Thursday, July 5, 2007

Onions and salt-water taffy

Onions are potentially the foulest vegetable on the planet.

When they aren't evoking tears with their pungeant, searing smells, they are ruining the taste of perfectly good food by virtue of mere contact with their acrid flesh. My sister and I used to battle over whose side of the table the onions would sit closer to.

Salt-water taffy, by contrast, is exquistely scrumptious.

I love their chewiness and multitudes of flavours.
My sister figured out that I had a crush on the Duke before I had even realized it because I bought him a bag of salt-water taffy.

So, the scene has been set...
Onions = bad
Salt-water taffy = good

With that in mind, I would like to throw a big, smelly onion at the following things:

Phone Stalkers
A few months ago, I posted about a mysterious late night phone call. This experience actually repeated itself about a week or two ago. This time, I woke up with a start (again), heart slamming against my chest, thinking that there was no way I would get another late night hang up. I was wrong, I realized, after hearing a click against my ear after several panicked hellos. As before, this call was from a private number.

Late this morning, another call and hang up from a private number (after listening to me say hello several times). I get to thinking that, though those previously described incidences were the only nighttime experiences, I actually think I've gotten a few such daytime calls over the past few months, and my cell phone has also recorded a significant number of calls with no messages left from a private number. In fact, I don't know if a single call from a private line over the past four months has ever resulted in a single word being said to me or my voicemail. whereas I don't think I've ever got a single wrong number on my cell phone (I no longer have a landline).

This realization irked me a little bit, especially since I live by myself and have an occasional tendency for pessimism. I decided to call my cell phone provider to see if they could tell me the identity of the last caller, figuring this might help ease any worries I'm having . They claim they can't, but I should call the police, who could probably get this information. I contemplate for a moment, then decide to call a police advice line to find out if there is anything I can do. The woman on the phone tells me of an option for tracing calls on landlines, which then are delivered to the police if more than three calls happen and I call then to tell them so.
It doesn't work with my cell phone provider. She says they should have some way to trace calls-- so now I'm waiting to hear back if such a mechanism does secretely exists. It seems a bit odd that there is no mechanism to trace the identity of a potentially harassing caller.

I've surmised a little about the identity, if this really is the same caller. I consider that it may be a former client-- but the problem is they should not have access to my unlisted cellphone number, suggesting it would be someone I know. The only other villain I could think of is some drink guy who stole my friend's phone six months ago and then tried to booty call some of her friends with numbers from her phone book.

EDIT: Two more calls at 12:30am. I'm starting to get a little freaked out.

Ah, yes, the eternal psychiatrist vs. psychologist debate. several of my readers query "But aren't they the same thing?"

I try not to be black and white on the whole issue of psychiatric meds. While they are undoubtedly overprescribed, a great deal of this is attributable to overzealous G.P.'s, and these medications also have helped people get the courage to get the therapy they really need.

But it would be really wonderful if you, psychiatrist, might express a little faith in your clients, and not attempt to degrade progress made in client's external psychotherapy by sweeping statements about how they can never hope to live without medication, or how every potential bump in the road is a steep precipe trecherously close to a full relapse, that can only be prevented by increased dosages and new add-ons.

Ever heard of the notion of self-efficacy? You know, helping your clients to believe they are strong, effective people who can work towards improvements?

If you don't believe in them as anything but a dehumanized victim of their "chemical imbalances", how are they supposed to think of themselves as above that?

Old Crushes on Facebook
Two of my most passionate crushes of my early teens added me on Facebook last week. One I had remained in intermittent contact with since the fateful night at the local pool when he decided to "go out" with a friend of mine and I went home and bawled my eyes out to Mariah Carey singing "I can't live if living is without you", and thus knew him as just another person for many years afterwards.
The other disappeared from my life, and thus remained a frozen at 17 and a little magical in my mind. He was the older boy who my 13 year old self had found hopelessly funny and dreamy. He'd once thrown me into a lake with all my clothes on, and we'd tangoed across a bridge.
And, now? He's not ugly, or doing ridiculous things with his life. He's just, well, mediocre.
And I'm a little sad to find that out.


But, wait... this post isn't entirely negative!
So I'm handing out some tasty salt-water taffy to the following....

My skin
Despite being of as Western European in origin as they get, I somehow inherited skin that looks deceptively exotic at times.
I joke around that people play pick an ethnicity with me at times, especially during the summer, as people have asked me if I am Italian, Russian (I actually have a great Russian alter-ego, as a side note), Spanish, part-Asian or First Nations.
This is highlighted nicely in the summer by the fact that two afternoons at the beach (one being overcast), people are commenting on how nice and tanned I am. Woo!

Six Feet Under

Damn, it's a good show! I'm seriously crushed I only have a season and a half left.

Freud's case studies
I don't care how crazy some of his interpretations are-- these things read like brilliant mysteries being solved!

The Duke's return
Shut up.
I miss him.

Austin in a week!
A Canadian in Texas has got to make for good comedy, right?


eric313 said...

I so do understand, Princess.

I'm glad you posted this. I haven't yet read beyond the stalking portion of your post, but I have to say I hope the best for you. Be strong about living your life the way you want to, and not at some ass-valve's prompt. But do be careful and keep your wits about you, Princess.

I saw that comment just disapear! Do take care.

Princess Pointful said...

Hi Eric- I actually just managed to put it in the post. Unfortunately, it looks like the very same day I realized all these calls were linked, the phone caller decided to leave behind all pretenses. The phone is off for the night, and I'm just trying to watch a little TV and distract myself. Thanks for your kind wishes.

Ant said...

Princess, I suggest you do everything you can to flush this fucker out - as I'm sure you well know the power of stalking comes from the reluctance of the victim to shine a light on the problem and hope that it will go away.

Raise hell with the police, your cell provider, and wherever you think the phone number has come from (if your ex-directory number has become available to clients someone's ass must swing). Plus, you're cell provider is talking bull-shit: all calls can be traced, they're just not giving that information to you. The emergency services will have access to all calls made on your cell. If both sides continue to give you static, insist, and at least they will start to take you seriously.

Also, I'd suggest you don't switch your phone off. Instead, start making a log of all times and durations of these calls, and tell the stalker you are doing this when they call.

By the sounds of things, you are not being paranoid and need to nip this in the bud right now before it escalates. Even if you don't identify the person, I can almost guarantee that if they become aware of the fact that you are willing to take them on, they will be scared off. They are, after all, a bunch of fucking cowards.

Princess Pointful said...

Ant- Thanks for your concern and good advice. Last night it shifted from sort of creepy, but maybe just a coincedence (when I wrote this post) to something that could be serious.
I actually ended up getting 4 calls last night (odd that right after I wrote about it, it got serious. I can't see anyway it would be linked to my blog, though- the only people that could plausibly know my phone number and read this are the Duke and Lmizzle, none of whom I would suspect!)

Unfortunately, this behaviour is apparently just on the line about what is construed as harassment. I spoke to the police, and they say that I can file a formal report if it happens again, but because they weren't saying anything, and I didn't keep track of the earlier calls, the first time it just falls under the realm of nuisance.

My cell phone providers are being jerks. Several people have told me they have no power over seeing where my incoming calls, and the only way the information will get out is if I make a report with the police, in which case the security department will gain access to the number (which they won't do for just me, apparently).

So I'm frustrated. I really resent the idea of being scared to live alone, and I hate the fact that a few seconds of dead air can scare me. I kind of hope they call again so I can find out who the hell it is. I'm especially suspicious about the fact that this has become regular when my boyfriend is out of town.

cdp said...

I would like to throw a big smelly onion at a lot of things. In the interest of brevity, I will not catalog those things here on your lovely blog. I would like to say though, that this post had me in stitches.

Also? Six Feet Under kicks serious ASS. The Boyfriend and I watched the whole series on DVD and did I actually cry when it was over, because I was going to miss the Fishers so much?

Yes. Yes, I did.

eric313 said...

Hey, I read the rest. General practicioners have a very liberal way of distributing everythig like pez. That is where mistakes happen most. And Freud is a wild read, and his theory on how man conspired to keep women down by keeping them pregnant and taking the power away from matrilineal culture is interesting reading for sure. And of course id, ego, super ego. You all keep me on my toes; I can't discount Freud without remembering the importance of the work he achieved.
That all said, I hope for your well being, and your good writing to be around. My friend m puts up with some crappy anon day after day who sometimes makes explicit threats against her--like what you aluded to, and that's why I understand. Those get deleted by her, so no one sees them really. But I've seen them a couple times and so have others and she copies them. At least she carries a gun and I'm glad for that, but only a little. It's not pleasant. Keep writng and methods to deal with it will drop from the sky, I promise. Take care

LMizzle said...

Greetings! I'm sorry to hear the late night calls are happening again! It's terrible!

I have your number I believe in an email, but I am sorry to say that I am not up late enough to call you with a private number.

I do know that I have called to thank a few donors for donating from work and the phone says that it does not allow "Private" calls, so it gives me the option to press a number to continue with the call by revealing the number I am calling from. Maybe you can call your cell company and see if they can install something like this for you? I'm not sure if it's an option for a cell or for a land line, but it's worth a shot!

All Mod Cons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I'll try again...

You've been tagged for a meme! But Shhhh!


Crashdummie said...

mmmm candy! *homer simpson frool*

eric313 said...

sometimes that screwball from my friends site follows me to leave ghorrible messages in my wake because I've really, really ripped into his pathetic self a bunch of times. I could give you the dates. It's a price I most gladdly pay to fight against somebody who wishes my friend harm. I'll pay it for a million years.

Hope the best for you. Fight the good fight.

Princess Pointful said...

Hey folks :)
I'm still around... just been a very frustrating past few days.
Ranting post to come about our messed up society where it is more about the victim changing their behaviour than holding the perpetrator accountable!
Thanks for your concern!

Yoda said...

As other commenters pointed out, ALL calls can be traced. Do not for once believe in the bs your cell phone provider gives you. Anyone would be scared if this "private number" blank calls continued for this long, so its not you who is overreacting.

Onions are not the vilest veggie on earth! I can't imagine how a Gyro would taste without onions!! Give them a chance ;-)

Facebook is such a waste of time. I got on it a few weeks back and my productivity has plummeted!! This weekend, I saw a friend of mine break up ON FACEBOOK with her bf. Boy, that's gotta be nasty.

benjibopper said...

yeesh, sorry to hear about that stalker. i hope you can figure it out or that he goes away.

certain illnesses are best treated with a comination of meds and therapy, and that combo seems underutilized because of the split between the two. it's a bummer.

Okami said...

I really need to try salt-water taffy now.

Everyone I know loves it, and I've never tried it before.