Taking the Bus & Dick Pictures

My first job in high school was a department store.  I worked the floor, making sure the shelves were stocked and orderly, helping customers, etc.  I hated the job, but I learned really fast that customers aren’t always right, no matter how polite you are…

When I interviewed for the job, the manager asked if I had any medical issues that might impede my work.  I confessed to having scent triggered migraines and was promptly assigned to Health and Beauty.  I’d been there about 4 months, when said manager came in to buy lotion.

She walked down the aisle opening the bottles and smelling them.  Then she’d just put them back on the shelf without screwing the lids back on… That was my job!  After the tenth or eleventh bottle, I ask her to please stop, I’m starting to get a migraine.  Something in my tone must have pissed her off.

She called for the manager on duty and told him that I was racist because I wouldn’t let her sniff bottles of lotion to find the one she wanted (we were both white, just FYI).  Then she dumped a bottle of lotion on me… something that smelled heavily of flowers.  I got really angry, asked the manager on duty if I could run home, shower, and change and was told I had to wait until we had cleared everything up.  The manager that was shopping started laughing and called me a crybaby so I told her to take the next bus to Fuck-Offville and was fired on the spot.  I have never worked retail again.

I thought of that incident when I was trying to figure out what to do about my migraine yesterday.


***IMPORTANT!***  I get a couple of dick pics a week, unsolicited to the HJ inbox.  Normally I respond by pointing out I’m not a romance writer.  From now on, anyone who sends me dick pics will be featured in a blog post.  Please stop.  I have a husband if I really want to look at male genitalia.

Violence is the New Trend Myth

With everything that happened this weekend, I read a lot of posts about violence in society increasing.  Except it’s not… not really.  Technology has just made it so we hear about it faster and it reaches the world much faster.  Also, with the age of everyone having a camera on their phone, we get to see it live…

Imagine how different everyone’s perspective of the Watt’s Riots would be if half the crowd had been able to Tweet it or Facebook it live.  Or the clashes during the Civil Rights Movement?  Or Tiananman Square?

Sadly, in the history of the world, violence has been a very real thing.  It’s not new.  It’s not an increasing  trend.  It isn’t even for new or different reasons.

It’s all about digital cameras and the ability to stream.  They have changed the way we view the world because before they were invented, news was happening to anonymous people who might appear in a 30-second news segment describing what happened… But now, we can watch it live and that 30-second segment has become a 4 minute video with screaming and crying and chaos and confusion.

But now, we can watch it live because every person with a cell phone has the ability to get the video that every news reporter drools about getting.  Here’s a great example of what I mean:

Someone once asked me if Zodiac were active today, would he remain uncaught.  The answer is no, because there would be video of him.  3 teens saw the murder of Paul Stine and called the police while the crime was in progress.  The cops actually stopped a guy walking down the road, but the description of the perpetrator was wrong and he was released without getting his information.  Today, those teens would have been recording it on their phones, the police car would have had a dash cam and recorded video of the guy they stopped and questioned, and there’s a good chance at least one of the cops would have had a body camera on and gotten good closeups of Zodiac.

It’s when you apply that logic to events like what happened this weekend in Charlottesville, that you realize violence isn’t new, it’s how we are feed the news that makes the difference.

Can you even imagine how horrified modern viewers of Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Egypt would be if they had our technology?  Or the Tudors?  Medicis? Borgias? Hapsburgs? The French Revolution?  George III?  Imagine 4000 Russians with camera phones streaming the Russian Revolution…  Or Emmett Till wearing a body camera the night he was murdered.

Executions and murder used to be forms of entertainment (and we complain about modern youth being desensitized to violence).  If anything, society has actually become a little more civilized and less violent.

As a historian, I have noticed a shift in perspective in the last ten years or so.  I think we are finally becoming more sensitive to violence as a whole because now it’s not just some random people we know nothing about… Social media and the ability to stream violence while it happens has made us more aware of it and the victims because now they aren’t just names and tragic events… we can stream them and see the outcry on their friends’ Twitter and Instagram accounts.  However, since we have become more sensitive to it, it does feel like it is happening more and more frequently.

Ok, enough… It’s my birthday.  Tomorrow, a special post about Demonic Dreams.

Dart Etiquette & Lola

Most people don’t realize that darts is a very civilized sport with a firm set of “do and do not” rules centered around etiquette.  With steel tip darts, each player or team is responsible for writing their scores on a whiteboard.  If an outside person (ie: someone not playing the match, writes the score on the board, that person is called a chalker.  A chalker is expected to be good at a couple of things: math, standing still, and not screwing up a player’s turn).  I am a good chalker and I have been told that several times.

The first event on Saturday was 4-man.  Each team has four players (all male for the men, all female for the ladies).  I was cheerleading for the ladies’ 4-man team that I was on since playing was out of the question.  Meaning I was sitting in a chair giving them fist bumps and telling them “good shots” or “shake it off”, whatever was needed.  As the scores got lower, the other team made a mistake on their math.  This happens to all of us… nobody is perfect 100% of the time.  The next player, one of my team mates, began her throw.  At this point, with the score wrong, the polite and correct procedure is to just say “hey, our score is wrong” and fix it after the player finishes their throw.  Instead, these ladies walked up to the whiteboard mounted right next to the dart board and began changing their score while my team mate was attempting to throw.  It obviously screwed her darts up as it was unexpected and weird for there to suddenly be four people standing just a foot away from where she was intending for her darts to land.

It was a complete breach of everything dart players consider polite.  They had already made several math errors and another etiquette error, so at that point, I did the only thing I could do… I offered to chalk for the 8 ladies.  Chalking not only speeds up the game, but it means nobody has to walk up to do anything other than pull their darts… Meaning they wouldn’t be interrupting my team mates throwing any longer.  This meant standing as still as possible at a whiteboard for a serious duration of time – approximately 45 minutes or so.  By the time the match finished, my hip was killing me.  I was limping again, something I haven’t done in a few weeks.  And the front of my hip, where it connects my leg and torso was swollen…  The thing was, it wasn’t just some minor swelling.  It was enough that as I changed into my pajamas for bed that night, my husband noticed and commented on it and my underwear had left a deep impression in the flesh.  The tramadol didn’t even take the edge off the pain, even when I mixed it with 650mgs of Tylenol.

Which brought me to my next realization: I was misdiagnosed.  I went to the ER with severe hip pain and come home with a diagnosis of a urinary tract infection.  When I had to return to the ER a week later, I was told it was sciatica.  The first nurse practitioner I saw never even lifted my leg up off the table to see my range of motion.  The second one didn’t either.  As a matter of fact, none of them even examined the front of my hip.  No one touched me.  No one looked at it.  No one checked to see how far my hip would open.  No one.  Instead, they flagged me as drug seeking because I asked for Toradol because I knew it would relieve the immense swelling in my hip and I can’t take NSAIDS orally, only by injection or IV.  Yet both times, I told them I had pain in my hip socket and it was in the front and deep in the socket.

My pain management doctor did much better.  He moved my leg and realized my range of motion was not as it should be, not by a long shot.  He gave me injections and they helped.  Until I picked Jude up for the first time and then it felt like I had been hit by a car.  Since then, I am still in pain all the time.  There is still a constant ache in it.  However, the only thing I have been told to do to treat it is take 4,000mgs of acetaminophen a day… and then told not to do that and given a prescription for Tramadol and told to take the Tylenol and the Tramadol together every 6 hours.  For the most part, this doesn’t even take the edge off the pain.  It constantly throbs and aches.  Days like yesterday and today, the pain is back to a severe stabbing pain… but there’s no point in going to see anyone because I’ve been flagged as drug seeking.

What’s the point of taking the Tramadol if it doesn’t help the pain anymore than taking Tylenol does?  Or taking either one since even together I get no relief.  So, I will resume suffering and seeking a better solution… I haven’t a clue what that would be, but there has to be something that can be done for it.

On to Lola.  I’ve mentioned before that Lola has been taking the packing for the move pretty intensely.  It bothers her and we are all very aware of it.  None of us expected our departure on Friday to cause her a crisis.  From Friday until we arrived home tonight, Lola didn’t hardly eat a thing.  She vomited every day.  Mom said she was very morose and didn’t want to play.  Thankfully, when we did finally get home, she seemed to perk up.  She ate dinner, she wanted to play with both the Husband and I.  There was also no vomiting after she finished eating, which seems to be an improvement according to Mom.

Which means packing some of Lola’s stuff with ours didn’t help and leaving her home alone is probably going to be a disaster in these final days as we finish packing.


I am pretty forgetful.  My mind is constantly running in a dozen directions and I am chronically stressed due to my anxiety disorder… and the medication to treat it impairs memory function.

Most of the time, I just shrug it off.  This past week or so though, it has been driving me nuts.  I started making box sets to distribute through Kindle Unlimited.  I have a template I use to make the box set covers and I have forgotten how to use the damn thing.

I have books 7-9 ready to be distributed, if I ever get the covers put together for the box set.  I tried to find the read me file for using the template and I’m guessing I deleted it, because once in a while, I purge unused files from my computer…

Which can be a problem when it’s an instruction manual and then I suddenly can’t remember how Photoshop works.  I can’t get the resize function to work correctly and I’m having some issues with the layering.  I know these things were covered in the Read Me file, but since I can’t find it, that doesn’t really help me.

Now, off to try and find another read me file for how the template works…

A Playmate

We got confirmation from the bank that everything is a go for closing on the 18th.  Which is awesome and stressful at the same time.  I’m happy to be moving, we are more than doubling our living space and the new house has a big fenced in backyard for Lola.

Which brings me to Lola… Who seems to be just as stressed as me.  However, with the bigger house and the fenced in yard, we’ve been talking about once we are all settled, getting another dog, so Lola will have a playmate.

I have some reservations.  Lola loves to play.  Even though she’s an adult, she still acts like a puppy and has the energy of a puppy.  But she isn’t an alpha.  She cowers down to dogs much smaller than her and there is part of my concern.

She can stand up for herself, like Gideon Grey the Great Dane picked up her favorite toy this week when he was here and she went off on him, even though he’s bigger.  She took on a full grown German Shepherd at the vet’s office when it came at me.  And it was easily 120 pounds.

I thought about talking to Second Chance an animal rescue group in town and trying to foster a dog to see how Lola would do with it, but I’m afraid I will get too attached and not be able to let it go when a good home is found.  I get much more attached to animals than people most of the time.

Plus, I need a dog who is gentle and has lots of energy, like Lola.  Essentially, I need another Lola to be with Lola.  And in the back of my mind, I have this awful fear that the move will be too much for her.  I owned a border collie once, his name was Frisky.  He was fine for several years, occasionally he was destructive if we left him alone, but after we moved, he attacked a picture window and started chewing on the broken glass.  He was thankfully fine, just a small cut in his mouth… but that move triggered his separation anxiety big time and Lola is half border collie.  There’s a happy ending to that story, after that incident, my uncle found him a home in a firehouse so he was never alone again.

That’s part of the reason I want to wait a little while after the move to get the other dog.  I don’t want to foist a companion on her during or immediately after the move.  I want to give her some time to adjust to the new house and surroundings.

Of course, a second dog could help her.  I’m just not sure yet.  We’ve only had one sleepover and it didn’t go well.  She was very jealous of Fred’s decision to lay next to me on the couch.  And she felt they were in competition on eating.

Needless to say, it’s a big and scary decision and just one more thing I’ve got on my mind.  🙂


No Cable, No Problem

We disconnected our satellite dish in the middle of July because DirecTV kept upping the price.  It went up over $200 in less than 6 months.  Which is a bit insane.

Since we were moving in a month, we didn’t sign up for any other cable or satellite services.  And I am loving it.

However, I have to keep my internet up and running, so I signed up for HuluPlus, we were already Netflix users, I’m an Amazon Prime member, and I love to buy movies off Vudu and specifically buy DVDs and Blu-Rays with the digital copies.

Having a large selection of movies digitally, allowed us to pack all the movies in the house.  Having Hulu, Netflix, and Prime meant that our evenings are spent watching TV still… but it’s different.

As a group of 3, we are finding shows we all enjoy and watching those on Netflix and Hulu.  We have fallen in love with Rosewood and BlindSpot.  Neither are shows we would have watched otherwise.

My husband still gets to watch movies as he falls asleep.  When I go to bed, I turn on Hulu and watch episodes of shows like Horrible History, for the couple of minutes it takes me to fall asleep.

But it’s that paragraph 2 up that I like the most.  We are watching new shows that all of us enjoy and we marathon them for a few hours every night.  We’ve never enjoyed TV as a group this much.  I’m enjoying it so much, I’m not even looking forward to hooking up cable or satellite after we move.  Although, part of my happiness is that there are no commercials so my husband doesn’t channel surf in the middle of TV shows, which sort of annoys me.

Special chapter release on my birthday!  Just 8 more days.

Why I Don’t Drink Coffee – Be Prepared

When I was 19, I had some serious allergy testing done.  Up to that point, I had only ever been allergic to metal, but for some reason, after my first ovarian cyst ruptured, I seemed to develop a plethora of allergies.

During testing, we discovered I was allergic to cockroaches and several other insects that have exoskeletons (crickets, grasshoppers, etc).  My allergist looked at me and asked me if I drank coffee.

I told him I did not and he told me not to start because it was the most common way for people with insect allergies to go into anaphylatic shock.  Preground coffee is the single biggest source of insect parts in food and drink.  I don’t remember the exact number, but the allowable limit is pretty high.

And brewing it doesn’t kill all the proteins in the insect parts.  If I were to start drinking coffee, it was recommended that I grind my own.  However, I’m lazy and I have no desire to grind coffee beans or even brew coffee (although, I do love the smell, I can’t get past the bitterness of it, no matter how much cream and sugar I add).

So, there’s little chance that I will ever take up coffee drinking.  However, the other day, I had a pizza and ended up having a mild allergic reaction to it (my face swelled up).  As I was trying to figure out the source, I remembered that my allergist had once warned me that lots of foods, including yeast and wheat based products contained insect parts and that I might occasionally have a mild reaction to them.  Pizza contains both yeast and wheat products and there’s a good chance that some portion of the wheat and yeast contained enough insect parts to cause a mild allergic reaction.


Meds, Demonic Dreams, & Life

My doctor yesterday literally told me I needed to learn how to relax.  He also prescribed Lexapro to help control some of my anxiety and the overwhelming feeling that I’m being drowned by life.

I had hoped to release Demonic Dreams in September.  I am willing to bet that isn’t going to happen.  My new goal is October, it might make for some good Halloween reading.

My father is back in the hospital, thankfully not for heart problems.  He had an ulcer appear on his foot and it became infected (he has diabetes).  Unfortunately, any sort of infection so soon after a transplant can cause rejection.  So there is some concern there, but the infection was caught before it entered bone or blood, which are both good things.

I’m tired of dealing with the bank and all the paperwork they seem to need.  I swear I have signed my name enough times that it would fill a book.  And they aren’t done with us yet, but they should be getting close.  We are only 2 1/2 weeks away from closing.  At this point, fingers crossed that we have dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s.


Until Next Week

I have made an appointment with my doctor to try an antidepressant.  With the chronic pain, the stress of buying a house, then moving, and my father’s near death experience, I am feeling overwhelmed and I’m drowning in stress.  I know because I really do wake up in the mornings feeling like I was beat up and I ate a night guard last night.

Because I’ve become whiny and sorta worthless, I have decided to sign off social media until I am in a better mood.  Speak to everyone next week or thereabouts!

Dear Universe

This was never a funny joke.  The fact that no one is listening to me doesn’t make it funnier.  It just depresses me.  Bringing the swelling and stabbing pain back after picking up Jude (who is only 26 pounds) has brought me to tears.  You can stop now, because I am done.

C Patt

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