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The Last Nine Months, Cliffs Notes Version 
17th-Sep-2012 12:12 am
I got the job at the bookstore, which was hectic, because hello Christmas season, which was also the reason the temp agency had shindigs for which I could serve (and yes, at way better hourly rates than anything else). At the same time, I was trying to keep my languages Meetup group going. Around June, was promoted to specialist, which is nominally full time and includes benefits (yay, eye doctors). My chronic foot pain is also getting worse. Shoe salesman at New Balance, after cautioning he's not a doctor, said it sounded like plantar fascitis; from what I found via Google, it matches description. Not sure if podiatrist is included in insurance, but based on experience and internet research, best treatment is not being on my feet all the time. Not going to work with this job. Also have developed lower back pain (probably from slouching in my computer chair at home) and strained my wrist (carrying too many heavy books at once). Have been wearing wrist brace for support, which helps, but while I've forgotten I'm wearing it, it sparks a lot of comment.

Job schedule is chaos theory in practice. No two weeks are the same, though since promotion I can be reasonably sure that New Releases Day and Truck Day will be the same each week. Two days out of seven that I can predict, usually Tuesday and Wednesday. Better than the non-specialist employees get, even the managers. Oh, and the schedule is only posted a week at a time, usually on Thursday or Friday, so I never know my Sunday schedule more than three days in advance.

Also, having figured out that mortgage payments for a modest house are actually lower than rent, even in the low-rent-but-still-safe area, I was making plans to find a house. Skipping the craziness (and last-minute resolution) of the search for you, I moved out of apartment at the end of July. I do intend to rent out the spare bedrooms to (female) college students, since I'm close to the local university (and I'm not comfortable living with unrelated males), but I still have carpet to pull, so I'll have to wait until next semester at least. Also the living room needs one more coat of paint before pulling the carpet, after which I can get the assorted boxes and furniture moved out of the family room so I can put the TV back in the entertainment center. Canceled anime Meetups for language group until I can finish getting the house together, hopefully soon.

There are the usual what-were-they-thinking issues. They re-did the bathrooms (nice tile, but no shower rods; fancy push-button water-saver toilets, but they're so tight to the wall, I still can't use my étagères) and energy-efficient windows, but left the ungrounded wiring and fire-hazard electrical panel. They also cut out the old stovetop and pulled the in-cupboard oven in favor of an all-in-one, but they forgot to measure the depth, so the drawer by the sink can only be opened if the oven door is opened first. They also had the bushes around the house at man-height.

Found business card in the front door a couple of weeks after moving in, when the grass was starting to look pretty bad - lawn maintenance. Can't afford a mower any time soon, and needed serious work done. Had them cut bushes down dramatically. Half the neighborhood has told me how happy they are about that.

Speed humps in the subdivision are okay, but the dips are awful. At either end of my road, the dips are so bad, I have to turn and go at an angle, because straight-on it will scrape the bottom of my car, no matter how slow I go. Yes, I'm still driving Pearl.

I'm still unpacking and trying to sort through things. Acquired standard washer and dryer; startled to discover difference in capacity, as was unaware that Mom has always made a point of getting large washer/dryers. Attempted to acquire upright freezer, but someone beat me to the one I was after. Currently flat broke and can't try again any time soon.

I kept Yukihito in the master bathroom and bedroom for a few weeks, but then I wanted to introduce him to the backyard, which is nice and big. In hindsight, should have allowed him full roam of house instead, because it took only five minutes for him to find a hole in the fence I hadn't seen. I hesitated to grab him, because there was a thorny vine and I thought he might stop when I scolded him. By the time I reached for him, it was too late. I've made a report to animal control (who didn't have him) and I'm considering asking the city for traps (the man at the shelter said it was free), though everyone keeps telling me I'll be responsible/liable for any animals caught in the traps, which nobody's fully explained. At this point, he's been missing about three weeks, and despite small signs of activity in the litterbox I put out on the back deck to try to persuade him to come home, I haven't seen him.

Meanwhile, a friend/former-work-customer included me in an email to everyone she knows who likes cats. She runs an animal rescue and needed foster homes for cats, so I've been fostering a handful of kittens. Yesterday, I also took home a trio of adolescent black cats that I can't really afford but am trying to foster-to-adopt. (when I was getting them set up in my bathroom, because they wouldn't accept the kittens in the spare bedroom, I tripped and fell on the bucket of cat litter and so have a spectacular bruise on my back beside my spine). Anyway, I'm starting to realize I probably shouldn't have gone the fostering route, because while I adapt to my own cats after a while, the in-and-out with other cats triggers my allergies. I'm lucky it's just sneezing and runny nose now (it used to be worse) but it's rather unpleasant. Will have to consider whether there's another way I can help without subjecting myself to this, bearing in mind that I also have no money.

Dropped my glasses today and broke them. Also on my last pair of contacts, and prefer to wear them only while working. Have no spares, resorted to standard geek solution - clear packing tape. I know, it's supposed to be duct-tape or electrical tape, but a) it was the frame around the lens rather than the earpiece, and b) I only had packing tape. Will have to find optometrist; the one I've been using is apparently not in The Plan and all my introductory paperwork from the insurance is...somewhere in a box, I assume. Just like my iPod, which wasn't working and so got boxed instead of brought in my purse or something. The card is in my wallet/card holder, and has a URL. One of the doctors on the list should work.

On top of all that, I stepped up to be the nominal Organizer for a really new writers' Meetup group when the founder stepped down. (This is getting to be a habit - I've never started a group, but this is the third group where I've stepped in to keep it up.) I haven't reset the scheduled Meetups yet, because I'm not sure what'll be best for people, but I have told them I'll need hosts, and the founder has posted that the scheduled Meetups will need a new location. I couldn't go to the first Meetup because I was working, and with the unpredictable nature of my schedule, I'm not sure what I can post. Am considering scheduling Meetups at the cafe at work after I get off shift on Tuesday and/or Wednesday, since those are my more-or-less predictable days. (Not sure if the language group would consider either day for anime, since normal people work M-F and prefer to keep their entertainment on the weekend.)

Because of all of this, I've lost touch with pretty much everybody. I'm sorry. It seems M is right - I do have trouble asking for help, and then I get overwhelmed and neglect my friends. I don't know how to fix that. I guess I feel like I can't reciprocate adequately, and so I feel that asking people to do things for me is taking advantage of them. Since I hate the feeling when people take advantage of me, I don't want to do it to someone else. Unfortunately, that leads to getting buried in all the stuff I can't handle alone, and then I've failed to keep up my end of the friendship anyway, because I stop communicating when I get overwhelmed. Recognizing the problem isn't the same as a solution, though. I honestly don't know how to fix it. I don't think I recognize the reasonable boundaries of what to ask a friend to do, so I err on the side of "trying to get through alone" until everything collapses and I go to my immediate family because they're not going to reject me for asking too much. In the cold black of text, I can see now that this means I don't put enough trust in my friends; I'm so afraid of losing them that I don't want to put any pressure on them, but it's unintentionally insulting to expect people to be fair-weather friends. Now that I recognize it, I'm very sorry. What do I do, though? I don't want to go too far the other way, either.
18th-Sep-2012 05:15 am (UTC)
Was wondering what had happened to you, since you hadn't posted your schedule in a while. Glad to know the new house is working out for you; sorry to hear Yukihito escaped.

As for the fair-weather friends bit, I tend to take the route of going ahead and asking for help. If you're asking for too much and it bothers them, most friends will let you know. Would appreciate hearing an update before several months have passed. :)
18th-Sep-2012 10:52 pm (UTC)
You're alive!!! I haven't heard from you in so long I wasn't sure anymore. ;)

You do realize that you can ask me anything and if I can help you I will gladly do so, Chrys. Call me sometime.

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