Marginal Thoughts.

(Recently named "Best Sidebar Entertainment" by "Hope With No Pay's" Biased Awards. Thanks, Em!)

They're Baaaaack ...

And I think they missed you.

Been an eventful comeback day for my Sims.

Marge got promoted to Con Artist. Her new work outfit made her look so much like Pat Benatar that I think it freaked Ted right out.

First, the dumbass set the kitchen on fire.

(Notice how the maid calmly goes about her cleaning while the stove is burning up and Ted's flipping out. Now that's dedication.)

A fireman arrived to put the fire out, and Betty Newbie was on hand to give Ted a soothing backrub.

Ted liked it so much that he married her.

Yes, he was still married to Marge. And their bed is only big enough for two. There were bound to be problems ...

Ever since this second marriage took place, Betty and Marge's mood indicators have plummeted and they both walk around crying all the time. (And they slap and insult each other. Lots.) I feel kinda bad for 'em.

But hey, there may be some hope for 'em yet ...

With Neo from "The Matrix" (Whoa!) and Ted's cousin Al Bundy (totally over those inane 1-800-COLLECT commercials) moving into Simville, how long can Ted possibly hang on to this polygamy heaven he's got going?

(Yea, this is probably going to get even stupider from here ...)

... All content copyright 1999-2000 by Nicole Willson. No ripping me off.

3/5 -- A Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Week .

The day after I posted the previous entry, I decided it sounded far too melodramatic and hyper for my taste. I really wanted to hop back on here and explain how things weren't as bad as all that. I knew there was one small problem ... our power had gone out some time early Tuesday morning. But surely it would be back by that night, I reasoned, and I'd have all the time in the world to write and post the new entry.

Ha. And "Ha" again. Our power didn't return until Friday night.

More on that later.

On Friday afternoon, I went to another eye doctor (the one recommended by Quack #1.) This guy seemed far more competent and together from the start of our visit, and he finally discovered the source of my mysterious eye trouble: optic neuritis. An inflammation of the nerve endings of the eye.

The good news is that by itself, it's a fairly benign condition. My vision will eventually get better on its own without too many lingering effects, and I can continue to use the eye (which is why I'm on the computer and playing The Sims) .

The bad news is that optic neuritis can be an early warning sign of a not-so-benign condition, which is why I'm being scheduled for an MRI next week. As much as I wish this would be over, it might not be just yet.

The only treatment besides the wait-and-see treatment is a hospital visit where I'd be pumped full of IV steroids for three days, followed by a separate course of steroids at home. Although I haven't completely ruled that option out yet, the doctor just didn't do a good job of convincing me that it was absolutely necessary. I just couldn't get into the idea of being stuck in the hospital for three days and sucking down massive quantities of steroids if the condition will eventually go away on its own.

One last thing that sealed my ixnay-on-the-hospital vote: My attending physician at the hospital would be none other than Quack #1. The second, competent doctor won't be around this week, and for some reason he absolutely wouldn't hear of us consulting any other opthamologist besides Quack #1.

I, in turn, will absolutely not hear of spending my first hospital visit in the so-called "care" of this scatterbrained moron. This is, after all, the guy whose first response to hearing that I could barely see out of my left eye was to prescribe me new glasses with a prescription for my impaired eyesight. And on Friday, Bill and I listened in as the second doctor tried without success to get a fax of my records from Dr. Quack's office.

"Kelly, has Dr. Quack faxed over those records yet?"

"No."

Ten minutes later ...

"Kelly, did we get those records from Dr. Quack yet?"

"Not yet."

Ten more minutes later ...

"Kelly, have we gotten those records yet?"

"Uh, they're not answering their phones now."

So no, I don't believe I'll be spending any hospital time with this guy as my physician. No way in hell. I'm even thinking somewhat less of the smart doctor because he wouldn't give in on this point even after hearing our concerns about Dr. Quack.

God, I'm fucking sick of going to the doctor. I'm sure my insurance carrier must be completely baffled by now. Four years of virtually no charges, and all of a sudden I'm racking up three doctor visits in a week. Why does it seem that the more I go to the doctor, the more I need to go to the doctor?

I was determined not to dwell on all that this weekend, however. I never thought that using the computer and simple pleasures like the coffeepot and the television would suddenly seem like the seat of luxury.

Fight the Power. On Tuesday, I left work early to visit my regular doctor in the hopes that she'd have some ideas about my eye. (She didn't, but she did her best to rule out other possibilities.) Bill and I returned home that afternoon to a still-powerless apartment.

Lacking anything better to do, we went to Duangrat's and Barnes and Noble, with a stop at Home Depot to stock up on flashlights, in the naive belief that buying all these blackout-oriented things would be enough to guarantee that our power would return. Nope. We had a note under our door from the management, saying they'd pick up a hotel tab (up to $100, which is fairly stingy for this area). We chose to tough it out on Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, with an increasingly cold apartment and no remaining hot water, we had to pack up and head out to a hotel. The management didn't give us the notice that the power would be out for another night until after seven, at which point almost no hotels around here had rooms left. (We had a good laugh at the notice's claim that technicians were working "around the clock" to correct this problem. Unless they were a special crack team of invisible electricians, no, they fucking weren't.) We ended up at an Econo Lodge right by the Metro I take in the mornings. The place looks like a toilet, but by some stroke of badly-needed luck, Bill and I snagged their hot tub suite, which was actually nicely furnished and spacious. The hot tub helped to bubble away some of the intense stress and frustration we were both feeling.

On Thursday, I took the recommendation of a co-worker and printed out some Fairfax County Government numbers before I left work. I left a long, hysterical message on their voice mail system while Bill bawled out KSI Management and tried to track down an attorney to help us. (That's actually not quite true -- Bill was quite civil with KSI, much more so than the stupid, negligent fuckers deserved.) After that, we headed out to our next hotel room and dinner at the Tortilla Factory, where we consumed many margaritas.

In between dealing with the second doctor on Friday and continuing to call KSI, Bill finally got the Fairfax County Board of Health interested in our home situation. Unfortunately, they called us back to tell us that KSI wasn't returning their messages. (Whoa. Who saw that coming?) I watched with interest from our window as the first electricians and power trucks I'd seen since Tuesday converged in our parking lot. I felt optimistic that we might actually get to spend a night in our apartment for a change.

When the trucks all pulled out of the lot at 5 pm that evening without our power being restored, Bill finally lost his temper with our building management, especially when the idiot on the phone kept insisting the technicians were still working. Just as I was musing that it was a very, very good thing that we don't own any guns, our ceiling light blinked on and the heat kicked in.

Bill and I killed a bottle of Brachetto D'Acqui that night. By electric light. And TV. And the computer.

(One last thing ... I had to answer most of my e-mail last week via my freebie remote mail program that came with one of my accounts, and that program can be best described as "unreliable." If you wrote me and didn't hear back from me, your message probably got lost in the cyber-ether, because I did reply to people who wrote me. I really do appreciate the kind comments and encouragement I got from a lot of you.)

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