Jan 29 2016

Long-Haired Cats in Snow

Don’t let them fool you…

We have two long-haired female cats who, to put it mildly, do not get along. Zinda, the 2 year old Maine Coon Torbie (can’t be sure she’s really a Maine Coon, but some days, dat face… Oof, hard to argue) loves to pounce on 10 year old Norwegian Forest Cat, Luna (again, not certain she’s really a Weegie, but we’re pretty sure). This week’s snow has proven interesting for both girls.
Zinda has never really seen snow as far as we can tell. She’s a summer babby (Oh, my sweet summer kitten) and while was rescued from an outdoor life with a crooked kink in the tip of her tail, not sure how much of the elements she really endured before we rescued her. One thing’s for certain, she’s never been terribly interested in resuming an outdoor life, and has, in fact, fled from the open front door as if the outside was going to bite her.

During our water-less adventure, we experimented a bit with melting some snow in a plastic bin collected off of the deck. As can be expected with over two feet of snow and wildly forming snow drifts, we got a little bit of snow in the house that wasn’t in the bucket. I made a snowball for Luna to eat, for which she seemed both temporarily amused and grateful. Zinda, kitten of adventure, pouncing, and climbing, stepped in the snowy puddle gathering on the kitchen floor and proceeded to spend the next three minutes gingerly holding it in the air as if it were gravely injured and she didn’t know what to do with herself.

Zinda: “Halp. My paw is wet. My paw is wet. What do I do? My paw is wet.” #sadfacekitten 

Later on, Trey, meanest kitten dada ever, gave Zinda another opportunity to experience snow in a warm and controlled environment. He picked her up and plopped her into the gathered snow in the bucket. She has never looked more betrayed in all her life. “I TRUSTED YOU!!!! Ugh. My paw is wet. All of my paws is wet.” #sadfacekittenpartdeux

He did the same evil thing to Luna and she looked at him like he was stupid, hopped off the snow, and walked off. “Um, no thank you please. Bye.”

Far and away, Luna is definitely the more outdoorsy of the pair. After shoveling the driveway, we let her walk out and explore the four foot snow pile right outside the front door knowing it was too wet and too tall for her to really jump in and disappear into. She did test it, though, putting her paws on it and stretching up to see if she could get a view above the bank. Alas, she realized it was cold out there and she really didn’t want to be an outdoor cat after all and was more than happy to come back up to the front door and back inside.

Somehow, though, that piece of information: outside in winter = cold, didn’t really stick in her fuzzy memory. Some crying and whining at the sliding door to the deck ensued a few days ago. I put on boots prepared to wade in the rest of the snow still covering the deck in the event she suddenly got a yen to bound off with reckless abandon. Luna hurried out with a chirp and stopped in her tracks once the first gust of wind hit her. “You didn’t tell me it was COLD!? Why is it cold?!” And back inside she went. I even stood there with the door open for her in case she changed her mind and wanted to resume her exploration. The wind ruffled her fur and her resolve to be indoors stood firm.

Whether a kitten of adventure and fierce hunter attacking at squirrels and birds from the wrong side of a glass window or an old cantankerous lady cat yearning for a few minutes of fresh air and bird taunting, one thing remains common between these felines who couldn’t be more different: Both of ’em are prissy as HELL.

Jan 28 2016

Displaced by Jonas

So, that title is a little misleading and also somewhat unfair to the blizzard that wreaked havoc on us last week and hasn’t really let us forget it. But it is the milestone marker for the insanity we’ve dealt with since he came round.

As a professional nerd who lavishes in the luxury of working from home, I maintain an office in my basement. Friday, just as the snow ramped up and settled into the first phase of dumping crystallized water on our house, I noticed that we’d sprung a leak. Under my desk. Inches from my fancy damn gaming computer that’s less than six months old. In our plushly finished basement. UGH.

Speculation on the causes of the leak ran the gamut of our washer leaking to the hose connection just on the other side of the wall fouling up to sorcery and curses simply not wanting us to experience a historic storm that didn’t include water in walls moistening drywall somehow (Hurricane/Super Storm Sandy was another similar experience). Whatever the source, the weather guaranteed that no one would be able to come round and help us diagnose it any time before the weekend was over and the snowfall had stopped. Grand plans of cozying up and watching the snow come down while playing video games, reading comic books, and learning any of the dozen board games we have were obliterated. It was rough.

Long story short, our incredibly skilled friend dropped in on us Monday to set us right and figure out what the hell our major malfunction was. Short answer: Iceberg in the wall. A pink iceberg, no less as it fused with the pink insulation there and also formed up in the cinder block at the base. A bad hose hookup and a not completely tight water shut off combined to form a persistent drip that froze which then cracked the copper pipe. Turning up the heat due to the winter weather caused the berg to melt. Water, following the path of least resistance, pooled into my office.

While the carpet dries and all my office-like belongings reside in boxes in my dining room, I’ve struggled to find a comfortable place to squat during the work day. Living room couch was a bust, basement couch was a worse bust but both for the same poorly ergonomic reasons. I’m testing out a standing desk-ish setup at my counter-height kitchen table that probably only works for me because I am 5’4″. Initial feedback is when I get uncomfortable and need to move around and loosen up from the odd and different positioning, it’s tons easier to get up to do so.

37 inches of snow on the ground and the thing that floods my basement is a leaky, busted pipe, kicking me out of my office for at least two weeks. Because of course it would. 

Next up: hilarious stories of the cats experiencing snow and hoping the hell away from it all!

Dec 31 2015

Year in Review 2015

2015 was a really weird, very full year. The first quarter was one big blur, as often happens when dealing with depression. Did it snow? I think so (?) What did I do for my birthday? Other than completed another trip round the sun, I couldn’t tell you. Am I forgetting anything fun or particularly noteworthy? I assure you that is exactly the case.

We headed out to San Diego to say one last farewell to my step mother as her ashes were placed in her memorial bench. Checked an item off our informal bucket list of seeing a major league baseball game in every stadium, while there. I might end up having a corollary bucket list of home team hats, though I don’t see that happening for division rivals or any New York team.

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Padres game at Petco Park

Basically, after Easter, everything looked up considerably. The countdown to our fifth anniversary trip to Disney for Star Wars weekend consumed all available energy. And it was absolutely mind bogglingly amazing. Great food, great friends, great exhaustion, GREAT MEMORIES. Those big red buttons meant just about every cast member and every character congratulated our marital bliss. Nothing short of wonderful.

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I am short, husband is tall, this is not a shock…

I also got to meet my favorite Jedi — cynics, critics, and haters to the left that it’s not the “real” anyone walking around in costume in Disney. Shaak Ti was amazing and I love her forever.

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Our neighborhood’s enormous, community yard sale was an unmitigated success too. Many comics were sold, which means those long and short boxes didn’t come back home to our house to take up precious space. The cash they put into our Disney souvenir fund didn’t hurt, either.

Shortly after returning home, our nephew was born — as tribute to our wedding anniversary. Obviously. It was nice of Trey’s sister to do that for us…

Neither of us being happy about our fitness levels and physical appearances and both of us sick to death bitching about it, we came home to getting our shit together and losing weight. Technology and persistence to the rescue there. I’ve lost 16 lbs since those Disney pictures were taken. And I think everyone in our family has a Fitbit now — some having theirs before we became unpaid spokespeople for the things and really wearing them again, others quietly nodding that we’ve joined the fray. Weight Watchers and other community weight loss programs work, folks. I have a lot of thoughts about this change to my eating habits, what it means, and why it’s working. Too much for right now. The one I can tease, though, I’m pretty sure it’s working because it wasn’t a “New Year’s Resolution”. I have “opinions” about the words we use around food, weight loss, and body image, too.

Also, mohawk. After talking about wanting to do it for upwards of a year, I needed to pull the trigger or shut the hell up about it.

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Silly faces are the best faces for selfies

There was, of course, that whole three month wormhole I already waxed philosophic at length about.

I took a stab at applying a formal methodology for using my notebook for work and also applied it to non-work, too. Enter Bullet Journal and my trusty classic plain moleskin that’s cataloged work tasks for me for the last 5 years. I’m very dorkily in love with it and it kind of freaks some people out how structured it is. Don’t care!

For the most part, though, I credit Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Tumblr and her Bitches Get Shit Done texts. If you have unlimited texting from your cell carrier (and, honestly, most people do) I can’t recommend it highly enough. FAQ here, fifth Q down. Or, if you are content to be motivated on your own schedule, follow the bgsd archive tumblr, instead. I will be here with directions to the FAQ when you decide having the delightful inspiration kicking down your texting door is what you really want.

Finally, I got way too excited about getting a regular dining room table set (one that isn’t counter-height) and hosting Christmas dinner for my mother and grandmother. With the ways our respective families are growing and everyone else becoming adults, too, we, the former kids, are taking on the hosting duties. For the first time in 6 or 7 years, we woke up on Christmas morning in our own home, opened our presents over coffee, and didn’t run all the way over hell and creation to see everyone in our immediate family within a 50-mile radius in the space of 36 hours. It was great, if bittersweet, but nothing felt rushed about any of the time we spent over the holidays with family. Seriously. Really great.

Dinner itself, was amazingly delicious and made all the more by being an even split effort between me and my husband. He slayed the soup and potatoes, I was master of the roast beast, asparagus, and dessert. Win! I fail at not taking a picture of the table before we all stuffed our faces, joyfully. You’ll just have to visualize it.

So, 2015 was a year. Started off a little dicey, but turned it around to good and straight on to great by the end. Pretty happy with it, all things told. It’s not a competition, 2016, but, you’re on notice, pal, expectations are kinda high. Good luck. Happy New Year, everyone.

Dec 08 2015

Where Has the Time Gone?

(Let’s ignore the fact that the last thing I posted was video game absurdity exactly a year ago, okay?)

From mid-September to Thanksgiving, I was off on an adventure… of sorts. For work, I was given an assignment wherein I would need to be some place 50+ miles from my home, daily, with no funds to stay in a nearby hotel and the meager promise of local travel reimbursement to put up with the very special hell that is commuting in the DC Metro area. And they wanted me to participate in this for, at minimum, six weeks. That six weeks became nine, and then, eventually, ten and a half.

At the outset, I worked up a rough plan to stay with family during the week and come home on the weekends — you know, to make the transition “easier”. It was exhausting. The commute was long, the days were longer, I had a whopping two hours of free time at night and to cap it all off, I wasn’t home. And when I was home, I was tending to fun and exciting things like laundry and battling guilt that I wasn’t participating in home chores that piled up as my husband attempted to tackle them all solo. He did great, but we’ve never treated our chore division as one-sided, so it was an extra challenge added on.

The project itself was actually incredibly good and hella rewarding. I’d like to get that on the table early. Logistics from a project standpoint were an abject nightmare in the early weeks and once we swapped locations to alleviate those logistical challenges, the project flowed like warm butter on a biscuit. About the same time our project made the concerted effort to location-swap, I threw in the towel of being not-home during it. I still only had about two hours at home before I needed to prep for the next day and do it all over again — but I was home. Everything was a thousand times more manageable because I had my home, my cats, my bed, and my husband.

Meanwhile, the weeks flew by with the work. I learned a shit ton about myself, my job, and programming. I learned I hate being bored. I learned I kind of hate working alone. I’m pretty good at being self-directed and getting things done, but that capacity increases exponentially working with someone else or a team of someone elses. I learned I’m a much stronger common code/business rules programmer than I EVER gave myself credit for. Of all the things that were eye-opening, this one leads the list for me. Right behind it though is I learned I’m still, absolutely, an introvert — but that doesn’t mean I don’t get LOUD and won’t make an impact when I find the thing that really fucking matters to me and that I decide to get passionate about.

I’ve always always always known that I have this enormous capacity to be exceedingly articulate. I also know I have the tendency to keep that part of myself secret or simply don’t share it often enough. But I also know I did a thing that was REALLY hard — HELL, I volunteered for it — and didn’t throw in the towel, give up, or back down. I came out from it stronger, more confident, and dare I say it happier.

The thing about transformations, though, or more this one in particular, is that it wrapped me up and I experienced it to the exclusion of literally everything else. I have friends I see every week, like clockwork — that was interrupted for 3 months. They took two vacations and celebrated a birthday in that space of time. Both my nieces turned 3, my SIL had a birthday, my grandmother turned 94. Two pairs of friends moved. Into the same house, sure, but they packed their shit and moved. Blogs and comics I followed were left untouched for 3 months — I don’t even think I care about some of them anymore. My husband went through two month-end closes — something that is never stress-free for him. In 3 months, I can pick out 3, maybe 4 milestones that really signify the passage of time for me: 3 birthday celebrations and a game night/moving day. They all feel like a blink of an eye.

A lot happened both inside and outside my little cocoon, but I can’t help feeling like the first birthday celebration was a couple weeks ago, not months. That cocoon is time folding over on itself and wrapping me up in it along the seam. I know my closest friends have said they missed me and I believe them and I missed them too. I suppose, really thinking about it, it speaks more to those friendships like no time has passed at all. That we can pick up and do our best to catch each other up on what we all missed in that space of time.

All this to say it was great, but it feels super weird and how is it almost Christmas already?

EDIT: Someone missed me while I was off on my “adventure” and is very happy to have me home

All of the hugs! Now, human! LOVE ME!!!

All of the hugs! Now, human! LOVE ME!!!

 

Dec 08 2014

Play by Play of I Am Bread

I Am Bread is a video game on steam. Your mission? Become toast. That’s it. This is some of what I heard while the husband played this bizarre game tonight.

Me after just getting to the bottom of the steps: *dumbfounded stare*
Trey: just shut up and pass me the LSD.

Me: have you just started playing?
Trey: no, I’ve been trying for 10 minutes but I keep getting covered in too much lint

Trey, repeatedly: I am bread. I must be toooooooast

Trey, upon starting a new game: I must be toast!
Me, ignorantly: Where is the toaster?
Trey, in anguish: I don’t even know!

Random exclamations for awhile:

  • Ooh I’m dancing
  • I broke the jam!
  • Who eats fish for breakfast? How does a piece of bread throw a fish anyway? Oh, I’m covered in fish bones
  • Am I making love to the butter? What am I doing?
  • (After the butter fucking): Hopefully I am now buttered…

Me: ew, you’re on the trash can
Trey: I am on the trash can aren’t I? I’m so existential I don’t even know it

Trey: I wear the bread, the bread does not wear me.

Trey: (Ruefully) I shall never be toast

Trey: Curse you, Skateboard!

After yelling at the cat for trying to steal his blizzard authenticator: She wants to play Diablo, but I can’t even be bread. Glass-covered nothingness.

Trey: I move but I get covered in crud! It’s like my life

Jun 22 2014

Black Swallowtail Butterflies Like Parsley

This weekend, I have learned something new and interesting about, arguably, some of the prettiest insects in the animal kingdom, butterflies. Lining our driveway, in the rainwater runoff path, we have a butterfly garden planted with many pretty blooming plants (and currently, a healthy host of weeds). On our deck, we have an impromptu herb garden in a giant whiskey barrel. We have discovered, however, one particular herb is quite popular with the bugs — curly parsley. As of around lunchtime, I counted five black swallowtail caterpillars hanging out and eating my herbs. While I’m not thrilled the wannabe butterflies are chowing down on my parsley, I’m also not currently using it myself, either. I hope they hang out and we get to see the big boys (or girls) they will become at their next stage of life.

Black Swallowtail caterpillar eating parsleyTwo Black Swallowtail caterpillars eating curly parsleyA handful more pictures of the garden so far at my Google+ profile: Garden 2014.

 

Mar 19 2014

Sadface Man: Origins

Sadface Man

So, yesterday, I posted to Facebook about Sadface Man and there being a story behind him. Like anyone within spitting distance of Ikea and at one point on a relatively tight budget, we are devotees of the Expedit bookcase. The husband and I bought our house in 2009 and needed a new option for our desks and used Expedits to make it happen. As everyone knows, Ikea instructions are well known for not using words to put together your new flat packed interior design pieces. In the early part of the instructions there are a handful of pictograms. One of those basically tells you that you should put together the bookcase with a friend. If you do, everyone has smiley faces. If you do not, you are Sadface Man, putting together your bookcase sad and lonely.

Trey and I were putting together our new desks and he, seeing that I apparently had it all under control, he started to move off and leave me to it. I whined and frowned that he was leaving me saying, “Noooo!! Don’t make me Sadface Man!!”

He responded with, “Oh no! Not Sadface Man!” Smiled at me with that goofy “I love my silly wife” smile only husbands wear and resumed being my faithful furniture assistant.

Thus the inside joke was born whenever we pout jokingly at eachother (and it’s usually me making husband the pouty one), one has made the other “Sadface Man.” He has no superpowers and, instead, is unable to assemble furniture alone, has an adorable pout, and gains the trait: Pitiable.

Jul 17 2013

Snaaaaaaaaaake

My brave, idiot cat, Luna is a mouser. She stalks and attacks critters that invade her home. She’s kind of awesome that way. She also sometimes just sees crap and stalks it vigilantly. Today, she swiped at something in my basement office and I heard a sound that sounded a bit more agitated than a wounded cricket trying to get away from her.

I ran upstairs to quickly find a flashlight so I could see what she was stalking. I shone the light and saw what appeared, briefly, to be a coiled up computer cord of some variety. All in all, not too unusual. Not until it moved.

The following chat conversation then occurred between me and the husband:

Me: Snake. There’s a snake in my office.

Trey: You are worried she found one or she did? Oh shit. Can you get a picture of it?

Me: no. It is hiding I don’t want to disturb it.

Trey: Ok well take the cat and yourself out of the office and close it up.

Me: I grabbed a flashlight to see what it was. The snake can get out of my office if it wants.

Trey: Ok. Um could you get a good look at it?

Me: It’s black.

Trey: Ok that is good. Solid black yes?

Me: Yes. It’s also kinda big.

Trey: Ok good. It’s not poisonous, then if it is just a black snake.

I kicked Luna out of the office because she was still fascinated by the snake, we’ll call him Lucius. She was still fascinated by Lucius and I was pretty sure she was bound and determined to make him pay for making her dinner late.

While Trey drove home, I spent the next hour looking up different Maryland snakes, snake removal, snake infestation horror stories, and shining my light on Lucius to ensure he hadn’t moved.

Lucius is a Black Rat Snake. Removing snakes from your home, you should cover them with a blanket and call someone to take care of the critter, or sweep it into a box or bucket and release your snake buddy out into the wild away from your house.

Somewhere in the space of a 10 minute block of time where I hadn’t checked on Lucius, he fucking moved. I could not find him. By that time Trey had gotten home, so he could help find Lucius. My hero!

He started taking apart my office looking in the various crevices Lucius had previously occupied. No joy. (Tiny upside, my office got a little cleaner out of the deal) Trey was convinced Lucius had left our abode and I asked if he had looked under my desk.

Black Rat Snake

Um… Hi?

He clearly had not. Because that is where Lucius had relocated… In the 10 minutes I wasn’t monitoring his progress, he MOVED CLOSER TO ME! YAY!

Trey tried to get him out from under that small corner of desk using a long closet dowel. That didn’t really work. Lucius poked his head out to say hello, but otherwise, just crawled back under. The whole time, Trey kept saying, “Wow. I’m glad you didn’t realize how huge this snake is, you would have been much more panicked!” Thanks, sweetie, you’re a helper.

At one point, Lucius, thoroughly pissed, brought his head out, coiled sideways very much ready to strike and fuck us up. We backed off, but unfortunately, he tried to find somewhere else to go hide.

That’s when he crawled into my computer.

Me: I think he’s in my computer!

Trey: How would he get in your computer!?

Me: Because there’s a big hole back there!

Trey: …Oh.

My computer, unfortunately, was still on. Shut it down and Trey veeeeeerrrrry gingerly pulled the computer off the shelf and unplugged all the wires. Still no sign of Lucius anywhere behind the desk. “Oh! Yep! He’s in your computer!” -_-

Well, he made it easier to get him in something to get out of our house!

Trey threw a blanket over the back of the computer and out of the house we went. We put the computer on the grass in our yard and tried to figure out whether we would let him crawl out or open up the side of the case and give him a bigger egress.

He took the decision out of our hands when he poked his head back out the back of my computer. He sniffed around seemingly very excited by the prospect of outside sniffs. And a 4-foot Black Rat Snake, formerly of my basement office, found new digs at the base of the pine tree in our front yard.

No offense, dude, but let’s not do this ever again, k?

Jun 07 2013

This is the Story of How I Almost Died

Warning: Um. Sad.

2012 was the year my husband and I started to really try and start our family. We’d already spent our 2nd wedding anniversary, in June 2012, heartbroken when I suffered a miscarriage at five weeks. In the intervening months, we kept trying and “got lucky” on Christmas Eve.

I knew better and to keep it all under my hat until the magic 10-week mark. We told a very small number of friends and I made my first appointment for 8 weeks out.

I had some lower abdominal pain that I considered was just my body adjusting to growing a person inside. I woke up the last week of January with vicious morning sickness. After spending the morning throwing up and being miserable, I started to also get serious neck pain on the right side of my neck. I presumed I pulled a muscle.

I didn’t get better as the day progressed, so I called for a late appointment with my GP to try and figure out what was up, informing them I was pregnant. My doc examined me and diagnosed me with a bladder infection.  My neck started spasming while she was examining me and I screamed in pain and cried, it hurt so bad. I don’t do that.

After some hilarious comedies of errors getting my urine sample, I was sent home with scripts for antibiotics and anti-nausea pills for my morning sickness.

Two days later, February 1, still fairly miserable from my neck hurting and my bladder infection, my doctor called and told me that my urine cultures were negative. They strongly encouraged me to call my OB/GYN and get in for an ultrasound, immediately.

The receptionist tried to convince me that everything was normal, I was gestating a person these things are normal, and to wait for my appointment the following week. I protested and insisted. They got me in that day.

The ultrasound tech couldn’t find the fetus using the external method. She needed to use the ultrasound wand to check internally. Yeah, that one. I could see on the screen as she moved the ultrasound around to check everything out.

She told me that she found the fetus, but it was not in my uterus. It was implanted in my right fallopian tube. If you didn’t know, babies can’t grow there. Ectopic pregnancies are life-threatening to the mother.

I heard the heartbeat. At 7 weeks, your baby already has a heartbeat. I didn’t know that.

The tech went off to find a doctor to see me because we needed to take care of this, immediately. I sent my husband a text message that the pregnancy was ectopic and that we’d be losing the baby. I didn’t understand the severity of my condition. At all. I thought they were going to administer something to end the pregnancy and send me home to follow up in a few days.

My doctor told me that she was admitting me to the hospital for surgery and they’d have to remove the tube. She was straightforward and said that the worst case scenario was a full hysterectomy but she didn’t anticipate that being necessary. I was devastated.

I left and called my husband to tell him I needed surgery and he needed to leave work. He was an hour away. He told me to call my best friend, one of the small crew of people that gets early notice of wtf is up in our lives. She asked if she could come to the hospital and sit with me.

I am a fiercely private person (there’s a reason you are reading this rather than hearing it in my voice or face-to-face) and my instinct was to tell her no. I would be fine. But I surprised myself and told her yes. I’ve never been happier to disobey my instincts yet.

And then I did something that baffles my doctors to this day: I drove myself to the hospital. By all rights and logic, I should have been doubled over in pain, unable to do anything, least of all drive. Not only did I drive myself, I parked ridiculously far away, too and walked all the way around the hospital to get to the emergency entrance. I didn’t even valet park my car. When I do give birth, I will be a fucking champion of pain tolerance, I can only assume.

I sat in the waiting room with my BFF for about 25 minutes trying not to cry and concocting an elaborate plan to say she was my husband’s sister so she could come back with me. She said she’d gotten his permission for the clever ruse. Why not my sister? She’s nearly a foot taller than me… No one would have believed it.

I was admitted, hooked up to IVs, blood drawn, and I think a super classy urine sample taken in the emergency bay with a portable potty in the presence of two nurses (one male) and my friend. Dignity? Bah.

My doctor, who was also going to be my surgeon came in and ran through everything with me after an initial exam by the prior doctor on call at the hospital. When my doctor asked me if I had any questions at all, I asked her when I get my cyborg replacement tube? She patted me on the arm like, “That’s nice, sweetie, but no.” I am officially initiated as a Lathrop – I joke in the face of fear and harrowing hospital visits.

My surgery was apparently uneventful and nothing unexpected or otherwise exciting happened. They removed my right fallopian tube, orphaning my right ovary. They also drained the blood that had built up around my liver and was putting pressure on my neck on the right side. So that problem went away, too.

I was given a doctor’s order for two weeks of rest and to avoid long car rides during that time. Eating could resume, normally. I would not be denied Jell-O, however. That shit is required when I am laid up and unwell.

This isn’t a story about my recovery or my ensuing months-long depression, so I’ll leave those for another time.

I never really felt any fallopian pain until about 45 minutes before my surgery. That was because at that point, my tube had completely ruptured. If I had waited for my 8 week scheduled appointment, I would have been dead in hours.

The key here is to listen to your body. Some pain just isn’t normal and okay in the early stages of pregnancy. Abdominal pain plus neck pain plus vomiting are signs of something seriously wrong. Do not convince yourself it’s nothing and everything is ok, because “some discomfort is normal” and “it’s just morning sickness.” Your discomfort may be someone else’s doubled-over, crippling agony.

Or in my case, my discomfort was my brush with death. She looked at me and said, “Not today.”

Apr 11 2013

I Play Video Games, Jackass

Gamer Girl's Revenge

I have been sitting on this story for a looooooong time. But, a particular badass tweet by Rae Johnston yesterday has spurred me to share my tale.

Middle of last year, the husband decided that he was really excited and interested in playing Dishonored. So much so, that it had earned exalted placement in the list of games that gets pre-ordered. The interesting thing about the Dishonored pre-order, though, was the perks were different based on where you pre-ordered: Best Buy vs Amazon vs GameStop. Each offered different in-game rewards as well as a physical trinket or doo-dad.

I was interested in the game, but Trey was EXCITED about it. He had all the knowledge and had done the reading up on the gameplay and all the other things excited nerds do in anticipation of a new shiny. He picked the pre-orders that seemed most intriguing, which meant GameStop was the winner. I don’t recall the in-game perks, but the physical doo-dad was a deck of tarot cards. I am not too proud to say that if he’d picked a different retailer, I would have lobbied for the tarot deck people. I wanted the tarot cards 😛

October 9th rolled around and I headed over to GameStop to pick up our pre-ordered copy of Dishonored + doo-dads. The clerk retrieved the game and set it out, starting to ring it up. I looked at it funny and asked if the tarot cards were in the game box knowing full well they could not possibly be. I thought it was a decent indication that maybe I knew what I was purchasing.

He grabbed the cards from the box of them they had, put everything together, and rang me up. He handed me the receipt and helpfully pointed at the DLC code to retrieve pre-order goodies and said to me, “Okay, he’s going to need this code to…

I don’t remember the rest of what he said because I probably didn’t hear him. I couldn’t hear anything over the sound of how pissed off I was.

I cut my eyes at him, cocked my hip to one side and clucked my tongue, “How do you know the game isn’t for me? You be careful with that kind of shit.” gave him another disapproving side-eye over my shoulder and sashayed the hell out of there.

I don’t care if he thought the game was for my husband, boyfriend, brother, or (god forbid I don’t look that old yet) son. That he thought, at all, for one minute, the video game was intended for anyone other than the person completing the transaction, standing in front of him because that person was not a MAN is why he is wrong. I’m also pretty sure I was wearing a video game and/or comic book t-shirt at the time.

I vowed that I am going to play the SHIT out of that damn game. I’ll let you know how that goes once I’ve finished playing Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, my 2nd playthrough of Bioshock Infinite, and Borderlands 2. AFTER I wrestle the Xbox 360 from the husband. (We don’t need two Xboxes, but sometimes, we really do)

Edited to add: Trey picked the perks, I placed the pre-order, so not only was I the one picking it up, MY NAME was on the order itself.

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