On Friday, the NTTA (North Texas Tollway Authority) sent us a 'violation report' saying that for the years 2003 and 2004 I had about 11 'violations'. These are times they say I blew through without paying the toll. They even have a nifty photo of the back of my van. Problem is, I have a tolltag. We looked up at least 7 of those dates and saw where they charged my tolltag a few minutes before or after each of the 'violations'. They were saying I owed them about $300.
So, today I called to deal with the crap that I knew they were going to give me. Surprisingly, after talking to someone in training who didn't know what in the heck was going on, I got a supervisor and she said 'Our bad' and took off the violations.
Scott was amazed that we so easily slayed the civil servant beast. And there was much rejoicing.
I went into the office to send in about $300 in expense reports, which will probably make up for what I did later in the day :) While I was there, I picked up my mail (something I do about every three months) and lo and behold - I find that I am now certified in marketing law. I didn't even know there was such a thing, I just knew that I took several classes for Sun - branding, trademarks, intellectual property protection, etc. So, I have another certificate to add to my home office. Joy.
I went around this afternoon to do some shopping - got some rugs for the boys room (I decided to go with navy and tan for their room), curtains, bed skirts, a blackout shade (so maybe they will sleep in) and some new rugs for our bathroom. I didn't plan to buy so much stuff today. I only went for navy bed skirts - maybe a $25 purchase. There was a problem though. Or rather, _I_ have a problem - I shop to numb myself and make myself feel better.
While I was walking around the store, one of my best friends called from Hunstville. We found out several months back that his mom, who is like family to me, had small cell carcinoma. She's been going through chemo, and it broke my heart to see her when I was in Hunstville last month. Anyway, Danny called me today and said his mom had been acting strange, saying things that made no sense and they thought she might have had a stroke. She had an MRI today and they found that her brain is riddled with tumors. Too many to count. They are going to immediately start radiation, but they said it doesn't look good. We're probably talking weeks here, if that. I'm so upset because she won't be with us much longer. But mostly, I'm really fucking angry with her for smoking all those years, even when she saw it was making her sick.
I'm so glad I quit eight years ago. Fifteen years of smoking, and now it's been 8 since I quit. I had smoked for more years than I had lived without smoking at the point I quit. I was 12 when I started. You know what? If it means living a longer life and not putting my kids through what Danny is going through, I would give up FOOD if I had to. Too many people in this world get cancer because of a bum roll of the dice. They didn't do anything to cause it. I'm so torn right now because this just eats me up inside, and I'm so sad to be losing someone who I love and to see someone I love even more than her hurting so much, but that it was AVOIDABLE.
It's like losing someone because they were driving drunk. You not only have the hurt, but know that poor choices caused it instead of fate. I can't imagine what Danny is going through right now. I wish I was there to give him a huge hug.