spending more on my dogs than I would on myself. That seems to be a pretty typical animal companion habit. For example: going to the doctor. Alvy's last vet bill when he had the endoscope and x-rays ended up costing us over a grand. We had to pay monthly installments.
If someone had told me I had to go to the doctor for something and it would cost more than a couple hundred, I probably wouldn't even go.

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The amount of sleep on which I used to be able to function has taken a dramatic upswing. On good nights I probably got about 5 or 6 hours. My twelve-year bout of insomnia appears to be over. I think I've been averaging a solid 8 or 9 for the past few months, other than a couple of relapses.
On the one hand, I feel like I must need to sleep, on the other, I feel lazy. Last night we stayed up playing a new board game we'd bought, then played video games. I'm not really big on them. In fact, the last time I played any kind of video game was probably when I owned a Sega Genesis around 1995 and was addicted to Sonic. Here and there I found a couple of PC games that I wanted to try but was never any good at them.
Charlie got me a “Law and Order” game for Christmas and I made it all the way up to the trial last night, which I eventually screwed up. I haven't gotten a verdict yet, but I managed to call two wrong witnesses. I thought they had information, but once they got up there, they both said “I don't know if I can help you with your case.” Ooops. I got Charlie the new Matrix game – “The Path of Neo” because it's probably the only Playstation II game I'd actually watch someone play.

In other news, someone else isn't having a very good Christmas, so I feel bad. There's this line in, I think, “Annie Hall” where Woody Allen's character says that if one person in the world is suffering, he can't have a good time. This is the way I am. It's difficult for me to not think about how bad other people (and animals) have it and just relax and enjoy myself sometimes.
My next door neighbors, a married 22-year-old couple, are complete tools, but I don't wish them any harm. The husband lost his job a few weeks ago and has been looking around without much luck.
I noticed that his car has been absent during the week and was outside when his wife came home Wednesday night. I asked her if he'd found something out of town and was working during the week. She said no, he had guard duty for the Air Force to make up for the time he'll miss. I guess he signed up with the military as a civillian contractor in Iraq for a year. He has to work all the guard weekends in Terre Haute that he wouldn't do while he was in Iraq. Which is seriously f-ed up, if you ask me.
Of course, I was tactful about it and didn't shout anything like “Aren't the contractors the ones who keep getting kidnapped?” But that's what I was thinking. She acted as though it was way better than if he were in the military over there.
I don't know when he's shipping out. I'm assuming they'll be able to spend the holidays together. I guess he gets to come home once every four months until his contract is over in a year. She said he will be making a huge amount of money, all of which is tax-free. For fear of sounding like a terrible person, I won't say anything else about how I feel regarding his housing, flights, and giant tax-free salary.
I'm sure he'll be fine, though. Plenty of people have gone over there and nothing has happened to them. I just feel as though he could have found a job here as a mechanic that would pay enough for them to get by without having to go to Iraq. Or maybe he could have found a job in Terre Haute and they'd have to move out.
While I feel terrible about the possible consequences of his choice, they have a habit of letting us do all the yard work. Since moving in four months ago, neither of them has so much as offered to mow, rake, or pick up their own dog poop. I know that if this waify little girl were living here all alone for a year, the last thing we'd want to do would be to ask her to help out around the yard.

Now I feel like an ass.

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I thought I was over this nasty cold. Apparently, I'm not.
A good indication would be sleeping for over 10 hours straight last night. Another would be waking up this morning at 5am, sneezing, coughing, making a lot of noise. Or the fact that I had to pause between typing those last two sentences to sneeze another 4 times.
I don't feel like I'm overexerting myself. I haven't really done all that much in the past few days. I only worked a few hours last night . . . then again, I recall breaking out in a little sweat at one point and feeling woozy.
If this lasts much longer we'll be heading to the doctor. Of course, it'll have to wait until after this weekend.

In other pointless news, I'm pissed because I spent a lot of money on Christmas presents for three people all in one place, then paid extra to have it shipped to me in three days. That was a week ago.

Not Home For the Holidays

I discovered recently that one of my friends from high school has been arrested and in jail a couple of times for DUIs and, most recently, an OWI. It's something she never mentioned to me in all the times we spoke or saw one another when we got back in touch a few years ago.

I'm really shocked because I didn't see it coming and wasn't expecting that to be the information her sister gave me when I wrote to find out where she'd been. I knew that after the end of a serious relationship she had been going out a lot to bars, but I saw it more as Something People Do When They Breakup, not that it was indicative of a deeper problem, or that she even had a problem with drinking.

I guess she's going to be in lockup for 15-40 days, which means she might be spending Christmas in jail. Her sister told me she was also in over Thanksgiving.

In a way, I tend to feel at least partially responsible. I know that it's not “my fault,” but in all the times we've emailed one another over the past year I could have just picked up a phone or driven out to her side of town to visit with her. Maybe the impersonal nature of our most common form of communication made it difficult for her to tell me what was going on. Maybe I led her to believe I wouldn't understand since I had spoken about problems I had with someone close to me drinking.

As much as I hate the constant hustle and bustle of the holidays, the traffic, the shopping-cart-rage, the parking, the blown paychecks to buy stuff for people, the driving to and from this relative's or another's house . . . this friend has it a lot worse.

Fear of Dentists

I have an eye appointment today at 10:50 and, for some reason, I really don't want to go. I will go, of course, I just don't want to.
I have a general dislike of any sort of doctor's visit. Mostly, the dentist; second, M.D.s; third, shrinks; and lastly, though not nearly as much, eye doctors.
It's not that I distrust doctors. I think it's because I'm basically a hypochondriac and I don't like having any concerns realized.
Maybe it boils down to a fear of getting older. My eyes have been perfect for years, which is odd, considering I'm the only person in my entire family (immediate and extended) who didn't need glasses at 12 years old. The last time I went, somewhere around May of last year (I remember because my appointment a year later was during finals and I kept having to reschedule around my exams and finally just postponed it till now), I needed reading glasses. Mostly because I'd been working at the publishing company, squinting at a monitor for a year and a half.
I feel like my eyesight is better now. I don't spend all day in front of a computer, but I do read a lot. I notice my eyes crossing on me occasionally, but it doesn't seem as bad. Maybe I was just putting too much strain on them at my last job.
I'm proud of my farsightedness. I can see road signs from hundreds of yards away.

We had a mini-Christmas last night. Cavan gave Charlie a bunch of comic books, and he gave me the first two Harry Potter movies. He'd gotten me the third for my birthday, so he wanted to complete the set. I put a lump of coal in his stocking (along with some really good cocoa since he loves, loves, loves hot cocoa every morning). I also got him “The Order of the Phoenix,” which I haven't given him yet (because it hasn't arrived!), and last night he got to open my favorite gift for him. I send a photo of him playing with Alvy in the leaves this past fall to a Kodak company and had it made into a puzzle. His parents had given him a 1,000-piece puzzle a couple of months that ago that he spent days putting together in the dining room. Since he loves our doggie so much, I figured it would be a nice gift. He seemed to like it.
Of course, as a girl, what you want when someone opens a gift you've really thought through, is to see them bawling with happiness at how genuinely thoughtful and wonderful a gift-giver you really are. This isn't quite the way it works out.
He seemed to like it, though.
I know there was something else I made him open a few days ago, but for the life of me, I cannot remember what it is right now. Is that bad?