Category Archives: Ranty Rant Rant

Hoarders

I’ve never watched Hoarders before.  I have no compulsion to look at people’s dirt and have schadenfreude from the sadness of their lives.  However, my friend Kristina was watching Hoarders and telling me about it in horror, so I decided I could give it a chance.

Oh my ever loving God!  It was one of the most disgusting things I have seen in my life.  I am so grateful I was not there to experience the smell because I would have almost certainly run in the other direction before I ever got to the house.  The people featured on this particular episode were animal hoarders.  One guy had 26 rabbits in his house.  26 rabbits running loose, even crawling IN THE WALLS of their rental house.  That’s right.  Not only was it beyond disgusting, it wasn’t even their property.  I was completely shocked when the owners didn’t evict them.

The other lady was clearly mentally ill.  She was verbally abusive and verged on physical abuse to everyone around her and suffered from a crippling fear of poverty and having nothing.  They wanted to take away a goat and chickens from her and she just kept screaming that she paid to feed them and that she’d be left with nothing.  She ultimately proved so uncooperative that state forces had to intervene without cleaning her trailer or barn.

I could not understand why they were trying to force life changes on these people instead of giving them the intensive inpatient care that they needed to deal with their issues.  It seems so strange to go into a space, say “Oh it’s dirty.” and clean it, when the actual scenario is that the space is dirty because the person has deep psychological issues that need to be addressed before the actual stuff could ever be removed.

I was distressed by the whole experience.  It sent me into a bit of cleaning frenzy.  Despite my cold nastiness, I cleaned like a maniac for about an hour.  The only way I will ever watch that show again is if I need some serious motivation to get my house cleaner, and honestly, I don’t think I would ever wait that long.

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A letter

I tend not to get political here, because it’s generally not that kind of blog, but this deserved to be posted.   This was written by an anonymous soldier.  Come on Senate.  Do the right thing.

A Gay Soldier’s Letter Before Leaving For Afghanistan

I’m writing letters to my loved ones in case I don’t return from Afghanistan. I hope my partner never has to open his. If he does, it will ask him to tell who I was, because I couldn’t.

I was a teenager when my brother came home with an American flag draped over his coffin, so I understand the fragility of life and the dangers of serving. And the additional burden of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is one I choose to carry. I volunteered for deployment, and I continue to serve. It’s my deepest core value, whatever the cost.

The silence is the hardest part. I listen intently as my fellow soldiers talk about facing the reality of leaving their loved ones for a year and all the life events that will be missed. I don’t talk about my own experience at all, because it’s easier to come across as cold and removed than to risk slipping and mentioning that my loved one is of the same gender. For all I know, there are other gay soldiers in my unit, ones who understand what I’m going through. My gay friends in civilian life are supportive, but they don’t often understand the military or soldiering. That camouflage is another burden I carry as I prepare to leave.

It’s also difficult knowing that this policy is nothing more than politics. I try not to think too much about DADT and how destructive it is to peoples’ lives, to military units, readiness, and to the progression of our country to a better place. But when I do let myself think about these things, I seethe with anger.

I am angry at the politicians who have for several years talked the talk on the policy, heightening the awareness of homosexuality among military personnel, and then done little to nothing to actually change it. We gay soldiers are the ones who suffer but can’t openly participate in the debate.

I am angry at certain senators -– John McCain comes to mind –- who have obviously lost touch with any understanding of the current generation of service men and women, who, as we all know, support repeal at overwhelming numbers. They hide behind a vitriolic rhetoric fraught with illogical arguments and innuendo, smothered by their obvious fear.

And so we wait to see what the Senate will do. In the meantime, I have to remind myself to look elsewhere for comfort, to remember the courage of people like Dan Choi and his consistent devotion to changing this policy, at a very personal cost. Or Katie Miller, who made public at West Point who she really is, but would seek return the moment the policy is overturned. I also remind myself of the moral courage of Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, thankful that some at the highest level of military leadership get it even as others call our plight a “distraction.”

And I’m reminded of the moral courage of my partner, who encourages me everyday to continue to put on that uniform; who believes that some things are worthy of our energies; who quietly plods along and prepares for my deployment as I do the same. I know as a soldier, it is the people we leave behind who bear the real brunt of deployment, who hold it all together, who send the care packages and pray for our returns. He’ll have to do it on his own though. There are no support groups for the gay partners left back home.

In the meantime, gay soldiers who are still serving in silence will continue to put on our rucksacks and do what our country asks of us –- and wait.

http://jezebel.com/5713948/a-gay-soldiers-letter-before-leaving-for-afghanistan

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Winter Must Be Difficult

I live in the midwest.  Every year it gets cold, snows, and thaws again several months later.  This should not be difficult to deal with.  Humans have been doing it for millennia.  Yesterday, it snowed for the first time, creating small patches of ice and some minor snow accumulation.  This morning, it was 20 degrees and felt about 5 because of the wind chill.  It feels a balmy 11 degrees outside right now at 1:45pm, getting close to the warmest part of the day.  This is cold, but manageable.  However, I saw a girl walking across the street wearing shorts and tights, like this picture, except the girl was not wearing tall boots or opaque tights.  They were patterned and fishnetty with little heel shoes.  She looked like her limbs were about to fall off.

I shook my head in confusion, turning it ever so slightly, to be accosted by a puffy vest over a cotton knit long sleeved tshirt.  The girl was walking with a male and talking about how she was really cold.  Ladies, this is not appropriate attire for a midwestern winter.  I know it just got cold, so you’re probably out of sorts, but you have to wear clothing when you live in wintery climes.

Man is a tropical creature.  He is not built to live in the cold without modifications like coats and fire.  This means that when it gets cold outside, you are supposed to modify your behavior to keep your core body temperature warm.  Coats, PANTS, mittens and hats are all going to become necessary for you to survive without frostbitten thighs.  Tomorrow is another day.  It will be cold all over again.  Let’s try harder, shall we?

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Resume Mailing

Someone or something hates me.  I don’t know what exactly that someone or something is, but it’s feeling malicious today.

I had to mail a resume for the post graduate life I hope to lead beginning in May.  I went to the UPS store last night at 7:30.  They closed at 7:00.  Okay, fine.  Thursday is my day of afternoon and evening classes, so I planned to do it this morning.  The experience has gone thusly:

I drove from my home out to the UPS store about 3.3 miles away with my resume paper, flash drive, and envelope to put the resume in (not to be confused with the mailing envelope.  This will be important later.)  I took my information in to the UPS store and explained what I wanted done.  The guy refused to take my resume off the flash drive because he got a corrupted file once.  It is only the single most common data storage tool ever.  He then proceeded to snark at me about how if I have him $2500, he’d do it.  I told him I was leaving and wouldn’t be back.  I turned and left.  It will now be my mission in life to tell people not to use his store.

I drove 3 miles (now .3 miles from home) to the copy center near my house.  It was fast, easy, and painless to get my resume printed, but they don’t ship, so he recommended a shipping location.  2.7 miles away (now 3 miles from home up the same street).

I went with my enveloped resume to this shipping center and waited in line behind a lady who is confused about her mail.  Once I got to the window, and explained how I needed it shipped, the lady told me they don’t do any sales, just processing of mail.  Go to the grocery store nearby because they have a full service post office.

I went to the grocery store to customer service.  The woman was out of hard mailer envelopes.  She said I should go to the post office proper.  I nearly cried walking out of the grocery story.

I then went to the post office (now 1.4 miles away from home down the same street), filled out the hard mailer envelope I wanted and gave it to the lady.  She then pointed out I had written the wrong recipient zip code.  I got another envelope and filled everything out.  It was then mailed.  It happened.  It’s done, but my 20 minute errand turned into an hour and 20 minute errand.

I feel like I need to take a nap.  Who knew mailing a resume could be so much work?

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Racism in the morning

I take a bus to campus on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Apparently I will consistently be riding with this woman who started talking to me on Monday.  She is here to finish her religion undergraduate degree and hopefully move on to be a ph.D student.  Monday she regaled me with tales of her life and children.  Today she was talking away when she got all aflutter at someone.  I turned to find there was a car driving buy that slowly started backing up.  There was no one around, it was not a big deal.

She started talking to the driver, whose windows were up thereby making the driver oblivious to her verbal barrage, about how that was inappropriate.  “He just shouldn’t be doing that!  What are you doing?!  Stop backing up!”  It was really strange. Once the driver came into view she said, “You’re a white guy!”   The car picked up its passenger and went on its merry way.  She then shook her head and started talking to me again about her classes.

I didn’t say anything, but I wanted to say, “Now hold up!  You just wait a minute.  Why was there a reason to exclaim with such disbelief that he was white?”  I was thoroughly horrified and no longer want to speak to this woman in the mornings.  Who does that?  It was so beyond appropriate behavior that I didn’t know what to do.

Maybe I’ll have to start taking a more crowded bus.

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It’s a Tooth Catastrophe!

I have no idea if I’ve previously mentioned this, so I will give a brief synopsis.  On the last day of my sophomore year of high school I was in a car accident as a passenger.  It was a driver’s side t-bone and led to me getting a new nose, biting off the tip of my tongue and breaking parts off my front two teeth on the dash.  One of the very first things we got checked was my mouth.  I felt so much more like myself once I had my teeth back.  They did, however, tell me that the bondings would not last forever and would have to be replaced eventually.  Apparently that time has come.

I was brushing my teeth last night and stupidly held the toothbrush in my mouth for a second while I did something else.  After I finished brushing my teeth, I felt something hard in my mouth.  Lo and behold it was half of my right front tooth.  As a result, I look like this lady.  I can’t get into the dentist until tomorrow morning at 9:00, so until then I will be self conscious and annoyed at myself.  I just hope they’ll be able to rebond the tooth because the dentist did tell me that bonding couldn’t be a forever solution. 

For work today, I stealthily slid the broken part back onto my tooth and it is sticking rather well, so no one knows but me right now, but it is still terribly terrible and upsetting.  Just call me Clem and move me to West Virginia.

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The Ants Come Marching

We had done away with the ants.  I was a good thing all around.  I was feeling accomplished for having done away with them.  We even started to feel secure in our antlessness.  As a result I took our little poison cards and threw them away.  “If we don’t have ants, why do we need poison cards?” I thought to myself foolishly.  We were care free and ant free.  How could anything possibly go wrong?  There were a few weeks of uneventfulness where I felt secure.  There were no sightings.  There were no ant related events in our household.  I was content to rush about in a finals induced frenzy without worry.

Then H saw one.  Then I saw one.  Then one crawled onto my desk.  I hate ants on my desk from way deep down in my ant hating place.

I got out the bottle of poison and cut up a coke can box and redistributed the poison.  The ants swarmed onto the poison, although in much fewer numbers than the first attack.  The most ants I ever saw at one time were limited to a group of seven.  It was not like the great ant influx, thank goodness.

They are now gone again, but I know better than to be lulled into a false sense of security.  They will come.  They will always come.  When they decide to show their little anty heads again, I will be ready with some Terro ant poison and some cardboard, ready to take them on.

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Ants

I noticed a week or so ago that I was seeing the occasional ant.  I didn’t think much of it.  Our apartment is older.  It’s spring, bugs happen.  Then they found my desk.  My desk where I live most of my academic life.  Oh hell no they can’t be on my desk.  H got some little ant houses, but they didn’t seem to be doing anything so we got some liquid terro, which is what my mom always used.  We put them on and around my desk.  When I got home tonight the one on the floor was dry.  In 6-7 hours they had eaten all of the poison.  I refilled it and migrated the ones on my desk down.  I’ve been slowly hopping them along the baseboard to follow the path of the ants.

It’s not pretty.  They are everywhere.  There are so freaking many of them.  It freaks me out but fascinates me as long as they aren’t on my desk.  I have had several little poison cards that all look like this picture.  There is no room along the edge for more ants to get to the poison, otherwise, I imagine there would be more of them.  I hope that they will take all this poison back to their little colony and die die die.

I don’t like ants.  They freak me out just enough to make me feel ookey.  Now, anytime I have an itch or a nerve twinge anywhere on my body, I think it is an ant crawling on me because for a couple days, it was.  Thank God we have tile so we can see exactly where they are going.  I would be freaked out by having them in my carpet.  Ant corpses everywhere, ick.  It’s blurry because I had to get really close and was hovering off the edge of the bed so as not to touch ants.  As you can see there are too many ants.  There are so many they are fighting to get at the edge of that poison droplet.

Supposedly they’ll all be gone in two weeks, which is not soon enough for me.  The sooner those ants are dead the sooner I can get rid of the poison yellow brick road spanning my house.

I have also gotten very minimal amounts of the terro on my hands from distribution and moving the cardboard along their path.  It doesn’t give any kind of instructions for what you are supposed to do when it touches your hands.  I’ve been washing them, so hopefully that will be good enough.  Otherwise I will be poisoned from touching my keyboard, mouse, and other things in my apartment.  Here’s hoping we can give the ants a grand goodbye sooner rather than later because they are not okay.  Not okay.

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But Mom

There comes a time where you think that you are all grown up.  You are done  with the awkward parental interactions and the challenges of adolescence.  The hard times are behind you and you’ve figured out the business of being an adult.

I thought I had reached that nice new adult place.  Tonight, I have now come to the conclusion that I was probably wrong.  I have been visiting my parents on spring break.  I’ve done chores like I do at my home with my husband, but with my mom.  I worked on something on my car with my dad’s help.  All of a sudden my self sufficiency is non-existent from 5:00pm when they get home until 10:00pm when they go to bed.  I’m not needy or purposeless, but the rules are different.

My mom and I were watching Grey’s Anatomy this week, because I gave her the second season for her birthday.  She was in one recliner and I was in another.  I decided to go sit beside her on the floor like I have done a million times.  She didn’t want me there.  She wanted me to go away to the point where she was going to leave if I didn’t.  I wasn’t breathing loudly or chewing or even awkwardly close, just sitting beside her.

When I was rudely foisted away, it hurt.  It hurt in a little kid kind of way.  It hurt because it seemed like my mom didn’t want me around her.  I’m sure she just wanted some space.  No one goes and sits beside her on the floor anymore, so she isn’t used to it.  Yet it is okay for my 21 year old sister to sit in her lap from time to time.  It hurt my feelings and offended me, but I am unsure if I have any kind of justification for my offense.

Today, at least a bit, I don’t feel very grown up.  I feel like a kid rejected by her mom.

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The Dentist

A little back story:  Two of my grandparents had dentures in their forties.  I have an aunt with some long term teeth issues and parents that have both had significant dental work on their teeth so I have some genetic teeth issues.  In high school I had two things happen, I got decalcification from brushing my teeth poorly and not flossing enough and got in a car accident that fractured a bunch of my teeth, not to the point of falling out, but it’ll probably happen later in life.  I shaped up, started flossing daily and in grad school 6 or 7 years later, it has become clear that my efforts are just not good enough.  I have had one permanent filling in the last year and several temporary fillings that are supposed to recalcify teeth so I don’t have to get root canals.  Doesn’t that sound like an eternal joy?

I got my little card in the mail that said I need to schedule an appointment.  Well I called the dentist this morning and cannot get in until the middle of April.  That’s not six months, that is eight and a half months.  Neat.  Super.  I am doing my damnedest to take care of teeth that seem to want to rot out of my head without my say so and can’t see the dentist until April.  Stupid.  It’s stupid.

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