Consider the economy duly stimulated.

You may have seen my tweet about the tax refund coming (Well, helloooOOOoooOOOooo Mr. Tax Refund! Come to Mama!) and lots of huge changes came with it.

New Ears

First of all, HunkyDory paid it forward. Much thanks from the bottom of my heart to all who helped me get my new ears. They’ve been working fabulously! That money that was given to us for the HAs has been paid forward plus some extra. So your gift did double duty, first to me, and now a gift to someone else in need.

Just as I was getting used to the new HAs, I had a setback last weekend. I had sharp, stabbing pains in my left ear on and off all day Friday. I get these once in awhile and really didn’t think much of it. It feels kind of like a bad toothache except in my ear. But when I put in my HAs on Saturday morning, it felt like the left one wasn’t working at all. I tried new batteries, and that didn’t work. I tried sticking the receiver of the left aid in my right ear and realized it was actually working fine; it was my ear that was the problem. I went in to the audiologist today, and when he peeked in there, he didn’t see anything abnormal. He said I needed to go see an ENT doc because he had done all he could do. I asked him if he could just turn up the left so I wasn’t so lopsided. He was all, “Sure, no problem” and we went into the office and plugged the aid into the computer. He said, “I’m going to turn this up about 3db and we’ll see if that does it.” Nothing. No difference. He looked a little puzzled and said, “I’ll turn it up another 4db.” Zip. Like he hadn’t turned it up at all. He looked a little worried, turned it back down, and said we’ll have to see what the ENT says. So I can hear almost nothing on the left and it rings almost constantly and is a lot louder than I’m used to. If you’re so inclined, I’d sure appreciate it if you remembered me in your prayers, because it’s seriously freaking me out. I’ve never experienced a decay this noticeable this fast before. I hope it’s just something temporary that they can fix, because it would seriously suck ass to lose a bunch more hearing when I feel like I just got it back.

New job

I’m working at a homeless shelter now, part-time overnights, on the weekends. The new HAs made that possible. I couldn’t do this before because there’s only one staff member on at a time and you have to be able to answer the phone. Even with the volume at maximum I still can’t catch every word, but I understand most of the conversation.

My very first night, the cops called to see if we could give someone slightly inebriated an emergency cot, and I had to tell them we had already told the person earlier that we wouldn’t; then someone else came in way past curfew all upset and I dealt with that. Talk about getting thrown in the deep end!

I think I’ll like this job a lot. When things are quiet, you can do about whatever you want to, except sleep. So hopefully I’ll have more time to read and write. I’ve been so stinkin’ busy the last couple months, I have a list of post subjects as long as my arm, and I’m really looking forward to getting more writing done. Oh, and call me Captain Obvious, but I just gotta say, overnights seriously throw your sleep schedule all kinds of out of whack!

New phone

After salivating over the iPhone for almost two years, I finally got my hot little hands on one.

It’s so frickin’ hawsum, I want to buy it a shot of tequila and tongue kiss it and ask it if it wants to come in for “coffee” and buy it breakfast in the morning and call it the next day and court it and tell it that I don’t want to have any more kids but I would if it would make it happy and take it to Vegas and marry it in a drive-through wedding chapel with an Elvis impersonator officiating and live happily ever after.

It needs a name. Now taking suggestions.

Since Hunky felt sorry for my poor jilted Tilt, he took it in and gave it a new home on his hip. It’s very thankful. Actually, it runs on Windoze though, so it probably is nursing an arrogant, false sense of entitlement. It totally has Hunky pegged as a soft touch, and it’s all acting out and testing him. I have to step in now and then and use my scary mom voice to coerce it into submission. It’s kind of a snotty little shithead.

New furnace

This came about not because of the tax refund but I’m throwing it in there because 1- It matches with the “New ___” theme I’ve got going here and B- It’s just so hawsum. We applied for energy assistance a couple months ago and, thank God, were given credit on our gas bill. I had to sign something about completing a weatherization thing on our house and didn’t think much of it. So a couple weeks later, this guy came in and said, “Oh, this furnace has got to go.” And I was all, “Because you know the furnace fairy personally and she owes you a favor?” and he was all, “Uh, well, you don’t have to pay for it.” and I was all, *speechless* because I’m quick and witty like that.

Let me just tell you how old our furnace was. The house was built in 1948 and it’s original. It’s a bonafide antique. Somewhere along the line, it was converted from coal to gas. It still had the hieroglyphics on it from when my house was a cave and dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Six estimates later, we have a bright, shiny new furnace and my basement really couldn’t be more happy to welcome the new guy. It takes up half the space. It’s 92% efficient compared to the old 60-ish% efficient dinosaur. It’s handsome and smart and charismatic and sexy.

New computer

My beloved iMac, Edgrr, is four and a half years old, and I was starting to really worry about it pooping out or crashing when I have graphics jobs lined up to get done. Obviously, we haven’t exactly had a couple extra thousand dollars lying around to get a new Mac. Well, my friend Marcia knew that I was a complete mac nut and told me a friend of hers had a Macbook for sale, only one year old and all tricked out (4gb RAM and 500gb hard drive!) to be able to handle graphics work. I told her I was really super interested and she hooked us up. We emailed back and forth on Friday, and the UPS man visited me TODAY! I can’t wait to move into it! *claps hands excitedly* As we speak, I have the Carbon Copy Cloner copying the hard drive on the old computer, and I’ll start moving into the new laptop tomorrow after I get off work and get a nap. This laptop is going to come in really handy when I’m working these overnights. We now have three Macs in our house.

Again, with the name-needing. Now taking suggestions.

New… wait, what?

To wrap up, HunkyDory has done their part. Consider the economy duly stimulated.

Dory didn’t get ALL the good stuff. Just most of it. Hunky got the parts to make his Virago AND his Intercepter run, and the Virago will get some plastic surgery to get a new paint job and take out the dent in the fuel tank. We are still batting around the idea of finding a used Wii so the boys will also get some happy happy from the tax refund even though the little turds probably don’t deserve it. I can’t get them to finish their chore list every day for a week to save their life! We told Rocky that if he would finish all his chores consistently, we would keep him in minutes and texts on his cell phone. It is currently a glorified paperweight.

The rest of it goes to *sigh* BILLS. But I certainly can’t complain. It’s just so amazing to me how God makes sure we have everything we need and even some things we want. We’re so blessed.

What’d you spend your tax refund on?

Where do you send the fire truck if Teh Innernets go up in flames?

Well, my people, when I last left you, I was rocking the PMS as only I can. I then ran out of Strattera.

Now, allow me to explain that one of the delightful side effects of Strattera is loss of appetite.

To the estrogen laden population of my readers, and the testosterone-y ones who have estrogen-laden significant others, I don’t need to explain this next revelation. But just in case there’s one or two readers who I dunno, possibly live in a frat house on a men-only campus on another fooking planet, I will state the obvious. One of the equally delightful side effects of PMS, is increase in appetite.

Yanno, it’s a damn shame that none of you lovelies ever came to visit me here in wonderful Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Because it’s gone now.

PMS + No Strattera = I ATE CEDAR RAPIDS.

Oh, and, AND, I was so sick of my blog and trying to make heads or tails of CSS, had I had any cash, I would have paid some unsuspecting programmer damn good money to write some very cunning CSS that would spontaneously combust My Blog and also all of Teh Innernets Tubes.

But a week (ish!) later, I present to you the bright, ditzy, happy, scattered, perky, (tah-DAH!) DORY that you’ve come to know and love. And of course, a corrospondingly bright, ditzy, happy, scattered, perky, (tah-DAH!) POST.

What I did on my blogcation, by Dory Mae Blue-Tang

  • As previously mentioned, devoured the thriving metropolis that is Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And then ordered dessert. Ok, desserts. Ok, ok, desserts and more appetizers.
  • Attempted to put a dent in my unread items in Google Reader, but mainly just did damage control.
  • Even left a respectable amount of commenty love. Bonus plan, baby.
  • Reveled in the incoming verbal cocaine commenty love from you, my lovelies, my people.
  • Folded approximately threeventy-bijiggijillion loads of laundry.
  • Revived Hunky from a dead faint upon his recognition of this momentous occasion.
  • Cheated, and played with the blog just a tad.
  • Hated myself a little bit, and briefly considered surrendering my WordPress username and password to Kizz.
  • Woke the fook up and realized it would just make her drunk with power and I’d never regain possession.
  • Actually enforced the boys’ chore list by saying, “Are your chores done?” every time they asked to do something fun.
  • Got a tiny, delicious little thrill by their outrage every single damn time.
  • Went on an immensely enjoyable ALL DAY motorcycle ride. Look, it’s me!
  • Showed remarkable restraint; narrowly avoided eating Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin by sneaking parts of Cedar Rapids in the saddlebags for snacking.
  • Wrote several stellar blog posts in my head.
  • Didn’t write them down. They’re gone. For EVAH.
  • Watched Napoleon Dynamite. Good thing my brother gave me this disclaimer prior: “It’s really, really, stupid and has no plot whatsoever. But if you can get beyond that, it’s hilarious.”  He was right.
  • Farted around waaaay more than I should have on Teh Innernets Tubes. Conducted diligent job search.
  • Wasted, oh, a lifetime figuring out Facebook.
  • Found an ex on there. No, not that one. That one.
  • Sent the boys back to school.
  • Came home and did a couple tequila shooters in celebration.
  • Not really. I find it kind of creepy to lickitslamitsuckit at 8:15am. But, you get the gist of my happiness level of having my house back in relative peace and quiet for a few hours every day.
  • Considered quitting smoking.
  • BWAAAHAHAHAHahahahahahaha… wouldn’t it be trippy if I was really like that?! *wiping tears of laughter away*
  • Watched the DNC.
  • Important Announcement: Here’s your favorite born and raised Republican actually entertaining the notion of voting Democrat.
  • Daddy, please don’t disown me. Please. You’re looking especially dapper today.
  • Now I’m going to watch the RNC. And honestly give those candidates a chance. I’m pretty sure. We’ll see.
  • Finished a project I started SIX YEARS AGO. I’m SO proud!
  • Yes, I know. That shelf is crooked and the plywood doesn’t cover the whole back. Shuddup. It’s in my basement.
  • Updated the OS on Hunky’s PPC to Windows Mobile 6.1. Which is a lot trickier than it sounds when you’re doing it via Virtual PC on a Mac.
  • Managed not to kill any innocent bystanders in the process.
  • That brings us to now, when I’ve been working on this post on and off for 4 hours while also twittering and facebooking and blogreading and other really productive uses of my online time.

Of course you’re all waiting with bated breath to hear who is getting the coveted $20 Starbucks card. Well, you’ll just have to wait a minute.

I just want to thank you so much for all of the comments and even some lovely casa-warming gifts. It was a hell of a party down there in the comments. It really means so much to me that you’d take a minute out of your blogging time to leave me some commenty goodness. I really appreciate it, you guys.

Ok, ok, I’m done with the mushy bullshit. Without further ado…

Picture 1.png

Maggie, email me your address and I’ll have your free caffeine hook-up on its merry way!

Next on the To Do or Die List: respond to emails. Then: Play with theme– I want the sidebar headers green, the post titles orange, and the Top Commentator List is all janky. The line-height is too big. But I’m a little scared to get into and start changing code. I might break my blog, or blow up Teh Innernets, or order 27 pizzas, or re-activate that speeding ticket in Michigan, or choose a running mate with less experience than my opponent after slamming my opponent on national TV for not having enough experience. Oh, wait, I don’t have to worry about that because it’s already been done. D’oh! Did I type that out loud?!

Rip it, roll it, and punch it, dude. I’ve been great. Don’t forget to tip your waitstaff.

< rant > No < / rant > in sight.

Elli followed me out to the garage for a smoke and hopped right up there, hoping for a ride. She knows the difference between “bike ride” and “car ride.” Say one or the other, she’ll head for the right vehicle. One time (at band camp… oh, I couldn’t resist) at a park with some other biker buddies we made the mistake of saying, “Yeah, Elli really likes a bike ride.” and she took off like someone shot her out of a cannon for the motorcycles that were parked across the street. By the time I ran over there, she had already hopped up onto the nearest bike and was ready for her bike ride.

Anyway… that picture was this morning before The Crap Sandwich Guy made a delivery.

Did you know that in the state of Iowa, a four person family consisting of two children, one adult on unemployment benefits, and one adult working 20 hours a week and going to school full time do not qualify for any food assistance or medical assistance? That’s right, folks; because I’m living in the lap of luxury here, hobnobbing with the rich and famous stupid, and charging such frivolities as gas and toilet paper while one of my bi-weekly paychecks doesn’t even make a full mortgage payment.
< / sarcasm >

Since Hunky got a part-time job, we now make too much money, $78 too much a month, to continue receiving food assistance and medicaid for the boys effective 11/01/07. Smug, ignorant, clueless rat bastards. I’d like to see how well they would handle living making $78 too much to qualify for assistance.

AND our phones got shut off today.

Not my best day ever.

I’m so frickin’ frustrated. I’m trying to find a job; checking job sites daily, sending resumes, following up. Hunkster is trying to help out by working part-time in addition to full-time school and homework. I guess I was brought up with the theory that if you work hard and do your best, you’ll have a successful life. You do good, you get good, ya know? And I’ve been doing good and not getting good for so friggin’ long now. It’s just one damn thing after another. Me getting laid off, me going back to school, graduating, getting a job in my field; then Hunk gets laid off, goes back to school. Since 2003, we have had only 10 weeks out of four years that both of us were employed full-time simultaneously. I am so sick and friggin’ tired of being broke, dammit! It’s not like I’m asking to win the frickin’ lottery; all I want is to be able to pay my bills and buy our necessities and maybe even enough to go out to eat together once a week. And it’s not like we’re trying to live beyond our means; we used a medical settlement to pay off our car and our credit card debt. My student loans are in forbearance until 12/31/07. We have cable and internet, but it’s just the basic ABC, NBC, CBS package and the slow cable internet (which the Hunkster needs to do his homework and let’s be honest, you turn off my Internet and you might as well sign me into rehab) and I’m pretty sure it’s the cheapest package they offer. We have the cell phones but no landline. All I’m trying to pay here is my mortgage, my utilities, and whatever we need to live on (food, clothes, etc.). But the state says we can’t get any assistance so my hubby can get his schooling to be able to get a better paying job that will benefit our family. But hey, if he wants to give up his part-time job, they can help us. If we divorced, hey, they can back up the money truck right into our driveway, all kinds of food assistance and medicaid and more school money. But since we’re being all married and ambitious and shit, then they can’t help us. For. the. love. people… where is the logic in that?!

Well, they can take our food assistance and my boys’ medicaid and they can shove it right up their asses. I have my happy marriage, my happy boys, and they can’t take that away.


Ew. That was so cliche I almost threw up a little. Ew, ew, ew. I’m so embarrassed. I’m sorry… forgive me? Moving on.

In other news, I talked with my Voc Rehab guy at the unemployment office, and he is going to try to get me a new hearing aid. The testing they did a couple weeks ago showed that I need two now. This may be kind of stupid, but I’m not ready to admit that I need two hearing aids. I’m not gonna turn down one though. I’ve “outgrown” the existing one. It’s just not working as well anymore. With the new aid, I still won’t be able to talk on the phone, but it might help me speechread more effectively. It’ll buy me more time anyway.
Also, the Voc Rehab guy says that he may be able to help me set up self-employment. There’s money out there to help people with disabilities get their freelance on! There’s money for technical equipment, software, etc. to get you going, but you have to come up with some kind of a match to the money. I would be the first one he’s set up in Iowa. But this whole thing would be quite an extensive process. It’s certainly not going to happen next week. He also said he heard another caseworker talking about a graphic artist position I might be able to apply for.

You know what? I’m so boring, I’m putting myself to sleep. I’m gonna quit while I’m behind. I should probably do us both a favor and hit the delete button, but I won’t, because I’m just a brat like that. Misery loves company, ya know. I’ll do better next time, promise.

Rip it, roll it, and punch it, dude.

Or maybe it was the Antichrist. One can’t always be sure.

QotD… O.J. Simpson is back in the news again. What are your thoughts on the release of “If I Did It” and his recent arrest?
I could not possibly care less. I could try; but it would be an exercise in futility because I’m 100% certain I would not be successful. He’s an evil, evil man. No way I’m wasting my time reading that book.

Sunday night I put on my kickass boots, and I kicked Mama’s ass. I was so scared I had that nasty copper taste in my mouth. But I must have disguised my fear well enough because she behaved herself relatively well. After we got home, I tossed a couple Lucky Strikes at her. She growled and chucked a couple bingo chips back at me and went back to her crossword puzzle, muttering to herself. Something about Elvis giving birth to a 7 pound owl in Melba, Idaho that she had undoubtedly read about in one of her tabloids.
I do want to learn to ride my bike, not for the joy of riding a bike but rather for the accomplishment of besting my fear. If that works, maybe I’ll move on to the “joy” crap.

Hunkster gave me one of his doo-rags he didn’t really like too awful much so I could deconstruct it and use it for a pattern. I bought some material with Dory all over it and I’m making myself a Dory doo-rag. I worked on it for hours yesterday and it’s almost done. I’m pretty proud of myself! I promise pictures when I’m finished with it.

I have my first tutoring session for ASL today for an hour before class, then class from 2 to 4 then Deaf Dinner until 7, so I have a busy day scheduled. I better get a move on.

Rip it, roll it, and punch it, dude.

What goes around, comes around.

Just a few things…

What happened to summer?!?! I hate Iowa weather.

Ugh, depressed. Went to the doctor on Thursday and told him the depression had been getting the better of me recently and also focus and concentration had been harder to maintain lately. He upped my Strattera which is not the depression med but rather the ADD med, but that’s why he’s the doctor. It sucks to experience a change in meds as you’re ramping up. Spent most of Friday and Saturday feeling loopy and tense at the same time. Seems to be evening out.

Saturday I got PAID! I can’t even tell you how much this helps my mood!

Saturday night RAWKED. Me and a bunch of friends went out and watched my friend’s band debut and it was awesome… good times, good times.

Sunday night HunkyDory watched seven episodes of West Wing season one. What a fantastic show! I think of myself as conservatively liberal, and even though this show has a decidedly leftist slant, I still find myself enjoying it immensely.

Finished this book, and I have some thoughts to share on it. Honestly, the book really pissed me off. It’s written by two deaf persons; one was born deaf, and the other was progressively deafened, like me. The authors pretty much attack all hearing people and make sweeping generalizations on how evil and insensitive hearing people are. I can understand a minority being bitter about its perceived oppression, but I feel the authors cross a line. Something to think about… if you and your spouse were two hearing people and had a child born deaf, what would you do? Would you have the cochlear implant procedure done as soon as possible, or would you learn sign, teach your child sign, and seek deaf role models for your child and leave the decision to implant or not to your child? I’ll answer that later and let you mull that over.
Deaf culture and Deaf community… what an odd but true entity this is. I find myself wondering, is there Blind culture and Blind community? Quadriplegic culture and Quadriplegic community? If not, why? I’ll end up researching this more later.

Went to the last cruise night of the season tonight. Pretty chilly ride home. Plus, rode the Sporty and lemme just tell ya; the passenger seat isn’t really so much a passenger seat as it is a warped 2×4. Pieces of my butt and nether regions took turns falling asleep and going all pins-and-needle-y as I futilely rocked my pelvis and shifted my weight in a vain attempt to make everything stay awake all at once. Apparently, only various parts of me are afflicted with narcolepsy. I was as yet unaware of this unfortunate development. Do they have a prescription cream or drug for random muscular narcolepsy? Let me know. There’s got to be some multi-million dollar federally granted study being conducted somewhere in these great United States of America.

Speaking of… where were you 9/11/01? I was working at McLeod and the first email came out from corporate informing every employee that the first tower was hit, and managers turned on all the TVs to CNN. We watched the horror unfold and then a second email came out stating that yes, this was indeed a terrible thing to be happening, but let’s not let it affect our work. Yes, McLeodUSA is comprised of a bunch of incredibly sensitive geniuses… not. But, karma bit them right in the ass.

Dude. Just punch it.