Oh, the Unmitigated Gall!

My resolution for 2020 was (is) to let the ickiness of 2019 be but a distant memory.  Fade away in my rearview, ickiness!  #byefelicia.  However, there are aspects of ’19 that will crop up, but that’s the nature of grief.  I have lovely new tenants moving in next month.  In fact, their moving has helped me to cope with my best friend’s imminent moving from ME to TN.  However, this post is NOT about that; I will likely elaborate in a future write-up.  So, my attitude for the past 30 days has been much improved; as I indicated in yesterday’s blurb, I’m hopeful.  My line of thought has been OKay, this is still hard right now, but think about what you have to look ahead to.

Having an empty rental for two years was a severe blow squared.  Just think, to lose that income for 24 months!  Also, to fix the damages the previous tenants left and to perform the updates that needed to be done . . . Well, both have left the crippling burden of (lots of) debt in addition to the normal debts: education loan payments, vehicle payments, food, etc.  Although most of my bills are late, and I have accumulated oodles of debt, I am able to see the dob of light at the end of the tunnel.  The rental is now (SO) gorgeous and entirely new bottom to top, top to bottom, with lovely new occupants on their way!

This morning, I opened up a credit card statement that I was not going to bother with.  I knew that my last purchase was heating oil for both “sides” of my house (my home and the rental portion).  Have you ever heard that voice in your mind, that thought that doesn’t quite belong to you?  Well, I’ve heard that subtle and disjointed whisper many times, and the one time I didn’t listen, I learned to always, always, ALWAYS listen.  I opened the CC statement, and it was very obviously . . . compromised.  The balance far exceeded what I knew to be the true balance.

Here’s the thing though . . .  Deep down (OKay, so not deep down – it was really only a surface thought), I know that I have never been out to California, and I have not been to New York since 2018, but I kind of sort of questioned my whereabouts for a brief moment.  The charges are all food purchases, mainly bakeries, out of CA and NY.  My first instinct was to raise my arms to the skies and ask, “WHHHYYYYY MEEEEEEE!!!!!!!????” but I did not, nor will I because the answer is, “Why not?”  There are X number of people each day, from all walks of life, that fall victim to someone else’s asshattery.  The likelihood that it was going to be me, at some point, was / is . . .  “pretty good.”  <~~~ As a crime analyst, that is indeed my professional opinion.  I also refuse to ask, “What next!?”  I’ve asked that question before, and there’s always an answer.  For example, in (what I thought would be) finishing the rental, there was flooding in the basement, which was never an issue before.  “What next!?” was asked, and a giant oak tree fell on the house.  That’s another story . . .

Note to self / future topics

  • Callie moving
  • The tale of the fallen oak and the mighty birch
  • Dogs

But I digress . . .

So, my credit card number was stolen and used to the tune of well over $1,000 dollars.  I assume all of these food purchases were online orders because I have the physical card in my possession.  Well, the shredder has the card in its belly – just a little snickety snackity to warm it up for the day’s feeding.  I called my CC company, and they were surprisingly helpful.  I have checked all of my other statements, accounts, etc., which I will continue to monitor closely, and all is well.  This situation could have been far worse, and I acknowledge that.  Currently, it’s at level annoyance.  My initial instinct was to panic, and I did to some degree – my hands were shaking while I was on the phone sorting this mess out.  Ultimately, I don’t have to pay for the fraudulent charges, the account has been closed, and someone (or someones) have full and happy bellies . . . probably full of cupcakes . . .

But seriously!?  How can you even enjoy eating your In N Out Burger meal, your bakery delights, all while opening your Etsy purchases?  Whoever you may be, you’re kind of a dick, but I know it could have been far worse so thank you for not being worse . . . you’re just the right amount of asshole – your mama must be so very proud.

 

 

‘Twas I That Arted

I have alluded to but not provided much detail about my recent stint with driving the struggle bus.  Seriously, it’s been nearly a year of . . . “meh.”  Since November of 2018, I have just been unable to “get it together.”  I have written zero response letters to the pile of mail I have received from pen pals, I neglected Postcrossing until about a month ago, I have been completing only one or two swaps per month via swap-bot, I’ve traded a mere handful of patches, and I have run only 450 miles since January 1st.  I have so many projects that remain unfinished: the contents of a parcel I intended to mail in April remains unpackaged, a half completed quilt intended to be a house warming present is now for a home that is no longer new, so on and so forth.  Even my blog has been a victim of my neglect in that I have not written about my runs, for though my training has been subpar in comparison to past years, I have still been showing up to my races.  I think the only aspect of my life that has not suffered from my “meh” is my reading; my Goodreads goal for the year is 67 books, and I am currently at 54 read.  I have also been less “on top of” certain tasks at work as well, but I attribute (some of) that to a bit of head butting with a superior.  There was a period of time where I dreaded coming to work; I even interviewed for a position elsewhere, but I realized shortly into that meeting that the (new) position was not an ideal fit.

Over the past few weeks, I have started to feel better, more myself, and by “myself,” I mean more like the me of a year ago, before I got behind the wheel of the struggle bus and put the pedal to the metal.  I have even found some inspiration to create for the sake of creating.  The ATCs and postcards below are not for particular swaps and have no ulterior purpose; I just felt like . . . arting.  Approximately two weeks ago, I completed my fitness objective of earning my Fitbit goal daily for 30 days.  With two more races left this year, I have been longing to fall in love with running again.  This is not to imply that I no longer love the sport, but I have not been as dedicated to or excited by running as I once was . . . until I’m crossing the finish line.  Crossing a finish line inspires me to keep going, to keep trying until the next race, but then I do not maintain that desire . . . until the next finish line is fast(ish) approaching.  (I’m not fast).

A step in the right direction toward finding the (better version of) myself has been spending time in my craft room and workspace with no guidelines and no deadlines hanging over my head or stifling my creativity.  Below, for those of you who do not follow my Instagram account, are photos of some of the artist trading cards (ATCs) and postcards I have been making.

After my final runs of the 2019 “season,” I will compile the photos and thoughts I have been collecting and share them in one post.  September 28th is the Dempsey Challenge 10K and October 6th is the Maine (half) Marathon.  Anyone who wants to follow my progress during the latter race, as I traverse the 13-mile course, there’s an app for that!  Let me know of your interest, and I will provide you with the app name and my bib number.

In summary should you have chosen to skim-read . . .

I have been sucking, and I no longer want to suck.

The Gypsy

 

Potions

 

Henry

 

Freud

Note: I am well aware that the paper doll I chose for my Freud PC (postcard) is not Sigmund, but the doll looked similar enough, that I took some artistic liberties / poetic license and used it anyways.

Best Costume

MY Stint in MO

Mum and I travel together each year.  Last year and the year before, we went to New York City.  This year, we planned two short trips, one to Charleston, South Carolina in April and another to Branson, Missouri in September.  Unfortunately, the trip to South Carolina was canceled in order to move my Gma closer to us.  I have quite literally just returned from MO.  Well, not so much on the “literally” as I returned on the 15th, a day early, but I will get to that.

MO has some of the nicest people I have ever met.  Seriously, Missourians (is that correct?) are so kind, they are at that level of nice you see in movie portrayals.  I’ve heard from many that Maine people are some of the rudest they have ever encountered, but being a lifelong Mainer, I disagree.  However, I do know that Mainers have a way about them, and if you’re not “from here,” it can easily be interpreted as abrasive.

The travel to MO was very difficult on Mum, more so than we had anticipated.  I’d be lying if I claimed to not be exhausted from the travel day myself, and I don’t have the physical limitations and chronic pain that Mum does.  A very kind gentleman observed that we were disheveled, dazed af, and kind of . . . lost.  We flew into the Springfield airport, which was an hour away from our hotel in Branson.  The options were to rent a car or find a cab.  We quickly settled upon the taxi option because at that point, I was at such a level of tired, the car would have ended up in a ditch or as a ball of flaming wreckage within moments of pulling out of the car’s parking spot.  The aforementioned man clearly thought we were a bit nutty to take a cab for an hour instead of renting a car, but he could also see the exasperated desperation of two weary travelers who just want to be on their way, who just want to reach their final destination.

Jimmy, an equally delightful man, willingly and emphatically drove us from Springfield to Branson, and upon parting ways, he provided us with his phone number should we need him to pick us up for our return trip to the airport.  (Spoiler: Jimmy did indeed receive that SOS phone call).  We checked into the hotel close to midnight, but it felt even later considering the time change (from eastern to central OR an hour behind if you’re not familiar with my originating time zone).  I ate a Pop-Tart for dinner and went to bed immediately.  A Pop-Tart is not the recommended supper for a dieting woman, but there was no room service, and I did not want to wait upwards of an hour for delivery, assuming anything was open at that time of day . . . er, night.

Due to the lay of the land and essentially zero places to rest (benches, coffee shops, parks, etc.), we stuck close to the hotel Friday and Saturday.  Note: I am well aware that all of these things exist and are available (benches, coffee shops, parks, etc.), but when you travel with someone with pain and mobility issues, nearby has an entirely different definition than it does for a healthy person.  Please, no one get your undies in a bunch if you think I am insulting Branson, for I am not.  I’m merely attempting to convey / show the difficulties someone may face when these things aren’t within one’s immediate vicinity.

Anyways, it was Friday night that I inquired about changing our flight(s) and going home a day early.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed my time with Mum – it was nice to “get away” as we have had some hard times on the homefront as of late.  However, I knew that if the travel home was going to be a repeat of getting there, I would need a day to rest in order to function for my return to work.  Boy, was I right!  I spent almost the entirety of yesterday in bed; I could not even muster the energy to drag myself into the shower.

Overall, I enjoyed my few days of vacation because Mum and I always make the best of our situation, but I do think we are much better suited for NYC (or vice versa) when we go away together.  In NY, there is an endless number of “things” to do, a plethora of places she can rest, and where I am familiar with the city, I can venture off if she needs to nap or take a day off from adventuring and doing.  Most applicable, the weather out this way is much more tolerable than it was in MO.  My body just does not adapt well to high temperatures, especially when it’s one million percent humidity.  Even the humidity in Maine, come August, is brutal and unbearable – hence why Beach to Beacon is such a struggle for me (though I did improve my B2B 10K time by 2 minutes this year!).

There’s an ongoing joke between myself and a friend / colleague that my hair is the barometer for the best candy making days.  Apparently, successful candy making depends on the humidity.  The bigger and frizzier my hair gets, the worse the day is for making candy.  I was not the only one in MO with frizzy hair, which made me wonder how / if anyone in Missouri makes fudge, ever.

Thanks to a swap-bot friend who lives in St. Louis, I was (somewhat) prepared for the heat and humidity.  Thanks to Google, I was aware that we were likely going to be “stuck” in one place with little to do.  Thanks to movies, I expected mid-westerners to be outgoing and (almost over the top) friendly.  Another note: I do not mean “over the top” in a negative way in this context; I am sincere as can be about the genuine kindness of strangers.

What I was NOT prepared for or expecting . . .

There was far more  blue eye shadow in MO than I could fathom.

 

 

 

 

Profile Pics

Pictures of humans and animals just are not the same, and not only because a human is obviously different than an animal, mind you.  You see, I was toying with changing my blog’s profile photo, but I hate just about every picture of myself that exists.  The photo I had selected to settle upon, because it’s “decent,” cuts into / off one of my eyes.  Apparently, we are all now expected to fit in a bubble.  Well, POP.  <~~That was my bubble bursting.   So, I have set my profile photo to one of my Radin until I am finally in a picture that is not only a suitable portrayal of myself but also fits within the circle that is meant to be representative of who I am (but I’m a square, damnit!).

The wetter / runnier Radin’s nose, the more mussed his hair, and the more annoyed his facial expression . . . the more adorable he looks!  THAT is how animals’ pictures are different than a human’s.  The runnier my nose, the more mussed my hair, and the more annoyed my facial expression?  Well, that just makes me look like a trainwreck with a bad case of resting bitch face AKA RBF!  Though both assertions are certainly accurate, that is not what the bubble was developed to depict!

 

 

 

Figuratively Literal

glitter

“She leaves a little SPARKLE wherever she goes” is a figurative phrase plastered on a sign that hangs in my office in all its sparkling, glittery glory.  And what a joyous moment when the figurative becomes literal.

My phone case is broken.

Surely, you are able to make the connection between how the signage and the broken case are related.  NO?  Allow me to explain further . . .

My (now) broken phone case is glittery AF.  It was filled with water and had pink beads and pink sparkles floating around inside (see below)!

case.jpg

Anyone who knows me, has swapped with me, or has merely just read any of my profiles: swap-bot, IG, sendsomething, Postcrossing, etc. is keenly aware that I. LOVE. ME. SOME. GLITTER.

Months ago, the water within the case dried up, and I now have stuck on, flaky glitter bits as opposed to whirling and swirling sparkles.  Recently, I must have dropped my phone because the case has a crack, said crack is leaking bits of glitter, and said glitz is left wherever I go.

The figurative phrase, “She leaves a little SPARKLE wherever she goes” is my reality, literally!

. . . and it’s amazing.

 

Eye Put the “Fun” in Conjunctivitis

Hm, in reexamining the spelling of conjunctivitis,  I just realized there is no “fun” in c-o-n-j-u-n-c-t-i-v-i-t-i-s.  WEIRD, ’cause I know that I am having an absolute blast with it.  I demand to speak with Professor James Murray!  (This is a Professor and the Madman / The Surgeon of Crowthorne reference).  In summary, “Sir James Augustus Henry Murray [ . . . ] was a Scottish lexicographer and philologist. He was the primary editor of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) from 1879 until his death.”  My citation: Wikipedia, baby!  Also, when you explain a joke, it’s no longer funny; soooooo, moving on . . .

As I have (IMO) humorously explained to a handful of my colleagues and to most of my close friends and family, I went to bed 34YO one night and awoke 92YOA the next morning.  Saturday the 6th – the Saturday that is today, has been a week of excessive body BS.  BS = bullshit should you not be up to snuff with your acronyms.  I am hesitant to complain about my issues because I know several people with serious ailments: chronic pain, organ failure, etc.  However, I’m frustrated.  And I do think that my frustration is “OKay.”

I don’t feel the need to detail all of the issues, but in summary, I’m leaky, itchy, and in pain.  The leak = my eye.  The itch = another round of poison ivy.  The pain = left shoulder and left hip.  I was texting Mum at 0500hrs because when I awoke, the entire white of my right eye was flaming red, and there was some unpleasant eye junk build up.  I set my alarm for 0445hrs because I was registered to run in the Moxie 5k with bib #2 today.  The Moxie Festival is kind of a big deal in these here parts, and it was going to be my first go at one of the most difficult 5k courses in Maine.

I did not go to the run, which leads me back to why I was texting Mum at 0500hrs.  I was attempting to ferret out whether I was merely trying to find an excuse to not go to Moxie OR if I truly felt that the eye is a serious enough issue that I should stay home and call the Dr. as soon as the office opened.  As I have outlined in many a previous post, I have anxiety with new things, large crowds, and “doing things” by myself.  However, I have never not gone to an event I have been registered for.  I have always battled through the stress of all of the above.  My main concern was not the travel to a new place, running a difficult course, the swarms of people, or being alone; my primary concern was that if I was all the way out in Lisbon and was indeed able to make a “sick visit” appointment, that the office would not have an availability late enough for me to get there in time.

As luck would have it, I am scheduled to be seen at 1100hrs.  So, I could have run the run and made the appointment, but I had no real way of knowing that this is the way it would all play out.  I am “bummed” that I missed the run, but I’m not down on myself or overtly upset or angry with myself so I think I really did make the right choice.  The Moxie will be waiting for me next year, and I will be even more determined to conquer it.

I’m off to my appointment, but I felt the need to blog through my feels just to be doubly sure that I wasn’t just punking out.  The irony is, it isn’t my pain ridden hip that took me out of the game, it is my eye . . . but ultimately, I’m not an asshole – hip pain doesn’t spread, conjunctifunivitis does.

 

Flippin’ Floppin’ & Flounderin’

After a four month hiatus, I think that it is about time that I dedicate some effort to my writing, my blog.  I am particularly glad that approximately six months ago, I did not buy stock in the idea that 2019 is the year of me.  However, if I did make that purchase and just do not remember doing so, then I am pleased that I did not take the notion too seriously because . . . Wellllllllllll . . . I. AM. FLOUNDERING!  My current spirit animal is a freshly caught fish, floppin’ on the boatdeck.

Truth be told, it is comforting that flying fish exist.  Flopping now shall equal soaring later, amiright!?

So, what have I been up to since March, you wonder?  I have already indicated what I have been up to . . . floundering!  Gosssshhhhhh, pay attention, dear reader!

Before I outline what has been troubling me, let me share with you the one task that I have been absolutely slaying since January: the tackling of my GR reading goal!  I set my Goodreads goal at 67 books for 2019, mainly so I can finish and close out my Day Zero Project goal of reading 100 books.  I am currently working on books 38 and 39, which means, my fellow math whizzes, I have completed 37.  That translates to, “I’m 55% of the way there!”  Admittedly, I have been slacking as far as writing book reviews goes; add that to my list of slackage.

Slackage List

  • running
  • blogging
  • letter writing
  • swap-botting

and just added:

  • book reviewing

Running

It should be noted that my current interpretation of slacking re: running is that I am not at the level that I once was, but my use of “slacking” in this regard is not to imply that I have not been doing it . . .  as of late.  (Keywords: as. of. late.).  Since my NYC run in October, I did indeed stop running for several months, but I picked it back up when my first 5K of the year drew near.  I do believe the date of that was April 28th.  The Dash for Dogs 5k went well in that I ran the entire 5k, my only break being at the one water station.  I tend not to run with my cup of water because I splash and slosh.  Between April 28th and my second 5k on June 1st, I hardly ran, and I was utterly mind blown at the traction I had lost in merely a month.  Desiree’s gentle reminder, “You’ll be mad at yourself!” when it looked like I was about to walk, rang true; I finished the 5k (and with several PRs, according to Strava).  During the Law Enforcement Torch Run on June 5th, I was miserable.  I have been dwelling on how just one year ago, I was so proud of myself after the LETR, and this year?  This year, I let myself down.  I allowed myself one evening to wallow, and then I worked my way through my muddled headspace.  I have since gotten back to using the gym located at work, using my own (home) gym, or hitting the pavement.  My heart has just not been in it, and I cannot place a finger on why (or why not), but I think I am getting closer to those answers.  With that being said, when I am on the road or on the treadmill, I am happy and proud and I feel great, and I need to start clinging to those feelings, especially since I have big goals ahead!  This upcoming weekend is the Dennis Sampson Memorial 5k.  In July, I have the Moxie 5k, (maybe) a 4th of July 5k,  and the David Payne Memorial Run.  In August,  I am scheduled to run the Beach to Beacon and the Eugene Cole Memorial Half Marathon.  In September, I have the Dempsey Challenge on my to do.  Finally, in October, I am running the Maine Half Marathon.  I have also decided that I will be finding a way to run the 2020 NYC marathon (I infer “finding a way” because my entry will depend on winning a spot via the lottery OR raising at least $2,620).  So, I have not lost my love for running, nor my heart; I’ve just . . . temporarily lost my way.  (Pictures from Dash for Dogs, Safe Voices, and the Law Enforcement Torch Run forthcoming).

Blogging

My last entry was in March.  Since March, I have had copious thoughts and perspectives, but my gumption to write has been lackluster at best.  Writing this entry is my attempt at locating that luster that I have lacked.  I must admit, I have indeed missed sharing my blather.

Letter Writing

I have written no more than five letters in the last year.  I surmise that my lack of composing correspondence is due to my overwhelmed state when I look at my bucket of mail that awaits a response.  I need to sit down, go through the bucket, and determine who I want to continue writing with and who I do not.  My fear of hurting feelings or causing offense is what prevents me from completing this particular task, but I do need to widdle my list down to a manageable number, thus making the hobby enjoyable once more.

Swap-Botting

I have not been utilizing swap-bot.  My desire to swap was quelled by a member who caused me some distress.  However, that is neither here nor there.  I know that my love for swapping will trump my hesitancy to do so, especially since I do have a reliable group of people with whom I can swap.  In fact, as of today, I have four swaps that I have signed up for.  Now, whether I stay in said swaps or drop them before partners are assigned . . .   On the bright side, my lack of swap-botting has allowed me to re-engage with Postcrossing.

This entry is mainly about what I have not done / been doing, but I am brainstorming a follow up featuring what I have done / been doing.  I will get back to being 100% Amy, one step at a time.  Luckily, I took some hefty strides today.  Maybe today is the day I turn it all around.

So, when I do work my way out of my slump, will I be floundering at floundering?