Saturday, July 23, 2011

100 Days toward a healthier life - Day 77

Breakfast:  Sandwich at Panera.  Ugh.  The coffee was not heinous for a change, though.
Lunch:  A few slices of sushi, California roll, 6 carrots, ranch dip (homemade), an Atkins bar of some kind, I think it had nuts
Dinner:  Nothing yet, but it will probably be the rest of the sushi and a glass of whiskey

So.  Lots of stuff.

I went two whole days...count 'em, two!...without anyone fucking with me, Diary.  Well, my daughter tried to last night,  not messing with me, but by wanting to pull me into the struggle between her and her father.  I obfuscated my ass off and we never had to deal with it directly.  Whew.  But, today is back to the same old crap buffet here, albeit a single serving.  However, it is still light outside and who knows.

So, I made a wish list.  Because I need something about which I can hope.  You know, like stuff that is not all sad and icky or mean or manipulative or mean, mean, mean. 

wish list

whirled peas

a room of my own, surrounded by other rooms that I control

a car of my own

access to public transportation

more cats than are healthy to have

someone to design a metabolic system for my body that allows me to eat any damn thing I want without injury or insult to the aforementioned body

a whole shitload of money...oh, you say, money cannot buy happiness...yes, it can and it can buy peace of mind and freedom from worry and the means to keep certain people out of one's life...and, if that is not happiness, well, then nothing is

There are times when having to be so quiet feels like one step away from madness.  I want to play music.  I want to sing, or what passes for singing for me, and dance around the house and have some fun and be silly and foolish at my own expense.

I want to garden.  I want to be able to take the long walks that I used to, or ride my bike or go to the park and just sit.  I can still do the park, but my health crap inhibits my ability to walk and riding a bike is too dangerous now and someone will not allow gardening.  I do have the rhubarb patch and two tomato plants, so I really should not be complaining.  Really.  I should not.

I figured out, last night just before I fell asleep, why I like this blogging stuff so much.  It is because I like writing letters and whilst I can still do that any time I like, all of the people to whom I write (mostly, have written) are not of the same bent or inclination, so if I am going to write without any return on the investment, then I can do it here.  I mean, Diary, why have I not thought of it this way before?  Really. 

This is exactly what it is, I am writing letters to myself.  Oh, you know the whole journaling thing and all is closer to what this truly is, but it feels like writing letters, real letters.  Well, without the paper, pen and stamps, but it is my equivalent. 

And, I like it.  I like the letter thing.  And, even though you can delete your ass off, nothing is ever truly gone from the Internet, but it might as well be, because most people will never see my stuff or be able to find it once I have let it go. 

I like everything about this.

I like my new printer.  I have used it only to print the business cards and some instructions on how to crochet a granny square.  The cards are nice, exactly what I need right now and they made the people at work happy, so, you know, like great. 

As for the crocheting, well, I could not follow the instructions.  They are easy, blazingly easy and I fumbled and knotted and finally gave up.  I am going to try again, but am just going to make up my own way until I get something approximating a granny square.  It is like the baby blanket that I started two years ago and just found this week.  I finished the row where I stopped, and then crocheted one more and then bound it off.  I did not have a pattern or instructions and it seemed so difficult to figure out what I had done and so it is finished.  One of the fiber club women said that it was so soft and matched her winter coat, so I gave it to her.  As a scarf.

One of the other women took a look at it and asked if it was a blank-blank stitch and I told her that it was not, that I just made it up when I needed to make the blanket all those years ago.  Of course, that then, yet-unborn baby is now two years old, so a scarf is a much better destiny for that project.

But, it and the aborted granny square attempt made me realize that I have some kind of sticking point with these instructions.  Sure, I can remember the abbreviations and what they mean, the kinds of stitches they are, but I simply cannot comprehend a page of detailed details.  Two of the women showed me their instruction books and that charts are often easier to follow than written instructions. 

I looked at the charts.  Both of them.  They assured me that charts were easy and that these two particular charts were particularly easy.  I could feel part of my brain calcifying as I tried to understand them, the charts.  I understood the women, because we were all speaking English, but the charts?  The instructions?  They are another language altogether.  One I do not speak or read or understand. 

I think I should just stick to making up stuff, this needlework stuff, as I go.  It worked for the tiny sweater and the blanket that turned into a scarf, and the washcloths.  Yeah, I almost forgot about the washcloths.  I made up those knitted patterns, too, and they look and work just fine.  No one would ever know.  Well, I know, but I do not care like other people might.

They, the other people, might think that I am not taking any of this seriously.  Well, I am not.  I am in it just for the fun.  And, I am having fun, but the serious about this stuff people might not think that it is fun.  They might think me stupid and simple.  That is all right.  I am simple, and I am often stupid about a great many things.  So what.  I am having fun with it and if all I ever do is to make up silly patterns or non-patterns, then that is fine with me. 

I went to Kmart today after coffee.  I needed to buy a new telephone because I gave my other one to one of the charity shops because it would not work well.  I have an unfortunate effect on electronics.  Especially telephones that are more than a simple trim line type.  If it has a menu or settings of any kind, our relationship is doomed.  Eventually, they stop working, but if I give them away to someone else they work just fine.

So, that is what I did.  After having a friend check it out and make sure that it actually did work, I gave it away and bought this other phone at the pharmacy for a dollar.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be worth only that dollar and whilst the person on the other end of the line could hear me, I could not hear more than every third or fourth word they spoke.  So, into the charity box and out to buy a new phone. 

You know, I am thinking that if I had kept all of those telephones, tape recorders and stuff, that I could have constructed my very own tower of babble.  Smiling.

Back at Kmart, no simple phones to be found, and I had to buy the least expensive cordless phone they had.  I am hopeful and pretending to be happy about this phone so that it will keep working for me.  It is charging now and I did manage to set the ring tone, the date and time and something else that I cannot remember right now.

One more thing about this shopping trip.  Kmart has one of those membership cards that is supposed to save you money or something.  Every employee you encounter has to tell you all about the card (as in required to try to sell you on the card and be persistent when you politely decline), that it is free and wonderful, simply wonderful.

Well, I found out, the first time it was mentioned that, after answering a ton of questions, that I was not qualified to have this free card because I do not:
  1. Have a printer with which to print out the coupons that give you the discounts. (Although, as of a few days ago, I do now have a printer.)
  2. Have a technologically advanced enough cell phone to accept the wireless coupons or text messages that a store employee could read on my phone so that I can be given the discounts.
Fine.  No problem.  But, every employee, unless they want to be summarily terminated, has to ask if you have the card, tell you about the card and then go through the entire process until they find out that you do not have the technology to actually use the freaking thing, whereupon every single employee has had to finally tell me that I cannot have the card, including one woman who told me, "Well, then I am not going to give it to you."  This is making you smile, Diary, yes?

Fine.  No problem.  I did not want it in the first place.  I laughed a little when she said that, which I am certain did not help either of us.

So, when I walk into the store today, I am accosted by the woman at the service counter who tries to sell me on the card.  My guess is that this like any other store where they have these cards and that employees are tracked on how many sign-ups they get and that it has a serious impact on their employment.  Yep, been there.

So, I try to tell her that I do not qualify for the card and she insists that everyone does and talks over me.  When she finally takes a breath, I tell her that I understand that she has no choice about sharing this wonderful information with everyone, but that the card requires expensive technology that not everyone has, myself included.  I tell her that I do not have a printer (forgetting that I do have one now), nor do I have a telephone that has e-mail or texting capacity. 

She just looked at me and I decided to stand there until she replied or something.  Finally, she said, "Oh.  So, you don't want it?"

I was the recipient of the same thing when I checked out with my new telephone, a travel toothbrush and two sheet cake pans (Yay...I finally got some!).  When I declined the card, all went well after that until she handed me my receipt and told me to use some code on it by calling the 800 number on the back of my card.  I am thinking what card?, so I asked, "What card?"  She looked up at me and realized that we had this exact conversation last week.  I do not have the card.  I do not have the technology that having the card requires.  I can not use the card.  I cannot have the card.

Still, this kind of thing is amusing, mostly because the employees have absolutely no customer supportive options available to them.  They either mention the card and then hustle past the customer's decline or objections and have to keep selling it, or they get bad evaluations or even lose their jobs.  The entire system sucks for everyone, and I know because we had the same fucked up process at one of my jobs.

So, I do not blame the employees, give them a hard time and it truly is amusing to me.  What I would like to do is to contact their higher-ups and suggest that they offer the card with the preface that it is for/benefits customers who have computers and printers and access to the Internet, or fancy phones that have e-mail and/or texting. 

But, I might not even bother, because that big company does not care.  I know that because one of my pre-retirement jobs was at a company that Kmart owned at one time, so I have plenty of up-close and personal experience with them.

But, I do have to come up with some other way of handling this thing, because I really do not want to keep going through the same song and dance every time I shop there, which is not often, but often enough to make me consider shopping elsewhere.  Although, it is only a matter of time until every store and/or company will be doing the same or similar stuff, so better to design a funny and gentle decline for when it is offered to me.

Well, off to have dinner and maybe even that whiskey.  Maybe watch a movie.  Maybe make some popcorn.  Maybe share something about the book I am reading when I come back here tomorrow.  I am enjoying it, but need to see if the ending is good, because I really want it to be fabulous.

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