Saturday, October 29, 2011

How'd It Go?

Last Wednesday I had my Social Security disability hearing for my vertigo, covering the period from March 2009, when I got sick, to July 2010, when I started working as a phone sex operator. Beforehand, my lawyer prepped me what to expect, and we went over the evidence to ensure my she had the important findings at the top of her notes.

We discussed whether to tell the judge I do the generic "phone consulting" or to tell him I'm a phone sex operator. The reality is, I chose this profession not only because I'm a giant slut who loves playing with callers' sexual energy, but also because I can set my own hours, I can rest when I need to, and I can't sustain any visual effort longer than about an hour. That leaves... ummm, well, phone sex! My lawyer advised me to play it by ear, but if it came to a choice of "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" then of course, I had to tell the judge.

Five minutes into the hearing, I was saying, "I'm a phone sex operator, Your Honor." He snortled, blinked, and asked, "Excuse me?" I repeated myself, "I do phone sex, Your Honor." I could feel myself blushing, and panicking slightly about whether or not it was the right choice. He raised his eyebrows at my lawyer as if to say "Nice curveball, counselor", but declined to comment.

I answered questions: Could I work from home as a PSO? Yep. Why could I be a PSO in July 2010? A combination of physical therapy and medicines improved my condition enough. Why couldn't I be a PSO between March 2009 and July 2010? The vertigo precluded concentrating long enough to sustain intense dialogue. How much do I make as a PSO? I've averaged only a few hundred dollars per month more than if I were still disabled and collecting Social Security disability benefits (my monthly average has been decreased by all the time I've taken off for my moves, but also, my monthly benefit amount was substantial because I made a lot / paid a lot into Social Security before I got sick - I think I maxed out my SS contributions for the last 8 years of my IT career).

Why can't I do my old job, be an IT Manager? I thought about opening a wall of SQL text, reviewing discombobulated spreadsheets with inconsistent data to import into a central database, reading hundreds of emails a day, running a project team meeting starting with "guys, we have a problem, and I have no clue how to solve it"... and I started to cry. Crying made me panic about seeming disingenuous or manipulative, and made me embarrassed to be crying, which, of course, only made it harder not to cry. Great.

There were more questions. The judge had clearly read my medical evidence, and knew what he wanted to uncover during testimony. I didn't interrupt him, I tried to stay on target, summarize without missing critical subtle details, and not let it distract me that I was starting to spin, stutter, feel foggy, drop words. The timing was horrifying, yet poetically impeccable: I was having a concentration-triggered vertigo crash in the middle of my disability hearing. Things were getting blurry, but I had to hang on enough to answer questions.

The judge thanked me for my creativity and willingness to work, which I thought was odd until I considered it later: I'm sure he sees a lot of people who are just trying to scam the system or get out of working to be lazy. But there I was saying, no, I really genuinely couldn't work for 16 months. But then I could work, so I did. I work, making less than a third of what I used to make. I work, making only 10% more than I would make if I were not working and on disability. But I can work, so I do.

Then he said "I'm granting disability for the closed period of March 2009 to July 2010. Counselor, are you all right with that?" My lawyer looked surprised, stammered, and said, "Yes, Your Honor". And then she was gathering her things and the judge was saying "This concludes the hearing" and I had the feeling I should leave the room, but there were things we had reviewed before the hearing that had not been stated, and my attorney hadn't given me the chance to tell the narrative I had been practicing... and what the fuck was going on?

Thankfully, something in my rational mind overruled my panic and said "follow your lawyer" so I packed up, stood up, turned around, stumbled into the wall, and drunkenly made it into the attorney consultation room. "What happened? Why didn't we... my narrative..."

She said calmly, decisively, and slowly, "You won. He said yes. He granted your disability. You're done."

"What? When? You said that wouldn't happen..." Then she laughed as my brain caught up, and trying to look professional instead of delightedly happy as she explained that the phrase "I'm granting disability" means he affirmed my total disability in the months I couldn't work, and granted me benefits.

My legs gave out; I had to sit. For two and a half years, I faced repeated denials of benefits because neurological vertigo is wickedly hard to prove. A part of me didn't believe the day would ever come when anybody would give me any disability benefits whatsoever.

Over the past few days, I keep having a feeling of dissociation from the reality of what has happened, followed by huge rushes of emotion: relief, gratitude, anger, joy, frustration, peace, and giddy giddy giggling.

The money will be exactly enough to: repay my mom and sister the money they've loaned us, pay off the last of my student loans from my MBA classes (I didn't finish my MBA because I got a management job without one), pay for the last step of the dental work I've been putting off for months, and then pay for about 10 celebratory dinners at in the $50-and-under range. Perfect.

So, how'd it go Wednesday? It went perfectly. I'm barely starting to come out of my shock at how perfectly it went.

I deeply appreciate each and every note of support I got. Thank you. Thank you more than you know.

So. Now I need to figure out how to get this damn blog back on track. Phone sex, Galiana. That's what people are here to read about, phone sex. Try to write about phone sex next, would you?

You know I don't make promises, but I'll try.

Monday, October 24, 2011

On The Road Again

Tomorrow, I'm traveling back to Austin to have a disability hearing. Although the timing was unfortunate, I'm very glad it's been scheduled and that I get time to explain my weird, complicated case.

I spent the first six months of my vertigo visiting 17 doctors and a physical therapist, looking for diagnosis and a cure.

In months 6-15, I tried a series of medicines, to varying degrees of less-than-total-success, but I also extended the lessons I learned in physical therapy to try to develop coping patterns of activity / rest.

In month 15, I felt good enough about the balance of occasional medicines and my physical therapy gains to attempt to make a living at phone sex. I was not at all sure I could do it. Some days were better than others. I'm still so grateful I was able to make it work.

The hearing will ONLY cover the time period before I started working (months 0-15). I genuinely believe that I could not have worked any sooner - it took that long for the right medicines and therapies to do their thing. Plus, Just Say No to attempting to defraud the government.

So the hearing will be hard: I'll have to remember in vivid detail a difficult period of my life.

And it will be wonderful: I'll get to remember in vivid detail how much more I can do now, and celebrate being the kind of person who chooses to do everything I can do. I choose to work, even at 1/3 of my former salary most months, because I can, and I love that about myself.

And I am traveling on my own, something I feared I could never do again. I'm not gonna lie, it's gonna suuuuuuuck to be on a plane again. But it sucks less than never traveling again. By a lot.

In the meantime, we're happily unpacking our new home to make one room functional at a time. The bedroom works REALLY well!! Yay me!

The Fuckatorium 3.0 will be spectacular, but has not yet been properly equipped or decorated. I can't wait to show it to you! I'm going for a very sparse look, with only necessities. The idea is to keep as little as possible in the room so it's video-ready at the drop of a hat if I get the urge. Less clutter = more videos (I hope). It's a unique room, with deeply sloped walls that obviously used to be part of an attic, 9 feet wide by 22 feet long with deep red walls - it's striking!

So I'll be offline and unavailable for calls Tue, Wed, Thu, but available by appointment only Friday afternoon. I'll probably be offline Saturday, and back on Sunday. Then next week, well, next week is when the real fun starts again: establishing my new pattern. I am so incredibly looking forward to next week!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I'm Stuffed

Paddle In Hand
Paddle In Hand

Summary (extra-short): My stuff has arrived in my home, so I'm all stuffed up.

Summary (medium-short): After 10 days of hearing nothing from our movers, we got a call Saturday saying they would hold our stuff hostage unless we paid them $800 more than the estimate. Sunday, after they arrived at 6:30 pm, we refused to pay it, called cops, had a 3-hour stand-off in our front yard, took video, measured the truck, I cried, and they eventually agreed to the $1600 originally estimated plus the $200 tip I had always intended to give them. Monday, they arrived at 11:30, took our money, then informed us they were in too big of a hurry to reassemble our furniture or put any furniture or boxes where we specified ("for $1800 you get your stuff dumped"), we took more video, I cried more, but we have our stuff.

A few details: My husband and I figured out a pretty clever Good Cop (him) / Hysterical Cop (me) routine where we blamed my medicines and the general condition of Being Female for my over-excitability. We used my Hysterical Condition to manage to get everything we need on video to sue them for serious breach of contract, as well as fraudulent charges (they charged us for over 500 cubic feet they admitted we did not have).

Justice will happen through the courts, and through our very eager army of non-smut friends who are, at this moment, filling review boards with factual, non-slanderous reviews of their company.

But I haven't spent that much energy faking a one-down position to anyone in a long time. It was the right thing to do to get through the day, to have our stuff safely returned to us (nothing was intentionally damaged, and the dryer not working is probably electrical).

But here's the deal: If your fetish is humiliating women, calling women stupid, or in any way whatsoever suggesting that the woman you're talking with is anything other than an amazingly capable, whip-cracking, intelligent, funny, productive, bad-ass-motherfucker? Do. Not. Fucking. Call. Me.

Also, I'm not at all your girl if you need me to beg you, cajole you, nag you, manipulate you, or coerce you. I'm all out of Bad Cop juice at the moment. Well, or else I'm allllll filled up with it, but it's not the kind you'll like.

Seduce you? Bring it. Kick you in the nuts while humiliating you? I'm totally your girl. Edge you until you're begging and writhing and leaking a steady stream of pre-cum all over your own hand (or whatever I'm letting you stroke with)? Aww fuck yeah.

My bold diva self should start being available on phone sex again tomorrow night. Or maybe tonight. Or who knows? Whenever the hell I want, dammit! /grin

My nice, normal, sweet, accommodating self should return in a few days. Maybe...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Bit Better, and Amusements

My current mood
My current mood
We still don't have our stuff, but our movers have at least called us now. We are no longer playing the game of "maybe they stole all our things." Now we are playing the game of "they claim we owe them a lot more money than they initially estimated before they will deliver our things." I hate playing chicken.

Thankfully, my husband and I play a pretty damn good game of Good Cop/Bad Cop. Usually we just play it alone with each other, but in this case, it comes in handy externally as well. Heh. That made me grin.

We've researched the law and helpful tactics, but if you have suggestions, feel free to shoot me an email and advise away. My legal-name FB has been bombarded with helpful hints from many of our non-smut friends, and I have gotten supportive and helpful emails from the smut side of my life as well. Our communities have been fantastic.

So, to thank you for suffering with me through my tales of woe, I will now share amusing anecdotes:

Thursday evening, an ex-coworker passed close enough to us in his drive cross-country that he stopped for dinner, during which, I confessed my phone sex career to him. He was thrilled for me, and had lots of fun questions and enthusiasm without being specifically titillated because he is solely and voraciously attracted to men.

After discussing how some people use my services in a pseudo-therapeutic way, he started pondering aloud some fantasies he had from early in his sexual development which he felt like he hadn't explored because of his shame around them, but he was being purposefully vague.

This led to me asking him, "Specifically what do you think about when you're jacking off?" He laughed, hard, and said, "It's just like working with you again! I can see you pulling the door to your office shut, and you turning around and asking me that question exactly that way!" Yep. I probably would have.

The next day, I relayed that story to my mother, who has asked not to be told too many specifics, but finds some level of bawdiness amusing. Upon regaining her breath after a burst of surprised laughter, she said, "Oh dear, no. Wait, why? Was that one of your interview questions?" No, no, no, no, no. No, it wasn't. But it sort of is now, isn't it?

In other encouragement, in that same conversation with Mom, when I said "I think I'm ahead of schedule with having made all my major life mistakes twice before the age of 42", she replied, "Oh, honey, I'm sure you're not done."

I'm pretty damn sure she's right.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Control, You Fickle Bitch

Now why would you want to leave me?
Now why would you want to leave me?

I had a lot of control when I lived in Houston - my husband was traveling for work 10 days out of every 14, my family and local friends were trained to call before dropping by, and I was finding my ability to adapt to the unexpected kind of, well, atrophying, because the unexpected was happening so rarely in my daily life.

I mean, sure, there was the whole thing with "you're moving - you're not moving - you're moving - you're not moving - oh okay really you're moving", and anyone would have found that disruptive, but aside from that ennui, I could manage my dizzies, my dogs, my time, and my energy as I wished.

Oct 2, I arrived at my new home in Central Illinois (I've decided I can safely say "Central Illinois" now that I've been here and determined I am not quite at The Godforsaken Ends of The Earth)(plus Central Illinois could be any one of five "metro" areas, so it's still not all that specific)(could we finish this sentence without more parenthesis, please?)(maybe, if you ask nicely...)(ohfuckit)(what was I saying?)(I arrived at my new home...) to find that Control has forsaken me.

Frank Sinatra sang to Luck, asking her to be a Lady and stay with the guy she came in with. I feel like I'm attempting to serenade Control in much the same way, and, as a shocking surprise to absolutely nobody, she ain't playin' along.

In ascending order of emotional impact, from lowest to highest levels of reinforcement of the idea "you really are not in control here": (1) I have to travel unexpectedly back to Austin in two weeks (2) my movers may have stolen all our stuff and (3) a good friend lost a close family member in an accident.

I'm very glad to be a support for (3), especially since I lost my father at age 22, and I remember how helpful it was to talk with people whose immediate family members had passed away when they were far too young. The best advice given to me in that time was, "You're a smart girl, and you're usually able to figure things out, but if you try to figure out Death, you'll make yourself crazy. This is a feeling thing, not a thinking thing. Just feel." She wins the prize for best advice ever. I still thank her periodically.

Control: Big Fat 1, Galiana: Big Fat 0.

As for (2), it's been nine days now since we've heard hide nor hair from our movers, and one of the numbers we were using to reach them has been disconnected. Gulp. I did a lot of research in early September to choose the company, and yet, in the past 30 days, there seem to be dozens of reports suddenly of them doing a horrible job, which has been a big shake to my confidence as well as a big huge giant fat massive annoyance to be living in limbo wondering if we need to start buying replacements to stuff, or if we can hold out Denial and Hope one more day (Hope and Denial make such a cute couple, don't they?) So I'm researching civil and criminal options to recover my things, from a thousand miles away, and trying not to blame myself for picking a horrible mover.

Dear Victim, don't blame yourself. Love, Everyone Sane.

Control: Whopping Hellacious 2, Galiana: Serious 0.

Then for (1), it seems that my change of addresses didn't reach all the right offices, and I'm having a disability hearing about my vertigo in Austin in two weeks. Surprise! The hearing is about the 15 months when I couldn't work before I figured out the right pattern of low-dosage, occasional medicines and resting that allowed me to start doing phone sex. Don't worry, I'm not defrauding the government. If anything, I'm being militantly forthcoming (my lawyer probably didn't need to know I do phone sex now - maybe I could have said "telephone sales", right? But it was kinda fun to tell her). But the practical thing in the meantime is that we had to scramble to get funds and plans for me to travel again, just exactly when I thought I'd be settling down, and it's possible that if I known the date of my hearing before we moved, I would have waited another 4-6 weeks to move at all.

Control: Pow! Pow! Pow! That's 3 in a row, to Galiana's 0... and that looks like a Knockout, folks!

Oh, and my allergies have been bad, too, but that seems miniscule by comparison. Apparently, though, I needed to whine about it. /whiiiiiiiine

I would like to think that I would have learned my lesson not to hold onto control too tightly had it been applied slightly more subtly than via sledgehammer. But perhaps not.

In the meantime, I'll log on for phone sex when I'm able to shuffle these worrisome details out of my busy head enough to feel sexy.

And of course, a reminder: a good number of delicious callers have dropped me an email to let me know a specific date/times they would be available, which I find MUCH easier to accommodate than to log on for Anyone In The Whole Wide World. There's a 30-minute minimum for appointments, but I have been loving those little eagerly anticipated getaways.

And, indeed, writing this, I can feel my mind and body longing for the verdant, luscious, all-encompassing escape of immersing myself in someone else's sexual energy. Maybe I need to stop sleeping as a coping mechanism and do more phone sex instead.

Like, for example, on Tuesday night, before any of this happened, I had an amazing time teasing and guiding the new caller who found me through this blog, the one with the gentle voice, the one I introduced to a few pleasures available from the belt of his fuzzy robe... My mouth just watered, and what was that? It seems to have been a little grin.

So write me already, you slacker. It's the least you could do, really, isn't it? Here, I'll make it easy:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

Early Morning Snuggles
Early Morning Snuggles

The best laid plans of mice and men / Often go awry (or something like that, depending on your translation to modern English).

For the record, I'd rather be the best laid girl than have the best laid plans anyway.

But on to the actual topic of this blog post. As plans go, it was a fine one: arrive in my new town on Sunday, have my stuff delivered on Mon or Tue or Wed, and have a friend visit to help me unpack on Thu-Sat while hub had to be out of town.

The tiny little complication to the plan? Our stuff hasn't been delivered yet. In fact, we don't know when it will be delivered. We do know our truck has not yet left Texas. We've been told someone else canceled their move, so they have to wait until they have another full container from Houston to the Midwest before we get our belongings.

In the meantime, we're living off the spartan furnishings hub had acquired while in his temporary apartment, plus some things we bought from our landlady when she moved out. It's a bit inconvenient, but not impossible.

Still. Better. Than. The Last Move. A bajillion kazillion times better.

Since hub was heading out of town anyway, my friend still came down to visit, and we got The Plan together for where all the big furniture is going to be placed once it arrives, which has provided me a giant measure of mental relief.

As an added bonus, she loves taking pictures, especially of dogs, so when my pit bull mix and I were snuggling on the couch this morning, she captured us. No shower, no makeup, not the most flattering of angles, but I love it.

The original plan was to unpack necessities and feel a bit settled before I started taking calls. The new plan is to take calls until our movers arrive, then take a couple days off again to unpack necessities, then figure out a new schedule and attempt to pretend that my life is stable for a while. We can dream together, can't we?

I started writing this blog post at the same time as I logged in to take calls. I was nervous nobody would find me unless I blog-announced and mail-announced my availability, but I was wrong. I've had three calls so far: and old friend for teasing and ball-busting, a semi-regular for tickle torturing, and a new caller on my hypno line who completely resisted my first induction attempt, but sounded so gratified by the second attempt that he hung up on me after breathing intensely for a few minutes. /grin We'll have to work on his etiquette, but it sounds like the induction worked well. /flex

Welcome back (again), Galiana!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Unshared Pics From 2011

A few moments from 2011 which I haven't yet shared with you. Pro tip: Click on the pics to see slightly larger versions.

January, 2011:

Girl Goo On Big Red
Girl Goo on Big Red

See those streaks of white? That's what was left on Big Red after a really great call. Yummers. In terribly sad news, Big Red died a horrible death one night when I neglected to crate my dogs for the night before my anxious dog hit her mode of I'm-too-overtired-to-stop-myself-from-chewing-something-even-though-I-know-better. Don't worry, I quickly replaced Big Red with Slightly Bigger Green, and I ... uhhh... I'm all good.

February 2011:

Hard at work
Hard at work

Setting up the original Fuckatorium in the Austin house, I realized it might be of interest to some people that I do manual labor around the house in my bra. Oh sure, it's an old cotton bra that was a cup size too small at the time, but it feels better than wearing a shirt! This is why I have those sports-bra-tank shirts, so if I need to work in the garage with the door open...

April 2011:

Learning to Straighten
Learning to Straighten

I learned to straighten my hair in April. Theoretically, I knew how before then, but April is when I practiced. This is my hair after I straightened it and then just curled the ends. It was a self-portrait with my old phone, in my Houston bathroom that has crazy brown stripey wallpaper which I will not miss after I move... But the place we're moving, I'll have much less bathroom mirror to work with, so I'll miss that.

May 2011:

Pink Egg of Happiness
Pink Egg of Happiness
My pink egg-on-a-stick vibrator, usually used for clitoral stimulation, covered in my juices after I obviously used it for insertion. Vigorously. I so very much heart my pink egg. Big Green and Pink Egg are a fucking deliciously explosive combination.

May 2011:

Au Naturale
Au Naturale
Hmmm, maybe I should have just called this post "Girl Goo Gallery" (I just cracked myself up). See all that squishy white stuff on my ring finger? That was from me playing with myself on a call with just my fingers - I was begging was be allowed to use my vibrators and told I couldn't. It still felt great. Just don't tell him I said so.

June 2011:

theoretically not porn
theoretically not porn
It's theoretically possible that a new in-person lover of mine took a few pictures of me early in the morning when I was too sleepy to protest, although I had on no makeup and my hair was a mess. Side note: How does me not showing the crack of my ass make the difference between this pictures being nakedness vs being porn? I'm baffled.

September 2011:

Come to bed soon?
Come to bed soon?
If I had a theoretical new in-person lover, it would theoretically be possible that I met with him recently for a second visit before I move away from Houston, because we're not sure when we will be able to arrange to meet again in 2011. And if that happened, it would make logical sense that we might spend a bit of our time together with me playing dress-up and him taking a couple hundred pictures to add to his spank bank. I'm not saying for sure that's what happened, of course... but it's a nice shot, isn't it?

Try not to miss me too much.