Archive | February 2012

Worst Wednesday

Oh, where to begin with this one . . .

A lot of you wondered just what in the hell happened last Wednesday to upset me so. A few of you figured it out without my telling you. Some of you I talked to on the phone, some in messages. And others got to see my face at the time it happened. It wasn’t pretty. It didn’t help that I’d been awake for 25 hours upon hearing the news, and that just amplified my reaction.

Let’s begin—for the newer readers—with my various health issues. I have autoimmune hepatitis (a rare liver disorder), fibromyalgia, and lupus (skin disorder). I also have two compressed discs in the lower lumbar region causing a pinched nerve that shoots pain down my left leg on a daily basis. What this means is that I am in pain nearly every single day. I’ve recently had a series of cortisone shots. They didn’t work. If you’ve ever had cortisone shots, you’ll understand the impact of my situation. If you haven’t, you have no idea what I’m talking about. In order to get the cortisone shots, you kinda need to be in a great deal of pain, and you can only get three in a year. For you to understand the level of pain I am in, I’ll tell you that I have an extremely high pain tolerance and if the average person felt the pain I feel on a daily basis, they’d very likely commit suicide or overdose on pain killers, which don’t work on nerve pain, by the way, so I’m not on any pain killers. So yeah, I’m stuck with the pain.

I hurt, people. A lot. It means I can’t do a lot of things, and when I do do certain things—like a con weekend—it takes me three to five days to recover from it. For me, the experience is worth the recovery time. Why? Because I get to meet some of the nicest people! I can’t really participate in sports anymore, which kinda sucks because I miss playing softball and volleyball. I miss going to the gym. I miss doing a helluva lot of things.

I applied for Social Security Disability two years ago, and I should have done it the year before that, but I didn’t because I was in a really bad not-able-to-think place. That’s what happens when your fiancé walks out on you, thereby causing me to lose nearly everything I’d worked for over a 25-year period of working.

Most of you know I’ve been fighting for disability for the past two years. Last Wednesday, I was denied for the fourth time and this was the reason for my little breakdown. For those of you who picked up on it right away and knew what was happening, thank you. That meant I didn’t have to explain it a bah-jillion times. It’s fucking ridiculous. I know there are people frauding the system and all it means is that the people who truly need it can’t get it. That pisses me off to no end.

So, my next step is to appeal it again. I’m also looking into hiring a new attorney. I have no idea how this will turn out. None.

Everything was riding on that approval: Umi’s supplemental insurance so she can get proper healthcare and not die on me; me fixing my credit that the ex obliterated three years ago; new tires for my truck before summer hits so I don’t blow one or more with this wonderful fucking Arizona heat; finishing my damn Bachelor’s degree . . . everything. And that’s not even all of it.

I’ve had a few people tell me to find a sugar daddy, which I think is just hysterical. I’m not looking for Prince Charming to come riding in on his white horse and save me. I’ll fix all of this my damn self, but if I can’t get the disability, it’ll take a lot longer than I’d planned. Some people probably think I’m just being lazy. I’d like them to walk for a day in my shoes and deal with the extreme pain that pain killers can’t kill, and take care of Umi and my handicapped dog. This shit isn’t easy, folks, and I sure as fuck didn’t think I’d be in this position at this age. I’m too young for this shit. I have no intentions of milking the system. I don’t want to be on disability for the rest of my life. It’s not my goal. I just need a little help right now, while I’m hurting, and I’ve needed that help for the past few years. If I get denied again, you can bet your ass that my congressmen and the President of the United States will be getting a letter from me.

Until then, I’m going to keep writing, keep making the jewelry and get my Esty site going, and doing whatever the hell else I can do to get myself to the point where I don’t need their fucking help. Which, of course, is likely when they’ll approve me.

That’s really all I can do. But I’m completely open to suggestions. By all means, there’s a comment box below. Have at it.

But honestly, I’ve been trying to build a few things for the past year, and a lot of it just got put on hold. That’s a major kick in the teeth. But you remember what I said about Life a while back, right? Yeah, that bitch will throw everything at you just to see what you’ll do with it. She’s taken me for quite the ride these past few years, but I’ll tell you this: I’m not ready to lie down and die for the bitch just yet, regardless of the amount of pain I’m in or the diseases that plague my body. She’s taken out a few rungs during my progress, but I keep climbing that fucking ladder through the difficulties of deaths and denials and pain and the fatigue I experience every goddamn day. I keep going because some of those difficult things can be taken care of right away. Some only hold me back a little, like the brain fog. But the impossible . . . well, that takes a little longer to work through. Nothing is impossible, in my opinion, and part of what I’m facing could be considered impossible.

I intend to prove the impossible wrong.

And how in the fuck did this turn into a strong post? Well, I’m back to my old self, the person that those of you who have only known me for a few years have never had the opportunity to meet. This is how quickly I bounce back now. In truth, I was fine on Thursday and already thinking of solutions.

It’s real nice to meet you. =)

 

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Spam Comment of the Week V

This week’s spam comment comes to us from “hello.” No, really, I kid you not. That is the name in which it is listed under. At least it isn’t “horny” and I *will* be sharing some of those with you soon because they’re hilarious. Also? I realize I’m not posting these weekly. Life interrupts at times, but I will attempt to do better. What would help is that if you’re enjoying them, hit that “like” button there, or share this post via Twitter or Facebook, OR comment on the damn post so I know people are reading it! =p

This was on the Online Dating . . . Still? post:

of course like your web site however you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I’ll surely come back again.

Really, Hello? I need to check my spelling? FYI, I’m a goddamn writer and it’s extremely RARE for me to put up a post with spelling or grammar issues. However, I can find SEVERAL grammatical mistakes in your comment. How about you learn English a little bit better before you remark on my spelling?

KThxBai

Oh, and Hello? You should thank me because I was going to put your email up here, but decided that I didn’t want the Karma that would go with that. You’re very fucking welcome.

Online Dating…Still?

I don’t even know what fucking week this is now, but my subscription to the dating site ends on March 4. I will not be renewing it for several reasons. That said, just as I’d given up on the stupid site, a new guy came out of left field at me two weeks ago. Seriously. Totally caught me off guard and I pulled a Keanu Reeves because I was like “Whoa!”

Yeah, I know, bad joke. It’s not meant for you; it’s meant for him because he hates Keanu Reeves. Annnnnnd moving forward…

And you know what? He’s really tall and hella funny and damn cute. I’m hoping he’s not a serial killer because he really likes Dexter, but then again, so do I. =D Hmm…

I’ve had three dates with him so far and have enjoyed myself immensely. Chivalry is NOT dead, ladies. I know, I’m in shock too. No, I’m not telling you about my dates, but if you’d been paying attention to Twitter or Facebook last week, you would have caught some of it. =)

Umi said recently, “It’s nice to see you smiling again.” Um, yeah. That says a lot.

Also? I’ve totally found my zombie apocalypse survival partner!!!

He has ZOMBIE AMMO, people!!! \m/ (^-^) \m/

I Care…

Throwing a little truth at y’all . . . because apparently people need to be reminded now and then.

And I really have no idea what prompted this one. Guess recent events sparked it. *shrugs*

When a friend is upset about whatever in the world they’re upset about, I don’t ask questions other than “are you okay?” and “what can I do?” And if that friend isn’t ready to talk, I’ll patiently wait for the time when they are ready. That’s what friends do. They LISTEN.

When a friend is in need of my help, I don’t ask “why?” but rather “when?” and “where?” and I will drop whatever I am doing to rush to that friend’s side. I will be their shoulder to cry on, their voice of reason, their bent ear, and their angel, if needed. I will not be their savior; however, I will lend a hand in helping them to their feet once again. Whatever it takes and whatever I am able to do to get them moving forward. Friends who won’t do that for you are friends not worth having.

I speak the truth when it needs to be spoken because my friends deserve no less, and I would expect no less of them. I don’t buy into the philosophy “what you don’t know can’t hurt you.” If someone is doing something that will hurt me upon my knowledge of it, I want to know. Yes, it will hurt, but it would hurt me more to find out who knew the information and didn’t tell me. Just sayin’. Life is pain, people. Put on your big girl panties and deal with it. There is no protection because it all comes back to you one way or another. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather hurt a little now than a lot later.

I do, however, pay close attention to “you reap what you sow,” and believe that it’s not so much Karma, though I like to call it that, but rather the circle of life. Everything comes back around full circle, whether good or bad.

I don’t take my friendships lightly. If I consider you a friend, that should mean something to you because I’m rather picky about those I call friends. If I’ve divulged any deeply personal information about myself to you, shown you that “other” face that belongs to my well-hidden twin, congratulations, you’re in the inner circle. With that comes great responsibility, and if you hurt me, you will be cast out forever. I don’t give people second chances anymore. I’ve been burned too many times and my heart has been shredded enough in this life.

 

So if you don’t like the fact that I Care, you’ll just have to get used to it because I do fucking Care.

And if that’s still an issue for you? *points* There’s the door. You can’t be my friend without me caring about you.

Anyway, as much as I hate the holiday, Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my friends and family. I love you guys more than you know!

Focus

I know I’m not alone when I say that last week was just a fucking shitty week any way you look at it. And if you’ve been following my Twitter timeline, you know two-thirds of the reason my week was so shitty—two sprained feet, lots of pain. There was another reason, but I can’t remember it. Oh hey, my memory! That’s always in play, or the fact that it’s severely lacking these days. I’ll remember what it was in about three days. =) What you don’t know about is the funk I sank into, like many others did. It must be the alignment of the planets or something, but whatever it was, it’s still kind of affecting me and I’m pretty much done with it at this point.

Sometimes I choose to share that shit with you (the funk or depressing shit), sometimes I don’t. What can I say? I’m a Gemini. I have two faces, and you rarely get to see the other one. That “other” one holds all of my vulnerabilities—my emotions (the bad ones), my weaknesses, my pain, my naiveté—that I obviously don’t want the world seeing because who the hell wants to read that shit? Am I right? Of course I am . . . try not to read a good portion of my blog if this is your first visit, especially the My Life in Hell posts. That was a really bad time.

I know exactly what I need to do to get things done around here, to follow my 30-something-long To Do list that never seems to shrink. I need to Focus. Focus is good. It is our friend. It helps us achieve great things, like book deals and such.

Things tend to look bad before they get better, and that’s just it with last week—it looked bad, but in all reality, it’s wasn’t as bad as the past few years, so better is just around the corner. Right? I’m not just telling you this; I’m listening to myself when I say it. I’ve been to Hell enough in my lifetime, and the past three years were a valuable lesson learned, but the next three (because things come in three in my family—good and bad) should be fucking peachy (that’s not sarcasm). I’m guessing the deaths will start again at that point. That’s not a negative outlook; it’s a realistic one. That’s how it works in my world. I’m also a worst-case scenario type of person, in that I imagine the absolute worst about everything, most likely so I’m not disappointed when it actually does happen, which it never does. See? Silver lining.

But last week, even though I talked to people online, I felt very, very alone in the world. I know I’m not alone because I have a lot of friends, so it’s a stupid unjustifiable feeling, and I tell myself that. But sometimes, you just can’t help feeling that way.

And I know some of you understand that.

I don’t feel that way now, which is good, but the pain is still there, distracting me, keeping me from getting done all the shit that needs to be fucking finished already. Y’know, like the vampire books, and the werewolf books, and the demon books, and all the short stories and novellas I’ve started. And let’s not forget that if I don’t get the next Kick-Ass Girls Club novel written soon, fans will begin stalking me! Sounds pretty fucking overwhelming, doesn’t it? It fucking IS . . . but I do try to focus on one project at a time, which annoys the hell out of me because I’m used to working on two or three books at once.

So I can tell you I’m going to Focus to get these things done, but it likely won’t happen. One of my greatest hindrances is distraction (Bejeweled Blitz is only a minor distraction). It’s mainly due to the pain I’m in every day because I can’t concentrate on much when I’m in pain. Pain has been more distracting for me than any man I’ve ever encountered, and that’s saying a lot because I’ve actually completed NOVELS while with distracting men. Now I struggle with an edit of one of my novels. And let’s just not even talk about new story ideas I don’t have the time to write . . . .

*sigh*

Of course, I wrote all of this before something else happened over the weekend. No, I won’t be discussing it . . . ever.

*sigh again*

Back to work. I have two writing contests to enter this month. Why? Just because I can.

And I just hope and pray that I can Focus long enough to get them finished.

But honestly, how am I supposed to take over the world if I can’t Focus?

Tomato Sauce Stock

Okay, so I thought I’d give this recipe a shot, though I’m now wishing either of my grandmothers were still alive so I could pick their brains about it (put down the crossbow Juliette! I’m NOT a zombie!). It’s the first time I’ve made it (because I got it from someone who used to be a friend) and it was a success, so I’ll share it with you.

Tomato Sauce Stock

Ingredients:

Tomatoes (lots of them, like a few pounds or more)

Water

Pretty fucking simple, huh?

Fill a stock pot (I have a pretty damn big one I use mostly for crab legs) at least ¼ to ½ full, cut up tomatoes—I sliced in half, then in thirds, and then cut chunks off into the pot.

*Thanks to Umi for being my hand model

Cover but vent the pot and bring to a boil. This is going to boil and then simmer for a good amount of time, and the tomatoes will cook down, so you can more water as they do. I let it simmer for a few hours and mash the chunks as it cooks before letting it cool off and sectioning the sauce stock off into separate containers. Since I no longer have my handy little handheld purée mixer, I think I’ll throw it into a blender before packaging next time. I’ll let you know how it works until I can get a new mixer.

I don’t add any seasoning to this other than a couple of dashes of salt (out of habit) to the water beforehand, and you can strain the peel and seeds out if you’d like, but I don’t. It makes for a nice chunky sauce too, which is great with chicken and pasta.

When I package it, I use at least 2-cup servings because 1 cup just doesn’t work. I’ll probably work with a larger amount of tomatoes and bigger servings next time because I’m trying to shy away from canned tomatoes, which are very bad for you, and I’d found myself still adding paste or diced tomatoes or sauce to it.

Essentially, this is the base for all your red sauces. I’ve now used it for the Red Clam Sauce and a Marinara, as well as a Chicken Parmesan recipe.

Be sure to write the date and time on the Ziploc bags or containers, though they can last in the freezer for a decent amount of time, but certainly not forever. Nothing lasts in the freezer forever without getting freezer burn. Blech.

Piacere!

Vive bene, spesso l’amore, di risata molto!

(live well, love much, and laugh often)