Don’t worry, I’m still a moron.

In case any of you got the mistaken impression from my last post that I’ve actually started to get my shit together and grow as a person, just know that I’ve been missing 1/4 of an eyebrow for the better part of two weeks. Because I’m a moron.

Following my wild success with Doctor Google’s recommendation of Brazil nuts to help babysit my temperamental thyroid hormones, I paid the good doc a return visit to address the issue of my skin and some concerning topography thereof.

Namely, a metric crapload of tiny, annoying bumps on my thighs and upper arms.

No, I’m not going to subject you guys to any gross skin pics. You get frozen molehills, because I’m nice.

I’ve had these things on my legs for ages. They were originally confined solely to my inner thighs and knees, so I always just assumed my skin was irritated from years of wearing skinny jeans. The things we do for fashion, right?

But recently they started to show up on my arms too. And I definitely haven’t been wearing skinny jeans on those. At least, that I know of. I suppose it’s technically possible that someone’s been sneaking in at night and clothing my upper extremities in tight denim just to fuck with me, but if that’s the case then I have bigger problems than a few patches of bumpy skin.

Anyway, after some creative keywording and a string of “yikes, thank fucking god I don’t have that” Google image searches, I finally discovered the culprit behind my disgruntled dermis: keratosis pilaris.

The good news is it’s harmless. It’s just a simple keratin build-up that blocks the hair follicles and makes a nuisance of itself.

The bad news is, no one really knows why it happens, and so there’s no way to prevent it from rearing its ugly head. And all you can really do when it does is throw acid on it until it whimpers and runs away.

I’m not kidding. The recommended treatment is acid; albeit of the alpha-hydroxy, lactic, or salicylic varieties and not something like drastic like hydrochloric or sulfuric, but at the end of the day you’re still basically burning your skin off for the sake of vanity.

…okay, so I’m vain enough that I figured it was worth a shot.

I made the rounds of a few forum discussions on the subject, and people seemed to have the most success with the lactic acid, so I went to the drugstore and picked up a bottle of that.

Y’all, this is making it really hard for me not to start taking all my medical advice from strangers on the internet. Because within a week my legs were as smooth as a baby’s behind. Hell, I’m not even sure my skin was this supple when I was a baby. Seriously, acid is AWESOME.*

*Statement applies to lotion only. Don’t do drugs, kids.

But while my legs were celebrating their long overdue facelift in almost no time at all, my arms remained as stubbornly bumpy as ever, even after two weeks of treatment. This made no sense to me. My upper arm skin couldn’t be more resistant to chemical exfoliants than the scaly, battle-scarred surface of my long-suffering knees, could it? There had to be some variable I hadn’t taken into account.

And then it dawned on me: the humble razor.

Before every slathering of acid-laced lotion, I had showered and shaved my legs, presumably fucking up the tough surface of my little keratinoid molehills and thereby allowing the acid to better penetrate and do its work.

Couldn’t hurt to try, right? So fuck it, I guess I’m someone who shaves their arms now.

And I’ll be goddamned if I wasn’t right on the money about that being the difference, because my arms AND my legs are now silky smooth 24/7 and there’s a good chance that if I don’t stop constantly feeling them up they’re gonna start playing the Divinyls every time I walk into a room.

 

So by now you’ve probably figured out what happened to my eyebrow.

Don’t judge me. Face shaving has been a beauty trend all over the internet for the last two years. I’m not the only sucker who’s tried it.

Granted, most of those other suckers probably managed to exit the experience with about 114% more eyebrows than I did, but still.

Guys, I was SO careful. I planted myself in front of the mirror and I looked into my eyes and said firmly, “Nutty, you are coming out of this with two intact eyebrows. Period.”  And then I went to work. Slowly. Methodically. And I did a damn good job, if I do say so myself.

So perfect a job that as I completed my last stroke, I instinctively flicked my wrist in a triumphant flourish.

Pro tip, people, wait to do your flourishing until you put the razor DOWN.

The eyebrow will grow back, but the jury’s still out on my dignity.

 

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Hands full of too many balls.

I turn 34 today. So that’s happening.

I didn’t accomplish anything on my to-do list for 33, with the exception of numbers 12, 28, 32 and 33. Except 12 and 28 probably don’t actually count, since those technically fall within the portion that was all a dream.

But I did them, anyway, for extra credit. Since there’s not a lot else I can take credit for.

Okay, I’ll just say it, I wasted another year.

I was going to do things. Some responsible, some purely because I wanted to. But I did nothing instead, because that was easier, and my hands are full of too many balls, so easier usually wins out these days.

Quit snickering. I can explain.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with Christine Miserandino’s Spoon Theory method of describing day to day life with disability and chronic illness. If not, well, there’s the link right there.

The first time I heard it referenced, it was like some golden beacon of understanding and wisdom had cropped up on my horizon. I sought out the original post immediately and read it again and again. At a time when I was still struggling to explain to my family and my superiors at work why one stupid gland in my body refusing to do its job was taking me out of commission so damn much, it very likely spared me a nervous breakdown.

But the longer I live with this piece of shit thyroid and the douchecanoe prefix and suffix that have turned it from a useful organ into a motherfucking moocher couch potato, the more I feel like the spoon idea just isn’t doing it for me like it used to.

The trouble is, spoons are so passive. So innocuous. So utterly lacking in perilous pointy edges. You don’t have to arm wrestle a spoon into letting you eat a bowl of soup; at least, not unless you’re trying to steal the spoon from someone with better biceps than you or you’ve welded it to a Shake Weight or something. I don’t know why anyone would do either of those things, but if the internet has taught me anything it’s that reasons are apparently overrated when it comes to people doing/making weird shit. Seriously, if you don’t hit on something that makes you go “The fuck…?” or “DEAR GOD WHY?!?” in the first five result pages of any Etsy search, then your internet is probably broken.

Anyway, my point is that sure, it’s miserable that you start every day with a limited number of spoons and have to prioritize what to spend them on, but what I don’t think is stressed enough is that following through and spending those daily spoons on what you said you would is also really fucking hard. Harder than doing anything with a spoon has any business being. Your spoons don’t just vanish upon use like single-serving genies. You have to fight to expend each one. You have to bend it and warp it and cram it smaller and smaller until it’s a twisted little lump of silvery carnage, and then you have to point in a random direction and say, “That’s a funny place for a credenza,” to distract everyone’s attention as you surreptitiously shove your misshapen Franken-spoon pellet behind the sofa, because fuck it, good enough.

And the day’s spoons aren’t always just sitting there in your pocket for the taking. Sometimes you have to paw for ages through all the sharp, dangerous things in the silverware drawer and nearly grate your fingertips off just to find one. There’s a whole lot more blood, sweat and tears involved than a pretty, shiny spoon has in it to convey.

And yes, I know Christine was just using what was at hand and that the spoons in question aren’t literal spoons, but these are the kind of stupid thoughts that come to you when you’ve apparently spent the past year doing fuck all other than waking up from dreams that won’t come true, swearing, and stuffing your face with black forest cake while occasionally giggling.

I know, you’re still wondering (and snickering) about the balls. I’m getting to them.

You may have noticed I’m not doing the A to Z challenge this year. That’s because I’ve only managed to publish a whopping one blog post per month since 2017 waltzed in the door, and writing each one of those posts was like pulling teeth, and I can recognize a pattern when I see one.

Despairing that I would ever manage to think of even one thing to write about for the entirety of April, I appealed to Twitter to name my next blog post in the hopes that someone else could come up with a more interesting jumping-off point than I was currently capable of thinking of myself.

Predictably, owing to my limited following plus the Twitterverse’s general attitude of not giving a fuck, I received only two responses.

Option 1:

…thanks, Gina. Tell ya what, you can keep that title, free of charge. I guarantee I want to read your story a lot more than whatever I would’ve tried to come up with.

And then there was Option 2:

Okay, these are clearly my people, but am I allowed to hate them a little anyway?
Just a smidge?

I was actually kind of pissed off, because this was something I had honestly been planning to take seriously. But despite my repeated pleas to the Twitter gods for mercy, no more suggestions were forthcoming.

I swore a few more times, for good measure.
I contemplated deleting everything and pretending it never happened.

Except, the more I thought about Ballpit_Gangsta‘s suggestion, the more I realized it solved my problem with the spoons.

Because I don’t feel like I start my day with a pocket full of spoons, not really. I feel much more like I start my day with my hands full of too many balls. Which I’m already juggling at peak height and momentum before I even convince myself to crack open my dark-circled insomniac eyes.

And let me tell you, I’m crap at juggling. I know, shocker. But it’s true. I can’t even do it with two of those dumb little trainee bean bags, let alone with an entire host of adult concerns and responsibilities. And yet that’s exactly what it feels like I’m trying to do, every day, constantly. I wake up with my hands full of too many balls, and even though the rational part of my brain knows there’s no way my sluggish hypothyroid fingers can keep them all aloft all day, damned if depression and anxiety don’t still inevitably snatch up the first opportunity they see to swoop in and each whisper in an ear that if I drop even a single ball, I’m the worst piece of crap failure in the world and I’ll never be whole or happy again.

But of course that’s still too simple. Because they’re never all just regular balls, are they? Sure, putting on underpants and brushing your teeth and making a cup of tea are all light and smooth and and easily handled, like a Nerf ball or a Silly Putty egg. But what’s a real juggling act without some chainsaws, or flaming torches? Will your dexterity be up to the challenge when life starts pitching you cinder blocks and broken bottles?

Maybe you get to work and your boss hits you with an anvil and a bucket of hot coals by deciding to once again completely break down and reforge all the office protocols you and your colleagues just finally got used to. You catch them, barely, but the anvil cracks a plastic egg mid-air and the coals melt one of your Nerf balls into a hunk of neon sludge.

Maybe later, once you escape the office, you stop by the walk-in clinic looking to discuss your medication dosage, but instead of finding a listening ear you’re suddenly lobbing syringes and a blood pressure cuff around just to convince His Smartassery, M.D. that your last lab results falling within the so-called “normal” range doesn’t mean you still aren’t painfully, debilitatingly symptomatic. As he shoves yet another basic lab requisition that will accomplish nothing into your hand, one of the syringes punctures a water balloon which, until that moment, had been one of the easier things to keep in the air.

And then maybe you get back on the road only for one too many asshole drivers to suddenly cut you off in rush hour traffic. Custom rims, flying at you like Frisbees; think fast!

Maybe finally getting home and doing your taxes and being reminded of just how much money is not going into your own pocket after all the anvils and hot coals you’ve had to put up with – and calculating how much of what did go into your pocket now has to come back out again, because apparently the CRA hasn’t finished looting you yet – is a cartoon grand piano that crashes down from the heavens, breaking your fingers and smashing you flat.

But don’t forget to keep a smile plastered on your face the whole while, because god forbid you make the people around you have to juggle a wet blanket on top of their daily quota.

J/k. Resting Bitch Face ftw.

Normally I would apologize about all this whining, but today I say fuck it, it’s my party and I’ll write a thousand and a half snippy words about balls if I want to.

I also don’t apologize for using “snippy” and “balls” in the same sentence.

I took today off work, because fuck anvils. Likewise, any ball or piece of crap masquerading as a ball that doesn’t directly contribute toward a) my basic survival or b) shameless self-indulgence is getting dropped like a hot potato and kicked down the nearest sewer grate for the next 24 hours, or longer should I somehow manage to belatedly fulfill #1 on last year’s list by winning all the lotteries.

I can worry about doing a better job of being 34 than I did of being 33 tomorrow.

In the meantime, happy birthday to me. And good riddance to my balls.

I won the shitty superpower lottery.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I have spidey senses.
About spiders.

You know when you’re watching a horror flick, the feeling you get when shit’s about to go down? Like when the creepy music swells while the chick with the finicky flashlight is walking cautiously through the spooky house, and your heart is pounding because you just know one of these times when the camera angle changes, there’s gonna be a ghost-demon-thing right fucking behind her?

Or when it’s nail-bitingly obvious that the hot skinny dipping teens in the lake have only moments in which to keep giggling and making out with each other before some sort of Cthulhuian nightmare grabs somebody or other’s foot and drags them down into the deep?

Or when you see a bunch of children with 80s hair standing around a yellow kitchen and all the knuckle-whitening signs are there that the Kool-Aid Man’s about to burst through a wall and cost little Kimmy’s parents thousands of dollars in property damage?

*shudder*

Anyway, I have that about spiders.

I’ll be sitting on the toilet, or curled up in bed with a book, or checking the fridge for the 17th time in a five minute span to see if a large stockpile of chocolate mousse has magically appeared inside it since I last opened the door, and I’ll know.

There is a spider somewhere nearby.

Watching me.

Waiting.

But the spiders have their timing down to a science. They never come out right when my spidey senses start tingling. They wait. Until I start to doubt. Until a moment when I’m distracted enough to let down my guard.

And then…SPIDER SURPRISE.

But not really a surprise, because I fucking KNEW it was coming, and that just somehow makes it all so much worse. The knowing but still not knowing.

I would like to give this gift back, please and thank you. It’s not good for what remains of my rapidly dwindling sanity.

My spidey senses tingled yesterday morning as I was getting ready for work. I checked under the bed. Looked behind the dresser. Shook out the shower curtain and peered into the tub.

Nada.

I shrugged and went to work. But I knew there was a spider in my near future.

It was a long day at the office. When I got home, I decided to take a nice relaxing soak in the bath. Still on high arachnid alert, I conducted an even more thorough search of the bathroom for before running the water, but there were zero signs of any eight-legged intruders. I tossed in a bath bomb and let the faucet flow while I went to pick out a book to read.

The water was silky and aromatherapeutic and just the right temperature when I stepped in. And spider-free. Let the record show that there were absolutely no spiders in the tub when I got into the water. I checked. Multiple times.

So why the hell, two chapters later, did I look up from my book only to see one slowly drowning by my big toe?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRGGGHHHH$&#$1%@ JESUS FUCK NO NO NO DO NOT WANT

So yeah. There he was. And there I was. We sat there a moment, just being there together. Well, I sat. He continued to drown.

I don’t know how he got there. I checked everywhere. Unless God or Loki or Alanis Morissette or whoever is getting their rocks off by chucking spiders into my bathwater out of thin air, I cannot explain this sudden spider.

And indeed there may have been some sort of divine intervention at play, because I had the strange and entirely un-Nut-like passing thought that perhaps I should do the charitable thing and scoop him out of danger.

Instead I took a picture, pulled the plug, and waved goodbye with my favorite finger.

What?

Bad enough the little fuckers are stealing my birth control, now they’re using up my bath bombs too? Bastard deserved it.

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