Guilty Pleasures

Kraft Light Peanut Butter
The ONLY Peanut Butter

We all have our guilty pleasures.  Those weird little things that give us joy or instant gratification that we rarely talk about out of fear of being made fun of.  Well, fear be damned.  I’m coming clean.

On Being “Dirty”

One of my many guilty pleasures happens rarely.  I’m a clean freak.  Like personal hygiene- clean freak.  Even though I have ME/CFS and arthritis which sometimes means I am in too much pain to get a shower that day, I always push myself to do so even if it means I am lying on the tub floor while the shower beats off my sore body.  Every now and then though, I say Fuck it.  I’m not doing it today.  Then I proceed to remain filthy for the day.  Filthy to me anyway.  It’s not like I’m going out daily getting covered in tar and feathers, I rarely leave my house and I am more likely to be covered in peanut butter toast crumbs.  The part 2 of my filthy day involves just laying on the couch all day reading a good book with my dog laying on me.  No phone, no texts, no Facebook or Twitter notifications.  Just dirty me and a book.  Heavenly.

Not Giving a Fuck by Sarah Knight
Was a Good Read

British Television

TARDIS
The TARDIS

Most of my favorite TV shows are British.  My 2 absolute favorites being Doctor Who and Coronation Street.  I own EVERY Doctor Who episode from Classic to the 2010 Reboot/current series.  The only episodes I don’t own are the ones that were destroyed or lost by BBC.  54 years of the Doctor, his companions and their travels.  I have Doctor Who everything in my home.  Shirts, Bathroom accessories, including a TARDIS toothbrush holder, mugs, glasses, nightlight, calendars, Christmas Tree decorations including a Weeping Angel tree topper.  Daleks everywhere.  Let’s just say, when “C” and I first met, her first impression of me was Giant Nerd/Dork.  As for Coronation Street, I’ve been watching on and off since I was a child.  My grandfather watched it, and my mother watched it.  I’ve been a die-hard fan, never missing an episode for about a decade now.  I’ve read the giant book, “Four Decades of Life on the Street”, I have a pile of Corrie magazines, a Corrie Teapot, tea mug, keychain and even the limited edition Corrie Trivia Game that I have never played with anyone.  It’s predictable sure, everyone sleeps with everyone else’s spouses, someone is always evil and someone will get their “come uppance” soon.  I love it.  Other honorable mentions go to Downton Abbey, The Thick of It, The Catherine Tate Show, BlackAdder, Red Dwarf, Peep Show, (and anything Mitchell and Webb do), Sherlock, Black Mirror, and Absolutely Fabulous (anything Jennifer Saunders does really).  I just find British TV more satisfying than American programming.  The acting is better, the writing is better and it’s deeper.  I find American TV goes beyond what it needs to be, trying to impress with effects and set designs and large salaries but the scripts and writing are often too weak for me.  No.

Coronation Street Trivia Game
My Corrie Game

 

Coronation Street Four Decades of Life on the Street
My Corrie Bible

 

 

Doctor Who Bathroom
My TARDIS bathroom
Doctor Who Christmas Tree
My ‘Who Tree

On Peanut Butter & Snacks

Diet Coke
mmmm.. Refreshing..

I’m a peanut butter freak.  “C” always complains I don’t leave her any.  I put that shit on everything.  I even dip plain potato chips in it.  If I’m hungry, I grab a spoonful of peanut butter and the world seems right again.  I am also addicted to Diet Coke.  I know it’s bad for me with it’s aspartame and such but I just can’t give it up.  To me, there are few things more appealing than an ice cold can of Diet Coke in all it’s carbonated glory.  Delicious.  Satisfying.  Bad for you.  I cannot be trusted around baked goods either.  Despite my gluten intolerance and severe reactions:  if I see cake, I’m eating cake.  I am not above getting up in the middle of the night at my mother in law’s house and sneaking up to the kitchen oh so quietly to sample her baked wares.  She’s an excellent baker, and I can’t resist or control myself.  I usually end up going home swollen with skin issues and one partially closed eye, but… Cake.  Other guilty pleasure snacks include dark chocolate (preferably with peanut butter), potato chips in a rainbow of flavors and seeds and nuts.

On Music Preferences

The Carpenters
We’ve Only Just Begun..

My favorite band of all time is Metallica.  I have been a fan since I was 13 years old and have all their albums.  I listen to them almost daily.  Other favorites include Queens of the Stone Age, anything Jack White does, the Black Keys and 90s Grunge.   That being said, when I’m in a mood, I’m not above blasting Kelly Clarkson, Cher, Jill Barber, ABBA or old Carpenters tunes.  My favorite, feeling good song is Nina Simone’s I’m Feeling Good.  I also reluctantly, enjoy Kanye West‘s old music.  Jesus Walks is my all time favorite rap/hip hop tune.  I’m not versed in new music at all.  I kind of found a decade I liked and stuck with it.  I am not ashamed of knowing all the lyrics to old Linda Ronstadt songs either.

My Hobbies & Interests

Mini Dachshunds in knitted scarvesI have many.  I have a hard time just sitting still and doing nothing.  I need to have something to do with my  hands at all times.  Be it a video game on my IPad, coloring in one of my many Adult Coloring books, knitting or writing.  I used to paint as well and it’s something I really miss but I need supplies.  I have painted pet portraits for a living in the past.  Animals are my favorite painting subject.  Particularly dogs.  They have such expressive faces and pure souls.  It brought me a lot of joy.  I created a website for my paintings several years ago but I haven’t kept it up to date but you can view my paintings here  (it’s not set up for mobile devices however).

Knitting dishcloths
Knitting Dishcloths

 

Other Things to Come Clean About

I’m a book hoarder collector.  I have hundreds of books and thousands more digitally.  I’ll never read them all in my lifetime.  It doesn’t stop me from getting new books though.

I like taking hour long baths with my Ipad.  I put something good on, like I don’t know, Doctor Who, and sit in the hot water submersed.  It’s heavenly and oh so relaxing.

I love ALL the dogs.  I may not know your name, but I know your dog’s name, his interests and time of day he likes to poop.

I love miniature things.  I have a miniature dachshund.  If it were socially acceptable, I’d still have a dollhouse to play with and rearrange the furniture in.  Someday, I will have an old haunted dollhouse.  Even if I’m 80.

 

What are some of your Guilty Pleasures?  

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

 

Images

TARDIS  http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2017-09-05/chris-chibnall-already-has-an-idea-for-the-next-female-doctor/

The Carpenters https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Very_Best_of_the_Carpenters

Kraft Peanut Butter  https://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/kraft-smooth-light-peanut-butter/6000145830458

Diet Coke  https://vip21deliveryservices.com/product/diet-coke-can/

Other Images are my own. 

Discarded Cups…

Sam Clattenburg loves Doctor WhoFresh pot of coffee on a sunny Saturday morning?  Don’t mind if I do.   I have been dragging my ever increasing ass all week.  I have been incredibly tired and have had a lot of pain in my legs, back and neck.  I’ve also been experiencing a lot of inflammation lately.  I’m supposed to be gluten free, dairy free, caffeine, refined sugars, alcohol free but I don’t always follow the rules.   Not because I don’t want to, it’s because I’m poor and would rather eat a sandwich than go hungry.

My partner and I are trying to get by on just her income and it’s just not enough to support all the things I’m supposed to do to try and keep symptoms at bay.  “Have you tried acupuncture?”  “Why don’t you take this?”  “Why not get a massage?”  What part of poor and uninsured do you NOT understand?

It’s being stuck in a situation where you need a job to pay for all the things you need, and are supposed to do but not being well enough to keep a job, even a part time one.  Since 2004, I have been fired from 11 jobs.  Not because I wasn’t a fast learner, fun to work with, a good salesperson or a hard worker.  It was because of illness and calling in sick.  

I have NEVER called in sick unless I physically could not make it to work to do my job- I couldn’t afford that luxury supporting myself.   I don’t have a car so that means walking everywhere to get to bus stops, standing and walking and walking and standing, no matter if it’s pouring rain or minus 30 degree weather.

I am now 43 years old with severe arthritis and ME/CFS, degenerative disc disease in 3 spots on my spine.   I have a hard time some days taking my dog out for a pee.  Days where I spend my shower time laying in the tub absorbing the heat letting the water pound my skin because I can’t stand.

I would love to have a job and be a normal contributing person.  No one chooses disability, illness and poverty.  No one.  I’ve had to resort to doing things like selling my paintings when I was able to paint.  I have dog sat, hemmed pants, blogged for dollars on paid blogging sites that don’t seem to exist anymore.  Currently I do laundry for a neighbor, I offer to walk my neighbors dogs, I have offered to make sales calls for a friend’s husband, I have created a site for my friend’s business and blog for that.  The money is minimal but it makes feel like I’m doing something.  I just need more.

I get depressed and bummed out a lot because I can’t do the things I want or need to do.   Most recently, my dog has gotten fleas.  Now, she is a city dog who is indoors and on sidewalks and always on leash.  I don’t give her regular flea treatments because she doesn’t really need them.  The only thing I can conclude is that my neighbors who have cats coming and going all the time are carrying fleas.  My neighbors, although nice guys are rather irresponsible and dirty.  They also have multiple pets in a one bedroom apartment.  Our apartments are very close and we share a (very dirty and cat sprayed) back hallway that leads to the rape basement and laundry area.   Plus any time my dog comes into contact with the neighbors’ cat, she seems to get fleas on her.  I don’t know, either way, I can’t afford the meds my dog needs to be rid of them.  I had one tube of Advantix left that I put on her after a bath.   I can’t tell you how guilty I feel for not having the things my dog needs.  She also needs a vet check up that I can’t afford.   It makes me feel like a bad dog mom.  

Feeling like a failure is a common theme for my days.  Even if it is beyond my control, I feel like I have failed at life.  A lot of my friends my age have homes, families, cars and go on trips.  Their Instagrams read like travel brochures then there’s mine.

LesGeek on Instagram

Lots of bath, blanket and book pics.  I also commemorate good meals I have enjoyed.

I really want to upgrade my blog and get my own domain.  It costs $60.   I don’t have it.  If we have $60 it usually goes on food and toiletries.   It’s so frustrating.  I always feel like I’m hog tied and told, “Ok, now do life.”  

Discarded CupI don’t even qualify for government services because I live with my partner.  The government says she makes too much for me to get help.  With that and the way my family treats me I feel like a discarded coffee cup that’s been tossed out a window and kicked to the curb.  If you’ve ever driven anywhere in Canada, you’ll see A LOT of discarded Tim Horton’s cups on the highways, streets and overflowing in city trash cans.  I bet for every one of those cups that have been deemed used and useless by someone, there is a disabled person struggling to live.  Discarded Cups

I brew my own coffee at home and use a travel mug.  

I believe everyone has a purpose.  

Maybe mine is providing a voice for others who are suffering.

How do you get by if you suffer from chronic illness/pain?

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam


Images

Tim Horton’s cup on street http://ecofriend.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/tim-hortons-coffee-cup-street_CFUMo_18770.jpg
Trash can full of Tim Horton’s cups https://i.cbc.ca/1.2111753.1382068838!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_1180/technology-100706-tim-hortons-cups.jpg
Instagram and Doctor Who mugs my own 

Doctor Who Slippers and Middle Finger Flippers

TARDIS slippers

Well, it’s happening.  Winter is coming.  (Giant groan) I hate winter.  I spent today literally wrapped up in fleece trying to stay warm and dry.   Saint John is such a soggy city.  It rains more than anywhere I’ve ever lived.  

I’ve broke out all my ugly fleece pants.  Today I’m rockin purple ones.  I’ve had the space heater going all day trying to get the dank out of our tiny apartment.   I spent the day flipping between two different books I am reading simultaneously, Doctor Sleep and Revival both by my idol- Stephen King.   The only man I allow in my bed. 

Everything hurts; right down to the joints in my fingers.   FML

To top things off I am in the beginning stages of menopause.  I know it’s menopause because I go from mellow to bitch in under 3 seconds.  I just want to strip off all my clothes no matter where I am and just beat on and berate the next person I see in all my naked glory.  I’m also an emotional mess.   Old episodes of Sex and the City has left me crying all over myself after blowing through two rolls of toilet paper.  When does this stop?  How long will I be a surly, sweaty, crying mess?  

Other things I could do without are as follows:

Cruise Ship Horns–  We live in a port city and all the big cruise ships park just a couple of streets down from where we live.  I can actually see the ships in great detail from my bedroom window.  You can only imagine how loud those horns are or how many teas I’ve spilled down the front of my shirt when they unexpectedly blow at any random time of day.

Slipping on Wet Leaves– It has begun. I slipped yesterday on a yellow maple leaf.  It’s much like slipping on a banana peel only far less amusing.

Everything Looks Dirty– It’s amazing how sunshine and greenery can clean up a city.  I love where I live in the summers, but come the fall everything looks dirty, ugly and depressing.  I am ready for Arizona.  Oh God I wish I could winter there. 

Even the People Start to Look Dirty– In the summer, people walk by smiling, carrying their summer beverages, giddy and laughing.  I have developed “street friendships” with many of the other dog owners so it’s normal to stop and chat.  Now it’s people trying to stay warm and dry.  They quickly shuffle past you, no smiles, no Hellos, just a person trying to get where they gotta go dragging an unwilling dog behind them.  It’s like everyone gets a little less friendly as the weather changes.

Pain, Pain and more Pain– I have crippling arthritis and Fibromyalgia.   I’m like Dr. Jekyll/ Mr. Hyde comparing summers to winters.   I know it’s not winter yet but the “in between” seasons in Eastern Canada is basically our rainy seasons.   When winter ends, it rains until summer, when summer ends, it rains until winter.  Our year looks like this:

Rain > 2 weeks of a “Spring” > Rain > A little “Summer” > Rain > Cold as shit > Rain > Winter (also cold as shit)

I’m going to need more Tylenol.  Also, why don’t they make heating pads larger?  Like full body length?  

The season changes always result in a week or two of insomnia, headaches and bouts of crying.   How do you deal where you live?  Is it warm where you are?  Can I come live with you until our 2 weeks of Spring arrives?  

In the meantime,

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,
Sam

Germain Street
Dreary Saint John
*Photos are my own