Great White Snark: December 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013


I am bummed. 

(Which, for my UK readers, means I am sad, not that I was anally invaded, thankyouverymuch.)

Here's the thing. I want to whine a bit, because this is my blog. But I always feel so guilty whining, especially around the holidays, because I have so much for which to be grateful. And while I'm initially inclined to sit around and feel really sorry for myself (because poor me), there are people who have it so much worse and are so much more uplifting and nice and happy. Basically, they have a better attitude than I do. 

So. I am going to whine. A little bit. But I also want everyone to realize that I know how much worse it could be. And I am really grateful, so I will follow up my whining with a "thankful list." Is that okay?

I am bummed out because I started this Christmas season actually a little bit excited about the whole thing. Christmas is never my favorite time of year, but it seemed like everything was going pretty well. My aunt is in town to help out with my grandma, my parents' health is good, Michael is doing well...all seemed like it might shape up to be a normal Christmas (disasters of Christmasses past: emergency trip to NC on Christmas day to retrieve my ailing grandmother and bring her here to live, my dad being temporarily blinded by retinal detachment surgery, me having my wisdom teeth out, and the kicker, my grandpa passing on the 23rd). 

Then I wrecked my knee. 

Which wasn't really all that bad. I mean, it sucks, and it still hurts. But I didn't need to have surgery, so that's a good thing.

What really sucks about it is how long its taking to heal. Granted, I am two weeks out of my injury. They said it'll be about 8. I've got a LONG way to go still. But I am SO SICK of just lying around. Or going one place and being too tired out to continue running my errands and finishing my Christmas shopping. I don't like being physically frustrated when mentally, I'm ready to GO. 

This, of course, being the first year in ages that I haven't finished my Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving, I ended up having to order the remaining gifts on my list online. Which is a beautiful thing. Except for when they ship you the wrong item and in order to get the correct item in time for Christmas, you have to go to the physical store anyway, which is exactly what I was trying to avoid doing in the first place. 

This has happened. Twice. I still haven't made my final return and frankly, I'm not going to. Everyone can just deal with getting the rest of their presents after New Year's. 

THEN, I got sick. So now, I am sick, coughing, sniffling, not-sleeping, and achy. And my leg is still bad. My physical therapist ripped me a new one yesterday, so I'm sorer now than I've been in a long time. THANKS, GUYS. 

So even if I could muster up the energy (and swallow enough DayQuil) to go out and finish my things, my leg's too sore. And I'm hacking up a lung. 

I went back to work for like, 2 days and it was glorious. But apparently, two days is more than my ridiculously puny system can handle, so now I'm back to invalid status. 


I am very patient with others. It's a good trait. But I am ruthless with myself. I am angry with myself for getting hurt in the first place. I'm mad that the injury so lowered my immune system that I got sick on top of it. I'm mad that I went into shock and wasn't braver, and as a result I'm not producing enough serotonin and I feel depressed when I should be making jokes about the irony of the situation. I'm mad that I didn't get my Christmas shopping done sooner. I'm mad I don't make more money (which would have facilitated getting shopping done sooner). I'm mad that there's still time to make sure everything is perfect, and instead, I'm in bed, looking like hell, again. I'm mad I'll miss my family's Christmas dinner tomorrow because I had a blast seeing everyone on Thanksgiving. I'm mad I had to cancel meeting up with Bethany to exchange gifts. I'm mad I haven't seen The Hobbit yet and won't until probably after New Year's.

I'm just a little miffed. 

So, that's my whiny time. I'm just bummed because I tend to be a perfectionist. I want everyone to be healthy and happy on Christmas, with the perfect presents wrapped perfectly (I skimped on wrapping this year, too, because getting down on the floor to wrap is one thing. Getting up is an epic of Beowulf proprotion.). I feel like I'm letting down my friends and family by not getting to see them, like somehow they might think I'm making things up to get out of social things, which I'm not. 

Hopefully, this cold will pass without becoming bronchitis, and I'll feel halfway decent on Christmas. 

On to the Things For Which I Am Thankful:
-That I didn't need surgery.
-For Bixby, who literally makes me smile and/or laugh every day even if I feel crappy.
-For my parents, who are nice enough to let me live with them, assure me that Christmas will continue even if I don't do ALL THE THINGS, and are helping me and taking care of me.
-For my bed. I mean, if I'm going to be stuck somewhere on and off for a month at a time, it might as well be somewhere I love, right?
-For the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings DVD's, the special features of which I've been systematically watching while I'm down and out.
-For books, for keeping me sane.
-For the friends who've stopped by and brought cards, flowers, encouraging emails and texts. You guys mean everything to me, and I'm so grateful for your love and support and well-wishes.
-For my job. Here's how you know your boss is awesome: you call her from the emergency room to let her know what happened and her first question is, "Are you there alone? Do you need me to come over there?" Seriously, I was totally morphined up, but I almost cried. Secondly, they've allowed me to do some telecommuting from home, and have basically said, "make your own schedule while you're recovering." Thirdly, every single one of my co-workers got each other Christmas gifts, even if it was just little things from the Dollar Store or homemade cookies. It's just so sweet. Fourthly, when I came in earlier this week, they had literally moved my entire desk and workspace downstairs for me so I don't have to trudge up the stairs. Seriously??? My job is amazing, and I thank God every day for the people I work with and for allowing me to be there with them.
-For Christmas. Because even if it's not the perfect, soft-focus event I imagined in my mind, we're still allowed to celebrate it however we want to or can in this country. And I'm so glad I have a savior who reminds me every once in a while to be a Mary, not a Martha, and just sit at His feet and be in His presence, especially at this time of year. And it's okay to sit, and be still, and know that He is God. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Joyful and triumphant.

I was kind of a Scrooge with my "war on Christmas" post, so I thought I'd post some nice holiday things. 

And finally...

And on that note:

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I took "shop till you drop" to a whole new level.

What happened to me yesterday is one of those things where I hope the only lasting after-effect will be a fantastic story. 

So, I don't really even know where to begin. I guess I'll go chronologically. 

I went shopping yesterday, because I had time and a gift card, and I was just looking for some cute wintry clothes. I'll just come out and say it, I was at Plato's, the one in Altamonte. So I'm in the dressing room. I had tried on a dress, a couple of shirts, and was finishing up trying on jeans. I was putting back on my own jeans when, and I have honest-to-God no idea what happened, I fell. I mean, I FELL. The floor is some kind of rubbery material, and I have a feeling I went to twist my leg to balance, and it didn't move, so I just ended up twisting my leg, and my knee absolutely gave out. I screamed. If you know me, you know I have a relatively high pain tolerance, and I hate drawing attention to myself, but this was easily the worst pain I've ever been in in my entire, short life. So I screamed, and I fell because I couldn't hold myself up. The lady in the dressing room next me goes, "Are you okay?" And the question was echoed by all the employees who had come running when they heard me. I was like, "NO!" The dressing room attendant asked if I could open the door, to which I very cleverly answered, "I'm not even dressed!"

This is the saddest part of this story, btw. I had no shirt on and my jeans were halfway pulled on. Because this happening fully dressed would not have been NEARLY embarrassing enough. 

So anyway, she's like, "I have the key, we're going to get you out." And my thoughts were all equal parts, "OMG they're going to see me with no clothes on," "OMG, my knee is bent," "OMG, this is exactly what happened to Chichi (my mom's gimp chihuahua)," and "OMG, I'm gonna faint." They did open the door, and I had purposely not looked down because I could feel my knee was all bent out of shape. All three of the girls who were there gasped when the door opened. And I said, again very cleverly, "I'm going to faint." 

Luckily, the dressing room attendant (who I later learned was the manager on duty) had EMT or paramedic training. Thank GOD she was there. Seriously, I have prayed over this girl so many times because the whole experience would have been about 50 times worse if she had not been there. She very calmly grabbed me by the shoulders, took me out of the dressing room, and laid me down flat. She's like, "Don't faint, you gotta stay with us," but she laid me out flat anyway, which was really spectacular. She got me some clothes to cover up with, which was like, the best thing ever. 

"The Winner Is" from the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack was playing this whole time, btw, which is an odd memory to have, but from now on that's how I'll think of that song.

Anyway, Angel Girl (I don't know her name!) got me a cold cloth for my head (presumably to help with the whole not-fainting-from-pain thing), and she's like, "I'm gonna pull your jeans the rest of the way down because they're constricting the knee, but we've got stuff to cover you up." I think I just nodded. Or kept saying, "I'm sorry" like, over and over again. She got the jeans down over my busted up knee. And she was like, "Oooh, you did a number." I sneaked a glance and then thought I was going to faint again. 

I'm not posting a picture because a) my thought at that time was not "OMG SELFIE #IEFFEDUPMYKNEE!" so I have no pics, and b) it's super gross. But if you want to see what it generally resembled, click here at your own risk. 

They called 911, almost as soon as they heard me fall, which was amazing. But I was so scared. I'm pretty sure I've never been that scared in my life. Luckily Angel Girl sat next to me the whole time, and I was like, "What just happened?" She told me I had dislocated my knee pretty badly, and that an ambulance was on the way. I know nothing at all about medical things or injuries, so I'm like, "Is it broken? Is it even possible to break a knee? Do I need surgery?" And she very calmly answered me and said it was definitely dislocated, there could have been an internal fracture, and the paramedics would take me to Altamonte hospital. She asked if I was there with anyone, to which I wanted to be like, "If I was, don't you think they'd be here by now? I'm kind of making a scene." She had gotten my purse and clothes together and got me my phone. I tried calling my mom, but she was visiting my grandma and didn't have her phone on her. Luckily, my dad was at his office, which is about 10 or 15 minutes away, and I was like, "An ambulance is coming, please meet me at the hospital." The paramedics arrived just as I was finishing talking to him. What I really wanted to do was be like, "OMG COME NOW I AM SO SCARED!" but sometimes I try to be an adult. 

The paramedics come in and the one guy goes, "So, what are you doing?" And I answer, "I'm on the floor, naked, in Plato's Closet." He laughed and goes, "Well, you're not exactly naked," and they had some kind of ambulance blanket they covered me up with THANK GOD. Because having a store full of women see you in various states of undress is bad. Having 5 ripped guys you don't know see you in various states of undress (while lying on the floor with deformed appendages) is mortifying

They got an IV going and started me on morphine. I remember them trying to straighten out the leg, but I was like, "Guys, that's not gonna happen." So they upped my dose. Still no way they were able to straighten out my leg. Even with that much medication, I was absolutely still in pain. They finally gave me Versed, which I think knocked me out. If it didn't, I have literally no memory of what happened after that. 

I do know that they were awesome. I started going into shock and they were super nice and the one older guy held my hand and kept telling me I was doing fine and it was going to be okay, which is really what I wanted more than anything. Anyway, shout-out to Altamonte ambulance guys, you were AWESOME. 

I came to in the ambulance, and my leg had managed to go flat. The guy told me that the kneecap had been put back into place, and they were going to run x-rays at the hospital to make sure it was okay. They got me out and wheeled me into the hospital, where, HALLELUJAH! my Dad was waiting. I got a room, which was also nice, and then waited a couple of hours for them to do x-rays and everything. The whole afternoon is a little hazy after that. I remember trying to stay awake and coherent, but I felt really tired. Also, I have no idea what I may or may not have said, and that's probably a good thing because this whole story is already embarrassing enough without recollection of any drug-addled rambling that may have occurred. 

To complete my humiliation, I will only say two words: bed pan. 

Around 5, they checked me out. The x-rays came back okay, I guess. They gave me a leg brace and orders to stay on bed rest until I could get checked out by an orthopedic doctor, which won't be until Monday or Tuesday. So now I'm left with some humiliating memories, an incredibly sore knee, two people I'd like to thank and have no way to because I don't even know their names (Angel Girl and the Nice Paramedic), the threat that this may happen again (because apparently, that's common), and the promise of crutches and 6-8 weeks of physical therapy. 

I'll keep everyone updated, because I know this is an enthralling story. Ugh. The things I get myself into. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Not getting to say Merry Christmas even though I'm a Christian? BOTHERED.

I'm the Queen of unpopular opinions. I just have a lot of them. I also don't care. 

This time, I want to talk about Christmas. 

Here's the deal. I am a practicing Christian (a Catholic, specifically), and I take offense to the fact that mainstream media and marketing are trying to eradicate the whole CHRIST aspect of CHRISTMAS.

This pisses me off every winter, but this year, it's a lot more prominent. I think it's because I do a lot of the PR work at the library, and I'm constantly being told to make it "less Christmassy, more holiday." 

Here's what doesn't make sense to me. I have no problem acknowledging Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, or whatever else your preferred winter holiday is. But it's a little stupid to me that we have to have "Winter Parties" and say "Happy Holidays" when Hanukkah ends on Thursday, and Kwanzaa doesn't start until December 26th. So basically, between Thursday and Christmas, the ONLY holiday that's actually actively available for well-wishing is Christmas. Unless you want to go around wishing people a Happy Solstice on the 21st, and if you do, go knock your socks off. Just expect a lot of raised eyebrows and inquisitive looks. 

I like that we live in a country where we have a wide variety of religions and their holidays. I think it's nice that we can all enjoy that freedom. That being said, this nation was founded on Christianity, and I think the Founding Fathers would have a heart attack if they saw the bastardization of the Constitution that's occurring right now. I also think that if you can't deal with the fact that the people who founded this country were what might be called "Bible thumpers," and our pledge has the word "God" in it, and our money says, "In God we trust," then you should leave. There are lots of other countries out there. Go find one that aligns with your personal beliefs. 

(SHPIEL: There's a lot of debate about the date of December 25th and "how does anyone know that's when Jesus was born?", but here's the deal. January 6th has always been celebrated as Epiphany, the day when the wise men visited. The church wanted 12 Days of Christmas (yes, like the song, I'm not making this up, go research), so they literally counted backwards and ended up at December 25th. Also, Christmas comes from the words "Christ mass" because when Christmas was officially made a holiday, there was only the Catholic church. There are a lot of different supposed reasons for the choosing of December 25th (nine months after the conception of Christ, incorporation of Sol Invictus into the church, etc.), but the date isn't important! Celebrating the incarnation of Jesus IS!)

And I get that we have to (and should!) acknowledge other religions, but I don't like it when that comes at the cost of eliminating MY religion. If everyone is going to be all "religious equality!" then how about we still acknowledge Christianity? I know they're not the minority, but we still need to acknowledge them. And the truth is, without Christians, there would be no Christmas! It's become secularized and if you want to adopt secular parts, that's fine. But you need to acknowledge that historically, there would be no Happy Holidays without Merry Christmas. 

And even the secular parts, like presents and decorating, have origins in the Christian traditions. So you can pretend to have "holidays" but you're basically wrong. And that's fine, like, if you don't want to believe that's fine. I feel sorry for you, but that's your choice. But don't just pretend like you invented everything and that Christians who want to celebrate are wrong and insensitive and all that. Because if we're all having equal rights, we have every right to say and celebrate Christmas. 

So I'll be saying Merry Christmas, and I hope you say it to me. And to my Jewish friends, I hope you're having an awesome Hannukah. I don't know anyone who celebrates Solstice or Kwanzaa, but if you do, hope they're nice. 

TLDR: I like equality, but I don't like it when that means that white people and Christianity get pooped on just because they're the majority. If you really want equality, then let's be EQUAL. 

End rant. 
Also, I hope I didn't actually offend anyone with my middle class, white girl, Christian ranting. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

What would Beyoncé do?

"Beyoncé isn’t Beyoncé because she reads comments on the Internet. Beyoncé is in Ibiza, wearing a stomach necklace, walking hand in hand with her hot boyfriend. She’s going on the yacht and having a mimosa. She’s not reading sh**ty comments about herself on the Internet, and we shouldn’t either. I just think, Would Beyoncé be reading this? No, she would just delete it or somebody would delete it for her. What I really need to do is close the computer and then talk back to that voice and say, "F**k you. I don’t give a s**t what you think. I’m Beyoncé. I’m going to Ibiza with Jay-Z now, f**k off."
-Kathleen Hanna (lead singer of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre)

Bonus gif of Beyoncé being fabulous:

Kathleen Hanna is pretty fierce, too.