Tag Archives: cats

Sounds

23 Jan

Lately I can’t sleep.  Again.  Between residual caffeine and my brain waking up with Cool in the early morning, I find myself tossing a lot.  I can also hear our next door neighbors coughing at night.  And they cough a lot.  Because they’re heavy smokers and they probably have COPD.  And there’s a retch on the end of the cough, which is gross.  So the coughing wakes me periodically-or precludes sleep all-together.  I was restless Thursday night for all those reasons–and the fact work sucks right now (I won’t go into that–it’s a whole other long story).

And while I was trying to go to sleep, I could hear the rustling of a creature up behind my head.  On the floor to my upper left.  Normally I would assume it was one of the cats messing around.  But I knew it wasn’t on Thursday, because I’d shut them out of the room.  Side-note:  I love nothing more then a cat sleeping on the bed with me.  It’s one of life’s greatest joys.  But Goose won’t let Choco-Luv on the bed anymore.  It’s some sort of deal only they know about that they worked out.  And no amount of coaxing will make her ignore their rules.  And Goose will nap real good during the day.  But at night he wants to play “under the covers.”  Or he meow-meow-meows for food.  Or scratches on the closed curtains trying to get on the sill to look out his window.  Generally he’s a nuisance.  And since I already haven’t been sleeping well, they’ve been getting shut out.  So I knew it wasn’t a cat.  But I also knew it was something alive.  It was rustling in the way only a live creature can.

suckers

Obviously I’m freaking out.  What could it be?!  Mice/rats?  That’s the only thing that I could think of.  And that’s super-creepy for many reasons.  1]  There was a small or possibly nest of small creatures in the house–in our room no less.  2]  The sound was coming from under my clothes rack near a corner.  So possibly said-rodents were nesting in my clothes/shoes-eww.  3]  Cool was out of state at her Mom’s funeral, so I would have to deal with the problem by myself in the middle of the night.  4]  But the biggest worry of all is that our bed is a futon mattress–that is directly on the floor.  The creatures–whatever they were–might run over me in my sleep/wake (terrible in either scenario).  Or I’d find them IN the bed at some point.  Needless to say, no sleep was going to be had–I was majorly squigged out.

mouse baby

Don’t get me wrong–I’m an animal-lover.  But not wild, pesty animals, in my house–outside of a cage.  Pet-store animals are different.  They’re bred to be pets, handled, sweet.  You pick them and prepare the place you want them to be.  They are invited guests.  Wild animals, are intruders.  They walk around as they will.  They make a mess in your stuff.  And aren’t things in groups so much more creepy/gross?!  I mouse in the wild isn’t a thing.  Wild pesty mice breed.  They have creepy little nests and make colonies and their numbers quickly get out of control.  Then they’re in you bed and in your kitchen.  These are the things I was thinking of as I laid in my bed on the floor. . .

mouse infestation

Then, I’m not sure how I came upon the realization, but I knew the sounds were my neighbor.  I could hear them rolling over in their sleep!  The sound was not on the floor of our room at all-it was through the wall.  I could hear my neighbors turn over in their bed.  Which is not as creepy as mice/rats nesting near my head–but still very creepy.  I was esentially sleeping in the same bed as my smoker-neighbors.  And if I could hear them cough and ROLL OVER in their sleep, that meant they could hear every sound I/we made too.  Very sketchy.  And I’m sure they HATED the week Cool and I tried to move our treadmill/circuits for when I got home from work.  At 1:30AM.  The treadmill is in our bedroom, and we tried that for a week-oops.

After the realization that I can hear every move my neighbors made (and vice cersa), I really couldn’t sleep.  And I didn’t really want to.  Last night when I got home from work at 1:36 AM, I wasn’t tired anymore.  I was mad–at work.  I thought I might wind down by watching a show.  But after one episode of “Private Practice” I still wasn’t tired.  I knew I would just toss and turn if I tried, so I just didn’t.  I didn’t want another horrible night of not being comfortable, counting hours I needed to get good rest, and hearing every noise in the world.  I decided to watch until I did feel tired.  Which wasn’t until 4:44AM.  And naturally, as it does every day my brain suddenly and irreversibly, work up and I popped up at 9:50AM.  My body doesn’t care what time I go to bed–I wake up and can’t go back to sleep in the mornings.

I bought a white noise machine from Amazon and luckily, it happened to arrive today.  I put it behind my head, between me and the neighbors, so hopefully it will drown out any noises from them and give me privacy.  Also, I didn’t have any caffeine today.  I really hope I’ll be able to sleep!

 

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Moments of 2015-Bad

31 Dec

I see today (New Years Eve) as a day for reflection.  And I can’t say I’m sorry 2015 is over.  It wasn’t terrible, I’ve had much worse years.  But it wasn’t what I wanted either.  I like to know where I’m going, and in 2015 I never did.  I didn’t know if I would continue with school, and I didn’t know where my career would take me.  In the past, I’ve been severely disappointed when career objectives didn’t pan out, but this time I felt a calmness and grace about the situation.  Still, there is a dissatisfaction.  And now I’m left to really contemplate what I want in life.  But that’s a story for tomorrow, New Years Day, a day for goals and new beginnings.  Today I’ll post a few blogs about worst moments in 2015.  Which isn’t just picking the scabs of wounds, it’s thinking and it’s learning.  Seeing the worst times allows me to rearrange the circumstances to make next year better.

And again, I’m posting for the sake of time and forgoing a lot of re-writes.  I’ll edit later (maybe).

12TH WORST TIME OF 2015:  -Bob, at my new job, introducing himself as the janitor.  Trying to be funny, but offending me.  Insinuating of course he was much better than a crummy janitor.  He’s some client services administrator–big deal.  When he didn’t know that janitorial had been my very last job, and my father had been a custodian for 20 or 30 years.  What a D-bag.

11.  -Human drama at the YMCA.  Deb being all weird toward me because ???  and holding a grudge.  The churchy gal acting like a bitch and treating me like a lowly janitor.  Just coldness and unnecessary drama from people with nothing to keep their minds busy.  It was stupid, but even though I wasn’t invested in the drama, I noticed it, and had to DEAL with it.  Lame.

10.  -Rusty’s doors remaining half open in the winter.  Primarily because it rendered my remote start useless.  And obviously I NEED that.  I hate being cold.  So much so, that I had bought my own remote start and fought for them to put it in my manual–which is a liability for them and usually against the rules.  And I had always loved starting the car from inside the warm building.  But now it set off the alarm, because the doors were open just enough. . .

9.  -The unwelcoming, frosty environment at MSCL for my first 7 months working there.  NOBODY acknowledged me, talked to me, or anything.  I felt awkward and alone.  Those duds and douche-bags were the WORST!  Here’s an example:  I walk in as a brand new employee–and nobody (even my boss)  says hello.  Or I sneeze–and nobody says bless you or anything.  It was as if I was invisible.  I guess it’s because they have high turn-over, and they were change-averse.  And because it’s a lab, so people don’t have great any social skills.  But it still made me feel like it was ME.  And that brought back horrible memories of veterinary social problems that plagued my work life previously.  I had wanted new beginnings and to turn a corner in a new field–and this was not the start I’d hoped for.

8.  -Not getting into the UU AuD program, despite getting the 4.0, having extracurriculars, and working very hard on my application.  Was it the gay-themed activities I put on my application?  Bad interview answers?  Being from out-of-state?  I really don’t have any idea, and I feel like I should be in there.  Easily.  But this is toward the bottom of my disappointments (and the top of this list) because I’ve grown as a person, through my veterinary sagas.  I had to future plan, which wasn’t cool.  I still don’t know what I will do career-wise, which is scary and reeks of failure.  But I didn’t totally fall apart this time.  I took it in stride.  I do wonder how in the heck I didn’t get in that class, because I feel like I really deserved it and would have done an excellent job.  But I’m putting it on to them, not beating myself up over it.  And I’m not sure it’s what I want anyway.  I’m very disillusioned by the costs of school.  And I haven’t gotten ANY return on my undergrad investment.  And the forums scared me off of audiology a little, because they said Hearing Instrument Specialists can do almost exactly the same job, with NO school.  And they probably get paid equal or MORE than actual audiologists.  Also people talked about it being kind of a dead-end career, that’s highly redundant.  And I didn’t know if paying for 4 more years would even be worth it in the end.  But I’m still undecided, and haven’t closed the audiology door all the way.  Perhaps being 14th for a class of 12 was actually a favor to me. . .

7.  -When my parents insisted I call Dad’s chiropractor’s son about getting IN at Costco audiology–NOW, at the same time I frantically trying to complete a heavy-duty YWCA-UT job application and get ready for work at my current job.  They get overwrought and crazy and over-emotional, then there’s nothing for me to say or do to stop that crazy-train.  Unless I do what they say, when they say it, things fall apart quickly.  The whole thing just reminded me of every other time my parents tried to control me.  And how they were probably disappointed in me.  And that’s how the big horribleness of 2007 Cabin-Mansion had really kicked off the first time, so I was scared there would be a big blow up and subsequent melt-down of the relationship we had worked so hard to forge.

6.  -The meeting where work reneged on the full-time schedule, hours, and pay we had negotiated 3 days prior.  I had finagled the best schedule for my weekends, sleep, and time with Cool.  Everyone at work had left the meeting satisfied and happy.   They got coverage on a Sunday, which had been difficult to secure, I got Fridays and Saturdays off and a late-start Wednesday.  It was absolutely perfect and I commended myself for taking a chance and asking.  But 2 days later, they called me back in and told me I’d have to take the legit schedule I had applied for.  Because a girl (previously a bitch to me) who had more seniority, and was better at the job wanted to work Sunday.  And trying to please everyone, instead of defending me and the schedule they had promised me, they gave it to her.  So I felt betrayed (again) and like I had a much worse schedule.  But I also felt trapped.  What else would I do?  I needed this job, or it was back to veterinary assisting.  So I had to just accept it and deal with–while being really angry, frustrated, and un-trusting toward management–and that bitch.

5.  -When Cool picked a fight just 2 days after my good knows of getting a full-time job.  Cutting short my celebration.  Depression strikes this time.  Out of nowhere, Cool knocks the figurative wind out of me by acting like a major jerk.  It was awful, because I had just talked to my proud parents and had been super-ecstatic about my new job, and Cool knocked me down to a miserable level.  I was really sad about it, because I’m ALWAYS supporting Cool and she just didn’t have it in her to even pretend to return the favor–her depressive episode made it all about her.  Again.  I wished she could be supportive and celebrate with me, but instead her bipolar and selfishness ruined it all.  The memory of my new job is still tarnished.

4.  -Getting stuck with all the moving logistics, work, and most of the payments, because Cool went manic and in so doing abandoned me in a time of stress and need.  Which was the WORST because moving sucks anyway.  And there is so much to do and plan, and so much heavy physical work.  It wasn’t fair and I felt alone and unsupported.  Mental illness is the WORST sometimes.  It’s hard not to blame Cool, and that’s not really what I signed up for.  Cleaning the Spokompton apartment by myself was awful.  It was messy and there was so, so, so much left to do.  And it wasn’t fun, and I felt resentful that Cool had already started her job and couldn’t come do her share of the work.  Especially when I was cleaning things SHE had messed up.  Driving Rusty, alone, and wanting to come home and relax very badly, after such a tiring trip and no sleep.  Then walking into a messy house full of manic shenanigans, with a Craigslist ill-fitting futon we hadn’t talked about.  And dealing with having to clean and reconfigure everything, while dealing with a belligerent, unreasonable, manic person.  It was BAD.

3.  -Finding out I was just PRN (after they promised me something different in my interview).  I had interviewed over the phone for the job.  They said I was technically applying for a PRN job, but soon, they were posting a job with more regular hours.  That job was the same duties, but it was a year of guaranteed hours.  This PRN job, which had been posted was 25 hours a week for training, but then was substitute only.  Not stable, and not really what I wanted.  So they hired me during my phone interview, but told me they would call me when (slow) HR got around to posting the year-long job.  Then, I was to apply for that to make the paperwork legit, and that job would be mine.  I waited for the call to tell me that year-job had been posted and to complete that application.  And waited.  When I finally got the phone call from MSCL, they were wanting me to pick a start date for the as-needed job.  And pretended not to remember promising me the more stable-year long job.  I had written it down!  And the way my supervisor acted was callous–and I knew she remembered, but had just reneged.  But I had to take the lessor job, because what else was I going to do?  I needed an income after moving to a new state.  And sure enough on my first day of work, I found out they had hired a coworkers daughter for MY year-long job.  Nepotism had been at play, and as usual I got screwed at work.

2.  -The fear-phobia really, of being offered a job at a veterinary specialty hospital.  I had a sense of dread and sick feeling.  I should have never applied to veterinary hospitals, because my resume is just BUILT for them.  But I was feeling a little insecure and desperate about my guarenteed training 25 hours per week becoming true, as-needed.  I HAVE to work a minimum of 25 hours just to meet my bills, and that was soon to end.  And it’s my policy to ALWAYS interview for the practice if one is offered.  And while I know my veterinary experience is a major advantage in that field, I didn’t anticipate them loving me quite so much and being offered a full-time position on the spot.  The trouble was, it did seem like the best case scenario veterinary medicine could offer.  It was ONLY speciality referrals.  It was the BEST veterinarians in the state.  The hospital hirarchy was set up so there was a legitimate office manager and head vet tech to answer to–not the impulses of vets.  There was a true support system and everyone was on the same learning curve and truely didn’t leave you alone to fail.  And they seemed nice.  And said they didn’t yell–and I believed them.  And the technology was AWESOME.  They really had it all, not just the Idexx lab and digital x-ray.  Like ALL the toys, including MRI, and anything else spectacular.  But I had just such bad memories.  And I knew the schedules and the overwork, and the under-pay.  All the pit-falls, that really, I could no longer live with.  And it’s not what I want in life.  And the delimma was feeling like I HAD to take it, because I really had nothing else to fall back on, but feeling STRESS at the prospect of taking it.  In the end, I made the very, very difficult decision on not going backwards.  It was really hard (and brave) leaving veterinary assisting jobs in the first place, and I had done it for good reasons.  I had to keep up that bravery even when times got tough.  So I declined, but left the door open.  And they liked me so well, that they said to call any time I wanted a job.

  1.  VERY WORST 2015 MOMENT:  Thinking Goose might have thrown a clot to the leg, and worrying about his impending death, and worse, knowing there wasn’t a lot I could do to prevent it.  He randomly fell off the couch twice, and didn’t have use of his back leg.  It was too short to be a seizure (maybe) but didn’t have the pain of a thrombosis.  But my reference point was when the screaming cats had been brought to the vet.  Maybe there were precursor incidents at home that hadn’t been painful, and had gone ignored by owners–I didn’t know.  So of course, I thought the worst.  And I remembered the vets at Cats Meow preparing owners if there were any heart abnormalities.  Telling them to just make the decision to euthanize now, before emotions were involved, because once the clot was thrown, prognosis was grave.  And I remember the cats coming in-just screaming in horrible pain.  And owners saying it happened out of nowhere.  One day, the cat was fine, the next down in back and just SCREAMING.  It was awful to imagine that for my Goose.  And it’s still in the back of my mind, because he is a Maine Coon and they are notorious for heart issues.  But I’m hoping he was just being a clumsy dink, since it’s only happened twice, and the episodes were brief.

When It Rains, It Pours: April [house–sHit]

11 Jun

When I was cleaning the OLD apartment, I was dreaming so much of the relaxation of house-sitting for waelthy people.  This was going to be just the vacation I needed after a crazy month of stress and packing and stress and driving and stress and unpacking and stress and planning logistics and.  Stress.

last house-sitting 094This was going to be the restful break, complete with amenities that would rejuvenate me before I had to drive (again) Rusty to Utah.  Ten+ more hours, but by myself.  In a third-hand car with unknown history and not enough maintenance.

Sidenote–I knew I should get Rusty’s oil changed and a tune-up before a big trip.  BUT every single time I took a trip in my Jetta, and went to a mechanic prior to that trip they would deliver some awful news of some sort.  Something was terribly wrong, it costs a lot of money, it would push back my leaving date, and if I did pay an extraordinary amount of money (NOW!) my car would probably die on the way Jetta 1there, leaving me stranded.  Every trip this happened.  And every trip’s dates would be set in stone and strapping me for cash.  So I would never be able to have time or money to fix whatever problem it was.  But I would worry the entire time.  Trips in my Jetta were always full of terror because I was always certain I was just about to break down–without a cell phone.  Or any sort of recourse.  And the problem was especially compounded when I traveled by myself (most of the trips) or worse–with pets.

The point is–NOT knowing was better then panicking the entire time, so I did not take Rusty to see anyone.  This was a gamble.  BUT this time I did have Triple A–just in case.  So I was a little worried.

But the house-sitting was going to be a lovely, easy time.

house-sitting 011

Except I forgot that the animals don’t allow sleep.  Dr. Fletcher makes anyone in the guest room (A.K.A. Dr. SLC-all moved in 004Fletcher’s room) miserable by doing power-muffins, licking, frolicking, opening then slamming the door, scratching with (previously done by another owner) declawed paws on anything, etc. . .  There is no night-sleeping.  The other 2 cats begin to meow and fuss and make a ruckus about 5AM when they usually get their breakfast.  This with the stirring dogs and thought of starving horses mandates crack-of-dawn mornings.  There is no napping, because the dogs run amok during the day, the phone rings all day, the answering machine is long and loud, and packages are frequently delivered.  There is too much going on during the day to sleep.  In the evening the dogs are hyper and need fetching until their legs fall off, and the bulk of the chores must be completed.

In short–I was even MORE tired during and after house-sitting then when I started.  I don’t think I ever slept more then 3-4 consecutive hours.

And then I had to drive from Washington to Utah.  Alone.  And for a second time in 2.5 weeks. . .

When It Rains, It Pours: April [unpacking-round 1]

2 Jun

-We arrive so our new apartment in Salt Lake City!  We are tired of driving, tired of sitting, tired of being greasy and dirty.  I’m hungry and thirsty.  Cool is bored.  The cats are scared and in need of soothing.

crazy cat

-But that is not in the cards for us.  We have no time for even a short break, because we are in multiple parking spots and the neighbors will be getting home from work soon.  We get there and have to start unpacking right away.

-Our stuff didn’t fill the 16 foot Penske to the top, but don’t think we didn’t have a lot.  We have a LOT of stuff!  And on this leg, it was just up to Cool and me–we had no help for the heavy or awkward items.

-Our apartment is situated a little awkwardly.  It’s like a remodled motel or something and we are on the bottom floor.  Which should be easy.  But the bottom floor is down 5-6 stairs.  And the stairs are 2 units to the right or left of our door.  And the stairs aren’t just a straight drop down, there are 3 north-facing steps, then a landing, then 2-3 south-facing steps.  This 180 degree turn made any large item difficult to manuver.  The other access point was a ledge.  Most of the concrete edge in front of our lower floor has a gate.  But at one point just to the side of our door, is a 4.5-5 foot concrete ledge that meets the level of the parking lot.  I’ll try to post a picture, because this sounds confusing.

SLC-all moved in 031

 

-Anyway, so I was in charge of climbing into the back of the truck, lifting items to the edge, getting out of the truck, grabbing things (at chest-height) from the truck, walking across an aisle in the parking lot, and setting the item on this concrete ledge.

-Cool, stood down, on our apartment’s level and picked the items (at shoulder height) off the curb, took 3-4 steps into the apartment, and theoretically put them in some logical place to be unpacked later.

-I found out I had the more vigorous part of the job.

-OK, maybe this doesn’t sound super-unrqual to you, but here’s a little snippet of how the afternoon went.  I’m doing the physical labor.  Cool is on her phone.  She decides reception isn’t optimal inside of the apartment, so she goes in the concrete ailse-way.  I’m like, “What are you doing on your phone?!  Help me!!!”  Supremely irritated (at me and the perceived phone reception) she growls and walks up the steps.  Then, she trips over her own feet, fall down on the parking lot, like, rolls (all the neighbors are staring), and lies on the asphalt.  Making a real scene and being a doofus.  THAT’s the kind of “help” I got. . .

-I also found out later, Cool simpy stacked, threw, stuffed items as close to the door, in a mass in the living room, for me to sort later.

-But the unloading had to get done, so I pushed and sweated, and got more dusty and greasy and tired.  We finished by 5:30PM, which was past when people were getting home, but I think they could see us struggling so no one gave us a hard time.

-THEN, we had to find a place to put the Penske.  Because now it was in the middle of going-home traffic in a new city (of bad drivers) adn we weren’t about to return a 16 foot truck just then.  And don’t forget we haven’t had a break (or food) since our arrival.

-So we went to the corner lot next door, some studio, “by appointment” who had ample parking.  I wanted to ask, but no one was there.  So figuring no one would go through the trouble of towing a Penske, we just parked it on that property.  Oh well. . .

-Things had settled down enough after 9PM to think about driving the Penske again.  On the map, the turn-in location looked very close, and really easy.  Go all the way down our street, turn right, then turn left.  Done.  In practice, it was much different:  The right turn was over-crowded with tons of cars speeding onto the interstates.  How could it be so busy this late at night???  Why aren’t people cutting a 16 foot truck any slack???  I had to turn right, but then get over 4 lanes to the left to make my turn.  And of course, no one would let me over–even though I was substantially bigger.  And I couldn’t SEE them.  Unfortunately, also, if you missed the turn there was no place to go but the freeway, then way down to the next exit.  Ugh!  So the 2nd time around I literally stopped in the road prior to my turn–they would just have to wait so I could get into my lane.  I completed the left.  Only to find, the directions were to make a U-Turn backwards and into the dark, Penske lot.  As soon as I pulled into the parking spot, tired, all ramped up from the crazy drive, and stressed–I realized the tank was empty.  We had to do it again after finding a gas station!!!!  Nope.  I would not be driving that again in that horribly, pushy, speeding traffic.  I was lucky to make it in one piece the first time–there would be no next.  So I had to make the tough choice to either buckle-down and drive that again, or take the fees.  As returning the Penske was harrowing, I chose the latter, which would turn out very expensive.

-As all of this was going on, and we were at maximum stress level, some guy approached us in the Penske parking lot.  Attention boys and men:  If you see women (especially one woman, by herself) she NEVER feels comfortable about you engaging her.  Especially after dark or in a sketchy place–we were in both.  This guy comes up and asks if we speak English.  Then he asks for money for gas.  Which I was like–do you see this Penske we just got out of?  There’s where all our money went.  He persisted by saying a police officer had told him this was a bad area and he really needed to get home.  What, now he wants us to take him somewhere?!  Lame.  Walk your a$$ the 5 blocks to Tracks and use the more then ample public transportation.  I was over it and disengaged.

-We got home, and I was ready for shower, jammies, bed.  BUT We had no hot water.  The gas had not been turned on yet.  I had to go to bed that night without a shower.  Morale was low.  Surpringly low.  When I was all tired and greasy (from a long drive and unpakcing and lack of shower for now 16 hours) it was very depressing.  Our first night in Salt Lake City, and there was no excitement–just greasiness.

-The next day, I called at 7AM, right when they opened, to get gas to heat our water.  I was told it would be turned on tomorrow.  Oh no!  That could not occur, we would need it today!  Yes, I fussed.  OK, they would do it by 4PM.  Lesson:  I guess fussing is the way to go and people will bend rules for you.  Which sucks because I usually follow rules and therefore have to wait longer, pay more, and deal with more hassle.  But not this time.

-Except by 2PM, we hadn’t heard anything, and the business day was quickly coming to a close.  I did NOT want to miss my chance at hot water!  Finally after a 2nd phone call (squeaky wheel gets the grease) the gas was turned on.

-Or was it?  We still had no hot water.

Sutro Pool Party 005

-We called the gas company and they said the pilot light probably wasn’t lit.  We called our landlord to try to get someone to take a look.  We called the gas company who were extremely hesitant to talk me through lighting over the phone.  But I persisted, because by this time, I was not only expired, I was curdled.  My hair is always greasy when I wake up, so I need a shower daily.  Add in long drives, sweaty, vigorous unloading of a truck, nervousness of returning said-truck, then dusty unpacking–I was disgusting.  I tried to light the pilot light.  I tried and tried.  It clicked away, but I never saw a flame.

-After the 4-5th call to our landlord, and many hours, maintenance finally lit our pilot light.  It took him 2 tries and I’m sure we looked like helpless girls having to call in a man.  But I’m sure all my pressing, worked most of the air out of the line–it had been off for 3 months.  So it looked easy for him, but only because of my previous efforts.  And whatever–hot water was going to be on.

-Agh–a shower.  Finally!  Now we live here.

Next up:  Oh yes, there’s more!  The moving never ends!

When It Rains, It Pours: April [moving-drive-1st leg]

28 May

Let’s see, driving long stretches is mostly boring.  But a few key things are worth noting.

-Going on a Sunday was genius.  Traffic around cities was a lot less.  And bigger then that, the construction was on hold.  So we still lost time to slow speed limits, but we never had to stop in a line for workers or anything.  Any other day would have taken a LOT longer to get through those zones.

-Cool had fairly bad behavior for the entirety of the planning and execution of all of the move.  She was the bad kind of manic:  Unfocused, irritable, all over the place, no common sense or concentration.  So mostly she provided stress upon the stress.  BUT the one amazing thing that she thought of–and followed through to completeion–was walkie-talkies.  I wasn’t all about them–I figured they’d be fun if we had them, but not having them wasn’t a deal-breaker.  Let me tell you:  Walkie talkies and 2 vehicles are THE way to go if you have to drive a moving truck.  I drove the 16 foot Penske, and Cool (and the cats) followed along in her HHR.  This was great, because she could monitor my blind spots.  If I wanted to switch lanes, we could just beep each other quickly on the radios.  No cost of cell phone minutes (though using Boost, we both have unlimited talk, text, and data anyway) and no one-handed stuff.  We could also easily communicate which speed we wanted to go and when we had to stop for gas, bathroom, food, or rest.  The walkie-talkies made driving the Penske EASY!  Awesome job, Cool!!!

-We got started around 2PM, and drove 5.5(?) hours to Butte, which was about 2 hours past my point of fatigue.  Having long-hauled many road trips before this, 2 hours isn’t all that bad–relatively speaking.

Big Sky Country

-The cats rode in the car well (I’m told).  Usually Goose is good, quiet, and still during the car ride.  Choco-Luv likes to scream and yell the entire trip.  But sans drugs, they did pretty good–maybe Cool just tuned them out with loud music though.

-And the hotel seemed magical when we got to stop for a real shower and bed and TV.

-The cats fussed a little–they do the opposite thing at lodging that they do in the car:  Goose is usually a horrible, terrible noise-maker and pacer in hotels.  He kept us all awake the whole night in Boise, and when when my dad and I took him from Missouri to Nevada for the final time, Goose was so angry with me he peed on my hotel pillow.  He yowled a little, but not incessantly and we could still sleep.  I think it helped that we didn’t drug them at all this time.

-Splitting the trip into 2 days helped bunches, and the next day we just had to drive 7-ish(?) hours to Salt Lake City, instead of a whole 10.5 hours.  Which I think 10.5 is a low estimate from Google, it might have been more like 13 in real conditions.

-Montana and a nice high speed limit, and I always feel at home under it’s big-sky.  Idaho is full of nothingness, but at least they also have an extreme speed limit.  I just kept driving the Penske because it was going well.  And I think switching off would have made everyone more nervous.  Unlike Rusty, the Penske had cup holders, and you don’t realize how important and nice those are until you’ve lived without them.  It was also nice having a clock, which Rusty does not have.

-The only thing about the Penske that was bothersome, was my accelerator-foot got tired.  The speed tops out at 70 mph, but with a speed limit of 80 mph, I wanted to push it as fast as it was willing to go.  But it made the truck roar and shake, and I had to mash the pedal all the way to the floor.

-Utah drivers are awful, and it made it a little difficult that we had to finish the drive like that.  You’re at a point where you’re tired and just want to get there–it’s no time to have to employ a bunch of defensive-driving techniques.  But we did.  And all 4 of us made it in one piece and without very much fatigue or headache.  Also–this is of course relative to past trips.  We were all very tired of sitting in a car, sleepy, and wanting to be home.

-We got to the new apartment at 3:30PM.  I needed a shower.  I was fatigued.  I was SO done with moving!  I just wanted to shower and chill.  But alas, the parking situation was tight, so in order to unload the Penske in the vicinity of our unit, I had to park in 3 neighbor’s spots.  Needless to say, there would not be an afternoon/evening of rest.  Not even a meal break.  We had to immediately unload the Penske in order to move out out of the way before people got home from work and had no place to park.

welcome to utah- t-rex

Next episode:  Unpacking.

When It Rains, It Pours: April [pre-move]

8 May

Since I didn’t have time to update throughout April, I’ll save some time here by making a bulleted list.  I’ll try to remember everything, but things got pretty hectic!

-At the end of March, we started looking for apartments.  In another state.  Real Estate agents are apparently flakes, hardly reading correspondence or answering/returning phone calls.  We also immediately saw that not many understood out-of-state moves = No, we cannot come view it tomorrow!  This was going to be more difficult then we anticipated.

-We also learned that securing an apartment before starting to pay rent wasn’t a thing.  We wanted to have pro-rated rent mid-April, the agents wanted us to start a lease 4-1-15.  Which wasn’t going to work since our Spokane lease wasn’t up until 4-30-15, and we couldn’t afford to pay rent on two places at once.  How do people usually manage this?

-To further complicate the matter, I had committed to house-sitting until May 2nd.  This meant we either HAD to sign a new lease that started May 1st in Salt Lake City (SLC from here on out) or pay month-to-month at our current apartment.  Mo-Mo increased our current rent from from $480 to $610/mo.  On top of moving expenses and deposits–that was not going to work.

-In addition, it seems SLC is anti-pets.  We could hardly find ANYthing that accepted 2 cats.  And those that would, were about $100 higher in rent (and mostly more then that), charged a minimum of $300 extra deposit (on top of $300 security deposit), AND charged monthly pet rent.  This was going to be expensive–and I didn’t have a job so I didn’t know how much money I had to budget. . .

-Needless to say, we are scrambling around on the internet, looking for suitable places, e-mailing (to no avail), and calling–without a SINGLE return phone call.  WTF?!  Is this a real estate “thing” or just a SLC thing?!  Either way, it was super-annoying, not to mention bad business practice.

-Cool gets legit-stressed, but then goes full-on manic.  Not awesome timing.  She decides she has to visit her family, 6 hours away, right when we’re trying to find housing.  I was going to go, but I work on Saturday, and didn’t want to leave my co-worker friend alone to do everything.  So Cool and I were initially going to visit Tacoma Sun-Tues.  BUT Cool also realized she had NO time off work.  None.  And she only gets weekends off.  So she planned to make the visit without me.

-To compound the situation, the Friday Cool was going to leave (after her work shift was over at midnight) for the other side of the state, she calls me.  It was 9PM.  Good news:  She was able to transfer within the company she’s been working for into a job in Salt Lake City!  Cool got a job!  Bad news:  She had to start work April 23rd (in 14 days counting that night).  Worse news:  We had no housing, she still intended to leave for the weekend, and in order for me to give 2 weeks notice at my job, I’d have to turn in my letter of resignation tomorrow.  STRESS!

-After we had a deadline looming, things got really insane.  I had to turn in my notice at work, secure housing, start packing (and getting rid of things), and making reservations for moving trucks, hotels, flights, etc. . .  Despite this being 2015, the internet wasn’t super helpful in finding an apartment OR changing my address.  I had to make a zillion phone calls–and you know how I despise that.  Forget about details like cleaning the old apartment or trying to get a job in SLC–that stuff would have to wait.

-We found 1 viable housing-option (above our price range).  But the landlord was a doofus.  We Cool (because this kind of crap makes me belligerent, and that would accomplish nothing, plus, I was doing EVERYthing else) had to call like 6 times before we got any response.  Then we had to wait.  Then, things didn’t work right.  My full 2 weeks notice were closing at work, and we still had only the promise of housing–no lease, no deposit. . .  This is terrifying to me.  What would happen if it fell through?

-Meanwhile, I was frantically packing and trying to get rid of things.  What to do with the huge, old treadmill?  How were we going to get the 37″ TV down the stairs, and where would we put it?  You never realize how much stuff you have until you have to put it in boxes and move it!  Even though this is a small bullet point, this stuff really consumed the majority of my time.  It was a lot of thinking, planning, lifting, and packing.

-Nothing was easy.  What size rental truck should I get?  I got a 10′ in Missouri and had to leave half my stuff at the storage unit.  It sucked terribly, got rained on so it was unsalvageable, and the storage management were pissed so they took all the money I had paid ahead as a “cleaning/trash fee.”  I did NOT want that scene again.  So I fretted, measured, and deliberated, before deciding on a 16′.  It was big, but they’re all bigger then what I’m used to.  The 12′ and 16′ were the same price, gas efficiency, and width.  The only difference was the 4′ of additional length–and after 12′ what’s an extra 4′?

-We also had to decide how we would logistically move 2 cars, 2 cats, a moving truck of stuff, and ourselves to 10.5 hours away.  While still getting Cool to work in SLC on April 23rd and me to my house-sitting job in Spokane April 27th-May 2nd.

-We decided to drive the Penske full of stuff and HHR with the cats to SLC.  Then, Cool would start work while I unpacked the stuff at the new apartment.  Then, I would fly back (rental car was only $20 cheaper and took 6 more hours) to Spokane.  While in Spokane, I would clean the entire old apartment by myself before the lease was up, then continue on to my house-sitting job, before driving (a 2nd 10.5 hours) my car back to SLC.  At least we had a plan.

I think I probably forgot some things, but you get the gist:  April was busy, busy, busy, costly, and stressful.  In the next installment I’ll talk about the actual moving process.

Independent Woman

16 Dec

I told Cool that if I ever lose the use of my legs or need diapers to euthanize me. That is how important my independence is to me.

So I’m very skeptical I would like to be in the military. I know full-well that the affordable housing, job opportunities, and paid tuition–come at a cost.  Once you sign on that dotted line the government owns you.  You are no longer a free agent.  Sure, they’ll say that they try to accommodate you, but when it comes down to it–you are going to do what the military tells you to do, and that’s it.

I feel guilty about being stubborn against this idea.  But I’m reminding myself that yes, it’s absolutely ok to be stubborn about your own life–I am the one who has to live it.  I don’t have to justify my choices to anyone.

Enter my well-meaning parents.  They are worried about how I’m going to pay for graduate school.  I am also super-worried.  They feel like the solution to ALL my problems is going into the Navy.  Which, I could do.  And I’d like to follow in my father’s footsteps, and I’d be honored to serve my country.  BUT the logistics just do not work out for what I want in my life.  But they won’t listen to me.  They don’t hear my concerns, they just think I’m making an uninformed stubborn choice.  And I can tell saying no about this is stepping into a landmine.  It’s going to hurt the good place my relationship with my parents has finally gotten to.  Which sucks!  It was hard work getting to this better place with them.  School funding/Navy is a point of contention, for sure.  Except–you should not join the military for someone else, and you should never do it out of guilt–which is what I would be doing.  I did look into it and here is why it just isn’t going to work for me at this point in my life:

-It’s an 8 year commitment!

That’s a long time.  That’s all 4 years of school AND 4 more.  There is a lot of opportunity for being moved around.  A lot of dealing with less then optimal conditions.  And 8 years to worry about my little family and my own survival.

-I would have to be separated from my family.  

That’s what I have.  It’s my whole support system.  Cool wouldn’t be traveled around with me (more on this later), and I’m sorry if that makes me weak and a whiner–I want to be with her.  Maybe other people can live apart from their mate, but I never want to.  Also, Kitties cannot go to bootcamp, nor to officer training, or to different countries–and moving them around to different states would be difficult at best.  After being separated from them in Seattle–I want my pets to live with me.  I love them and they are my responsibility.

-I am gay.  And this poses many problems:

–Cool and I aren’t married because I think it’s an antiquated tradition, she would ruin my good credit, and I figure why bother when the benefits depend what state you’re in at the time.  In the military, they try to ensure married couples remain together–they could care less about what the law considers a roommate.

–So She and I would have to be apart.  When and how would I see her?  And where would she live?  How would she afford it?  What if her bipolar flared up as it does and things went terribly wrong?  I wouldn’t be there.  That doesn’t work for me.

–Also, being gay may be legal in the military, but that isn’t the same thing as being accepted.  It’s a lot to ask of me to hide a fundamental aspect of who I am.  But if I didn’t I could be teased, hazed, harassed, or even raped.  I want no part of that–and who could blame me?

-I do not want to involve a recruiter

to get specific answers to my questions I have to call a recruiter.  Which I don’t want to do.  They give you the hard-sell.  They gloss over the bad parts and emphasize the good, so you really have to read the fine print anyway.  They spam you!  I don’t want constant phone calls or mailers pressuring me.

-I’m fearful about the training and expectations.  

I’m not sure I’d like getting screamed at.  With work, I could do the physical stuff, but I in no way want to take my gas mask off for such and such amount of time like you have to in the Navy.  I might be capable of doing it, but I think I would be very unhappy and stressed about it.

-I don’t like travel.  

Basic is 2 weeks in some cold, Great Lake state.  Officer training is in RI–for a month.  You have to spend such and such time per year training who knows where.  They promise you during your service they try to put you where you want to be, but let’s be real, if the government needs you somewhere they’re going to put you there, whether it works for you or not.  And on relatively short notice.  Plus, I have bathroom privacy and hygiene standards that cannot be accommodated in a military lifestyle.  I need a (warm) shower EVERY day!  And a private bathroom stall (with American plumbing) and a door and a fan.

-I don’t want stress, trauma, or long term effects like my dad (and many, many others) have

I’m sensitive,  I don’t want to undergo emotional trauma, physical abuse, and I would be suicidal if I went through the sexxual abuse common in the military and in the Middle East.  I also don’t want PTSD which is a very real side-effect of service.

-I don’t want to risk my LIFE

I also have NO interest of traveling abroad–especially the Middle East.  And I read they are starting to put Audiologists on the forefront of actions because of portable equipment.  Before they mostly did noise-prevention and VA stuff, but with accessible equipment, the government can stop sending soldiers to the closest sound booth (in Germany) after explosions and check them right on the front lines.  That means audiologists are on the front lines.

-And bottom line, the money/perks just aren’t that great.

I can get better stipends from my school, or at the very least loans that don’t involve travel and put my life on the line.  I will find a job once I’m out of school, and I could still do noise-prevention or VA work as a civilian.

I’m going to have to put my foot down to my parents, and I hope it doesn’t cause a big, ugly scene.  But better that then ruining what I want for my life.  I’ll just have to find another way to finance my education.  This is about me and what I want, and nobody–even my parents–gets to demand what path I take.  I just hope they can understand that I’m not just being rebellious, I actually researched and see many reasons why that’s not what I want. . .