Thursday, May 17, 2012

TRYING not to stress's the last thing I need

Where to begin....that's the question.  My mind is racing with a million different thoughts, and one...which is quite not at the top of the list.  And it probably should be, but right now, we will skip my great fuck up and get into the other things.

Mommy Dearest...
I don't speak to my mother.  I haven't for years.  I'd see her at occasional family holidays, but even then, I wouldn't say much.  To say we are missing that bond is putting it gently.  And I'm not guilty about this.  Honestly, she shouldn't have had a child.  She in no state to be a parent, for numerous reasons.  Growing up for me, "normal" was my mom beating the crap out of me over anything and nothing.  The Red Sox lost a game, nobody would babysit me so she could go to her Bingo games and feed her gambling addiction, she was in a bad mood, somebody upset her, whatever the reason didn't matter....I was her verbal and physical punching bag.  She would spend our money gambling and for a time, I actually believed it was normal thinking and saying "If my mom 'wins' tonight we will get groceries (or I will turn in my money from selling candy, or whatever it was.)"  And that's just the start of it.  All the details of the things she did, allowed people to do to me, or anything like that at this point aren't important.  I lived through it, and it made me who I am.  I'm not ashamed of my past and I just hope that one day, a young kid in my situation will realize that they have options.  They can turn their life into something at least half way decent, if not great.  They can be a good person, and not becoming what they were taught was normal.  Either way, like I said, I don't speak to her.  And I'm fine with it.  Honestly, when people continually bring you down and offer nothing positive, they aren't worth being in your life.  It's that simple.  If I let her in my life, she would continually bring me down and she is not worth that.  
A few years ago, she had a major stroke, and is now in a nursing home.  She has partial paralysis, and is in a wheelchair.  When it first happened, I went to the hospital.  I'm not sure why.  I honestly had to sit and consider going.  I think more of it was that I didn't want my gram to have to go alone, so I went.  The questions were difficult because I didn't know the answers.  Was she on medicine?  Had she not been feeling well? Etc.  I had no idea.  Nobody really did.  She always had some "major ailment" and therefore, nobody ever took her seriously because it was just an attention getter....or an excuse for her to continue to be lazy.  So I haven't been back.  I don't ask about her, because truly, I just need to separate myself so I can live my life. From what I understand, nothing has changed.  She is still mean and miserable to everybody, even if people do go to visit her.  She just bitches or ignores them.  And she's still her violent self, physically and verbally abusing the staff members, and trying to harm every roommate she has, either physically or by continually threatening them and their families. So there are lots of problems.  My gram called and told me she was recently sent to the psych ward at the hospital because she threatened her latest roommate's family, said she'd kill their children, and light their house on fire. Luckily her paralysis & wheelchair won't allow for this, but the point is the problem.  And I feel for the staff and other patients there.  It's so sad they have to live through this when they are either trying to help or ailing themselves. It makes me sick.
It's a lot for my gram to take.  She also has  a life to live.  I honestly, don't know why she even bothers going to see her.  But for whatever reason, she does.  I think she's made friends with staff & other residents and goes to see them.  I don't know.  It's not like she & my mother were ever close before, but it's her decision.  But now I'm trying to step in and figure out what the hell to do. I'm trying to talk to the doctor or social worker and cannot get a call back.  I don't know what they can do, and how this will be handled.  And I can't seem to get answers.  I can understand my gram wanting me to go there because I am probably the one person that has dealt with my mom and her drama the most.  And the one she is least likely to pull her bullshit with because she knows that  I won't take it and I'm not hurt or intimidated by her.  There's nothing she can say or do to me that she hasn't already done.  Honestly, I don't want to go or deal with it at all .  I say just let her stay there and whatever happens, oh well.  It's exactly what she would do to somebody.  But for my gram, I'm going to try to figure out something.  

The Seizures....
This probably couldn't have been happening at a worst time though.  I've been taking seizure medicine for my nocturnal seizures for almost 10 years.  But I haven't had a seizure in over 1 1/2 years and I only take half the dosing I used to.  After numerous tests the past few weeks, my neurologist has suggested that I can stop the medicine.  It's what I wanted for reasons that I'm not going to get into right now....and I'm petrified all of a sudden.  There is no answer as to what will happen.  I may start having them more, or perhaps during the day even.  I may never have one again.  Nobody knows the answer and only time will tell.  For this reason, I cannot drive for at least 30 days, just in case.  Which is fine, except I also can't go to the hospital to deal with mother unless I get a ride, and it's not like I have a lot of friends out here in no man's land. Plus, I need to get a job and not driving makes it hard. But we will survive.  It's what I do, and Justin is incredibly supportive, as are my friends and you who read this.  I know that stress and lack of sleep are two of the biggest triggers, so as I sit here.....the first night I don't have to take my medicine before bed, I'm worried.  I've missed dosing before and I know that I'm just freakin' myself out, but it's scary to me.  But I'm going to do it.  And I'm going to hope that everything works out well!

So here I sit...writing...clearing my head....trying not to stress out, and right now with the mom situation, finals, not being able to drive, and my other fuck's hard to not stress. But what good does stressing get anybody?  So it's all deep breaths for this girl....for a while.  And I will sit and hope for the best!  And I will also thank you for reading this....letting me get it all out.
Wish me luck!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Not So Extreme Couponing....

In a rare situation, where I had the remote, and Justin was complacent enough to not fight me for it, I watched Extreme Couponing.  As usual with any program I watch,  he first bitched about how dumb it was while rolling his eyes like the drama queen he can be when he has to watch anything I want to watch.  (Or when he can't change between 7 channels during every commercial.) Have you ever seen a man in work boots, with rough hands blackened from working with oil, acting like a diva?? It's quite funny!
After a while, he started seeing the people saving money and he got interested in the show.   You have to understand that Justin has an odd relationship with money.  He will go into Wal-Mart and spend $300 without blinking an eye.  Yet at the grocery store, we seriously fight, every time.  It always turns into a fight about how much we spent and how we cannot afford to do this.  (But we can afford to buy fishing gear, random paint/primers, etc for "projects" that will never even get started nevermind finished, at Wal-Mart or even worse, a store with tools)  There's really no logic.  The cost of food just disturbs him and gets him all angry and upset.  Again, some things it doesn't cross his mind to waste money on, yet other things get him all fired up.  And he's like an old man when it comes to savings, really cheap items, sales, or heaven forbid....something free.  (It's disturbing and I've pretended to not know him during these times in public.)
Anyway, after watching the show, he decides that I am now in charge of getting coupons and getting all our groceries for free.  (Me, really??!! I'm so lucky!)

  I explain to him  a few key issues he's missing from watching the show:
  1. 1.     The coupon policies are different in every state and every store
  2. 2.     I have a fucking life and don't want to pick through garbage  bags on Sunday mornings to find thrown away coupons
  3. 3.     We don't have the cabinet space for the food we actually need, never mind a stockpile.
  4. 4.     These people never have full meals in their carts.  Or things to make full meals.  Yay.  50 jars of mustard, 42 tubes of toothpaste, 23 boxes of oatmeal, and 67 jars of pickles!  Dinner will be awesome this week!  Look at all the options!  Call me crazy, but I like meat or vegetables thrown in with my mustard/toothpaste/oatmeal mix.

After he nags a bit longer, I buy a paper one Sunday, look through the coupons versus what's on sale and what we actually BUY AND USE, and find 2 coupons that will be useful.  We are buying a mansion with these savings, I can feel it! 
Don't get me wrong, I understand that you can save money.  I know that you don't have to devote your entire life to it, and any extra money does help.  But I will not go to that extreme and I also know that we will not be getting money back from the grocery store every time we go there.
He whines a bit about how they do it on tv, and blah blah blah.  Then, he decides to be a bit more reasonable, and says I have to save $100/week with coupons. I tell him he's being unreasonable, but really I don't care because I'm ignoring him for the most part.  He does have a slight point when he mentions that since I don't actually work, I have time to do this and I should.  Blah blah blah....fine.  I'll do it "soon."

That was over 3 months ago. 

He still brings up the issue occasionally, and I still swear I will look into 'this week.'  Finally, I decide that if I had a wireless printer, I could easily look for coupons and print them while being parked on my cozy couch.  So off I go to buy a new printer.  It's a jazzy little combo with scan/fax/copy and wireless!  Woo Hoo.  And I had a $50 rebate from buying my computer, so I only spent about $30 buying my very needed printer.  Obviously, when he came home, he didn't appreciate the printer nearly enough and he told me I was to "return that thing immediately."  I knew this would happen (and hello I bought it with MY MONEY!), so I had planned ahead.  I hooked it all up, and wandered the internet looking for coupons for products that we actually buy.  I had found a good amount, so after he got over his rant, I showed him all the 'money' I found and how this printer was really the reason.  He eventually got over the printer, and that was that.

I was so proud of my coupon findings that I picked up the Price Chopper ad that we'd had kickin' around for a few days and started matching up coupons with what was on sale.  I made a neat little list (I love making lists!) and marked which I had coupons for so I'd be "orgnized."  I then begged, pleaded, nagged, and pretty much forced Justin to come to Price Chopper immediately so we could go save! This was last Friday. 

I wait forever to get a Price Chopper "card" due to one of those god awful "lottery ladies" holding up everything.  My first "buy" was coke 12 packs, 4 for $11 with the coupon I had from the  ad.  But it said, "3/$12."  I just thought I read it wrong and carried on.  I found a few more things that were "on sale" but not marked.  It was around aisle 7 when I realized my error.  The flyer started the next day.  OOPS.  Worse than that was that I had to now tell Justin this....he does not take it well as I forced him to the store because I was 'nervous about couponing for the first time and it was HIS idea!"  (Yes, I used that in my appeal to get him to come.)

So that didn't end well.  Luckily they had some things that overlapped, so we got a few savings.  A very few.  Like $3.50.  Woo Hoo.

But I check my coupons now.  I have a pretty good idea of what I have in my little coupon purse, so when making a list, I know if I can save extra money.  I went back today.  I never go alone, because as I mentioned, the grocery prices cause anger from Justin and when I go alone, I get 20 questions over everything I bought and how I spent so much.  Plus, I get distracted easily in the grocery store and seem to think I'm Betty Crocker and am going to cook amazing home cooked food 3 meals a day.  I tend to buy things "you should have" just in wine, heavy cream, chicken stock, baking powder being examples.  (In my defense, I have a used few of these things once!)

I decided to go alone and before Justin left for work I tell him about my plan.  He gives me an $80 budget.  I explain that we haven't been "real" grocery shopping in quite some time.  (And I spend $80 going to buy a few quick things!)  He ups my 'allowance' to $140, then tops off at $160.  I'm happy with that.  I can do that.  Or I can try like hell.  I have coupons dammit! I have a list that I will not stray from.  I know what's on sale! As I leave the house I grab $300 extra...just in case.

And away I go...I get a bit confused...I mean, the store brand is technically cheaper, even with the coupon usually and that's what I usually buy.  So now what?  I decide to buy name brand stuff, with my coupon.  Some items are on sale and I have a coupon.  I'm so proud.  I double check my coupons throughout the stores, making sure I got the right size and quantities.  I'm awesome!  Then I get confused again because I can't do math....but we eat yogurt.  A lot of it.  And only Yoplait,  except when Justin gets that greek shit.  Yoplait is on sale and I have a coupon for it.  Two actually!  One is for .40 off 6, one is for .50 off 8.    Hmm...which is better?  Common sense to most people, but I'm not sure, and I wonder if they may be equal?  I do the obvious thing, and text Michelle because she can do math and she explains.  All is good.  But I end up buying 8 yogurts, so there is a week's worth and use that one anyway.'s a learning process for me.

Off to the checkout I go.  My coupons are out, my little card is ready, and away we go.  I watch and get a little antsy over the ever rising total.  Then I hand in my coupons, and my card.  And poof....the total is $151.81!  I'M BELOW MY BUDGET AT THE GROCERY STORE!!!!!!!  Justin will be so proud!  I saved almost $30 with my coupons and card and got .40 off each gallon of gas.  (I think this is good for my first time...and buying only things we actually USE AND NEED!)

I was so excited.  I texted Justin right away to share my great news.  An hour passes and I don't hear from him.  I call to ask why he didn't respond.  He hadn't looked at his phone.  So I explain it all to him....what I bought, how my coupon worked, what it was on sale for, etc.  He's driving, so I know he can listen.  He says good job!  I tell him that if I did so good he should bring me a bottle of Patron home as a present.  (Thus defeating the savings, but oh well....we'd have gotten it anyway, so it's a wash)

Halfway through my savings story, I'm cut off....
"I have to go honey, I'm driving.  I will talk to you later.  Love you."

And that's all I got.  He said he was proud, got bored of listening to the fact that I, ME, LORIANN, did what somebody told her to do.   And he hung up.

Ungrateful is what I would say....jerk!  I'm burning all my coupons!!!!!!  See what he says next time!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

This really happened! Ugh...some people!

Conveinence stores...ahhh...sometimes the name is a blatant lie.  

I run a few errands today, nothing big, as I really wasn't in the mood to be out.  But I did want a new book & an iced coffee, so off to the library I went.  On a side note, I got Chelsea Handler's "Bang Bang."  I've only read 2 chapters, but so far it's hysterical.  Being that "Are you there Vodka, it's me Chelsea" was so good, I think this will be too.  But back to the point.  I run into the Mobile/McDonald's combo on the way home.  McDonald's went fairly well.  Except watching the manager, with his "food prep" gloves on, opening a door, walking into the "dining area" to call more staff over....then going back to making food with the same gloves on.  Eww.  But that's a different issue, for a different day.  Lucky for me, I only get their iced coffee.  Which is damn good if I might say so myself!
Off to grab cigarettes I & out.  Or so I thought.  Below is what happened, while I'm in line, right behind this woman, and I swear on my life, this is really how it went down.  I wish I could have made this shit up!:

Clueless Woman (CW from here on out):  
"How do I pay for gas with this??"  (She's holding a speedpass)

Clueless Cashier (CC from her on out):
 "You can pay at the pump with it."

 "Yes but how?"

 "Umm, I'm not really sure, I mean, I've never used it."  (Note, he's a young kid, and I highly doubt he has a credit card's not like he posesses it, like clueless woman!  But he does work there.)

 "Well, what do I do? How do I do it?" 

 "There should be instructions on there, or I can do it here for you."

At this point, the line is now 6 people deep, and I'm about to pump this ladies gas for her. She is not at all grasping the concept and everybody in line is annoyed with her stupidity.  I do not have a speedpass, but I have pumped gas and there are very clear and simple instructions, so I know how to do it.  I can't keep my mouth shut any longer.

 "Just hold it up to the pegasus and it will light up, when it lights up, you are ready to pump your gas.  There are also instructions on it."

 "Yes, but it's says "Please pay inside first."

(mentally: don't kill her, don't kill her!)  "It says that because if you are paying cash, you have to pay inside first.  You are using your speedpass (which she refers to as 'this thing'), which is just like using a credit card, therefore, you don't have to pay inside because you are paying first.  You are just doing it with credit.

" But I want to use "this thing," and waves it up, like I don't know what she's talking about.

Random guy behind me:
 "Miss, she's right, just hold it up.  It's very easy.  She's right, try it."  (We are all going to kill her)

The woman is still staring at us, clearly clueless, as though we don't know what we are dong!

"I can use that here, and you can pay first if you'd like."

"But I want to use "this thing"

"You can.  Just tell me how much you want to put in"

"I don't know.  I want to fill it."

"Well you need to tell me an amount."

"Fine, just $20 I guess.  I think that will fill it."  (Apparently she doesn't know gas prices, or just doesn't need any gas and wanted to waste everybody's time for the fuck of it.)

"What pump are you on?"

"I don't know." (And she has this look on her face like this is an absurd question)

CC (after figuring it out):
"Just swipe the speedpass over the spot on the credit card machine."

"But I want to use this thing!!!"

"You are, and you can.  Just swipe it over until it lights up."  (She starts waving her speedpass over the screen on the credit card machine, which obviously isn't doing anything.)

"Miss, right here (and I show her), see the pegasus, we will wave it over."  Somehow, I did this without strangling her, because as you probably know, I'm not patient at all and I was really ready to kill her!

Woo Hoo.  It lights up!  And it's paid.  

And 10 minutes of my day (and numerous other people's) day are wasted!  
After she walks out, the rest of us collectively sigh, and all begin discussing this.  It seems that she was the only one that was clueless, as everybody else easily understood how these worked, even if they didn't have one.  What the hell lady?!!!!  I just hope next time she goes out in public, her life coach is with her!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Let's go ride a bike....

Justin has a bike and it made me think of biking myself.  It's funny, I haven't rode a bike in many, many years.  I used to like it and have tried it previously, but it hurts my knees...A lot.  Perhaps it's simply that I don't do it enough and it's a new strain.  That makes sense.  But I'm not sure if that's fully it because my knees are sort of fucked up anyway.  Sometimes they will hurt for weeks at a time.  They hurt to bend or fully straighten.  I think it's due to the arthritis that is so rampant in my family. 
(Some families pass heirlooms, mine passes arthritis....don't judge!)
But either way, being that I live out in Charlton now, and there are numerous places to ride a bike, I started looking for one.  I obviously was looking for a used bike as I'm not exactly sure that this idea will work out.  It may really hurt my knees too much.  Or it may bore me.  Whatever, you know how new "exercise" routines go.  It happens to everybody. The idea sounds great, but acting on the idea isn't always as easy.
I had looked at Craigslist and found a few options.  I wasn't really sure what I was looking for, and some of the sizing confused me.  I only knew that I wanted a very affordable bike to TRY my hobby with.  My goal was not to get the greatest or best because for all I know it could become a lawn ornament.    Oh yes, and it needed to be a mountain bike.  The dirt roads surrounding my house are a good place to start, and there is a trail through the woods starting in my backyard, so a mountain bike would be best.  Justin was telling me I should make sure it had shocks, and blah blah blah.  I wasn't too concerned.
Either way, I decided to post it on facebook, in case anybody had anything kicking around they weren't using and were looking to sell in my (very low) price range.  I was quite excited when my friend Brian, who owns the ever delicious BT's Smokehouse, said he had one that I could HAVE for FREE.  We discussed it, and although it's not a 'girls' bike, he said it would fit me.  The only issue he noted was that it needed a "sprocket."  Obviously, I didn't know what that was, but the next day I went to his house and picked up my new (to me) bike.  I wasn't really expecting much as it was free and all.  But it's quite nice and I was impressed.  I think Justin is jealous because he thinks it's cooler than his, which it is!  And as for it being a 'boys' bike....I've never quite understood the difference, except that little bar that usually slopes low on a girl bike and straight on a boys bike.  On this bike, it is at a slight slope?  Maybe that means unisex, bisexual?  Who knows.  Either way, it fits me nicely and I like it.  We found out about the part it needed, and I was very pleased to find that it was only $20, installed!  So now I have my new (to me) bike, all fixed up and working.  I took it up and down the dirt roads and down the trail a few times and it went well.  I enjoyed it and although it hurt my knees a bit, it wasn't bad.  I'm excited and actually looking forward to going on bike rides.  I want to start slow.  Maybe around the neighborhood on these little side roads or down the trails.  AFter that, I will move up to a bike path of some sort.  I like those "rail trails" that are everywhere now.  The idea of riding it on the actual roads scares me.  First because I'm not incredibly comfortable with it yet, and second because these roads are all so damn narrow and windy.  Around here, you always see people walking, biking, or running on the roads.  It freaks me out while I"m driving because when you come around a corner, and someone is there, you really better hope nobody is coming the other way.  There's not enough room for all of that traffic on these narrow roads!
So here's to me re-learning to ride a bike.  And hopefully enjoying it! 
And a special thank you to Brian for giving me a cool bike, out of the kindness of his heart.  And for feeding me the kinds of meat that ensure I need to exercise to get the damn fat to go away!  If you are ever in the Sturbridge area, I'd highly recommend you go to BT's and try it.  But call me first, I want to go too!!!!