Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer TV, Part 2

So! Yesterday I was talking about my TV viewing guilty pleasure, America's Next Great Baker or whatever the name of it is.  And then, last night, I settled in with two hours of my OTHER TV viewing guilty pleasure, Intervention.

Do you guys ever watch Intervention?  It's the one on A&E where they film a drug addict under the guise of making a documentary about drug addiction.  So the FIRST part of the show is all, drug addict spiraling out of control, which is quite frankly FASCINATING.

And they interview family members about the drug addict, and they interview the drug addict himself, and of course, according to the drug addict, it is always, ALWAYS someone else's fault.

"Dad was never around."  "Mom was too busy to care about me." "My uncle abused me when I was a child."


Ahem.  Sorry.  I tend to get a little carried away watching this show.

ANYway, next comes the intervention, which is always messy and awful, and then the drug addict gets shuttled off to rehab.  Like, RIGHT THEN.  Do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars, do not get high one more time, BAM!  You're on a plane.  To rehab.

And then they interview the drug addict WHILE he's in rehab, and he's always, "Yeah, I'm doing so much better now ... I'm nothing like the person I was ... I'm in control of my life now ..." blahblahblah, except this part is always amazing because they always look SO MUCH BETTER once they've got several weeks of rehab under their belts.  They look healthy, and happy.

And then ... and then comes the last minute of the show, where the screen goes to black, and a message appears that is something like this:  "Three months after completing rehab, Jamie relapsed on meth.  He left his parents' house and his whereabouts are currently unknown."

And even though you KNOW it is coming, that part always hits you like a punch in the gut.  I mean, you watched this guy (or woman) when he was a useless, manipulative drug addict.  And then you watched him in rehab, where he miraculously metamorphosed into a caring, clean human being.  And then ... you find out that he threw it all away.

It sounds depressing, and oh yeah, it is, but every once in a while?  The end of the show comes, and the screen goes to black, and a message appears that goes something like this:  "Sue completed rehab and is now working full-time.  She has been clean since November 2011."

And that?  Is why I keep watching Intervention.  Every once in a while, there's a happy ending.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ah, summer TV

Last night I watched The Great American Bake-Off or whatever the hell it's called.  I kind of got hooked on it back when I was cuckoo-ill, and now I find myself watching every week.

I think the reason I like it is because unlike so many of the reality shows, there's no YELLING on this one.  Oh, sure, there's some tears, and I felt really, really bad for Effie when she got kicked off last night, but nobody's screaming at each other.

Well, yet, anyway.

Oh!  And the other thing I like is that there's some pretty spectacular baking failures in there.  Some of the chefs display a really amazing refusal to follow printed directions, and other just f*ck up, like when poor Effie forgot the SUGAR in her souffle last night.  Oh, Effie, honey, I feel for you.  Lots of stuff comes out of the ovens undercooked, or overcooked.  And the men, especially, struggle with what the judges call "presentation", meaning, I think, that it's supposed to look good before you dig in.  And the judges dig right in, too!   It's pretty funny watching them try to give their critiques when they've got big ol' mouthfuls of cake.

So!  That's my guilty viewing pleasure this summer.  What's yours?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I fought the law

So!  I am currently arguing with my health insurance provider over who is going to pay for my recent urgent care visit.  The whole thing is just so ridiculous:  The insurance company says that according to their billing department, the urgent care place is a "non-participating provider".  Which is interesting, because the SAME GROUP who runs the urgent care facility I visited also employs my primary care physician, and also runs other urgent care facilities which *are* participating providers.  The SAME DOCTORS staff both "participating" and "non-participating" facilities, and I call bullsh*t.

GOD, this kind of crap makes my blood boil. 

Maaaan, I should have been a lawyer, because once I get ahold of something like this, I'm like a dog with a damn bone.  I will argue this mo-fo all day long.  I've taken claims that I should have lost and won them, just because the other side got so damn tired of fighting with me.

Will I win this one?  I do not know.  But you bet your butt I'm gonna try.

Monday, June 24, 2013


I've got a shed in my backyard.  It's just your standard shed, composed of some kind of metal, I'm guessing aluminum.  It's fairly good-sized, maybe 10 x 10, and it's my understanding that during the flood of 2006, it relocated itself to the back of my neighbor's yard and had to be hauled back into its current position.  A travelin' shed.

I put a trellis up against one side of it and put in some honeysuckle and trumpet vine, but the trumpet vine has produced a grand total of one bloom in the past four years, and the honeysuckle ain't doing a lot better.  I thought about putting some ferns in along that side of the shed, but after observing the space for the past couple of weekends, I think it gets too much sun for ferns to thrive.

So I went down to the creek last weekend to see what I could find.  I found some daisies about to be taken over by the murderous knotweed, so I liberated them from their position of doom.  I went to the garden center and picked up a lily for 20% off.  I have a sneaking suspicion that the ID tag stuck in the lily's pot may not belong to that particular plant, so what color it will be when it blooms is anybody's guess.  A surprise!

Remember Our Lady of the Really Big Dress?  She'd been leaning up against that shed for quite some time, so she and her larva baby got the place of honor.  Then I went back to the creek for some flat stones to keep weeding to a minimum, and voila!

Shed chic.  It's my specialty.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Add "fox"

... to the list of wildlife I've seen in my backyard.

Of course, there's always the deer.  I discovered today that sometime last night, the deer had come through and  buzz-sawed the garden phlox.  The phlox that is approximately two feet away from my house.

And let's see, there's turkeys, and pheasants, and of course the raccoons.  And hawks.  And rabbits.  And woodchucks.

And then, tonight, I was looking out the kitchen window when I saw a fox crossing the yard.  He popped out of the brushline, and the lowering sun illuminated his red-gold fur, spotlit his bottle-brush tail, and turned his ears translucent as he swiveled his head around, observing, before he headed back into the brush.

Ain't life grand?

These people are flat out of their minds

I read a lot of blogs.  Fashion blogs, political blogs, lifestyle blogs, blogs that mock other blogs - I read a lot of them. 

And it always knocks me out when a blog can putt-putt along, day after day, then suddenly take a sharp right turn into crazy land.

Witness this recent post on Life in a Shoe:

Giants in the land

I ... I can't. I just cannot deal with this level of crazy.  These kinds of posts at first make me laugh out loud, and then, as I read the comments and find more and more people who agree with the insanity ... it worries me.  It's like finding out there's a whole subgroup of people out there who actually believe in the Easter Bunny.

Now, I live not far from the scene of the Cardiff Giant hoax, so this stuff is not new to me.  But ... but ... people actually believe this shit?  Holy cow.  That's all I can say.  Holy.  Freaking.  Cow.

And the best part?  (Or the worst, depending on your point of view?) - The woman who wrote this is a homeschooler.  Oh yeah.  *sob*

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Small wet bottom shoo-fly pie" ...

... read the label on the dessert I picked up at the grocery store today.

I ran up to the store on my lunch break to pick up some more Kefir, which, I KNOW, gag gag *spit* *spit* *spit*, but I have discovered that the flavored varieties are actually marginally drinkable, as opposed to the vile plain sh*t, and in my efforts to keep the "Summer of C-diff" from turning into the "Summer of Hospitalization", I am pulling out all the stops.

So!  Anyway!  I head into the store, and there's a display of desserts right up front, because OF COURSE, and a sign saying "shoo-fly pie."

Now, thanks to the mighty mighty Vanco, I am, at least temporarily, able to eat.  Which is leading me to eat all the food ever in the world, because who knows how long this is gonna last?  And while I'd heard of shoo-fly pie, I don't believe I'd ever actually eaten any, so I bought a little mini shoo-fly pie.

Ingredients list?  Flour, sugar, water, molasses, pure vegetable shortening, leavening.

Well, it didn't SOUND particularly appetizing, but what the hell. 

The taste?  It mostly tastes of pie crust.  Light, crumbly, sweet pie crust.  And on the bottom is a darker layer, which I am assuming is the molasses, except it really doesn't taste like molasses.  Much.

I dunno.  The whole thing is kind of a big meh.  Except this is not exactly a gourmet grocery store or anything, so maybe there are versions of shoo-fly pie that are fanTAStic, and this store just messed it up.

So?  What are your experiences with shoo-fly pie?  Good?  Bad?  Indifferent?

Enquiring minds want to know.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

C-diff update!

... because I know you're all waiting with bated breath to hear the latest on my gastrointestinal distress.  Ha.

Bottom line?  After suffering through two loooooong weeks of Flagyl side effects, it didn't work.  The Flagyl did not vanquish the dastardly C-diff.

So!  It was on to Vancomycin.  I knew, from my half-assed research, that Vanco was going to cost me.  A lot.  I started calling around to pharmacies.  A lot of them don't even carry Vanco, because evidently it is a speshul prechus drug.  The ones that DID carry it?  Wanted money.  A lot of it.  In the twelve-hundred dollar range.

Finally, in desperation, I called the pharmacy affiliated with my doctor's practice.  They are ALWAYS the highest price pharmacy around, but what the hey, right?  Give 'em a call. Their cost?  Seventeen-fifty.  "Seventeen ... hundred ... dollars...?" I stammered.  "Oh no, no!," the girl laughed.  "Sorry about that!  It's seventeen dollars and fifty cents!"

This had to be a mistake.  It HAD to be a mistake.  Had someone misplaced a decimal point?  Needless to say, I went screaming over there and handed them a credit cart before someone figured out the screwup.

Once the transaction had processed, I had to ask.  "So ... tell me," I said.  "How is it that this pharmacy is charging a HUNDREDTH of what other pharmacies are getting for the same drug?  How is that possible?"

"Well," the girl said.  "It's complicated.  But basically, because the network that runs this pharmacy also runs a local hospital, we're able to get a lower price.  We had to go through quite a bit of paperwork, and we're enrolled in a special program, and some of the drug pricing formularies are proprietary so I can't really explain it to you, but ... yeah.  This would cost you at least a thousand bucks anyplace else."

Jeezus please us.

So!  Ten days of Vanco.  Every six hours.  C-diff,  I will climb down in there and yank you out MYSELF if it comes to that, so you might as well surrender to the mighty Vancomycin.  Meet your new overlord, you son of a b*tch.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Recently Read

yeah yeah yeah, skip it if you wanna.

1.  Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon by Debbie Fuller Thomas - Novel about babies switched at birth.  A quick read, although I was a good way through it before I realized it was Christian fiction.  Still, an entertaining book.

2.  The Turn of the Screw by Henry James - Histrionic governess sees dead people.  Or maybe not.  F*ck if I know.  I got tired of all the hysteria and gave up about halfway through.

3.  Movie review time!  Searching for Sugarman is a doc about a couple of guys looking  for a Detroit musician who was once huge in South Africa, but then fell off the face of the earth.  Interesting.

4.  Happens Every  Day by Isabel Gillies - Memoir of a divorce.  Seen one, seen 'em all.

5.  Waiting for the Apocalypse  by Veronica Chater - Memoir of a woman raised in a hard-core Catholic family.  Interesting.  I remember that she did a segment on This American Life years ago about climbing a tree after her pet bird and the catastrophic injuries she suffered when she fell out of said tree.  Anyway, the book was good.

6.  Tara Road by Maeve Binchy.  What can I say?  It's Maeve Binchy, bitch!  I love her books.

7.  Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts - Murder-mystery.  Meh.

8.  Methland by Nick Reding - History of meth, focusing on one small Iowa town.  Very informative (I had no ideas that all sides in WWII were feeding their soldiers crank to keep them going) and interesting.

How about you?  Read anything good lately?

Friday, June 14, 2013


Last weekend, I was listening to Prairie Home Companion (which should give you an idea of just how sick I've been), when I heard Colin Hay doing an old Men at Work song, Overkill.

I remember when the song first came out (THIRTY YEARS AGO OMFG), and how catchy it was, but I don't ever really remember paying a whole lot of attention to it, until last weekend.

Here it is (not the actual Prairie Home version, sadly, I could not find that, but a very similar version):

Maybe it's just speaking to my state of mind right now ("Holy sh*t, maybe my mother really IS going to outlive me!"), but that is one fine song and one fine artist.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

It's sour milk, is what it is

So!  In my ongoing battle to beat back c-diff, I started taking probiotics.  "Probiotics" is one of those annoying f*cking healthy-living Jamie Lee Curtis words to me, but hell, any port in a storm.

I bought some probiotic pills ("Culturelle" is the brand name, which sounds like some kind of douche or something), back when I first started the Flagyl.  And then a friend recommended something called Kefir.

"What the hell is Kefir?," I asked, which is why I have so many friends.

"It's like ... liquid yogurt!," she said.  "Like a smoothie!  And it's got ninety billion active cultures per serving!  You should try it!"

Because I evidently cannot see a practical joke when it's staring me right in the damn face, I bought some Kefir.  Shook it up, poured a big ol' glass, took a slug, and


Holy Mary Mother of CHRIST, I'm sick as a damn dog, my stomach is rolling, and my friends are telling me to drink SOUR MILK.

well, they *were* my friends. Ha.

And plus, every time I see the word "Kefir", all I can think of is "Kieffer", Janelle's old boyfriend on Teen Mom, and how Janelle's mom was always whining to Janelle about "Keeeeeeeeeefer, your no-good booooooyfriend" (she was totally right).

But hell, at least that makes me laugh. Unlike spending three-forty-nine on thirty-two ounces of spoiled milk.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Salt Springs

On Sunday, I dragged my sorry carcass to Salt Springs.  I knew I'd feel better once I got there.

No matter what's going on with the rest of the world, it's always beautiful there.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Chronic

Okay, guys, I've been sitting on this post for a day or so now, not sure how to hit "publish" without coming across as some kind of jerk, but here we go. 

So!  I am currently nearing the home stretch of my fourteen-day, three-mega-pills-a-day antibiotic regimen.  I'm now on Week Three (or maybe it's Week Four?) of  the Summer of C-diff.  I've been sicker, most memorably as a young girl, but I don't know as I've ever been this sick for this long before.

(Insert standard First World Disclaimer here:  Could be worse, could be in sub-Saharan Africa, could be dying of dysentery, etc.)

I do have some experience with chronic pain - I have a mucked-up jaw that periodically goes berserker - So I know what it feels like to have pain grind on, and on, and on, week after week, until you get to a point where

you stop railing against the machine.  Yeah, you continue to pursue cures, and painkillers, and the elusive "treatment that may actually work", but after a while?

You've got a New Normal.  You don't really believe that you'll ever feel any better, because you can't really remember not feeling sick.  And you learn to work within the new parameters, because the alternative - exhausting yourself bemoaning your situation - becomes too tiresome to deal with after a while.

And I don't really know how to say any of this without inviting a "You haven't BEEN sick until you've been sick with *insert name of terrible disease here*" backlash, and frankly, it would be deserved.  Because I HAVEN'T had cancer or MS or any of the nine million other nasty diseases that would make me sicker than I am right now.

All I know is my reality, and my New Normal.  And right now, the New Normal includes the fact that it is summer outside, and I have got to drag myself out of my pity party and get moving.  Whether or not I "feel like it".  Yesterday I got some peonies and lilies planted, and went to Salt Springs to mosey around for a while.  Doing laundry, however, seemed to be beyond my limited capacity.  Go figure.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

When one door closes, another one opens

The last of the Spectacular Six, Bianca and Smoky, were adopted today.

They were adopted together, which makes my heart happy.  They will have their entire lives to be each other's best friends.

With their adoption ends my involvement with the rescue for which I have spent the last few months volunteering.  Come fall, or possibly before, I'll be with a new group, with new kittens to show off here and new tales of crazy cat people.

And of course in the meantime, there will be other stories to tell. 

Goodbye kitties, I'm gonna miss you.  Have fun!

Friday, June 07, 2013

Three donuts for a dollar?!

I was on my way to work this morning when I realized that donuts had FINALLY come up in the rotation of "Things that might taste good to me".

I mean, in normal times, donuts would ALWAYS taste good to me, but with illness comes compromise, and with this particular illness comes a struggle to find something that I can eat without tasting one bite and having my taste buds flat-out rebel.  Scrambled eggs have been a front-runner for quite a while now.

But it turns on a dime; the other evening, I decided that nothing but a tuna sandwich would do for dinner.  I was too tired to actually MAKE some tuna salad (oh, the WOE), so I ran down to the sub shop and picked up a tuna sub.  By the time I got it back home and unwrapped it, a span of about ten minutes, I realized that I could no more eat that tuna sub than I could fly to the moon.  Tuna?  TUNA?  *gag*

Yeah, I've been spending a lot on groceries lately.

But!  Back to the story!  (YAAAAAY!)

Donuts sounded good this morning.  So I stopped at the grocery store, grabbed a chocolate-frosted Boston Creme, and went up to the register.

"That'll be thirty-four cents!," the cashier chirped.  "It's National Donut Day!  All donuts are half-off today! You can buy three donuts for a dollar, or a dozen for four dollars!"

And I swear to God I felt like Homer Simpson, standing there.  HAAAALLLLFFFF OFFFFFF DOONNNNNUUUTTTSSSSS!  What to do?  Go back and grab a dozen?  TWO DOZEN?  Are donuts freezable?  Donnnnuuuuuuttttttttsssssssss ...

In the end, I paid for my Boston Creme and left.  Because after all, by the time I actually have a chance to eat it, scrambled eggs will have probably come round again in the "things that might taste good to me" rotation.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Oh, for ...

I was watching The Voice the other night (yes, the sh*t TV streak is continuing), and that brother act was singing "Wagon Wheel", which was introduced as "a Darius Rucker song".


I'm pretty sure that Ketch Secor (the lead singer of Old Crow Medicine Show) and Bob f*cking Dylan, who are the ACTUAL co-authors of Wagon Wheel, would be either bemused or enraged, either response would be totally appropriate, to learn that Wagon Wheel is now a "Darius Rucker song".

Jeezus CHRIST.

It's like when they say that "I Will Always Love You" is "a Whitney Houston song".  NO.  NO IT IS NOT.  It is a Dolly motherf*cking PARTON song.

It doesn't matter who SINGS it, people. It's who WRITES it that counts.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Random notes from while I've been away

Overhead in Walmart:  "Kayak?  KAYAK?!  I've got FIVE KIDS! What would I do with a KAYAK?!"  I couldn't help bursting out laughing.  Thankfully, the woman who made the comment did as well - for a minute there, I thought she might punch me.

I was in Walmart to buy flowers.  When ill, flowers are always in order.  I got some petunias, a white peony, and a gorgeous red lily.  Now I've just gotta get them in the ground. 

Every time I call my doctor's office, my "Primary Care Physician" has been called away on a "family emergency".  Puh-lease. The only way that dude could have more "family emergencies" would be if his last name was Kardashian.

Little League season in the park next door is almost over.  Thank God.  If that baseball mom in the gigantic red SUV parked in my front yard one more time, I was gonna punch her. Or key her monsta-mobile.  Either one.

It's funny how an illness will suck the strength right outta ya.  I mean, my intestines are a mess, but the rest of me is theoretically fine, so why am I so weak?

Angelina Jolie going public with her double mastectomy?  Awesome.  Michael Douglas going public with "Cunnilingus gave me throat cancer"?  Doesn't have the same zing, somehow. 

Because I have NO IDEA where I picked up the c-diff, now EVERYPLACE is subject.  I was thinking about stopping at the store and picking up a donut this morning, then I was all, like, "What if the dude piping the filling into the donuts has c-diff?"  Fresh fruit is pretty much out of the question.  Who KNOWS how many people touched that fruit before I bought it?  *shudder*  And I'm pretty sure I'll use a public restroom again ... never.  I will walk outside of a store and pee in the got-dam parking lot before I ever, ever use a public restroom again.

I'm still struggling with the fact that I watched an entire episode of "America's Next Top Baker" (or whatever the hell it's called) last night, followed by a chaser of "Long Island Princesses".  I ... have no explanation.  I think the c-diff has gone to my brain.  I can think of no other earthly reason for why I would find Jeff Foxworthy not only tolerable but actually mildly entertaining. 

Sunday, June 02, 2013

I WAS sleeping peacefully this morning ...

... until a squirrel started squawking like Daffy-Duck-having-a-coronary outside my bedroom window.


That. cat.

So!  I am still alive.  After brief honeymoon period, the Flagyl started kicking my butt.  Evidently, it's gonna be one of those "the cure is as bad as the disease"  type things.


Tell me, what are you all doing this weekend?