Category Archives: random stuff

“You know what this is? It’s the world’s smallest violin playing just for the waitresses.” – Mr. Pink

I don’t know any women who never worked in the service industry. In my early twenties, that was a job I could always get, be it at a chain like Village Inn serving pancakes and greasy fries or my favorite waitressing job, cocktail server at the pool hall.

Unlike most serving jobs, the pool hall paid us six bucks an hour instead of the usual two bucks and thirteen cents. The owner might have done that to show respect to his servers but in my case, being the budding alcoholic I was, that six bucks an hour just meant my tips went right back into the pool hall on my days off, drinking pitchers of Bud and playing nine ball.

I still worked hard for my tips even though my six bucks an hour paid the majority of my bills. I worked hard for my tips so I could have fun money but also just because I’ve always had a strong work ethic, especially when I enjoyed my job. For the most part, tips are an instant reward for hard work. Go out of your way to give great service and when you get a five spot on the table for a fifteen dollar tab, there’s a great since of pride. Not to mention those customers will seek you out when they return. I knew from experience from before I worked at the pool hall, that when I walked in the door to play, I’d look to see which side of the room my favorite server was working. When I started having customers do the same for me, it meant a lot. It also guaranteed I’d make some good drinking money.

Yes, the typical server wage is incredibly low, but if you’re good at your job, you can totally make it on your tips. Unless you have a customer like Mr. Pink, however.

(If you don’t like swearing, don’t click that Mr. Pink link. You were warned.)

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Wanna see some of what I’ve read online lately? (Of course there’s dog stuff)

Because sometimes you just want to share the stuff you enjoy reading:

I got a kick out of this. Just goes to show that famous writers certainly don’t know everything about the craft.

“Write drunk; edit sober.” — Ernest Hemingway

Bad Writing Advice from Famous Authors

If you know me at all, you know I love medicine and fitness, so this article was fascinating to me. How’s your gut?

The gastrointestinal tract is one of the most important systems in the body. When our stomachs aren’t happy, neither are we. In this month’s case study, Dr. Detective learns that while taking probiotics can help restore bacterial balance, sometimes it’s not enough to ensure gut health and function.

Doctor Detective with Bryan Walsh

I loved this! You can listen to one of my favorite writers speak!

Defending Jacob will go on sale on now but first let’s hear what William has to say about what he thinks makes a good thriller. Over to you, William!

We Have The Perfect Thriller For You

I’m able to play the embedded video so hopefully if you’re using a screen reader, you can too. The audio is cute.

David Price is pretty talented, but the Rays ace is upstaged at times by his dog, Astro. Wednesday, Astro showed off some new tricks, including “high-fiving” Price.

Video: David Price’s dog Astro doing tricks

This totally made me misty! Anyone care to describe the photograph?

Cujo’s a jittery rat terrier with a bad hip who spends his days hanging around his house in La Porte; but, that all changed on Monday.

La Porte police officer shuts down highway to save dog

Lastly, this story is incredibly close to my heart.

Giffords suffered severe traumatic brain injuries, which left her with speech and mobility issues. In the two years since that day, she has made a remarkable recovery, which will be enhanced by Nelson, her service dog from America’s VetDogs.

Former US Representative Gabrielle Giffords Partnered with Specially Trained Service Dog from America’s VetDogs

How did we ever manage without the internet?

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Filed under dogs, in the news, misty eyes, plugs, random stuff, video, working dog, wow, writing

Pavlovian Hiccups

Growing up my mom and I took in a stray cat and called her Little Kitty because she was so tiny . She was this pure white cat with one blue eye and one green and she adored my mom. I don’t know how we discovered that cats love playing with straws, but we would play with Little Kitty for hours while she sat on the cat tree. We’d toss the straw to her and most of the time she’d catch it in her paws and when she didn’t, she’d leap down and grab it and jump back on top of the cat tree. We’d grab the straw from her and lather, rinse, repeat.

So when Spinelli was a kitten, I grabbed a straw and she would entertain me for hours playing with the straw. I’d toss it and she’d go get it and bring it back. Eventually we’d lose the straw and I’d grab another and before long, ratty straws could be found all over the house, in corners and crevices, in the couch even. You’d be sitting on the couch and all of the sudden this nasty flattened straw would land in your lap and the game would begin.

Now, I have this trick for hiccups that I do with a straw. Mom learned a variation of this when she was in the hospital with cancer the first time. She had the hiccups really bad and a nurse got behind her, plugged her ears, and had her chug water. The nurse didn’t let go of Mom’s ears until she took a breath. So we always did that to each other and anyone who was at the house if they got hiccups.

Fast forward years later when I’m living alone and get the hiccups. The first few times, I tried to prop a water bottle up with my legs while I plugged my ears. Too much water was spilled in my bed so I eventually figured out if I used a straw, I could plug my own ears and chug the water and release my ears after taking a breath. If it doesn’t work the first time, it always works the second time.

Spinelli has learned that the sound of prolonged hiccups means a straw is coming. Since getting Jayden, there are no more straws laying all over the house so the only time she gets to play with one is when I have the hiccups.

This afternoon I got hiccups out of the blue and was hoping they’d go away so I wouldn’t have to get up and go do the straw trick. I should have expected it, but I heard Spinelli’s little meow and she jumped up on the arm of the couch next to me and meowed after each hiccup. I finally stopped torturing her, did the straw trick and then played awhile. Jayden was by my side the whole time and I could just hear him thinking, “what’s fun about a straw?” C’mon dude, you like empty water bottles, what’s the difference?

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Filed under cats, funnies, Jayden, jayden quirks, mom, random stuff, Spinelli

A Phone Call from a Light Dependent Person

It’s Sunday morning and I had just started a podcast when I heard my phone ring but it was just the harp and that’s the no need to run ringtone. I couldn’t hear Voiceover to know who had called so I checked the phone after the podcast and it was my massage guy. Hmmm, why is he calling on a Sunday? I checked the voicemail and had a panicked message from his wife that went something like this:

Hi Ro, S is making the switch to the iPhone so I started playing with the screen reader on mine to get familiar with it before he takes it over and all of the sudden my screen went black and I don’t know what to do and I know you’ve gotten really good with your Iphone so I decided to call so if you could call me back that would be great.

Those weren’t her exact words but I think it’s pretty close. I was laughing as I listened to it and called her back immediately on my massage guy’s phone. She answered laughing which was a good thing and I laughed with her. She put me on speaker and I could hear as she unlocked the iPhone.

Me: When the screen went black did you hear the phone say, “screen curtain on”?

Her: No.

Me: Hmmm, well, try doing a three finger triple tap.

Her: The screen is back!

Both of us burst out laughing. I still don’t know why she didn’t hear the phone announce the screen curtain but at least that was all it was. After we finished laughing about that she asked me why a double tap made her music play.

Me: A double tap? That’s odd, I mean unless you’re on the play button or something…

Her: No actually it’s when I double tap with two fingers.

Me: Oh! Yeah, a two finger double tap will start your music or any audio you had been streaming.

Her: Ok so that is supposed to happen then.

Me, laughing: Yes, that is normal.

We discussed getting together so I can help S get to know his phone. He’s been pretty resistant to the iPhone, being stuck on the whole no buttons thing like so many blind are. I know once he finally makes the switch he’ll be happier than a pig in…you know.

I just thoroughly enjoyed helping a sighted person with her black screened iPhone! She is a “poor light dependent person”, her words. Fun stuff.

Oh, note to self, give her and S a must run ringtone for future iPhone emergencies.

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Filed under apple Inc, funnies, iPhone, random stuff, screen reader, Voiceover

What is unique about this post?

This post is going to be at least five hundred words about my mundane Friday, however there is going to be something about it that readers probably won’t notice until this fact is revealed. Originally when I read this writing prompt, a word count didn’t factor in. I decided to increase my difficulty by adding a word requirement. A topic wasn’t given; I decided just to write whatever came into my head.

I have made Fridays my weekday to do my chores. This entails vacuuming as well as mopping. I also tidy up kitchen counters along with washing dishes. I like to utilize soapy dish water to wipe down counters as well as my coffee table. Jayden also gets a thorough brushing before I vacuum so that Mr. Eureka takes care of shed yellow doggy hair.

I told Georgie this morning as we talked while I swept that I know I am doing well mentally when I make sure to do this cleaning every week. The benefits are many. My house stays clean which helps my mental state. Doing it every week keeps it easy since it never derails so badly that it needs hours upon hours to complete. Even when I have intervals of severe spoon depletion, it doesn’t take much time to catch up upon recovery. I’m also never mortified when I have a surprise guest.

After I finish these chores, furniture gets sprayed with Lysol, airy spaces with Febreeze room freshener. When this is completed, my house feels so fresh that I am able to relax back, feeling accomplished.

Little things really matter, I have come to discover. My conversation with Georgie this morning reminded me of little things I keep a close watch on when it comes to my mental health. Since I became sober, I have known that ignoring little things will make them fester into large things. It tends to be easier to deal with large things as they happen than it is to deal with lots of small things. It doesn’t seem like it should make sense, I know. When looking at life as a huge picture however, dealing with small things as they happen seems to make life’s insanity more manageable. In my life this translates to taking care of little things daily before they balloon into gigantic things. I don’t always succeed at this however I make a valiant effort. Being medicated is a huge advantage in this life design since I don’t become overwhelmed by small things like I used to.

I took a long break from writing this since Carol called. Naturally we talked a long time since we’re incapable of having brief conversations. I am dealing with another stressor, (what is life without stressors?) so talking to my best friend helped.

I took a shower since I desperately needed it after cleaning. I suppose this is done since I don’t want to be writing before sleep just to include an entire wake cycle in this post.

I have decided to wait on revealing what is unique about this entry. Go ahead, leave a guess in a comment. I will refrain from publishing comments until Sunday or so. To those following Twitter accounts giving writing prompts, no cheating! Keep your knowledge to yourself. Does your blog have a post such as this?

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Filed under fellowship, Jayden, mental health, NaBloPoMo 2012, random stuff, spoons, twitter me this

Max Factor and the Middle Class

Carol and I had our daily phone conversation today which started off as a discussion of yesterday’s election. We are on the same page politically so there was no debate, just sharing our relief at how things turned out. Carol had been on a media blackout all day, getting the news from her friend late last night. The phone call had been prearranged. I think that was mighty smart of her haha! I kept a loose eye on Twitter while I converted episodes of friends to mp3 to save disk space. There’s not much better escapism than episodes of Friends.

After we got done discussing our hope for the next four years and how disgusted I was over things I read on Twitter this morning, we got into more fun topics about whatever it is we can discuss for hours and hours. I’m not sure how we talked about how there’s no longer a clearly defined middle class, but it came up during our jumping from topic to topic. We always talk about something serious and then one of us steers the conversation on to something a little more light hearted. Both of us have had not so easy lives and we often talk about that’s why we tend to lean to the left. Oh let’s face it, I lean to the left, she dove right into it haha!

Anyway, we had gotten on to talking about her favorite make-up, the Max Factor pan stick, and how it had been getting harder and harder to find in stores. She had tried other products but nothing had worked as well as this Max Factor and finally early this year, she discovered it on a website and ordered one. Today she was telling me that she went back to the website and they no longer carry it. Disappointed, she did some further investigation and discovered that the only place she can order it from now is the UK, because there’s just no market here for it anymore. Basically it’s not high-end enough for stores like Nordstrom’s and not low-end enough for stores like Walgreens.

Suddenly she exclaimed, “It’s a middle class make-up!”

I burst out laughing since that completely summed up our earlier conversation about how there’s no longer a clearly defined American middle class. Max Factor had to stop supplying its pan stick to American stores because it’s a middle class make-up and we have no middle-class here to buy it. This strikes me funny too since Carol is definitely not middle class since she lives on disability just like I do but even when you live below poverty level, a girl still likes to splurge on make-up that works! That pan stick also lasts her like a year so it’s really just too bad there’s no longer a market for it in America. I wonder what she’ll have to pay on shipping to get that from across the pond.

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Filed under cool product, fellowship, in the news, NaBloPoMo 2012, politics, random stuff, twitter me this

Pen Whatevers and Monkey Havens

What do they call pen pals these days? Email pals? If I am writing emails with someone, does that mean he is my pen pal or my email pal? Or wait, keyboard pal? Is “pal” even used these days? I feel like I am showing my age.

Anyway, I’ve been exchanging emails with someone and for the last ten minutes or so I have been trying to think of what to write for today’s post. I started reading Twitter and there was a tweet about monkeys. And then another. And I couldn’t help but remember my whatever pal mentioning a random monkey sanctuary. I had to laugh in response to this because if a monkey sanctuary is random, that makes me think there must be loads of monkey sanctuaries. I began to imagine this random one being a small one off the beaten path. A nice little monkey bread and breakfast.

*Tranquil music, soft spoken female voice*

Are you unable to care for your monkey any longer? Did you not think your decision through when you decided to get a monkey? Perhaps your child begged you for a monkey and you complied against your better judgement. If you are looking for a place to send your monkey, why not consider The Monkey Haven for all your monkey’s needs?

We offer several plans for your beloved monkey; one for every budget. We do not allow any scientific experiments to be performed on our charges so you can rest assured your monkey will live the life of luxury every day! You are welcome to come visit your monkey any time and make sure he is enjoying his new home and that she is getting plenty of her beloved bananas!

So exhale and just let go and let us take care of your monkey. No more ruined shoes or attacked guests. Let us take care of everything! Remember, The Monkey Haven is waiting for you! We are that random monkey sanctuary you never even imagined could exist!

*low pitched fast paced male voice reading fine print, website and phone information*

I need help, don’t I? I almost wrote about how my book reading schedule has gotten off thanks to my week in bed but that would be boring. Monkeys are always entertaining haha!

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Filed under NaBloPoMo 2012, random stuff, silly girl, twitter me this

Doggy Diaries – How is it NaBloPoMo time already?

I can’t believe it’s November already. What? It was just Spring Training. It was just November and I was just writing daily posts for NaBloPoMo and now it’s here again. Crazy! They say time flies when you’re having fun, well I can’t say it’s been a fun year but it sure is flying.

I’m feeling so much better this week. I spent all of last week in bed recovering from that diverticulitis. I had to do a liquid diet for three days which wasn’t so bad on the first day. I remember even chuckling to myself and saying, yeah ask me again tomorrow if this isn’t so bad. Oh, it was bad the next day, that’s for sure. I couldn’t stomach the broth, so I basically lived on coffee and popsicles. That, along with the two different poisonous antibiotics and a visit from Aunt Flo and I was flat on my back in bed.

I was able to care for myself and Jayden but that was it. I was telling my massage therapist about it tonight about how I think the week in bed actually did me good. He found a lot less problem areas than he usually does and I was proud to tell him I did more stretching of my constantly tight hammies while laying in bed listening to books. I’m glad it’s all over though and I’m enjoying experimenting with different foods now as I try to prevent another horrible infection.

This week has been all about getting my strength back. I could not believe how much my body was weakened. I’ve taken a lot of pride in my physical strength even during weak low spoon times. This was a whole new ball game and one I hope I don’t have to play again for awhile. The early part of this week was rough, only being able to do things in fits and starts with periods of rest to gather strength again. Today I feel so much closer to myself again. This has been one heck of an ordeal!

This morning Jayden and I walked down to the office to drop off my absentee ballot. Our office collects our outgoing mail for safe keeping which in the heat of the summer was annoying but now it’s just nice to walk down there. I was a little concerned about my strength but it was fine. No one was in the office yet so Jayden was bummed since they always give him a treat there. He showed me the door to the clubhouse and when I tried to pull away he stayed by the door. I knew he could smell his friend S, our maintenance supervisor. He and Jayden are the best of friends and I know S hangs out in the clubhouse when he’s not tooling around the complex so I tried the door and it was open. I poked my head in and said hello and got no response but Jayden insisted we go in, it was too cute! He walked me directly past the gym where we’ve been a bunch of times and right to the door going out to the patio and pool. So I stuck my head out there but no S. Poor Jayden!

On the way back we just strolled. Jayden alerted me to the guest apartment my friend Erik stayed in a year and a half ago. It’s amazing what these dogs remember! I praised him for asking if I wanted to go there and said not this time haha. Then as we passed another apartment a dog started barking and made us both jump. I giggled and said, “he’s Mr. Vocal McVocalson huh Jayde?” As we neared home Jayden decided to pick the narrowest spot between a car and a curb haha. He cracked me up, choosing the path of most difficulty. He does that sometimes, almost like he wants to challenge himself. He paused so I wouldn’t hit the side view mirror of the car since he had to walk me practically brushing up against it. Such a silly dog! It was a perfect morning and it was so nice to be out and about with my boy. I need to come up with some sort of maintenance issue so we have an excuse for S to come by haha.

I’m very much looking forward to bed time tonight. Today felt busy for some reason even though it really wasn’t. I’m just still a bit foggy from the health ordeal I think. It will be nice to put the day to bed and stretch out to some more Harry Bosch. So, here’s to another NaBloPoMo opening post!

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Filed under coffeeholic, Doggy Diaries, dogs, Jayden, jayden quirks, NaBloPoMo 2012, random stuff, sicky sick, spoons, weather, working dog

Hanging with Ro Episode Thirteen – Sleep Mic New Deprived

This is long, an hour or so. I am very sleep deprived so that made for some really rambling and silly audio. You can feel free to save it to listen to instead of the Presidential debates tomorrow night.

The audio starts a little iffy with some clipping but I made an adjustment and after that it sounds pretty good. Yay for a new mic!

Topics include but are not limited to:

* The @MuggleHustle Twitter account

* Jim Gaffigan and Hot Pockets

* Coffee and murdering a coffee maker

* Baseball

* Find out if I’m a Scientologist

*Too much Twitter, sorry

* Quick Fleksy settings/dictionary demo

* Should we have a Hanging with Ro music game?

There’s more but my brain is about to shut down from lack of sleep. Go listen if you want to know what else, k? K.

Hanging with Ro Episode Thirteen

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Filed under baseball, coffeeholic, cool product, demo, hanging with ro, iPhone, Jayden, mental health, mom, music, politics, quirky words, rambles, random stuff, screen reader, silly girl, Timmy, treat for me, twitter me this

From the Desk of My Sleep Deprived and Hopeful Mind

I suppose it’s time for another sleep deprived stream of conscious post. And now I have to Google “stream of conscious”, because I can never remember if that’s correct. See it’s a good thing I turned to Google since it’s actually “stream of consciousness”. I think I knew that deep down but then I thought well conscious works too. I mean I’m conscious. I’m sleep deprived but I’m awake.

I woke up at around 2:30am. Mafia Guy Bladder woke me up and I checked the time because my body felt awake. You know those times? When you wake up and your body feels awake so you’re like oh it must be time to get up soon but you check the time and it’s only 2:30am? I could tell I wouldn’t get back to sleep. YOu just know. I gave it the old college try though. Lay there for an hour and then just wanted coffee.

What’s with the saying, “gave it the old college try”? Don’t we use that when we fail at something? Yeah I gave it the old college try but it just wasn’t meant to be. So are we referencing failing college?

The Rays gave it the college try but it wasn’t meant to be. They won last night but were eliminated when the A’s beat the Rangers. I don’t feel like talking about that.

I went to the doctor yesterday and had an anxiety attack. Yes! Yes? Yeah, I was happy about it. You know when your car is making a funny noise and you take it to the mechanic and it stops making the noise? I didn’t want that to happen. I mean I know my doc and she would believe me when I told her about the anxiety and depression but I’m just glad she got to see it. I had scheduled my appointment for 1:10, her first appointment after lunch. Paratransit got me there about 12:50 and they had to unlock the door to let me in. Receptionist said they’d call me up in a bit to check me in when it was time so I used the restroom, came out and sat down. I heard another paratransit and then I heard a white cane and a woman checking in. A slight pang of fear went through me, wondering if they signed her in ahead of me but I thought they knew that duh, I was there, right? Wrong. They called her back first even though I heard her say her appointment was at 1:20. Normally this kind of thing wouldn’t bother me. I know it’s usually a wait at the doc but at mine it’s never that bad. The problem is that taking paratransit means you’re always watching the clock. I thought I scheduled it fine, just like I always do. My return window began at 2:10, an hour after my scheduled appointment. It would have been fine, if it hadn’t been (for those meddling kids) a Monday first of all and then I later found out that they were implementing a new computer system as well.

By 1:30 I hadn’t been called back yet and I felt the anxiety well up. I gave myself a pep talk. If I miss my ride, it’s fine. It’s not going to harm me. I might wait awhile but it’s going to be fine. Stop panicking. Stop it. Oh crap there’s the tears. Well, at least she’ll see what I’ve been going through. When they took me back to do vitals the M.A. tried to help calm me down. I did a little and she said I’d be done by 2:10, the doctor was just finishing up and she’d be right with me. I sat in the room and time ticked by and I started dreaming of grabbing stuff and throwing it. When the doctor came in and saw me she said my dog looked worried. Not, oh hey what’s wrong, why are you crying. Your dog looks worried. My doctor is brilliant. Get me talking about my dog. Calm me down. I love that woman. She assured me I’d be done in time and we were just wrapping up when the driver got there. When you hope the driver will be late, they never are.

Long story short she checked my heart, it sounded fine, she ran through questions and I’m starting Lexapro. I couldn’t get it yesterday. Insurance problems. But of course, right? It’ll be a low dose. I’ve been on it before; it’s what they gave me when I went blind to help me ease into the adjustment. I probably should have just stayed on it. Oh well, lesson learned. I was also cleared to exercise again so yay! There is hope. I feel hope.

I do have to laugh though. She asked me if I’m sleeping. Oh yeah! I sleep great! It’s 4:40am as I write this and I’ve been awake for two hours haha!

I’m going to take a break from this for a minute. I’m hoping to record some blabbering later since I got a new mic so I don’t want to just write everything that’s on my mind and have nothing left to blabber about.

Well that wasn’t much of a break since Twitter is kinda slow. Speaking of Twitter, I has a funny. I’m going to include this in the audio too but this is just too good. Yesterday on the way to the doctor I was on the paratransit and wanted to send a tweet so I started typing in Fleksy listening with my Bluetooth headset. Unfortunately Voiceover just isn’t very loud on the Bluetooth and the paratransit van was noisy so I didn’t really hear Fleksy correctly. I tweeted the following:

@Raynaadi – I’m getting notion sink on this transport wide. #vomit

I didn’t know this until I got home and checked my mentions and Steve asked if I meant to tweet that or if it was an autocorrect fail. I thought with Fleksy you couldn’t have autocorrect fails but apparently that only works if you can really hear Voiceover well. Lesson learned, next time I’ll turn spell mode on when surroundings are loud. It sure made for a great belly laugh though when I really really needed a good belly laugh. I favorited the tweet for future laughs. I’ll definitely include it in the audio though since it’s funny to hear Voiceover say it.

It’s 4:54. I think I’ll edit and see what we’ve got.

I heard a Twitter mention and a DM. Wow both! I also have that Call Me Maybe song in my head. I started thinking about the Rays rookies dance number and now that song is in my head. *Shakes fist* damn you James Shields! I’ll get you! And your little meddling kids too! Or dog. Kids? Dog. Ding don the witch is dead! Another mention, shiny! Ok, that’s a wrap. A 30. It’s 5:16am. Do you know where your slippers are?

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Filed under assistive technologies, baseball, coffeeholic, doc, funnies, gratitude, humor as coping skill, Jayden, mental health, rambles, random stuff, screen reader, Sleep Deprived Fun, treat for me, twitter me this, Voiceover, workouts