Friday, December 2, 2011

demotivational

Here's my relationship with exercise:

At work: "I'm totally going to start that Couch to 5k running program when I get home today!"

Leaving work: "Maybe I'll do some yoga afterwards, too! The running thing is only 20 minutes. I could totally get an hour of exercise in before pizza night!"

On the freeway: "That might be too ambitious. I'll just do the running."

Pulling into the parking lot: "Maybe just a brisk walk. Still good for you."

Parking the car: "You know, I think I'll just do some yoga in the spare room."

In the house: "Oh look, my bed. And hey, internet on my phone!"

And this is why the clothes from my "way too big" box are now fitting just right. It's not that I don't want to exercise, it's that my house is kryptonite, draining me of all motivation. Well, that and that pizza night also had donut holes, double stuff oreos, and rollos tonight. I don't buy much junk food, but I make up for it on Fridays.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Perfectly normal

I had a hysterosalpingogram on Thursday. Better known as an HSG, because...hi, that's a long word. Basically, they x-rayed my fallopian tubes to make sure they aren't blocked. For those who are queasy about all things uterine, long story short, they're fine. Dismissed. Go look at some lolcats.

For those interested, here's the story. Monday I had blood work done, called to schedule my HSG. It's done at a reproductive endocrinologist's, so my specialist (ob/gyn) referred me to an even special-er-ist. But they think they're not on my insurance, even though the website says they are. So they call the benefits administrator, who literally uses the exact same website that I use to check. The person the doctor's scheduler lady talked to did it wrong and said they weren't on the plan. I called the benefits administrator and we did a conference call with the doctor's. Yes, they are on my insurance. Of course, the procedure is $295 and my deductible is $300, so either way it's costing me the same amount.

The prescribed me 1000 mg of azithromycin to take the night before. Apparently it's pretty common to have a day or two of antibiotics? I guess it makes sense; look at me funny and I'll wind up with a UTI, so might as well take some precautions during diagnostic procedures. But hey, turns out a megadose of antibiotics gives me--as we call it at work--bubble guts. So that was a charming couple of hours before bed.

Thursday morning was a bit of a loss; I was antsy and nervous, and the internet said it could be really painful! The doctor was half an hour away  in Scottsdale, had to get there early for paperwork, etc, so I ended up leaving at 10 for a 10:45 appointment. My ob/gyn said to take 800 mg of ibuprofen an hour beforehand, so I definitely did that, because HSGs make you cramp, apparently.

The office was nice, like if Chipotle and a nice mid-level hotel had a doctor's office baby. (Side note: we discovered when I got back to work that my coworker used to work in that exact same office several years ago, when it was a construction company's office. What are the odds?!) Everyone was super friendly and helpful. I never actually met the doctor I supposedly was referred to. But it's okay, because I really liked the resident who did the procedure. She was great about explaining what she was going to do and what we were looking for and warning me when things my hurt and stuff. Really a very nice woman. And, also, a woman.

Call me ridiculous, but I just prefer female ob/gyns. You know why? Because even though she may never have had an HSG before, she surely has had cramps and pelvic exams, so at least she has a baseline of what it feels like. Don't tell me how bad the cramping is if you don't have a uterus to know what it feels like! So I was actually really glad the she was doing the procedure. No offense to Mr. Very Important Reproductive Endocrinologist. I'm sure he's great.

How it works is they thread a catheter through your cervix, shoot in some contrast, and check to see if the dye spills out through the fallopian tubes into the abdomen. She showed me a picture of what it should look like, warned me that sometimes if one tube spills it can be hard to get the second to spill, but it doesn't mean that it's blocked. But the goal is to get both to spill.

The procedure itself only takes a few minutes. The initial cramping was bearable; basically like your every day menstrual cramps. At one point she warned me that it could get worse, and to tell her if it got bad. Yeah, it was bad. It was like the most intense, terrible cramp I could ever imagine. My eyes started to water and I started to feel really warm. But that didn't last too long, thank goodness.

She injected the dye, and zoom! It flew right through both tubes. Perfect! Absolutely nothing wrong with them. She had to pull it back a little to try to get the contrast to show the uterus (also fine) and that was it. She had to rewind the video to get a still shot for my doctor, it had happened so fast. Go fallopian tubes!

After that, it was back to work with just some mild blahs from the contrast. Apparently stuff splashing around in your abdomen makes it feel kind of like you were suckerpunched in the gut? Not too bad, though. Definitely worth it to be able to cross a potential problem off the list.

Before I left, my friend/coworker had made me stop googling stuff about the HSG, because it was making me crazy. But may I just say these infertility discussion boards just reaffirm to me how much I don't like them? Honestly, people, why are you calling intercourse "BD" (for "baby dancing")? Are you twelve? Or just that ridiculous? If it turns out I can't get pregnant, I am NOT becoming one of those people.

Anyway, now we just have to get Adam checked, and then we're ready for fertility drugs. And then I'm sure to have twins, since it's pretty much one of my greatest fears. I just hope I get a boy and a girl. One and done!

Friday, October 28, 2011

My apologies to Josh Groban

I took two years of Spanish in college. That was a lot of Spanish. Unfortunately, it was also a decade ago, sothe hinges are pretty rusty. And I never could understand it at normal speeds. So when I listen to things in Spanish now, it's pretty sketchy translating. For instance, I was listening to Josh Groban's "Closer" on the way home, which has a song in Spanish I actually enjoy. But it gets hilarious when I start translating it. If you have the CD (or Spotify or YouTube or...you get it) this will be even funnier if you put on "Si Volvieras a Mi."

How...something.  How...something. Shoot, it could be "Like." Like...something.

Something about God? Green? End, final...my heart!

If you...something to me. Return maybe? Something about spring. If you return to me, to be...something...but...something.

Despues...after? Did he say rain? Music something. God again? Breasts? No, that's pechas. I don't know what pechos is. It's crazy when love dies. [I think that's the closest I got to a complete sentence, and I'm still not sure it's right.]

If you return to me, something about fire? in spring? If you return to me, something miracle something. But...something.

Etc. As you can see, I can only pick out a word here and there. Of course I would do better actually reading the lyrics, but when you slur the words together--as people tend to do, with their "gotta" and "I'mma"--I'm lost.

I'd really like to improve my Spanish skills. It's definitely useful in Arizona. And it makes me feel less like a spoiled American who doesn't know anything but English. And if I end up going to back to school for English, some programs require a reading proficiency in a second language. So, uh, I'll probably avoid those programs. And it's just cool to be able to speak another language.

Anyway, I've got a lot of other things on my list of skills to develop. Cake decorating, guitar playing, side crow pose, soprano range, enjoying running...there's lots to do. But where to start? Anyone have a guitar I can borrow? Suited for tiny monkey hands? And maybe know how to teach people to play the guitar?

Maybe I'll start on the cake decorating instead.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thirty, flirty, and thriving?

So, today I turned 30. In the grand tradition (I think last year was the only year I've done this on this blog? Let's say it's my tradition as a married woman, eh?) of the year-in-review, let's talk about the past year.

-Moved to Arizona
-Almost immediately had trouble with our renters
-Went on a cruise. Got a little seasick, but mostly liked it
-Visited Mexico on said cruise
-Bought a diamond! In Mexico, for cheap
-Renters broke lease, we got a property manager, things fairly okay
-Spent a couple days in the hospital with Adam's heart out of rhythm
-Adam had his foot re-operated on
-Seriously reconsidered/regretted decision to move
-Got involved with (and subsequently un-involved with) a DJ business
-Used up pretty much all our savings while looking for work
-Got a temp job
-Moved into a condo in Mesa
-Got made permanent, at a rather disappointing pay (but at least with benefits and PTO)
-Took a weekend trip to Prescott. Decided weather is sufficient that I could live there
-Another couple days in the hospital, this time for an ablation--that worked!
-Sister nearly died in a car accident. Lots of related (bad) excitement
-Got a king size bed
-Spent the night helping take care of nieces. Realized I am quickly getting too old for this
-Won two sets of good seats to the Diamondbacks. Left early and missed seeing a grand slam
-Went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Lots of other stuff happened, I'm sure, but those are the highlights. Not bad, but here's to better.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vacation recap

So, in honor of my 30th birthday this week, we went to Universal Studios in Orlando! It was so much fun. More, strictly speaking, than we could afford, but if we're going to pursue this whole "having a baby" thing, it's possible that we would be in a position even less suited for cross-country travel. Certainly even less able to afford it. Anyway, you only turn 30 once, I don't have enough friends to bother throwing a party (sadface) and my adorable husband likes to spoil me. So we went!

We walked a TON. Maybe I'm just out of condition--well, I know I am, but still, my shins and ankles were so sore. Anyway, lots of walking, lots of sweating (or it might have been so humid that it was just condensing on us, honestly, it was hard to tell. Very humid.). I am too old for all but the mildest of rollercoasters--I blame my previous issues with vertigo; getting shaken around really made me woozy.

The best part, of course, was the small-but-delightful Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We drank butterbeer! It's delicious. It's like cream soda butterscotch ice cream floats. And we got the souvenir cups--$.79 soda refills in both parks, plus now we can re-create the experience at home.


We went on the bestest ride there, the Forbidden Journey, which takes you through the painstakingly reproduced castle. It's totally worth the hour wait.


We took pictures of fun details in Hogsmeade.



We did lots of browsing and bought lots of souvenirs! Most of it Christmas gifts. Two birds, one fairly expensive stone. The keychain is for me, though.




(We actually didn't buy many of the Honeydukes sweets, because they were painfully overpriced. $4.95 for a candy bar? $9.95 for a bag of fizzing whizbees? $12.95 for a jar of sherbet lemons?! They're just glorified lemon drops! And don't get me started on the pumpkin juice. Six dang dollars a bottle!)

Those are pretty much all the photos I have on my phone, and the rest of them are on the husband's computer, but believe me when I say everything was charming and wonderful and I really just wanted to move in there. Totally worth the time and money, just to have gone and done it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

But what's to be done?

We're going on vacation in honor of my 30th birthday/fall break/possible last hurrah before maybe getting pregnant (assuming that everything checks out before we even try to coax me into ovulating, but that's another story). I'm so excited! Wizarding World of Harry Potter! One of my many dream vacations, come true!

The problem, is TSA. I don't like any of my options to get through security. Do I go with the visually invasive, dubiously "safe" backscatter machine? (Pardon me for not trusting the government's assurance that it's fine.) Or do I skip it and go with the physically invasive search, which I may get anyway if something is undetermined on the scan/they like my looks/I complain too much and they want to make an example of me?  Which is the lesser of these two evils? None of the options are really making us safe, all of them are invasive and useless and there's no other option. There is no other way for us to get to Florida with enough time to visit Universal and get back in under a week. We have to fly.

It makes me seriously stressed and anxious, thinking about airport security. There have been plenty of articles about people being humiliated and mistreated. I know that's not every experience, but how many times is too many? Children, elderly, bladder and breast cancer survivors with special equipment, sexual assault victims, all of these terrible stories. TSA has all these rules and guidelines, yet it doesn't seem like the employees always know what they are or care to follow them.

I hate that all the decent, honest Americans who happen to want to fly automatically get treated like potential terrorists. I hate that the security theater has gotten even more dramatic, but even less effective. We are forced to submit to what can only be considered unreasonable searches. Oh, they say "If you don't like it, don't fly." Well, what about the people who have to fly for work? And for that matter, why should I have to limit my vacation plans to place I can drive to? Or get to on the Amtrak, which incidentally, is almost nowhere. And blah blah blah, courts say the right to travel between states is a protected right. Politicians talk but don't do anything. We have to put up with it or do without it. I feel so browbeaten by a smug, holier-than-thou government agency--which, let's face it, is most government agencies. It's just all so unreasonable!

But honestly, what is to be done? I think the Occupy Wall Street protests lately are pretty stupid, but if they wanted to throw in airport security to their lists of complaints, I might be a little more sympathetic.

Anyway, we fly out Sunday. Fingers crossed that it goes okay.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Laundry Situation

Some have wondered how I have arranged it so I do half--less than half, really--of the laundry in our house. There are several reasons, but it all starts with a terrible accident, not long after we were married.

My fabulous husband was helping with the laundry, and put in a load of colors. It was only afterwards that I realized he had taken everything from the basket, including my favorite sweater. Alas, my favorite sweater was made of cashmere. Not expensive cashmere, more like $25 at a Kohl's after-Thanksgiving sale cashmere. But still. My favorite sweater and made of a temperamental fabric.

There was nothing that could be done. The sweater was now sized for children, or perhaps very large dolls. I didn't cry, though I came pretty close. Poor husband was nearly as upset. He ruined my favorite sweater! He happened to have liked that sweater, too! Irreplaceable! So sad.

That was when we decided that we'd do our own colored laundry. We're both working, so it's not like one or the other has more time, and it's not like there's any reason why it should be a task determined by gender. Besides, it's not really my problem if you want a certain item of clothing to be clean. You want it washed, you wash it. As for whites, we do them together (I taught him how to deal with the bras) and whoever is running low on whites does them. How do I know if you're running low on underwears? I'm not! So typically, that means he does them. I'll do them sometimes, but that's just because I'm awesome, since I actually never run low on whites first.

So yeah, that's how laundry works in our house. Very fair and practical. As far as laundry hampers go, we actually use stacking recycling bins, such as you can find on Amazon. Because goodness knows I'm not going to use them for recycling.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Secret of success

I'm sure you frequently ask yourself, "How does she do it? How does she manage to make cook a meal almost once per day?" Well, for one thing, I don't have kids. For another thing, I do half the laundry or less (that's another story for a different day). But my real secret is canned chicken!

I know what you're thinking. "Seriously? Canned chicken is the secret of your success?" See, I'm not big on eating large chunks of meat. Oh, don't get me wrong, I've been known to order a steak at Texas Roadhouse (when I don't just order some potato skins, a side salad, and another basket of rolls). I've got no moral or dietary objection to meat. I just like it in a dish, rather than as the dish. And as we talked about weeks ago, we eat a lot of Mexican food in my house. As long as you have cheese and sour cream on hand (which we pretty much always do) and some bulk taco seasoning from Scam's Club or CostMo', you can make dinner in about the time it would take to go pick up food and bring it home.

Maybe you don't like tacos that much. (Or chicken quesadillas, or nachos or taquitos or whatever version of seasoned chicken in a tortilla you prefer). It's easier than cooking and shredding chicken breasts to make enchiladas, if that's your bag. But leaving aside the Mexican food, you could mix a can of chicken with some condensed soup and frozen veggies for a quick pot pie (top it with refrigerated pie dough, thin Bisquick biscuits, cornbread, etc.) Or mix it with a brick of cream cheese and some Italian seasoning, wrap in crescent rolls, and bake. You can butter and bread crumb the tops, but that's a little too fancy for most dinners. And of course, you can always mix it with some mayo (and fixin's, if grapes in a sandwich doesn't creep you out as it does me) for an easy chicken salad sandwich.

The key to all of these is to mix it with something flavorful. I wouldn't just sprinkle canned chicken chunks on a salad, for instance. Unless maybe I tossed it in salad dressing first. No, probably still not. Let me know if you try that, though.

Pound for pound, it's probably not as cheap as just buying chicken and shredding it yourself. I get six 12.5 ounce cans for $10, which is what, $2.13 a pound? That's not so bad, actually. Especially since I only buy the trimmed and ready chicken breasts because trimming it myself gives me the jibblies.  Anyway, if time is money, the canned chicken wins hands down. Not only is it precooked, but it's shelf stable. It just sits there, waiting for your next fiesta. No "oh no, I need to cook the chicken in the fridge!" Or hey, maybe I'm the only one who does that. But I'm not, right? We all cook meat of dubious freshness before it's verifiably unfresh? ...Ahem. Right. Moving along. It's great for those days when you meant to get to the store but didn't. It's such a go-to for me. Grab a can of chicken and add something to it!

So there you the secret of my success. Canned chicken. And making my husband do 5/8ths of the laundry, of course.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wherein my blog has an existential crisis

Aw, it's nice to know people like my blog. Or at least one person. I actually was thinking about it the other day--what is my motivation for this blog anymore? It was originally so my family could keep up with things, but now that I live in the same state again, that's not really a motivation. I don't have the free time at work that I used to, either, so it's not like I'm doing it just for kicks. And there's clearly not any money coming out if it.

So why am I blogging? I don't even really feel like I have things to blog about, and yet I feel some sense of obligation toward it, like I'm letting Someone down. Who am I letting down? The internet? It's not like I provide tutorials or recipes or something that y'all would find particularly interesting or helpful.

So now what do I talk about? It seems like the main theme in my life right now is general ill health, which isn't exciting, either. And I've said before that I don't want to turn into an infertility blog or feeling bad for myself because everyone I know is having babies (and everyone I know is having babies, for reals). Plus that pretty much always flirts with the TMI line. Hey, anyone ever had a hysterosalpingogram? Because I get to!

Anyway, yeah. I'm not really sure what's going on with this. What should I blog about?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Things I Learned at a Baseball Game

It doesn't matter if you're pretty--if you're skinny and wear a lot of makeup, guys will flirt with you.

Age-appropriate clothing has nothing to do with your weight.

Although, if you have doughy middle-aged lady legs with lots of varicose veins, short jorts is not the choice for you.

People will give a standing ovation to a pitcher when they pull him out of his first big-league game, even if he screwed up last inning.

Americans may not care about much, or agree on anything, but the national anthem stops people in their tracks.

If you leave early because the game is going slow and is sure to end up in extra innings, you will miss all the excitement. Like a game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the 10th.

But, if it was your husband's idea to leave early, at least you can lord it over him for at least a couple of days.

Even in flavors I don't care for (blue raspberry, gross!) cotton candy is never a bad idea.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Credit card nonsense

Hi, long time no see. I started writing this as a Google+ update, but it got so long I figured I'd share it here. I can't promise to post more frequently. To quote the Simpsons, "I can't promise I'll try, but I'll try to try." Or will I even try to try? Eh. It's my blog, and I'll not post if I want to.


So anyway, when I logged into my credit card account last Friday, there was a friendly note saying they sent me a new card, and if I didn't get it by the 13th (last Tuesday) to call them. I called to find out why--apparently they've changed the name of my card so I need a new one. Um, okay.

I hadn't received it--and last Friday was the 16th, mind you--so the outsourced, underpaid don't-really-care-about-your-problem Indian said they'd have to close my account and send me one with a new number. I really don't want to deal with that, so I told them I'd see if it came over the weekend and call back on Monday.



I did not call back on Monday because...well...I didn't want to deal with a new card number. As long as no fraudulent charge appeared, I'd hold off a couple days. The mail can be slow. I know; my job revolves around things coming in the mail.


Well, today we finally got our new cards. The post mark date? The 20th. So they told me to expect a new card, and then didn't send it until a week later? After I had to call about it?! Lame.


Here's the best part, though. Not just two new cards (one for me, one for hubs), but four new cards! A Mastercard and an American Express! For each of us! What the heck? How do I suddenly have an American Express account?


Apparently they wanted to give us "the ability to earn cash back even faster." How is two cards going to increase my cash back? My spending is still the same. Besides, it's two cards tied to the same account--one statement, one credit limit, one set of terms. There's literally no reason for both.


The upside, though small, is that Costco only takes American Express. Well, and cash, check, and debit, but I rather prefer to put it all on credit cards. I don't have to keep track of how much money I have or worry about overdraft. Still, I can't really get over how weird it is for a company to arbitrarily send an additional brand of credit card. I'm sure there's a calculated business reason, but...it's weird. Anyone else just get two new cards from Citi?

ETA: Whoa, somehow the colors got crazied. Should be fixed. Sorry 'bout that.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Interesting times

Last we met, it was just after the fourth of July. Since then, I've reclaimed the disc of my wedding photos. We took a lovely little weekend trip to Prescott. Adam had a heart ablation, which ended up being a little more involved than we thought. When scheduling it, they said it would take a couple hours and he'd probably get out that evening. It took more like four and a half hours. He was obliged to lay flat for ten hours or so. When they finally let him up, he ended up bleeding like crazy. I was going to go home to sleep, but after that, we decided I'd stay. Of course, the hospital we were at only had recliners in the room, unlike the newer hospitals with the couch beds. They said they'd look for a cot, but if they did, they didn't find one. So I ended up using my floating holiday and an unpaid holiday, since I only have a few hours of sick leave accumulated. Bah.

On the upside, Adam is doing a lot better! The atrial fibrillation seems to have been eliminated. He's had some other side effects (prodigious bruising and some PVCs, although I think those are getting better) and it's not been quite as quick to get back on his feet as they implied, but if it fixes his arrhythmia, I don't mind. He's liking his new job, too, so things aren't too bad in our house.

But the real drama started last Monday. My older sister and her two daughters were in a severe car accident. We aren't entirely sure what happened, but based on the evidence, we all agree that she must have had a seizure. She hit the curb and rolled. The pictures of the scene were terrible. The front axle and engine were ripped out and burned, and the car was utterly destroyed.

She and the girls were taken by helicopter to the county hospital. It's a level one trauma center and has a pediatric ER, so they were able to keep them together. By the time I found out about it (granted, it was a stressful day, but no one thinks to tell me?!) and got there, the four-month-old had already been discharged. She was entirely unharmed--not a scratch on her. She was laughing and smiling at the doctors.

The almost-two year old was not quite so lucky. She had quite a few burns from the carseat restraints, and some scratches and bruises. She was very shaken up. We noticed that her foot was pretty swollen, and she didn't like it to be touched. Although swelling is common from the trauma, it turned out she had a buckle fracture. Pretty easy, as far as breaks go. She's got an over-the-knee cast, but it doesn't phase her at all. She's scooting around and has even walked on it a little. They got her a wagon to pull her around, and she's pretty spoiled, getting even more attention than usual.

My sister, unfortunately, was severely injured. Compound ankle fractures; broken vertebra, shoulder, rib(s?), nose; plenty of bruises, including an upside-down 7 from the seatbelt and a pitch black black eye; what we can only assume is a bruised sternum, because no one seems too concerned about it, even though it's really bothering her; and, most troubling to me, intracranial bleeding. They spent much of the day dealing with the built up pressure before they could even worry about her ankles. She was supposed to get another CT scan on Friday, although I haven't heard what it showed.

My mom said that the paramedics originally thought it was going to be a DOA. They had sent photos to the ER to prepare them for what was coming in, and apparently they were shocked that the girls were so unharmed. They wouldn't even show those photos to my sister or her husband, although they showed my dad. It was that bad. It is literally a miracle that everyone is alive, and in the conditions they are. As crappy as things are and will be, no one is denying that Monday was a miracle.

My sister has halos in her ankles while they wait for the swelling to go down enough to put plates in. She spent several days in the surgical ICU, several days in a normal room, and will soon be discharged to a rehab facility. She's not such that she needs to be in hospital, but not well enough that we could care for her. So she'll get to kick it in rehab until she's ready for surgery.

Saturday we spent moving her family's belongings into my parents' house. Her house has stairs, and it will be next year before she's able to go up and down them. And with two kids under two, my brother-in-law will need a lot of help. So my brothers went to live with my younger sister and my older sister and her family took over that side of the house. We had a great turnout of people who came to help move and get the girls' rooms set up. I cleaned out my mom's pantry to make room for my sister's food. It took three hours, but the pantry looks amazing. Honestly, if there were money in it, I'd become a professional pantry organizer.

We don't know what they'll do with my sister's house yet, made even more complicated by the fact that my parents helped her buy it, so any decision to sell, short sell, etc. affects them too. My sister worries about the medical bills (I don't know how much an emergency helicopter ride costs, but I know it isn't cheap) although I'm pretty sure most of it should be covered. Of course, she can't really go back to teaching third grade for a few months, so there's the lost income. We tell her not to worry about it and to focus on healing, but it's not always easy to turn your brain off, especially when there's nothing else to do but sleep, lay there and worry, or watch daytime courtroom shows.

So that's been some pretty high drama. What's funny is that I was antsy for July to be over, and now August is like, 80 bajillion times worse. So now I'm thinking I'll just look forward to the year being over, and we can just put 2011 down to being really sucky and never talk about it again. Deal?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ah, regrets

Among my several regrets lately, I regret not getting a disc of the high resolution copies of our engagement pictures. He gave us a disc, but they weren't high-res. I regret then misplacing that disc. I also regret giving my mother the only disc of our wedding photos. I'm pretty sure she hasn't lost it, so much as long-term misplaced it. But dude. Make a copy.

Along that vein, I rather regret hiring a friend to do our photos and/or letting bridges burn. Yes, well, lots of things I would have done differently if I had known how they would turn out.

Anyway, we had a picture taken on our anniversary cruise, and I've we have decided to have a family photo taken every year for our anniversary. Then we can have a grand wall of Us Through The Years. It's the sort of tradition one has to decide on early on. So even if my mother did actually lose the disc (*ominous fist shake*) it's not like we'll never have more pictures of us.

And speaking of pictures, one final regret: I wish I hadn't gained so much weight the last few months!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Music snobbery

Whenever I'm cooking or otherwise puttering around the house alone, I'll open Windows media player and click "play favorites from songs." Today it pulled an unusually high number of Death Cab for Cutie songs, which I don't exactly object to. But it reminded me of something that happened several years ago, when I was single-ish. (Hard to be single when someone is stringing you along, jerking your chain. "Can I say that to a woman? Jerking your chain?") Anyway, the person I was kind of dating was something of a music aficionado, but tended to prefer the more obscure or indie artists. I suggested to him that he might like Death Cab (not particularly obscure or indie, but kind of in the same vein) and he told me, "No, I don't really like them." Okay, whatever.

Well, months later, he says, "Hey, you know who I just discovered? Death Cab for Cutie." Dude, I told you about them months ago. "No you didn't." Right, sure I didn't. I dreamed the whole conversation. No, not really. He just had to "discover" them himself, because surely my plebeian opinions could never be useful to him.

I guess what really bothered me was to be dismissed with "I don't really like them" when he actually hadn't even listened to much of their music. He couldn't just say, "Oh, I'll have to check them out." But my opinion mattered so little that it was dismissed out of hand? No wonder why it didn't work out.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The serenity prayer

You know the serenity prayer? "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." You know what that means? Don't drive yourself crazy with things you have no control over. I've got a job where they finally are making me permanent, we're in a lease until the end of April, our renters have a lease through February. These are things I cannot change.

You know what I can change? The amount of stuff I have. I'm about ready to get rid of my dining room table. We've eaten at it exactly once since we moved in here the end of April, and that was because the missionaries had dinner with us. And it would be one less thing to deal with when we move again. FH wants to shed the coffee table and side tables as well, although I'm a little more hesitant. I think living rooms tend to look weird without a coffee table. But we're even considering getting rid of our bookcases (they're the discontinued Ikea Agerum, so we'd have to mix them if we needed another) and getting new ones wherever we end up moving. I'd really like to go through every last thing we own and decide if it's actually worth keeping.

I'm not sure why I'm suddenly so taken with the idea of getting rid of things. Is it because I want the flexibility to move (without having to rent a 26 foot moving truck)? Is it because I recently discovered Stuff Project about a girl trying to clear out her family's house of the stuff they've hoarded. The pictures are...distressing. I know we're not even near that point, but it still makes me want to streamline. So much of it is just dead weight. Like the Ann Taylor dress (originally $200!) that I bought at clearance, then gained enough weight that I've yet to remove the tags. We have no need for two sets of husband-sized crutches. It would be one thing if there was one my size and one his, but no. And he can never use more than one at time. Even keeping one seems unnecessary; what are the odds he'll need crutches again?

But yeah. As we look around, we're seeing more and more stuff that we just don't need.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Who makes the best town car? Cadillac!

Sorry, you really have to have seen High School High. But yes, we just bought a Lincoln LS.

We originally were going to buy a 2004 Chevy Malibu. The dealership it was at was a good ways away, so we called and negotiated a price, because we weren't going to drive to north Scottsdale to look at a car if they weren't going to come down on the price. But we settled on a price and said we were going to leave right away and be there in 40 minutes or so.

We got there, went in and asked for the salesman, and he came out and told us that unfortunately, it had just been sold by their dealership next door. But did we want to look at something else? Um, no. It takes more than 40 minutes to sell a car, and even if they did do it that fast, why didn't he call to tell us it was sold so we could turn around and go home? This is why I hate car salesman. He totally lost our trust with that move.

So we went and looked at another car Adam had liked, but I had several objections to. Then we grabbed some dinner, then stopped on our way home at another dealership, just to see what they had. The salesman pointed out a car right by the door. A 2004 Lincoln LS, roughly the same miles as the Malibu. But more than we were willing to spend, we told him, but we liked it enough that we'd buy it if they could bring it down.  We managed to get it down to just a little more than we would have paid for the Malibu--and this car has way more features. Everything I've ever wanted in a car--telescoping steering wheel, moving pedals, heated and air conditioned! seats, sun roof, power seats with memory settings, etc. You name it, this car probably has it.

It is more car than I was expecting to get. It's not as big as a Town Car, but it has a V8 (!), so the gas mileage will end up being about what we get with our minivan. I'm a very conservative driver, though, so I'm likely to get a little more than my husband would. (Or my dad. We've been carpooling lately, and good heavens, how that man drives. Bless his heart.) Insurance isn't horrible, though a little bit more than my Altima. Hopefully we won't need too many repairs, but as part of the Ford family, it shouldn't be too terrible, right?

Anyway, we're happy. Not to have another car payment (sigh) but to have another car,and one that we like so much. I did really love my little blue car, so I'm glad to have found another one that I like so much. Between that and FH's new job, we're pretty happy with life. Now if we could just get rid of our condo in Utah and I could get pregnant, all my biggest complaints would be solved!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

car psychology

What is it about shopping for cars that makes us so paranoid? We're convinced that everyone is out to stick it to us. Granted, it's a lot of money, but buying a house is ten or twenty times what you would pay for a car, and do we suspect that our realtor is trying to pull one over on us?

Maybe it's because as a home buyer, you pick your realtor. You don't get as much power over deciding who will sell you a car. And yet it's just as much in a realtor's financial interest to put you in something too expensive, isn't it?

Most of us buy used cars, so there's the added layer that we're afraid they're trying to sell us a lemon. Buying used golf clubs isn't nearly as anxiety-producing. A second-hand handbag isn't likely to have been damaged in an accident--or be as expensive to fix if a part should fail.

I get that. A lot can go bad quickly if you end up with a crappy car. But I think there is a very real belief that car dealers are slimeballs out to screw us over. Yes, they're in sales, but do we fear the guys at Best Buy half as much as the guy at the Chevy dealership? Do we let a few jerks, a few stories, a few bad experiences affect our feelings towards an entire industry?


Well, yes, basically. And every I have a bad experience, or someone I know does, it just reinforces that antagonistic feeling. I've had great experiences buying cars, but they're always overshadowed by the bad ones. It's too bad, because it's hard enough to part with so much money, it's even worse to give it to someone  that you don't like or trust.


This has been what's on my mind lately, as we've been car shopping. Fortunately, we bought one last night! Not at all what I had been expecting, but we really like it. I'll tell you the story later of how we ended up with this one. But as a teaser, I'll leave you with a quote from the funny but forgettable Jon Lovitz movie, High School High. "What's the capital of Nebraska?...Who freed the slaves?...Charles Keating cooked the books of what S&L?...Who makes the best town car?"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's the pick of the week!

The award for best six dollars I've spent all week goes to the sweater stone!
Sweater Stone

It seems like all my cardigans and most of my sweaters have moderate to severe pilling. I've tried cutting them off with scissors, but that's super time-intensive, and dangerous, since I've been known to accidentally cut things, including myself. (Only once, and just a little.)

Last week a friend mentioned in passing something about having a sweater stone in her laundry kit. I had heard about them before, but totally forgotten. Fortunately our free year of Amazon Prime has not yet expired, so a couple days later, I had a sweater stone of my very own. I've spent the last couple nights making a terrible mess of my living room (you might want to take some quality Outside Time if you try one) but I'm quite satisfied with the results. It's not perfect, but my cardigans look far more presentable than they used to. And I suppose if I didn't wait three years before I use it again, it might look quite good.

So yes. Two thumbs up for the sweater stone. If you want one, I think I get a kickback if you do it through my link. Not that I've ever made anything off Amazon Affiliates, or care either way. I just want to share about a cool new product I've found.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Little fishies

We are renting a condo, which has several pools for the use of residents and their guests. And yet the other day, my husband saw our landlord and her children in the pool. Now, you could argue that as the owner of several units, she has the right to use the pool, but I would say that she has transferred her pool privileges (so to speak) to the renters.

What really irks me, though, is that when we moved in and asked about keys to the mailbox and pool, she said she didn't have them, but she was sure the front office could get us one for like, five dollars. Actually, it cost us forty dollars to get those keys, which she had no intention of reimbursing us for. She also only provided one house key. She said she'd drop off additional keys, but when we asked about it, she told us, "Can't you just have a key made?" Well, yes. But the point is that you have keys. You said you would bring us keys. And frankly, it's a reasonable assumption that a landlord will provide at least two keys, especially when there are two residents. I provided three, so they could have a spare somewhere.

Add in that she won't repair the washer and dryer should something happen (although Arizona state law says the landlord has to maintain the appliances, so I'm not sure if she can even have that provision in the lease) and you've got a lazy, cheap, lousy landlord. I'm pretty sure I've complained about her before, but honestly. This is ridiculous. Maybe I just got spoiled with my sweet landladies who gave me candy at Christmas and left a welcome fruit bowl when I moved in. Or maybe I just expect too much of people. But in this case, I don't think I do.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I'm such a nerd

So I was humming "Ice, Ice Baby" to myself while I put away laundry (judge not, lest ye be judged, people. I know some of you like the Jonas Brothers) and I realized that I think punctuation. I always sing "To the extreme; I rock a mic like a vandal," but I realized that Rob Van Winkle has likely never used a semicolon, and certainly not while writing so-so rap music.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I'm what I like to call "medically delicate"

"Your cholesterol is over 300! You're basically a solid!" Name that movie.


So my cholesterol isn't really that bad. Maybe 5 points high, overall. My triglycerides are sufficiently low, my HDL is sufficiently high--both good things. But my LDL is also a pinch high. My ratios are good, but my doctor suggests I take care of it now, lest it gets to the point that I need to medicate.

"Just lose five or ten pounds," she said. Yes, I'd like to do that anyway. Exercise may help some, although it's really more for raising HDL, which I don't need, strictly speaking. She suggested more fish, which is absolutely not an option. I'd rather take cholesterol-lowering drugs my whole life. I can't really reduce the amount of red meat I eat, unless I went to zero. I really don't eat that terribly, except that I don't get enough fruits and vegetables. But lots of whole grains, beans, etc. Sooo...I guess I'll just focus on more produce.

Except wait, that's not all. My calcium level is the lowest extreme of the acceptable range, meaning it probably  dips below it. So I have to focus on dietary sources of calcium. But I'm supposed to avoid saturated fat, so it's not like I can start hitting the ice cream. Plus I'm occasionally lactose intolerant, and sometimes significantly so. You know what the best source of non-dairy is? Kale. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Low calcium levels often go with low vitamin D levels. So I have to go back to get that checked. It would make sense, since I generally avoid the sun as much as possible. According to the never-wrong internet, low vitamin D can cause muscle twitching. Muscle twitching! I have near-constant muscle twitches! Not consistently in one spot. It'll be like five twitches in my quad, three in my back, eight in my calf, and on and on, most of the day. I would love for that to stop. LOVE.

Um, yeah. So that's what happened at the doctor's today. At least they didn't just say "Everything is okay. You're fine!" I'm obviously not fine, or I wouldn't have gone in. Of course, I only went in because my husband made me. Husbands can be handy sometimes.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I envy you

Chances are you don't live in a citrus-producing state, like I do. You know what that means? It means that you can buy a tiny indoor orange tree from the interwebs, and I can't. Stupid agriculture laws prevent me from buying citrus plants online, which is unfortunate because it would clearly solve all my life's problems. And I don't really shop in stores, because I'm a mean old lady who hates people.

So Google Reader wisely suggested that I might be interested in this article. Look at this! How cute are these? They're so tiny!

Patio/Container Calamondin Orange Tree Full Size Fruit

There are few finer smells in the world than orange blossoms. I'm not currently in a position to plant an orange tree, alas, and I doubt I can find this type of plant in a nursery (also, I'm not sure I can force myself to go to a nursery, unless they also sell sour cream and microwave popcorn). But if you live anywhere but Arizona, Florida, Texas (and possibly California) you can have an indoor orange tree of your very own!

Now if only I could get an indoor avocado plants that bears fruit. Supposedly they do sometimes, but they don't taste the same, so what's the point?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Aw, you guys, my friend had her baby! This officially kicks off Baby Summer! Or, All My Friends are Having Babies. I am very happy for each and every one of them. Would like my own, of course, but good for them!

Fabulous Husband has a part time job that pays almost as much per hour as I'm making now. And he has another interview this week. Supposedly he was to start tomorrow, but never heard back from the lady, so...sometime this week probably. They were so desirous to get him in to interview, and now it's kind of radio silence. Odd. But hey. Job!

Of course, now we need another car. Sigh. I hate car shopping. I can't shake the feeling that everyone is trying to rip me off. And I'm not too excited about a new car loan. But it just isn't convenient to rely on my parents, nor do we have any desire to. Self sufficiency--even just in transportation--is a beautiful thing.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's Cinco de Mayo three times a week

We eat a lot of Mexican food. Seriously. Beans, meat, cheese, tortillas. Four ingredients, a hundred different meals. I buy large containers of sour cream several times a month. We eat so much sour cream that I actually bought a squeeze bottle so we can get perfectly even distribution. If we are out of cheese or sour cream, we literally cannot think of what to eat for dinner. Yes, it's all relatively cheap, but more importantly, it's delicious.

Anyway, I'm here today to talk about taco shells. There are a dozen shells in a box, and two people in our house. Even on my hungriest day, we're not eating an entire box in one meal. It may be two or three weeks before we cycle back around to tacos on our fiesta list, and if not properly stored, taco shells get stale pretty fast. Quel dommage! I hate wasting food. That's why I don't buy much produce--we never eat it all before it goes bad.

But did you know that a few minutes in toaster oven will make your taco shells not just not stale, but even better than when you first opened the package? Hot, crisp, delicious! I may start warming all my taco shells.

I realize I'm not the first person in the world to figure out how to revive stale taco shells (also works for tortilla chips) but I always feel so... successful when I do it. It's not that saving the $.46 is really going to make much of a difference so much as the domestic triumph, I guess. I throw out a lot of leftovers and things, but at least I can save the taco shells. And now you can too.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lost the will

So I officially didn't get that job I wanted. But I will eventually have the promotion go through and won't feel the need to eat only from our food storage. Until then, though, I'll avoid looking at my Mint account, because I don't want to see how ridiculous out of budget we are this month. It doesn't help that we sent FH to Utah for a friend's wedding.

It was just a quick trip, all of 30 hours, maybe. I would have like to have gone, but we definitely couldn't afford for us both to fly up, and I don't have paid time off, so I had to stay home and pay the bills. The best part, though, is that he got sick a couple days before he was going to go. Great. Can't get on a plane when you can't stop vomiting, and can't get a refund. But then he started to feel better. Awesome! He can go after all! But then he gets there and feels worse in the middle of the night and ends up having to go to the ER because he's so dehydrated and still going to try to make the wedding. So that was a crazy adventure.

I can't find any of my zillion hair rubber bands and haven't bought more yet, so I've been actually doing my hair. Kind of. It still only takes all of three minutes, but it's far more than I usually do. I'd take a picture, but...I also ran out of foundation and haven't been wearing any the last week or two. I look okay, but I try to keep makeup-less pictures to a minimum.

What else, what else? Troubles with our dryer. Landlady is a bit of a...well, any way, she refuses to cover washer/dryer issues, dryer doesn't work too swell, she won't take them out so we can put in our own. We did manage to get her to pay for a new switch. "The old tenants never said there was a problem with the dryer! I'm sure they would have!" Um, the scratches indicate that they were turning it on with pliers, so it's not like this is new. Why would they bother to tell you the dryer wasn't working when you refuse to do anything about it?

According to the Arizona laws regarding landlords--which I looked up--she is obliged to maintain the appliances in the unit. It doesn't say specifically which appliances, or if she's able to exclude any, and I don't really want to get into it. So...yeah. Hrmph and blah.

Addicted to the game Paradise Island on our phones. Stay up way too late playing it.

See, not much interesting going on. I guess there's stuff, but I've just lost the will to blog. I don't know what's up. I guess it's that I'm actually busy at work and don't have the time to sit around all day, blogging. Those were the days. Not that I enjoyed having nothing to do, but it was nice to have some down time to fill as I saw fit.

Anyway, yeah. What's new with you?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A month?

So, um, hi. Remember me? Apparently it's been a month since last we met.

And much has happened. The job I interviewed (and interviewed) for hasn't officially said no, but after several weeks not hearing from them, I called and was informed that they added additional interviews. Um, whaa? Why? If they wanted to hire me, there should be no need for more interviews.  So, not promising.

And we moved. It's a long story, which you're welcome to email me and ask about if you actually care to know, otherwise suffice it to say we're living in a quaint/cozy/petite/unlarge apartment. Condo, technically. There are several for sale in the complex for so, so cheap. We like it well enough, and there are lots of pools, sports courts, etc. People are pretty quiet, although the child upstairs seems to enjoy running occasionally.

And if the renter does actually buy our place (fingers crossed!) we would seriously consider buying something. It turns out a large lot and yard is not something I value, so the recent explosion in the housing market could work out really well for me. With a mortgage payment of two or three hundred bucks, it would free up capital for baby-having and school-going. And early-retiring? And then we could actually rent it and make a profit, which is an interesting concept I'd like to pursue. Certainly better than renting and losing money, anyway.

And they sacked the Robot at work who drives me crazy. Correction. Drove me crazy. They were looking to fill her position, and the team lead had the clever idea that it would be easier to promote me than train someone new. They interviewed someone today that they really like, so once we get her trained, I'll get to move to the other position. The permanent position. That pays more.

And maybe it's not my dream job, and maybe I'll end up not liking it, but benefits (not great, but better than none) and permanence and (not a lot, but still) more money? I'll take it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Great day!

Today went pretty darn well. My interview went well, and it's me and just one other candidate. So that's promising. It will be several weeks still, but I'm hopeful.

Also in good news, I got to work this morning and checked my phone, to find an email from our property manager. Apparently the renter likes our place so much (and it is conveniently located and tastefully appointed) that she is interested in buying it. This is excellent news. As long as the numbers pan out, that would be most helpful.

And then I got an email this afternoon from Holland America, informing me of the amount of the reimbursement they're sending for my lost glasses. My glasses should be done the end of this week or early next week. Between the Groupon, the kindness of the shop owner, and the reimbursement, they will ultimately have cost us $32. This is especially impressive, since I'm so nearsighted that my power of lenses aren't kept in-stock and have to be the superduper expensive thin ones. Last time I got just the lenses replaced, it was $180. I don't like these frames as much as my old ones, but it's still not a bad deal.

It was just one good thing after another today. A nice change of pace.

Monday, April 4, 2011

WiR IV (late)

You know why this edition of Week in Review is so late? Because ALL of my free time has gone to this. FH has partnered up with a local teen to build said teen's DJ business. And I have been roped in to doing all the non-DJing work, like building the website and being the voice of reason and managing the finances. There may have been a couple scenes, plus one meltdown. I'm just too tired to want to take on a part time job, especially one I'm not getting paid for!

Anyway, lots going on, but I have to post this so I can go wash my hair so I can go to bed so I can get up early and do my hair so I can ace my interview tomorrow and get a new job where people don't eat garlic bread or raw onions at their desk and pay me more than what I was making  when I was still in college.

So yeah. More to come.

Friday, March 25, 2011

WiR, volume III

How do the weeks go so quickly? I feel like I just did Week in Review volume II, and it's already time for volume III.

Slept on an air mattress in the living room all week. Could have slept in my own deliciously comfortable bed, but FH is still on the couch and I wanted to be near him.  (Awwww!) Not the best week's sleep, but I've had worse. And it would be so sad to miss those few--or several--minutes after the lights go out, when we talk in the dark about our days or our plans or feelings or whatever.

So being on the air mattress makes it no big deal that we have so many house guests and we're letting FH's parents sleep in our room. He was exceptionally surprised when they arrived yesterday, although I missed his reaction by approximately eight minutes. "You couldn't wait in the car?" I asked. No, no they couldn't. Too excited. I can't blame them.

Anyway, we've got them, plus FH's sister and her roommate arrived today. Six people, one bathroom, three beds (and a couch and an air mattress). Kind of crazy, but not too bad. Until everyone wanted to go to bed and needed pillows. The in-laws were using four between the two of them, so they begrudgingly surrendered half of them to the latest arrivals. But then the ones they had weren't soft enough or were too low or whatever, so the body pillow from the foot stack was reassigned to the master bedroom...and on it goes.

Word of advice: if you are going on a road trip and are staying at someone's house (versus a hotel), bring your own pillows. Most people do not have an extraordinary amount of pillows above those they use nightly, and their guest pillows may not meet your needs for firmness or thickness. If you're already in the car, toss your pillow in the backseat--especially if you are particular about pillows or own some sort of fancypants high-tech pillow.

But everyone has a pillow and blanket and some sort of bed, so there'd best be no complaints. Unless from me, the one sleeping on an air mattress in the living room, who will be woken up each time someone gets up to pee during the night (because no one can hold it for eight hours except me, apparently) and then when they get up before dawn to go hiking, or at dawn to get ready to go out to breakfast.

Still, it's worth it. My poor husband was missing his family so much, and is so happy they're here. Wouldn't trade it for the world.

Even better, though, is the email I got this afternoon, informing me of my appointment time for a second interview on April 5. Do you know what this means? It's highly likely I'll be getting the job! Which means more money and benefits and shorter commute! And more money and benefits means school for FH and...fertility doctors for me? What it really means is security. More than being a temp, anyway.

Oh, and I finally heard back from the cruise line about them losing my glasses. They couldn't find them, so they wanted a copy of the dated receipt from when I bought them. In 2005. It took me about four minutes to find it. People mock me for keeping everything--I've had a filing cabinet since I was in junior high--but it proves useful over and over again. Between whatever pittance of a reimbursement they're likely to send and the Groupon today for a local optical store, I should be able to replace my glasses for practically nothing. But I have to do it soon, because my prescription expires in a couple weeks.

So, yes. On balance, a good week. Things looking up, up, up.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Please excuse the heartless practicality of a crotchety old woman

Apparently there was a "silent blog for Japan" day this week. I'm sure the people of Japan feel soooo much better because you didn't update your blog about refinishing furniture from Goodwill. Bracelets, bumper stickers, Facebook statuses, pins...blah.

I am generally opposed to making empty gestures. For example, I think Earth Hour is ridiculous. It doesn't really make a difference in electricity consumption. It doesn't really do anything except make people feel warm and fuzzy for doing something they think is "green." If you want to make a difference, plant a tree or otherwise do something.

WIR, volume II

Portions of the following were written throughout the week, so it may be a little choppy.

Our water had to be turned off Monday night. Showered at my parents', brushed our teeth from cups. Emergency preparedness needs some work.

I was fussing over how to tell my manager that I was going to be out of the office for a few hours without mentioning that I was going on an interview. I sent an email about having an appointment at the inconvenient hour of 11, and made a joke about the early bird getting the good appointment times--in the hopes that it would distract from the fact that I didn't say doctor appointment. She replied and said "Sure, as long as you're not leaving us. :)" Ugh. Aaaaawkaaaaard.

But the interview on Tuesday went pretty well, although their skills test was a little...hinky. I don't know when I'll find out if I get a second interview. My manager pulled me aside today to say that I'm doing really well and they'd love to keep me on permanently, depending on business, new clients, etc. But she understands if I take something else and just keep her in the loop and give her a heads-up so they can coordinate training my replacement, etc. So that was cool.

I realized on the way home from work that day that it's probably possible to find my blog with my email address. Not that I have anything particularly incriminating on here, but I'd really like to control how prospective employers learn about me--and what. So I cracked down on the search settings on blogger, and hopefully that will help.

On Wednesday my friend said they called her for a reference check, which is promising. But I haven't heard from them, so that's bad. So...fingers crossed for Monday. My current job is hard on my hands.

Picked up my ring on Wednesday. Woo! It cost half as much to get it set as the diamond itself. (Buying cheap diamond in Mexico FTW!)

  

It's a round brilliant with a four-prong setting on a rather narrow band. It's narrower and taller than my wedding band, but I think they work together pretty well. I spent half of the staff meeting on Thursday looking at my ring. I wasn't really a part of what they were discussing, anyway, plus it's so pretty!

FH had foot surgery yesterday. I know what you're thinking, didn't he have foot surgery last year? Yes, yes he did. But it didn't quite take, so they did it again.

The best part, though, was when my mom texted me and said the anesthesiologist thought he might have sleep apnea. Really? Because I've been saying that for...oh, how long have we been married now?

But sleep apnea can cause heart problems. I don't know that it is necessarily the source of his a fib, but it's definitely the source of his fatigue.

Quite a bit of progress on the hall bathroom today, and a fair amount last night. Plus last night was cement pond maintenance. Honestly, the koi pond at work is less green than our pool right now.

I have a recipe for copycat Paradise Bakery lemon cookies, which I'm considering making this evening when things quiet down a little around here. It's not exaggerating too much to say that it's SHEER CHAOS around here. But if it turns out to be super delicious and reasonably equivalent, perhaps a recipe tag might pop up in the not-too-distant future.

I haven't really accomplished anything today, besides washing my hair and picking up McDonalds. Well, I did make the bed, but that was easy because FH slept on the couch, and I'm not the one who likes to cocoon in the covers when alone in bed. I got out, pulled the corner back up, put the decorative pillows on and voila! Eight seconds.

Incidentally, a blogger who writes "wallah!" or the like when they mean "voila" is in serious danger of being unread by me. Abused apostrophes, too. I don't know what's so hard about making words plural. Banana, bananas. Avocado, avocados. Potato, potatoes. I know it gets a little tricky with CDs and DVDs, but I think that if we all really buckle down and practice, we can master this first grade concept. (I will accept it when pluralizing letters, though, because As and A's are rather different.)

Sorry. Grammar rant. It's just that it grates on my nerves. It's the text equivalent of nails on chalkboards.

That's probably about it. Can't think of anything else interesting to say, so I'll end with some highlights from Stereotypical Black Woman at work for your enjoyment.


"I'm going to send a strongly worded text message to baby Jesus."

"Gordon Ramsey is my sweet, gentle lover. He's such a gentle soul."

"Splenda is from the baby Jesus!"

Monday, March 14, 2011

Emergency!

Suppose your water was turned off. Maybe because you're working on one of the bathrooms and there's a leak but your expertise has a terrible migraine so you can't finish it so you have to turn your water off so that the pipe doesn't pop and destroy your already destroyed bathroom. It could happen. Trust me.

So how do you brush  your teeth? Go to the bathroom? Make dinner? Shower?

In Utah, we were good enough friends with our neighbors that we could have justed pop over there. Here my parents are one neighborhood over and my sister a couple miles away. We have a couple gallons of drinking water, and lots of options, but it definitely brought home the need for water storage as part of one's emergency preparedness.

So, um, yeah. Now would be a good time to figure out where you would shower if your water had to be turned off.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Week in Review

I feel like my week results in enough interesting material for one post, so this will be a random week in review hodgepodge. It seems all I talk about lately is jobs. (I interviewed for and did not get one job this past week, but also got a call on Wednesday to interview for the job I REALLY want, so fingers crossed for Tuesday.) We've They have been spending a lot of time working on redoing the bathroom, which would be really swell if it was done since everyone and their roommate from California is descending on us this coming weekend and we only have one working bathroom out of three. (Spoiler alert! My inlaws are coming to surprise FH for his birthday. He doesn't read my blog.)

Speaking of renovations, I feel like I'm living in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. I want to hang up some art and stuff so that I feel like I'm actually living here and not just squatting. But to hang up decorations, the walls need to be repainted. But to paint, we need to have re-textured the ceiling. But to re-texture the ceiling, we need to move the furniture downstairs. But to move the furniture downstairs, we need to fix the hole in the ceiling. (I guess technically we don't need to fix the hole, but then we'd have to move it BACK upstairs while we fix the hole, then BACK downstairs. Sigh.) But to fix the hole in the ceiling, we need to finish the bathrooms (because there seems to be a leak). And we--hubs and I--are not capable of doing that ourselves. Eh, most of it we can't do by ourselves, but plumbing is entirely outside our realm of ability.

Not that things couldn't be much worse. Not that they haven't been worse, and recently. I'm just tired of feeling like I'm living in limbo. And I apparently like to whine.

I'm..uh...not a very patient person. Waiting for job interviews, answers on job interviews, rent checks, home repairs, doctor appointments and test results--it just seems like we have to wait for everything. We had to wait several months to get my diamond set into a ring and now I have to wait until Wednesday to pick it up. I'm tired of waiting. I want something to happen now. Noooow! /tantrum

Lately I feel like baking, but I also feel pudgy, so making cinnamon rolls or cookies doesn't really seem ideal. Plus I seem to be perilously low on butter. I really ought to go to the grocery store, especially since FH is having foot surgery this week (AGAIN.) and will need things that don't need to be cooked or refrigerated.

What else? I've given up nothing for Lent. I'm not Catholic, so there's no religious obligation. But I've started exercising. Not every day, but most days. See? I've given up doing nothing! I figure it's better to start something that will improve me than to temporarily give up something I like.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Scenes from an American department store

How do you feel about non-gender specified fitting rooms? I can think of several stores where everyone uses the same central fitting rooms, and I'm not really bothered by it.

But. We were shopping this evening at a store with multiple dressing rooms in the various sections, although none of them were specifically marked as "women's fitting rooms" or anything like that. I specifically checked. It just said "fitting rooms." Or "dressing rooms." I'm not really clear on that part, because the specific term they use isn't really significant, so much as the lack of gender designation.

I'm not really a fan of trotting out in my bare feet to show off whatever dubious item I'm trying on, so I generally just have Fabulous Husband hang out in the fitting room with me. No big deal, right? Well, apparently two women in the fitting room thought it was a very big deal, to the point that they complained to an employee, who was then obliged to inform FH of it when he went to fetch me a different size. (It may not help that I was trying to get him to try on the shorts I had just tried on and said "Take off your pants!" to him. Still, if they could hear that, they could hear the rest of the conversation, so it's still not a big deal.) Apparently they were SO uncomfortable with hearing his voice that they just could bring themselves to use the same fitting room. Nevermind that he is in the cubicle with me, they can't see him, he can't see them, and there were eight or ten empty cubicles for them to choose from--including ones very far away from us.

I don't really have a point to this story, except that it was a funny yet ridiculous scene at the department store this evening. And maybe that perhaps all clothing stores should have signs indicating that their are single-gendered, or warning that they are for use by all shoppers. And that some people clearly did not take their chill pill with dinner.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

new new jobs

I took a very long lunch on Friday to go do a basic math skills and reading comprehension test for a possible new job. It is also temp-to-hire (like my current job) but it's at a company I'd actually like to work for. And I'd have alternating three and four day work weeks, which is really worth something. I think I'd rather work three extra-crappy twelve hour days than five regularly-crappy eight hour days.

The tests were ridiculous easy. I watched the lady administering it, because I was curious to see if she would keep track of the order we finished. I'm pretty sure she did, because I was the first one done and the first one she called in to discuss interview appointment times. So today for lunch I went to interview for a new job. I think it went pretty well. Still temp, still probably kind of dull, but better than what I'm doing now. And once I go full time, I'd be on Pretty Darn Easy Street. Possibly even be able to swing having a newborn around the house? Of course, that would require pills and miracles, but still. I wants a baby, and a better job is step one of one zillion to making that happen.

I have this weird personality thing that makes me feel bad when I'm thinking about leaving a job. Why? That's what people do when they find something that's better for them. We take jobs because they're the most fulfilling, best paying, most conveniently located or scheduled, etc. It doesn't matter if the people are nice or really need your help. That is not my problem. As a temp, I'm not obliged to give them two week's notice. Frankly, I think it would be less awkward to just leave and say, "Um, and I'm not coming back on Monday," but then I'd feel bad about leaving them in the lurch. So it's just kind of strange in general. The important thing, though, is finding a job that's better. Once they make an offer, I'll deal with how to leave the old one. I'm just no good at quitting.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I'm cool with real science, though.

So the other day at work they were trading ridiculous food-related pseudo-science. I find it all so ridiculous. My favorite was when someone said she doesn't drink milk because we're the only mammals who drink milk past infancy, so naturally that's wrong.

Um, we drink another mammal's milk. We don't drink breast milk past infancy and, for the most part, don't eat breast milk ice cream. We milk cows (and goats and sheep and camels, maybe?) to drink their milk, and that is totally different. And does that mean she's not going eat cheese or butter or anything made with milk? Because if you've got a problem with drinking milk, shouldn't that apply equally to milk products?

Not only that, but why does it matter what the other mammals do? I don't see otters making bread, or monkeys manning a barbecue. And with the exception of dogs, you don't see many mammals wearing raincoats, either. I'm tired of people comparing humans to animals and being surprised that we're different. We have thumbs, dagnabit! THUMBS!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I recently cut back on my caffeine consumption

Fabulous Husband gives me crap about playing on my computer while we watch movies or TV on DVD, but if I don't, I fall asleep! I was in the mood for "How to Train Your Dragon" yesterday, and I tried so hard to stay awake. I did really well for most the movie, but I tripped at the finish line and fell asleep just for the big battle. Ugh. And like usual, I woke up just in time for the end credits. So I'm writing this while we watch NCIS. All I've heard so far is some smirking as he read the opening lines over my shoulder. I'm kind of annoyed that I missed the end of the movie last night, but I'm going to say it was a strategic move to keep him off my back about my multitasking interneting. It's hard to get everything done when you actually work all day you're at work.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Week in review

Are you familiar with the Judgmental Bookseller Ostrich? I wasn't, but some of them are quiet amusing.


I don't have much interesting to say lately. Same old, same old--got a job, makes my eyes/head/hands/arms/feet/back/everything ache. Still looking and applying for better jobs. Still not pregnant. Things are better if not great. Booooooring. I'm working 7:30 to 4, which is great. Traffic is better, and I feel like I have time when I get home to hang out and do stuff, rather than get home, eat dinner, go to bed. Plus on days when traffic is really good--like Fridays, which always seem to be lighter--I get there early and therefore get to leave early. I don't work for free.

I've considered jotting down and sharing with you the amusing things said by Stereotypical Black Lady, but is that maybe offensive?  She's hilarious, though! She declared Mondays "Talk like Oprah Day" but she makes every day talk like Oprah day, and she doesn't even realize it. "JAAAAAAAAAYSOOOOOOON!" Anyway, the stories aren't as funny without the accent.  Like yesterday, when they were discussing breakfast burritos and she was pronouncing the Spanish words so hilariously. "This one is way-voes, jam-moan, why pappas." Huevos, jamon, y papas. Even the Korean kid pronounces Spanish better than she does.

There was a great line the other day, though it still isn't as great in text as in person. The manager had asked if she should bring in bagels the next day. "Only if you can find one with no carbs," says the woman on the ridiculous no carb diet. "Girl," says Stereotypical Black Lady, "When they're free, they're all no-carb!" It's true, though. Diets seem to go out the window when someone else is paying.

Anyway, we didn't end up having bagels. Instead she brought croissants from Essence Bakery, and holy cow it was so much better. I know most of you, dear readers, don't live in Arizona, but they are so amazingly delicious that should you ever come to town, might I suggest you stop and get a croissant? Even No-carb Girl couldn't resist. At first she just cut one in half, but after she inhaled it, she went back and finished it. Mmm. So good.

In other news, I think I need to stop eating ice cream. I've had it thrice in the last week, and twice it resulted in what I like to call "Troubles." I've always been somewhat intolerant of lactose, but now I appear to be entirely intolerant. It's sad. So, so sad. Maybe I'll just have to replace it with croissants....

Monday, February 21, 2011

Never satisfied

Our office at work is basically all windows. It's awesome. We overlook the freeway, and sometimes I can't help but look at the cars going by and wondering where they're going. I like to make up stories for them. Somehow, their destination is always better than where I am. It's kind of sad.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Let the fools have their tartar sauce!

In an early episode of the Simpsons, Mr. Burns asks Homer how he would improve the worker problems, and Homer explains that on fish stick Tuesday, they never get enough tartar sauce. Burns figures if giving the people an extra three cents of tartar sauce would improve morale, it would increase productivity and reduce accidents. "Let the fools have their tartar sauce!" he says.

At work there is a "morale table." I'm not really sure what's on it; I've never really gone near enough to investigate. It is inconveniently located right next to the manager's desk. It's probably for giving kudos and/or suggestions, but when everyone can see you approach the table and the boss is right next to it, it isn't particularly helpful.

We don't get President's Day off, which is pretty bad for morale. Someone asked, "Since Monday is a holiday, can we wear jeans?" No, came the reply. HR policy is jeans on Fridays only.

But why? We don't interact with clients. Ever, really. No one sees us but our coworkers. What does it benefit the company that we have to wear fancy pants? Here they have an easy way to improve morale--let the fools have their jeans! flip flops, even!--and it wouldn't even cost them anything. Do we work any less efficiently because our trousers don't need dry cleaning? Are we any less professional because our shirts don't need to be ironed? (And were we really any better students because they forced us to write in cursive for so many years?)

Sometimes I think we get so caught up in policy, conventional wisdom, tradition, whathaveyou, that we miss simple opportunities to make life better. But mostly I don't like to iron.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

New jobs

You know what I love about new jobs? It's always like they're surprised to see you. Even though they told you when to show up, they're invariable ill-prepared. "Oh, you're here. We don't have a computer for you yet."  "Here's your new email address, except that's not actually your email address; turns out username is not your email. Whoops!" "We're going to have this person show you what to do, even though she's actually not really good at training people." "No one will explain the dress code, where to park, or attitudes about personal cell phone use to you." "Here are some more acronyms you're sure not to understand!"

My job really isn't that bad. Everyone is super nice, and it's a fun environment so far. People even invite me to eat lunch with them! It's so weird not to eat alone. There have been some hiccups, but it's pretty good, considering that the work itself is kind of supremely boring. At least there's pretty much always something do to. Being bored sucks.

It's weird, though, because I'm The Temp. (Although it seems like a couple other people are also from staffing agencies.) They could let me go at any time, which is an unsettling impermanence. The girl I'm kind of taking over for was there for six months before they made her permanent. The benefits through the staffing agency are crap. ($250 a month for ridiculously low insurance coverage? You could practically self-insure, as long as you stay out of the hospital.) It's...not ideal. I even warned one of them at lunch that I was there until a better offer came through. I still have a lot of outstanding (recent) applications that I haven't heard back on. Some have been long enough that I don't think I will hear back, but a couple I still hold hope for. One I'd like because of the shift, one because of the benefits. Free flights, anyone?

Anyway, I'm not feeling crushing panic, so that's good. Little successes can be big reliefs. Not exactly carving one's niche on the edifice of time, but that'll do, pig. That'll do.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A man has dreams...

So I got a job. I was supposed to start tomorrow, but the manager is sick, so I'm not starting until Thursday. It's temp-to-hire, so if they don't like me (or I don't like it/find something better) we can part without too many hard feelings.

The interview process was a little ridiculous, considering that it's essentially a temp data entry gig. My favorite question at the second interview (really? two interviews?) was something along the lines of "what do you want from a job?" Um, a paycheck? Just hire me already! You want me to say that doing this job is my one dream in life? Just hire me already. I don't know if you read The Oatmeal, but I was laughing pretty hard at today's comic, the six crappiest interview questions.  I'm pretty sure I've been asked five of them in the last month.

It's kind of frustrating. I mean, at this point a job is a job is money. But it's starting at a third less than my last job, which wasn't exactly throwing thousand-dollar bills at me. The thousand-dollar bill apparently bears the mug of one Grover Cleveland (and Alexander Hamilton on older versions). What's funny is that throwing a thousand-dollar bill at someone is actually giving them far more than $1,000. But I digress. Point is new job does not pay splendidly.

And of course, there's that whole "I can do more than this" feeling. Most jobs are boring and most of us are just average, but still. It's quite a bitter pill to take.

But. At least I have a job and we won't be carted off to the workhouse. Now we can breathe, figure out what we want to be when we grow up, etc. Speaking of which, I need to go work on my snarky picture book for today's disillusioned adults.

Friday, February 4, 2011

terrorism, stoicism, whiny hipsters, etc.

Last night, I purchased this poster:

Perhaps you've seen it before? I love its story. In case of impending disaster, the government says "Don't panic!" This is quintessentially British--stiff upper lip and whatntot. In America there'd be some kind of color-coded panic-inducing system.

And isn't this the best response? If the Germans invade, don't give them the satisfaction of panicking. (Sidenote tangent: Some of the whiny hipsters who frequent the comments at Apartment Therapy seem to think it's wrong for the government to tell the people to keep calm. Because "EVERYBODY PANIC!" is much more effective? They also think the poster is cliche, although I've never seen it in actual reality. It is popular on the internet, though. But the whiny hipsters also use "cliche" when they mean "widespread" or "popular." You know what else is popular? Ansel Adams, Monet, that French poster with the black cat, etc. Does it really make them any less enjoyable, just because other people enjoy them too? Bah. Hipsters.)

It reminds me of when I was a kid; I must have been in second or third grade, and I got glasses. One of my relatives thought it hilarious to call me "Librarian." Drove me crazy. What's wrong with glasses? Or librarians, for that matter? So the advice my dad gave me was to stop responding. If he doesn't get the reaction he's looking for, he'll stop doing it. Not that the Germans would have turned around and left if the Brits had kept up the appearance of being calm, of course, but...you know. They didn't really throw around the word "terrorism" in the 40s, but wasn't that the point of the Blitz?

Anyway, I love this poster--its aesthetic, its message, its story, everything. I really could have used it lately, as things have been so crappy. Sometimes you just gotta keep calm and carry on. (Although sometimes you just need to be dramatic. [I really like the one I once saw that said "Go crazy and throw things."]) I could have gotten a "Keep Calm" poster on etsy, but not only was it cheaper to order it from England, even with shipping (whaa?!) but I wanted to support Barter Books, since they found the original, and they're a second-hand bookshop in an old train station! You can't beat that.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

They say "you had to be there," but even being there I'm not sure how funny it really was

The other night, it was pretty late and I was goofy-tired (which is far preferable to crabby-tired) and Fabulous Husband said something, addressing me as "Woman." I told him, "That's offensive."

"Jesus would call you Woman," he said.

"Jesus ate fish," I told him.

"So?"

"So you're not the same."

Sadly, this was the high point of the conversation. It only got less coherent from there. I thought it was hilarious though. I really enjoy occasionally being so tired that everything is side-splitting funny. It's a different kind of laughter, somehow.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Links about unhappiness

Google Reader recently recommended this article to me. Written by a Baptist pastor, he refers to a Slate article about how Facebook is making us sad and suggests that we do the same thing at church. We try to look with-it and happy, we overestimate others' happiness, and we end up feeling like everyone's lives are better. So when things in your own life are meh, you look around and see how happy everyone else is (or seems, anyway) and feel even worse. The Slate article also refers to this Washington Post article about infertile women struggling with the happy pregnant people on Facebook. I feel that; pretty much all my friends are pregnant and had zero trouble with it. And while I'm very happy for them, it makes me feel even worse. (Incidentally, I really don't want to become an infertility blog, all about "TTC" and "DPO" and "OPK" and whatnot. I mostly find them depressing.)  I'm not technically infertile, yet, but it's only a matter of time.

There's also been some buzz about this Salon article about the young, feminist atheist who can't stop reading Mormon blogs (as though the Mormon bloggers aren't young? and what do you mean by "feminist"?). I have kind of the opposite feeling--I actually stopped reading a lot of those blogs. You know their lives can't be that perfect, and it borders on obnoxious (to me, anyway) to see someone portray everything as so shiny and happy. I much prefer to read blogs that include the bad days. It's more honest. We all have bad days. You can portray life realistically without being "woe is me, my life is so terrible" type of fishing for attention.

Things are rough right now, y'know? Looking for work, feeling lousy, hospital visits, renters...blah. I'm really hoping things have bottomed out, because I could really use an upswing.

Soooo. What's crappy in your life lately?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The following excitement is the bad kind

You may have heard that I have recently been hanging out at the hospital. Friday night, my dad started vomiting blood. He was pale and weak and all those things you would associate with someone vomiting blood, so we convinced him to go to the ER. My mom texted throughout the night, updating us with his dropping blood pressure. They eventually discovered that he had not one, but two bleeding ulcers, one of them quite large, so they admitted him.

Then Sunday night, we were watching football with my sister and her husband, when Adam's heart started racing. Not just racing, but galloping. He was pretty sure he was in atrial fibrillation, so off we went in search of medical care. But the only place to get medical care at 7pm on  Sunday is the ER. So we figured we'd head over to hospital Mom and Dad were at. A bunch of tests and meds in the ER, and he still hadn't "converted" to a normal rhythm. So they decided to admit him, too. We mentioned that Dad was upstairs, and could they put us nearby? Sure enough, they put us in the room next door.

Long story short, he's okay now and we're home. He's exhausted, and pretty bummed, because the government doesn't exactly want soldiers with a.fib. So all our plans need to be reevaluated, and some of his dreams let go.

And did I mention the hospital is expensive? They have a program where people without insurance can pay a lesser amount (not terribly more than most co-pay percentages, actually) but four EKGs, and echocardiogram, chest x-rays, and all sorts of meds are not cheap. And once they admit you, costs are through the roof. Plus it's just one more thing to worry about. I'd say half of my calories today came from stress-related candy. Yesterday it was from sleep deprivation-related Coke.

But everyone is home now and feeling okay-ish. Crappy temp job interviews (two!) this week might result in some income. Get to sleep in my own bed tonight. Things could be better, but could be worse. Sigh.