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My First Mammogram

I had my first mammogram on July 27, 2018.

I can’t say how any other facility does it; but the Lennox Hill Radiologist place I went to was really very quick and easy.

I didn’t wait around forever with 20 other women, like at the hospital clinic. No waiting with my boobage hanging out. Didn’t hang around at all in the gown. She showed me where to change into it and she was waiting for me to take me directly in.

The “bar” that squishes the boobies was clear plastic with a rounded edge. It didn’t squish very tight, so really wasn’t much more than a little discomfort. There was a foot pedal to control its descent and how much pressure she applied. She didn’t have to manually lower it, thus removing the potential that it could be dropped on my breasts.

The side of the machine digging into my ribs was the worst part; but that only lasted for a few seconds, so really was not a big deal either.

The technician was very professional and patient, clear in her instructions to help me place my arms properly, and proceeded quickly but without rushing.

I think I was in the xray room all of ten minutes.

If you’re putting off getting a mammogram because you’re afraid it’ll really hurt, please don’t.

Bonus: They have online access to your pictures. I sat in the comfort of my own home for about half an hour looking at the xray pictures of my boobies. It was fascinating.

Double Bonus — No issues were found. I’m good until next year.

The Brat in the Family Gets Out-Bratted!

We have a new parakeet.

You may (or may not) remember that our 11 year old yellow boy Bumper died very suddenly on July 3rd. Discussing getting a new friend for Squeak, I had the idea to check Craig’s List and see if there was a parakeet who needed a new home.

I found this boy. He’s the one on the left. He looks sea green/aqua, but he’s really a bright sky blue. She’s a darker sky blue.

Blue & Squeak

He’s six months old, and is very gentle; but not as eager to go on a hand and be with people as we were told. That’s okay. I realize he’s had a rough few weeks. He’s currently missing all his long tail feathers. I’d been told they were giving him away because they didn’t have enough time for him. I think he was out of the cage and their dog got hold of his butt. So we’ll be watching over the next few months as his new feathers grow in.

I put his cage next to hers, and she gave me the

“WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS??????” death glare.

I kept them in their separate cages for the first night, though he was absolutely enamored with her from the first second. He was pacing back and forth endlessly, climbing the inside of his cage, etc, wanting to be with her. She, however, wanted no part of him.

The next morning, they were both much more calm. I opened his cage, put the opening in front of her open door, and he hopped in all by himself.

Any new bird we’ve ever had seems to have the same first thought once they’re inside. “Gosh! It’s so BIG!”

Squeak instantly started with the freaking out, of course, but the brave boy climbed up the back wall to the top perch to introduce himself. Over the course of the next couple hours, there was a good deal of her chasing him around, shooing him off perches and away from toys.

“THAT’S MY TOY!!!”
“THAT’S MY PERCH!”

(That feather is SO on the other wing now! lulz)

Now and then she’s nice. She plays with a toy, and lets him play too. I did post the video yesterday of his very first bath. It’s adorable. He wasn’t sure about getting into the pool, so he was on the side of the cage and reached his wing down to stir it in the water.

How did the Brat get out-bratted?

In the exact same way that she had bratted Bumper. But instead of a Forbidden Perch, it was the Forbidden Mirror.

He really likes the big round mirror. In fact, he’s napping in front of it as I type this. Well, she decided he wasn’t allowed to look in it. She was on the perch in front of it and he had climbed on the side of the cage to peer around the rim of the mirror.

She turned to see him, pecked at him with a scolding sound. He pulled back away. She faced forward again. He peered around the mirror again to see the pretty birdies in the mirror. He made some sound that alerted her. She turned, pecked, he pulled back. This continued for a couple minutes, with him learning to anticipate her turning around. He would pull back before she turned, so she would see him next to the mirror rather than looking in it.

“What?” he seemed to shrug at her. “I’m not looking in the mirror.”

“We had a 10 yr consensual relationship, so I didn’t rape her.”

[Paraphrased] “We had a 10 yr consensual relationship, so I didn’t rape her.”

This is what Harvey Weinstein is using as his excuse for one of his accusers.

Okay, here’s the thing, tubby. Spousal rape is a real thing. It’s a law in all 50 states that a husband may not force himself on his wife. Husband and wife is a consensual relationship too; but if she says no or otherwise is reluctant and he has sex with her anyway, then that husband is guilty of rape.

A wife can withdraw her consent. She can choose to NOT GIVE her consent for any sexual interlude. It is her right. If a wife can do that, so can the women you hold power over but aren’t married to.

A woman, any woman, can say yes 1000 times. If she says no on the 1001st and you fuck her anyway, you are a rapist.

If she changes her mind in the middle of intercourse and wants to stop, you have to stop or you’re a rapist.

That’s how consent works out there in the vanilla/decent society world you work in.

I didn’t decide this. The courts did. I can’t wait to hear the “GUILTY on all counts” verdict come back on you.

I hope your cell is right next to Bill Cosby’s…and I’ll see you both (and your lawyers) in Hell, where your rapist (excusatory) asses will be MINE.

My Experience With a Meal Service — NOT an Ad!

I found what I thought was a really good introductory deal to Hello Fresh. I ended up paying about ten bucks for two meals for two people. But I didn’t actually want to receive that first box.

How did you end up with a box you didn’t want? you ask.

Because they make you put in your delivery address AND payment information BEFORE you get to see the food. I was able to select a preference for Beef, but that was it. (remember that for later)

I tried to cancel. When I couldn’t find a way to select my own first meals, and the meals they had on offer were nothing I’d be interested in eating in the first place, I clicked to cancel the subscription.

The first shipment, however, did not cancel. I received it this morning.

Okay, fine. Let’s see what they gave me, I thought. Maybe they gave me some ingredients I can make my own meals out of.

Bag #1: Turkey chiles Rellenos. Made with ground turkey. — I hate ground turkey. I mean with a passion. I actually don’t like turkey itself very much, or Mexican food. I would never have ordered this. I’d far rather make stuffed green & red peppers made with hamburger or sausage.

So this is a fail right out the gate.

Bag #2: Salmon with dijon mustard sauce and arugula. Just…sigh. I never make anything fish. I never buy anything fish. I might have tuna ONCE a year, out of a little pouch, in one sandwich. Maybe. I don’t like fish. And, might I say, that the amount of arugula included may have been enough for a garnish on the top but was not nearly what I would ever call a salad.

And I did not get my preferred protein. Beef.

I have wasted ten bucks.

Yes, it was all well packed. Two bags inside a cardboard box, with cotton wadding all around it, and the meat was between two thick ice packs under a cardboard plank. That IS a lot of trash. We have recycling of paper/cardboard, so all that went into clear bags. But the innards of the ice pack aren’t recyclable. You are to cut the package open, empty it into the regular trash, and then recycle the plastic from the ice packs. I’ll be turning at least one of the cotton wadding lengths into a lower back protector. Maybe I’ll make the other into a couple small quilts to donate to an animal shelter.

Yes, the ingredients were fresh. But it was nothing I couldn’t have gotten a recipe off the internet and gone to the grocery store around the corner to buy things for.

Sure, it’s convenient to only have as much turmeric as is needed for the one recipe. I never use turmeric, so portioning out the ingredients is a good thing.

I actually thought maybe I’d pluck out the seasonings for that reason; but decided against it. I grabbed up everything included, plus the instruction sheets, and went downstairs to knock on my landlord’s door. I gave them to her and her family. Here. Enjoy.

Otherwise…it’s going in the trash.

So thank you, Hello Fresh. My ten bucks went toward building Good Will with my landlord.

Carbon Monoxide Scare

Well that was fun. (10pm 4-25-2018)

Just had the fire department over to check for carbon monoxide. Duchess’ meter went off. Reset it to see if it would go off again. A few minutes later it went off. Reset it and moved it to another location to see if it would go off again. It did. It went off a third time ON TOP OF the corner of her bed.

So we took a walk to the fire department across the street to ask them to come check for us. I’m really glad I did.

I expected a guy or two to come over, right?

Oh hell no. The entire fire brigade came through our apartment. lolol Fully coats and helmets, pikes and fire extinguishers. They were all completely kitted out. I’m sure the various neighbors had a terrific “hey, what’s happening?” moment.

While not dangerous levels, they were getting elevated readings in every room. They found nothing in the other second floor apartment. Nothing downstairs. Nothing in the basement either. Literally just our unit.

Meters going throughout the apartment, they figured out it was the stove, and had us open all the windows while they pulled out the stove and turned the gas off (mostly off). Levels did start to go down with the ventilation. Fortunately, it wasn’t a very cold evening. With 55 degrees, but humid and foggy, the air coming in was quite pleasant.

Con Ed came about half an hour after the FDNY left, to do their thing. The technician found that the pilot light on one side of the stove had been up too high and was burning its own soot under the bottom of the stove top. That created carbon monoxide all the time. Plus the valve itself didn’t shut completely off when the fire department turned it off.

We might need a new stove, but the landlord has it under warranty. We’ll see what happens.

We’re without a stove for a day or two, but that’s okay. We’ll have Chinese tonight. lol I am considering getting an induction burner. I might not get it in time to deal with this event, but in the future and on hot days it could be a handy thing to have.

All is well. The FDNY and Con Ed tech were really kind about coming up, assured us we’d done the right thing in not delaying. With all the news reports of entire families dying of carbon monoxide poisoning, I wasn’t about to let it go.

So this is me telling you…if your carbon monoxide detector is going off, don’t ignore it.

We were very fortunate that it was very low levels; but it could easily have become much worse if we hadn’t taken it seriously.

PS…the one in Duchess’ room was the freebie I’d gotten from Con Ed. They sent a card shortly after we moved in, offering a free $30 detector. I got it for the heck of it, put it in Duchess’ room at the baseboard.

Her room is across the living room, down a twelve foot hallway, then three feet left into her room, then another eight feet back to the wall. THAT was the detector that went off. THAT far from the source.

I think the carbon monoxide was going through the electrical outlet on this side of the wall her room shares with the living room.

Living with Pain & Exhaustion

Twelve hours after our carbon monoxide incident…I can’t say I slept better. I can’t say I feel better this morning than other recent mornings.

I wish I could.

I wish I could blame being tired and achy and waking up with so few spoons on the faulty stove.

I can’t. I’m almost fifty. I’ve struggled with exhaustion for 25 years at least. Psoriatic arthritis means I ache in weird places from day to day.

I can take a vitamin D pill every morning and night. I can drink all the coffee my little drip maker can piss out.

I’m still going to be tired and achy because there are no cures for Psoriatic arthritis. Only treatments with fancy names and a laundry list of side effects that themselves cause me trepidation.

But I still go out and do things. I’m expecting to go out tonight for a few hours. Meet people, have fun. I’ll pay for it tomorrow but that’s okay. I’m going out again tomorrow. lol

Yes, some of us live with chronic pain. We have to manage our energy levels sometimes from hour to hour or minute to minute. We have good days and bad days…and bad days often coincide with days we have no choice but to get certain things done.

It doesn’t stop us from living.

We continue to do and to live not IN spite of it…but TO spite it.

Yep. I have exhaustion and psoriatic arthritis.

And they can both kiss my lily white ass.