Watch this video from my favorite Christmas movie. Don’t worry, it’ll open in a separate window. I tried to embed it but the person who posted this set it up so it couldn’t be embedded and it was the only clip I could find with the crucial line in it. If you don’t have much time, skip ahead and watch from 3:03 to about 3:30. (Thanks a lot, Christmas Dave for ruining the flow of my blog post.)
Go over to YouTube and watch the clip. Go ahead. I’ll wait. I’ll be here when you get back.
Finished? Great. Now allow me to branch off into a seemingly completely unrelated topic, only to loop it all back around in then end…
I’ve got a bit of seemingly minimal crap going on in my life. But of course, “a bit” of seemingly minimal crap can pile on and amount to one big pile of smelly, unpleasant… stress.
The apartment I have lived in for the last four years has only one built-in source of heat. It’s a small, gas-burning fireplace with asbestos (probably not asbestos) logs that glow when hot to make it look like they’re on fire. The flame itself only resembles a smoulder and offers no ambiance to my apartment. The fireplace gets pretty hot right where it is and according to “them” is supposed to be sufficient to heat my whole apartment. In reality, it s about 85 degrees at the fireplace and about 65 degrees 8 feet away. Plus, the fir place puts off an obnoxious odor that gives me a headache. I choose not to use the fireplace and in the meantime, it is freezing in my apartment.
Yesterday I went to the Orthodontist for what was supposed to be my take-my-braces-off appointment. Last month, the younger Dr. Tinloy (it’s a father and son practice) told me to pay close attention to my teeth over the next month and see if there was anything else I felt needed to be corrected and this month we’d talk about taking the braces off. Realizing that literal perfection is not a possibility at my age, without extraction and implants, I’m pretty happy with the way my teeth look these days, but I did notice that the back teeth on the bottom are not in-line with the rest of my teeth. I didn’t know if it really mattered, or if it was worthwhile (or even possible) to try to correct, but I didn’t want to look back on this experience in a couple of years and wish I had stuck it out and gotten those last two teeth straightened out. When I pointed this out to the older Dr. Tinloy yesterday, he agreed that it could be done and even said he did think it was worthwhile. So here I sit with braces still on my teeth and in some respects tighter than they’ve ever been. I’m aware that after only one year and nearly finished I’m better off than most and my threshold for pain is pretty high so I haven’t had a lot of discomfort, but they’re a hassle and I’m ready to have them off. In the end though, I chose to continue with the process and finish what I started.
Some time in the last month or so, some ne’er-do-wells managed to sneak some contraptions into the self-service check stands at several of the local Lucky’s grocery stores. These contraptions record and somehow transmitted or conveyed the information from customer’s credit cards to the ne’er-do-wells who have been using the information fraudulently and causing a lot of trouble and heartache for the owners of those cards and the banks they’re attached to. Sadly, I frequent two of those Lucky’s grocery stores and while, fortunately, I have not been a victim of any identity theft, or bank fraud, my bank, proactively, decided to cancel my debit card because I shopped at those stores. They sent a replacement, which I received yesterday, but for several days I was without access to my money…
This was not as much of a hardship as it could have been, because, well… I really don’t have any money. I have $38.00 in the bank until payday which is this Friday. I need to do Christmas shopping (soon, since most of my gifts are going out of state) and I have bills that are coming due soon, but for the moment, I’m OK, financially speaking. Still $38.00 isn’t much and I would certainly prefer to have more money just hanging around… I suppose we could all say that, though, no matter how much we actually have “hanging around.”
For a few weeks, ever since the very sniffly, coughy, non-hand-washy DMV worker, I’ve been struggling with cold-like symptoms. First it was a couple of weeks of running nose and sniffles. Then just as that was dwindling away, I started coughing… TWO. WEEKS. LATER. The cough has persisted. It’s not constant, though it is a nuisance. It’s not productive and despite my best efforts it’s not offering any kind of relief to the irritation that causes it in the first place. While I have not been short of breath, I have had a hard time getting a full, deep breath and when I try, it just makes me cough some more. Also, after nearly three weeks of coughing, I have muscular pain in my chest and back when I cough. Monday, I finally broke down and called my health care provider. I wasn’t sure there was any point in me going in – I don’t go to the doctor for the common cold… though maybe I should. After a conversation with an “Advice Nurse” it was determined that I could probably make do with a “phone appointment” and a little while later, I spoke with a doctor who, after discussing my symptoms said, “it sounds like you’ve got bronchitis” and proceeded to put in three prescriptions for me; two inhalers and one bottle of pills. Now, what I’m about to say is going to sound really ungrateful, so let me just specify that I KNOW I’m luckier than many people when it comes to health care coverage and yet, even for me, an employee of my healthcare provider, costs have gone up. Everything is relative and compared to the coverage I used to have – $5.00 for prescriptions and $0.00 for everything else – the increased expenses suck.
Remember that my ATM/Debit card was cancelled and I did not have access to the $38.00 in the bank. I happened to have very full jars of change on my dresser which I took to a coinstar machine and cashed in. It gave me enough cash that I should have been able to get through this week without any fears of running out of lunch money. My three prescriptions on Monday night cost me $45.00 and I had to pay another $1.00 for parking. I had $49.00 cash in my pocket. Suddenly, I didn’t have any more money for the week.
Monday, I reminded K of a task she needed to complete for me this week. It’s a task that will take her all of 20 minutes to complete and normally she wouldn’t have to do it right now, but she’s on vacation next week and I’m taking another two weeks stay-cation starting at Christmas. What she needs to do for me needs to be done and announced before I go on vacation, therefore, she needs to do it this week. Her response? “See this is why I asked you last week if there was anything else I owed you.” After thinking of a number of less friendly things to say, I simply said, “You’re welcome,” and left it at that. I chose not to make her attitude, my problem.
Yesterday, I had about an hour and a half between my Orthodontist appointment and my bi-weekly appointment with Deb and while I was at home I had a thought that caught me a little by surprise and when I expressed the thought to Deb, “With all this stuff going on, I’m not stressed out about it. I’m doing just fine,” I got a mental picture of The Grinch in the scene above…
To paraphrase a little bit, “I’ve got all this crap going on, and I’m fine. What is the DEAL?!?!?”