What’s in the bag?

One of the sexist stereotypes about women is that their purses contain everything short of the kitchen sink. I can’t support that. I’ve known women who walk out of their home without anymore more than their keys and their debit card. I’ve also known women who can’t conceive of leaving their houses without a sack big enough to carry a corgi full of random stuff.

And then there’s my backpack.

I often feel self conscious about bringing my backpack with me everywhere I go because a) I know so many people who don’t need to bring half their household items with them when they go out and b) I grew up with the above sexist attitude surrounding me and constantly worried how men would judge me.

I’m slightly less concerned with point “b” these days, but it still colors my self doubt. But one thing is certain: Any time I leave home without my backpack I end up wishing I had it with me. As inconvenient and slightly embarrassing as it’s presence can be, it does hold a lot of useful things.

This whole thing was sparked by a simple question I saw somewhere in my social media stream: what do you have in your backpack?
In mine I currently have:

  • Two notebooks. One is nearly full and I hate running out of paper in mid sentence. Once I switch over to the new notebook I’ll file the filled one away on my bookshelf.
  • My tablet. I use this primarily to read books. It doesn’t have a data plan and only works through wifi. Its case folds into a stand that allows me to read while eating. I was always warned that if I ate while eating I would always want to eat while reading. I’ve found the opposite to be true. If I’m eating alone it’s impossible for me to eat without something to read.
  • One large-ish cotton napkin, tucked into the bottom. It serves as backup for the handkerchief I keep in my pocket. It also serves as backup napkin. Mostly, however, I’ve kept one in the bottom of my backpack to absorb any accidental spills I have in there. It has served me well in the past to protect my tablet and my notebook(s).
  • Spare keys. My backpack has a key ring attached to the inside of one of the pockets. It detaches with one of those ubiquitous backpack clips. It also means I always have an extra set of house keys available. I’ve kept it in my backpack ever since that one day I actually managed to lose a set of keys somewhere between work and home. A friend had to drive in from out of town to let me into my home. Now I have the spare set and a friend within walking distance with another extra set.
  • Flashlight. This has helped me effect motorcycle and car repairs in the middle of the night. It also allows me to walk down my back alley at night without tripping in the many, MANY pot holes we have back there. I have no idea why our alley is unlit, but it’s like a post apocalyptic landscape back there.
  • My multi-tool. I have a Leatherman that folds out into a large pair of pliers, among a dozen or so other tools. It has served me really well for years. I should get a replacement, though, as a couple of the tools are damaged or missing. But I’ve used it so often I always keep it with me. It was particularly handy when I worked in shipping.
  • Assorted pens. Mostly bic. I try to keep one good pen in my shirt pocket at all time, but I sometimes forget. Or sometimes that pen will run dry. Or go missing. So I keep a handful of backups in the backpack.
  • Pencil, eraser, and sharpener. This is for gaming. You do a lot of erasing and re-writing in gaming.
  • My glass case with my glasses. Ever since I lost my most treasured pair of glasses out of my coat pocket I have become much more mindful of keeping my current set in something less open. Man I miss those glasses. The frames were such a perfect fit, and I wore them for so long, that my temples gradually wore away the enamel on the inside of the arms.
  • Small pack of “get out of hell” cards. I give them out to people who’re having a bad day. Sometimes I’ll leave them in random locations for people to find.
  • One pencil case that does not contain any pens or pencils. Instead it contains a number of small, useful items that would get lost in the backpack if I didn’t keep them in the pencil case. In it I have:
    • Antihistamines and Dristan. I’m allergic to, well, life in general. These keep me breathing.
    • Assorted bandaids. I’m clumsy.
    • Eyeglass cleaning fluid
    • Lip balm

Other things I might have depending on my mood:

  • Pipe, tobacco, lighter, and cleaning implements
  • Thermos of water
  • A random selection of food
  • Dice
  • Laptop and various attachments

I’m hard on my backpacks. The one I currently have is only about three years old and the straps are starting to come detached at the shoulder. I’ll probably have to invest in another one soon.

So, yeah… if it’s a given stereotype that women keep massive bags full of stuff on their person, then I guess I’m just one of the girls. Otherwise I’m a nerd turtle who keeps half his house on his back in case he needs it.

Riding to sleep

I took a long ride tonight. I’ve been wanting to take the bike out for a ride for a very long time. I never have any real reason for riding it and never have the money to indulge in any real travel. But today I hit a wall and I needed to get out.

I first rode to Chinook. Why? Because it gave me a single, simple goal and allowed me to use a couple of “fast” roads to take the bike up to speed. I parked at the very top of the parking cluster and stopped in at the food court. Treating myself to a cheap meal I relaxed and finished a book I’d been reading. “Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline. It’s a fascinating little book juxtaposing the life of an orphan in the 1930s with the life of an orphan in the aughts. Vivian was orphaned in New York in 1929 and bounced between a few homes of increasing misery before lucking out with a couple who owned a general goods store. Molly is orphaned in the 2000s and bounces from foster home to foster home before encountering Vivian.

It says something about me that, in the last few pages of the book, as the storyline becomes more and more positive, I kept waiting for the Bad News Hammer to fall. But everything ended up okay, families were reunited, and everything was a super duper happy ending.

I'm sorry everything worked out so well.

I’m sorry everything worked out so well.

Which kind of disappointed me, and cheapened the struggles. Everything up until that point had been painfully realistic, with loss and achievement fairly evenly matched. When things went truly horrid I had the sense that the characters would seize on a chance that would turn their fortunes around, and they did. And when things were going smooth and easy I expected the characters to hit some other terrible snag, someone might die or a home would be lost, and they would have to persevere. And they did.

But the super happy fun time ending kind of… fizzled the whole experience. It was just the kind of thing where I expect some producer was sitting off to one side and said “can we guarantee a happy ending?” lest the funding run out.

Other than the ending the book is very well written and thoroughly researched. I strongly recommend it, particularly if you’re looking for something with a Disney ending.

Having finished my book I returned to my bike and suited up for a full speed run. I quickly decided to make a long trip home. The sun was down and the twilight was just perfect. I took Glenmore to Deerfoot to Stoney to Crowchild. The whole ride home took me about 45 minutes and made me realize that, were I to suddenly be rich, I would need to ease myself back into long distance riding. My ass was decidedly sore by the end of it and my thigh muscles were shaky.

Still, if I were to be suddenly rich I could also afford some riding pegs and a better seat. Both problems solved.

The ride was good for my soul. The wind howling past my helmet and the thrum of the engine between my legs. The smell of the wild grass beside the road, and the firm grip of the tires through each turn. All of it was exactly what I needed.

Venus HumAnd now, having had very poor sleep for the past two or three days (I’m honestly not sure how long it’s been) I feel I might actually be able to sleep by midnight tonight. I’m tempted to go to bed now, but I fear that would turn into just an hour nap and I’d be wide awake at midnight.

I’m going to put a few minutes into playing Halo instead. The original game is so familiar it’s practically like playing solitaire. In the meantime I’ve found Venus Hum’s last album and have been absorbing it as I write. So pretty.

Meeting neighbors at 2:30 am

I went out for a walk at 2:30 am last night… well, my last night, everybody else’s “this morning.” I finally hit a point of cabin fever where I just had to get out of the house. I decided to walk to Tim Horton’s, buy a tea and do some writing.

As I walked down the nearly empty street I noticed a bearded fellow walking toward me. He presented the body language of someone who was about to talk to me so I took my ear buds out.

Yes, I walk the dark streets at 2:30 in the morning with my ear buds in. I’m 6’ tall, 350 lbs, with a shaved head and a beard. The only people likely to approach me would be either friendly or in need of help. I’m not usually afraid of being mugged. Not in Canada, anyway.

The guy approaches and asks if I live in the Katriina. I recognize him as someone I saw entering my building the other day and realize he’s a fellow resident of the building.

He introduces himself as Jeremy and we get to chatting. Turns out he’s switching over from night shift to day shift and having a bit of trouble getting to sleep. I explain I’ve been unemployed for a number of months and have fallen into the bad habit of simply not going to bed until I’m too tired to stay awake.

We get to talking about the building. Apparently I’m “that guy with the bike.” Which is interesting because it’s the first time I’ve been identified by a group of strangers as something other than “that big guy with the beard.” I’m not surprised, though. I’ve been riding my bike to work (when I worked) every morning for the past couple of summers. Someone who fires up a bike like mine every weekday at 7:30am is going to be remembered by the residents. I’m sure at least a few of them are quite relieved I’m not working right now. They’d be even more relieved if they knew how often I’ve resisted the urge to go for a ride at 3 in the morning.

Jeremy went on to tell me his girlfriend is on the condo board and they’re pushing for “a garden” which explains why there’s some doomed flowers and bushes planted in the dry and biologically sterile dirt in front of my windows. A few are already dying. Jeremy admits that it’s about the worst dirt you can work with. He also commented that, since he’s the only one on the committee without expensive nails he’s well aware who’ll be doing most of the work. He added he plans on bringing in some sand to add to the soil. I hope that’s true. Maybe the combination of pants and a sand topping will keep small birds from using the spot in front of my windows as a dust bath. They kick tons of dirt into my windows.

We talked about jobs. He got some of my specifics and said he’d keep an eye out. He works for an engineering firm made up of an Australian parent company that bought out a whole bunch of smaller companies a few years ago. He didn’t get my hopes up, though, when he talked about his girlfriend’s company advertising for summer student positions and having people with MBAs apply.

My only hope is if students going back to school in September leave some openings for me.

We shared some stories of our cats… he and his girlfriend went to a rescue and picked up a couple of kittens. They were only going to adopt one but one of its siblings clung to him and tried to climb up him to be with its litter-mate, so they chose to adopt both. We talked about possible sleep remedies. We talked about the homeless people that make the area between our building and the neighboring house into a camp site.

Then we parted ways and I found out that the Tim Horton’s near to me isn’t open 24 hours like I’d thought. Still, it was nice to meet a building neighbor. At 3 in the morning.

And yet…

I tried to go to bed at a reasonable hour last night. I really did try. The best I could do was 1 am, however. Still, not bad. If I could have slept. And for about 20 minutes I did. Then I woke up and laid there until 3 am when I finally gave up and got up to watch a couple of old episodes of Farscape. It was clear with the final episode that they had no idea if they were going to be picked up again. It wasn’t so much of a cliff hanger as it was a few dangled strings that could have been considered “the end”.

Then I returned to bed finally exhausted enough to sleep at around 5 am. Then I was up again at 7 to feed the cat, and back to bed. Finally hauled my ass out of bed around 11.

Then I had my shower, swapped in some new blades for my razor in preparation for shaving my head, and promptly nicked my right nipple. It still stings, although it has at least stopped bleeding.

I did my job search over breakfast, found nothing new, and wallowed in some social media for a couple of hours. Now I prepare to do some writing.

My life is so incredibly exciting at times.

251 plus words

Went to my writing group tonight and had a great time. The writer we were critiquing had developed her character enough that we could see her maturing in the text. She was extremely please we all “got it”.
I always leave the group charged and ready to get back into writing. By the time I get home, however, I’m ready to just roll into bed and go to sleep. By morning all momentum is lost and I’m back where I started, wallowing in indecision and regret.

Today I have all but given up. I stand for pro-choice, equality, feminism (redundant, perhaps, but worth mentioning on its own), rational responses to climate change, and freedom from religion. Every day I express my support I’m faced with passionate, verbose individuals who feel I have it “all wrong” and am giving in to some crazy sub cult that’s set on destroying their religion, their jobs, or their desire to control others.

And I’m near to giving up. I just don’t have the energy to point out the obvious every single day to people who have set up very deliberate blinders to ignore even the most hard core facts. I just can’t argue anymore. I don’t have enough ammunition to get through their calcified skulls. I don’t think anybody does.

The answer is, of course, more guns. We must give out guns at church and in every bar and restaurant. We must provide them as a bonus to every car, motorcycle, boat, quad, and bicycle purchase. Because, honestly, who could possible survive on our roads and rivers if they’re not sufficiently armed? And could you possibly eat or drink in comfort knowing you might be the only person in the bar or restaurant who isn’t packing?

Bullets should be available in schools like pencils and erasers. How else are children ever going to learn to make, and eradicate, those really BIG mistakes?

A gun should be provided with every new driver’s license so those new drivers can properly defend themselves against the road rage tyrants in their beefed up trucks. Little Timmy isn’t going to make it prom unless he can shoot back at that oil exec who’s tired of Timmy hogging his lane.

Guns should be provided to every new mother to help her properly protect her children in this dangerous world. What could possibly be better to convince little Janie that there isn’t a monster under the bed than the ability to empty a clip under the frame and let little Janie know that, if there were any monsters (or family pets, for that matter) under the bed, there sure as heck aren’t any now.

Big guns should be part of every property deal. Nothing says “I own this!” like the ability to murder anyone who comes within spitting distance of your land.

A gun should be given to every released convict to ensure their ongoing survival. After all, nobody is going to hire them, so they’re going to have to get their food somehow. And how are you possibly going to keep those prisons full if you don’t give them every chance to re-offend? Besides, they’ll get a gun themselves anyway. Let’s just streamline that process.

Teachers should be packing at all times to help protect our children, and to keep those degenerates in line. Little Johnny isn’t going to be talking back after you’ve put one through his foot, now is he?

I could go on for days…

I love that … what?

“I love that…”

This is the writing prompt that Dianne has provided for me, the initial spark to inspire me to write a blog post starting with those words. I know what she’s trying to do, and I thank her for it.

Dianne is doing what she can to get me focused on the positive, and I understand her reasons for doing so. I’m sinking deeper and deeper into the negative and losing the fight to come back.

I honestly feel I’m resting in a bog of quicksand and the only thing keeping my head above water is doing my best to Not Move. For the past year it seems that every move I make just sinks me deeper and deeper. Deeper into different jobs that I like even less than the previous one. Moves that are ostensibly meant to provide me with more income either provided me with less, or pretty much the same. Financial failures finally breaking through the levees of minimal payments and adding water to the sucking bog. The dawning realization that I’m worse off now than I have been in over thirty years, and it isn’t going to get any better.

So what I “love” now are those fleeting moments that bring me temporary relief.

I love that moment before sleep, when I’ve set all the pieces in place for me to rest as best I can, when I can set my mind to pretending I’m somewhere else. Closing my eyes and trying so hard to come up with a dream of escape, or release. Daydreaming in those final moments numerous fantasies of flight or superhuman durability. Daydreaming of just not hurting anymore. Daydreaming about being rich enough to not only feel secure myself but to ensure the security of those I care about. Little figments of distraction to trick my brain into calming down and giving in to sleep. So far it’s still working, but I’m waking up earlier and earlier each morning with reality reasserting it’s crushing presence.

I love that morning hour on the weekends when I wake up with the usual tension and urgency of another workday to be faced, only to realize it’s the weekend and I can sleep in.

I love that moment over lunch where I can lose myself in a book, and I love that moment when I can pack up the remains of my lunch and close my eyes to crash nap for ten to fifteen minutes. I love the furtive little dreams that crash through my head as I let the pain medication sink in so I can make it through the last four hours of work.

I love that feeling of settling into a new show, watching numerous episodes each evening, getting to know the characters and watching the drama unfold. I love that sensation of getting lost in a well crafted fantasy world where the problems are either easy to solve, exciting to work through, or both.

I love that feeling of putting word to line, of etching my own fantasies onto paper, although I haven’t had the drive to do so in a very long time. It has been weeks since I have felt that desire and I’m not sure how to get it back.

Wait! What was that?! Bring it back!

Wait! What was that?! Bring it back!

Lastly… lastly I love that moment with friends where you can shed your armor and relax. I love that moment where laughter comes easy and it doesn’t matter what you have or what you do, they genuinely love you for who you are and are just as happy to have you there are you are to be there. I’ve missed that so very much in my little world, and it was so very nice to have it back last weekend. It’s so very nice to have that back in my world.

What is family?

I’ve been given a writing prompt, a simple three word question to turn into a journal entry: “what is family?”

When I read that prompt my knee jerk reaction was “I have no idea.” But that doesn’t work for a full length blog post so I figured I should mull it over for a bit.

So I walked home from work, took a short nap, did the dishes, cooked supper, ate some, and surfed the internet for an hour or so… and I haven’t come up with any better answer than “I have no idea.”
I’ve seen plenty of other people’s families, from my aunts and uncles and cousins to various friends throughout the years, and all families were unique.

There are some common elements, I suppose. Siblings fight, and siblings support. Parents teach and lead and discipline. Children learn and grow and rebel.

Can you count on your family for support? Some evidence says “yes”, other evidence demonstrates “no”. Will you always get along with your family? No, not always. Will you often get along with your family? That just seems to depend on your relations, on the season, on the situation, and… a million other things.

My immediate family consisted of my mother. She did her best to keep me in contact with our extended family, but I was the weird, psychedelic sheep of the family. Nobody understood me and I could tell I confused everyone. I was intelligent but emotional, large but not physical, and I was more of a “girl” in temperament than many of my female cousins.

I think Connie’s father summed up my uncles’ collective thoughts about me in one statement of confusion: “He looks like he should be useful, but he isn’t.”

I was weird and impossible. Worse, I knew it. I could see them all looking at me with puzzled expressions, shaking their heads and just not knowing what the hell to do with me.

So my experience of family is, was, my mother. One on one we were more friends than family, I suppose. At least in later years. To my eternal regret we drifted apart when I hit puberty. She would spend evenings watching TV in the ironically named “family room” in the basement and I would spend my evenings reading and listening to music upstairs. Weekends she would work, taking family and wedding photos. For a while I assisted her, but eventually started getting my own part time jobs.

Prior to that she was mostly absent, busy running her own business. I grew up having to learn to take care of myself on my own and doing a very poor job of it. I don’t remember very many birthday parties. Even when I see pictures of them I don’t remember being there.

The one birthday I remember most was the day I came home from college classes to find my mother waiting for me dressed up an angry. It was nearly 10 in the evening and and she asked me where I’d been. I was confused. I had been at the university working on my assignments. School had only just started but I already had a lot to do. She complained that she had intended on taking me out for dinner for my birthday. I’d not even been aware that it was my birthday that day.

So… what is family? I have no idea. I’m not sure I will ever really know. I’ve never really been involved in one.

Gratitude and Achievements

Midnight in Revelstoke as we stop to pick up more caffeine

Midnight in Revelstoke as we stop to pick up more caffeine

Things I’m grateful for today:

1) A pipe and some tobacco turns a walk into a Walk
2) Dave’s Lounge podcast on my headphones during a walk turns the city into a Movie Scene
3) Hand drawn lunch bags worthy of framing

My recent achievements:

I wrote a 1,200 word scene describing the character’s living quarters and her prosthetics. During this writing I determined the map of the pacific NW of the United States pinned to her office wall needed to be placed upside down for story specific reasons. I also determined why her right arm and left leg were replaced: she’s right handed. If your right hand is your primary hand then your left leg is your primary leg.

I managed, with assistance, to drive 12 hours to visit love, light, and reassurance, and managed to drive 10 hours back to home.

When faced with demons at home, demons who had not spent the weekend driving but had instead spent the weekend resting and honing their sharps, instead of battling them alone I went for a walk with my pipe and reached out to others. I did not make any connections that evening but the simple act of reaching left me out of the demons’ reach for a number of hours and set up some social appointments for the near future.

I have sat down with my keyboard and written words.

I have slept well enough, and deeply enough, to have some very intense and fantastical dreams. Unfortunately that’s all I can remember about them: that they were intense and fantastical. I may need to start keeping a dream journal by my bed if I’m going to have more dreams like those.

And today I managed a full workday of constant activity, dragged my ass home to a nap and food, and attended one of those social appointments I made. Then I made another.

I managed four successes in two days.

Forward, with steps and intent.

Answering a few more questions before bed

‘5. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?’

 

Probably about 21. That’s about as mature as I feel, and as about as responsible as I want to be. I’m not sure what this question is meant to teach me other than to point out how immature I feel I am.

 

I can just imagine the horror if I were to wake up tomorrow morning with amnesia and see how old I look in the mirror. It would be as if I’d been in a coma for thirty years and was force fed a dozen donuts every day.

 

Yes that’s a self depreciating fat joke.

 

‘6. When do you stop calculating risk and rewards, and just do it?’

 

When I stop thinking. If you can figure out how I can manage that on a regular basis without the assistance of medication or crude brain surgery please feel free to let me know.

 

I’m not ‘hyper-vigilant’ as friends of mine have identified themselves to be, but if I were to borrow the genre of descriptive terminology I would probably describe myself as ‘hyper-cautious’. The only reason I’ve ever been able to be courageous or adventurous in the past has been as a direct conflict with my natural tendency, and the mood has never stuck for very long. The rare exceptions to that hyper-caution have been when I learned to ride a motorbike, debated the exploration of polyamory, and grudgingly admitted an interest in D/s. Even then all three adventurous explorations have been taken on with extreme caution and as much preparation and/or research as possible.

 

I have never been spontaneous in any significant way. At least not on my own. When I have participated in spontaneous activities it has always been with someone else’s initiative.

I wish I were sleeping

I battled my snooze button this morning. I must have punched his clock three or four times but the bastard kept coming back before the count of ten was complete. Always on nine. The prick always gets back up on nine.

I can’t honestly say whether or not I’ve been sleeping well. It’s very hard to tell. I go to bed, I fall asleep, and at about three or so in the morning I wake up and spend the remaining two or so hours tossing and turning, dozing in and out of sleep. When the alarm hits the last thing I want to do is get up.

Over the weekend I think I slept for eight to ten hours Friday and Saturday night. I just didn’t want to get out of bed. It’s not so much that the bed was warm or comfortable, I just didn’t want to have to deal with the real world.

I’d set down a goal to do some writing every day less than a week ago and it only took two days for me to fall off the wagon. Even tonight, as I write this, I’m resisting the urge to just turn y computer off and head to bed. Sleeping is gradually becoming much more preferable to being awake.

Oddly enough I haven’t been this physically healthy in a long, long time. My new job has me moving constantly for two four hour sessions five days a week. I can feel my muscles toning and my overall energy is increasing. The two hours after lunch are now my most energetic, which is a complete switch from the rest of my life where the two hours after lunch were the times I had the most trouble staying awake.

The job is, for the most part, a good place to be. Certainly better than some of the jobs I’ve held in the distant past. I get to work indoors and the heavy lifting is maxed out at fifty pounds. The pace can be fast but, so far, never overwhelming. The people I work with have been doing this for a great many years and know the flow of the work almost instinctively. When things are at a normal pace I’m pretty much left alone to do my job, which I’ve always preferred. When the pace picks up and things get busy I suddenly find I’ve got help. Today it got busy enough that there were four of us working in concert to get shipments together and out the door. Then, when the rush ended, they all went back to their own duties and I was left to my own devices.

Aside from some minor personality challenges, something that might naturally work itself out over time, I’d have to say this is one of the better jobs I’ve held.

Which is why it’s so hard to admit to not being happy.

I have happy moments, even moments of contentment, but I’m still struggling with an overall feeling of just not wanting to be in the real world. I don’t know if this is actual depression or just some overall ennui. I’m not morose all the time, but there are definitely dark hours. I’m not unable to get out of bed, yet, but there are some mornings where it’s definitely a struggle.

I have to make an appointment with the Wound Clinic to measure my legs again. They were measured a few months ago to make custom compression stockings for me since the off-the-shelf versions aren’t quite long enough. Unfortunately when the custom stockings finally arrived after six weeks I tried them on only to find they were shorter than my existing stockings. They are so short, in fact, that I suspect my measurements were done in inches and the stockings were built in centimeters.

I was juggling two jobs and switching over to a third when this all played out so I hadn’t ever gotten around to replacing them. I did report the poor fit when the pharmasist called me up to find out how they were doing, but other than that the custom stockings have just been sitting in a drawer.

A few weeks ago I phoned the pharmasist back and requested she order me another set of off-the-shelf stockings. My current set are starting to show signs of wear and since they’re my only set I wanted to get them replaced before it was too late. The pharmacist assured me she’d call me when the stockings were in.

Weeks later I get a call from one of the nurses at the Wound Clinic. Being at work I let it go to voice mail. She called three times and, when she finally managed to leave a message, complained that my phone didn’t allow her to leave a message the first two times she called. Which is the first time I’ve ever had anyone have issues, but whatever. She then informed me in my message that I would need to make an appointment to have measurements done again. Apparently they’re not going to let me just get standard stockings again, I must get the custom ones. Which is irritating because that will take another six to eight weeks.

Whatever. I call the number she left me to make my appointment. The secretary looks up my file and calmly informs me that my case had been signed off and that I would need a new referral from my doctor to get another appointment.

I’m sensing a huge bureaucratic load of shit in my future and I’m really not looking forward to dealing with it. I need new stockings. The current ones, while not a perfect fit, do the job. The custom ones fit so poorly they won’t even stay up on their own. I don’t have the time to wait for another set of custom stockings to come in, especially if whatever communication fuckup that happened before happens again and I get stump sized stockings. I need replacement stockings and I need them now.

I will try calling them all back tomorrow at lunch and see what can be done. I’m already anticipating a lot of “you’ll have to talk to the other person to get that approved” followed by “we don’t have the authority to approve that”.

Or perhaps I’m just being overly negative.