Leaving the trolls behind me…

Almost two years ago I woke up at 1am to a message from a friend begging me to scrub my blog of any information about her, which I immediately did. She told me a group called Kiwi Farms had found me. Who? I had no idea but would soon find out.

That day found me watching my statistics skyrocket to over one thousand views. I’d wanted viewers but not this way, not from trolls. Because, when you get down to it, that’s all they are. The weird part is they claim they read my blog but it’s like getting it read by a semi literate monkey. Nothing that comes out on their end remotely resembles my life.

I stopped reading their posts ages ago but was still getting screen shots and updates from Kait, until yesterday that is. Yesterday she sent me a screen shot where someone by the moniker Abortions4All claimed that since I’m slightly more romantically interested in women than men, I must be incestuously grooming Colin to be female. Pardon me while I go gag.

There is nothing healthy there. No reason to wade through their increasingly demented sludge, even via screen shot. The life they depict is nothing like mine. The me they depict is nothing like me. They live in a fantasy world and have created something that is linked to me only by name and a tiny handful of warped facts. The rest is all fiction. They aren’t worth my time, even in 10 second readings via Kait’s messenger. My life is better than that. I’m better than that.

Also, I just discovered how to hide them as spam in my statistics so I don’t even have to see them there anymore, which is a relief. If you’re dealing with them, you can see three dots beside their name in your statistics. Click on those and you’ll get a spam option.

I don’t want to leave this post on a sour note so here’s a clip of me singing karaoke at my friends’ house last night. Sorry about the quality, it was recorded on my phone (hence the weird angle and my startled expression) and I was using a $20 microphone from Superstore LOL

An update: My curiosity got the best of me and I went into the Kiwi Farms thread and found their newest comments. They are so dense they think my quote from their blog is my own writing, even with the person’s user name right there. Plus they’ve made up a bunch of fake quotes and are busy debating them as if they’re real. I don’t know what drugs they’re on but they really should look into rehabilitation. That look into the page was more than enough for me. I feel like I spent that time wading through dog shit.

I’m almost offended at the poor quality of trolls I ended up with but it’s better to have incompetent trolls that I can ignore than intelligent ones, that’s for sure.

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October musings…

Yesterday was weird… just weird enough to keep me off kilter. First came the cancellation of my Nordic Pole walking class, five minutes before I had to leave. Then I got a call during the walk to my Social Recreation group from my psychiatrist’s secretary. The doctor was going to be on-call the day of my next appointment, could I switch to having an appointment at 4pm that day? Sure, that was fine.

The group went well then I got to the psychiatrist’s office and he asked me if I’d done the blood work for my lithium levels. I hadn’t because my lithium and clonazepam stopped coming last week, the day before I was going in for the blood work. I’d called the drug store and they told me they’d been faxing my prescription to the office and hadn’t got a reply. The psychiatrist’s receptionist said nothing had arrived and to get them to send it again. The doctor was furious. He checked his faxes every single day, several times a day, and nothing had come in for me.

That was when Colin called to say my IUD had arrived but my blister pack of meds hadn’t. I was now completely out of medication with no warning. The psychiatrist immediately called the drug store who, as far as I could tell, didn’t have much to say. He then wrote me a prescription with 30 refills, which he said should last me a while.

I got home and checked the mail. Colin’s disability pay stub arrived but mine hadn’t. Of course my mind went to the worst case scenario. What if I’d been kicked off disability with no warning whatsoever? Never mind that I’d been assured by my case manager that never happens. But what if it did? It was too late to call the office, I just had to wait until morning and see if the money got deposited into my account.

Of  course we had to drop off the prescriptions at the drug store, which is when I was informed that I hadn’t run out of the rest of my pills, they were merely on hold while I was in the hospital. Umm… what? There was a bit of confusion but they finally understood that I hadn’t been in the hospital at all and the hold got removed from my file. Thankfully the pharmacist was willing to make a new blister pack for me although it would take two hours. We wandered around stores for as long as we could and had just got home when I got the call to get my blister pack. Luckily that went smoothly and I was soon back home and ready for bed.

I woke up this morning and my disability hadn’t been cancelled (phew). I chatted with Kait for a while, got Colin up, then Colin and I headed out for a big shopping trip. We were aiming for over $200 in groceries so Colin could get a gift pack of Knorr products. We got $300 of groceries instead, which was super fun for Colin to pull home (not). He was thrilled though because he earned 6,000 PC points ($6) toward free groceries.

Colin walking the wagon home

It might not look like much but there’s a huge bag of kitty litter, a 48 pack of canned cat food, and a big bag of cat food. Plus all our food in various places including in two baskets.

I got the groceries stuffed away then went back out for our bus passes. Thankfully a friend told me they were still accepting October’s disability stubs so I was able to get mine too. Darn mail strike!

Two young men, college students, got on the bus home right after me and sat across from me. They didn’t go far and, as they left, I noticed one of them had lost his bus pass/student card. The driver stopped when I asked and, I asked if he’d wait for me while I gave the young man his pass back. The driver informed me that, no, he wouldn’t wait. He was on a schedule. Which meant I’d have to wait another half hour for the next bus if I got off. So I settled for leaning out the door and yelling at the students while waving the pass. They ran over to get it while the driver grumbled that he guessed he had to wait after all. Yeah, and I guess he’d never had to retrieve something from the bus depot on the other side of town, especially something as necessary as a bus pass. The student was grateful at least and I was glad I noticed it in time for him to get it back.

And now it’s time to snuggle up in bed. Tomorrow’s a new day and a new month and another fresh start.

born to be awesome

Dreaming of spring…

I had a relatively quiet day today. A trip to the gynecologist, a walk home netting me my 10 thousand steps, a long chat with my daughter, plus we voted in the municipal election this evening. Now it’s time to relax with a mug of hot chocolate and let my mind drift. And, as usual lately, it drifted towards our trip this spring.

The resort we’re staying at has a variety of excursions and activities. I’ve fallen in love with one excursion. This is how they describe it:

Discover the Damajagua Falls carved out by Mother Nature deep in the heart of the Northern Mountain Range, Cordillera Septentrional. We’ll spend more than two hours exploring the 27 natural pools and fascinating waterfalls carved into limestone by the crystal mountain waters, sliding down natural slides, and simply enjoying the beautiful landscapes. After a delicious, local buffet style lunch we’ll visit a traditional market to explore before our adventure comes to an end.

They had me at waterfalls and waterslides! That sounds absolutely incredible. I can hardly believe I’m going. It’s my Mom’s favourite excursion too. It’s going to be one week of bliss with the excursion, swimming in the ocean, relaxing by the pool, watching all the little lizards, singing at the karaoke bar, and enjoying the food.

One thing I talked about with my gynecologist was how to avoid my period while I’m on the trip. She agreed with me that tampons would not work but sadly that meant the diva cup wouldn’t work as well. And she was really hesitant about prescribing birth control pills considering how much medication I’m already on. So that left the IUD, which could potentially stop my periods for five years. I’m okay with that.

And now it’s time to put aside the trip and join Colin in watching the latest episode of Doctor Who. I’m low key in love with the 13th Doctor. I think she’s doing an amazing job.

Screenshot (54)

One of the waterfalls I’ll be visiting on the excursion

The best Christmas present ever…

“You’re coming. You’re not being left behind this year.”

I’d been sitting at my parents’ dining room table, listening to the discussion about the next tropical vacation and where it should be held. Mexico? Cuba? Dominican Republic? The discussion was quite lively. I listened with one ear, knowing this was yet another trip I couldn’t afford. In the past two years my family’s been to Sri Lanka, Cuba, a Caribbean cruise, and the Dominican Republic so I’ve gotten used to listening. And then my Mom made her comment to me. It was going to be my Christmas present. Wow! What a present!

It’s a hot October day here, like shorts weather hot, so it feels weird to be discussing Christmas, let alone a holiday that won’t take place until March. But I’ve never been to the Caribbean before so I’m pretty excited. I can’t believe I’m going to be here in five short months…

Screenshot (53)

Of course I’ve got worries, I wouldn’t have anxiety if I didn’t. The two realistic ones are, will I get my period on the vacation and will they have vegan food. The period one will have to wait until I see my gynecologist at the end of the month. I want to see if I can take the birth control pill for a couple of months to stop my period. Because there’s not much more that could wreck the vacation except for a “you can’t go into the water” period. And I’ll have to contact the resort closer to March about the vegan foods. Their site says they accommodate “special diets” so that looks promising.

And meanwhile I look at the pictures and can’t wait to swim in the ocean. There’s got to be so many fish by those reefs! And I have to find this waterfall…

Screenshot (54)

And now to wait. Hopefully five months won’t go by too slowly!

Fading to black…

Tomorrow, female blackout from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Its a movement to show what the world might be like without women. Your profile photo should just be a black square so that men wonder where the women are. Pass it only to women … It’s for a project against domestic abuse. It is no joke. Share it.

A friend of mine shared this with me on messenger. I pointed out that it had no date plus I’d seen it two weeks ago as well. She thanked me for the information and duly turned her profile picture black.

I have no idea what this is supposed to accomplish. I know what they’re trying to accomplish but these are two separate things. Men are not slightly slow puppies, they can see us in real life and they can see our names directly beside the black “profile picture”. This is not going to confuse them and it’s certainly not going to make them ponder “what the world might be like without women”.

It’s ironic that people are intent on making us invisible in a world where women are routinely silenced, spoken over, and ignored. And that goes double for abused women.

I think if we want to do something for women, we need to do something different. We need to organize. We need to find statistics on abuse and share them. We need to find studies on how much less women talk than men and share those. We need to teach our girls to stand up and use their voices. A black square is not going to accomplish this.

Make your voice loud. Shout your views from the rooftops. But don’t make yourself invisible.

don't shrink yourself

The hues of September…

Yesterday was steaming hot, the sort of day where you feel like you walked face first into an athlete’s sweaty gym sock, a huge, all encompassing one. I eyed the outdoor pool wistfully, its quietness a reminder that it’s been closed for another year.

boat at the Peterborough lift locks crop

A boat at the Peterborough lift locks

Today is a different day entirely. Today brings to mind brilliant fall leaves, the smells of cinnamon and nutmeg, crisp autumn apples, and crisp new schedules. While I happily celebrate New Year’s Eve at the end of December, September seems to me like another New Year. I’m sure all sorts of Jewish people agree with me on this 🙂

Colin’s home sick today with a nasty cold but he was back at school yesterday, getting his schedule and starting his math class. Something he’s quite excited about. And Kait will soon be entering the wonderful world of trying to get a baby on some sort of schedule. Meanwhile the baby’s belly will be calling the shots. It’s amazing how insistent something the size of a shooter marble can be.

All my programs start again next week. Yoga on Monday evening, Social Recreation on Tuesday afternoon, and Wellness on Thursday. There’ll be some anxiety while I get back into the routine. There’s some anxiety right now even thinking of it. But I know I’ll get used to it soon and I’m already looking forward to the walks to and/or from groups.

Last year Colin signed me up for a site which offers Google Play credits in exchange for completing surveys. The one thing he didn’t take into consideration is how rarely I actually play games. So the credits have been accumulating since then, reaching a grand total of $44. That was when I discovered the Play store has the newest Doctor Who series. So I bought it and splurged and got the high definition version. Now I’ve got something else to stick in my schedule. I can’t wait to find out how the new doctor’s going to manage falling to a planet from an exploding Tardis.

Spoilers dear

I can’t wait for apple pie and new activities and family time and Thanksgiving and fresh new baby snuggles and apple picking and homemade vegan butter tarts.

Welcome autumn. I didn’t think I had but I missed you.

Two different types of people…

There are two different types of people in this world; those who plan for holidays early and those who say “Why are you buying presents so soon?”… right up until they change their mantra to, “OMG I can’t believe the holiday came so quickly! I barely have enough time to shop!”

I’m firmly in the first category.

Christmas presents

A few of the presents I’ve bought already

At this point I have several presents for Colin, a present for Kait, a present for the little sproglet, presents for both my nieces and one of my nephews, my Mom’s gift, and I know what I’m getting for Kait’s boyfriend. Phew! And almost every single person I mention this to is shocked because it’s so early. Why would I buy presents this soon? Like gifts have an expiration date.

Then there’s the people in my group who give me a knowing nod and smile, one that says, “You’re not alone. I have bags in the closet too.” I like talking to these people. They know the thrill of finding the perfect gift at an amazing price then tucking it away for four months.

My absolute favourite stores to shop at are Dollarama and Marshalls. Dollarama gets some amazing stuff, like that word art picture above, which was originally from Hallmark for $19.95. I love wandering the aisles in search of treasures and am thrilled to pieces when I find one. Marshalls is my favourite place for birthday cards and unique gifts. I already have the sproglet’s 2nd birthday card from there and he hasn’t even been born yet. But it was so cute!

So the earth will continue to spin and I’ll continue to buy presents months in advance. And people will continue to criticize because it’s “too soon”. And I will sit in my swing chair in December, sipping a mug of hot chocolate and thinking about all the people struggling their way through the crowds in search of the perfect gifts, and will decide that my way is a pretty good choice.