Monday, July 27, 2009

My Stalking Story

I keep trying to type in my real stalking story and my problem is this: being stalked takes a very long time and most of it is excruciatingly boring to everyone except the recipient of the stalking.

Basically this acquaintance, a racquetball buddy of my ex husband, called me from out of the blue to say he was separated and getting a divorce. He had moved into my apartment complex.

He really, really had to talk to me.


And the calls started getting more and more frequent and occurred at less and less socially acceptable times of day.

My Stalking Story:

You know how when preschool teachers finally get a chance to talk to someone that's not four years old, they occasionally sit around and talk about male body parts? Well, apparently men do that too.

Or at least my ex husband must have. Because the racquetball-ball-buddy-turned-stalker accidentally left a long, detailed message on my answering machine in which he THOUGHT he had hung up and was just discussing my body parts (as reported to him by my ex husband) with whoever was in the room with him. But my answering machine was recording the whole conversation.

So it turns out that according to stalker guy that my boobs make up for a multitude of other sins. I think that was the gist of the conversation. I mean, the whole thing was sort of muffled since he was leaving the message unintentionally. But that's what I got out of it.

I felt extremely exposed during all of this, because my old apartment complex had a public walkway that went right past my bedroom window. So when he called the next time at 3:00 AM, I called my brother and burst into tears.

No matter how much of a hard time my parents and I may give my brother for being impossible to reach by telephone, he has always been there each and every time I've called at three in the morning. So a word to the wise: if you're having trouble reaching your brother, try three am. But do so judiciously because otherwise your sister in law will (rightfully) hate your guts for life.

My brother listens and advises me to call the police. "But what do I tell them?" "Tell them you're a woman at home alone with her child and you're terrified because this guy won't stop calling."

"Oh!!! I'm terrified!" I replied to him incredulously.

Well certainly that explained things.

No wonder I had burst into tears.

My brother assured me that the police certainly would have had weirder calls that night and that if they didn't feel it was worthy of their time, they would tell me so.

The police come and stalker guy calls during their visit. They tell me that if I feel comfortable, I should answer and tell him to stop calling. I decide to wait until "morning" (which I considered 5:00 AM to be, although it was still dark) because talking to stalker-guy-who-lived-in-my-apartment-building-and-had-easy-access-to-my-bedroom-window seemed way too scary to do at night.

So he calls and I tell him never to call me again, ever. And my tone of voice was, as my dad would say, "the way you talk to a dog". And then my boyfriend called him and left him a message in the tone of voice that I imagine was, "the way you talk to a guy who's terrifying your girlfriend."

And I thankfully never heard from him again, except my boy was in the same homeroom as his kid last year. And the moral of my story is that you can be all kinds of careful on blogs and Facebook and all OVER the internet and STILL pick up a random stalker from real life. But at least he won't have your email address.

I hate to say that was the SHORT version, but it really was. And it's still too long for me to even post pictures of my newly green living room or funny bumper stickers I saw last week. But that's about as short as I can seem to manage, folks. It was a LOT longer in real life.

My Stalking Story -
(Photos from Dollar Photo Club. Which no longer exists actually.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Stalking: It's Good Work if You Can Get It

"Love You Forever
" is a story by Robert Munsch about this mom who loves her son so much that when he grows up, she breaks into his house. It gets moms all weepy for some reason that I never understood until I read the story behind the book on Munsch's website.

It happens that he wrote the story for his two stillborn babies. And so now I can understand WHY it's an emotional book for some people, but I still think mom using a ladder to climb into her grown son's window at night is creepy. Not to mention a felony. Or maybe just a misdemeanor. It's breaking and entering at any rate.

Which is not to say that I don't stalk my OWN children. With them at sleep away camp, I spend umpteen hours a day looking at the pictures posted on the camp website and attempting to determine whether or not my children look deliriously happy.

Today, for instance, I looked at 939 photos AND watched a camp video. With enthusiasm, no less. Nine hundred and thirty nine pictures. I'm not even kidding.

Of course, merely stalking my children over the internet would be shirking my parental duties. So I have to send them pictures of the cat dressed like this:

Because how else are they going to remember he's Jewish?

And I had to make my boy a greeting card by hand, and pretend that it was sent by the dead armadillo in our yard:Inside I wrote,
The dead armadillo beside the compost heap said to tell you "Hi!"
My kids have told me that they're the only ones that receive mail from their cats. I'm going out on a limb to say that not too many other children in their bunks get mail from a dead armadillo either.

I made them some other ones too, 'cause my gal asked me to:

At this point I would like to reiterate that I have looked at 939 camp photos TODAY. A girl can only look at a computer screen for a certain amount of time before her eyeballs burn out and she goes stark raving mad.

So I apologize to anyone I seem to be ignoring over the internet. I still love everyone's blog and emails and facebook page! It's just that despite my enthusiasm, my eyeballs are burning out of my head. So please excuse me while I revive the poor things by painting the living room a sort of lime green. (I'm not even kidding about that either.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Drove to Manvel Last Weekend to Get Leprosy

Actually, I didn't specifically drive there to get leprosy. I specifically drove there to get this dead armadillo:And I would explain WHY I was driving to Manvel to get a dead armadillo, but I'm not exactly sure I understand it myself. Shortly afterward older gal found out that dead armadillos are known to carry leprosy so we banished him (or her) to the back of the yard near the compost heap.

The kids got off to camp just fine, presumably without bringing any swine flu OR leprosy with them. Well, they at least didn't bring swine flu contamination to camp, because they took the temperature of every last person driving in before anyone was allowed in the camp gates. And so that meant all five of us. And about five hundred million other people.

On the whole, though, I was greatly relieved that they were so proactive in preventing flu. But not so relieved that when I pore over camp pictures each and every morning I don't automatically assume that my gal's in the infirmary with swine flu if I don't happen to at least see a picture of the side of her head.

Older Gal found a greeting card in her collection that she wants to send one of the kids while they're at camp with a picture very similar to this on it:Worried that she might be promoting smoking or drugs, she pointed out the caterpillar's hookah. She was relieved when I told her that the caterpillar was from Alice and Wonderland, that it's considered an acceptable drug reference for young, American minds. However lest you think she grew up un-Disneyfied, I want to point out that I was seriously surprised. I've never, ever seen Older Gal miss a cultural reference, pop or otherwise.

Last but not least, Older Gal did re-comment to all who posted on her guest post! So now she is no longer twins with The Blogess, no matter how much fun being a Blogess twin would be. She will henceforth have to contain herself to attempting to sneak illegal chocolate wafers to my gal and boy at camp, sending them greeting cards depicting socially acceptable drug references, and supplying me with dead armadillos.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Smile God Loves You

I took this picture because I liked how the optimism of this sign contrasted with the total devastation of the neighborhood. I couldn't quite capture it adequately, but I did get hit on by two different guys while I was taking the picture.

One asked if I would take his picture, and when I didn't take him up that, he asked if I wanted to go home in his truck. The other guy merely called out something unintelligible and blew kisses from the window of his car.

So of course I told The-Guy-Who-Knows-A-Song-About-A-Chicken that I was coming back to that neighborhood for an ego boost if he ever dumped me for a younger woman. But he said that was never going to happen and that he can barely keep up with me as it is. So acting immature for one's age has an upside, apparently.

At least now I recognize being hit on for what it is. When I very first got divorced this guy was talking to me during a religious program and I was all, "Why is this guy TALKING to me?!?! Doesn't he know we can't hear the program?!?!?!?" And I was literally handing him my phone number before I realized what had happened.

I still beat out my blogging friend Ms. Q, who says she was actually on a date with a guy before she realized what had happened. And even then it was only because he told her. During the date.

Older Gal says she doesn't recognize being hit on at all. And I know this to be true, because awhile back we were at the sushi counter and the kid preparing the sushi was asking HER all kinds of questions about roe.

It's not like I'm any kind of expert or anything. But I'm thinking that if a guy who prepares sushi for a living and has the option of tasting roe day in and day out is asking a customer all kinds of questions about roe, he's probably interested in...well...something besides roe.

Right. So what was the point of this post? Oh yeah - God loves you, even if you live in a crappy neighborhood. And if a guy is asking you all kinds of questions about things that he should know the answer to or is trying to get you into his truck, then he's probably hitting on you. Or wants to kidnap and murder you. One or the other.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

If you were planning on getting me a tow truck for my birthday, this is the kind I want

Because I would totally put Jesus up there on the cross up there on the back if I had this tow truck. But not the real Jesus. 'Cause that wouldn't be very nice.

My younger gal noticed this on a necklace at Kohl's:
I'm not exactly sure how my generation made it through so many dangers without all the warnings. It would be nice if they were more specific though. I mean, is it a choking hazard because a child younger than fourteen might eat one of the beads, or do they think a thirteen year old might strangle herself?

It's so sad when people involve their dogs in sports and then the dogs get fouled. I'm glad they're going to protect the dogs in New Hampshire from this horrible fate:Older Gal really will be responding to comments on the last post. It's just that she's intimidated. So now she's just exactly like The Bloggess! Which means she's world famous all over Houston and possibly other places.

Except The Bloggess is intimidated by comments on her OWN blog, and Older Gal is intimidated by comments on her guest post. But aside from that, they're like twins. Practically.

I've now revised this post about 714 times. So my apologies to anyone who read it in its previous form(s).

Sunday, July 05, 2009

In Which Older Gal Gives Us the Goods on the Vibrating Boobs...

Here's Older Gal's guest post. Enjoy!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Hello all! I’m Older Gal, piemaker extraordinaire and diabetic since 1996.

I know you’ve been waiting with bated breath for the vibrating boobs inside information, but first we need to step into the department of backstory. This is the quick cliff notes version, i.e. excerpts of the paper I wrote about insulin last semester (yes, I really stretched myself academically there). If anyone needs to see the bibliography, I’ll get it to you.
Insulin was discovered and implemented by Canadians Fredrick Banting and Charles Best in 1921 at the University of Toronto. They used a pancreatic extract from a dog, which they then injected into another dog that had diabetic symptoms due to the removal of it’s pancreas. They found that the diabetic canine’s blood glucose level decreased after the shot of insulin, the result they were looking for… In 1955, the structure of insulin was determined by Frederick Sanger, who was awarded the 1958 Nobel Prize in chemistry for those findings. As a relatively recent discovery, insulin has been at the center of science by being a drug new modes of preparation were tested on, and by being used as a treatment for a previously fatal disease…Insulin is primarily used in the treatment of high blood sugar that is caused by diabetes. Insulin dependent diabetes is an autoimmune disease of the pancreas that results in a cessation of insulin production in the body. Although diabetes had been given it’s full name, diabetes mellitus, by the ancient Egyptians, confirming that the disease was known of by that time, no treatment existed until the Banting and Best experiment in 1921. Before 1921, the only treatment, if it could even be called that, was keeping the diabetic patient on a near-starvation diet to prevent the damaging spikes in glucose levels due to carbohydrates from eaten food. The disease was always fatal, and people who had it were assured a short lifespan. Now, insulin can be injected in amounts that compensate for the intake of carbohydrates at meals…After this breakthrough success, insulin was prepared by extracting and purifying pancreatic tissue from cows and pigs, due to the similarity of structures between the bovine, porcine and human insulin, and manufactured as a drug for people with diabetes. This mode of preparation continued until 1982, when recombinant DNA technology came into science. In the early 1980’s, there had been discussions about the possibility of a shortage of insulin; it was projected that in 20 years, which was then about 2000, the supplies of insulin in the United States would be depleted…Using recombinant DNA to produce insulin allows the insulin to be molecularly exact, and also to be produced in large quantities. With the advent of recombinant DNA technology, insulin production became easier to produce in mass quantities, and cheaper…From the beginning, insulin was given by way of an injection; however, recently, the insulin pump was developed, which delivers insulin though a semi-permanent tube placed into the body.
My genetics professor said in class one day that “diabetes is a real drag,” or something to that effect. I’m not jumping for joy that I have diabetes, but I am thankful that I have this disease right now, in this day in age.

Now, before winter 2008 I was taking injections, or shots, of insulin multiple times of day to keep my diabetes under control. That really sucked, not just because of the number of times per day I stuck myself with a needle to try to maintain a decent average, but also because I had to use pen style injectors, although better than having to draw up insulin from a vial, but they were just weird. I also had to use two types of insulin, both a long acting insulin (Lantus, which has just been linked to the rate of growth of cancer, yay) and a short acting insulin (Humalog), the former to release slowly over the course of twenty-four hours, and the latter to be taken at meals to account for the carbohydrates consumed, and also to compensate for a high blood sugar. Then I got an insulin pump, a machine that automatically releases a preset amount of insulin over time (called a basal) and also calculates how much insulin you should take if your blood sugar is high, and calculates how much insulin you should take at meals based on your blood sugar and carbs eaten (those last two are referred to as boluses; I remember that because their kind of like bonuses), and I didn’t have to take shots anymore which was quite nice. If you ever ask a diabetic person if it hurts, they’ll most likely say no, they’ve gotten used to it, but that’s a lie. It does hurt, in the back of our minds, but we go through the motions on autopilot because we must, to survive. It does hurt, but I say that it doesn’t to make people feel better, or else they get this look on their faces, a mixture of pity, relief and revulsion. I’ve been taking shots as long as I can remember; in fact, one of the first lucid memories after coming home from the hospital was practicing how to give myself shots on an orange in the kitchen. Poor orange. But one time, a few months ago, I had to go back to injections for a few days because I forgot to order supplies for my pump when I should have…anyways, going back to shots multiple times a day was irritating, to say the least. It was like that one episode of The Unit in the Chinese casino with Cool Breeze (staying away from spoilers here). I promise we’ll be getting to the hilarious part soon. It’s just so hard to do manually what your body should be doing automatically.

Ok, on to the insulin pump. With regard to the previous paragraph, I’m not saying that I don’t have to poke myself with a needle at all, it’s just that I only have to do it about every two to three days in order to get the cannula, the tube that is in my body to complete the insulin infusion, replaced with a new one. It uses a nice big needle too, not one of the small, thin ones that I had to use with the insulin pens. I bet some of you are wincing at that thought, but really, one big needle every three days, versus 21 injections of irritating small needles, if you average it out to 7 injections per day? Sometimes in some of my pissed off moments, especially when a non-diabetic who’s not my doctor or a person in the medical field tries to tell me what to do, (sidebar here: never, ever say to a diabetic, “Are you supposed to be eating that?” Ponder that for a minute.), I want them to try to do what we do every day, for say, a week. I dare you.

Back to the insulin pump. It’s super smart, awesome, and tiny. Inside the pump along with the computer stuff and wiring is a small reservoir that holds the insulin. A tube is attached to the reservoir, which is then attached at the other end at the infusion site, which is where the cannula is.
At this place, the tube can be detached and reattached as needed, for a shower, swimming, or other stuff. Although pumps are waterproof, I kinda don’t want to mess with a $6000 dollar machine.

On to what you all have been waiting for. I usually use the little clip that came with the pump to put it on my pants, mostly in the front pocket, or outside on the belt, with the tube inside the pant leg. People mistake it for a pager all the time, I’ve heard, especially when people use some of the other clips sold, such as the leather, professional looking ones. So, mostly I wear pants, jeans, or shorts, where the pump can easily be put into the pocket.
The tube is usually tucked in more, it’s out for educational purposes.
It goes in my pocket like so. Tada! But now that it’s my first summer with the pump, I’ve had to get creative. This is where the vibrating boobs come in. I was wearing my second-favorite skirt, with a nice top. I didn’t want to put the pump on the band of the skirt, it would ruin the line of my body. So, I clipped it onto my bra.
I’m endowed enough that I am able to do that without the pump sticking out. Yay . I just have to be careful that the tube doesn’t pop out. Now, there’s a choice of alarms you can pick when the pump wants you to know something. I always have it on vibrate, because the beeping options were not good i.e. a bad sound and distracting if I was with a customer at my hypothetical job. The pump has alarms for various reasons: the insulin you’ve taken for a meal or a high blood sugar has finished, you forgot to take your pump out of the suspend mode if it was taken off and you didn’t want to waste insulin letting it drip, or, if you were running out of insulin.

One day, I was sitting at the kitchen table, doing something, when my pump vibrated unexpectedly, as the reservoir had reached the point where it told me that it would need to be changed out for a full one. I did not expect that to happen; when I have to run to the bathroom to take insulin at a dinner, I know the vibration will happen momentarily when it has finished giving me the set amount, but this was totally out of the blue. It was…interesting. And so, doing what I do, which is sharing too much information because the filter from my brain to my mouth is out of order, I said “my boobs just vibrated.” Jill started snickering, and the next thing I knew, it was on this blog. So, I thought I might as well do a guest post, to explain it thoroughly. I do apologize for the meta up there, but it’s important, and Jill gave me the chance here to talk about it.
So if you ever hear a buzzing noise emanating from a woman’s upper torso, and a slight shiver, it may be from an unexpected alarm coming from the pump of a person with diabetes.

The other day, however, I was in a conundrum. I was wearing a dress that looked better without a bra, and I still couldn’t clip it onto my underwear. I had a fleeting idea that I could put it on my shoe, but that fell out of favor rather quickly. Any suggestions?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Sorry Folks, but Debbie Makes the Rules at our House...apparently...

I've had this one friend who, for as long as I've known her, (which is as long as I've known internet, which was early 1997) has refused to tell the internet where she is going on vacation or for how long she will be gone.

It doesn't matter that we freely posted every last gory detail of our miserable pregnancy symptoms or birth stories, giving in depth descriptions of the dilation of our vaginas.

It makes no difference that we've posted pictures of our very living rooms and that I have even posted (probably multiple) pictures of my own toilet. Debbie has a rule that she doesn't reveal vacation spots until after her return.

Our friend Teresa adheres strictly to this vacation rule, lending Debbie's rule an aura of authority. For whatever reason, I have also always followed Debbie's vacation rule.

Despite the fact that I've had house sitters, I've followed her rule. Despite the fact that one would only need to pay attention half heartedly to figure out that I spend the majority of my vacation time at my parents' house, I've followed Debbie's rule.

And despite the fact that my sole experience as victim of stalkerhood had nothing what so ever to do with the internet, Debbie's vacation rule has for some reason seemed reasonable. Thus my tendency to drop out of existence unexpectedly.

So if you're wondering where I've been lately, I went to see this cute animal:
And this cute nephew:

And several other relatives and members of the animal kingdom.

I'm back now with the vibrating boobs post close on my heels. So get ready folks - older gal is putting on the finishing touches and we'll have the long awaited, much labored, very informative booby post at long last this very weekend!


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