When it rains, it’s all kinds of drama

Look at me, not waiting a whole month to write again. It’s almost like I’m going back to being a blogger, or something. WEIRD.

The impetus for this is simple: Life was boring, boring, boring… right up until it wasn’t. And when people start saying things to me like “Oh, Mir, that could only happen to YOU,” I figure that means it’s ridiculous enough to share, because why should I hog all the fun? I should not. Perhaps nothing dramatic is happening in your life, in which case: YAY YOU! But I have some drama to spare, and I’m a good sharer.

ALSO, after 3 weeks of back and forth with our insurance company, I am now the proud (?) owner of some ADHD meds. My doc has me starting off with a very small dose, and so at first I was all, “Huh, well, this is… sort of dumb,” but I have progressed one notch up the dosage ladder and suddenly I find myself doing all sorts of weird things. Like, I’ll sit down to do something and ACTUALLY GET IT DONE. Or I’ll start planning something out and have a TOTAL AND COMPLETE THOUGHT WHICH I DON’T FORGET HALFWAY THROUGH. It’s sort of magical. Is this how normal people’s brains work all the time? Why have we not yet cured cancer and also figured out how to make people stop caring about what other people do with their bodies? I am productive and invincible! (At least until tonight when the meds wear off!)

Alright, let’s get right on to the excitement.

The Play
We are on to our second weekend of Calendar Girls and the run sold out before we even opened. That is… very unusual (and gratifying). Although this has taken a huge amount of time and energy, especially considering I don’t even have a speaking part, it has been a TON of fun, both backstage and on stage. The audiences have been loving it. I’ve met a bunch of super cool women (and a few men). And you know, it’s hard not to feel like a complete badass when you’re sitting on stage naked behind a piece of sheet music (in my case; different people are shielded behind different props) while a packed audience is hooting and hollering. I feel like this is the sort of thing I would’ve been very resistant to do when I was younger (and infinitely better-looking, by the way), and I’m really appreciating the wisdom and why-the-fuck-not-ness that comes with age. Who knew? Not me.

The Great Pizza Caper
There are always (always always always) frozen pizzas in our garage freezer for the children teens young adults people I gave birth to. Yes, I cook most of the time. Yes, when I cook it’s from scratch 99% of the time. But they like them and it’s an easy/quick way for anyone in the house who eats gluten (read: everyone but me) to make a meal if I’m not making one. They like Home Run Inn the best (not an ad, just credit where credit is due), and our supermarket tends to put those on Buy 1, Get 1 every so often, so when they do, I load up. Cheese pizzas for Chickadee, pepperoni for Monkey. Sometimes those pizzas don’t go on sale for a while and I end up buying something else, but Home Run is definitely the favorite.

In my mind, that’s a “kid meal,” even though sometimes Otto eats them, too. And I don’t tend to buy frozen gluten-free pizza, because as much as I might relish the convenience, as anyone who can’t eat wheat will tell you, gluten-free stuff tends to cost twice as much, but at least it only tastes half as good, so YAY. I’d rather just go without.

Well. A little while back, some nice folks from Smart Flour Foods (again, not an ad, but disclosure) mailed me and said HEY WE HAVE THIS AWESOME GLUTEN FREE FROZEN PIZZA, WANT SOME? And I said HELL YES because I’m a lady and I like free stuff and I especially like free gluten-free stuff (because then if it sucks I’m not out the money). Last week while Chickadee was home on Spring Break, they sent me a few pizzas, much to my (ridiculous) excitement. I cooked one pretty much immediately and it was DELICIOUS and tasted like real pizza instead of pizza on a thin slab of cardboard. (Hey, Smart Flour? I know your tag line is “Ancient grain taste that never gets old,” but may I humbly suggest you change it to “It turns out that ancient grains do not suck at all,” instead? You’re welcome!)

Anyhoo, last Friday was opening night for the play, and Otto was out of town and Chickie and a friend from school were going out to dinner and then coming to the show, so Monkey was going to be on his own for the evening. “Go ahead and make yourself a pizza!” I said, on my way out. He was thrilled. I mean, why get excited about lovingly prepared homemade meals when you can have frozen pizza?

You probably know what happened. I arrived home with the girls pretty late, after the show, and Monkey was in bed, but… the box from the Smart Flour pepperoni pizza was on the kitchen counter. Did it matter that we have NEVER had that kind of pizza in the freezer before? Or that the box is a different size? Did he notice? He did not. It was a pepperoni pizza, and he ate it. Which—I must hasten to add—is really not a big deal. But… like I said, I don’t generally buy gluten-free stuff like that, and I already knew it was good, and it was late and I was tired, and I saw the box on the counter, and a tiny, “Oh no,” escaped my mouth. Chickie and her friend peered at me while I explained. “It’s fine,” I concluded, albeit with some disappointment.

I talked to Monkey about it the next day and he felt terrible, and really, it was an honest oversight. He never even suspected it was gluten-free (I told you they’re good) and when he felt bad, I felt bad for even saying anything. No biggie.

The next day, before Chickie headed back to campus, she was out with her pal and apparently went to several different grocery stores until she found the Smart Flour pizzas. Then she bought me a pepperoni one, brought it home, and wrote @Monkey DO NOT EAT in Sharpie across the front of the box before putting it in the freezer. No lie, it’s just a pizza, and I nearly cried. I mean, that was SO SWEET. I asked her why she did it and she said, “You just looked so sad last night.”

Moral of the story: Raise ’em right and they develop pizza compassion, folks. You heard it here, first.

But then…
Oh, hey. One more thing happened before Chickie went back to school at the end of break. Saturday morning she told me her chest was sore. I asked a few questions and gave her some Advil. She didn’t mention it for the rest of the day. When I asked, she said they’d probably sleep until 11 or 12 on Sunday, then pack up and head to campus. But on Sunday, she was up really early. Why? “My chest hurts. It woke me up.” More questions, more Advil. Probably a pulled muscle. Maybe (harnessing the power of Dr. Google!) costochondritis? Keep an eye on it, kid.

She messaged me on Monday to say the pain was bad enough that it woke her up, again. I told her to go to the campus Health Center to get checked.

[Let us pause for a moment so I can point out that last week I had dress rehearsals all week until the show opened, and then performances through the weekend. This week we started up on Wednesday and go through Sunday, which means Monday and Tuesday are the ONLY days off I’d be having in that 2-week period. Just tuck that away for a sec.]

Here’s what happened next:
1) Chickie goes to the Health Center and they tell her to go to Urgent Care off campus.
2) She contacts me, I find a local doc-in-a-box, she gets her friend who was here over the weekend to agree to take her over there (because at this point her pain is severe enough that she’s worried about driving).
3) She goes to doc-in-a-box and tells them she’s having chest pain.
4) They do an EKG.
5) They tell her the EKG is abnormal, she is experiencing atrial fibrillation, and needs to go to the Emergency Room immediately.
6) Chickie calls me. Remember how my dad had a heart attack a couple of weeks ago? I had a few choice words for the universe.
7) Chickadee’s college is in a small, fairly remote town. Urgent Care had recommended she make the drive to the next big town to a real hospital, so at first I was going to meet her there, but then I had the presence of mind to have her ask if she could just come back home to the hospital here. They said that was fine, she just needed to be seen that day. Okay.
8) Friend agrees to drive her the 90 minutes back home, because she is an awesome friend.
9) I meet the girls at the hospital. I expend a lot of energy trying to appear as though I am not freaking the fuck out, because (SPOILER ALERT) I am very much freaking the fuck out.
10) Good news! When a relatively healthy 18-year-old walks into the ER complaining of chest pain with an abnormal EKG in hand, they take her in right away!
11) Nurse conducts a repeat EKG, which is totally normal. She then looks at the scan Chickadee brought in and snorts. “This is what it looks like when the machine isn’t properly hooked up. Your heart is fine.”
12) MIXED EMOTIONS. Because YAY, her heart is okay. But also FUCK THE DOC-IN-A-BOX because I nearly had a heart attack, myself.
13) But, you know: she still has severe chest pain. So we wait (and wait and wait and wait) and she sees the doctor and has a chest x-ray.
14) Diagnosis: costochondritis. Painful but harmless. They give her prescriptions for heavy-duty anti-inflammatories and send us on our way.

At this point, Chickadee was exhausted and disgruntled, and when her friend (a saint, who’d sat in the ER for 3ish hours despite our assurances that she could head back to campus if she wanted) said, “So I guess we can head back to school?” she just looked… sad.

“Do you want to stay home tonight? I can run you back down to campus tomorrow.” She nodded, relieved. So I got to spoil her for the evening and take her back on Tuesday. Again, mixed emotions, because if this had happened on performance days it would’ve been a hundred times more complicated, but on the other hand, I spent most of Monday taking care of her and most of Tuesday doing the same and then driving.

But hey, she’s okay and that is all that matters. Phew.

But wait, there’s more!
Longtime readers know that my Discover Card has been compromised in a variety of weird ways over the years. (Never forget the Great Chicken Caesar Salad Event of 2011, people.) It’s a pain in the ass, but Discover is AMAZING about catching these things and I’m never liable for the weird crap people try to buy, so it’s fine, I guess.

It has, in fact, happened SO often, that I didn’t even bother mentioning that last month, we got a fraud alert call from Costco, wanting to know if I’d just placed twenty online orders to be delivered to an out-of-state address. I quickly learned that Costco is not nearly as organized as Discover, though, because it was the Costco credit card people who called me, and in the flurry of changing passwords and canceling our card and everything, I discovered that somehow only MOST of those orders ended up canceled. I ended up calling the website folks a couple of days later to point out that they’d shipped maybe half-a-dozen of those orders (for things like giant TVs and Playstations, natch), and they said the credit card didn’t tell them what was happening, and it was basically a giant clusterfuck. BUT we weren’t charged for anything, so, yay.

YESTERDAY I got a phone call that went like this:
Her: Is this Mir Kamin?
Me: Yes?
Her: Oh. I was just wondering. Did you know that a bunch of your stuff was delivered to me?
Me: What?
Her: I was wonderin’ if you knew your packages had been delivered to me.

[Let us pause. This woman sounded like she was high as a kite. I checked my caller ID and it was an actual name/number, not UNKNOWN or otherwise blocked. I had no idea what was going on, but… suddenly it dawned on me.]

Me: Wait, do you live in [state where all the rogue Costco orders were sent]?
Her: Ayup.
Me: Ohhhh. Yeah, actually I did know. Someone hacked my Costco account and ordered a bunch of stuff in my name, apparently to your address.
Her: Yeah, they sure did. All kinds of stuff. I was just wondering if you knew.
Me: Yeah. Um. What did you do with it all?
Her: Oh, don’t worry. *giggle* I got rid of it.
Me: You got rid of it? Did you send it back to Costco?
Her: Oh, no. I took it to the pawn shop! You know they’ll take just about anything!
Me: So a bunch of packages showed up at your place, addressed to someone else, and you… opened them and pawned everything.
Her: Well yeah.
Me: I… I’m sorry, WHY are you calling to tell me this?
Her: Oh I don’t want to cause any trouble! I was just curious if you knew, was all. I don’t want to cause any trouble.
Her: I was just wonderin’.
Me: Right. Okay, thanks.

WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. (I have SO MANY QUESTIONS. Is she in cahoots with the hacker? She was clearly too dumb to be the hacker. How did she get my number? Why did she call me? WHAT IS HAPPENING????)

I Googled her phone number and the name not only matched the one that came up on my Caller ID, it matched the address of where the packages went. I called Costco. They asked me to file a police report. I called my local department and explained that I knew it sounded wild and I wasn’t really expecting them to do anything, but could I file a report? The dispatcher said an officer would be right out.

He pulled in right behind Otto (as Otto arrived home from work), and asked my poor, bewildered husband what was happening. (Otto: Ummmm… nothing?) So that was fun.

I gave the officer the information I had. He kept telling us it’s very important to shred all of our bills and packing labels. I kept trying to explain that my online account had been hacked. I feel there may have been a slight failure of communication, but whatever.

And then I left to go do a performance last night. And now we have four more performances and no one is allowed to have a cardiac event or a stolen credit card at least until next week. The end.


  1. Brenda

    Whew! What a roller coaster of emotions reading this! Joy at good pizza, disappointment it was eaten, major awwwww feels at the new pizza, a little panic at the EKG, a little angry at the error that caused the false alarm, the incredulity at the phone call…

    Only you, Mir. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. Jill

    I misread Chickie’s issue as “Costco..itis” which might be what your package drama caused for you.

  3. Grace

    My goodness! Glad Chickie’s chest was not THAT serious.

  4. Chris

    Wow. I know there should be more to say but just wow. (And glad that Chickie is ok – and worth a follow-up to inferior urgent care no?)

  5. Elizabeth

    Please let the urgent care know the EKG was improperly used! It could save a life, and hopefully get someone better training. I’m so sorry you had to go through that.

  6. Abbey

    Ok, costochondritis is extremely not fun. For awhile, I had chronic costochondritis that returned about quarterly and was repeatedly debilitating and breathing is painful. A few things – 1) Some exercises seem to worsen it- things like cardio dance, zumba, and sometimes weight lifting. 2) It also appeared at random, but after trying to figure this all out and looking backwards it really appeared very close in time to when I was experiencing a lot of stress. Hopefully, this is a one off for you all, but better know than not. Eventually, we discovered was a muscle relaxers taken the moment I first felt any pain did seem to head these off down the road as did getting better at managing my stress. Also, heating pads were definitely my friend when trying to sleep. In good news, they seem to have gone away now, but just a heads up that it may not be an isolated occurrence and it is good to think about what is going on externally as it took my doctors and I a long time to sort it out as there is no apparent reason they should recur.

  7. Karen

    My Discover card was just hacked. I have a suspicion as to WHO (where) it was hacked, but that’s not important. Discover saw several transactions in a few hours – about $2000 worth. They notified me, and viola – that was it! Other than a few more gray hairs.

    Now it is changing ALL the things I have automatically charged! Each time I think I have them all done, another pops up. Of course, in the last 4 months I have had to set up new email (my old one decided 24 years free was enough), new health insurance, now new credit card. NIGHTMARE!

    Good luck Mir!

    • Jessica (tc)

      Don’t tell me that you used Fastmail, too, Karen? Because I’ve had my account there for years and years and suddenly, nope, you can’t use your free account any longer. Grrrrr.

      Mir and Chickie, costochondritis is definitely not fun! I’ve dealt with it off and on for years, and it hurts. Another family member was just diagnosed with it recently, too, so I was able to commiserate with someone who understood for once.

  8. Brigitte

    For some reason, the pizza incident brought tears to my eyes. Apparently, pizza really gives me the feels!

  9. Jeanie

    Oh, good grief! Can’t believe the Costco event. What will happen to all those charges? Also too, Chickie was da bomb for getting you another pizza. I can totally see why Monkey was upset. I’m so glad Chickie’s okay.

  10. Sarahd

    I totally would have cried when she brought me pizza! And probably at some of the other things. Glad your play is kicking ass, though!

  11. pharmgirl

    The only thing that saved ME from a heart attack was that no mother would/could write about pizza before a child’s cardiac event.

    So glad that she’s ok!

    Boo to identity thieves, BRAVA to you and the rest of the cast!

  12. Lily

    That was a fun read. Well, not your near heart attack moments, but I just thought I’d let you know that I’ve missed reading your blog. Was just going through my bookmarked sites to see what you were up to since I stopped checking due to the infrequent posts. You reminded me how much I enjoy your blog so I’ll be checking back more often.

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