Thursday, September 27, 2007

Where Do I Go From Here?

I met the love of my life this summer, a sixteen year old Thoroughbred named Zydo. Thus far our relationship has been just peachy. He had a fit at me once, and we've had a couple rocky days together. Once a trailer went by on the road while I was riding, and I said, "Look here, AssHat. Keep it up and you'll be on one of those STRAIGHT TO THE GLUE FACTORY." He seemed to straighten right up after that, and I'm glad we have the relationship we do. Like, I can totally threaten him with the glue factory, or the dog food company, at any point, and he's like, Fine, BitchFace. I'll listen. BUT ONLY BECAUSE YOU HAVE OPPOSABLE THUMBS THAT CAN WORK THE GRAIN SCOOP.

I have progressed in my riding in leaps and bounds this summer, a feat I am entirely proud of. I've had success to the point where I can feel it in my ribs, I can taste it in my mouth, and my God, it's like beer. You just want to feel it and taste it again and again until you're comatose in a puddle of your own drool on someone else's couch.

Over the last four weeks, I've reached a plateau and now I'm not sure what to do. I like to ride for pleasure but at the same time I want to be working on a specific skill set. The problem is that I need miles and miles in the saddle to work up my muscles before I can get the skills I need.

My coach from way back when was discussing this with me one day, and suggested a certain barn for lessons. This barn is not fancy, by any means, but they have good quality fit horses to ride at an incredibly reasonable rate.

My neighbor was over tonight and he works at a reputable stable. He told me he could swing me a deal, price negotiable on lessons in eventing, which is where I feel my niche is in the equestrian world. She turns winners out of her barn. She's a tough coach, and she means business. She's not here to fuck around when it comes to riding. Every one of my skills thus far will be worked on, put under a microscope. I'll be tested in will, strength, capability.

The thing is, what do I want to do? Do I want to meander around with minimal pressure? Or do I want to play with the big boys?

How do I make this decision?

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The Biggest Waste of Time Since Watching Grass Grow

I recently joined FaceBook, this illusive Internet phenomenon that everyone has been pestering me to join for about a year now.

I have to stop and say here that I refused to join for the longest time, and had a pact with Mal. Well, SHE CAVED FIRST. I found her on there when I joined about a week after she did. How odd that we would both cave at approximately the same time. Clearly, we have spent far too much time together.

At any rate, I have joined and I'm really not that impressed. I've been browsing people and thinking "Hey! That chick! We stopped talking in 2001 because we moved on with our lives! And now we can talk again!"

But if we went our separate ways years ago, why would we start talking again now?

Personally, I feel like its a little stalker-ish. And don't get me wrong, I love being a creepy stalker as much as the next person. But why am I sitting here looking at pics of people I don't talk to any more, finding out what is going on in their lives without them exactly knowing about it?

Its like spying, and it seems a little perverse.

But hey, who knows. Perhaps I'll soon become one of those facebook addicts and fall in love with the whole process.

Or, I'll just keep looking at it because I have nothing better to do with my time.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What Do You Have to Kill Around Here to Shoot a Duck?


I think I'm the master duck-repeller. We only saw like, ten ducks tonight. They all flew by together. AND I was standing behind my mother when I saw them.

And, you know, since I'm such a nice hunter, I decided NOT to shoot since it would have taken her head off first, and totally messed up any chances I had with the ducks.

But hot damn, am I ever itching to shoot at something other than a blaze orange disc with my new toy.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Pics of the Beast...

The beast and I made it out bright and early Sunday morning after I got about three hours of sleep. Oh, working in a place where you are dealing with the police until hours after your shift ends. How I love thee!

Of course, right after you come in from hunting early in the morning, you need to pose with your mom before you insist that she make you a nice, big brekky of pancakes and eggs so you can have a full tummy while you nap. Because, My Lord, I really needed a nap.

After my nap, I went outside to shoot some trap. Shooting trap is always a good time, and as per usual, I shattered the first clay pidgeon like it was my job. I wanted to just blow on the end of my smokin' barrel before I sauntered into the house, but that wouldn't have helped to hone any of my skills.

I think I hit about five or six out of twenty, which means that my gun is sighted in and I'm not too bad of a shot. Or it means that the gun is not sighted in and I'm a bad shot. Or any other combination of the above mentioned factors.

Regardless, a nice way to spend a sleepy Sunday before heading off to work.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Jobs and Ducks and Guns -- Oh, My!

I've been phenomenally busy as of late, that type of busy where you sleep for two hours at a time, and each time your body reaches proximity to your bed, you are unconscious before you even make contact with your down duvet.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you, because my sleep has been deep and luxurious and well-deserved.

I had one of those nights at work on Friday that leaves you standing in your horse's stall near midnight with silent tears working their way down your cheeks. I haven't posted much about my job here, other than that I have one, for confidentiality reasons. I'm working with kids and I'm not allowed to talk about them, much less write anything about them on the Internet. I will say that thus far, I'm feeling really good about my job. I feel like I'm getting the hang of how things work, like I go every day and am part of the grown-up world of those who have jobs in their field.

Like every new thing in life, however, it has its ups and downs and I think that working with kids is particularly frustrating.

Fortunately, my mood was quickly changed when my parents returned from The Big City bearing yet another gift: A Mossberg 500 12 guage pump shotgun. It comes with a rifled barrel as well, so I can use it for ducks and deer.

I need to put a note in here and say that this purchase was entirely by surprise and entirely the fault of my father. He simply refuses to share his 12 guage Remington Wingmaster with me, the selfish type of dude that he is. Personally, I think he's just scared of how damn good I am with his gun. Nothing quite like getting your butt whooped by your own daughter with your own gun, I'm sure.

At any rate, yesterday was the opening day of duck season 2007 and this morning, after being at work until one thirty, I was up before the sun getting ready to sit by the river and wait for some ducks to fly overhead.

At one point my father called in a whole flock of them and, as luck would have it, we all must have decided to shoot at the same duck. The ballistics came back and it turns out that my mother hit it in the chest, and my father hit it in the neck. However, my dad and I were shooting the same type of shot, and since I'M THE ONE WITH THE WEBSITE, I'm telling the Internet that I SHOT THE DUCK.

So there.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

You Know You Waaaaaaaant It...

The Bride and Groom

The Bride and I


Setting The Scene...

Needless to say, after the last few weeks I have been feeling like a giant pile of ass that's been out in the sun for too long.

Being crawled on by worms.

Before being stomped on by hyper-active dogs.

And then being chewed up by the tires of a brand new ATV.

I came home from work today at four to an empty house. Thirty minutes of silence after a day working with children. You know how sometimes people say that silence is golden? Why don't they say that silence is, like, diamonds? Or a billion dollars? OR THE THING THAT MAKES YOUR SANITY COME BACK?

After that, I put on some country music in my MP3 player and went out to my beautifully painted barn. (Painted in Nigeria's colors, no less.)

I sang, I danced, I felt completely at peace with the world.

And I had to stop and think for a second, because really? What kind of person feels completely content and at peace while she's faced with a wheelbarrow full of horse shit in a barn full of flies?

Clearly, a crazy person.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What's That? Total lack of Interest, You Say?

I've been neglecting my blog terribly over the last week. I think I've gone longer than I've ever gone before without posting some sort of update.

Well, here it is: I've fallen into a hideous funk since my appointment last Wednesday. I don't know how I made it through my best friend's wedding. I do recall plastering a smile on my face and walking tall; I recall lots of talking myself through every moment that made me want to stab myself in the face with a John Deere dinner fork so that I could complete my mission as Maid of Honor.

Bear in mind that the bride and groom did nothing to deserve a member of their wedding party in such a mood. The wedding itself went off without a hitch. Unfortunately, I've been generally feeling as though I've been run over by a tractor (A John Deere one, of course) that has a massive plough attached to it. It is as though my body is in little bits and pieces spread out around the land, all of them in their own separate piles of misery and achiness.

I feel like I have a constant case of whiplash in my neck; my head is aching and it hurts to move, ride in a car, walk down an aisle on high heels, or do anything else that requires motion on my part.

I feel terrible because I feel like crawling into a hole for the next fifteen years and coming out when the swelling in my neck goes down. I feel bad for feeling this way over my best friend's wedding weekend. I feel guilty because we were supposed to have a fire party and guitar playing on the night of the rehearsal dinner and I was so out of it that I left before nine. I feel bad that the day before the wedding I didn't go to help prepare until after three because until then I was wrapped up on the couch and physically could not get up. I feel bad that I had the most painful hairdo I've ever had in my life and I actually did complain about my headache a number of times on the wedding day.

In all, I feel like a giant pile of ass. I feel like I was a jerk over the weekend; I feel like my head hurts and my neck aches.

I could quite happily curl up into a ball on my couch and watch Grey's Anatomy for the next five days without moving once.

I also have not a morsel of doubt in my being with regards to whether or not I will take part in this activity.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

There was a time when I had goals...

I had an entire list of goals for this week. They included, but were not limited to, the following:

1) Ride my horse more than once

2) Grow my finger nails for my best friend's wedding

3) Be cured, or at least diagnosed, with regards to my mystery illness

4) Wax my legs

5) Do something other than sit on the couch and wait for time to pass.

Unfortunately, I feel as though I'm being sucked into a vortex of fattening food and bad TV on DVD.

But hey, at least the candles on the coffee table smell nice.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Good Air In; Bad Air Out...

I had another appointment with my doctor today, and I was supposed to go to work afterwards. However, I was in very real danger of hyperventilating and throwing up upon my arrival at work. Instead, I chose to call and scream into the phone that I wasn't fucking coming in, and they can fucking fire me because I'm going home to lay in my fucking bed until I fucking die.

Fortunately, my best friend works there too, so she was the one to get the call from me. Good thing, too, because typically I don't like to expose my bosses and co-workers to my real self at least until after I've been through the whole three months of work thing.

I'm beginning to feel like one of those people the Discovery Channel follows around on medical mystery shows. I imagine that my narrator would be an elderly gentleman with a British accent. He would say things like this:

Frustrated with the medical treatment, or lack thereof, that she has received in Canada, Amanda gave up her search for a cure in the North. After convincing her parents to take out another three mortgages on their farm, she travelled to a remote location in Montana. There, she met up with Hasbridge Augustus, a vegan guru who specializes in lymph nodes bearing resemblance to rodents. He mixed her a juice made from the roots of organic Manitoba Maple trees, regularly known for overtaking entire farms and sucking the life out of all surrounding vegetation. In this case, however, the Manitoba Maple root, mixed with the urine from a prehistoric breed of horse from South Africa, along with a potent dose of wheatgrass and alfalfa seeds has been known to cure young women of their painful, life altering conditions that modern North American doctors can't seem to fix.

Tune in next week to see if Amanda can stomach the mixture, and learn more from Hasbridge Augustus, the mountain man known for curing incredible ailments with his peculiar remedies.


Radiologists? We are not...

Last Spring, my dear friend The Berry Queen spent some time in the hospital. With the wonders of modern technology, I brought my laptop to the hospital and looked at a CD of her MRI. It was fascinating to see the insides of my friend's body on the screen of my laptop; unfortunately, no one knew what we were looking at.

At one point, we were looking at what appeared to be her head, and I swear, there was a small squirrel staring back at us. Berry Queen was quite disturbed because, well, HOW THE HELL WOULD A SQUIRREL GET INTO YOUR HEAD? (Turns out it was just a nasty sinus infection.)

Today I had my lymph nodes ultrasounded (Can you make that word a past tense?) and I was watching the screen with interest. The people doing them were a little miffed when I asked for a printout picture of my nodes. Hell, pregnant people ask for printouts all the time. They're lumpy. I'm lumpy. I really don't see the problem here. (They refused to give me a picture of my lymph nodes. Bastards.)

So, I was watching the screen and every now and then the woman would press a button and Chk, Chk, Chk would ring out in the deathly silent room. And at one point, and I am NOT making this up, I saw a little mouse appear ont he screen. She was small and looked like she was sleeping, but she was definitely there. Her nose, her head, her boddy and butt, and of course, a creepy little tail.

And now I'm thinking, what the hell is up with radiology and rodents? Like, seriously? A mouse?

I think I'm going to name her Louella. Louella the Lymph Node Rodent.

Has a nice ring to it.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Bad Idea:

Horse Riding + Swollen lymphs in your groin = Bad Idea.

Riding a horse who's decided that HE WILL BE INSANE as though he is hopped up on speed and who refuses to turn a single corner?


I swear, one day I will come up with something to write about other than my swollen lymphs. Really.

I swear.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

I dub her Dr. Caresalot

I finally took matters into my own hands today with regards to the crankiness-causing lumps errupting on my body. The ones in my armpits were of most concern to the fine doctor, who ordered a battery of tests after fondling most of my body for a brief period of time.

I only felt a little bit odd laying on the table at her request, but I figure, my last date was probably ...

Well, I don't remember when my last date was. But it was probably worse than that.

Next, I was seen by Nurse MygodIloveher. She took my blood and I must say it was the grandest blood-taking I've ever experienced. I had no time to faint, scream, or burst into tears. There wasn't time for my life to flash before my eyes as I pictured my bleeding and dying self crumpling to the floor. She just stabbed my arm -Owwie! - and then was done. Like magic.

I commented on her wizardry with sharp implements and she said "My dear, I've been doing this every day for twenty-six years."

My GOD, could you imagine stabbing people for a living for a quarter of a century? At first, it seems fun. Like "Hey, you didn't smile back at me when I greeted you today. Take THAT!" Ka-Powie!

Imagine the fun you could have stabbing people at a fruit farm? The SubShack? Every other place I've ever worked?

Clearly, I'm so thrilled to have gotten medical attention that I've become delirious.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Caution: Over-use of caps, !!s, and profanity

It turns out that I have far more lumps than my un-trained hands can find, not only in my neck but in my armpits and upper thighs as well. Hurray for swollen lymph nodes!

I went to the hospital in a fit of rage today. The receptionist at my doctor's office said that there were no available appointments until sometime next week. I love it when people are vague like that, as though they don't have a book in front of them saying precisely when next week an appointment will be available.

Frankly, my neck hurts and I'm getting pissy. I have been suffering this ailment for FIVE weeks now. If you had an ailment that gave you headaches and nechaches for five weeks consecutively, how chipper and happy would you be?


So far I have ruled out tuberculosis and a dental issue with Dr. Chuck. Today the doctor ruled out Mono. (I already had mono when I was seventeen. I told her that but apparently she wanted to make sure herself that I didn't have it again. I suppose I just LOOK like one of those freaks who can't even bother to get diseases properly.)

I hate those people who diagnose themselves on the Internet, and I try my hardest not to do so. However, for the sake of fun, let's go over just a FEW of the things I might have, according to our friend Google:

1)Streptococcal infection (Except that I feel great! So, no strep throat for me.)

2)Rabit fever (Have you ever heard of rabit fever? ME NEITHER.)

3)Plague (Now, what the fuck is plague? Seriously? THE FUCKING PLAGUE?!?)

4)Disseminated histoplasmosis


And, my all-time favorite

6) Lymphogranuloma venerum (I put this one in the list because I don't know how to say it. Fun, huh?)

This is a random assortment out of nineteen ailments listed on the Your Lymph Nodes Are Fucked page. (What's that? I'm swearing a lot in this post? Yes. Yes I am. BECAUSE MY LYMPH NODES ARE FUCKED AND I AM PISSED OFF.)

What I love the most about this list is that after it names all these random things that I can't pronounce or that I've never heard of, it states in tiny little writing that circulating cancer cells could also cause swollen lymph nodes. THANK YOU, ASSHATS WHO PUT THAT ON THE INTERNET.

The Internet also advised that I seek prompt medical attention if the symptoms are prolonged (Is five weeks prolonged? APARENTLY FUCKING NOT)or if they change (Do new lymph nodes popping up count as a change? APPRENTLY FUCKING NOT.)

I did the only thing I could think to do when I got home from the hospital today, the only thing on a long list of things I could have spent two hours occupying my time with. I laid down on the couch and I wept until my cat was peering down the stairs at me and my mother was looking baffled. (Of course she was baffled. She just got through CANCER with less fuss than it takes for me to cope with swollen lymph nodes. Duh.)

I'm calling the doctor's office again tomorrow and if that fails again, I'm going back to the hospital. If we have to rule out issues one visit at a time, I figure I've got four hours every day to kill.

Hopefully we've got the issue solved by NEXT FUCKING FEBRUARY so that I can have a HAPPY FUCKING VALENTINE'S DAY.


Monday, September 03, 2007

You Can Just Call Me Lumpina....

Joomy totally stole my idea for a blog post this weekend. I was planning on sitting down and listing out the things that are wrong with me, because now and then, there is nothing like telling the Internet that MY BODY HATES ME. Now Jooms has gone and ruined all the fun, and I'm sure everyone will think I am copying her. I assure you, the idea for this post was IN MY HEAD long before it was every posted ON HER BLOG. I could just choose a new topic for today, but then you all would have to go a WHOLE day without hearing about my problems.

Last month I went to visit the wondrous Mal. A few days before I left, I thought I was getting sick. The glands in my neck swelled up slightly, so I took it easy in an attempt to stave off whatever might be wrong.

I went to Mal's and had a great time, glands swollen all the while. I came home expecting to endure the worst sickness of all time. My neck became stiff and achey and the glands in it remained hurt-y and swollen.

Fast Forward three and a half weeks. I've had headaches from this ailment, my neck has hurt for the last month. I see Dr. Chuck. He tells me to see a dentist. He actually seemed blithe and uncaring that there are SWOLLEN LUMPS in my body.

At first, I was outraged. My teeth felt great and there was no reason for me to see a dentist, on top of the fact that I AM POOR AND CANNOT AFFORD ONE.

Last Wednesday, I woke up with an extra hurty neck and three new lumps. I rushed in to see a dentist thinking that maybe Dr. Chuck was right. Perhaps there would be a tooth abscess and that is why the lumps showed up.

The dentist said my teeth and gums look great. (Of course they look great. I have OCD. Brushing and caring for my teeth is like, the highlight of my day.)

I called Dr. Chuck's office in an attempt to get an appointment ASAP, but it is closed until Tuesday. I did get a handy 800 number to call for after-hours medical service. So I called.

And they don't care that my neck is all lumpy either.

One of the three new lumps has disappeared altogether, but the other four are still hanging out. On Tuesday I am soooo marching myself into that office with a blanket and a pillow and refusing to leave until someone CARES that my neck is SPROUTING LUMPS IN ODD PLACES.


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