Whew...

Nov. 6th, 2016 01:19 am
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Financial photo finish. Last night (which was well, a few hours ago) I logged into Opinion Outpost for the first time in...*checks survey history*...one year, one month and 10 days, then pushed from 4 points (what was left over after my last log-in) to 104 in a few hours (which is $5 an hour - admittedly not even minimum wage), cashed out, and am $10 flusher as we speak.

The amazing thing - maybe because I've been gone so long they're trying to entice me to stick around - is the surveys were interesting and related to things going on in my life - once I got through tons of pre-screeners, a few long, boring, no-reward profile-fillers and got DQed a few times.

As of last night, and just as I'd drank over predicted, we had $62 for next week after paying rent and putting aside for OP's phone. Then I sold something on CL ($40) and made another $64 online ($10 with Opinion Outpost, $12 in accumulated payments from Pinecone Research, $36 with eBay, but the eBay sale's pending because I'm two sales short - though $12 over - the requirements for PayPal to release the money immediately).

I have something like $150 worth of stuff still unsold on Craigslist, so without those sales it's not working out good enough to say, pay Comcast a token to reflect my eternal amusement, nor start putting aside for next month's rent or do much of anything except put it aside to combine with whatever comes in next, but it'll do, I guess.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

The roof was finally fixed. It took four days to get a one-day roofing job out of the way. Leave it to my landlord to get a lais·sez-faire crew with an excellent work ethic during the random times they appeared, but totally bohemian hours. Just whenever it gets done, ain't no biggie. The day something goes down the way it was supposed to I'll be handing out hundred dollar bills and bottles of wine to the lot of you just to help me celebrate. Obviously I can make that offer, knowing nothing will ever occur to force me to pay up.

A new roof being put on was four days of sheer terror for the cats and many sort of sleepless days and nights for yours truly. I mean, I actually went 36 hours without sleep the first day the roofing crew worked because I stayed up so late the night before and they started on the roof so early the next morning there was no point in going to sleep.

The cats spent every day from around 7 or 8 each morning (because it was a small, informal crew that tended to just show up, you know...whenever) under beds and crouching in the long, narrow pots and pans cabinet in our kitchen but even for them there was no escaping that noise. The work started and finished over our apartment (which is nestled in the middle between two others). The cats tend to get up between 4am (to play) and 6am (with Other Person) so they'd only get a few hours in before the ruckus began and then had to go run and hide.

And by "ruckus", I mean people walking on the roof, hammering, disassembling and dropping truckloads of roofing materials on it, re-laying and power-gun-nailing it, and driving us all pretty much fucking insane.

Except Other Person. They did the roofing on a Thursday and Friday, stopped for the weekend (OP's time off) then began again Monday and finished Tuesday. Most of the neighbors were away - unusual in itself, as a few of them are usually around for at least part of the day - so it was mostly me and the cats, or just me, since the cats were all "Nopecan'teven", so I didn't see too much of them.

The only good part was it forced me to flip to a day schedule. Normally (as you can see now) I'm a night owl, but this forced me to flip. My schedule stayed flipped for a few days but I've slowly drifted back to staying awake into the wee hours. What sucked was having to wear earplugs while wide awake just to block out some of the noise, and constantly falling asleep in that condition, sometimes while sitting up, as though my brain resorted to narcolepsy just to deal with it.

Speaking of which, I'm very slightly narcoleptic. I can usually fight it off so I guess from a medical standpoint it doesn't count as the real thing. But I do have sleep apnea so what happens is, when I get what I call a narcoleptic episode coming on, my eyes get heavy and I pretty much instantly stop breathing. Usually while walking down busy streets. No, I'm not a zombie. But I can't explain it. It's been going on for years, and while it freaks me out, there's not much I can do to stop it.

The daily mess in the house from people banging about on the roof was quite intense. There's another neat freak like me in the apartment to the right, a guy who's almost as gung-ho as I am (which means we might have the two cleanest apartments around; most of these places, by the time people move out, get pretty fucking bad without a new roof being put on).

Our ceilings are just wood beams with no insulation, so anything in the beams just came tumbling down onto floors, countertops, sinks, furniture, the bed, windowsills, the full-flight staircase, the closet, the toilet, onto our hanging clothes...everywhere. Mostly leaves and just fucktons of black dirt. The gung-ho-clean guy next door was almost crying he was so put out. Luckily, I clean stuff for a living, so it was no worse, and in fact much better in some ways, then cleaning up someone else's mess. That any of my cleaning jobs could be so easy.

I've waited some weeks, like you might before announcing a pregnancy, before writing about the new roof to make sure it wouldn't leak, blow off in the next wind, collapse in the next rain, or so on, but so far it's held up, which means the only still unfixed damage (besides monster tree stumps laying roots-up all over the place) is huge water stains on our bedroom carpet from the roof leaks. The landlord offered to have it cleaned by his carpet guy before our power was even restored but we're still waiting. Other Person has enough work going on with him right now that I don't want to make waves over something so minor, so I'm sitting on reminding him that he offered to have it done.

But he also offered us a bucket of raw oysters from his friend who owns a restaurant back in August which still hasn't turned up, so you can see what I'm up against here.

Before the roof got fixed, our entire county/region was declared a FEMA disaster area, but FEMA doesn't cover lost food or lost time at work, which were the two areas we got killed in. I think we'd have more food right now if we hadn't had to eventually dump what was a well-stocked freezer and fridge at the time - to the tune of hundreds of lost dollars. Food is extremely hard to budget for and we lost scads of time at work - and lost actual work - because of the storm, and there's been no making up for it, at least not yet.

The last round of flea medicine did not go well for Bowie or Good Calico. For some reason, though it was placed correctly between his shoulder blades, it ran down Bowie's left shoulder, then he kicked it with his back foot. Luckily I saw him do that, so I grabbed him and just scrubbed it off with Dawn. Yes, about $12 worth of medicine got rinsed down the drain. Then OP got all "waste of money" about it, so I was like, "Really? Fine, next time we'll just let this stuff kill him, that way we're not wasting money, right? Can't do that, you're so right."

Eventually a longish discussion ensued. He asked why I have to buy stuff that kills the cats so I explained I was exaggerating, that it doesn't, that Activyl is actually one of the safer brand names you can buy because it works solely through the skin, but the cats can't ingest it because it can cause serious neurological issues (like seizures, tremors and twitching) and that all flea medicines are pesticides - pure poison - so no matter which brand you buy, you'll always run the risk of poisoning or outright killing your animals, which is a sad state of affairs.

Then he worried that because Bowie lost his dose that he'd never stop having fleas. So I explained that because four cats managed not to have it run down their sides so much that it had to be scrubbed off to keep them from ingesting it, that the protection on them would probably keep Bowie from catching any fleas he didn't already have. I added that some of the medicine we applied soaked in before the rest got washed off, so he still had some protection left.

Bowie wasn't the only one to have problems; Good Calico developed a scabbed-up bald spot at the application site that's still visible even now, weeks later. And Tab and Pip...I don't know how it got to them, but Tab began drooling and Pip threw up right after it was put on. Bad Calico was the only cat who acted like nothing happened. She's the only one who always does.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
  • Comcast: done. No more phone calls or in-person visits for me. Saw the second credit in my account today, bringing the bill back to about where it was in July...

    A screencap of Comcast's website showing $75 and $50 credits given to me during 10-2016
  • Kittens: weighed. Last month Bowie weighed 7lbs, Pip was 6.5lbs, and Tab-Tab was 6lbs. Now Bowie and Pip weigh 9lbs and Tab-Tab is 8.5lbs.
  • Re-ordered flea medicine for all five cats. I thought I'd be able to use my Uni card (I take surveys through a university a few times a year that pay rather well) but due to the kitten's weights I was on the fence about whether to get the dose for under or over 9lbs. Bowie had a brief problem with tremors last time, so I figured if I did get the over 9lbs dose I'd buy in bulk and cut the pills down for Bowie and Tab-tab. That came out to just under $50 with one seller, but the card didn't go through for some reason, so I went back to my last seller and re-ordered what I got the last time. Two kittens will be slightly under-dosed (and buying both dose sizes for five cats actually cost more - too much to put on the Uni card) but I was going to under-dose Bowie anyhow to keep him safe, so oh, well.
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Which, before I get started, reminds me *glances at title*...I have two problems with writing - besides, of course, the inability to proofread my own writing as objectively as I proofread in general, and a style so elastic that 10 years of online writing hasn't narrowed it down to anything in particular (but in truth, there are at least two major styles I display; one's very hard to use because I never use it, so it gives me a headache like the one I have right now; the other's conversational and therefore almost too easy to use; I don't like either) - commas and where they should go, and when to use 'that' or 'which'. And yes, I know the Internet's a thing I can use to look up the answers, but my mind riots against commas and wants to switch up when I use 'that' for 'which' with wild abandon and I'm getting so tired of fighting it.


  • The kittens need to be re-weighed for their next round of Activyl because the doses come in two sizes: over or under nine pounds. They were in the 6-7lb range a month ago but kittens do strange things, like grow, that I have to take into account in order to not under or overdose them.
  • The kittens completed their third round of dewormer two days ago. Never saw a worm again after the lone worm I reported before their first dose.
  • Tab-tab tried to reproduce with Pip the other day. They're boys, so I take it it's time to look into the removal of that which produces the need to reproduce. Income's been too low lately to consider it.
  • Roof's still not fixed. I was actually glad the due date of last week came and went because it was supposed to get fixed just before Matthew was to hit, so I figured the roof would get fixed, fly off or get broken by the trees in the next storm, then have to be fixed again. Spare me my rich landlord's crying about having to fix the damn roof twice. At least if it ever does get fixed, we're getting a new roof, end to end. No more leaking in my bed every freakin' time it rains. Yay-ah.
  • Comcast lied about giving me most of the credits discussed in this post. It's not that I never got them - I saw evidence of at least two: one under "My Account" on their website and one in an email confirmation, but the first $75 credit I saw was apparently rescinded by an auditor before it could be applied to my next bill, and the next $75 credit never showed up. While I had $50 credited by them last week to partially make up for one missing credit, I agreed to another $75 to settle up, but still haven't seen it, despite more promises made by an escalation agent than I can even count. Hours lost toward trying to get credits promised, both in person at the local office and on the phone: at least five. Years off my life over the stress of fighting with Comcast for the better part of three years over so much stupid shit: at least five. I've been in bad relationships with actual people that were easier to endure and ultimately to just get the hell away from than Comcast is.
  • I need to do more online surveys and start selling on eBay again. I put off doing eBay over the storm last month and haven't looked back and can kind of understand my trepidation over it now: I'm afraid another storm will hit and I won't be able to ship items on time because of it. Things like that terrify me because I want my customers really happy.
  • I need to roll my phone back toWin8, though it kills the battery to run Win8. 11-3-16: done, about a week later. Everything's fine except the battery. Pictures won't sync from Win10 Mobile to OneDrive. I can log onto onedrive.com and nothing on the phone now is there, which gives me the most fragmented mess of pictures I've had since before I owned smartphones. I have to manually import the pictures now but sometimes the laptop won't recognize my phone as something that can have a picture on it, another bug I can't contemplate without flailing, so it won't find anything to import and why, Microsoft, why do you make our lives such living hell.
  • The Dell got a new keyboard. Unlike my laptop's replacement keyboard, it's a genuine part and works flawlessly. I wish I had it that easy on my HP - but, fwiw, the seller's refunded 75% of the purchase price, so ultimately I only paid $5 for it.
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Because why would I post normal things?

Uncooked vegetables for shrimp curry

Raw ingredients for shrimp curry in a cast iron pan on the stove.

Uncooked but fully assembled pizza

Raw ingredients on uncooked pizza dough, all in a pizza pan about to go in the oven

Some foods look better raw than cooked - that's just how it is. Both meals came out tasty but not as good-looking as they were raw.

The pizza was a treat Other Person made tonight with Publix pizza dough, shallots (we get 10-15 for just $1.49 at the local Asian market), fresh basil from the back porch, garlic crushed in the stone mortar and pestle (which I snagged for just $10 at the Asian market because the pestle was broken, but some super glue set that right real quick), thick shredded mozz, thin-sliced cherry tomatoes, Barilla spicy marinara, and Boar's Head pepperoni, which I was grateful for after taking a survey asking if I'd like to buy bags of crispy pepperoni slices like you get on pizzeria pizza. Well, yes, I would, enough to rush out in my nightclothes right now, where are these crispy little delights you speak of?

Talk about sudden cravings.

The pizza was delicious. Never tried Publix's pizza dough before but as I commented to OP after a few bites, they must've stolen the recipe from some Italian restaurant back in NY, because it did taste authentic.

Some weird flea medicine

My neighbor's big spray bottle of flea medicine

My mom's dead spider plant

My mom's dead spider plant, as seen on the back porch

The weird flea medicine is my neighbor's. I took a picture to Google it when I got back home (but still haven't Googled) but then I thought I'd post the pic to ask the rest of y'all, has anyone tried this? Is it any good? Her entire apartment smells of peppermint from spraying her cats (she's got the two black kittens I never took and some others) and her rug.

The Activyl flea medicine came today. We applied it to all five kitties while the pizza cooked. I was surprised it came so quick, but glad, because in the last few days I've picked a flea off Bowie's face and OP's picked one off of Pip, and I've come to see flea dirt everywhere (yes, even in my dreams, where our entire living room was coated in flea eggs this morning) so it couldn't get here fast enough unless someone airdropped it even as I clicked "Add to cart".

The last one's called "My mom's dead spider pant" because she said it would die before she did, so before May of 2012. I hate to say it lived - I wish it'd been the other way around, and the plant died just days after her prediction while she went on to live forever, but alas, it was not so. As crazed and really no longer myself as I was by then, something about her saying it would die - at all, much less before she did - was the proverbial flag in the bull's face.

Mom got too sick to know or care if the plant lived but I wouldn't give up on it. It had maybe a tiny handful of half-dead leaves when she passed but by then I'd kept it alive single-handedly and nurtured it back to glowing health by that fall so it looked mostly like the picture above. Then a frost killed it at the house out in the woods about two years ago.

What you see in the picture above? Is not the plant she predicted would die two years before it actually did. It's one of the children it had. Just one.

I have four more pots holding them, and between those there are dozens more babies hanging off those, so her dead plant lives on. I'd keep it going forever, in memory of her, if I could.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Just got done reading The Politics of Pockets. You know how sometimes in school you'd listen to a classmate run on and on to answer the teacher's question, and want to raise your hand or interrupt so badly, sometimes/especially when their answer was clearly incomplete or wrong? (You didn't do that back when I was in school or you got the hand you raised cut off, and your mouth duct-taped shut for the rest of the year. Times might've changed.)

That's how I felt reading this article, because you know what's sexist? Insisting you need a certain look for fashion, then deciding the fact that you're stuck with it is sexist is sexist. Pockets make your pants hang more saggily in the front. They add weight and heft that can mess up how fabric falls against your skin - again, especially in the front. And that's just the short list of Reasons Why Pockets Suck.

On the backs of pants, pockets can be problematic: set them too low and your backside might seem too low; set them too far apart and your backside might seem too wide. The opposite of both states also holds true, though I've never heard anyone complain that their ass looks like it sits too high up on their body. For these and many other reasons women's clothing designers long ago chucked the pocket in favor of more slimming and often more flattering, pocketless designs.

I can't help but envision the uproar in a world in which women were pocketed and men pocketless by virtue of a different set of values in place hundreds, if not thousands of years ago. "Only the oppressed must carry so many things around", the reasoning might go. "Look at men with their flat-fronted fashions, using human reticules to carry everything around for them - yes, using us! Is this not slavery? Why do I have to carry this entire kitchen cookware set in my pocket? Men just don't understand how badly we want to be lightweight and free like them."

This isn't a case of being unable to make feminists happy - this is a world in which pocketed or pocketless, we simply never will be.

I have my own relationship with pockets. As a child I didn't need them. As a teen who grew up reading fashion magazines I understood why they were The Enemy of high fashion and my figure. As an adult I've wanted them for work - dozens of pockets covering everything I wear, along with the ability to grow more, as needed - but away from work I have problems with them.

I have an otherwise gorgeous pair of dark denim shorts I don't wear because the back pockets sit too low. I've tossed or donated many pairs of pants and jeans over the years because the back pockets sat too far apart or the front pockets were too thick and bunchy for comfort or style. I can't say how many a) pajama pants, b) jeans, c) dress pants, and especially d) shorts I've taken scissors to and cut the front pockets out of because they crumpled, billowed or bulged, making for a bunched-up and sloppy look. Not to mention in the heat of summer I'll do nearly anything to not sweat just short of crawling into my freezer, and the more pockets you remove, the lighter your clothing feels and becomes.

But I also see an intersectionality between pockets and economic issues. Rich US women, for example, don't wear clothing with pockets; they also don't carry their own purses or cell phones because they have handlers to do those things for them. I need pockets at work only because I'm at work. Elsewhere pockets come in handy only because of what I need to get done or to hold things I need to get through my day or survive. But if I'm rich then I don't need pockets, though I might want them for more non-essential things, so I'll likely go without pockets more often - if not altogether.