with feeling

We begin again.

I was going to buy a nice theme for this blog, but I couldn't find any nicer than the one it already has. By which I mean that the ones I looked at were really ugly & dated, not that I particularly like this one. I'll try to there is no try there is only do come up with a nice header, one day soon.

I'm (sort of) in a better place than I was last time I posted. My internet connection was out for so long, and with so little activity on the part of my telecom provider (which is currently filing for bankruptcy, & I'm sure pensions and severance packages for their workers will be the first thing the court sorts out) that I ended up getting the Public Utilities Commission involved. Despite being only one family in a rural context (instead of a whole block or street in a more populous setting), we ended up with a bulldog of a representative who forced Windstream to install a magic "bandwidth magnifier." You think I'm kidding, but nobody had heard of the thing, including the tech people they sent repeatedly to my house, but my download speed went from 3 Mbps to 10 Mbps. Which probably seems pretty mediocre to people in actually developed countries like Latvia and Kenya, but I live in the dissipated banana republic known as Real America™️, so it's Christmas every day now. I was able to watch the last episode of Inside No. 9 Season 4 (I await Season 5 on tenterhooks)! And Vera! And the latest season of Stranger Things! I stopped watching all my formerly-favorite trashy British reality tv shows, though (my most favorite was Can't Pay We'll Take It Away, but I watched a lot of those terrible neighbor/bad landlord shows too), because it began slowly to occur to me that they were extremely racist & classist and that the British persons they depicted being evicted and shamed weren't actually fictional characters despite having charming accents. Well, you win some you lose some. Apologies to all nonfictional inhabitants of the British Isles. (Can someone tell me why dumb British people hate Polish people? I mean: They're white. Can you imagine how excited Donald Trump would be if a bunch of white Polish people wanted to immigrate to the US? I also saw a handsome-looking older male Brexit protestor holding a sign that said 'POLISH SCUM GO HOME' in a Guardian article photo. Are Polish persons not 'home' everywhere, in Europe? Much like British persons? I find this confusing.)

My internet connection is still kind of finicky, I should say; when it works, I get decently normal speeds. But the "working" part is still an issue — there are continuing weather-related issues, heavy rain kills it, the wiring still disconnects every time a drunk hillbilly pisses off his front porch into the wind, etc. But it could be, and has been, worse. I try to be grateful. Seriously!

Also, I paid off all my credit cards. All of the motherfuckers. All the way down to $0. At one point one of the creditholding banks sent me a (paper!) letter alerting me that a larger-than-usual balance payment had been made in my name, and was I aware of it, and was it me. Holy shit. It was at that specific moment that I developed an intense, unflagging, harder-than-average hateboner for the United States' consumer debt-based economic pyramid scheme, where my impulse purchases (and other, more empathy-deserving people's desperate-to-survive necessity purchases) are translated into the bingo chips international finance uses to gamble with. Not that I'm bitter. But. I'm bitter.

I got a part-time job at a local health-food store to pay off my debts, like a former child-genius character in a crappy Japanese slice-of-life comic (to be fair, Japanese characters usually get jobs in all-nite convenience stores & meet the quirky loves of their lives, but all my local convenience stores are fully-staffed and also I'm beginning to feel like the love of my life is my mattress) (not in a dirty way; in a sleepy way) (more on this later). I'd never worked retail before & was embarrassed to start, but lol a hoe gotta make sum $$$. It actually wasn't bad. I had a pretty nice time working four days a week in a mostly-undemanding context, & when I vacated the job so its former occupant could return from maternity leave I was sad to once again have to purchase facial unguents and glass bottles of magnesium taurate on my own initiative. I'm not sure where else I can get paid for doing basically nothing but putting stuff on a limited number of offbeat store shelves & helping old people and illiterate hipsters pick out supplement regimes that are unlikely to be effective, but I intend to look into it.

On the other hand, I recently had to have a (major chewing!) tooth extracted because of a failed, massively-abscessed root canal (still on antibiotics for it) (the tooth cost almost $3000 out-of-pocket to root canal 7 years ago) & I also recently discovered that my crippling, life-ruining, SSRI-resistant "clinical depression" was actually "severe iron deficiency anemia." My iron levels are less than half what they're supposed to be. Which is not to say that one can't be both depressed and iron deficient, or that one thing is a 'real' problem and the other isn't, but. When one's cells are literally suffocating, lying in bed all day sleeping looks less like an emotional pathology and more like a strategy for survival. I'm hoping the iron pills work well for me, and I don't have to have any infusions. I don't like infusions. Not even in my teacups.

Also, my aunt that unexpectedly died of surprise cancer a few posts down? Her husband also died, about three months ago, of incurable surprise melanoma. Now I really have no white family to speak of. One good uncle ensconced in Texas, but we only manage to see him about once every three to five years. The rest of them are reliable racist Trump voters and good racist Christians, and if I saw the lot of them set ablaze I wouldn't waste the piss to put them out. That sounds (and is) harsh, but you don't know my family. Thank your stars.

Hmmm, I do have some book reviews! I think my next post (don't laugh) is gonna be about my computer, though, because I've also experienced an important life journey there, too.

I also also have some new Clarke-related podcasts to listen to, unexpectedly.
Good times online.

(Why does everything I type look chilly and sarcastic? Does that ↑ look chilly and sarcastic to you, or is it just my bodyful of slowly-dying cells making me think that?)