All posts by heather

i could literally feel it in my body

i had 4 text messages when i woke up saturday evening to go to work. they all referenced how i as going to get to stay in the US because Biden was now the president-elect. as i was sitting at work, i turned to my coworker and said, “I can just feel how less tense my body is since i heard trump lost.” i think i am going to shoot for the new year in terms of coming off my anti-anxieties. might be able to go back to sleeping without anything though. i certainly hope so.

so, bathroom remodel is done except for the mirror. that comes in on friday. not sure how i am going to hang it though. it is REALLY heavy. the old one was stuck on with, what looked like, epoxy. it was a trial by fire and there was an ugly cry. the pipe from the wall was a smidge too low. so, i hired plumber. and that did NOT go well. he was from Stan’s Heating and Air Conditioning. and he was lazy and didn’t seem to think about what he was doing. the last plumber they sent, who fixed my shower, was AMAZING. this guy had to go to home depot because he forgot smoothing. i had asked for the p-trap to be placed and he didn’t do that. he gave me a list of things to buy to do it myself. i should have said something as this was something i had asked for when i called to have them come out. i think he didn’t do it because, again, he had the wrong parts. my pipe is 1 1/4″, he brought 1 1/2″. he also told me that i would be able to set it up offset (which was a BIG deal) but that was not exactly the truth. no, you could not turn the pipe connector and the offset would be 1-2″. NOT helpful. and he got ugly about it. anyhow, when he came back and i pointed out that i needed to be offset by quite a bit and the vanity HAD been where it needed to be when he arrived the day before. again, he hadn’t been paying close enough attention. he then told me it would be another $500 to move the pipe. um, no. anyhow, he put the p-trap in so i had something to model once i got the sink siliconed into the top of the vanity. i accepted that it would not be offset but discovered it wouldn’t even sit flush against the wall. tried to hook it up and it leaked at every joint.

i cried. i ugly cried. in a ball of the floor sobbing. the cats wanted attention since i was on the floor. i just cried at them, “no! i need someone to give to me. i can’t give anymore right now”. they looked hurt.

i am tired of feeling like i have to fight for everything in life. the floor people had to come back 3 more times. the plumbing still wasn’t right. and it takes so much energy. trying to advocate for pts. keeping people at a social distance. i am so very tired of it all.

anyhow, my friend randy had pity for me, took a long lunch, and came over and set it up. he showed me what needed to be done AND it was offset so my vanity is where is is supposed to be! take that Stan’s! (yes, i will be asked for at least some of my money back). anyhow, here is what it looks like without the mirror.

oh, and a few hours later my AC died. seriously, not kidding. coil fix for $3264 or $3800 for a new unit. seriously, 2020? am i that horrible of a person universe? bathroom remodel went over by $1000 thanks to plumbing (pipe and toilet). so, instead of paying for it all in advance i am looking at ~$3800 on my visa (there may be a 0% interest loan i can get). seriously?

i think i have broken my record for home long it has been since i have had sex. old record was 8 months and i was in nursing school. i am now at 9 months thanks to the pandemic. sucks.

in all though, with the election being over, i feel better. i am totally sad about suddenly having these huge expenses. but, you know, it is a pandemic. other people have it worse. i just kinda really wish i weren’t fighting this all alone.

here is one of my favorite election week memes. hit me right in my “graduated from high school in 1987”

i feel a bit better today (but you should read yesterday)

i got a good nights sleep. and i ate the same stuff as yesterday, but it is working better today somehow. i don’t know. i just feel more calm today. serious disaster could still happy. and i will totally freakout if it does. but today, i dunno, i am just more calm about it. i don’t like i suddenly feel, “well, there is nothing i can do so i won’t worry about it”. i am very worried, i am just not as hysterical today. perhaps it is because i am working on my bathroom today.

i am going to drill the hole for my sink in my vanity. i have talked to MANY people. i feel safe in the knowledge, i feel i can do it right, i rented a jigsaw at home depot (only because lowe’s doesn’t rent tools). plumber comes on monday to deal with the drain pipe that is a smidge too low (see picture below). mirror comes back on friday the 13th. it cost WAY more than i had planned (like that toilet i didn’t really want to have to buy; though i like it lot more than my old one) and now the plumbing complications. i did stand up for myself, as i always do, and the floor is now perfect. no more random wrong tiles (see before/after photos below).

seriously, it is just a smidge!
wtf?! why is that random extra tile there. and one cannot, not, see it. you are sort of a captured audience if you know what i mean.
yeah! people won’t lose their minds while they are a captured audience.

through the roof

my anxiety that is.

so, the day before my last day at work before my two weeks of holiday, i had an appointment with my psychiatrist about my anxiety. ever since RBG died i have been completely freaked out. i cannot listen to NPR, i cannot read articles like i used to, i ask my friends who start to talk about politics and the election to stop or i walk away. this is surprising. patrick and i followed politics quite a bit. we always email each other a number of times on the day of the election. he sent me a screen shot of texas being blue the first election i lived here (they had only counted travis county)! but right now, i cannot handle it. from either side. everything is so extreme. falsehoods on both sides. i love to listen to discussions on economics normally (yes, i am that nerd. though i found the classes really hard. of course, i was 18). but people lie about the data so much. both sides (though more the conservatives right now). today’s GDP numbers must be analyzed in its context, for instance. and i am DEATHLY afraid there is going to be violence on the day of and after the election. no one is going to accept the outcome. crazy conservatives have already done crazy things; like plotting to abduct the governor of michigan. see, nuts! and i heard interviews on NPR today (i have gotten VERY quick with the off button) with liberals buying guns because they fear it too!

anyhow, so they day before my last day at work i had a visit (virtual) with my psychiatrist about my anxiety. she thought it was perfectly reasonable, all things considered. i didn’t want to increase my benzos. while ativan is lovely, it is easily escalated. that had been what i said when i contacted her about the appointment; that i needed something other than more benzos. (more details than you need, FOCUS heather!) so, she wrote for Gabapentin (who knew you could use it for anxiety!) and Seroquel (which scares the crap out of me). the gabapentin i take 3 times a day as needed and the seroquel at bedtime. seroquel scares me because it is an anti-psychotic and i have had pts on it so the voices would stop. ok, they were on 600mg and i was getting 25mg, but it is still a serious medication.

well, the gabapentin has helped. the seroquel, not so much. i sleep hard, but only for about 6-hours. i am an 8-hour girl all the way. so, you know, some help.

but then i went to work on friday and got written up. basically for being sarcastic. and because my coworkers complain about me a lot. they are afraid of me. i got written up a few year’s ago for being “disrespectful” to a coworker because i was trying to convince other coworkers to talk to management about her. it was super bogus because…it just was. anyhow, my boss now made the comment she didn’t understand how long they would hold that against me. she said she thought it should just be a verbal warning but whatever (i appreciated that on her part). but we talked about a lot of stuff. i had told the naked picture story earlier (ask me next time we chat, i am not blogging the details). and i know that i can be sarcastic and critical. sarcasm was the language we spoke at home. but i wish people would say something. i don’t see it. really, i don’t. because it feels normal to me. this was a problem patrick and i had. it was hurtful, but he didn’t tell me. i HONESTLY didn’t know. i still don’t know. and no one will say anything. how will i learn if no one says anything?

and now i am petrified i am going to get fired. it seems like they have fired other people for lesser things. and i am single. and i just remodeled my bathroom (the money was spent before my holiday started). and, not surprisingly, i don’t have savings to fall back on. and unemployment won’t even pay my mortgage.

so, good timing on the anti-anxiety meds. and they have helped. but not today. i have been thinking about blogging about my anxiety for weeks. today though. today it is BAD. my sleeping has been pretty good. so has my exercising. eating hasn’t been very good, but mostly because i haven’t been eating much, not that i have been eating poorly. in fact, i have been good about groceries. today, perhaps i should have eaten more food considering the coffee and other prescribed medications. but still. wow.

i mean, i know, i can only go forward each day. but, really, so much right now. it is like, every time i think i have encountered the most stressful thing (like getting laid off from HP during the, then, greatest recession of my lifetime) the universe sends me something even more incredible. and here i thought completely retraining during an economic disaster was going to be the worst. oh my god.

so, here are some pictures of stuff going on in my life recently.

this is susan and i in galveston where we went ghost hunting!
susan! i realize it is not that easy to see her, but i wanted to get as much hotel in the photo as i could.
this is Bethany Cemetery here in austin. susan, christie and i went and had pastries and coffee then wandered around (like we do). i took this photo because it shows the various different markers and how the ground is wavy. we decided it was because the caskets probably deteriorated and then the ground got saturated and fell in. that is the theory at least. this is a very beautiful space.
yes, that is a cat’s paw in white paint. snape got it on the tile, the carpet and the hardwood!
this is me being Goth AF.
(caught the back of my heel on the screen door on my way out of the house. yes, it hurts a lot).

i just can’t

i haven’t listened to a full NPR show or looked at my feed on FB since RBG died. I just cannot listen to the rhetoric on either side. I skim through the Washington Post and NYT too. I saw that the debates were horrible. I do not know why anyone would be surprised. it is just a horrible place right now. and, while i am not afraid that the secret service would allow trump to stay in the white house if he lost, i am afraid of stupid asshole conspiracy theorists take up arms. trump basically ask the to last night (couldn’t avoid that sound bite).

so, i have all sorts of pictures of random life things i normally post on FB sitting around on my computer. so i plan to post them here.

susan and i are going ghost hunting in galveston today. i am nervous about going out in public so much. but i agree we need to get out of town for a little bit. for the record, susan believes in ghosts and i like hanging out with susan. i will report back!

susan, christie and i have been to a lot of cemeteries lately. i plan to do an entire post dedicated to that. i need to edit the photos first.

my new bathroom vanity should be here soon. I have been watching videos on how to redo a tile floor. everyone says i can do it, but i am starting to get really nervous. if it were just a rectangle, i would feel ok. but i have a closet in there so would have to measure the unique corders and cut the tile to fit. i draw HORRIBLY because of my eyesight. i just don’t want it to look horrible or end up and unfinished project. i am going to get some quotes regarding having someone tile it for me. if someone else did the measuring and cutting, i could totally do the labor. i am comfortable with making sure it is flat.

ok, so, here we go:

finally go too use my skeleton spoons. this is me mixing my magic coffee. it really is called magic coffee. and i make it myself at home.
find the cats!
first time in my life i wish i’d had a selfie stick. then you could see how we were all on the chair together! (they didn’t even fight until after they got off the chair)
i have heard about headstones that said this. i have seen photos. i saw this one IN PERSON!
my favorite time of the year! HEB has their Dia de los Muertos product in!
my favorite meme ever. there are SO many permutations of this meme!
i dunno, somehow i feel all cool and adult because i have taken to drinking root beer in distinctly beer looking bottles. delicious too.
just me looking cute on a night out. obviously, before the pandemic.
and, lastly, the problem with living in a condo. just doesn’t have the same effect.

a list or two

*edit: please add *make my own coffee to the “things i have started to do regularly since the stay at home orders”. i cannot believe i forgot that one!
**edit: please add *replace all the hollow core doors with solid doors and *get a new screen door so the cats can look out but the cool air doesn’t fly away to the “things i want to do to my home”. that last one would probably be the cheapest of all of them.

things i have started to do regularly since the stay at home orders:
*floss – i would say at least 5 day a week if not 6 to 7. seriously, i am into it
*exercise – 5 days a week consistently. ok it is just my 7 min workout but it has helped
*bake – i need more people/places to take my baked goods
*read – ok, that isn’t new
*play this stupid video game on my iPad – no i am not telling you what it is called. i deleted it.
*send postcards – ok, not as much as i want, but WAY more than i ever have

things i want to do to my home:
*have it professionally painted – get that purple spot off the ceiling where i didn’t notice i had my paint brush
*have a fixture wired to the middle of the living room – it needs a light above the couch
*redo my hardwood floors – i know i only just had the living room done. but it is too dark
*remodel the bathrooms! – master first, hate the floor tile, counter is original from 1969 (a wonderful year, granted, but it needs redoing)
*get a shade for the window in the kitchen – ok, this is easy
*solar panels for my condo – i doubt the HOA would let me
* more cat runways at the ceiling – like the famous cat house!

not sure what i would want to do first. probably the bathroom. but the fixture might be easier, cheaper and faster. paint would just be so expensive. but make a big difference (though i would probably have to have it all painted beige if i wanted to sell).

trips i would like to make:
*the amazing 80 new wave/goth concert that got canceled
*einstuerzende neubauten – concert in philadelphia that got canceled
*muetter museum in philadelphia
*cemetery tour – one of the planned routes i found
*an atlas obscura tour – they look cool and sound fascinating!
*ghost hunting trip to NOLA and Galveston – i’d want to go first class in NOLA
* europe to see my friends
*cat island off of japan
*vegas with my peeps – more ghost hunting!

things i want to master as a baker:
*cakes – weird, i know, but they always taste dry
*scones – amazing while they are still warm, too dense after they cool
*profiteroles – cause there ain’t nothing like profiteroles with vanilla ice cream and sauce au chocolat
*something fancy looking – but that still tastes amazing

i would like to point out that my editor didn’t have an obvious want to underline the headings of my lists, so i switched to HTLM mode and added them myself. so glad i learned that back when it was still mosaic as a browser.

what other lists would you like to see? no, i won’t give you a list of the best sexual experiences i have had. and how could i possibly rank my fluevogs?! or movies?! i always think it is bizarre to pick one favorite movie.

dancing naked in my living room

there used to be a club on saturday nights called Haven. it was held at Elysium, the goth club in town. all the best goth and industrial. had my 40th birthday dance night there. anyhow, it is closed for the pandemic (hopefully it will reopen). but, the DJs have been hosting an online club night on twitch. i attended tonight for the first time. AND THE MUSIC WAS INCREDIBLE! decided to do my workout, take a shower and go to sleep…but when i got out of the shower the music was STILL INCREDIBLE! so, i started dancing naked in my living room. i totally could have been one of those shadow box girls.

i have been doing home visits. not all Covid. in fact, few of them are Covid. and i really enjoy it. friday night i even offered to my pronouncements for on-call if they needed help (hospice nurses pronounce death but MDs sign death certificates). but the heat. in my car. trying to chart. it is MISERABLE. like SUPER miserable. and i worry about my car idling for the AC. and it is bad for the environment. the team leader i am working under asked if i wanted to come to home team. i told her i had thought about it and i would consider it from Oct – Apr.

seriously, i want to move. i LOVE Austin. my friends. my goth club. my work. the breakfast tacos. my condo (barbie goth palace as Lucy and i called it). but it is always SO hot. there are no seasons. winter is like Jan 2-4. i visit my winter coats in my coat closet. virtually never wear them. i am so tired of feeling sweaty all the time. and since i gained 25 pounds after Lucy died, then lost it again, my boobs aren’t as, er, perky as they used to be. so, for the first time, i deal with boob sweat, and it sucks. and it is just going to get hotter. and austin isn’t doing anything (like Phoenix is) to mitigate the increasing temperatures. ugh.

the other annoying thing in my life are my cats. snape is an asshole. scratches everything. decides when i need to get up and then starts scratching stuff and generally being an asshole. gandalf won’t leave me the HELL ALONE! i swear, remember the first 11 months she lived with me and i couldn’t even touch her? how she wouldn’t sit in a room with me? now she won’t LEAVE ME ALONE! like every minute she must be near me, being petted. drives me nuts.

ok, last annoying thing. (motherly types skip this paragraph). i miss sex SO much. like i feel a little bad for the next boy i have sex with. the switch will flip and i will not stop until we are both lightheaded and sore. seriously.

when i leave my house for things other than work (aka going to the grocery store or once in a great while joann’s for fabric) i dress up. of course, i have always dressed up. but it was always simply habit. i automatically did it. now, i am quite deliberate about it. below is a photo of me in my new hat. and in my outfit for our excursion to the cemetery (susan, christie and i have been twice, susan and i 3 times). and one of my favorite covid mask memes. goodnight.

a bit fuzzy, i realize. but look how cute that hat is!
another newish hat. carried my gothasol too!
um, yeah. what freddie said.

i wear my PPE

i am seeing covid pts now. i volunteered for the covid team on the home team side. i wear my PPE (and i am going to lose, like, 50 pounds from sweating). i take it off correctly. i isolate things in my car as much as possible. i take a shower the minute i walk through the door. i have a biohazard bag for my scrubs so they aren’t in my normal laundry. i use hand-sanitizer when i get in my car (even though i was wearing PPE) and when i walk though my front door. is it perfect? probably not. but it is as careful and i can be. i am comfortable with it. though i wear glasses, i am even wearing a face mask. the conversations are even harder. but it feels really good to help these families during these crazy times.

this week, i did have the first day since all this craziness started, that i felt sad and lonely home alone. i was sleep deprived. and, basically all i do is, work, bake and read. which isn’t much of a life. but also what SO many other people are struggling with. at least i get to go to work. it just makes me feel SO single. and trying to meet someone during a pandemic just seems like way too much work. but, you know, i am good at compartmentalizing and there is still a lot to do in american healthcare right now. (phoenix is offering $5200/wk for med-surg nurses to work in a covid ward. crazy, right?!)

strangely, i am not afraid of dying alone. as a nurse, a hospice nurse, i know my colleagues will surround me with support. but to die not having found love again is sort a bummer. but you cannot force it. and there is a pandemic. and i think my cats would be upset. even being home so much more they annoy the shit out of me wanting all my attention the minute i walk through the door. of course, snape did go to space yesterday.

CATS IN SPACE!!!
and splash down in the return capsule!

i rearranged my living room. i needed to look at something different. but i don’t like it. but i need something different. that’s all.

we had zoom bookclub and it was awesome. it was a murder mystery that i had read. there is a reference to how important hats are to a perfect societal femme. so we all wore hats. i changed mine frequently. and i ended in a mob cap. which was also relevant to the story. it as a great get together. and considering how much i hate driving, i might ask to attend most book clubs this way in the future.

i have lost weight and gained strength during the pandemic. i even get up a little early and exercise (the vast majority of the time. but not everyday). i feel stronger and things fit better and better. dyed my own hair for the first time since college. my bathroom was totally black. i was able to get all of it up except a bit on some grout next to the sink. ultimately, i did a great job! i highly recommend the #madisonreed color. and their shampoo and conditioner are great too.

have i mentioned how much i love my new shower? i love it SO much. consist water temp is the shit! but now i really want to retile and change the counter. hm. i am working a lot of OT… (i know, i should save if, for some truly bizarre reason, i get laid–off and cannot find another job…but new tile!)

i haven’t won my signature red lipstick since March. i miss my style. i have picked up a couple of fabulous dresses on sale recently. perhaps i will get all fancy and take pictures so at least people know i have them.

blah.

just your average night in the 1950s

and by that i mean, i stayed home and washed and curled my hair. isn’t that what what girls did on saturday night in the 50s?

i don’t miss people. staying home and baking and reading and sewing and varnishing the cats (what patrick and i would suggest to do when we couldn’t think of anything to do). i go to the grocery store once a week. i work. since the stay-at-home started i have started flossing every day, eating better (lots of fruit, still not enough veggies) and getting regular exercise. i think it is the lack of stress in dealing with people’s drama. also, it is that people are stupid and the stupid is showing extra a lot these days. i actually had a patient family member tell me that she thought it was “stupid-ass liberals making it up” (in referring to covid). i wanted to tell her one of our coworkers had it and another coworkers next-door-neighbor died of it, but you can’t do that. masks people. it makes a HUGE difference. i am very surprised by parents with young kids who don’t have them wearing masks. but, well, people are stupid. (and texas has had triple digit increases in positive cases for the last 5 days).

i told both my psychiatrist and my therapist i didn’t miss people. neither seemed too worried. my therapist asked if i thought the depression was getting worse. i said i didn’t think so because with everything go on, i felt pretty good. i don’t feel lonely. i do worry, as my friends start to interact more (even though it isn’t a good idea) that i will slow separate from them as i will have to stay home. i cannot risk exposing my patients if one of my friends get it and give it to me and i don’t want to expose my friends in case a patient or patient family member gives it to me. but i love my friends. i just don’t miss people.

so, i have a new shower. and by new, i mean, that the water now stays one temperature the entire time you take a shower! i had a plumber come out and redo the pipes and fixtures to make the flow steady and not vacillate! it is AMAZING! this is what old age is! consistent water temperature in my shower makes me SO HAPPY! i would post a photo, but it doesn’t really show anything. it has a new faucet but you wouldn’t no that unless you saw the old one. anyhow, of course, now i want to remodel the rest of my bathroom! maybe next year.

have i mentioned my cats are driving me nuts?