Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Have the Swan Flu

Sometimes I feel that I have no tact. Not in regards to relating directly to people.... but subtly. In ways that could most definitely be classified as politically INcorrect. I'm good at that one. Political correctness is boring and safe. Who wants boring and safe? Certainly not me.

My officemate and I have a dreadful habit of being "hypochondriacs." Not real ones, mind you. Hence, the quotation marks. Even the slightest cough in our office brings gasps of, "OH NO!!! You have the consumption!!!" This is unfailingly followed by hysterical laughter from both sides of the room. One time, I found these odd ridges on my fingernails. Naturally, my curious nature got the better of me (as it always does). A few Google searches brought us to the terrible truth... I had syphilis. It was either that or diabetes, but heck, I thought that having the syph sounded way more horrific. Now, mind you, it would basically be impossible for me to the syph. Like, actually. But still, the determination had been made. It simply must be true.

So, along with random outbreaks of Ebola, Mad Cow Disease, West Nile Virus, and perhaps the Avian Flu once or twice, we have recently had some, well... fun, for lack of a better word, with the swine flu. First off, it just sounds funny. Having newscasters seriously discuss the swine flu is prime for some giggling from certain tactless people, such as myself. I mean, seriously, who even calls pigs "swine" nowadays? Maybe some rustic farmers in West Virginia, but not the general population.

This week, every sneeze, cough, or sniffle has been followed by teasingly panicked comments about coming down with the swine flu. I was nearly kicked out of the office once or twice by my beloved officemate for what was simply allergy symptoms. Somewhere along the lines of all the goofing off, the new recent mutations of flu were aptly renamed. Actually, they were renamed twice. The media should be alerted to no longer refer to the impending pandemic as the "swine flu", but the "swan flu" or the "pot belly pig flu." Really, that just sounds so much better! "Yes, I have the swan flu." Could you imagine tuning into the news and hearing "There are additional reported outbreaks of the pot belly pig flu in Florida and Colorado." How could you not giggle?

For those of you that I may have mortally offended with such an insensitive post, I am not making light of the fact that this flu has caused a large number of deaths in Mexico and is rapidly spreading through our own country. It is just an attempt to keep life interesting and not get caught up in the panic that the media is doing its best to spread. I swear that the greatest pandemic the world will ever have is the the media spreading fear. They do it so well and it is unstoppable.

Maybe they could come up for a vaccine for that...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

And so it goes...

Its been one of those weeks. You know, thooooose weeks. In my last post, I lamented about the struggles of the single life, along with the anxiety that goes along with unintentionally purchasing Satan's retired car. He was smart to trade that sucker in. I was a sucker enough to buy it after he had had his way with it. After getting home on Friday evening, I was pretty certain that things had to look up the following day. I mean, if for no other reason than the fact that it was Saturday. .......Right?

After safely arriving at the garage post getting pulled over on the way, I was sure to mark very specifically on the little night owl envelope containing my key that was dropped through the mail slot that I simply must have my car returned to me as early in the day as possible. I woke up Saturday morning with a slump in my heart and sped out the door as swiftly as could be, just to get out. I entertained myself a good chunk of the morning with a book and an iced coffee. Then the walk back home. Then an entire movie. It was now 3PM. And Bethany was not happy. I rather irritatingly phoned Midas to find out what the hold up was. And would you know... "oh, its done. We just hadn't had the chance to call you yet." Awesome. Thanks for that.

20 minutes later found me in the lobby of Midas, signing my soul away on the dotted line of the credit card receipt. My spirits were still pretty low and the price tag of the fixes certainly didn't help. I moseyed out to the Crapwagon, put the key in the ignition, turned it... Yes, the car did start just fine. What was not fine, however, was the indicator light on my dash that said the door was open. Which, by the way, it was not. So, out I went to close all the doors just in case. Key in ignition, turn.... Same thing. "You have GOT to be freaking KIDDING me," I thought to myself. Or perhaps I said it out loud. Who knows. Anyhoo, back out of the car, furiously slammed all the doors again. Back in the car. Key in the ignition, turn.... "Seriously?!?! No... SERIOUSLY?!?!" I'm sure that there were some other choice words in there as well, as I got back out of the car (again), did the "I'm going to kill someone" dance, yelled to my friend Juli (who had very graciously helped tote me back and forth the garage several times that week), and stormed (yes, stormed) back into Midas.

Apparently the tech has noticed the light and they just "forgot" to tell me about it. What? Like I wouldn't notice? Seriously. "Well, you'll just have to bring it back in again next week." Something tells me that if looks could kill, the poor man would have dropped over dead instantaneously. Bless his heart.

After storming back out to the car, Juli and I headed in the direction of the Promenade Shops. I called my mother to vent my frustrations while driving along, minding my own business. Suddenly... "No," I thought to myself. "It couldn't be. It just couldn't be!!" Flashing red and blue lights. Again. "Sweet Jesus, save me!!" I'm pretty sure I said that one out loud.

I love when cops ask if you know why they pulled you over. I mean, c'mon. Really? Naturally, I said "no", just in case it wasn't for my car registration, even though I was pretty sure it was. Ah, yes. My registration had been expired for 2 weeks, and not a single cop had paid any attention to it. Now, twice in less than 18 hours. Naturally, I didn't have the card that the nice officer had given me a mere 16 hours prior, but thankfully, this Mr. Policeman decided to trust me on the fact that I was taking care of the situation. Granted, it might have had something to do with the glistening tear tracks that I'm sure he could see on my face. It was not a pretty sight.

So, the past week has been filled with lessons on patience, thankfulness, and self-control in not physically harming people. My car has been back in the shop since Monday night, and I found out this afternoon that it will not be ready until tomorrow. Apparently, the part didn't come. Yeah, okay. Or maybe you forgot to order it and just don't want to admit negligence. Whatever. I do have to be thankful for kind friends who have close jobs and therefore available cars for me to use. Otherwise, this all would be so much worse.

My advice to you all: be wary of cops. Make sure that your current address is updated with PennDOT, not just on your license, but your registration as well. Always remember that Volkswagons equal the Devil (check in the thesaurus. Its listed right there as a synonym.)

And also, God bless us. Every one.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Life Has a Way of Figuring

You know those days? You know... those days. Actually, most of my day today was quite good. I didn't feel like death when my alarm went off this morning, which is a rare occurrence. The day warmed up quite nicely as it went along, I actually got to do some creative designing at work, which is a tremendous rarity. I was in a good mood, listened to classic 60's R&B music for most of the day. Talked about food extensively, which is medicine for the soul for me. Especially when it involves fresh salsa, as it did today. I came home, made said salsa (which was delightful), caught up on what my mother refers to as my "soaps" (okay, so Grey's Anatomy does nearly fall into that category), then headed out to my favorite coffee shops with one of my favorite friends and one of my favorite godsons. It was a good day!

Was. Now, I feel that I need to preemptively say that the following events do not really constitute an awful evening and I fully recognize that. I've just had one of those weeks. You know... those weeks. I am not prone to feelings of loneliness. I spend copious amounts of time alone, and have for the better part of the last 5 or so years. I am very much used to being by myself and embrace that time that I get to spend in solitude. However, lately, I have been succumbing to periods loneliness and mild depression from just being alone so much. Its really not bad, and I push through it just fine. This week has been a little tougher though. There is no real reason why. I have just been.... alone. As usual.

I knew during my afternoon at work today that I was going to have to find something to occupy myself with this evening. I was wired (which isn't very common), actually had energy for once, and was freaking sick and tired of spending my evenings alone. Now, it would not seem such a feat to find a friend to spend the evening with. However, when 99.9% of your friends are married, it can cause a serious damper to your social life. My normal hangout buddy, one of the 0.01% that is not married, was busy. This left me in quite a predicament. I tried to get a hold of a few other people, who, naturally, actually had plans. Apparently, people who have real lives do have plans on a Friday night. Thankfully, my friend Rachel initiated a coffee date with us and her son. This took up a few hours. Awesome.

So, now what? By 9:30, I was back home on my couch. Feeling pretty sorry for myself, truth be told. At about 11:30, I was off to drop my car off at the garage (this is a topic for another blog. I don't even want to talk about that right now). By this point, I had already settled into a pathetic mood. After turning at a green stoplight, I see something that every driver dreads: flashing blue and red lights. Oh, how my night just got better! Part of my trip to the garage was to get a headlight fixed, which should have been replaced when my car was in the shop yesterday. For some reason completely unbeknown to me, this had not been done. Let me tell you, I was loving life. When the officer came to my window, I asked what the problem was, even though I was pretty certain I knew. After telling me about my headlight (which I quickly interjected that I was literally on my way to drop my car off), I discovered that the US Postal Service had not done its due diligence in delivering my car registration renewal. Awesome. "It so freaking figures," I thought to myself. I already had a headache with the repairs on my car, I was still in the middle of throwing a pity party for myself that I have no life, and now I could practically feel the citation with a triple figure price tag attached. Perfect.

I think that the officer felt bad for me. Which is obviously unusual for a cop. However, I am grateful for his consideration. Maybe he could see my party hat on and decided to have mercy. I don't know. However, I'll take the faulty equipment notice with a warning that I need to take care of the headlight (insert reiteration of taking it to the garage now here) and also must get my registration current within 5 days, at which time I must go to a Bethlehem PD office and get it all checked out. Or else I will get that triple digit citation.

I have yet again discovered the healing powers of stress eating and drinking. My day has not been awful, granted. But I'd sure as heck like to to be over. In the meantime, I'll continue to shove my face in this bag of veggie chips in an attempt to stay away from the ice cream.

I may not be able to hold out much longer.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Controversy and Conflict and Enigmas

I find myself in a conundrum of conflicted feelings tonight. I tend to find myself inexplicably drawn towards controversy. This I find a somewhat odd aspect of my person, considering that I run from conflict. By run, I mean flee in the opposite direction as if someone has lit my underpants ablaze. Perhaps this seeming disconnection of self in regards to a love of controversy against a hatred of conflict has to do with one being a battle of intellect and the other a clash of a physical nature. Controversy involves ideas, ideals, virtues, blacks and whites and greys. Controversy includes varied thoughts between opposing parties that begs the question of right and wrong. It is oft an issue of morality. Conflict, on quite the other hand, is an extroverted expression. It involves arguing, fighting, more physical manifestations of adversarial feelings. As a course of nature, controversy and conflict do meet and cross paths. Some might even argue that there is actually no true separation between the two.

But, in typical Bethany fashion, I do separate the two out in my mind. Conflict, bad. Controversy, good. I do enjoy the mental and moral workout that controversy provides. I believe that ones values only become true after they are tried and tested. I am the type that encourages questioning one's faith, values, beliefs and only after that do they truly become one's own. Controversy is like a playground for moral exercise, forcing you to go up and down and around and through your values to find out what the truth is, to discover what one's backing is and if perhaps one needs to reevaluate.

I watched a film tonight, one that has highly controversial content. I nearly feel bad for enjoying it, but it was excellently created and filmed, and I am so much about the art of movies that I have the capacity to overlook things that perhaps I should not. The film had an underlying theme of humanitarian murder, which is perhaps one of the most oxymoronic phrases ever devised. Murder is not humanitarian. Ever. Period. And yet, the controversy behind the theme moved me. Yes, the actions were wrong on the deepest level, and yet... There is this other level that my humanness can relate to and understand, even if that part of me that can comprehend it belongs in the deepest part of hell. The fact that I can associate with what the character's intent was, and I believe most of you reading this would be able to as well, does not change the fact that the point of controversy is still wrong. If I know that beyond question, I do find it interesting that I still connect with it. Knowing something is remarkably wrong on moral grounds, and yet still relate....

It is an enigma, is it not?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pleasures and Nail Polish

There are few simple pleasures in life that can really bring true joy. Brownies, ice cream, and pickles are on my list of things-that-can-make-me-smile-even-when-I'm-really-crabby-and-stressed-out. Like today. I was very crabby and stressed out. I blame this partially on my job and partially on my back ache. I get very cranky when my back hurts. It must make my blood pressure go up or something, because it simply is not a pretty sight. In case you were wondering, yes, I did eat several brownies today. I'm so glad that I was successfully able to ruin my diet due to lower back pain.

I have another simple pleasure in life that is really rather odd: nail polish. I love nail polish. Alot. I'm not altogether sure why, since I've been a compulsive nail biter for most of my 26 years. I have come to the conclusion, however, that wearing nail polish is somewhat of a cure for my preoccupation. I tend to stay away from my nails when they are painted pretty colors. I do not know why. It doesn't really make sense. But, heck, I'll roll with it.

I had managed to stop chomping on my fingers last spring and had actual long nails for the first time.... ever. It was lovely! I started buying nail polish like I buy accessories (I do love accessories). Forget checking out the earrings when I went shopping. Nail polish was the drug of choice. Then, one very, very sad day, I had a few nails break within a few hours of each other. And also got very stressed out. Possibly due to lower back pain. Anywhoo, low and behold, my fingernails met their fateful end. They have yet to make their triumphant return, although I cannot blame that on anything but habit and stress, as I have not had continuous back pain for the last 6 months.

Last week, I concluded that it was time to put my big girl panties on once again and buckle down on my daily chomp fests. There was only one obvious way to accomplish this tremendous feat: purchase some new nail polish.

So, off I went. I'm not necessarily a bright color person. I tend to go for the dark, brooding colors. Because I'm the dark, brooding type, naturally. However, in celebration of spring time, warm weather (minus the snow showers today), and the hope that comes with newly budding flowers and trees, I decided upon a lovely coral colored polish that brings warmth and joy to my heart with every glance. *Sigh*

Silly, I know. But those simple pleasures are what gets us through life, so I'll take it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mismatching Chromosomes and Brain Damage

Men. The end. Do I really need to say more? Anyone reading this who has matching chromosomes understands the connotation behind that single word completely. It means a host of things, most of which involve frustration and irritation. You men can occasionally be cute and cuddly, and serve functional purposes like taking out the trash and supplying us with the sperm needed for procreation. Ergo, we decide to keep you around.

Today I encountered one of my least favorite things: being sexually harassed by a disgusting XY-er passing by in a muscle truck that is supposed to compensate for what he's lacking in manliness. Mr. Smalls sped up on the highway, rode my tail until the first instant that he could safely pass me without taking off my bumper, and then whipped around, slowing for a moment so he could yell something through the glass (which I can safely assume was obscene) and then finished the tirade with a smooch to the window pane and then raced off. My blood came to an instantaneous boiling point, but I managed to resist the urge to flip him off. Well, at least until he couldn't see me anymore.

I've heard rumor that there is a scientific reason that men can sometimes seemingly lack in cerebral functioning. Although I (sadly) cannot back this up with research or proof, I've been told by reliable sources that men are *drum roll* ...... brain damaged. Yes! Ladies, all those times that you pondered to yourself whether or not the tripod in front of you has any brain waves going on is backed by at least a hope of an explanation! It may not actually be their fault. Seriously, brain damage would explain alot. Including why men think that its even remotely okay to make unrequested advances, even if its at 65 miles per hour. From my understanding, there is some kind of a disconnect between the two sides of the brain that occurs in utero that is quite literally a form of brain damage. It makes total sense!

To me, being checked out, given the sexy eyes, or even being kissed at from another vehicle is highly degrading. Being made to feel like a piece of meat is far from my idea of a good time and does not in any way, shape or form make me feel sexy or desired. It makes me feel dirty. Like, give me a shower. Now. *Shudder* It is a simple matter of respect and any mother who does not teach her sons how to treat a women should be sent to compulsory parenting class. Its common sense. Any man that does not listen to his mother in regards to this should be taken outside, beaten with a switch, and forced in to the stocks for 9 days with only being fed scorpions and warm tomato juice for the duration.

I feel very strongly about this subject. Probably because I'm very tired of feeling like a piece of arse for the better part of the last 10 years. Guys who are reading this: if you do not treat women respectfully with your manners, eyes and thoughts, you better run. Or I'm coming after you and will drag you to your mother by the ear for a lecture on how Jesus wants us to treat each other. And then I'll do the beating and putting you in the stocks myself.