Amateur Malcontent

This is the place where my Crazy can come out to play.
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I don’t get sick very often. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I was really sick, which is why I’m creating this blog post so I can look back next time and figure it out.


So. I actually started to get sick on Monday, the 21st of January. It didn’t happen until the evening, and then I started to feel really achy and had a weird dry cough once in a while.

Tuesday, the 22nd I alternated between crazy chills and burning up. At one point I was even drenched in sweat. My cough started to develop some phlegm.

Wednesday the 23rd I still had the aches and my cough was now fully phlegm-y and my lungs felt gross. I was also very tired and my eyes burned a little. I slept terribly at night, I wasn’t able to fall asleep until 6am and tossed and turned with crazy feverish random thoughts going through my head that kept me up. Oh, and my nose started to get stuffy.

Thursday the 24th, still phlegm-y with cough. I also lost my appetite, with no interest in food and my stomach feels full/bloated. It has now completely moved into my sinuses and I can’t breathe without medicine. I took my temperature before I went to bed, and I have a fever of 100. I predict tomorrow I will lose the ability to taste food, but I hope not.

Friday the 25th, still no appetite and as predicted I stopped being able to taste food. Nose completely stuffed up, the lack of oxygen is making me have headaches. Still had a fever of 100.  Was finally able to sleep a little at night, which was good.

Saturday the 26th. I can’t believe I am still miserably sick. Nose all stuffy. Took my temperature and the good news is that I don’t have a fever anymore, so there’s that. Still can’t taste. Woke up with a sore throat, but it has since left. Head feels like it will explode. Crabby doesn’t even begin to do my mood justice. Just going to hang out in bed AGAIN all day.

Sunday the 27th. I woke up, amazed that I had actually been able to sleep for a while, enough to have vivid, crazy dreams, one which was super upsetting to me. The other one featured William Shatner and George Wentz, and was also head-scratching but at least amusing. I also woke up being able to breathe out of both nostrils for the first time in forever, which gave me more energy. I still can’t really taste anything very  much, but it’s better. I’m getting glimpses of tasting, so I know I’ll be okay.  I feel much better today, enough to want to knit and actually browse stuff on Pinterest, so yay on getting my attention span back! I am looking forward to sleeping tonight because I think I will get a decent night’s rest in time for me to be prepared for Ryan’s return tomorrow.

I was pretty much better by the 31st of January.

Updated to add the latest stuff.

Long story short, I got sick again the second week of February
(mildly sick with lots of nose mucus and coughing, sinuses Feb 12-15) AND I got super sick again starting February 21!

February 21 - sudden chills and aching, fever.
February 22 - still chills and aching, fever.
February 23 - fever, but no aching, but sinuses clogged, sore throat.
February 24 - no fever, sinuses clogged, sore throat
February 25 - sinuses clogged, ear starts getting clogged, pressure in head, bad sore throat
February 26 - sinuses clogged, ears clogged head feels like cotton ball bad sore throat that comes and goes
February 27 - sinuses clogged, ears clogged, ear infection with discharge in left ear, pink eye, sore throat not so bad

59 days total + 22 days sick = 37%, or over a third of the time being sick over the space of two months.

February 28 - bad pink eye, ear infection, stuffy nose

March 1 - pink eye getting better, ears clogged, stuffy nose, sore throat at night only. Feeling a LOT better, though.

March 2 - pink eye getting better, ears clogged, stuffy nose, sore throat at night only. Well enough to meet up with knitters in the afternoon.

March 3 - pink eye better, ears clogged, stuffy nose, sore throat at night only

March 4- pink eye better, ears clogged, stuffy nose, sore throat at night only

March 5-Pink eye nearly gone, ears still clogged, sore throat at night only, coughing

March 6- Pink eye nearly gone, ears still clogged, coughing. Mild sore throat at bedtime only. Feeling nearly normal except for the clogged ears.

March 20- Stuffy nose reappeared with a headache, tired. Residual cough.

The decision to make 2012 the year I took my eating habits seriously* began at a snail’s pace. The first thing I did was take a month off from drinking alcohol.  I also tried to cut down on bad carbs (I switched to whole wheat bread, pasta and brown rice) and ate breakfast at least 5 days a week, but that was about it. In February I discovered that I actually enjoyed Green Monster smoothies and now I have one for breakfast every week day. In March instead of just pinning super delicious fatty sugary carb heavy recipes on Pinterest, I told myself I needed to start usng it to find healthier recipes. Afterwards, I would actually follow through on making a lot of them. I was gettting a better handle on how to cook with more veggies and less fat and still be left with something delicious.  In April my friend Andrea introduced me to, a free online site that helps people track their food and exercise. 

Now, because of all these things combined, my grocery shopping has changed a lot. My bags are filled with mostly veggies instead of breads, cheeses, chips and sweet snacks. Sadly, my great love of cheese has had to be tamped down a bit, and while I still eat it, I just make sure I don’t douse everything I cook with it like I used to. I try to use it as an accent flavor instead of the main attraction.

The result of these efforts has become more obvious recently, too, much to my surprise. I have started losing weight. I feel great and have more energy. I crave vegetables and it’s become fun for me to see just how many I can cram into any given recipe I’m making before it becomes too ridiculous (Oh, it says to only use one cup of broccoli? Let’s see what happens with two! Why not some spinach, too?). My feeling better and losing weight has even been in spite of me not having an exercise routine (and stuffing my face on some weekends), which is the last part of the puzzle I need to put in place. There’s just so many things I don’t like about exercising that it’s hindering me and stifling my motivation. I want it to be free (because I am the 99%). I don’t want to wear a helmet or ride a bike anywhere near traffic. I don’t want to jog around town on sidewalks, I want to jog on a trail in the woods. I don’t want to have to drive to a place just to exercise. I don’t want to get up early. I want my exercise experience to be perfect**, etc. etc. All I know is, when the perfect set of circumstances all come together in the right way, in the past I have been very good about sticking with a routine. Honestly, what will probably wind up happening is that I won’t get around to doing something about exercise until 2013 so I can have at least a year of heatlhier eating under my belt. I want it to be second nature so I don’t have to think about it anymore, and then I’ll be able to move on and concentrate on the exercise part with my full attention.

But hey, so far this whole nutrition thing has been pretty awesome, and I never thought I’d be enthusiastic about healthy eating. People don’t want to hear it (hey, I didn’t want to hear it, etiher), but when you finally decide to make eating better a lifestyle change instead of a temporary diet, it actually works! The only thing I’m sad about is that I’m bitter that I have to do this because I’m old. I can no longer cram two Cinnabons into my face for lunch then eat two Big Macs for dinner and still be skinny, like I could when I was 18.  I have become the boring old person who eats healthier because they don’t want to die earlier than they were supposed to die. But never fear, no matter how badly I want to hold onto my youth, I’m not going to get as crazy as Suzanne Summers—what with her 60 pills a day and daily vagina injections!  

Just thought this infographic on how portions have changed was really interesting.

Just thought this infographic on how portions sizes have changed was really interesting.

*Because now I’m a year and a month away from turning 40 and I damn well don’t want to succumb to the trend of turning into a typical middle-aged dumpy woman. I ought to write a post about what my younger self thought about this, but that’s a different post (a very embarrassing one), and one where I need to give myself a serious punch in the face for being such a bitch about it in my head.

**Yes, I can be quite particular about things. Yes, it’s a total pain in the ass for people that have to deal with (or live with) me in real life. I KNOW.  

Thanks to the influence of my friend Andrea, I have started using this free online diet website called Calorie Count. I was using a different one, but made the switch because Calorie Count also includes all the nutritional information for all the food you eat every day, and my old one only did calories. They also have this amazing feature which lets you enter any recipe of any kind and it will spit out the calorie count and tell you all the nutrients, good or bad that it contains per serving. Which is great, but led to some very disappointing discoveries about some of my standard recipes that I make, mainly that they were super high in fat and calories…even some dishes that I was under the assumption were decently healthy, well, I was WRONG. Dead wrong.  The saddest blow was finding out that the new recipe for salad dressing I was so in love with turned out to be over 150 calories per serving! I can’t have that, because I am one of those people who drowns their salad in dressing (although I am not nearly as bad as Ryan), so my actual serving size is usually double. When I think about how many extra fat calories I had been consuming without knowing it, I felt sick! Knowledge might be power, but it’s also depressing!

I also discovered that I am chronically low in calcium, iron and potassium. The first two are easy fixes, but potassium has turned out to be quite the bitch. Turns out the foods highest in potassium (Things like raisins, baked potatoes, lima beans, canned tomato sauce, prunes, spinach and bananas as well as avocados.) I either hate (lima beans, prunes and bananas) or the amount of the food I’d have to consume to get enough potassium is more than I’m willing to eat. I like spinach, but I don’t want to eat 3 cups of cooked spinach every day! Ditto for 2 cups of raisins. Avocados are too high in calories and fat to eat a whole avocado. If I had canned tomatoes, it would be as a sauce on pasta, which has too many carbs. I can’t have a baked potato because I only like them with tons of cheese and sour cream and butter and I don’t like to eat the skin, which is where all the nutrients are located.  Basically I am screwed! So today I’m going to go out and buy some potassium supplements and just call it good, because I really can’t take the daily reprimand from the nutritional calculator anymore!

My boss likes to ask me cheerfully “Are we winning?” every once in a while, and every single time he does that it makes me just seethe inside. I don’t know why it bothers me so much—part of it is that he is my BOSS, and if I were truly winning I wouldn’t be working for anyone at all…so thanks for the reminder!

Another part is that I think he’s just trying to make it seem like everyone who works here is all in it together as a team trying to fight against The Man, and I hate teamwork. Actually, I don’t hate teamwork per se, but I do resent the fact that just because I am working with a group of people (that I don’t even get to choose) that I am expected to feel like we’re all in it together simply because we work at the same place.

There’s a few things I’ve noticed lately that make me feel very pissed off. Which isn’t unusual of course because I am the mother of all complainers, but there’s enough angst built up now to warrant making a list.

1)I’m going to come right out and say it, I’ve got a problem with mediation. In my mind there’s 3 ways to end a conflict: a)compromise b)give in c)foot up ass, and I don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to figure out how to pick from those three options.

2)Yesterday I found out that Rolling Stone magazine had chosen Lil Wayne as the best MC. I don’t read Rolling Stone magazine often (I already know what music I like, I don’t need to read about what other people think I should like), so it’s not like I have anything invested in their picks, but holy hell, come ON! Lil Wayne?? The only thing he’s got going for him is his insanity! How can you pick someone for best MC when you can’t even tell what the hell he’s talking about?? And when you can tell what he’s saying, it’s all about bitches, hoes, booze, fucking and weed? How is that any different from all the other bottom of the barrel rappers out there? That really, to borrow a phrase from my friend Kate, makes me feel all stabby.

3)I hate making phone calls, but I especially hate having to talk to old deaf people on the phone. If you’re deaf, own up to it and just get a damn hearing aid and be done with it already! Christ! What I also don’t understand is, why do they still bother to answer the phone if they know they can’t hear anymore??

4)The Presidential race. I’m pissed off that it seems to be going on forever and ever and degenerating into more and more useless mulling over crap that has nothing to do with real issues anymore. I was ready to vote 6 months ago! They need to cut the campaigning season down to the 6 months right before the elections, and anyone who dares to start early should be soundly and repeatedly kicked in the ass by yours truly!

I didn’t have a good day at work today. There were several things happened that weren’t conducive to my well-being, but the one that stood out the most was the 15 minutes (yes, it was only 15 minutes, but that was all it took) I had to spend interacting with a new woman whom I found entirely unpleasant. It wasn’t even really anything specific, it was more her attitude as a whole that got under my skin. So much so, that even now, it still makes me want to gnash my teeth and insert my foot somewhere. She’s going on my list, alright. I can guarantee that!

Anyway, at least there’s still the perks of working at an animal shelter, being that I got to babysit the most adorable little puppy for about an hour…during which time she peed on my reports, attacked my shoes, tried to help me email, and defeated the ‘evil’ camera strap.She was found wandering around all alone on Francis street by one of our staff, so we took her in.

We’re hoping she wasn’t just abandoned, but there’s a pretty strong chance that that’s what happened.

I have had it! My car was stuck this morning, and I was able to get out with the help of a neighbor and make it to work. After work I decide to stop by Ryan’s place to watch some of my saved TV shows and to pick up a few small things I keep forgetting. As I’m pulling into the space that he so sweetly shovelled out for me, I get stuck.

After Ryan saves the day with some amazing driving skills and a push from Nathan, I am parked. I watch my TV programs, talk with Ryan a little and then get ready to go home. Just in case, I have Ryan get in the car to drive it into the street.

It’s stuck! And as a matter of fact, one of his neighbors was getting ready to leave at the same time and was also stuck!

I run in and grab Nathan, and the neighbors come over. The neighbors tell us they’ve been getting stuck every single time they need to get out. See, on Ryan’s street, it’s completely level. So everyone gathers ‘round my car, we all push, Ryan steps on the gas, and my baby is free and I get to drive home.

Even though the main roads are plowed, it’s still no picnic. The chains on the snowplows have dug little furrows in the compact ice and driving anywhere is a teeth rattling, car jarring experience. I’m not a religious person, but I prayed while driving today that my car would not simply come to a stop and fall into a total heap from all the shaking it’s had to endure!

Tonight they’re predicting 4 more inches of snow. Mother Nature, you’ve proved your point. Now can you please just leave us the fuck alone? I can’t believe it, but for the first time in my life the weather is completely stressing me out and I feel like I’m going to go completely mad!

Today was supposed to be a glorious day. Today was supposed to be the day the DirecTV guy would come over and hook up my HDTV, the plumber would come by to fix my bathroom sink, and the electrician would fix my kitchen light.

The plumber did come by and fix my sink. He even put on my new toilet seat (the ones that come with the toilet are cheap pieces of crap) for me. My new faucet looked great! The electrician also came by and fixed my kitchen light and nailed my screen door frame back on. That was also awesome.

But the DirecTV guy took one look at my place, got stumped by all the stone on the outside and pitched a fit about the ice all over the roof. He even played the “I’ve got 2 kids at home” card and refused to get on the roof to put up a new HD dish. And here’s where my heart is so black because I really DID want him to risk his life to get on my roof and install my satellite service TODAY. I didn’t give a rat’s ass about his family, I wanted my Paula Abdul cleavage in HD!

But since I can’t let the general public know just how awful I truly am, I didn’t press it, and now apparently I have to wait until winter is over before I can have TV at my place. I used to love Mother Nature and all her snow—until she decided to fuck with my enjoyment of watching boobs on TV! That’s crossing the line!

I thought I’d be able to relax while I was at work for the rest of the day, but I got hit with having to call people! I am not a phone person at all, and I especially hate calling people I don’t know personally and having to talk to them or ask them questions. And today, today I had to call EIGHT PEOPLE! EIGHT! I suffered mightily, just so you know.

And then there was the bad news about my fireplace. The electrician guy is also a handyman, and he knows about fireplaces, so he checked mine. Turns out my chimney is filthy and I can’t even think about making a fire until it gets cleaned!

And if you know me, you’ll know that I didn’t receive any of this bad news with any sort of aplomb or grace. I believe I called Ryan and cried noisily about not getting DirecTV and having to live in a godforsaken place with an icy roof and stone walls instead of with him in a nice suburban home. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon emailing a few “snotty and depreciative” missives at him** because my brain still functions like I’m 8 years old. Which was also why it became obvious to me that Ryan hates me, Mother Nature hates me, DirecTV hates me, and my own apartment hates me, and I probably need a time-out!

*From Nobody Likes Me (Guess I’ll Go Eat Worms).

**I eventually calmed down enough to quit, though.

I have to be at work today because we’re having our annual all staff meeting to discuss our goals and policies for 2008*. After dealing with an all day meeting, I’m going feel a lot like copying this kitty:

*Nothing makes me want to stick my finger down my throat more than discussing GOALS and POLICY. Ugh!

Tonight I spend my first entire night in my new place. After I finish watching America’s Funniest Home Videos (My TV isn’t set up at my new place yet—and don’t you dare say a word to me about my choice of shows. I LOVE this show!), I will pack up Copper and Jojo and head to my new ‘home’.

I’ve dreaded this part because I hate that I’m splitting up the cats. But I figure since Ryan’s had The Rat even longer than he’s known me, that it makes sense to leave The Rat with him. Copper and Jojo were cats that I wanted to get, so they’re coming with me. In fact, The Rat is Daddy’s little princess and frankly I think she will be happy to be the only cat in the house again. She never really took to Jojo or Copper and merely tolerated them while grumping about in the cat tree or under the dining room table.

Copper will be fine, because she’s just a generally happy cat and kind of stupid to boot (But she sure is cute!). I am worried about Jojo because she has a special bond with her Daddy that I can’t replicate.