Photo Dump: Stocky Goodness

The amount of time it takes to find copyright free, high quality stock photos is higher than I thought.  I’m cheap though, so as long as I don’t have to pay actual currency, I can work through it.  The best part about stock photography is that sometimes it’s random as shit and hilariously bizarre.  Here are a few of my favorites:

The cast of Twilight models shorts.


Don’t mind me, just fucking a chicken leg.


Remove the feet for safekeeping.


And here we see the rare croissant in its natural habitat.


Time to summon Evil Jackaloupe!


I feel like this couch is saying something to me…


The winner of wacky hat day 4 years and running!


So majestic.

All the rest

I was originally going to post this back some time in May but I was in a life or death battle with three rhinoceroses and all I had were night vision googles, a kazoo, and a pair of chopsticks.

Or maybe I just forgot I had this draft sitting around.  Whatever.  So anyway…

I have a ridiculous phobia of dentists.  I had multiple terrible experiences as a child and as a young adult on my own, I couldn’t afford to eat let alone go to the dentist.  My problems were from both neglect and genetics, so yay me.  By the time I started adulting, my teeth were in terrible even more terrible shape.

The answer was sedation dentistry.  A full day of drugs, being driven around, and spitting out things.  Dental insurance is ridiculously expensive; not all of us can work a union job.

You know exactly how it sounds.

Not just expensive, but thousands of dollars worth of work at once.  Thousands. I couldn’t bear the dentist and I wanted to get everything done at once, so that’s basically why I did it.  Bursting into tears half way to the dentist and begging to turn around and we don’t have to do this and we can cancel the appointment and it’s so expensive turn around turn around turn around!

(Fact:  we did not get to turn around)

So, recently, I started having tooth pain.  I was terrified because there just isn’t money for this right now ever.  I didn’t want to go but it was excruciating.  I didn’t go the sedation route for the first time in about 20 years.  I did take two clonazepam though.  I didn’t throw up or become hysterical.  This is a big deal as that is what would have happened had I not self medicated.  It was still expensive; about $220 for an x-ray.  That’s all they did, but to be fair, it was a fancy x-ray.

So fancy.

First off, the tooth in question should not have been hurting at all–I had a root canal and crown about 10 years ago.  That’s why the tooth is so opaque.  The nerves are removed/deadened so there shouldn’t be any pain.    Here’s some even fancier animation for you:

Now, if you look at my x-ray, you can see there’s a gap where the canal should be fully filled.  You see the white ‘pool’ under the tooth?  That’s an infection, also known as PAIN OF DEATH.  After my super expensive x-ray, I had to go to a specialist so they could drill through the crown.  Best case scenario:  they drill through the crown, remove the canal stuff, pack it with antibiotic stuff, come back in three weeks, remove the antibiotic stuff, repack the canal stuff, set temporary filling, then go to an additional appointment at the regular dentist to get a permanent filling.

Yeah.  Dentist –> Endodontist –> Endodontist –> Dentist.

Worst case scenario:  They drill through the crown, break it, have to replace the whole thing and send the mafia after me to break my kneecaps after I can’t pay them.

Luckily, everything went as planned.  Expensive.  First dentist x-ray was $220, filling and cleaning after the fact was $300?  I already don’t remember because I like to block out trauma.  The endodontist was $15oo, but the follow up procedure was included.  So as expensive as this was, still cheaper than sedation.  AND I didn’t have any tooth problems other than the original reason that bright me in!  No passive aggressive comments, no accidental stabbing me in the mouth, no jerks, no assholes.  I don’t floss enough which I think is pretty much standard for everyone.  At the endodontist I was shaking and crying but I pulled myself together by the time the dentist came in so no one saw which basically means it didn’t happen.

In other news, I am doing the thing!  I have accidentally been working on my ChÜberlist.  Accidental as in, I have just been living my life and making decisions that were not motivated by a list that I would have already forgotten if I didn’t have it blogged.  So here are my updates:

1. Lose 10% of my current total body weight. – I’ve lost 5% of my body weight!  Yay me!  I decided to start paying attention on May 22 and it is actually getting easier.  I’m only dieting at the moment, but I’ll soon add actual exercise because right now I’m still too lazy and unmotivated.  Baby steps.
2. Practice better drug adherence. – I have been doing much better, actually.  I’m not skipping on purpose but there are nights that I fall asleep early and forget.  That is happening less and less though.
3. Get a haircut that I can maintain. – Is a pony tail a haircut?
4. Sleep like a normal human being. – What is “normal”, anyway?  Who’s to say how I sleep isn’t normal?  I think you’re being rather judgmental.
5. Be conscious about my appearance. – Okay, I bought some things.  I am aware that I have an appearance.  I have ONE picture of myself that I like.  These are all big steps so I’ll take what I can get.

1. I need a meal plan. – Eating human food is the plan for now.  We do follow our breakfast schedule and I have a ton of muffins and breakfast tacos and frittatas in the freezer for consumption.
2. I need a chore schedule. 
3. Major Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter cleaning. – I threw out SO. MUCH. STUFF.  Old computers, the chair I rocked my babies in every night, lots of memories.  Bittersweet.  
4. Get the ice maker fixed.
5. Stop procrastinating on all of the minor repairs and projects. – I replaced a towel bar.  I did something.

Kids – I AM KILLING IT WITH THIS PARENTING THING.  Okay, I’ve been killing it for like, a week, but still, a week is progress.  We have finished our first week back to school since I took almost two months off to deal with that whole business thing.  School every day, violin practice every day, tae kwon do on Monday and Friday, violin on Tuesday and on Friday we go to the park to practice tae kwon do (I let Josh kick and punch the shit out of me) and play.  Their bedrooms are adequate.  If I can just keep this up I will be impressed and very pleased.
1. Enforce a consistent school, practice, wake up and bedtime routine.
2. School at the library or park once a week.
3. Have lesson plans one month in advance.
4. Be more regimented on practice for extra curricular activities.
5. Help the kids stay on task with cleaning their rooms.

Crafty – Ain’t nobody got time for that.
1. Finish hand quilting that giant king sized quilt.
2. Finish water color painting.
3. Sketchbook every day. Eventually.
4. Teach Robin to sew and to knit (those were her resolutions, so now they’re mine as well)
5. Knit at least 2 pair of socks.
6. Blog at least once a week.

1. Revamp the fish tanks. – Done, but always redoing.  I feel a bit stretched thin (mentally and financially) to do much more at this time but I want more fish, more plants, etc.  So basically, more money.
2. Wash my car once a month (inside and out)

So I like all this good news lately so if everything could stay consistent for a while that’d be great.  Picture unrelated:

Check out Slack Wyrm for more!

Well, shit, it’s June

Okay, so the biggest news that I’ve been choking on for the past month and a half is that the Mr. is finally his own boss!  I don’t even know how to convey how terrifying and exciting and overwhelming this has all been.  When I think about it, I well up with tears because of how proud I am of him, and how relieved I am that we are all a family again.  He was a partner at his previous firm but with an hour each way commute.  Obviously this means not seeing him in the morning at all and some days not seeing him until 8-9 PM.  So the kids barely saw him at all, and by the time he got home he was physically and mentally drained.  We knew this going in.  We worked this out 8 years ago (OH MY GOD 8 YEARS WTF) because it didn’t make sense for me to work financially considering the cost of daycare and the expense my 1 hour commute put on us.  So everyone sacrificed and everyone was miserable.

I have no desire to dredge up the past, but I’ve blogged very sparingly about any marital problems because there are some things I don’t want to tell the world.  Poop?  No problem.  An argument? Fuck that.  I swear we’re both stubborn as shit and never seem to change until we’ve both burned everything to the ground.  After 15 years of marriage, I think we have finally built the house of bricks instead of straw if you know what I mean.

I can’t tell which one of us is which.

So enough of that, the good news!  The Mr. now works from home!  I have even more work to do now!

Wait, no.  That last part sucks.

He left his position in April, and while we had discussed it, there was never a firm date.  So when it happened, I went into full panic mode because things needed to get done.  NOW.  I’m not going to lie, I was annoyed.  Put out, if you will.  Because we have a home office.  But the Mr. didn’t want the home office for his office.  He wanted my classroom.

My classroom.

I get tense and annoyed when I think of this.  I do.  But contrary to popular belief, I am a rational, sane adult at least half of the time.  As you can see by the AMAZING piece of artwork below, the classroom is in the quietest part of the house and is easier to close off when necessary.  We have an open floor plan house which is great because I can scream my head off in the kitchen and everyone can hear. Very convenient.  So the classroom that I took so much time and energy to set up had to be moved out, walls repaired, painted from ceiling to baseboard and then swap about 180,000 lbs. of books and furniture.

Not to scale. This is not a house for ants.
Good night, chalkboard. Good night tray.
Good night, puzzles. Wish you could stay.

And, since he was still working, I was doing the majority of it on my own.  I am moderately handy, and would be even more so if I wasn’t such a lazy asshole.  It may shock you to hear, but I was very, very bitchy.

Bitchy? Oh no….

I wasn’t exactly mad, just complainy.  Whiny.  But I take pride in my work and feel bad when it’s not up to standard but I think I did a decent job on the office.  The Mr. likes it, and while these are just work in progress pictures, I still think they look good.  Looks even better now that it has all of the shelving in and work papers all about.

Repaired, primed, painted. Ceiling, walls, trim. This office furniture we’ve had since 2003 I believe.
This window was my favorite; it’s east facing so the morning light is really pretty through the trees.

Honestly, I know this is all for the betterment of our family, and who the hell has money to pay anyone to do anything?  All we have is sweat equity.  For now at least.  I don’t have any pictures of the new classroom mostly because I didn’t paint shit and I’ve busted a hundred and eleventy holes in the wall trying to hang up a giant white board.  6 x 4 is really, really huge but we got a good deal at Office Depot.  It’s also magnetic!  And it was on sale for $75.  It’s white, it’s a board, it dry erases, and magnets stick to it.  What more could you ask for?  I did it and I was actually proud of my work for once.

By default, I am an employee, so had to do other work.  Like build a website.  Because yeah, sure, why not.  I am sure I can write all the copy for an industry that I am only slightly acquainted with. Sure.  Holy Fuck.  If we had the money I would have gladly paid someone to build us a nice website but we don’t have thousands of dollars for that.  What we do have is a few hundred dollars to use templates and then have me overhaul the whole thing for weeks until it’s presentable.  I made so many mistakes.  So many.  But the biggest mistake came from the beginning by purchasing a WordPress template from TemplateMonster and no I’m not going to link it.  FUCK THOSE RIP OFF ARTISTS OH MY FUCKING GOD.  What a bunch of patronizing little shits they have working there.  Here’s how it should have gone:

  • Pay $75 for the template we wanted.
  • Use their affiliate website to do a simple upload “one click and you’re done”.
  • Personalize website.
  • ????
  • Profit

But no, that literally was not the way it went.  First, after dicking around with it for hours, I finally get it uploaded.  And this is what it looked like compared to what it was supposed to look like:

Looks like the inside of a cataract.

Their customer service said “it looks that way because you didn’t install it right.  We can install it for you for an additional $50.”  NO I work on it for a few more hours and I discover something amazing: the file that was sent was incomplete.  How did I know it was incomplete?  Because I followed their online tutorial and there was a whole step with this file that I did not have.  So I get back with customer service.  I need this file.  “did you unzip the file?”  Yes, the file in question isn’t there.  “Are you sure?”  Yes, I have two eyes that can see things.  “Well, if you installed it correctly it wouldn’t look like that”  FUCK THIS FUCKING SHIT.

So like an asshole, I pay for them to install it because by now I knew it was a fucking scam and I just needed to get shit done.  Everything is uploaded and ready to go.  All the text, code, pictures, etc were in the template purchase price.  However, everything was still blurry like you see above.  “Oh, if you want to use the pictures you’ll need to download a program to clear them up for an extra fee”

I stayed calm.
Nah, I totally didn’t.

So long story short, don’t purchase through Template Monster.  It was one of the worst customer service experiences I’ve ever had and the only reason we paid them to install it was because they already had us by the balls.  It is intentionally done, and every person I came in contact with had a different reason why this did’t work and why that didn’t work.  It’s not better than paying thousands for a good site but it’s the best we could do for now.

I am not going to link the website here because it’s got enough personal information on it that I’m not comfortable with sharing but I do have to say I’m actually proud of the work that I put into it.  I worked the majority of the copy and found as many royalty free pictures online that I could.  I had it reviewed by a lot of different people in different fields and got some good feedback and constructive criticism which made the website even better.  So from the paint on the walls to the design of the logo to deciding if I want the buttons to be square of a rounded off square, I put a lot into this.  Ad yes, I am appreciated and that’s actually better than getting paid.

Besides, it’s not like I’m not spending all the money anyway.  And I’m glad that I have some sort of useful skill other than napping.

At this point, the office thing is done and I only have to worry about social media advertising.  Yeah, sure, no problem.  The kids are lamenting the end of their almost two month school hiatus due to my complete and total preoccupation with all things business.  Jut as an update, Robin started a new violin instructor this year and has learned more in 5 months than she had all of last year.  We found a new (more expensive!!!) school for Josh and he’s on track to learn more in two weeks that he did one on one for four months with is previous teacher.  So everyone else is doing pretty well.  As for me?

An attempt is being made.