Posts Tagged ‘Night on Customer Service Mountain’

good fun and well worth it

Well, Gentle Reader, when last we put paw to keyboard there wasn’t enough time to tell the story.  I must say my recent experiences have plunged me into an angry despair unlike anything I’ve ever experienced which is saying quite a bit.

Part the first.  So, it turns out I’ve had chronic gallbladder problems which were always diagnosed by my regular doctor as being in my head.  Strange, since that isn’t where the gallbladder is located.

Part the second.  Finally the long suffering Partner takes me to the ER in the only hospital we can use, being poor and all.  After a lot of fun in the waiting room, saying over and over between pukes that no, I have not been to West Africa,  continuously vomiting and mostly missing the opening of the tiny bag they grudgingly gave me, I went in to the treatment area.  My veins were apparently collapsed from dehydration and in their efforts to get a line in me I ended up looking like someone beat the snot out of me, as my ex-Marine postman remarked in horror.  Amazingly a diagnosis was quickly made.  I was told this procedure is essentially outpatient, laparoscopic surgery, no big deal.  This is, of course, true if you have what is referred to as “good insurance”, something I now think of as being in the same category as “good hair” if you know what I mean.  Since I did not have good insurance I instead was put in a bed, no food or water, for 48 hours.  The surgeon’s instructions were that I was to get pain meds every two hours.  The nurses decided that they didn’t really need to bother with being timely with that, with the result that I found myself screaming at one point and being roundly chastised by said nurse.  Lucky for her that by that time I couldn’t speak.  The extra fun part of all this is that I’m allergic to opiates and two days of them put me on Mars.  Plus all the other unknown substances they were pumping into me via IV.

Part the WTF.  At long last I get wheeled into surgery.  I told the anesthesiologist from hell that I’d never been in the hospital, never had surgery, never took drugs, and also have a heck of a gag reflex.  He made a few sexist remarks which he capped off with “I’ll make you fall in love with me- I’m going to give you that stuff Michael Jackson took!”.  Knowing that it was in his power to kill me with this concoction I imagine I attempted a smile.   That was at about 3:30 p.m. on,I think, Tuesday.

Part the way beyond WTF.  I woke up at 1 am, I guess on Wednesday.  Restrained and catheterized and staring into a bright light with three people in the room looking at me like avenging angels.  When at last they removed the restraints and yanked out the catheter I noticed that both hands looked like chopped liver and I couldn’t move my legs due to the tender mercy with which they’d inserted the catheter. They’d pulled the 20 gauge needles out of one hand and jammed a 40 gauge into the other which felt as though it was in a state of permanent crucifixion.  There was  a large divot missing from my lip which was both numb and painful.  They had also hooked me up to a portable heart monitor (with a special sticky right under my boob which developed an infected scratch therefrom.  Extra fun.) and I was literally entombed in wires and tubes.  “You had to be restrained” they said, looking at me like I was Charles Manson.  WHY, I said.  Then even in my miserable state I realized they weren’t about to fess up to giving me a massive drug overdose so I said I had to call my husband.  This being a Catholic hospital there’s just a lot they don’t get so it was easier.  I wasn’t really aware of what time it was, but he answered on the second ring.  He was crying.  He briefly told me what happened, cried some more, told me he loved me and this had been too awful to talk about but nonetheless he was glad I wasn’t dead and he didn’t have to come and blow the damn place to smithereens. We hung up.

In which the fun continues.  So, OK.  I was relieved to see they had indeed done laparoscopy and not a major gutting and tried to content myself with that.  An endless stream of respiratory therapists and people thrusting potassium on me to drink- my heart stopped during all the fun, apparently, and hourly further blood draws ensued.  The first phlebotomist decided it was just too hard to figure out how to get my blood out so she jabbed a needle on the inside of my wrist- right where you’d slit it if you wanted to sit in a warm bath and kiss it all goodbye.  I said, please use a butterfly.  She said, I never use those.   Another huge glass of potassium in plain water which tastes like drano.  Orange juice makes it palatable but I guess since I was a bad dog having to be restrained and all I didn’t merit that consideration.  And let us not forget that by this time I had had neither food nor water for five days.  The drano concoction was the first liquid I’d had.  So, so great. Delicioso indeed.  There was also a veritable endless stream of people coming in to stare at the Person Who’d Had to Be Restrained, as though I’d developed 86 heads.

The Afternoon of the Morning After.  The Partner appeared, we were both sobbing and whatnot. A bitch from hell Valkyrie Nurse’s Assistant appeared, yanked my blanket off, yanked my hospital gown up, and said- No dwainage.  Gut, in a ruminating sort of way.  Still a bit out of my mind I made it all even better by asking her if the thing next to her non-existent nametag was a charm to avert the evil eye: It definitely looked like one of those blue eyeball things you see all over the…oh, dear.  Middle East.  She reared back and made what came to be a consistent theme of hissing and furtive sign of the cross.  No, she said.  At least she finally, at about 3:oo pm, brought me some WATER.  Thank you, Jesus, I said.  Then the osteopath came in.  That went well too, because I said, Oh, you’re an osteopath.  Not an MD but who cares at this point.  Have you read that text Palpatory Literacy?  Literacy, he said???? I said, it’s a basic text for osteopaths and involves training your hands to “read” musculature for dysfunction.  I do it, I said.  Oh, he said, with a minimal hiss and cross making. NO. I DON’T DO THAT ANYMORE.  He did at least partially cop to the fact that they’d almost killed me with the saline/dilaudid combo, saturating my tissues to the point of serious problem.  Next up was a cheery Hospital Administrator, who told us that one of the Great Things About this Hospital is it’s part of a network, so patients who can’t get what they need at one can be taken to another for treatment.  I wondered why they hadn’t done that with me.  (Further notes of interest on this were at the “post op” visit with the surgeon where I had to remove my own bandages and clean my own wounds. His nurse told me when she’d had the same situation he’d worked her into the schedule on the same day.)  Next up another respiratory therapist who I was, at this point, able to ask as to whether or not what they were fuming into my lungs was a steroid.  I’m allergic to steroids.  He said this wasn’t a steroid of course.  Let’s just say that I haven’t been able to breathe for several days and my lungs are just now uncrunching ten days later.  Apparently I’d aspirated a lot of blood as well, so it was just an overall….disaster.

The last two nurses.  OMG.  Honestly I don’t think you should be a med/surg nurse if you don’t understand what pain is.  In any event, Nurse from Hell Ms. S., the one who told me she wasn’t giving me the pain meds because they didn’t seem to help me and I was crying, turned the wheel over to another Nurse S, whom she told about my having to be restrained and nothing else.  So, FINE.  JUST HISS AND GET IT OVER WITH- YOU’LL FEEL BETTER.  After three blood draws, four vital checks and four respiratory therapies, I fall asleep at 3:45 am.  At 4 am?  New Nurse S comes in, shakes me awake, and says, your guard rail is down! That’s against hospital policy!  You’ll have to sign a release form! Put it up yourself, I said. She of course couldn’t do that, and also said she had to put compression hose back on me.  Well, that didn’t happen because the former compression hose came to a grisly end after the combo of stool softener and IV Lasix hit me like a ton of bricks.  Lasix, you may remember, is that stuff they can’t give to race horses anymore to avoid drug detection.  Anyway, I said I’d sign the release when the sun came up.  Ha ha I am so funny that way.  I’d just closed my eyes when back she came, triumphant, waving a release form around.  I found it! So, fine.  I couldn’t even see it but signed it, whereupon she looked at me and said, wow.  That’s pretty good.  Don’t you use your right hand?  Given that it had the ginormous IV needle in it, not right now but I am left handed I said.  Throwing caution to the wind what with the 86 head reputation I was maintaining, I said to her, if there’s nothing else? GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME.

Finally after five days they let me out.  The nurse of the last day who’d been ignoring me came in and handed me a scrip for MORE OPIATES.  No, I said, NO.  I don’t take this stuff even if all my neighbors do and I could sell this shit and take a vacation.  I don’t want it.  Well, she said.  You HAVE TO TAKE IT.  I HAVE TO GIVE IT TO YOU.  It’s the LAW.  You don’t have to get it filled if you don’t want to.  We’ve phoned in the stool softener prescription for you too.  I’m sorry, I said, but I’m really confused.  If you smoke marijuana they’ll arrest you and the light of day will be a dim memory.  If you sell heroin, same thing.  But the entire thrust of the medical industry seems to be getting you addicted to these bloody pills.  She clucked and backed out hastily.

In the end.  In the end, this experience connected me with an anger and rage I’d never experienced.  I have pretty much dedicated my life to helping others and doing no harm, and to be veritably mutilated in this manner…well.  It made me think about all the prisoners who are thrown in the SHU, all those who are subject to Rendition, all the people in Africa who are sick and dying, and the incredible, monstrous greed of a system where money is all that matters.  They can pretend they care, pretend they’re doing something, but unless there’s a stream of money in it for them- and often even then- it’s all a big, fat lie.  Whether you live or die is simply the luck of the draw once you get into such clutches.  The good part about it is this anger has liberated me from a great deal of fear.  There really, in fact, is no room for fear in our minds.  Especially now when it is largely an implant geared to keeping people powerless.  It has been really challenging to attempt to reconcile my desire to perform an orchidectomy on the anesthesiologist with dirty garden shears in a busy intersection, and leave him there after kicking in his ribs, with the reality of who I am, which is still someone who apologizes to the moths for swatting them.  I’ve read Buddhist texts, I’ve read Elaine Pagels, I’ve prayed and breathed deeply.  The Partner assures me that just because I have these thoughts doesn’t change who I am.   I’m just trying to figure out how to proceed now, knowing what I know.

Back in the real world. Meanwhile, in just a few days! I’ve gotten overdue on all my bills and found that I can no longer do online banking because my 2008 laptop doesn’t have the “right OS” and thus the browsers suggested cannot be downloaded.   I’ve told the Partner to keep the gardening shears away from me for a while.


uranus transits, hummingbird brain

You’d think, with my astrological awareness, that it might have dawned on me that the past few years’ high test, high impact, knock the crap out of you altogether occurrences were largely due to my never to happen again (thank you very much) but still ongoing Uranus transit.  Whether or not you “believe” in astrology, it’s like aspirin.  It works no matter what.  So, a Uranus transit?  It’s like someone coming into your life at 3 a.m., turning every single light on,  and just throwing everything out the door.  Everything.  Out.  It all must go and good luck finding what stays.  Especially since there may have been body parts thrown out that might have at one point seemed critical to functioning.

The current MIA happens to be my website.  HA HA HA HA.  Isn’t that cute?  First I have an internet based business with no internet.  I renew my services monthly because I am the poster child for low budget.  I called repeatedly to make sure everything was being paid for monthly like it said on the info page.  I had to change banks and THOUGHT I’d changed the payment options but the web host seems to have turned a blind eye…..and, voila! suddenly I am not there anymore.   A bit disconcerting to say the least.  But, holding steady to my fragments of sanity, I’m thinking, oh, ok.  A glitch! I eat those for breakfast!  Still, it means at least an hour on the phone with someone who probably won’t be paying attention which means:  armed struggle not to lose temper.  There wasn’t anything to be done online about it, so as I’m also trying to work on my meditation practice  when I find myself thinking things like: WHY ME?  ALL THE EFFING TIME? CAN’T THIS CRAP HAPPEN TO SOMEONE ELSE?  I immediately correct the thought to, let me learn from this.  AT LEAST LET ME REMAIN CALM.   The Partner is no help at times like this because, to him, computers and the internet are largely interchangeable with the devil.  So, so far, I’m clinging to the tiny bubble of optimism that arose when 2013 was finally over.

Meanwhile, we were in fact discussing hummingbird brains this morning.

ME:  I wonder what they think about?

PARTNER:  It’s all instinct.  They aren’t thinking about what color flower to go to.

ME:  Well, I meant, what do they TALK TO EACH OTHER about?

PARTNER: !!!@@@!!!!!!

We finally managed to get to the point where we figure they just see so much more than we do, in terms of color and energy, they’re often operating in that 97% area where humans don’t often go.  This led to dogs, the famous, but what about dogs?  Dogs don’t see color at all, which seems unfair, and combined with their inability to digest chocolate, practically a deal breaker.   But we agreed that seeing color on top of smelling everything they can smell would probably be just way too much.  There is, after all, order in the cosmos.  Just not in my life at present.

At the Bean

So, this wasn’t altogether my favorite week.  We had more than one fecoventilatory accident, caused by a mixture of ineffective communication and stress.  Our favorite incendiary combination.  Also, a writing competition I entered, telling myself it was just Good Practice to Get Out There, decided that someone other than I, out of the almost 10,000 applicants, was the Winner.  Which is nothing, but when added to Everything Else, was a bit down casting somehow.  It is ALMOST amusing how all over the place one can be where one’s dreams hold sway.  There used to be a series of the most wonderful greeting cards featuring a character named Donna Louise.  One of my favorites involved her being in a series of disasters, culminating in an earthquake. (This is MY life! I thought.  WOW.) The next picture was of a fork hovering around a light socket with the caption “SUICIDE?”, followed by D.L. pulling it together and marching out to rebuild the shattered city.

Having no light sockets per se in the yurt, I managed to take so many deep breaths I got dizzy, and continued on.  Good things happened too, so overall the balance is retained even if I myself feel a bit closer to crazy than may be really good for me.  I’m still thrashing around trying to figure out if internet AT and IN the yurt is an Impossible Dream.  Part of the Huge Fight of yesterday was about my ongoing attempts to solve this problem in what the Partner thought (correctly, after he ‘splained it) (still.  ONE CAN BE NICE ABOUT THINGS.) was the same way I’d done it before…didn’t work.  Back to the drawing board, which involves a Mobile Device IF said Mobile Device works in our section of bum-eff Egypt.  So, more time on the phone, more deep breathing.  You’d be amazed how hard it is to find out who provides service around where here, and oddly one does better calling some far away place where they can look up on the internet where your address is and say…well.  We hope they’ll say yes but if they don’t it’s just one more piece of what seems like a swift hurtle over the edge.  But then again, what is convenience? after all.  I guess I’ll wind up spending in gas what I was spending on the non-functional internet before and there is something about writing in public.  I guess.

A friend remarked to me this week that it is, indeed, impressive just exactly how much crap transpires in my life and how well I do in not starting drinking before sunset. (-ish.)  Indeed, this reverse squatter thing has involved almost every part of my life blowing up and things that used to work not working at all and…all kinds of things.   The earning money thing, of course, is unbelievably challenging.  Except when it isn’t.  When I lost my job in 2007, I knew deep down that things would never be the same.  Which is fine if you can just get to some semblance of understanding of how they are now.  This understanding has been very elusive.

It does seem, though, that in fact this whole period of time is about all the things that don’t work for us, personally, collectively, globally, having to fall away. I’m hoping that the powers that be snap out of it and decide that the earth’s climate isn’t one of things we can just discard.  Anyway.  Relationships, ideas, all sorts of things turned upside down and inside out so far this year, both for me and the larger world, to the point where at times it’s not possible to breathe.  Some piece of me figures this cosmic clearing out is happening everywhere, but when I hear the news or think about the arctic, or Syria, I don’t feel terribly sanguine.

And yet, here it is another day, with the tremendous mix of high and low that’s always there.  I watched a fawn yesterday morning nibble some weeds on the other side of our garden fence, gazing wistfully in at the rosebush.  The blue jays and woodpeckers were swooping around and it almost seemed….OK.  Then all hell broke loose.  And then?  Another day.

So, essentially, we do what we must.  People pick up and move and change their lives because they have to.  Things move and progress and decay and all sorts of things, because they have to.  As long as I can view all this as an ongoing story it’s manageable.  And next time I’m at the Bean, I’ll tell more of it.

Queasy Thought Form Alert

Whether it’s the coronal mass ejections of late, or the growing pressure of the black hole at the center of our galaxy with which we are famously moving into alignment- whatever it is, Gentle Reader, it IS.  I’ve soldiered on today and have perhaps accomplished some small things. Like maybe finding the right size laser printer friendly labels online.  MAYBE.  But this is once again apparently in Direct Opposition To The Will of The Universe.  Take my internet!!! When I can get onto it today at all, there are not just the constant cursor creeps but now, most festively, a notice that pops up and drives all else from the screen, saying that the bill hasn’t been paid.  This is very special, of course, for a variety of reasons.  We share (I can’t think of another word but that isn’t quite right, really.  We have a sliver of bandwidth if we time it right, let’s put it that way-) satellite service with our landlords.  I pay them for this fabulous service every month with the rent, which they require in cash.  My bank is a 60 mile round trip away and the local ATMs either charge a body part or have insane limits on getting cash out if you aren’t One of Them.  So, given that I go through all that, when I do my part? and then I can’t get any internet because they haven’t? It makes me just the tiniest bit ballistic.  Tiniest bit.

Then, for extra fun, I had ordered a text book on line.  The amount was duly, and immediately, removed from my account.  A few days passed and I got an acknowledgment that the book was on its’ way.  Then? Two notices saying that the book couldn’t be sent because it was damaged.  And, the purchase amount was credited back to me.  Pondering whether I really needed this book or not, I happened to check and see if the credit had been processed as promised and GUESS WHAT? I bet you can’t.  Really?  Well, instead of crediting me for the book that wasn’t sent, I got a second debit for the same amount.  So now essentially I’ve paid twice for a book I cannot get even once.   Of course their customer service is closed so Monday will be fun.

Meanwhile.  I’ve been pondering just exactly how irritating excessive and constant cheery bonhomousness can be since it feels as though I am turning into T Rex at times.  A few conversations transpired lately where I’d say something like, my neighbor’s horse died, and the other person would say, well everything’s GREAT for ME!  I find this confusing every time.  It reminded me of a job I had once at a Trauma Center in a Children’s Hospital in a metropolitan area.  This was where abused children and their families came for counseling post-injury.  It was kind of a stressful place to work.  One staff meeting, everyone was discussing this and that, what needed to be done, etc., and also the fact that the previous weekend had been monstrous, with two DOA kids.  The director of the program, when it was her turn, said, well, we all create our own realities.  And what I have created for MY reality is a week in Hawaii -next week!.  I leave you to mull over the complete jaw dropped silence that ensued.   But I’ve come to realize that this is a not uncommon mode of discourse.  People want to say that they live in the now, and they create their reality- and usually of course this is in stark contrast to YOUR reality in which you are not going to Hawaii, for example.  By implication you have created a booger reality for yourself.

The thing about this is, it is indeed true that the now, the present moment, is the only place you can actually be.  But?  You are not in that moment alone.  Every being and entity on this planet and who knows how far out into the distance is in it at the same time, however that time may be defined.  There is a movement of energy throughout this Now and no person can really control that.  It is never really all about you.  The past and future are tangible things although from our vantage point in time they aren’t concretely real.  They are things that can be symbolized for us by, say, a picture from a time past or a ticket for something in the future.  The present is real in its own way- funded by the past and participating in the future, with all the energies of everything that is in the present.  When you think about the level of indoctrination we’re all exposed to one way or the other, it seems to me that there is a huge amount of getting people to look at surface, not substance, in terms of actual reality and real life.  There’s a lot of telling you how you “have” to be and what you “have” to do.  There’s less emphasis on teaching people how to think, and to be kind to each other.  Even less emphasis is placed on just what it takes for all of us to live harmoniously- which on some level has to do with everyone participating in creating a reality that all can live with and function in.  Ultimately, however,  these thoughts and instructions take form, have a life of their own- as what are sometimes called thought forms.  The illusions we believe in now (American Dream?  a woman’s ideal weight? testosterone gel!)  consist of these thought forms which are maintained by, in theory, the energy of the entire group here.  Energy can have an impact on these thought forms, which is a basic premise of a fair amount of alternative healing thought.  You can change the way you think and perceive things, after all.  Anyway, when the energy is under pressure, is negative because the illusion is tattering in spots (Greece.  Detroit. Sudan. Syria. Rick Santorum?) it does seem as though those who are invested in it heavily become ever more assertive in their efforts to continue belief in it.  People who absent themselves from the entire paradigm are often not totally healthy- they may be schizoid or psychopathic.  Or they may be artists and writers. But they do not take  the usual path, in any event.

In any event.  I’m thinking about a new approach.  Thoughts ARE things, thought forms are real (however you wish to describe them) and as it happens there are a bunch of them I am not interested in encountering any more.  The thought that I might be able to disengage from stuff that is counter, according to my gut,  to my well being is rather new, and it also connects to the concept that one doesn’t have to have an opinion about everything, either.  It’s really quite restful not to have to pepper everything into submission with questions and definitions- preferably without any listening taking place.  But somehow, what to do when things don’t ring true? Is an ongoing investigation.  Letting go is not the same as letting oneself be run over; things that are not right, are not right.  By this I mean things that contribute to ignorance, social stratification, lack of understanding and also lack of basic truth.  So.  When, in the course of things, one encounters many of these sorts of things that aren’t right- it can be a balancing act.  One can’t withdraw completely- it’s unproductive over the long haul.  But it is perhaps about setting limits.  That is today’s daunting task.

Whirled Peas & Armed Bears, Pt. 1

Let’s just say, Gentle Reader, that I now have a repetitive stress injury in my elbow from holding the phone for so long, lo these many days, to get my SEO/BS/whatever it is, up and running.  Silly me, thinking that since I am paying these people for a service, I would actually receive same.  Looking at one of their carefully crafted info things about my business, they used the phrase, “triple threat”.  Somehow it doesn’t ring true for me, seriously.  We deal with flowers and healing and harmony, really we do.  Threat is just….not.  So it took two days and close to two hours to get that fixed.  Then, supposedly my testimonials were to be included on this same page.  Fine.  Yesterday’s blockbuster conversation ended with a “message being sent” to “that group” to add those testimonials.  Today’s armed struggle ended with me talking to someone in “that group” and her having the usual aggrieved attitude about correcting their grammatical and content errors, and her also telling me that they’d have to get some sort of special authorization to get those testimonials off my website even though it’s hosted by them…..and this would take two weeks and I started to hear opera in my head, which meant it was time to hang up.  We’d reached the death scene, apparently.  I’m giving them one more chance Monday.  Seriously.  ONE MORE AND THAT’S IT.

In other local news, someone up here apparently got some bad news late last night.  We were out moon gazing, which was spectacular, when suddenly the night was pierced with the sounds of a human roaring.  This went on for several minutes (the dogs in the neighborhood? thought it was a sing along) and then the person started rhythmically bellowing GOD…..DAMN….IT.  Over and over.  Very loudly and sonorously.  Since I can really at this point relate to this on a few different levels and foci, and since there was no gunfire, we thought, Oh, WTF, right?  Just another night in paradise.

Of course there’s lots more, but it is all so disheartening (the Christian Evangelical group Rick Perry is “one of”, for example, believes that the Statue of Liberty is…being influenced I guess they’d say, by devil spirits.  The Statue of Liberty.  Devil.  EVIL SPIRITS THEREIN.  This is important stuff.  I guess they also believe the Devil- who is apparently busier than we ever imagined, here I thought he was just inhabiting corporate heads and maybe people like Pol Pot’s bodies- went around planting fossils and dinosaur bones to fool people into thinking evolution was real.  Again, important stuff.) it’s hard to know how to approach it.  One of the best bumper stickers I ever saw was “visualize whirled peas” so today I stuck with that, which was plenty hard enough.  (The other best is Protect your right to arm bears.  Which we completely support here, of course.)  I’m also totally blown away by all the reversals the Obama Administration has pulled and how much it looks like Bush-era policy, environmentally, socially, and regarding the “War On Drugs”.  Too bad they aren’t aiming at Pfizer and Merck in this war.  Oh, and also, in other super important things that we need to be attending to right now, the House passed a bill that basically makes abortion illegal.  For crying out loud.  Is there a brain in the House?  Anybody there able to read their watch?  PULSE? And of course, there’s MONSANTO.  But more on them another time.  I bet you can’t wait, either.

But it is a beautiful evening and all our ornamental sages are, at last, blooming.  The hummingbirds zoom around and play all day and, since you can’t step in the same river twice, no reason for too much worry.   So, on to a better world with whirled peas and armed bears!

Not Anybody’s Gravy Train

We are REALLY having fun now, Gentle Reader.  I had sort of, I suppose, let sleeping dogs lie over the summer which is to say I didn’t extend my torment of the season by including “marketing” expansion for my business in my to do list.  Things were working fine anyway, and with my luck I like to adhere to the If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It  School of Management.

So, we found ourselves on the receiving end of a, yes, marketing call from my webhost (with whom I am, usually, satisfied), proposing an upgrade in my current SEO package.  Including a facebook page.  Well, I thought.  I can do this for a quarter, see what happens, and……OH SILLY, SILLY BEAR.  It’s amazing how quickly we forget the absolute hell we descend to when first we start to muck with our website.

Granted, our internet connection here is barely rudimentary.  For example, for this blog?  The satellite dropped a keystroke in my password entry twice which meant I got shut out and had to reset the password.  So, fine.  Reset the effing password and proceed.  EXCEPT that now, every time I log on, the password section of the opening screen buzzes back and forth in a nauseating fashion and I get to re-enter the new password at least twice.    Meanwhile, today, a customer contacted me saying she’d placed an order on the website.  So I checked and there was no order.  I spent another 45 minutes on the phone with the webhost attempting to ascertain whether there was (yet another) problem with the shopping cart.  Seemingly there wasn’t, and I had to do what everyone who sells things just loves to do, ask the customer to resubmit the order.  ALWAYS A WINNER.

You’ll notice I said “another” 45 minutes on the phone.  Because I’d already spent an hour on the phone with the new SEO people because they’d sent me the Facebook page connect, but with no password.   Also, for the Google portion of the thing, apparently there’s yet another number you have to have to use it.  Fine.  And that, they mail to you.  Except Google in its’ omniscience feels that a P.O. Box isn’t a proper address and probably means you’re some sort of Ukrainian/Nigerian/Other terrorist spam meister.  I, naturally, can only get mail at my P.O. box.  So what happened was? They combined the street address at which I physically…exist…and tacked my P.O. box number onto THAT.  Assuming that the Post Office would just figure that out and…uh….well, do something.  You would have thought I was asking them to have the earth rotate counterclockwise by indicating to them that this was never, never, ever never going to work.  Anyway, no number, no service and of course I’m paying for this delightful experience, right? So I said, well, ahem, how about extending the billing date since I’m not getting any service.  NEVER MIND.

Meanwhile, I was additionally informed that my welcome email as they call it had been sent to me.  Funny, since I didn’t get it.  I DID get several offers to enlarge my (non-existent) penis and claim my sweepstakes/inheritance/UPS tag, as well as many heartening offers to expand my financial well being by various byzantine mechanisms.   So, there was that.  There was also the fact that when I finally logged into the Exciting New Facebook Page for which I had submitted photographs and had been assured that “they” would put together (“oh, don’t worry we do all the work..”) I saw…..nothing.  So net net what this means is more phone time tomorrow which of course one looks forward to, avidly.  Also, do I need to pay someone to do nothing?  So, so confusing.

I like to think it is a positive sign that I haven’t snapped yet.  Because really.  I MEAN REALLY.  The computer world and the banking world and all the rest of it are so totally screwed up, FUBAR as they used to say when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and apparently run by people who operate on fumes instead of brain power, that every effort one makes to navigate and perhaps make money feels like a round with a heavyweight champion, with you being hogtied and gagged.  Or something like that.  How does anything get done? or does it?  I’m not paranoid enough (yet) to think this stuff only happens to me.  But I’m starting to retain the impression that I really don’t give a flying F^@! about Google placement.  I have the growing sensation that, no matter what they say about how everybody and his dog does x,y and z and has stellar results and blahblahblah, this may be where the actual “job creation” has been.  This phone roundelay we’re all on, where people have jobs selling things to other people that aren’t really any good or ever going to be, or maybe just be, period, either.   But by cracky you gotta be on Facebook and those Google Ratings! TO DIE FOR.  Perhaps I just had a bad day.  I haven’t even told you about the spam loop I’m on with a Turkish Google Ad Word site, either.

Oh well. Next time, Nature.  But, right now? I’m sorry, I have to go scream.

It Had To Happen

Fecoventilatory Accident

Here we have it, in a nutshell

In Thomas Pynchon’s immortal wording: A Fecoventilatory Accident.  Tell me something I don’t already know, Universe!  Still I suppose it was comforting to finally know, absolutely that, er, my sense of things wasn’t askew.  So if you’re wondering how we are here in probably the Hottest Place On Earth Besides Some Spot in Saudi Arabia, look no further than the above, graphic, depiction.

In related news, those brave souls of you struggling to equip your off the grid spots with things like propane powered water heaters?  Today’s concept is WCI, aka Water Column Inches.  Never mind that this is usually a concept associated with DRILLING.  Never mind that in a regular hardware store none of the propane attachments have specs in WCI.  No, just never mind all that, friend.   After literally weeks of armed struggle with the Takagi Jr., a long morning was spent on the phone with Takagi Customer Service.  Probably we need say no more, however…..  They didn’t want to talk to us at first because we weren’t a business.  So, never mind that EITHER.  Finally the tech got to the WCI issue, and in a magnanimous gesture of unbridled compassion, revealed that the 11 wci in tee tiny print on the owner’s manual actually meant: How much pressure the water heater had to have to work.  Clearly, it would have been out of the question for the manual to say, get low power regulator with 11 wci OR one half pound psi. Since, in this case it worked out to half a pound.  So the regulator we had which theoretically works on everything? Waaaaay more than half a pound.  We’re of course very grateful that we didn’t blow up the water heater the same way….oh, never mind.  Anyway, good God Almighty, hot water at last.  We were able to order the regulator on line.  That was fun too though.  I have a post office box and as we all know, UPS and FedEx can’t deliver to P.O. Boxes.  So just to clarify that it would be mailed, I called the jolly barbeque company which turned out to be in Baton Rouge which turned out to be in mid-monsoon.  The guy says, oh no, we have to have a physical address because we only use UPS.  It costs extra to use the mail.  Fine.  I give them the address and what happens?  IT ARRIVES IN THE MAIL.  I give up.

Next up, the Webcam Story.  Real, serious, fun.  Til next time…….

Um, Maybe Not Quite Bullwinkle Pt. “X”

In retrospect, it really was going so-so/OK until I dropped the chicken.  I’d gotten dinner organized, gone out, come back and was preparing to turn the roast chicken over (Julia Child’s recipe) and finish everything.  Yes.  Well.  This chicken had a mind of its own, apparently, and although there was a nagging little voice in the back of my mind that said, watch out! danger ahead!, I forged ahead and that chicken saw its chance.  Like a flash it caroomed out of my unstable grasp, flung the small rack it rested on across the floor and released a veritable flood of fat enriched juice into a ) the oven door and onto b) the floor.  This sort of thing makes the Partner especially cross.  Although, honestly? I haven’t dropped a chicken before.  But I’m sure others have.  Heck! JULIA dropped things.  Anyway there were some rather unkind references to “lobster claw hands” and “clumsy ox”.  Sadly these had the effect of making me laugh uncontrollably because a person I consulted earlier in the year remarked that there was “something of a bull in a china closet about you.”  Well, indeed.  Just so.  Anyway it all turned out JUST FINE after I quickly retrieved said chicken, and after a brief search the rack, put it back in the oven, cleaned up the lake, etc.  So then:

ROMANCING THE STONE was on.  I’d never really cared for this movie all that much, and this go round I realized it was because I couldn’t really relate to the character of Joan Wilder.  You know what’s coming, don’t you Gentle Reader?  All through the movie, especially at points where Joan is whimpering after sliding down a waterfall or things like that, the Partner was saying, Look! Look! That’s YOU.  Hmm, I thought.  Then, the coup de grace.  You know the part where the two of them are in between a group of ruffians and a closed door? and Michael Douglas says, write us out of THIS Joan Wilder, and then it’s all, THE JOAN WILDER? and all is well?  In total outrage, the Partner pointed at the TV, then at me, and said: That is so totally YOU!!!!  We could be about to be EATEN by CANNIBALS! and THAT would happen!   You say that like it’s a bad thing, I said.  Which is how I came to understand that I am a kind of eyewateringly weird combination of Felix Unger, Joan Wilder, and Winnie the Pooh.  I don’t know how this will play out in our hunt for a new home.  I’m just repeating “the  Joan Wilder?” quietly to myself, in a hopeful sort of way.

So, you can imagine how distasteful it is for me to find myself bellowing into the phone trying to get a mistake on a bill corrected.  Now that we are conducting a foray into moving and what not…well.  Let’s just say we’re thinking Credit Report.  So, I get a bill which I did not owe.  I call.  I get a recording, one of those with that particularly irritating female voice that says, let’s see how we can ….and runs through a list of possible options.  None of which are usually relevant of course.  So, I wanted the “account” option.  I said “account”, not even using my fake Russian accent or anything.  Five times.  I’m sorry, the perked out droid says,  I didn’t get that! Let’s go through the list again!  I raised my voice.  I still didn’t get that!  By this time I was actually roaring the word account into the phone.  How ridiculous is that?  About as ridiculous as the attempt this agency was making to pretend I owed them money.  I know they’re having hard times; so am I.  They corrected my account records so at least I THINK I got something accomplished.    Then there’s the story about trying to recycle our old electronics at a purported “Electronics Recycling! Sunday!”  We go through this labyrinthine parking lot set up, following the signs, and this young girl strides up to us and says, What brings you here today?  OK, it hadn’t been the greatest morning, but still.  What the effing hell do you THINK BRINGS US HERE? But, no.  We have electronics to recycle we said.  She asked us what, and repeated everything we said, twice.  OK.  Parallel Universe Alert.  THEN she says, well, we’ll take X but we require a donation for each of the other items.  Uh…isn’t this a recycling thing?  Isn’t a donation voluntary and not mandatory?  Well, she said, this is a benefit for those kids who don’t have health insurance and in order for us to take your electronic recycling items you have to pay us for each one that’s not a TV…..I admit I lost it.  Jesus God woman! I said.  *I* don’t have insurance and unlike those kids I can’t get state help.  This is supposed to be a recycling thing for electronics, to save the environment and all, not a trip to the freaking Twilight Zone.  Turns out the Salvation Army is a wonderful place, after all.

Anyway, here we are.  I’m getting used to the notion of having absolutely no idea what’s next, or where, or when…..along with, now, not knowing quite where anything is except that it’s packed.  And no, I don’t have a master list although I suppose I should.  I’ve labelled the boxes and that’s probably as good as it’s going to get, for now.

Oh Dear

Well.  It appears we’ve actually become part of the blogosphere.    Had to delete a couple of posts, and, really.  Who knew?  I guess it’s a good thing, but it IS interesting what people will do in the privacy of their keyboards.  Yipes to the comments, I mean.   Anyway, the Veil  of Secrecy has been drawn across that episode.   And, Google translation?  Good for a laugh, not much more.

Meanwhile, it all continues apace.  Thanksgiving went well, by which I mean not only a beautiful day and good food, but: NO INJURIES OR THIRD DEGREE BURNS.  It started out normally enough, with me making the delightful discovery in the back bottom of my pantry of two, not one but two, apparently exploded at some time in the distant galactic past, cans of sweetened condensed milk.  Goo all around.  Black goo.  Sticky, metallic, black goo. ( The miracle was there were no ants.)  But I take heart from the fact that instead of the entire day being like that, it stopped there.   I mean, I’ve had Thanksgivings that featured chestnut-related eviscerations, dramatic last minute bird funerals (not the turkey’s, either) and plumbing disasters attended to by members of the Hell’s Angels.  This was all quite pleasant, really, this go round.  No blood in the stuffing or anything!

I did have lots of ostensible ideas to write about, really I did.  But the Christmas potion mixing season is upon us, so I find myself occupied with finding the right tool for the job most often.  You’d be amazed how challenging that can be sometimes.  One thing we do here, is we fill jars with cream.  A pastry piping bag is perfect.  Except we don’t want to use the same bag for the creams as we do for the BUTTER creams.  For some reason.  So we use plastic bags.  But we ran out.  So we got DISPOSABLE piping bags.  But they were too small.  So… see how this is going.  And it’s not just the right tool for the job, either.

No.  It’s the freaking inordinate amount of time I still have to spend in Night on Customer Service Mountain.  My new business motto is: JUST SAY NO.  No, I don’t want to be featured at the top of Google for a mere $100 a month.  No, I don’t want another cel phone account when I have 5,000 leftover minutes on the one I have, for coincidentally? $100 a month.  No, I don’t want to be signed up for your special extra credit card fee.  Which, can you guess how much? Bingo.  $100.  SO, NO.   And, really, I did not to subscribe to both MUJER and LATINA magazines so don’t bill me. Then there are the follow up phone calls to the bowels of the universe, the depths of hell where the music never changes, when, my gosh, the assured corrections have not been made and wow! Not only are bells ringing but things are bouncing. No, I didn’t sign up for that.  No, no, no.  I’m being attacked by worms, by spiders,  by my HAIR.  It can’t decide if it’s on fire or not.  Not even! I got some new “product” from my hair impressario and I guess it is only to be used if you’re actually styling your hair, like with a dryer? or something? and not twisting it into a knot to let it dry in 40 degree weather.  Because then, then, well.  It does something rather unspeakable which is to remove every shred of body the hair might ever have had.  Ha, ha.  

Anyway.  We’re all fine! Really! We’ll keep you posted, as it were.


BattyHere, as heretofore alluded to and promised, is my Halloween picture.  

The monoprint is from Bridget Henry ( and Batty plus halo is just part of the crew here at Rancho Boozilla.  The pumpkin is destined to be a pie.  

Batty has a special place in my heart, as a bit of an alter ego really.  Lately I have been feeling ever more…lost in space.  Batty, as it were.  It seems challenging-er and challenging-er to keep everything together, and as a friend of mine remarked yesterday, things are becoming Chaotic.  Surely not, I murmured, narrowly missing a pedestrian who had decided to step out into the crosswalk when the light turned red.  Having waited, of course, through the green light.  We were driving to the hospital to straighten out yet another  life snafu, so there was some urgency to it all.   Then I went into my “Shipping Department” (garage) today to send out some products and thought: Oh dear.  Chaos indeed.  Still.  Lost shipments from last summer and non-stop solicitations notwithstanding, today I feel as though I and my Little Website have really arrived.  We are now receiving long, lingering visits from robots.  Yes.  Bots.  And Spiders.  Not, as I anxiously asked the Webhost, Dr. Evil?  No, no, he said.  Robots.  Ha, ha, he said.  Dr. Evil! You have quite the little sense of humor don’t you? he said.  Apparently, since I get hits from all over the world the robots think this means something.  Hits, mind you.  Sales, not so much.  Then again it is hard to ship reasonably to Arabia and Bolivia.  After all.  And it is especially hard to make sales when your credit card processing service decides to switch your shipping options from various and mostly free,  to express mail only with no notice.  Somehow people just don’t want to be pushed into that! Whoa. And, as shopping on my own website is not my habit, I Had No Idea.  After my head came back together after exploding upon receiving this wonderful piece of intelligence,  I was relieved to learn there is a new “slogan”, as it were, for this occasion.  When I  called this nest of vipers  Entity before with problems, they have said, Oh, no, no one else has that problem.  Right.  Right? Now, they said, Oh, no.  We never offered that service.  Never offered multiple shipping options for a web based business.  Never.  We’re just processing money. Oh.  Of course.  Sure, you’re right.  Just because you have all these effing programming options for just these very services on the site that programs my shopping cart? Meaningless.  Only a complete dolt would think that had any meaning at all.   So, Batty and I looked at each other for a while and then I cowboyed up and fixed the darn thing.  I hope.  Meanwhile.  Does anyone know what the Good Witch looked like?