Thursday, August 15, 2013
Cassandra Schmigotzki, of The Long and Winding Road to Wellness, has graced my blog with a Liebster Award! So, here's what you need to know about the award...
About the Liebster
The idea behind this award is to recognize new bloggers and help them get some buzz and promote their blogs. It's a sign of recognition and it can pretty much mean what you want it to mean.
If you've been nominated for the Liebster Award and accept it, you need to follow a few rules.
1.Write a blog post about the Liebster Award.
2.Thank the person that nominated you.
3.Post a link to their blog on your blog.
4.Display the award on your blog and including it in your post and/or displaying it using a widget.
5.Answer the 11 questions about yourself provided by the person who nominated you.
6.Give 11 random facts about yourself.
7.Nominate 5-11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have less than 1000 followers.
8.Create a new list of questions for the nominated bloggers to answer.
9.List the rules in your post.
10.Inform the bloggers who you've nominated for the Liebster Award - remember to give them a link to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!).
Note that you can nominate someone who has been given this award already, as long as they have less than 1000 followers/subscribers.
Cassandra's Questions For Me
1.What is something that you wish you learned how to do growing up? Make small talk.
2.What are five words your closest friends would use to describe you? Funny, smart, sensitive, empathetic, introverted
3.What is your favorite meal to make or eat? This isn't a whole meal, but I love roasted carrots. If I cook a pound of carrots you better get to 'em fast because otherwise they'll be gone.
4.What did you want to be when you grew up? An astronomer. Then I realized how much math I'd have to learn.
5.Can you speak another language? If so, what? (This would include sign language but not Pig Latin.) Only if by "speak another language" you mean "can curse people out in Spanish". I studied Spanish in high school & college, but you know how it is when you don't use a skill...
6.What is your guilty pleasure? I try not to have those. You like what you like when you like it, you know?
7.What are your favorite books or blogs? I could list books all day: Which Lie Did I Tell, Kushiel's Dart, Bird by Bird, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, Woman Hollering Creek, If You Want to Write, Dicey's Song, A Solitary Blue, A Long Way From St. Louie, Black Ice...I should probably stop now!
8.What do you hope to accomplish by the end of the year? Finishing a screenplay.
9.What's your favorite quote or passage? “Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid”. ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It's hard to follow, but I love the idea of it. Plus, I do think it's true in many cases.
10.Do you still dress up for Halloween? I haven't done that since I was about 11.
11.Have you learned anything about yourself since you started blogging? If so, what? Black people have a saying: "Don't put your business in the street." This is how parents keep their kids from talking about personal stuff with people who don't happen to live with them. I have found, though, that I like putting my business in the street. It seems to be the only way to learn that your business isn't that unusual after all.
1. I say "library" & "birthday" wrong. They come out "lie-berry" & "birfday".
2. I didn't realize I said these words wrong until I met HUBS and he pointed it out to me.
3. I didn't drink any alcohol until I was 31.
4. I only drink lemon-lime sodas.
5. I hate tea in all its forms.
6. I wore braces on my legs and had to have special orthopedic shoes when I was a kid.
7. Because of my orthopedic issues, if I'm sitting with my legs straight out or straight behind me, my feet automatically turn ALL THE WAY IN with my toes pointing at each other.
8. Any pill larger than the tip of a pencil eraser will cause me to panic when I try to swallow it. Thank God for pill cutters!
9. When I went to New York on a college trip in 1997, I saw Al Lewis, who played Grandpa on The Munsters. He was in his 70s, but was wearing a leather biker jacket and an African print hat.
10. My nose has been itching all week and it's incredibly annoying.
11. Mushrooms disgust me. I know they're good for you, but they're a fungus and I can't get past it. I've never had one on purpose.
1. Miss Tracey Nolan
2. Rebecca Thompson, Take Charge Now
3. Jeri Walker-Bickett, What do I know?
4. Stephanie Bryant, Diary of a Mad Saleswoman
My Nominee Questions!
1. Boxers or briefs?
2. What one word do you hate the sound of?
3. Prince or Michael Jackson?
4. The world is ending, what do you say to your mom as last words?
5. McDonald's or Burger King?
6. You've just won $1,000 and have to spend it on something frivolous. What do you buy?
7. What are your two favorite TV shows of all time (up to now, obviously)?
8. Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck?
9. If you could give your 12-year-old self one bit of advice, what would it be?
10. Dancing at a club or drinking at a bar?
11. What's one book you wish you had written and why?
Let the party begin, nominees!
Monday, August 12, 2013
No emergencies here, folks. None at all...
Well, after last Monday's stress-a-thon I finally got paid (right after bitching about it, in fact) and then I went on to relax for a whole day before I started worrying about work.
When my hours got cut I went from being responsible for three company blogs to two. This means that every Friday I am now supposed to turn in two stories, one for each blog. In order to get stories I have to research client events and email them. Then, whether or not I have articles to write depends on if any of those clients get back to me.
Only one person got back to me. Not one for each blog. Just one.
I MISSED A DEADLINE LAST WEEK. FUCK.
On one hand I really feel I did everything I could to email as many contacts as possible. But on the other hand I know it might not matter. My hours got cut, I had two weeks where I got two stories in each week, and then I missed one. Only one client got in touch with me, so I only had one article for one company blog.
I spent the weekend trying not to panic, and did a pretty good job. Today, though? Today I have a headache and feel a bit dizzy. I haven't checked my work email yet and probably won't for at least another hour. I just need to not think about it for a bit longer.
However, I can think about music. Let's go!
There. Now I need the biggest cup of coffee I can get my hands on!
Monday, August 05, 2013
Just enjoy the kitty cats...Take comfort in the kitty cats...
Ah, life. I hope all of yours are going very well, because over here? Things are kinda shitty.
What is it about bad, sad things? Why do they come in waves and droves faster than you can adjust to one sucky thing? These past couple of weeks are pretty easy to explain, so let me do it by making a list...
1) That new freelance gig I got at the end of February? Two weeks ago my hours got cut. IN HALF. And I was already working part-time. (-$$$$)
2) The very next day, HUBS' glasses broke. ($$)
3) By the end of the week one of our cats was sick. ($)
4) We exhaust all the cash in the house and one small savings account for bills and living expenses. (-$$)
5) Our cat gets sick again, but this time needs several days in the hospital and a surgery, just completed today. ($$$$$$)
6) I've been happily getting much needed medical tests for over a month. And now, when those bills come in it will be severely nerve-wracking. ($$)
7) My last big check from work should have been here by the 1st. I STILL DON'T HAVE IT AND THEY WANT ME TO WAIT UNTIL WEDNESDAY BEFORE THEY CUT ME A NEW ONE. (-$$$)
What really kicks my ass here? This is our fault, going WAAAAYYYYY back to neither of us saving enough money when we were on our own (with the exception of my now depleted 401K). Back to me not leaving my old job A LOT sooner, leading to an emergency exit that we still have not bounced back from. Back to the depression that makes it really hard to just stick with it and keep going all the time.
So. I literally spent the past 8 hours looking for work. And was able to apply for a whopping three jobs that I'm qualified for which don't involve toilets or garbage. Don't think I'm being picky; I will probably be applying for those by the end of the week.
Why does life kick us when we're down?
I'm trying to be Zen about all this. What do I need to learn from all this? What can I do better? How can I do better?
But, really? I'm just pissed. And nervous. And very unsure about our future.
My skin has broken out and I get queasy several times a day. I'm crying more than I have since starting depression meds and it's hard to sleep.
Well, I'm going to stop talking about this now and play some music.
How do you get through when life keeps kicking you in the teeth?
Thursday, August 01, 2013
How is it August already?! Remember when you were a kid and every day seemed to last forever? That is certainly not the case now!
This thank-you post is going to feature some awesome food via our Louisville/Nashville trip, so let's get to it!
1) Thanks to the Goose Creek Diner in Louisville for feeding us. A LOT.
That's a Hot Brown in the second photo...
My Fried Green Tomato BLT with baked sweet potato & HUBS' Chicken Fried Steak
2) Thanks to Savannah's Candy Kitchen for helping to make a long walk around downtown Nashville a late-night surprise.
3) Thanks to the Pancake Pantry of Nashville for making a long wait in line worth it.
My Sweet Potato Waffle, his Swedish Pancakes
My sides and the Cinnamon Cream Syrup that accompanied my waffle
4) Thanks to easy road trips.
5) Thanks to Walmart for always having what we need even when we're in another city.
6) Thanks to my job for opening up my free time.
7) Thanks to specialists for helping me get to the root of my many annoying health issues.
8) Thanks to my last big check for making things more possible than before.
9) Thanks to $4 movies tickets for new releases.
10) Thanks to my intense money saving skills.
What did July bring you?
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
I watch a lot of movies. But, every now and then I watch a movie and have no idea how I feel about it. Good movies are easy. Really bad movies are easy. But the ones in the middle? Those can be tough.
So, here's my list of 11 ways to tell a bad movie was just all up in your face.
11 Ways To Tell You've Watched A Bad Movie
1) You had no problem getting up in the middle to go to the bathroom and taking your sweet time in there.
2) You just left the theater. Wait, what was the movie about again?
3) It's opening weekend, and you were the only one in the theater.
4) You watched intently, but still felt confused during the whole thing.
5) You didn't care what happened to anyone in the movie.
6) You couldn't manage to laugh, cry or feel anxious/scared/thrilled about anything that went on during the film.
7) Whoever you went with talked to you the for the entire movie, and you didn't mind at all.
8) You spent the movie comparing plot points to other films that did them first, and better.
9) At least 25% of the audience got up during the movie and didn't come back.
10) After getting back from the bathroom you realize you missed a lot, but you can still follow the plot just fine.
11) Did you fall asleep? You don't remember?! Bad sign, my friend.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
So, I did what I said I was going to do and went to an allergist last Friday. I have to say, it was one of the most pleasant doctor visit experiences I've ever had.
Luckily, I was able to find someone who takes our insurance and has an office that's about five minutes away from our house. She was just really nice and patient. She listened to everything I had to say, and even wrote down every instance of getting outrageously sick that I told her about from this year so far (and that is no small number, people).
She did a basic skin allergy test, which wasn't any where near as bad as I'd thought it was going to be. In case you didn't know: there's no needles involved. They use these blunt-tipped plastic things that have the oils of different possible allergens (gluten, eggs, diary, peanut...) on the ends. They stick them on your skin and let the oils sit for 15 minutes.
While I was waiting I noticed a little bit of itching in one spot and thought for sure it would be gluten. But it wasn't. It was peanut. Now, I know you've never seen me eat, but trust me when I say that if I were allergic to peanuts I'd be dead a million times over with all the peanut butter/handfuls of peanuts/bunches of other things that are made in facilities where peanuts are present which I eat on a daily basis.
My doc said it's possible to get false positives, so she sent me for a blood test (three vials they needed) and is having me do something I have not been able to get the nerve up for yet: a 24 hour urine test. This means that after I had my blood taken at the lab, they handed be a giant orange bucket with a lid and a plastic urine catcher. Once I start I will have to collect my pee pee in the urine catcher and funnel it into the bucket and...AND PUT THE PEE BUCKET IN MY REFRIGERATOR AFTER EACH COLLECTION.
Yeah. It's 'bout to get real weird up in here.
I meant to start Monday, but didn't. I meant to start yesterday; I even cleared a wide berth in the fridge for the bucket and laid a towel down in that spot just in case. I totally did not start. I'm going to get it done and back to the lab before the week's out. This is almost as bad as when I went to the gastroenterologist and had to collect like 5 different stool samples for him to test. You guys? That was completely unpleasant. Except for the fact that I didn't have to refrigerate the samples. I guess poo stay fresh longer?
Honestly? Having blood drawn was easier!
What kind of strange medical tests have you had to endure?
Monday, July 22, 2013
So, HUBS and I have been getting out and among people a little bit. We joined a Meetup group for sci-fi and fantasy fans and have been to three events, only, since we were late to the last two, we didn't get to actually talk to anybody. But! It got us to the art museum and the science center when there were a lot of people there, some of them dressed like various Doctor Who's.
Also, I've been signed up for a nerdy women's group for months. I kept signing up for events and then chickening out at the last minute and not going because I got too nervous to talk to new people.
Well, this weekend I went.
It was a bit easier, since it wasn't just a random sit around and try to think of things to say to strangers kind of meetup. The meeting was based on The Happiness Project, a book from a few years ago about a woman trying to figure out what would really make her happy. The goal of the group is for each member to pinpoint her values and put together 3 or 4 things we really want to work on that we believe will make us happier.
I, of course, have two huge lists of things to pull from. Two huge lists of goals from the beginning of the year that I've barely worked on as we enter the last half of 2013.
I need this kick in the ass. I'm hoping having a group of ladies who are all trying to get better and improve their lives to go back to and be accountable to will help me make those small moves every day that I know I need in order to feel better and brighter.
Constant, external motivation seems to be what moves me along. Motivation really doesn't come from within with me. I don't know why, and it doesn't actually matter. The important thing is finding what will push me and using it, even if it looks like something that shouldn't move me.
Ahhhhh...Let's relax a little. MUSIC!
What gives you a kick in the ass?
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
I like shooting candid shots. I've developed a skill for putting my camera on continuous shooting mode, holding my camera down low or up high and taking pictures without anyone knowing. You catch cool stuff that way.
I miss going on photo walks. I won't be doing that now, of course, because it's too damn hot. But now that I'm not locking myself up in the house anymore, I'll have to get back into it this fall. It feels good to have new pics to show people.
Actually, there's a lot I need to get back into. I'd like to be able to blame this on the heat, but I've pooped out on those lists I made at the beginning of the year. Day to day life and my tendency to tuck myself into my comfort zone have led to, well, basically the same ol' me.
The same old me isn't horrible, it's just not as cool and fun-loving and free and determined as I would like.
It has me wondering. Can anyone really change? We all have our wild hopes and dreams. When we don't reach them, it usually seems that the reason is us, ourselves, the person who wanted to change enough to hit a goal in the first place.
The what-ifs always bog me down. Maybe you're what-ifs are positive, but mine are always negative. Now I'm thinking What if trying harder isn't in my nature? What if my view of the future is so dim that I won't be able to really accomplish anything no matter what I do? What if I have so little faith in myself that I'll continue to stand in my way?
What if, what if...What are your what-ifs?
Friday, July 12, 2013
I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since we took our vacation. All I've wanted to do since we got back is not sweat and take another trip. Being someplace different revitalizes.
I, of course, have a ton of photos from our jaunt to Kentucky and Tennessee. Just so I don't overload you all at once, I've decided to divide the pics into four categories: places, people, food and details. Today? Some of the sights in Louisville and Nashville...
Did you know Nashville has a full scale replica of The Parthenon?
It's been a while since we looked around online. Shall we?
1) Oklahoma! Your peeping toms are way too freaky and desperate!
2) Wow. There are a lot more wild cats in the world than I thought there were.
3) Speaking of cats, Wasabi-chan the kitten has been through a lot. It's hard not to love her.
4) When times are tough, sometimes you need a manifesto to help you along.
That's all for me friends. Have a great weekend!
Monday, July 08, 2013
Vacations are awesome things. You see new sights, eat new food and see new people. Sometimes you also sweat like a pig, eat dinner at 1 am, drive the wrong way down a one way street and get pulled over by a bicycle cop, but, you know, such is life.
I've got one big Thank You for June, and that is that HUBS and I made enough cash to take a two day trip to Louisville, KY and Nashville, TN last week. It was fun and exhausting. We went out late at night and mingled with drunk, sweaty Nashvillians. We walked down dark, abandoned streets. On my way to the bathroom a clown covered in balloon animals told me to cheer up and I smiled at him even though I was thinking Fuck you, clown.
We partook of July 4th activities. Like when we stayed at home and the ghetto heathens of our neighborhood set off what must have been professional grade fireworks. They were pretty, but, really, I wish they would have stopped that shit by midnight instead of 2 am.
Saturday evening we took the train downtown to the last night of Fair St. Louis. We saw a free show by the Counting Crows, watched fireworks under the Arch, walked amongst the drunk, sweaty denizens of Laclede's Landing and ate an expensive snack at the Drunken Fish.
June's money got us there, people. And I am really thankful for that.
Monday, June 24, 2013
Like the hot, hot fire in my belly...
I need to go to the doctor. Something has been wrong with me since 2008. For about a year I thought I'd just become more sensitive to food that wasn't prepared well, and was getting frequent bouts of food poisoning.
Then I started paying more attention. About four times a year, HUBS and I would eat the same thing ( I would eat less of it, even) and I would get horribly ill. It always hits either around 2 a.m. or 7 a.m. And?
IT'S VERY, VERY BAD.
It's the kind of ill where you're forced to spend two full hours in the bathroom. The kind of ill where once everything finally stops you're tired and sore for the rest of the day.
I've had several near misses so far this year; where I woke up, thought I was going to be sick, but was able to medicate it away with Rolaids or Tummy Drops. I had another one last night.
I must be allergic to something, but I have no idea what. I've gotten sick eating a wide variety of things: pasta sauce, salsa, BBQ spaghetti, baked un-breaded fish, chicken & dumplings, Mexican food, Arby's (that was last night). It's usually something I've had before and kept down just fine.
I have put this off for way too long, being worried about doctor visit copays and medical test copays. I have to just do this now and hope they find that something easily manageable is wrong with me. (Which I think they will. I mean, if something MAJOR was wrong it would have shown up in other ways after five years...I think.)
Wish me luck.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Wow, how sad is it that I'm having a hard time remembering good stuff that happened in May? The month shot by so fast I'm barely registering the fact that it's June now.
Alrighty, time to put on my thinking cap, 'cause here we go...
1) Thanks to the commitment to saving money, which helped me buy a new purse.
2) Thanks to men who know how to jackhammer a basement, drill holes in each cinder block, install a drainage system and hook up a sump pump.
3) Thanks to the office manager who works with those guys for giving me a $25 discount because of the light bulb they broke and the door frame they busted up.
4) Thanks to a reasonably cool start to summer.
5) Thanks to the note taking app on my phone for helping me keep track of my daily you-must-leave-the-house jaunts.
6) Thanks to Lila, my car, for still running after 15 years.
7) Thanks to my ever growing gardening skills for giving me onions and fresh basil.
8) Thanks to Tummy Drops for keeping my sensitive stomach happy.
9) Thanks to online clothes shopping.
10) Thanks to therapy.
OK, that was actually easier than I thought it'd be!
What good stuff happened to you in May?
Friday, June 07, 2013
Our formerly rotten bathroom floor...
Is there anything better than whipping your house into shape? Well, OK, sure. Lots of things are better than cleaning house and repairing stuff. But! Taking care of these issues sure is nice.
HUBS and I finally had a sump pump put in our basement so that it won't flood anymore. It'll take us a while to pay that work off, but at least it's DONE.
Since the beginning of the year, we've had insulation added to the attic and basement, the kitchen plumbing replaced, the bathroom floor replaced, the toilet fixed and upgraded and we're about to add an electric outlet in the basement.
Holy shit, we're on a ROLL NOW!
We've also been getting rid of mounds of clothes, shoes, dishes, electronics and various useless household items we've been holding on to for way too long.
It's almost, very slightly, like living in a new house. And that's nice.
What's going on, peeps? Let's see...
1) Autocorrect never fails to fail spectacularly.
2) Want to take better photos? It's really not that hard.
3) If you loved Reading Rainbow and Mister Rogers as a kid, immerse yourself in this & this.
4) Virginia Woolf thinks all writers should keep a journal.
5) If you need help getting motivated to do...anything, while depressed, Psych Central has 12 tips for you.
Oh, yeah! Have a great weekend, everyone!
Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Oh, boy. Here we go...
I know what you're thinking:
Why is this lunatic (You do know I'm a lunatic, right?) worried about one wrinkle? Isn't she almost 40? Fuck her!
Look, I understand how this sounds. It's not like I have NO wrinkles, but they are specific to the faces I make. So, when I laugh the laugh lines appear and when I'm not laughing they go away.
This wrinkle? This wrinkle is threatening to implant itself in my face and stay around no matter what I do with my facial skin.
I don't like this at all.
Why God, whhhyyyyyyy?! I'm too young for permanent face folds!!
The only reason I noticed it, is the giant zit I've had in between my eyebrows for the past week. I'm a little bit OCD, so I simply cannot leave a zit alone. I have to make it go away. Hence, I've been examining my between-brows area in detail for DAYS.
A couple of days ago I saw the weird line. What's that? I thought innocently. I pulled my forehead back, it was still there. I made my face expressionless, it was STILL there. Then I went the other way, I did this:
And there IT was! My permanent scowl/knit eyebrow wrinkle! Yeah! Aging is SO, SO AWESOME!
I mean, what the hell, people? I don't make this face on a regular basis. Maybe when I yawn. Maybe when I sneeze. I'm not doing any of that crap 24/7.
Is this what it's going to be like from now on? Everyday I'll wake up with a new wrinkle that makes no sense for my life, you know, just because?
I've been inundating the area with lotion and mild exfoliating treatments...No dice, y'all. It's STILL FUCKING THERE.
Oh, well. It's AGING or DEATH, right?
Also? Stay out of the sun: