Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Girl Who Lived

Now presenting: Gross Things I Used to Do...Yet Somehow Survived.

I was in the shower this morning when I suddenly had a very clear memory of washing my hair in the sink as a preteen. Sounds innocuous, right? But I had very long hair and it used to go down the drain as I washed it. Like, the hair still attached to my scalp. Went down the drain. Down it. Not to mention it touched the entire inside of the sink bowl. Where you wash and rinse your filthy hands. And spit your toothpaste. This struck me as one of the grosser things people do without even realizing it's gross. But yes, I survived, scalp intact.

Still, it made me remember back to a fonder more horrifying time before OCD, when I did all kinds of gross things...and yet lived. For example:

I used to build "birds' nests" out of long strawlike grass, dirt, and water. I would make mud from the dirt and water, and take the straw grass and swirl it around in an old margerine container (which we used for cereal bowls before being told that to wash and reuse those plastic tubs CAUSES OMG CANCER). Then I'd apply the dirt-mud everso lovingly with my hands, patting, patting. Then I'd just carry on with life. Play on the monkeybars, go eat a sandwich, pick my nose, whatever. I have no memory of washing off the dirt-mud. Yet somehow, I survived mud.

I used to catch spiders and keep them in jars. This is less a germ thing than a phobia thing, because you see, these days I am terrified, TERRIFUCKINGFIED of spiders. I recently heard this gem of a fun fact, that wolf spiders (which we have in great quantities around the Pacific Northwest) carry their fucking young on their hairy furry backs. So every time you see a wolf spider, it likely has a billion tiny wolf spiders riding around piggystyle. I've had horrific nightmares ever since.)

Point is, I am seriously, not just casually but seriously, afraid of spiders. But I used to catch them, play with them, observe them, attempt to feed them bologna, love them.

One time in 2nd grade, we all caught spiders for a class project, and mine was this enormous specimen the color of butter, with a great vast abdomen which I assumed to be full of wee butter-colored spiders. I loved her. Oh how I loved her. I'm sure I named her Charlotte of some bullshit.

I had her for weeks, and then when it came time to release our beauties back into the wild, this one fucknoggin named Luke Krupski (the same Luke Krupski whom I used to have a crush on, the one who puked all over during my 4th grade Year of the Stomach Flu) squished her. Squished her dead. Within seconds of my releasing her, he stomped on her and gave a wild crazed chuckle as he did so. I cried, I literally sobbed for dear Charlotte. Because back then I did not scream, break a sweat, and piss my pants every time I saw a spider. I caught them and loved them. Yet somehow, I survived spiders.

In a similar vein, one time when I was about 8, my favorite cousin Sara and I went on a day hike with the family. Now, she and I did all kinds of gross shit--we caught fat toads, held tadpole eggs, drank pond water, ate mayonnaise straight from the jar (bygones), rubbed moss on our wounds, kissed the drippy noses of horses, etc. When I visited her in the country, we lived it up in the wild. But this one time, her family and I went on a hike to a beautiful river near Sultan, WA. Sara and I discovered that everywhere we looked were these things called periwinkles. Wikipedia tells me that these are actually called Caddisflies, or more specifically, Caddisfly larva emerging from case made of plant material.

When we caught these, they looked like inch-long hollow brown sticks, open at both ends. Then a tiny little creeping thing would stick out its legs and they could scuttle all over. OH MY GOD I AM RETCHING AND HEAVING JUST THINKING ABOUT THEM. So anyway, Sara and I caught a shitload of periwinkles and kept them in this tupperware bowl and decided in our genius to bring them home with us. Well. Apparently, when kept out of water, or at room temp or just when ready to hatch, or whatthefuckever, they fucking crawl. ALL OVER. So we had dozens of periwinkles escaping our plastic bowl in the car on the ride home from our day hike. Periwinkles everywhere. I have goosebumps just thinking about it. My cousin and I eventually had to clean out the car by ourselves and rid the entire place of Caddisfly larvae. Yet somehow, I survived periwinkles.

I used to share gum with people. If my little BFF Natasha had a piece of gum and I wanted some, she'd bite her current wad in half and give it to me. Like, the piece that was actually chewed up in her mouth. She'd "share." And I'd eagerly accept. If Peggy wanted some gum and I was snacking on one, I'd spit out a piece for her and she'd take it. I also used to share bites of everything, sips of everything, and licks of things like Ring Pops. I want to vom as I type this. Yet somehow, I survived sharing gum and candy.

I guess the point is, humans are resilient. We can survive gum-sharing and caddisfly larvae and mud. Maybe I should be less vigilant and less freaked out about germs? Then I think of how hard the common cold affects me, and I want to burn down the world and drown it in hand sani and bleach.

Go with God, child. Go with God.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Update on Your Favorite Person Evar, Me.

So I guess it's been awhilst since I've updated. I know this due to a gentle prodding from a few of you. ;-) LOVE YOU!

Not much is new with me. I have no new reports about emetophobia or hoarding or the like. I'm still struggling in a winter world filled with flu, however. And over Christmas I had two, count 'em two, colds, back to back, plus a sinus infection and major nasal inflammation. Nothing touched it. Not major overdoses of Afrin, nor pseudoephedrine tablets. Not Mucinex, not cough syrup. Not the Neti Pot. Nothing cleared my nose. I could neither blow nor snort. I was stuffed UP, son. Stuffed UP. Stuffed.

Finally I got on antibiotics for my sinus infection and eventually things got better, but those were some hard days. Nothing like having your ears explode every single time you swallow, 1047823000 times a day. Nothing like waking up choking to death because you've had to mouth-breath while sleeping and your throat is stuck SHUT. Good times.

So I'm over that for now, but people wonder why I am so afraid of the common cold? It's because it affects me so hard.

The kids were super sick too, over the holidays. Hacking croupy coughs, poor angels. Everyone at the holiday gatherings looked at me like I was the Christmas Satan, sent straight from Hell to make sick every last one of thee. Which I guess I was.

Anyway. Now we're really into flu season, so God help me. Every time my kids and I are at a restaurant and they touch the undisinfected table and then eat a french fry, I quake. Every time my kids want to touch the elevator buttons, every sphincter in my body slams shut and I shout NO! Every time my kids ask to go to the McPlayPlace, I'm all, "r you evn srs rite nao"

Because it's flu season, motherfuckers. TEH FLU.


Today I think my biggest piece of news is that I'm getting my hairs did. I'm terrified though. I want to get the last inch or two of hair died bright red, but I'm scared to death. How stupid is that? Who am I trying to impress? So here's me now, and maybe, if you're lucky, I'll post a pic of me later after getting it done. Assuming I don't chicken out.

Fat-facin' it up since 2007


It's later. I got my hairs did. Here you go!

I confess that whenever I go in for a haircut or color or AWESOME RED-TIPPED ENDS, I freak out, fuh-reak OUT, about the "used brushes." How do they clean those motherfuckers? I actually witnessed, during my appointment, a stylist digging at her bristle brush and exclaiming, "It is so hard to get hair out of these!" do they? She did mention the blessed, blessed word "Barbicide," thank you sweet baby Jesus for Barbicide, but still I worry so so very deeply about catching the lice.


I've got nothing else. Other than, flu season, bitches. Wash your hands every 15 minutes and don't touch anything at all ever.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Halloween: Where You Come Away With a Handful of Baby Ruths and Swine Flu.

Ruth! Ruth! Ruth! Baby? Ruth!


Halloween is one of the most awesome times of the year. It's fall, so everything is damp and red and gold and cozy. You can start drinking pumpkin spice lattes, you can have a fire in the fireplace, you can curl up under your fleecy electric throw blanket, you can break out the Bath & Body Works Apple Harvest antibacterial foaming soap. And then on the 31st you get to give fun-size Twixes to little giraffes and baby Elmos and pint-size draculas. I love autumn, I love Halloween.

What I don't love is all the bum-bum germs. 

Nothing freaks me out more than walking around the local town center to trick-or-treat, seeing and hearing all the coughing, sneezing, sniveling robots and witches and ballerinas wipe their noses and then reach into the common bowl of treats, rifle through them, and select the perfect mini Snickers. Then it's my kids' turn to reach into the germ incubator and pick their fun-sized bar of crispity crunchety peanutbuttery influenza, whereupon later they will go home, paw through their sack of candy, tear open the wrappers, and stuff chocolate into their gaping maws. With hands now properly coated with the sputum of so many other children. Mmm.

So how can we remedy this? We can't. The end. Love, Jo.

OK, well, I do have an idea or two. Awhile back, a friend suggested that you could possibly kill all the germs with fire ice. She wondered if maybe by putting all the candy into the freezer, you might end up with not only deliciously frozen treats, but deactivated bum-bum germs. I think this is a remote possibility, although I tend to think that freezing your candy only cryogenically preserves the viruses, to be later reactivated by your warm fingers.

You could also clean each and every piece of wrapped candy with a Clorox wipe, but even I, who cleans off her groceries, think this is an inconvenience.

Rather, I think the better option is to come home from trick-or-treating, take off your shoes, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer (OK this is just my regular routine), but then here's the kicker, one by one open each (or a select bunch of) candies, throw away the wrappers, then rewash your hands and put all the unwrapped candies into a bowl or jar. Then your kid can snack from the bowl of treats and not have to touch the wrappers that so many sweaty, sticky little fingers have previously manhandled.

Overkill? Not during flu season, says I. I know you're rolling your eyes at me, but that is why you will be eating Skittles + Snivels, and Reece's Pieces of Poop, and Hershey Squirts, and Butt-fingers, and Goober Boogers, and BubbleTapeWorms, whereas my children will be eating bum-bum-germ-free delights. Thank you and good night.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Anxiety-Fu Is Strong.

Bum-bum germs are not the only thing I obsess over. Nay, there are endless things that give me huge anxiety. I thought I'd share a few.

  • I panic when driving over a cigarette that someone flicks out of their car window--I'm afraid it will get caught in the underworkings of my car and the car will explode.

  • I'm afraid of the ancient and not-up-to-code springs in our home garage door and that it will snap upon opening and I will be decapitated.

  • I'm afraid of spider webs everywhere. I walk around with my hands swooping through the air as if praising the doorstep or giving worship to the gateway. 

  • I'm afraid of anything pressing on my temples. No massage, no sleeping with my hand there, etc. Because when I was very young, my mom said I could die if I pressed on my temples. 

  • I'm afraid of contracting listeria and/or giving it to my baby from lunch meat or hot dogs, even when I'm not pregnant.

  • When following trucks carrying ladders or wooden beams or something, I worry about one falling off and impaling me, so I will always switch lanes.

  • I am scared to death about oncoming cars crossing the center lane and slamming into me. There's one particular road near us that I call "DANGER LANE" and I will always switch into the far lane.

  • I obsess about getting stuck in traffic under an overpass, sure there will be an earthquake JUST THEN and that I will be crushed by the collapsing overpass.

  • I freak out when licking envelopes, fearing that I will get a papercut on my tongue.

  • When driving beside a semi-truck on the freeway, I'm afraid it will blow a tire and lose control and hit me, and that I will either swerve to my doom or be forcibly thrown over a lane.

  • I lock the car doors if I'm at a stop and I see someone on the sidewalk, sure that a strange man will try to enter my car and accost me.

AND SO FORTH. It never ends. There's always something to obsess about. Such is my life.

What are you irrationally afraid of?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Three Fine Ways to Avoid Bum-Bum Germs.

We pick up bum-bum germs all day long, on our hands, our shoes, our cell phones, our purses, and so forth. But there are three big things you can do to remedy this nasty situation.

First: Take off your shoes when coming home. Do you ever think about the things you are tracking in? Dirt, bird poop, squirrel poop, dog poop, spit, gum, bum-bum germs galore. Would you lick the bottom of your shoes? I'm guessing that 99% of you would not, although I am excluding the Deep South from my facts and figures. So why would you walk on your floors and carpets or curl up on your bed or couch with your shoes on, and expect your kids to crawl, lie, or play on those now-yucky surfaces? Taking your shoes off at the door will prevent SO much muck from coming in, and hey, you won't have to clean your carpets as much. If you have a baby who is scooting or crawling, this is especially important. Because, groce.

Second: Wash your hands upon arriving home. After, naturally, taking off your shoes. Think of everything you touch while you are out: Shopping carts, gas pumps, doorknobs, escalator rails, your steering wheel, your cell phone, money, people's hands, restaurant salt & pepper shakers, and so forth. Maybe you even went to the doctor today and touched things that other sick people touched. Everything you can think of is crawling with germs. Colds, flu, fecal matter. Yummo. So as soon as you are home, lather up. Just get rid of all those things you've touched in the big scary world. Start fresh. This makes me feel like my home is a safe haven, free of the majority of "outside germs." If you're bringing your kids home from school, it's especially important to wash their hands, because school is a hotbed of disgustery.

Third: Never, ever put your purse or bag or wallet on the counter. Handbags are teeming with germs. They are dirtier than a toilet. Your purse handle touches everything you touch. You often place it on the floor of restaurants as you eat, or movie theaters as you get your World War Z on; it accompanies you to the public toilet and you handle it after doing your biznass; etc. The strap of your purse, the bottom of your purse, and the inside of your purse is filth-laden. Clean it on the regular, and never, EVER plop it on the kitchen counter along with your keys when you get home.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Why Don't We Just Eat the Zombies? They're Already Dead.

Today I came across a friend's talking about how she paid a visit to her local butcher. And I was thinking, "Butcher. What a truly bizarre profession. To slaughter animals all day long."

Now I am no vegetarian, although I eat very little meat just in passing. But to cut up and chop up and filet up and slice up and grind up animals all day long is just very...icky.

Not to mention the bum-bum germs. Someone has to yank out the poop chutes. And the grinding--think of all the airborne meat germs.

Although thank goodness somebody does it, because, steak.

In the event of Zombie Apocalypse, do you think you could slaughter your own food? Could you slit the throat of little Peter Cottontail? Does it matter what kind of animal? Maybe you could kill a chicken but not a goat? Do you think, if you had to, you could actually do it to keep your family alive?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


So the time has come to post again. I am still FRESH OUT, SON, of ideas. I mean, you can only blog about Purell and new Advanced Purell ("takes less to do the job"(TM)) so many times. So what now?

I think I'll free-associate here.

So my most recent meeting with Dr. P

As I was saying, my most recent meeting with DR MOTHERFUCKING P, went poorly. We kind of have nothing to talk about anymore. Kind of like me, and this blog. Nothing to talk about. He asked questions, but my answers to those questions we vague and were almost always "I don't know." Or, "I feel like, I don't know, it's complicated, I don't know."

So now what? He seems unwilling to delve deeper, like delve into the sources of my OCD (which I could easily explain to him, since I KNOW how they started). He seems unwilling to talk about much at all, except for my meds.

Now, I feel a certain, how do you say, oh yes, kinship with this man. 

I've been seeing him for at least a year and a half. So it would be traumatic to attempt to start seeing a new therapist, and having to explain the SAME SHIT ALL OVER AGAIN. So on one hand, I feel sort of bound to him. On the other, he's not really doing much for me. Other than carefully monitoring my medication--I can give him that much. (PS: Awesome sidenote--the meds I'm on, combined with a less-than-stellar diet, have caused me to gain approximately 2387438 pounds exactly. I am positively rotund. Bygones.)

So anyway, Dr. P. He seems to want to farm me out to another therapist--he's constantly on my case about seeing someone who specializes in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy)--which is a whole lot of "be present in the moment, acknowledge your pain, feel grounded, put your feet on the fucking floor, know that this too shall pass." Good advice for normal people. But I'm not normal.

I will continue this later, because as heretofore mentioned, I have nothing to say. A lot of words to say nothing I have to say, but still. I must go wash bottle nipples. Yes my two-year-old child still uses and loves her bottle. What of it?

More later.


It's later. I've currently got cupcakes burning in the oven, where my five-year-old drizzle-dripped that batter right the hell into those cupcake papers, or near enough. And then she licked her fingers. Salmon-to-the-ella, what what? Oh well, I survived, she will too. Maybe that's my Luvox talking, but we'll be OK. After a small bout of diarrhea.

The other day, we went to a birthday party at, get this, CHUCK E. FUCKING CHEESE. As if anything could be any grosser. So my kids touched tokens, and went on rides, and climbed climbers, and then ate horrible pizza, and yet survived. So far with no ill effects. Except for the E. Coli. Bygones.


Today I plan to take the kids to the park. I'm only doing it because I promised last night I would, so I can't get out of it.

Edit: Mission accomplished! We actually went to two parks. Go me! The kids had an absolute blast. Here are a bazillion pictures of the cutest chitlins ever:

Lots of fun, right? I even let them play in the dirt and gravel. Although I did periodically Purell them and when we came home I made them strip naked and wash their hands for four hours.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Benjamins. Not just for snorting Cocaine.

A study on the thingies what are found on your moneys.

"In a 2002 study published in the Southern Medical Journal, researchers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio found that 94 percent of the 68 bills tested were contaminated with bacteria ...  7 percent harbored dangerous pathogens, including Klebsiella pneumoniae, which can cause infections such as pneumonia, and Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause skin and other infections. Other experiments have found the fecal bacteria E. Coli."

Are you willing to take the risk, ARE YOU??

" 'Paper money is a good conduit of germs,' said Tierno, author of The Secret Life of Germs, "--the older ones more so."

Don't care about E.Coli? How about snow, blow, crack, weasel dust, and paradise white?

"Paper currency certainly is a good conduit of cocaine. A 2009 University of Massachusetts study that tested 234 bank notes from 18 U.S. cities found 90 percent of the bills tested positive for cocaine."

Also, "A 2001 study of 10 one-dollar bills, published in Forensic Science International, also found 70 percent contaminated with heroin, 30 percent with methamphetamine and 20 percent with PCP."

Don't be licking your dollar bills, son. Lest you go on a bad, bad trip.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Squimming Pools.

When I was young, I used to go swimming in our little alligator swimming pool in the back yard. Do you remember those alligator swimming pools? They were green hard plastic and had a super tiny like two-foot slide into the water. I was a child of the 1980s (Generra Hypercolor, what what), so maybe you young whippersnappers don't remember alligator swimming pools, but trust me, they were kickass.

Well. During those hot summers, I'd play in our alligator pool, but then, we'd let the water sit and stagnate. It would sit for the entire summer. But I'd still put on my Strawberry Shortcake swimsuit or my fantastic neon suit with the squiggles all over it, and I'd go outside during the dog days and bob about in it.

Most of the time there were mosquito larvae squimming in the water.

I'd still play in it.

I'd swim, me and those larvae. I'd swim.

Which might be the reason today that I nuke our hot tub with fire and put 18 cups of chlorine in our kiddie pool, burning the eyes and flesh of my children.