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Introduction to Adulting with Wine and Cats

Hello World!

My pseudonym / nom de plume / pen name, is Pandora Cray: Pandora because I am a strong independent woman whose life is chaos (which is almost entirely my own fault), and Cray because my life is crazy and so am I. But, no, seriously, many of my misadventures are due to the fact that I am bipolar – and went unmedicated until I was 23ish. My real name is … Oh, you thought I was gonna tell you that? Mwahaha! Nope!

My blog should be named “The Misadventures of Adulting with Wine, Cookie Dough, and Cats.” But, that seemed a bit too long, and I once read that it is important to have a unique and easy-to-Google blog name. If I could art, then I would art at all of you with glorious comics about my life, but I can’t art, so I shan’t art. Well, if I gain the confidence at some point, I might art, and I apologize in advance.

I decided to make this blog because a dear friend of mine suggested I try an unconventional way of making money – beginning with using my hilariously flawed life to write a blog.

So, without further ado, I present to you my blog about my life: Adulting with Wine and Cats.
Tweet me @PandoraCray!

Fine print: This blog is *loosely* based on my life. I make what some might consider to be too many puns. I am an intersectional feminist, which means that I will be frequently denouncing the patriarchy, racism, and general bigotry, and supporting ALL girls and women, cis and trans, of every race and ethnicity – along with the rights of boys and men (and all genders) to do things considered feminine without stigma. I am bisexual, which (for me) means that I am attracted to a variety of genders based around the binary, and if you don’t like that, then I apologize for your life being sad and boring. Any illegal activities herein are fictional. There is some adult content – and by adult content, I mean I will use swears, talk about alcohol, and discuss in vaguery some of the oddities of dating as an adult – usually nothing more than R-rated.

Artsy Community College Classes

To get these questions out of the way:

Pandora, why are you taking community college classes at near 30 after already having a graduate degree?

I take community college classes for 2 reasons. Reason 1 is that I am putting off paying my student loans by being in school for half-time (or more). Reason 2 is that I genuinely like school because I’m a fucking nerd. Cool, now that you’ve got a basic understanding of the why, we are moving on.

Okay but Pandora, are you a little past community college level stuff?

Why thanks for reminding me, theoretical person asking questions, yes, I am surrounded by baby adults. I got my AA 7 years ago, my ba 5 years ago, and my MA 2-3ish years ago. But the thing is, universities are expensive. I’m already about $80,000.00 (USD) in student loan debt. (Honestly hoping Bernie and the homies get us some realistic student loan forgiveness.) But since I already have all the undergrad degrees I realistically need, I can finally take all the side classes I couldn’t justify taking when I was on a degree track.

Fun classes like human sexuality, ASL (American Sign Language), literature classes, gender classes, ethnicity/race studies classes, and so on. My only limitation is that I need online classes, because I have shit to do. Unfortunately, there are quite a few classes which aren’t offered online that I can’t take.

But then BOOM. PANDEMIC.

A whole new world (if you didn’t sing the phrase, go back and read it correctly) of classes has opened up to me.

This semester, Fall 2020, I’m emotionally and mentally exhausted. Normally I take classes during which I end up angry at the world for terrible things that have happened and still happen. I like to be informed so I can help bad things to stop happening.

But I can’t do it this semester. I’m dead. I don’t have the spoons. In pandemic land, I just can’t even.

So, per the title, I am taking artsy classes instead. Specifically, I have an intro to drawing class (gonna make you guys some sick art) and an intro to sewing class (I have only ever hand sewn and have no idea how to operate a sewing machine).

This is going to be something I’ve never experienced.

I am somewhat not great at art. Music I can do, drawing far less so. But, I’ve always wanted to learn a bit, enough to maybe find my animation style and make a comic and D&D character portraits.

First assignment: 2 doodles. On the left: a page full of stacked curvy lines that are relatively horizontal. On the right: a page full of shapes filled with patterns (I went in a vaguely sun-shaped direction)

I like cosplaying and sewing costumes, which is a pain in the ass if you are doing it all by hand. I’ve also never had access to a sewing machine and therefore had no real way to learn because I couldn’t justify buying a sewing machine I’d never use. But this sewing machine is a school supply, which makes it a tax write-off. Woo!

What I’m saying is that I’m excited to learn new things. What I’m also saying is that you all will suffer through my journey.

2nd assignment: a series of blind contours of my hand and holding things. This one was particularly fun because I was holding a plastic skull which was wearing a tiara, and just, behold this wonky glory that I made without looking at the paper.

Would you guys like to see a comic by me? Like maybe a relevant sketch at the end of my blogs? Animated Pandora, probably all chibi and shit?

Well, let me know on here or on Twitter! At a bare minimum you’re going to get still life of wine accoutrements, and a not-so-still life of cats.

Trying to distract my cat from food

My precious babygirl, who we found in our garage one morning and eventually decided to keep, feels very food insecure.

On the left: my black cat, Zatanna, getting caught going straight for the food bowl. On the right, my fluffy grey cat, Gandalf, heading in the opposite direction because he has self-control.

Which, in practice, means that we constantly find barely-even partially-digested food in clumps around the house.

(It’s cat vomit. I’m talking about cat vomit.)

Our two boys don’t have this problem, but we got them from a foster home, and I think they were born into the foster setting (and therefore into food security).

As opposed to our precious babygirl, who was born a stray. We found her when she was maybe a few months old, but it was apparently already too late.

So she eats too fast and vomits and goes back to eat again, wash, rinse, repeat.

I should mention here that we have an automatic feeder set on a schedule. They never get food too late. It is very predictable. They are never left wondering when food will happen. It feeds them 4 times a day in reasonably small amounts, and yet she still manages to binge and purge while the boys are super patient and wait for her to leave.

So we’ve tried keeping an eye on her and getting her to eat more slowly, separating her while the boys get a chance to eat, distracting her with affection and play and nifty cat forts. But still, she stealth-vomits.

I’m considering getting a new feeder that will spread out the feeding times more. My partner is suggesting getting rid of the feeder altogether. But I really like not being begged for food all the time since the feeder is what they depend on.

I dunno. I’m exhausted of the stealth vomit, and I doubt vomiting all the time is harmless to her health. But she isn’t our only cat, so I can’t make all the food a pain to eat.

What do you guys think? Have you had similar issues? Comment here or hit me up on Twitter.

Clothes are Stifling

Let me start by saying that I am extremely grateful to still have a job that allows me to work from home most of the time. And while I did receive a pay cut because of the pandemic, I still have enough money to get by. Most people are not in a position to say the things I did, and I’d like to encourage anyone with the ability to do so to support the people around you, and help everyone stay safe.

One of my cats modeling one of my work dresses in a veritable chaotic array of other dresses

Now, onto the actual article.


Working from home means not having to wear real, adult, workplace-appropriate clothing.

So, when you need to go into the office for a full shift, there is a vast difference in your degree of flesh-hiding garments.

Home:

Tank top. Panties. Sometimes a dress or skirt.

Work:

Bra. Shirt. Pants (usually skirts). (Oftentimes dresses instead). Panties. Sometimes a light cardigan because the office is freezing.

Why is the difference so stifling, you might ask?

In order to properly hide my flesh parts, I must wear things like bras and shirts with high necklines. To translate: my tits are being pushed into my throat, and are very tightly locked into place without much room for movement because I’ve also gained weight and the shirt is now tight. Oh, and having extra neck fat makes breathing more difficult, but even moreso when bewbs are compacting everything in a throatwards direction.

I’m grateful for my life as it is, and all of the privileges I have. But bras as an expected garment for women are a remnant of the patriarchy that I’d like to violently stamp out. Sometimes I want to wear a bra. Sometimes I don’t. But the fact that I also want to keep the job that I’m still on probation for means that I will.

How do you folks feel about bras? Comment below.

How to Hold Everything Together (Badly)

We’re probably all aware at this point, but here’s a brief surrounding summary of the state of my country to set the scene:

  • COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Trump somehow still in power.
  • U.S. Post Office getting fucked over
  • The world pretty much agrees the U.S. is a hot mess.
  • Summertime = things afire = smoke pollution.
  • Environment is fucked.
  • Most people are broke because of the economic crisis and losing their jobs and/or job stability.
  • Anti maskers exist in hoards because of course privileged folk dgaf about literally anyone but themselves.
  • Did I miss anything? I apologise for not being super up to date on world politics because I live in the U.S. and I only have enough spoons to keep up on our bullshit.

Alright now that we’ve got the world around us covered, let’s talk about Pandora’s specific box.

  • Bipolar affected by *gestures at everything*
    • Anxiety
  • Migraines (please check out my new migraine thoughts page for more of my dark humor – linked below via the giant red button. Very difficult to miss. Please enjoy.)
  • Partial loss of income
  • New therapist (yay)
    • Introducing new therapist to my past, thereby opening up old wounds (boo)
  • Getting better at new job (yay)
    • Have awesome coworkers and boss (yay)
    • Boss just quit….. . . . . (boo)
  • Got new daith jewelry in (yay)
    • Fucked up my ear trying to (and failing to) put new jewelry in
    • Luckily I can just go to my piercing shop and have them put the clickers in ……… once the pandemic is over in maybe a year or so from now minimum if we’re being realistic

To sum up my helluva day:

  • 3rd day of migraine
  • Found out my boss quit, which is not ideal because I’m still on probation
  • Got through the work day somehow and had therapy session #2 in which I am still, per my own choice, giving her my background story, and going over alllll the trauma bits (which left me a little raw)
  • Had gotten new daith jewelry by mail, all excited to put it in, discovered that the clickers, as beautiful as they are, are a pain in the ass to close when they aren’t attached to anything, so a non-piercer who isn’t used to changing jewelry is pretty much doomed, and obviously that failed so I end up sobbing over it and end up getting help from my partner to put my old clicker back in. But my ear was sore the rest of the night.
  • Bed time! Finally gonna get to sleep and maybe kick the migraine! Jk lol my brain didn’t let me sleep til 4am because of all of the above.
New super pretty titanium daith earrings

Whew, ok. Now we can talk about how Pandora is handling things with eloquence and grace as a model for how to (not) properly handle stress in these trying times. And what I mean by that is here is what you don’t do.

You don’t go 3 migraine days in a row and pretend you can handle things as normal.

You don’t think that you can real quick get through your traumatic backstory without an aftercare plan.

You don’t try to put in new jewelry without testing to see how it opens and closes prior to removing old jewelry and forcing it into your ear.

You don’t decide to not take the melatonin until 3am because you are lazy and in denial about how quickly you can get to sleep.

You don’t lay in bed miserable feeling like you want to pet a cat but don’t seek out a cat because of laziness.

You don’t go on social media and remember everything wrong with the world.

Moral of the story: take care of yourselves to the best of your ability in these trying times. It isn’t easy. But, it is important. Give yourself structure if that’s what you need. Be lazy about food if making food stresses you out. Sometimes leftover cookie dough is all you have the energy to eat, but it is still better than nothing.

If you have any ideas about self-care, or just want to criticize my inability to function, please comment below.

I’ll be coping with crime wine (you know that brand with the criminals on the front – I got the Snoop Dogg one and I am SO excited), D&D, and cats this weekend. What are you doing?

Gender Roles vs. Gender Identities

So I consider myself (she/her/hers) to be entirely feminine without masculine traits or desires. I love dresses and skirts and chandelier earrings, polka dots, make-up, being a princess, etc. and so forth.

And then I took this quiz: Gender Coordinates Test

I was bewildered, because I was placed undeniably in the middle of androgynous-land. I am anything but androgynous in my gender performance and aesthetic and identity, so, what the actual fuck?

Your gender coordinates are 68.33% masculine, 77.5% feminine, which places you in the androgynous quadrant.

To be fair, during the test, based the questions, I knew the results would be a bit fucky. The questions weren’t “how do you feel about polka-dot rockabilly dresses?” and “do you frequently prance around in a tiara pants-less while singing Girls Just Wanna Have Fun?”. The questions were traits, like “are you helpful, confident, bold, consistent?” with the answer options ranging from 2 thumbs-down to 2 thumbs-up.

The question present is “I am… Likable” with answer choices ranging from 2 thumbs-down to 2 thumbs-up.

Well now gee, quiz… Am I likable? Do I care? What are you trying to insinuate about my gender with likability?

Is it …gasp… based on gender-roles??? Instead of gender traits and identity and performance??

So I’m thinking these things to myself, getting more and more frustrated as I continue to answer questions, too far in to stop now. And I get to the end, see myself in the yellow sea of androgyny, and scroll down to read the results. It gives you a percentage of masculinity and a percentage of femininity, and then does gender math. Who knows what ancient patriarchal evils are performed in gender math?

Growing up assigned with the role of female, you learn some shit real fast. Boys are allowed free reign to be wild and crazy and get dirty and do sports. Girls are mature and are kind and generous and helpful and … Well, and now the context for this quiz is super obvious.

So, I scroll down past the percentages and the “share this to social media in case you want your friends to remember that only men can be decisive!” to find the source material. This quiz wasn’t a silly personality test, it was a deliberate analysis of gender based on traditional western patriarchal gender roles. It is based on studies, and what would appear to be peer-reviewed articles. That said, it is very effective. I don’t fault the quiz for its nature. It is actually a very poignant reminder that the world is still fucked.

So, now I re-reflect on this new home I’ve discovered in gender-role androgyny – a vast desert of “fuck your rules, I am powerful and a woman, and you can deal with it” – at least for my particular case. Obviously being strongly masculine and feminine from a different starting point would have other reasons for being stranded in the desert of an-drought-gyny.

So, back to the title of this article: Gender Roles vs. Gender Identity. Gender roles are are a curse upon us all. Gender identity has what should be nothing to do with gender roles. Gender identity, for one, is not limited to the masculine and the feminine. People will try to tell you differently, but you can believe me when I say that the world will figure out soon enough that gender is a construct and the binary is not the end-all, be-all.

Final thoughts? Don’t let the world tell you who you are. The patriarchy hurts everyone. Gender is messy and fluid. Fuck the people who want to tell you how you should behave and what you should believe about yourself.

As for me? The gender role spectrum is about as useful* as a staple in your toe. I maintain my badass femme self while being powerful and logical and decisive, and not giving a damn how likable I am.

*a staple in your toe is actually kinda useful in that it is a powerful reminder of something that should be avoided. you know. like gender roles. for instance.

Out with the Old, In with the New

Some things, as they age, get better – like a fine wine, my personality, or a good relationship.

Most things, I’d argue, get worse as they age – like systems of government, refrigerators, or things that need refrigeration as they rot without it because your refrigerator died suddenly in the middle of a pandemic. Such as cheese. And leftovers.

Speaking of systems of government, er, I mean refrigerators: mine died recently. It had one job, and it failed miserably at it. So, what is a woman to do?

Renter’s insurance couldn’t help. Landlords told me to fend for myself per my contract. And everyone knows that buying a cheap appliance will cost more in the end. Just like how compromises with social programs always end badly. But, in the end, the rich don’t have to care, and the poor need to overthrow- I mean buy a new refrigerator.

I’ve never had my own refrigerator before. I’ve always had to deal with whatever I was given, whatever already existed. Sometimes it was nice, often it was falling apart. And outdated governments need to be updated based on current needs. Oops, I meant refrigerators. Refrigerators need to be updated to suit the needs of the people.

Now, you might be thinking, “Pandora, we’re in a pandemic. Don’t you think it is unreasonable to be picky right now? Can’t you be happy with what you’ve got?”

Well, frankly, no. I’m not happy. I see the government for the dying refrigerator that it is. It is failing me, and other people in need, and it needs to be replaced.

So, I bought a new refrigerator, on a payment plan. The refrigerator that suited my every fancy. And I am going to keep protesting and voting until I get the government updated to suit my every fancy, or at least to take care of ALL people.

Black lives matter. Trans lives matter. LGBTQIA+ people deserve equality. Give native peoples back their land. Welcome immigrants in. Stop caging children. Create universal healthcare that works. Tax churches and the rich for their fair share. House the homeless. My country is rotting because the government is hateful, racist, sexist, and bigoted. It is far overdue for it to be replaced.

This is Pandora, signing off.

I’m doing great in the pandemic, really. I’M FINE. I SWEAR.

You all saw my struggle with finding a job. I finally got a new (shitty) job which took over my life, and I simply didn’t have enough spoons to keep writing. That new job was absolutely horrid, didn’t pay nearly enough, and had a very high turnover rate for exactly those reasons.

But, I kept applying for State jobs, and I finally got one! I started in December. The pay is awesome. My coworkers are awesome. The benefits are awesome. My boss is awesome. I started paying down my debt. I have a retirement plan. My union is awesome. It is unbelievably excellent.

2020 was gonna be my year to get my life back together.

Um. And then… *Gestures at everything*… o.O

What the actual fuck? A pandemic? Who called that shit? And being stuck in the U.S. with a science-denying toddler for a president, my mental health has seen better days. I’m sure you feel the same way. And that’s not even mentioning the racism and anti-maskers that are running rampant… (Except that I just mentioned them. But how could I not??)

On the plus side, I now have a wonderful collection of masks. Cute, fun, nerdy masks. Because that is the only plus side of 2020. Mask fashion.

Anyway, this has been an informal update. I’m gonna try to get back into the swing of things.

Pandora out.

P.S.: Stay safe. Wear masks when you’re out, and stay home if possible. Be kind. Help others if you can. And most importantly, especially for other folks in the U.S., VOTE! We cannot sustain this nation under Trump’s rule. People are dying. Kids are in cages. Racists are being enabled. People are DYING!! Biden isn’t my favorite, but he is still better than Trump, especially with people like Bernie advising him.

One of our neighborhood cats, chillin in the garage

Post 18: Post-Holiday Hangovers – Both Literal and Emotional

Aka Post-Holiday drop.

DO ALL THE THINGS. MAKE WITH THE DECORATIONS. GIFT SHOPPING. GIFT WRAPPING. FAMILY. FRIENDS. PARTIES. COOKING. BAKING. CANDLESTICK MAKING.

Okay, not candlestick making.

But, point being, the holidays are hard – especially for people who who have mental health problems. Like me, I am bipolar, with stress-induced anxiety. And, while there are many things to love about the holiday season, there are also many things that are quite stressful:

  • Seeing family is difficult, especially when many members of your family are very conservative Christian republicans.
  • Seeing family is difficult when key members aren’t there anymore. Missing. Empty. Sad.
  • Seeing family is difficult when you have to travel long distances at the same time that lots and lots of other people are traveling.
  • Spending money on gifts is difficult when money is tight (which, as a millenial, money is always tight.) But, because gifting is my love language, it is even more difficult to find the perfect gifts while also trying to having enough money to pay the bills.
  • It is cold, and rainy, and cold. And also cold. Did I mention cold? My knees hurt in the cold. I mean, more than usual. My hair hates the rain. So, I spend more money on the bills to heat the house – which is worth it to minimize my pain. But, I can’t heat the entire outside. And I don’t have a car that you can start with the push of a button from a distance so it will begin heating up without me. Someday…
  • The sky is always white or grey, or white & grey. The cool thing about that is that it triggers my migraines. I have special rose-colored glasses from Theraspecs (so they also have my prescription). But, even those only go so far. Migraines aside, it also triggers my depressive bouts. Every day. All winter.
  • People drive poorly. Poorly is an understatement. The roads are dangerous, slippery, and filled with people who don’t seem to realize how dangerous their driving is. No blinkers. Speeding. Merging through several lanes of traffic. Tailgating. Oof. Not great.
  • Oh, and also finals. Right before a very busy holiday, I have to endure the stress of finding out if I pass my class/es after stressing out about how I did on my final after stressing out about studying for finals.

So, after all that? Ded.

Just so exhausted from everything. And everything is a wreck. And you need to clean. And you don’t want to. And you aren’t feeling your best because you ate too much dessert and too many fatty things, and you drank a lot of wine, and a lot of caffeine, but not a lot of water.

And it isn’t even over yet because New Year’s Eve is coming.

Tweet me @PandoraCray!

Post 17: The Not-So-Christian Origins of Christmas, and How to Respond to People Who Insist that Christmas is Only about Christ

It is that time of year when Christians come out of the woodwork to complain about the lack of red cups at Starbucks, and being “erased” and persecuted, all while proclaiming that “Jesus is the reason for the season.”

Well, they are wrong. On SOOOOO many levels.

And, unlike “fake news,” it isn’t a myth or a liberal news exaggeration that Christians complain about these things – which I know because I see it all over my social media (my private social media under my legal name that you guys don’t see).

Recently, I found and responded to one of these messages. My friend had written on her social media that she was celebrating secular Christmas, and came into contact with extremely religious carolers – for which she was very unprepared. It isn’t that they were pressuring her or anything; she had just surrounded herself with secular Christmas things for so long that she forgot how crazy religious people can get.

Most people responded with agreement that people are way over the top, and sometimes cult-ish, when it comes to Christmas. I responded with the fact that I celebrate cultural Christmas, rather than religious Christmas. But, of course, one lady comes in with something to the effect of:

Not to be preachy, but…

(you may be shocked to realize that something preachy is coming…)

The “holiday” came into existence because of the Birth of Christ, so you have to acknowledge its roots even if you don’t believe. Anyway, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, etc………. *Christmas tree emoji*

(I paraphrased so you can’t easily look this up, but you get the gist.)

I mean, normally I don’t engage. Unless I get really angry, I stay away from the negativity of social media arguments because it is super harmful to my – already not fantastic – mental health. But, this lady was so ignorant, and so proud of herself, and so haughty… Oh and she was white, so you know, with entitlement to spare. Well, I had to tear down her argument systematically. But, don’t worry, it has a not-bad ending, in that she didn’t respond with anything except a “O.O” emoji – so, I assume I rocked her entire state of existence, but she’d never speak of it to her peers. I’m hoping she’ll also never be “not preachy” about it ever again.

My argument consisted of several examples, and explaining how most things that are “Christ”mas are actually things that aren’t Christian at all, but were co-opted by the Catholic church to erase other peoples’ cultures and control them.


Yule:

  • Yule log: Duh.
  • Christmas tree: evergreen trees sacred to Baldr/Baldur/Balder
  • Wreaths: previously evergreen boughs
  • Feasting: especially with meat from animal sacrifices and hunts
  • Santa’s full white beard: based on Odin/Woden
  • Santa’s reindeer: based on Odin’s 8-legged horse, Sleipnir
  • Santa’s sleigh: Odin’s Wild Hunt and flying through the sky
  • Celebrated throughout December: then called Ylir aka Yule

Saturnalia:

  • Gift exchanging: generosity
  • Evergreen boughs: evergreens are loved by the sun god
  • Large feasts
  • Celebration: a marked time of debauchery
  • Usually on December 25th

Druidism:

  • Christmas tree: their religion is heavily based on revering trees, especially oak trees
  • Evergreen boughs: a symbol of everlasting life
  • Mistletoe: life and fertility
  • Holly: wards off evil spirits because it grows strong, despite the winter cold. Also represents upcoming life
  • Winter Solstice celebrated: winter celebrations keep people cheerful during cold times with dwindling food supplies

In addition, Jesus, aka Christ, wasn’t even born in Winter. While there is no date for his birthday in recorded lore – I say lore, because it is unclear if he actually existed – religious scholars have used clues from religious texts to determine that he was born in Autumn, likely September.

So, what I am saying is that Jesus is NOT the reason for the season. It is perfect fine to celebrate secular/cultural Christmas and/or holiday season without involving religion. (And obviously there are many, many other holidays to celebrate as well.)

Tweet me @PandoraCray!

Post 16: Update Blog: Finals, New Job, Flea Mayhem, and a Nintendo Switch

I’ve been absent for a bit.

You see, I do most of my Blogging and Tweeting while at work when I have nothing better to do. As a tutor in charge of a tutoring center, I don’t get very many people to tutor, so I spend my time doing homework, goofing off on the internet, and taking care of this blog.

Except recently, I have had more pressing things to do. I’ve had extra school stuff because of finals. I got a job offer (YAY), and I have been filling out lots of paperwork for the new job. I’ve been doing tons of research on how to get rid of fleas after finding 32 on one of my cats, and a couple on the other cats (which the dog brought inside). And, I have been desperately trying to find some miraculous way to get a Nintendo Switch Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition Console. So, every day, time flies by while I have been doing all of these stressful tasks. But, now that they are (mostly) done, I figure I can give you an update.

Finals

Blah blah blah homework, blah blah blah boredom. I took a boring U.S. policy class to learn things that might be useful in helping me get a State job. It bored me to literal tears. I settled for a B by doing the final and the discussion board, so that I wouldn’t have to do any more homework or the giant stressful project. I was also too depressive to do anything else.

New Job!

I quit my job as a high school math teacher and decided to change my entire career path in March of 2017. It is December of 2018. I finally received a job offer for a non-education-related full-time job as a secretary (but with a cooler actual job title, and more actual duties than a secretary) for a company that helps the less fortunate with mental health issues. It is only a secretary job, pay and prestige wise. The pay is only $16.19 per hour – which happens to be exactly what I am making per hour right now. But, while it isn’t much, it IS a huge step in the right direction, and IT WILL pay the bills (because it is full-time, something which I don’t have right now) and help pay down the debt that I have been accumulating while working part-time since March 2017.

It is also the MOST effort I have ever had to put in AFTER receiving a job offer:

  • Livescan fingerprinting for a background check (standard)
  • TB test (standard)
  • References (usually these are asked for before the job offer, but w/e)
  • Driver’s license, registration, insurance, and DMV history report (I’m not even driving in any official capacity…)
  • Other forms of identification showing that I am legally allowed to work in the U.S. (I really don’t get why people are so angry about “illegal” immigrants “stealing” jobs, because I have yet to encounter any real job – i.e. not my private tutoring – that hasn’t checked my citizenship/immigration status.)
  • A physical (which is apparently becoming more common as companies try to avoid falsified worker’s comp claims, but was new to me!!)
  • A consumer background check which required me to input every school I have ever attended, which is 7, by the way, not including middle or elementary (aka primary) school, and only including the high school I got my degree from. AND, it required every address I have lived at in the past 7 years, which is 5 different addresses that I had to look up in old files in my computer because I didn’t remember them all (Um ok, but why tho?)
  • A bunch of consent forms for the above pains in my ass (because sure, why not)

So I get through ALL OF THAT. FINALLY. Play the waiting game for the DOJ to finish processing my background check, while each day becoming more restless, hoping that I don’t have an evil twin or clone (well, a twin or clone that commits crimes AND gets caught for them, still unclear on if I am actually the evil-est version of me) running around ruining the public view of my good (okay-ish, possibly chaotic evil, more likely chaotic neutral, definitely chaotic) name. Meanwhile, my boss wants to know my last day, and my friends and family and career counselors want to know my first day, and I WANT TO KNOW TOO, but like without bothering the HR person too much.

SO, I finally get back my obviously clean background check.

The next step is standard stuff, i9, w-2, etc., also with a bunch of consent forms, and the website malfunctioning, AND the HR person I was working with quitting, I guess?, so I had to re-email a bunch of stuff to another person. Aiya… Exhausting.

So, my first day at the new job is the day after Christmas, and my last day at my current job is this Friday, December 21st. I’m going to miss the people and the laziness at my current job, but I need the money desperately. I’d have rather jumped straight into a State job, but oh well. C’est la vie. This will help me get a state job anyway.

Flea Mayhem

My roommate’s dog is the only pet that goes outside. She catches fleas like noone’s business. We were regularly checking the cats, and they had been fine because they don’t spend time with the dog, and the dog stays in my roommate’s bedroom for the most part. She finally finds the money to take her dog to the vet to get an actual prescription, and I get her special doggie vitamins for an early X-mas present, because of her dog’s allergic reactions and increasing bald spots from scratching, and we think that it is over.

Or, rather, thought. We thought it was over. Her coat is growing back in, shiny and new, and she isn’t endlessly scratching anymore. Surely it was over.

NOPE.

So, as I am giving my cat scritches, as you do, I noticed something in his fur, so I pinched it between my nails, pulled it out, and behold, a fucking flea. This cat is the clumsy cat. He was the runt. He is very bad at cleaning himself. And, he has recently been laying in the dog’s living room pillow. I take the flea comb to him for at least an hour, and find 32 fleas on him.

I checked the other cats, they are clear. My roommate checked the dog, and she is clear.

So, I start doing some flea med research, because dogs and cats don’t have the same flea medication, and I wanted to make sure that I would get something effective with good reviews that wouldn’t harm the dog. I found some pills, threw them in my cart on Amazon, and continued to do research.

That night, I found fleas on the other cats. Fuck. It is an epidemic.

So, I go back to the research, buy a ton of things: Capstar flea pills, flea shampoo, Fleabusters powder, and a flea spray (nothing with peppermint oil in it, however, because apparently peppermint oil is very bad for cats). My roommate reimburses me for part of it. Most of my linens (towels, rugs, sheets, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, etc.) are in the garage now. I cleaned a ton of stuff off the floor in every room. I’m spraying the things I can’t put in the washer. I have yet to get down the Fleabusters powder, because I have to isolate the pets while I do it, and I am still exhausted and depressive, and it requires scrubbing into the floor, and my sciatica and knees aren’t fond of that idea. I did give the cats their pills, forcibly. And, I hope this all works. HOPE.

And I bought a half-sized outdoor push-broom at the 99¢ store yesterday (for $7.99), which I can use for scrubbing the powder into the carpet. So, I ought to find the motivation soon.

Nintendo Switch

I have ALWAYS wanted a special edition console. I didn’t have the money to pre-order the Nintendo Switch Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition Console for $359. So, I foolishly assumed that it would come back in stock and go on sale for Black Friday. It didn’t. So, I figured that the boyfriend and I would use our combined Christmas money (as was the plan anyway) to buy it from a Target, using my 5% off reward from my Target Card, the day after Christmas – which is an infamous day for returns. I was determined to wait by the Guest Service Desk ALL DAY if I had to. And, in the meantime, I was relentlessly refreshing their webpage to see if it would come back in stock.

Then, I found out that my first day at my new job would be the day after Christmas. You know. The day I was gonna loiter at Target. But, even despite this new development, I was still stubbornly determined to go to Target straight from work, but with much less conviction than before.

So, as I am finishing up finals and homework on Sunday, 2 days ago, I found an email from Target: Buy a Nintendo Switch, get a free $25 gift card. That was the nail (the e-nail?? It’s ok. You don’t have to laugh. I’m enjoying it enough for all of us.) in the coffin of giving up on my special console dreams once again, but in favor of a good deal with guaranteed availability.

We bought it that night, along with a Breath of the Wild brown leather-y case, some Sheikah slate themed vinyl stickers, a second set of controllers in red/blue, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee!, and apparently a free set of Smash Bros. Vinyl stickers (which went well on the secondary set of controllers). They were all either better than or equal to the deals on Amazon. I priced matched the carrying case, so it was ultimately better than the Amazon deal with my 5% off. Excellent deals. About $517 in total. With $400 in Christmas gift money so far, and a promise from my mom to pay for whatever remains (as my Christmas present). Winning!

So, I suppose I will find a special edition console some day, but for now, I made it special with stickers and deals I can brag about.

So, I’m back. Still chaotic, but life is looking up. Thanks for reading, friends!

Tweet me @PandoraCray!