Spring is here. Spring is really, really here.
Over the winter, I wondered how much of my “winter blues” was coming off Efexor, or dealing with Ginger’s job stress. Now that there is a real change in the weather, I can honestly say it was Seasonal Affective Disorder.
My mood has been almost euphoric lately. I’m doing so much more than usual, gardening, decorating, and working on a website for a friend. Four months ago, I’d have been lucky to manage any one of those things.
I think I am reaching a point where the Efexor is not something I think about as much. Before, it was “that bastard efexor” every five minutes, and, “I hate this shit”. I remember saying that I had to try and stay focused on the positive, and now it feels like I have many more positives to focus on.
The panic and anxiety are still there, and the panic attacks are still laced with acid, and raw, but on the whole I’m a happier person. I guess I can channel my positivity into my recovery.
I missed my one year anniversary last week. April 8th 2003 was the day of my first weblog entry, and although I was with Bloggar before Moveable Type, I never really put my all into it. Things have changed a lot on the site since then. Not so long ago, I found a screen print out of my site in the early days, before I attempted to alter the stylesheets. It was weird, but also like looking at a baby photo in some ways. I think I even thought, “gosh, hasn’t it grown!”
I think we both have.

e-bay the anxiety sufferer’s way

Collect the item for sale, and all it’s accessories. In my case, it was an old mobile/cell phone, batteries, chargers, USB cable and CD software. It took me a week to find the extra battery, and a frantic search for something entirely unrelated revealed the location of the Elusive Manual.
Write your description using something like Word. This took me forever. Two million drafts later, worrying whether I sounded too friendly or too business-like, I think I got it. I even managed to include a web-page link to the manufacturer’s specs of the phone.
Take photos. Everyone knows that photos help the sale, so I set up my studio on the bed. I laid out everything on a plain sheet, and arranged them carefully to show off their best sides. I doubt my phone can “work it baby” but when you’re photographing these models, everything helps.
Do the e-bay thing. I had the photos. I’d decided on a description. I needed to get all this onto e-bay without killing anyone. It’s ages since I sold anything on e-bay. I’ve bought a few things, which is marginally less painful, and I thought, “what could possibly go wrong?”
Actually, nothing. I filled in all the parts, agonised over where to list my item, agonised over a title that would have people bidding in droves, added some HTML (go me!), uploaded my pictures, winced at the listing fee (I’d decided to put a reserve on) and finally pressed the Button of No Return.
There. That was easy. Except now I’ve given myself extra anxiety over What Might Happen. The following is some of what has been going through my mind since 4pm yesterday afternoon.
“What if it’s illegal to sell your old mobile phone? What if it gets there and doesn’t work? I’d better charge all the batteries up so they don’t think I’ve sold them some piece of crap. Actually this phone is crap, that’s why I’m selling it. Shit, I’m trying to sell a piece of crap to some poor unsuspecting stranger! What if someone buys it and they can’t really afford it and it turns out that they’ve bought a piece of crap, and it’ll be all my fault!” (at 5pm) “No-one’s bid! What’s wrong with my description? Maybe it looks like I’m trying to sell something stolen. Wait – I said I was selling because I’d upgraded my phone. What if they think I’m some crap business because I used HTML but my description is crap? I’m not going to sell this, am I?”
I’m not going to go any further. You get the picture. Writing it is making me anxious.

dominocat becomes a news thingy

The Return of the King cleans up at Oscars!
Yes, you (may have) heard it here first, Peter Jackson and crew converted all eleven of their Oscar nominations into full blown Oscars. Watching BBC Breakfast News this morning, I thought Sir Ian McKellan looked slightly tipsy at the Vanity Fair bash. Unless he’s coming off Efexor too.
Middlesbrough win Carling Cup!
Premiership football club Middlesbrough won their first piece of silverware in 128 years yesterday when they beat Bolton 2-1 at the Millennium Stadium at Cardiff. I think Bolton’s manager was chewing wasps while he was being interviewed after the match.
domino still suffers!
Oh, you didn’t think you were getting away without a few choice withdrawal symptoms, did you? I still feel like shit. And seeing as one place that links to me has mentioned that I talk about poo a lot, I thought it was only fair to mention that I now have IBS. Ayethangyew.
Ginger gets new job!
Indeed. Mister Dominocat, or Ginger (Gingah if you’re American) was interviewed for a new job on Friday, which they promptly offered him without interviewing anyone else. I am so proud of him, and we can finally take a deep breath and relax slightly for the first time in 14 months. He starts on the 8th.

Title Schmitle (or something)

This last week, I have been using most of my brain power on building a new computer. I’m kinda wondering if I have a brain quota, which only allows me to think so much during a given time period. I’ve built the computer, installed everything – and it’s peachy, but literally everything else I’ve tried to do has turned to shit. It’s like my brain has said, “WOAH!!! That’s it, missy, no more cognitive processing for you!”
My husband’s favourite is my putting the sugar in the fridge the other day. He’s really tickled by that. I don’t mind, at least it takes his mind off the job shit he is enduring yet again.
He is still with the same company, but they seem to think it’s okay to offer him temporary work, then at the last moment right where he’s crapping himself about how we’ll pay the mortgage next week, they offer him another few weeks work. It’s really taking it’s toll on both of us, and because of the incredibly long hours he’s working, it’s making it really difficult for him to look elsewhere. So, if anyone out there is looking for a highly skilled mechanical engineering quality inspector, e-mail me. (Like that’s really going to work…)
After the whole incident of not going to therapy last week, I have decided to write a letter to M, explaining why things have gone to shit. It mostly involves explaining about the Efexor experience, and how my panic and anxiety have sky-rocketed. I’ve tried to explain that it’s a different kind of anxiety – really sharp, like a kind of mental razor-wire. I guess having a constant headache and nausea doesn’t help. Funny, though, I’ve only had two panic attacks this month. I feel like I’m on the verge of a panic attack most of the time, especially when I’m out and about, but I always manage to avoid an actual attack.
My other symptoms are still there, and I feel flu-ey and hungover most of the time. I wish I could stop being so impatient. I’m aching to feel ‘normal’ again. Like my husband keeps on telling me: I’ll get there – eventually.

how not to make a sale

Angela and Dave came yesterday, and asked me to go to PC World with them to help buy a printer. Angela and Dave are not the most clued up people when it comes to technology, and wanted my input.
We had a look around, and I made suggestions about print resolution and checking the price of ink carts, and Angela decided she wanted a sales assistant to tell her why printer A was different to printer B, if they were the same price.
I always bitch if I am crowded by sales staff in a store. I hate it. If I am asked more than twice if I can be helped, I will leave and go elsewhere. Same if I have to wait around to be helped. If the staff are busy, fair enough, but if they are not taking any notice of their customers, they can go take a walk. Someone else can have my business. Mind you, if I neeeeed whatever it is badly, I will wait, but it will trigger Grumpy Customer mode, and it’s just not worth it.
The sales staff in PC World were avoiding us. Perhaps they had some psychic inkling that I was going there, and I should be avoided because I hate their plastic view of “buy this it’s a bargain – not necessarily what you want, but hey…” I went towards three of them, and they wandered off nonchalantly, with their hearts in their mouths. Eventually, Angela found one. He looked as though he had many better things to be doing on a Saturday, and if he’d had any sales training, then I’m a monkey’s uncle.

Continue reading

busy, busy, busy!

Okay, so I don’t have the most interesting life in the world, worthy of people clamouring to read my weblog, but I do have a life. Vaguely.
For the past two weeks (on and off) I have been decorating. This really started several months ago, when I decided that I wanted a laminate floor in my dining room and kitchen. The idea fizzled when our neighbours promptly read our minds, and laminated their dining room and kitchen. Sly buggers. Later, I saw a beautiful compromise. Laminated flooring, which looked like slate tiles. Totally gorgeous, and different.
Cutting a long and boring story short, we have now laminated the floor, and are now faced with the domino effect of decorating. It goes like this:
We laminate the floor, and use white edging along the skirting boards.
This makes the skirts look filthy, so we paint them.
This in turn makes the walls look dirty, so we paint the walls.
This makes the curtains look old, so I make new curtains.
This all makes the tiles in the kitchen look dated, so I get cool paint to paint some of the tiles.
It goes on, but you have to draw the line somewhere. We do not need new kitchen cupboards yet. (Well, we do, but our budget doesn’t)
The tile paint stuff is cool (I think I already said that). When the house was built, we chose white tiles, but were persuaded by the builders that white would look clinical, and “go on, have a harvest basket tile randomly placed”. I’ve never liked them, but they’ve always known, and have hidden behind the coffee maker and strategically placed kitchen stuff. There is one brave tile who sits leering at me from under the extractor, but his time is short in this world. Inspired by Changing Rooms (Trading Spaces to you ‘Mericans) I have got some tile primer, and some lovely silver and pale gold paints. The silver is to tone with the silvery blue of the floor, and the gold, which I intend to use about half as much as the silver, is a very pale version which will tone beautifully with the counters and cupboard doors.
Trust me.

Woo Hoo!!!

SpreadingTheJam love Ginger. He starts on Monday 8th September.
The incognito manager was called suddenly to a client in Sweeden, so was definitely out of the office…
Ginger is going back to TakingThePiss for a couple of days, then having four days off. He needs it. Apart from a week after he did all that nightshit, he hasn’t had a holiday all year (WankBastard Inc stopped all holidays when they went into receivership)

I love my Karcher Pressure Washer

Aside from being frightened of everything, I am terrified of spiders. Even the word makes me want to itch. So it was with great trepidation that I decided to clean down the paved path that runs past the back of our house.
The path has become a kind of storage area for all things garden that won’t fit in the garage, or things that we were going to use, and never got around to. Like the pile of old bricks that we were going to edge the garden with. They stayed as a kind of monument when we realised that we were going to need possibly hundreds more, and we thought we would wait until we got more before starting. There are half bags of compost, and various pots that we have accumulated over the past couple of years.
Ginger had promised me that I could buy the rustic bench I’ve always wanted as long as I cleaned up the path. The bench would be wonderful there, and it would be perfect to sit outside with a cup of coffee and drink in the late summer sun. That last bit is a bit of a fantasy, seeing as though the end of August has signified the start of winter…
We bought the pressure washer last week. There are a myriad of things to use it for, as well as the sheer pleasure that dirt-blasting gives. I’d cleaned the encrusted guano off the car windscreen, and cleaned the front drive. I’d used it to blast a few inter-paver weeds, and decided to wash the cobwebs off the garage door. It was fantastic.
So, how do you use it to clean spidery remnants and small monsters from a brick megalith? Easy. Blast the megalith for several minutes with washer. Swear constantly, and make neighbour giggle at you. Kick bricks individually and blast with washer until confident that they are spider free. When killing spiders, use a clean brick, and phrases like “die, you little bastard”. Greet arrival of Aragog with “Holy fucking god!” Greet arrival of Aragog’s twin brother by running around garden squealing, going back, and slapping him on the shoulder with a well aimed brick. Come inside, elated, and announce exploits via weblog.
The bricks are languishing on the lawn now, clean and spider free. I am proud, dirty and a little trembly…

Lots happening

Since I last updated my blog, I have had so much happening, I’m almost living my life from the sidelines.
Firstly, and most importantly, I bought a bicycle. This was something I had been thinking about for a while, because it would give me a reason/excuse to go outside more. Also, it was something my good friend George said about cycling being easier to achieve than walking (from an anxiety/panic point of view).
He was so right. I started by cycling around the garden – mainly because I was afraid of falling off and making an arse of myself in front of all the neighbours. Then, I progressed to cycling to the end of the street. I quickly went from that to cycling around the quiet streets in my estate. The feeling when I’m on my bike is amazing. I feel so free, and it is an excellent way of getting rid of the cobwebs.
Last weekend, I set myself a goal – and achieved it. I had a couple of parcels to send to the US, so I put them in my backpack, and cycled to the post office. This was so big for me, I can’t tell you. My heart was beating so fast, I thought it might burst. However, I concentrated on the cool air of the morning, and obviously the sparse traffic. I took a few deep breaths, and I was fine. In fact, the worst thing that happened was my bum hurting! Five minutes on a bike, and I get saddle-sore!
I am keeping it up, not necessarily going to the post office or anything, but I’m riding around and getting used to being outside without Ginger.
Ginger has done the job interview thing, and it went really well. They are looking for someone who fits in with their small team, rather than someone with a shed-load of qualifications. Ginger said that he felt very comfortable with the interviewer, and not nervous at all. I guess that’s a good sign too. The way things have been worded, and the way certain things have progressed, we are fairly certain that Ginger has the job. It’s been advertised through an agency, and they have forwarded Ginger’s references etc to the new company (henceforth known as, er, SpreadingTheJam Inc – based on Operation Toast with Jam – until I think of something better). Basically, we are waiting for the go ahead from one of the managers who seems a bit incognito.
Meanwhile, Ginger is back at TakingThePiss, and wishing he wasn’t. Next Monday is a public holiday, and I’m guessing that SpreadingTheJam are waiting til that’s over before they take Ginger on.

Operation Toast-With-Jam!

Ginger went back to work at TakingThePiss Inc. yesterday, fully expecting to implement Operation Buttered Toast. However, the manager who has the envelope, so to speak, is on holiday. Still. Apparently canoeing in Wales, which is no good to Ginger. My husband is feeling rather glum to start with, and this really made the toast go cold.
However. Yesterday morning, I got a phonecall, (which I answered – go me!) from a recruitment agency that Ginger has supplied his resume to. They have the perfect job for him, and wanted to set up an interview. So, Ginger has an interview on Friday afternoon, at 3pm. The work is similar to what he’s doing now, but it’s only a 25 min drive away, and is about 25% better pay. If TakingThePiss Inc want Ginger badly, they’ll have to come up with millions – mwaahaahaa!
So, we are working on a strategy for getting him this job. I’m proud to introduce Operation Toast-With-Jam. Our objectives are:
– Buy Ginger a new shirt
– Keep Ginger awake
– Brush up on standard interview questions
This company seem keen on him based purely on his resume (thankyou Angel and Looloo) so, fingers crossed, everyone.
I’ve thought of a name for Ginger’s boss. Enigma.