Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day in Review - Christa and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I wanted to call this post Year in Review because it seems like that's that how long I have been away! Surprise!  I am here!  I have been such a busy girl this past week or so.  What have I been up to you ask?  Well, I will reveal all by the end of this post and will also tell you about my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day today.  Before I do, however, I want to give myself a shout-out and announce that today is my 3 week anniversary of my "Quit Smoking, 2011" campaign. I feel really good actually. I am still feeling some effects, however, but almost back to my normal self! This topic will come up again below!

So...I have been busy! I have not had a lot of time to write the blog for a few reasons, but the biggest is I have been getting more paid gigs! I have been expanding and getting more clients during the afternoon for my part time dog walking job, which is pushing back my 2nd part time job in the afternoon/evening job with ChaCha, which is getting cut to extremes because I have gotten a few paid writing gigs!   I am currently working on finishing up writing an e-book on...what else?  Quitting smoking!!!!!  It is almost done, so I thought tonight would be a great time to get a blog post out before I attempt to sleep. As much as I wish I could write blog posts all day, every day, right now I have to choose to spend my time with activities that actually pay...since the blog doesn't.

I have still been hitting the gym when I can. I was invited tonight, but just couldn't swing it with the e-book needing to get finished.  It's actually fine with me since I can barely walk at the moment from my work out yesterday!  It wasn't bad all day until this evening.  I may need an ass massage because that's what is hurting so badly...if there is anyone hot reading this and wants to volunteer, let me know and I will give you my address...

Since the weekend I have also been busy dog sitting as my parents, yes, Sarah and Todd, are on one of their tropical vacations they like to take several times a year (without their daughter, mind you...they did take me once actually, so I am not going to complain) . I am officially in charge of their chihuahua's, Margarita and Tia, until Sunday.
Tia on the left, Margarita on the right

I tend to get along better (until this week) with Tia, since Margarita and I have always had, let's say a "troubled" relationship, due to the fact she has tried to bite me roughly 158 times in her lifetime and has even succeeded two or three times in getting her little chihuahua teeth into my delicately, beautiful skin. However, I have to say, little Margarita is being a dream...compared to the hurricane that is Tia. Since Tia has been a little terror, and her parents Sarah and Todd are out of town, I considered writing up a little classified ad, but considering her breath smells, she pees on the floor like she owns the place, barks all the time and has to be hand fed, I can't really see that anyone would take her.  I have told her several times in the past few days: "Tia, you are damn lucky you are cute".

I am sure you have noticed the title of this blog post...Yes, I am Christa and most of my day was, indeed, terrible, horrible, no good and very bad. See, I woke up this morning with high hopes of a fabulous Tuesday. I would do some work, go walk my dogs, come back and do some more work, settle in and watch Glee, write a fantastic blog post, then go to bed at a decent time. (Would just like to say it is currently 11:44pm and not decent in my book) Since "the girls" have been here this week, my mornings have been a little slower than normal.  I have take Chloe outside to go potty first, then come back up and get Maggie (This is what we call Margarita) and Tia. Fat assed little Maggie can't walk down the stairs by herself, so I have to carry her. (This is why I don't take all three dogs at one time, as I would only have one hand free) Of course it is 6:30 am and Tia starts barking the whole way down the steps. We finally get downstairs "the girls" do their business and we go back up. Once we get up stairs, I must feed them. (Remember, Tia needs to be hand fed due to "medical reasons". Some may say she just has a bad attitude and won't learn to eat on her own) It takes longer than just filling a bowl with food and setting it down, as I do with Chloe.

Lets move ahead...I am about 45 minutes behind already at this point, so I start my work. I am happily working along, poured some wonderful tea, I had a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats...and at some point, checked my e-mail...Oh good!  My electric bill is here!  I open it up and have a heart attack on the spot...$108.  (The highest it has been since I have lived in this apartment was $25)  I immediately got on the phone...4 Customer Service reps later, 3 which were not fit to work in any Customer Service capacity, two untimely disconnections of my phone signal (Verizon, you are NEXT!!!), and one crying Chloe at my side (she needed to go outside), I finally got an explanation I can understand and though I am not happy about it, there is nothing I can do about it, but suck it up and pay. Whoever invented the "Actual" vs "Estimated" system for checking meters should be banned from the world.

I hang up the phone and take a deep breath...and I smell poop...of course, my first thought went to Tia who has had a history of pooping in the house, so I swung around quickly in my chair...Tia is sleeping very innocently curled up on the couch. I noticed there were some brown spots on the carpet...I followed them with my eyes...(I will try to be as "non gross" as possible) and there were just several large brown spots of nasty dog diarrhea all over my carpeting....and Chloe sitting in the corner looking extremely scared that I was about to yell at her. I had three issues with this.  1) I knew it was kind of my fault because she was crying to go out, but I couldn't take her out when I was on the phone, so I didn't yell at her. 2) There are several puppy pads spread strategically around the apartment due to Tia's refusal to pee outside like a normal dog and 3) the realization that I would be cleaning up dog diarrhea in my very near future.

I did clean the carpet...Woolite carpet cleaner followed by Oxyclean followed by Febreeze...then I had to go to work. Work was actually pretty good. No major issues or problem. I picked up a new client so I did have a little bit of "first day jitters", but in general it was fine. I came back home and walked in and the apartment smelled like poop....All the dogs were crated/gated...I prepared myself...but there was no poop anywhere.  I Febreezed again, and have continued once every few hours....

The third major thing that happened was this...my friend Laurel had given me a new lamp this weekend. I needed it, it is a large floor lamp and though I had brought it up from the car, I had yet to plug it in and decide where I was going to put it. I just had it in the middle of the floor and went to plug it in to see how much light it was going to give off...as I plugged it into the socket...every electronic device in my apartment went off...the TV, all the clocks, the light I had on...all just black. So I had to call the office of my apartment and figured I could just find out if I had to flip a switch or what...but no, the generous landlord said he would come fix it himself and for me not to worry about it!  Hurruh!  My apartment smells like poop, I have two illegal dogs in here and the living room is scattered with random dog toys, puppy pads and bones. Great.... I tried to hide the chihuahua's in my bedroom with Chloe, kicked as many toys and bones as possible in with them, Febreezed as well as I could and waited for Matthew.   Long story as short as possible, Matthew came up, flipped a switch behind my refrigerator, and left...no comment on the poop smell or the mysterious random pitched dog barks coming from the bedroom.  Phew...that was the turning point...things started to look up from there...and have continued.  And now, since it is technically a new day (12:31am) I can know when I wake up, it will still be a good one!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day in Review - No Post Today....I am Meditating....

Since I need a huge mental break, I will spend the remainder of the evening finishing my work, writing my "Wanted Ad" and watching the DeGrassi Marathon on Teen Nick (Yes, I know...I am 32...don't remind me)

Please enjoy this video in my absence...It is her birthday today...

This is what I have so far for my Wanted Ad:

Wanted: Valentine. Please know how to spell. Please be taller than me. (I am 5'5") Please have the philosophical views of Dave Matthews, the political views of Sherrod Brown and the sense to know when to hold em' and fold em' like Kenny Rogers. (Please do not look like him) I am looking for someone to prove to me that all men are not the same. If you send a picture of your penis I will not talk to you any more.

What do you think?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day in Review - Eat it Today...Wear it Tomorrow...

Well today is my week and a day anniversary of my big stop smoking decision.  In general, I feel great!  There are a few things that I am experiencing though that I hope are temporary.  According to what I have read and people in my online support group, they are...but they are weird and funny, so I thought I would share them with all of you!

1) Wanting to Eat Everything in Sight:  My Nana used to always say "Eat it today, wear it tomorrow", and that is the phrase that has been going through my head every time I put something in my mouth. I am trying to make "healthy" snack choices like grapefruit, but it isn't always easy! One second I want something crunchy...the next minute I want something sweet.  If I didn't know better, I would assume I was pregnant with these weird cravings, but if you have read the post called Why I am Still Single and the Bridget Jones Rhetoric you know I am not pregnant at this time. (By the way, I opened up my yahoo account just today after a good week of being away and there were NINE "offline" messages from Penis Guy. All variations of "Hi", i.e. Hello, Hey, Hiya, etc.)  Back on topic, though I have been "eating it today", so far my jeans still zip and button. 

Me at the gym --- Just kidding!  I am PHAT not FAT
2) Insomnia: This is, so far, the part I am hating the most about not smoking. I have been having horrible insomnia. Trying to look at the positive side of this though, I have gained a lot of knowledge about the Time Life Music CD Box Sets that are for sale and been able to spend extra time with Anthony Bourdain as Travel Channel has been playing his show over night. I have also started my Christmas list for next year and will include the Sobakawa Cloud Pillow and the InStyler, but not the Pajama Jeans or Kangaroo Keeper. The bad thing about all of this is I have tried many things to combat this insomnia, like melatonin, valeran root, Tylenol PM, NyQuil, lavender aromatherapy, meditation, counting sheep, exercising before bed, no caffeine or eating after 6:00pm...none of this has worked. The best I did was two beers and a Tylenol PM, but I don't think that is especially healthy to do every night. Luckily, this "side effect" only lasts around 1-2 weeks, so I am getting through it.
Sobakawa Cloud Pillow - If you are looking to buy me a gift, write this down!

3) Dreams: When I have been sleeping, I am having insane dreams! I know what you're thinking..."Christa, you always have strange dreams". These are different though...similar to my "ghost/scratch" dream. If I had ever done drugs, I would expect this. I really think these dreams are real. It is like every smell, sight, color, event, tough, taste is magnified 10 times...definitely not normal dreams. I woke up the other day and started writing an e-mail to one of my friends about my thoughts on something we did in a dream...only to realize halfway through writing it...IT DID NOT HAPPEN!  (PS - I may just be going insane and this is not a side effect of not smoking, but humor me, ok??)  I have had dreams about: a very in depth discussion with Rep Gabby Giffords about dog food (Beneful vs Pedigree), dinner at Tiger Sushi (a made up restaurant) with my sister and one of my oldest friends, Nicole,  A ride in a golf cart through a park with another old friend Abby (she was driving and ran over a bag of Skittles that I very much wanted to eat), and a very fun party with people from high school that was not only people from my own high school, but totally random individuals I have never met in real life, but was best friends with at the party.

4) Irritation: Luckily this one is just about out of my system. I will admit I snapped at the Cox Cable man who called me tonight. The conversation went like this:

COX CABLE: I see you have cable and internet with our company Ma'am. Is this correct?
ME: Yes (In an annoyed tone)
COX CABLE: I have a wonderful offer that will allow you to pay just $99 a month if you add phone to your plan. That is only a bit more than you normally pay, but you get a phone new service.
ME: Did you just call me on a phone?
COX CABLE: Yes, Ma'am. I called you at XXX-XXX-XXXX (He said my phone number)
ME: Right, so obviously I have a phone, correct?
COX CABLE: Yes, Ma'am. I just want to tell you about this great offer...
ME: (Cutting COX CABLE OFF): If I wanted a land line with Cox, I would have gotten a land line with Cox.
COX CABLE: Yes, Ma'am. We have other offers...
ME: (Cutting COX CABLE OFF AGAIN): I have a phone, that you just called. I only need one, Thanks.

Usually I am not that short with peeps, cause I try to understand this is their job....I suppose today was an exception.

5: I Attract Smokers: It seems like the past 4 days or so, everywhere I go, there is someone smoking or smelling of smoke. I see them in their cars, walking down the street, in parking lots, in stores, (not smoking in stores, but I smell it on them) Before I get grossed out by the smell, which DOES happen, thankfully...there is a split second where I want to be by them...I want to smell them...I want to just make-out with them. I don't care who it is...I want them to be right by me. Rather it is an old man, hot man, ugly woman, hot woman...I don't care. For that tiny moment, a part of me just wants to jump on them to get some amount of nicotine. (Thankfully this only lasts a short amount of time before I enter into any time of relationship with said old man or ugly woman...though I wouldn't say no to hot man...except for now, I would, cause I shouldn't be around a smoker) There are a lot of smokers out there I have noticed. It's all good though...I am strong...stronger than I actually thought!

In closing, a random thought of the day and something for you all to ponder.  Why is it that you can see someone who is "ugly as home-made soap" (another gem from my late Nana) but if they have a foreign accent you want to marry them at the next convenient time for both of you? Maybe it's just me....

Monday, February 7, 2011

Week in Review??? Where Have I Been????? Who am I???

Yes. I am here! Almost 100% here actually...which is an immense improvement on where I was just a few short days ago. See, I made a very important life-changing decision on February 1st, totally out of the blue actually. It even shocked me! No, I did not join a convent or become a nun.  No, I did not move to a small, uninhabited island in the Caribbean. No, I did  not becoming a Republican. I am not pregnant, engaged, coming out of the closet..or becoming a Republican. (Just wanted to reiterate that!)

It has been 7 days...well, 6 if we want to get technical since today is not over.  It has taken me 6 days to be able to sit in front of the computer, no interruptions, no jumping around my apartment like an insane kangaroo on crack, no yelling, screaming, crying or eating 5 pounds of M&M's. (I have done all these things in the past week)

My concentration is almost back, I can type with relative ease, I can sit in one spot for more than 10 minutes, I can go for long spans of time without something in my mouth or hands. I am coughing a lot, sneezing like a fiend, but I smell great, feel a bit more sane, have energy and could pass any test for nicotine in my system.  Yes.  I stopped smoking.

Now at this point, there will likely be 1 of these reactions coming from your head (I have heard them all over the past few days) :

1) You smoke? I didn't even know! - Yes. I have smoked since college actually. About 20 years old.  I never hid the fact that I smoked, but never felt it was an extreme necessity to wear shirts that say "I am a nicotine addict" either. I could go for hours and hours without smoking and was never a huge chain smoker, but I always went to my friend, nicotine, at least a few times a day, many days much more than a few.

2) Awesome!  Good for you! I am proud of you! - Generally the reaction of the non-smokers or ex-smokers who are happy to have me join their team. They have all tended to be extremely chipper and smiley as they have said this.

3) Oh? Um...good.  Good for you...um...yeah. - Generally the reaction of the smokers I know...who are probably scared shitless I will make the suggestion that they join me in my "non-smoking" lifestyle. No. I will not tell you to join me. It is a 100% personal decision. If you would have asked me 2 weeks ago if I would be a smoker today, February 7th, 2011, I would have said "Absolutely". Something clicked in my head one day and I chose to do this. Don't be scared.  I will fight for you to continue to make this choice if you want to.

4) Silence and "The Look" - This from those who know I have always smoked, have yelled at me 1000's of times for smoking, hated that I smoked and really couldn't do a thing about it. The few in this category probably think I will fail.

With the decision made on February 1st, 2011 and today being February 7th, 2011 my physical symptoms are just about gone.  Cravings are gone, I haven't thought about cigarettes or smoking. I feel pretty good physically. Mentally I am feeling good too...better than I have. I can concentrate, hold a conversation, type without (too many) typo's, read without pause, laugh, smile and feel overly good about this decision. I still feel myself zoning out every once in awhile, but it is 1000 times better. Those commercials with the people running over things and knocking things over...I believe it is becomeanex.org...that is NO JOKE. I know I would not be able to drive a fork lift or go bowling in that condition. The commercials are funny...look for them....I admit...I broke a plate, dropped multiple items and tripped...more than usual.

What is really NO JOKE is this...I made a decision and I intend to stick to it. If you have positive things to say, I want to hear them. I want the support. If you have negative things to say, keep it to yourself. I don't want to hear it peeps. I need a calm, relaxing, meditative life for a few days. As I learn to live my life in this way, I invite you all to keep joining me on my blog. I welcome comments, questions and the occasional humorous jabs.

I also want to send a special shout out to Kellie Jones for directing me to the right words to read. To my aunt, Diane, for checking up on me every day. To my dad, Jim/Todd, for re-affirming my determination and strength to me and to all of my Twitter followers, especially the Gercak's, for listening to my bitching and moaning at  the beginning of the week. To Cletis, my editing is coming soon.  Also for everything and everyone I forgot about, yelled at, or thought bad thoughts about this past week...which is admittedly more than I would like, I am sorry...and I will try harder on Wednesday. :) 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day in Review - Why I am Worried About the Future...

I am in a poopy mood today. Luckily I have some posts on the back burner that I can use at any time with minimal editing and/or thinking, so I am using one tonight....

I technically would say I have three jobs currently. I am a dog walker a few hours a day, a Freelance Writer/Blogger and I work for a company called ChaCha as an "independent consultant". Believe me when I tell you...the phrase "independent consultant" isn't as fancy as it sounds. What it comes down to is I answer questions online for people who are too lazy to look them up themselves. I would say the main demographic of ChaCha is that 12-17 year old male group...I am sure you can only imagine the questions I answer. Today is your lucky day, as I am going to share some of my favorite questions I have received from people using ChaCha. I have NO IDEA of the true identity of these people, nor their age, gender or if they actually are serious in the questions they ask. I sincerely hope they are NOT serious. 

The vast majority of questions I get are fairly normal.  Many people use ChaCha to cheat on homework or tests (Teachers! Watch out for this!!!) so I answer a lot of math, literature, science and history questions. Weather comes up fairly often, as well as "Where is "so and so" restaurant/shop/store in "Insert city here"". Easy enough....

What scares me about the future of our country are the ones who ask questions like these...(They are completely unedited...this is a copy and paste from my ChaCha screen)

"How mutch dose a magyzine editer get payed if I was one?"
"Is there a kind of vegan that eats meat but not seafood?"
"What country is Bolivia in"
"What country or state lowa in?"
"Hhow can i find my I.Q. i wanna see how schmart i am??

Unfortunately I have to answer these questions seriously. Like for the first one about the "magyzine editer"...I am supposed to say "According to Salary.com, a magazine editor salary ranges between $20,000 - $85,000 depending on various factors. Some make $100,000 and more."

What I would love to say to this person is: "Are you freakin' serious??? You can't even spell! How do you expect to be a magazine editor? You may want to chose a career better suited to your intelligence level". 

 Do you understand why I am concerned???  

The other main types of questions I get are the sex/body part questions.   At least daily I see "What is the biggest penis in the world"...(Im sure you all know, if you read this blog regularly, how I feel about this one...want me to send you a photo, kid????) The others are just plain frightening....such as these gems....

"Is it ok if 2 ants get in to my vagina?"
"Can you spread gental warts through drinking after an infected person?" 
"My girlfriends vagina looks like jaws from james bond. Im scared. What do i do?"  

I can imagine the horror of a vagina looking like this.
There are the annoying, stupid ones, where I want to pull my hair out when I get them...

"Can you give me some information about John Stump? Like where he sleeps and how many testicles he has?"
"How many girls in Minnesota are on Birth control"
"Tell me 1000 random words from the dictionary."
"What is the name of your penis?"
"How do I fit 4 elephants in a mini cooper"
There are some where you may need to know a bit of basic home maintenance like...

"How can I get poop out of the toaster?"

The unexplained like....

 "How can i inform the government that i've been abducted by aliens?"

The obvious....
"I told this girl that I liked her and she said she liked me too, what does that mean?"

And my personal favorite question of all time....(Before I get any hate mail for posting this...it is a valid question, but misspelled... you will obviously see my confusion on this when you first read it)

"How do I become a famous raper?"  (Obviously they mean "rapper", but the way it came across...too funny)

So...am I right to be concerned about the future?  Does this represent the type of things we are dealing with?  I cannot remember ever acting like that when I was that age (Oh GOD!!!!  I can't believe I said that!!!  Sure sign of being old!!!) Hopefully I will be doing a lot more writing and a lot less ChaCha-ing in the future...I have something in the works...