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Google knows it's my birthday, so the Google Doodle is a bunch of letter candles with "Happy Birthday, Nicole" as the hover text.

So.....I had to go looking up today's actual Google Doodle, Teachers' Day 2017 (Nicaragua), which is actually pretty gosh darn cool looking, and I kind of wish I could see it instead.

Co-worker tied 3 birthday balloons to my chair, Roommates are treating me to Razzoo's for dinner, I promised to join the family at Six Flags tomorrow after work, and I'm using up as many freebie birthday restaurant app gifts I can, which means I'll be taking the nephews for a lot of ice cream this weekend.
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I have to have a root canal.

I have a tooth that's been turning gray for quite some time now. The previous dentist that I've been seeing for the past 6 years (due to insurance) couldn't find anything wrong. I wasn't fond of that dentist to begin with and couldn't wait until I could go back to my previous dentist.

I finally switched jobs and insurance carriers this year, and so I was able to return to my old dentist. Their office had switched to a computer system shortly after I stopped going there, and they no longer had my previous physical records, so I was entered in as a new patient. As soon as the dentist came over and saw my name he said, "She's not a new patient." He turned and looked at me and asked, "How long has it been since you've been here?" After another minute or so of talking he said, "Oh, you know, I just saw your dad at the grocery store about 2 weeks ago, over there at Tom Thumb." It's the little things in life that make me feel warm and snuggly inside.

He tested the tooth along with its neighbors and a couple on the opposite side to determine that the tooth was not responding to insta-cold, whereas the neighbors had me cringing from the nerves getting pummeled by the cold pretty quickly. There's no sign of why the tooth had died, but I'd probably bet I got hit in that tooth area at one point during my combatives class and that was that.

I can't say that I mind having to have a root canal. What I do mind is that once again this is going to cost me.


Jul. 19th, 2015 11:53 pm
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0-100 in 2.2 seconds is a little fast for me for a first date.

Apparently Vietnamese dude is completely infatuated with me, talking like we're already married lovers, and desperately afraid of losing me.

I've had my share of puppy dogs following me around, but this is a first.

He started off nice and slow in the gradually getting to know me and flirt with me department over the past few months of me frequenting the restaurant, but one date and I feel like I was just taken for a ride on the Indy 500.

That thump is the sound of my head banging against a wall.
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My most recent track record for dating guys is three dates. And by most recent, I mean, what, over a year and a half ago?

So, call me trepidatious, but having one of the servers at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant showing a serious interest and wanting to hang out a lot (every day, by his own statements) has me being very cautious.

Still, I'm a little giddy at having a guy paying attention to me again. See my tail wagging?
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Today I'm going to the library. I'm going to grab an audio book or two on CD so I can listen to them in my car while driving to and from work. I wonder if this will become a good habit. I don't read anywhere near as much as I'd like, because I end up spending most of my time playing games or watching TV show and movies. I don't knock them, because they're just as good as books in my opinion, but I would like my newly-created extra travel time to amount to something more than merely the period of time in which I curse humanity for it's great level of inconsiderate assholes epitomized by their actions on the freeways.

I hope they have a good selection.
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This falls under "Ancient rituals that kind of suck" in my book.

Probably because I might not really want to "share my social space" with certain individuals.

I wonder if my lack of response on occasions is in fact me politely attempting to tell the other person to fuck off. Strangely, though, it tends to have the opposite effect. Instead, the other person feels the need to either appease me or otherwise find out "what's wrong" with me. The need for stable, pleasant interactions with other beings is a strong urge in most humans.

The tellers at the bank I have the displeasure of being required to set foot in about 3 days a week have this need to chit-chat and "make you feel at home." It's uncomfortable for them to carry out the business transactions without asking me how work is going, if I've been busy, am I keeping cool/warm/dry/whatever else weather related. Rarely one of them might actually ask me plumbing related questions, because I work at a plumbing company. I can at least respect those questions, because they're relevant and not just idle chit-chat intended to make the situation feel more comfortable. The fact is, I LOATHE that bank with a passion. The people are nice and doing their jobs, but if it were up to me I'd never go within their parking lot boarders, let alone into that god-awful eye sore of a building to do business with Big Brother Bank. So, when I'm asked, "How's your day going," while approaching the teller, I physically cringe inside.

And probably all because deep down in that lizard brain of mine I'm fighting the urge to scream.

Saying "bless you" when someone sneezes also sucks in my book. Not all cultures socialize their members into saying something upon one's sneezing, you know.
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Now that's how I define my diet.

I will never go ON a diet.

I will never kick myself for getting OFF my diet.

I will never go ON an exercise routine.

I will never kick myself for getting OFF my exercise routine.

I HAVE a diet and I HAVE a lifestyle.

I'm free to deviate my lifestyle and diet every minute of every day to my heart's content.

All others be damned.

Also, I don't have an opinion on carbs. Can I be President, please?
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La-La La La, La La

La-La La La, La La

La-La LA La, La Laaaaa Lah

Laa Laa LAA Laa, Laaaaaaa Laaaaaaaaaaa
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I still can't stop crying.

A little over a year has taught me that I can't trust someone who shows even the slightest interest in me. Two guys and three dates each equals *POOF*. One time is an offshoot. Twice is a coincidence. And the third - knowledge of finding out someone who professed to care for me could decide to just up and turn around and walk away and never communicate with me did me in.

I'm smart enough to know that I'm still in mourning and perhaps in a bit of post-traumatic stress. I'm smart enough to know that this isn't all there is.

But some nights....

I've lost the ability to trust. I don't trust anyone to get close to me, even just a little. I'm culling friends lists so I don't have to think about which people are or aren't my friends. My friends are the ones that communicate with me - that I know for sure. They're the ones that every so often actually want to come into my world and hang out here for a while.

I'm grateful for my roommates and friends. I don't talk about this with them, but I know they're around and they help to keep me sane, even if they don't know it.

I remember back when I had counseling for an issue in my past, and how dealing with that issue and the PTSD that resulted caused me to think about it every single fucking day without fail for the next few years. That's a really, REALLY long time to have something gnawing at your skull day after day after day. Nothing I could do could stop the thinking. No distraction in the world made it go away. It wasn't until one day my mind could come to terms with it that it finally vanished, and now I only think about it when I choose to.

I was at that point last spring, when I finally decided to set foot back into the garage to finish building the bar. I was finally ready to move on and let go of thoughts that had been plaguing me, and now I'm right back where I started.

So, here's to another year of sitting around biding my time and filling it up with whatever I can to try to distract myself from these thoughts waiting for this to pass yet again, and for random posts about me dealing with shit I thought I was over and done with.

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Seeing my friend from out-of-state was really good for me. He keeps encouraging me to move to Seattle/Portland with him (he co-habitates between the two cities). I told him that the number one thing really keeping me here are my nephews. I feel bad enough that I don't spend more time with them. I can't imagine how I would feel living in another state away from them. Of course, if I lived in Portland, I'd be a stone's throw from my own uncle and aunt and 2 younger cousins that I haven't seen since we moved my grandparents out of their home and into an Alzheimer's center, which was still a couple years before they both passed away.

My friend's also still very encouraging of me applying for grad school. He suggested I apply to Washington State, hint, hint. Back when we were at university together and he was still taking a lot more trips overseas, he told me I didn't have a choice - if he moved to Iceland/The Netherlands/Norway/etc he would be dragging me with him and I would be learning a new language.

Speaking of the nephews, I finally got them to watch The Princess Bride a few weeks back. Little Bit kept fighting against it saying, "That's a GIRL movie," and I had to tell him that it's not. Luckily, Eldest was for it, and it didn't take long at all for Little Bit to accept that this was one damn good BOY movie after all. ::eyeroll:: Watching them socialize into The Sexes is so weird to me, but maybe it's because I've always been more of a tomboy and didn't really take to being socialized myself.

Eldest told me this weekend that Papa (my dad) found a house for sale right across the street from their school and only a block away from one of his friends from class - hint, hint, nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Yep. I said before I'm pretty sure he'd love to come live with me if given the chance, and now he's out house shopping for me. Too bad I can't explain to him the economics of mortgages.

So, see? The idea of leaving here - I really have no idea how I could fathom it, yet running away and making a new start seems so appealing right now. I guess I'm bored.
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I posted before about being tired of looking like a fool in the dating world. I need to restate that.

I'm tired of BEING a fool in the dating world.

I guess you could say the hopeless romantic in me has lost all hope.

Maybe it's for the best.

Couch Time

Jul. 13th, 2013 11:57 pm
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I spent a lot of time talking with my mom today. I finally told her about going to see a psychologist a few months back* for diagnosis. She was more upset that I didn't tell her any sooner.

One thing that we giggled over is how me sitting and playing the piano 5-15+ hours every day for many years in a row never bothered her. It was when I would start talking non-stop about fractals and chaos theory that she would eventually separate from me, go back to wherever Dad was, and comment about how I can just keep going on and on and on about something that's above her head and causing her eyes to glaze over.

Mom also finally understands why I don't have any semblance of a panic response in a family emergency situation. I've always been her caretaker when it's come to things like that.

*Wow - I just noticed that was almost a year ago now.
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I have been taking my combatives and self-defense class for over two years now. There is one major thing that I have learned from this class and from events that have transpired in my life that I truly wish I could impart to every person on the face of this planet.

You have to set your own boundaries and you have to protect yourself from getting hurt.

This was not a lesson that my parents taught me. They were more about teaching me how to be myself, how to feel free to explore unhindered, how to follow my instincts, and how to love. They were some of the best parents in the world. They never thought to teach me how to protect myself, because they were always the protectors.

Until they were no longer the protectors.

I have been hurt in so many ways, because I never knew how to protect myself. I have always been very strong-willed, but will alone is not enough. Without knowing what you want to get out of life, what you want in your own life, and how to set up the necessary boundaries to keep out the things that you don't want, the will alone cannot suffice. "I want to be happy," simply doesn't cut it. Happiness is undefined without understanding what unhappiness is. Everyone knows that they don't want to be unhappy, but where's the boundary between the two? What's to keep the unhappy from slipping in through the back door undetected?

This has also led to an understanding of being honest with myself. If I set a boundary that I cannot defend, then what good is that boundary? What purpose does that boundary serve for me other than to mock me and to give me a false sense of protection until it is breached? What then? What happens to my mindset when that fake border is crossed? How safe do I still feel? How much do I feel in control of my own life? How much have I lied to myself in order to end up in a place where it feels like the world is just spinning around me and I can't seem to get off of the ongoing merry-go-round? How much damage is reaped upon me until I can get back on my feet and start again? How much damage have I caused others? How far do I fall down that rabbit hole before I realize I've fallen at all, and how much climbing do I have to do to get out of it?

Does this line of questions seem familiar to you? I know they were once very, very familiar to me.

I'm not talking about physical threats alone. Physical threats are immediate, obvious, noticeable, and easily identifiable. Verbal and mental threats can be subtle and cunning.

Many people know what physical and verbal threats are, although verbal threats are typically more difficult to detect without practice. Mental threats, however, are the more elusive, yet they are more easily all around us and make up the bulk of the threats we face on a daily basis. They are the temptations. They are the alternate courses our lives can take. They are the various ebbs and flows of the world around us, and if we aren't paying attention we can so readily get caught on a wave that takes our ship way off course.

Understanding what you want in life is what paves the way for a more solid and steady sail. Without that knowledge and without that boundary set up and being defended from the rest of the world, the sail might constantly feel like the perfect storm.

Be honest with yourself. Understand what you want. Figure out what you don't want. Set your boundaries and practice defending them. Then, when you're ready, take the helm, and learn to captain your own ship.
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Random date guy texted me this morning to wish me well. I have to say, it made me blush like crazy to know he was thinking about me. (Our bowling date isn't until Wednesday.) It feels good having the early dating flutters again, but at the same time, I'm still a little shell-shocked from the last guy I tried dating who completely disappeared on me. I feel like I should be a bit more guarded, although I have no idea if that's fair to this current guy or not. It's not his fault I went through a bad situation fairly recently.

On a side note, I'm concerned that I'm going to kill my back again by deciding to go bowling. I found out from the chiropractor reading the MRI results that it wasn't just the L5-S1 that was torn, but also the L4-L5 as well. This could end in tears if I'm not careful.
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December 2011 my left eye got mysteriously better, and my prescription was updated. About a month later my left eye seemed like it was getting blurry again despite wearing my glasses. Then some time later I accidentally left my prescription sunglasses at my parents' house and their dog deemed it a new, pokey chew toy. I mean really, the ends of the pieces that go around the ears, once the plastic has been shredded back, is some seriously pointed metal. The dog must have thought it was a new style tooth pick or something. Needless-to-say, I almost never wear my regular glasses, and the sunglasses took the loss, so I haven't been wearing prescription glasses for the bulk of this year.

Today, I was informed that I'm not only back to 20/20 vision, but that the astigmatism is pretty much gone and what little blurriness I get is from having dry eyes, as confirmed by a test, along with what looks like a "finger print" on the middle layer of my cornea, as my optometrist called it. So, I don't get a new prescription, and I don't even have to continue wearing prescription glasses, but I do have to keep eye drops in my eyes.

This will be the second time in my life that I've gone from having prescription glasses to no glasses at all. Also, my eye ball freckles (scroll down to Choroidal Nevus in this link) are still there and still behaving themselves.

In other news, I've been re-watching Doctor Who and Torchwood in order of episode air dates. I've just watched Turn Left (DW.S4.E11) in which Donna has to make the choice to turn right and live one life or turn left and live another. It's an interesting paradox. That led me to recall how many times I've had to explain to my mother the paradox inherent in the remake of The Time Machine in which Jeremy Irons shows the hero why his past must always turn out the way it does. This led me to thinking about all the "unanswered prayers" in life, which in turn has led to a whole host of other thoughts...

...and now I've taken a Benadryl so that my brain will turn off and stop spinning up and allow me to get some sleep.

PS - Benadryl doesn't seem to stop "baking my noodle" at wondering if Neo would have still broken the vase if The Oracle hadn't said anything about it.

Fucking paradoxes...

I R Weird

Feb. 25th, 2013 09:50 am
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"I don't know how I'm supposed to feel."

I think that statement summarizes my issues with emotions quite succinctly.

That didn't used to be the case. (Is that a grammatically correct sentence?)

I'm actually trying to pull my rational brain out of the mix a little and go back to just feeling my emotions versus rationalizing my emotions - the oxymoron here being that I'm rationalizing my processing in order to stop rationalizing my emotions.

Yeah ... wrap your brain around that one.
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"I could take part in the world as an observer. I was an avid observer. I was enthralled with the nuances of people’s actions. In fact, I often found it desirable to become the other person. Not that I consciously set out to do that, rather it came as something I simply did. As if I had no choice in the matter. My mother tells me I was very good at capturing the essence and persona of people. At times I literally copied someone’s looks and their actions. I was uncanny in my ability to copy accents, vocal inflections, facial expressions, hand movements, gaits and tiny gestures. It was as if I became the person I was emulating (p.22)."

- Liane Holliday-Willey, Pretending to be Normal

I used to think of myself as a social chameleon when I was growing up. It was the only way I could possibly explain how I was able to get along with everyone in every social situation and yet still never fit in completely with any given social group. I always felt like an outsider, no matter how many people of that social group I could be friends with on a one-on-one basis.

"The fun came from setting up and arranging things. Maybe this desire to organise things rather than play with things, is the reason I never had a great interest in my peers. They always wanted to use the things I had so carefully arranged. They would want to rearrange and redo. They did not let me control the environment."

I can totally relate to this. I had a Barbie doll McDonald's play set that I spent so much time getting out and setting up and then putting back away, just as I do with my jigsaw puzzles. I don't recall ever once getting the Barbie doll out and having her "make" hamburgers in the McDonald's. I never associated that playset with the dolls.

Date Night

Dec. 30th, 2012 05:05 pm
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After my day with the nephews yesterday, I spent an hour patiently waiting for Javier to text me to let me know he had finished clearing out his harem cleaning up his house a little for me to come over for a date night.

We've been chatting ever since we first met at one of K&E's LAN parties back in the fall. He "socially engineered" to run into me again after that first meeting, and because I was aware of his interest I invited him to be my date to the company Christmas party. He's already impressed me quite a lot.

Date night went really well. :D

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