Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Improvements and Possibilities

Recently, I came across a study about Fibro that I really enjoyed reading---here is the link.

The really awesome thing about this study is that you can look at a ton of treatment options, from pain meds to marijuana to meditation and yoga, and see what people are finding helpful. In addition, there seems to be a drug, usually used for drug dependency, that has shown remarkable results. This is something I plan to discuss with my doctor.

Another thing I found interesting is that the medication I was put on, Cymbalta, is listed as not very helpful.  I however have benefited greatly from it. Out there in the Facebook and blogging worlds, most people have not benefited much, so I am feeling particularly fortunate today.

Here is a pic of the study results:
For more info, click the link above, and talk to your doctor about your options. Many of the options are inexpensive or free, like yoga and meditation, as well as dietary changes. I know people with chronic illnesses get sick of hearing other people telling them to try new things, but this time, it's coming from someone that has done so herself.

Gentle hugs!

A Healthy Part

Today, I got test results for a test I  Fabulously prompt turn-around, right?  Maybe American Health Care is NOT going into the crapper.  Nah, musta been a fluke.

Anyways, turns out, I got at least one healthy part on me--actually, two.  I had a mamogram this morning prompted by my Aunt's current battle with breast cancer, as well as some history in our family of breast cancer. Then, lo and behold in my in-box, there was a message saying that, and I quote:

"while glorious and silky smooth, there is nothing otherwise remarkable about your breasts. Flaunt them before they hit your knees."

or something like that.

I plan to celebrate with a jug of milk, two chicken breasts, and Coffee Nips.

:::crickets chirping:::

Seriously, there are not many "boob"-like foods out there. Nothing rhymes with "aereola" or "breast". Except, "aereola" and "breast".
Men, they get all the good jokes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pick One, Will Ya?

I think it is complete and utter BULLSHIT that I must suffer with acne AND crow's feet at the same time.  It's some kind of sick joke on the part of Mother Nature.

Just sayin'.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Parents Are Crazy

I just got to spend my only free night this week with parents of other Middle School students.  Many of these people, I have known since the first grade (Monkey Boy's First Grade year, not mine-those people are all in nursing homes).  I like most of them. some I tolerate.  But there is a general "kind" that makes me what to stab myself with a school-issued spork.  The ultra-defensive Single Mom.

Now, I by no means wish to disparage single parents, male or female, in any way.  If this person were married, she would be irritating.  If she had failed to bring new life to our planet, she would probably have a pile of shitszus to bother people with.  But instead, she had a child with some low-life that's not around, (or she drove him to leave the one thing that truly made life worth living?) and now we ALL HAVE TO PAY, through listening to her dither on and on and on about the details of her incredibly busy life that no one could possibly understand.

For instance.  I mean, hypothetically, during a discussion of conferences, she might just happen to mention that she is highly concerned that said conferences should really be offered late in the day for single parents that work, because it is so hard to get 3 hours off.  Then, hypothetically 5 minutes later, she will again raise her ringless hand, and inquire whether ample time will be given to the chaperones for the Spring 4 day trip, so that work accommodations can be made.  Srsly????  WTF???
Lady, I have been listening to this song and dance from you and your hen friends for 6 years now.  My sympathy waned in third grade, when I realized there was a scratch on your record, causing you to rrrreeeeeepppppppeeeeeeeaaaaatttttttttttt. In fifth grade, I gave it another try, hoping you spent some time in the self-help section and Barnes and Noble and had read Who Moved My Cheese or Fish!.  No such luck.  Still poor me, poor my kid, no one understands. 

So, let's recap:
You cannot POSSIBLY attend a conference at 4 pm that will help you understand your child's understanding of US History, Language, and Math with all 3 teachers that they stay after school for.  However, when it comes to a 4-day trip to see some plays, you're in.  Got it.  Mmmmmkay.

I find it inconceivable that someone hasn't snatched you up yet.  Or maybe I don't understand the definition of "inconceivable".  You and me, both, Wallace Shawn.

The BEST Cake in the World...if You Can't Have Dairy or Gluten

The other day, I made my way to my favorite store (besides the Nordstrom Shoe department)-the Gluten Free Specialty Store on 26th and J Streets in downtown Sacramento.
I found this place randomly-making my way down the street with an appointment close by, I wandered in.  Not only do they have a HUGE selection of items that I LOVE, the store is manned (womanned?) by a lovely owner named Melanie that seems to know EVERYTHING about Gluten Free stuff. The rest of the staff is pretty awesome, too. So, to recap:
Selection is awesome
Staff friendly and helpful
Small local business
Special discount for cash payments
Special discount for cases, once you find what you CAN'T live without

Anyways, I always pick up a couple items I am out of, and then I try a couple new items.  This last trip, I was looking for a cake mix that I had liked-they were out, and it is imported from Australia, so I figured I better find something else.  I asked, and was directed towards the King Arthur Chocolate Cake Mix-she said it's the best.  I bought it, and took it home, hoping it would be acceptable for a celebration meal.

I made the one 9-inch circle cake, and 12 cupcakes. (The 9 inch would serve as the main cake, the cupcakes get frozen for me to eat when I NEED a cupcake. Don't act like you don't know what I mean.)
I then followed the directions in my head for a chocolate ganache icing:
1 small can coconut milk (2/3 cup or so)
1 bag vegan chocolate chips

Heat milk to bubbling, pull off heat, add in chips, whisk until smooth. Constantly check temp with finger until room temp, licking finger each time, then washing it, because otherwise that would be gross.

Once the ganache is room temp, I smear some ganache on the bottom of the cake plate, then put the cake down, and drizzle the rest over the top of the cake-hopefully it will cover all the way, but you may have "checked the temp" too many times. You can leave it out, so it serves a bit gooey, or fridge it so that the chocolate hardens and serves up like a chocolate-cake-filled-chocolate-chip.


Thankfully, the computer screen does not show drool.  The keyboard may never be the same though.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Banana Hacks and Insomnia

Recently, I read about something that I found to be quite interesting.

Did you know that if you press lightly on a banana, the mark will show up later as a bruise?  Well, don't mock me-I didn't know this.  Immediately, I saw the potential in this.   For instance, I could write loving supportive messages to my children scare the absolute bejeezus out of my children.

I embraced my opportunity the next possible chance I got. 

Sky King was amused (Damn!) and the kids were perplexed, and a little creeped out.


I waited a few weeks, and did it again.

This time, I accused my husband of doing it, while he laughed.  He thought it was hilarious that some sick freak out there was trying to freak people out, and had succeeded.  Little did he know, he was married to the sick freak. 

After some discussion, and the husband's plans to individually inspect all future bananas, my thoughts wandered, as they often do, to a COMPLETELY UNRELATED bit of information:

Monkey Boy had been sleeping poorly for about 2 weeks, at times coming into our room in the middle of the night, sure he heard ominous sounds coming from just outside his poorly latched single pane window. 

Hindsight is 20/20, y'all.

There goes my Mother of the Year Award.  Again. 

This meant I had to go in and confess to MB, taking full responsibility.  He assured me that it didn't really freak him out, he was stressed out due to other things.  You know, like the plummeting stock market, our position in the future global economy, the dwindling rainforest.  Things 12 year olds muse about. 

Yes, I know.  I am SO going to hell. 

Spoon Art

WARNING:  This post *may* require alcohol to completely appreciate/understand.

You've been warned.

Ever since I read the story, Spoonies by Christine Miserando, I have been wanting to find a piece of jewelry that incorporated a spoon.  You, know, so I could wake up feeling like crap, yank up my big-girl panties and put on my spoon necklace/ring/bracelet, and be all, "phew, good thing I had that extra spoon today :::chuckle to myself:::".

Okay, "wanting to find" might be a little mild.  Let's say, "massively obsessed".  There---better.

Anywho.  One night, I was hanging out, highly medicated.  Full flare.  I was on Facebook, which led me to Regretsy, a slightly off-kilter (or MAJORLY off-kilter) site devoted to all that is craptastic on Etsy (a very serious website devoted to artists that would like to sell their homemade wares to the truly deserving, thankyouverymuch.)

I was inspired by Lisa Winchell's ability to find such amazing items on Etsy, worthy of her praise and/or :::ahem::: notice.  My foggy brain decided I MUST BE HER.

So, I did what any hopped-up crazy person would do.  I created an account, and even took some special quizzes designed to help them understand my individual tastes, thereby showing me items that would meet my unique needs as an appreciator of fine crafts.  (Do not do this impaired in any way.  You will be startled/alarmed the next day.)

I searched, "spoon jewelry, and went through pages and pages of items.  Nothing spoke to me.  Until I saw it.  THE ONE.

I was elated, and clicked "BUY" before Sky King could stop me.  (Incidentally, he has lost some respect for me.  It could be unrelated to this shopping expedition.  There's no way to know for sure.)

I was eagerly anticipating the item in all its spoon-a-licious glory.  I had even gone so far as to send a special message to the user..."OMG!  You are artistic GENIUS!!! Thank you soooo much!!!".

Days later, (It felt like months, people!) I arrived at work to a curious item on my desk:

Quite a curious box.

I opened it, and found a pile of dried flowers. Now, I have never packed an item to ship with dried flowers. But, that doesn't mean I wouldn't.  She certainly gets points for creativity, and the whole reduce/reuse thing.

And there, in all it's glory, was my new necklace.

The original picture actually made it look better.  However, Sky King noted there was no possible way to make a mouse skull, or a disembodied baby arm for that matter, look "better".  Creepy is creepy, I think were his words.  Huh.

I have had some serious second thoughts about this necklace.  Maybe it would be better in a smaller spoon? Maybe I have dashed the dreams of an aspiring artist with my nasty words. Maybe I will contract Hantavirus from the mouse skull.  Maybe my husband will leave me if I wear it.  Ever.  I have questions, people.  Important musings that must have closure.

I hope that the artist is not a reader of my blog.  If she is, I would be devastated to know that my drug-addled musings caused her any pain.  She could be sitting at home right now, ready to stab herself in the eyeballs with knitting needles.  Or, she could be saying to the lazy, good-for-nothing son that lives in her basement, "See!!!  I TOLD you that people would love my art!  Hand over that $20 you owe me, you doubting Thomas!"  One of those.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Monkey Boy was an adventurous child.  He was always willing to try physical activities, even in a social setting that was difficult for him.  He loved new physical challenges, if not new people and new places.

So, when he was invited to a skating birthday party in Kindergarten, I was hoping that his desire to try walking with wheels on his feet would counteract his desire to hide under my skirt around a throng of overzealous partygoers.

He began with skates that were tightened, so he could walk more than roll.

I was a pretty proud Mama, because most birthday parties were difficult for him, as he is such a creature of habit-familiar people, mixed with UN-familiar people, in an unfamiliar place---no bueno.

Imagine my surprise when he got out onto that wooden floor under the disco ball, and made his way around the rink!  Over and over, he went round and round, til I had to get some "rolly-er" skates.  Then, all hell broke loose.  He was a boy on a mission, and no amount of motherly discomfort would dissuade him.

He fell, got back up.  Fell, got back up.  Fell, got back up.  It got to the point that he practically bounced off the floor, back onto his wheeled feet, ready for more.

When we got home, covered with sweat, bruises and smiles, he went to use the bathroom.  My husband asked, "Well, how did it go?"

My response:  "What he lacks in skill, he makes up for in speed."

And it has been that way ever since.

I hope, for everyone's sake, he doesn't become a half-assed brain surgeon.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Motherly Advice

Think back to when you were a child, and your mom would give important advice that you should follow, like;

Don't touch the stove, it will burn you
Eat your vegetables
You'll shoot your eye out
Never burn bridges
Stop that or you'll go blind
No one likes a tattle tale
Look before you leap
Measure twice, cut once

...and my personal favorite,
If you don't stop that, we will sell you to the gypsies.

(Which, incidentally, made me incredibly fearful of gypsies-I pretty much imagined going to live with Jasmine from Aladdin, but she was much meaner. And made me do tricks, like in the circus. Now, i have seen My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, and I'm not sure I wouldn't have fared better with that group, but that's for another post.)

Well, let's add one to the list....

Even if you don't want to, don't feel like it, can't fathom any fiber of your being complying, EXERCISE. 

I know, I know.  I HATE exercise.  Who likes it? Sick people, that's who.  People that think of nothing more than shiny coins hanging around their necks. People that LIKE bicycle shorts.  I even saw a guy on My Strange Addiction, who was addicted to a bicycle and stationary bike, and it was KILLING HIM.  See?  Crazy people like to exercise. (Or, maybe I need to change my viewing habits...)

But, that does not mean you can't get something out of it.

I started with walks around the block with Sky King.  This sssssllllllloooooowwwwwwwwlllllllllyyyyyyyyy graduated to me going to the gym with him and walking on the treadmill, while he worked with some lunatics and a lunatic trainer.  Then, I would pop in to yoga or Zumba once in a while. 

Yoga, incidentally, has been a-freaking-mazing!  It incorporates the whole mind-body thing, which is great for us spoonies, because being mindful of our bodies will help protect us better.

Now, I have my phone alarmed to remind me to go to yoga 3 times a week---I usually make 2 of them. And.  I forked over money---cash money, people---to join the lunatics!  The trainer works with other pathetic people like me with tons of limitations, and she has tweaked our workout 2 times a week to include me.  No, I don't like it---well, I like the chatting we do between reps----I get sweaty, I work hard, things ache later.  But, I'm doing it, and even if it doesn't mean I am going to win a triathlon, I feel like I am making a positive step in improving my overall health.  Which makes me feel just a teensy bit in control. 

That, and the 25 pounds gone-I'll take it!

Monday, August 22, 2011

How to Cheat and Not Get Caught

My Acupuncturist, Dr. G, introduced me to a little bottle of heaven that will allow me to do what I have wanted to do for quite some time, with little-to-no repercussions: Cheat. 
I have never been fond of cheating.  You don't just hurt yourselves, people.  You hurt everyone.  But, as I have aged, I have learned that it is best not to judge until you walk a mile in someone else's leather boots (or something like that).

I never thought I would cheat, I really didn't.  It's not that I don't appreciate what I have.  I'm very lucky.  I have awesome kids (their craziness is only an indication they weren't switched at birth with normal children), my husband is endlessly patient and understanding, my work is fulfilling. 

Sometimes, though, that is just not enough.  You begin to muse about the good old days, when you could go off on a binge and enjoy all those visceral pleasures that were part of your younger years.



and, :::gasp:::

You see, I have found...
(cue royal horns, doot-----da da doot----da dooooooooooooot!!!)

With a few of these babies popped into my mouth, I can ONCE IN A WHILE (twice a week???) enjoy a meal out with friends without putting the server through the Spanish Inquisition. 

I feel my shoulders loosening already----it has grown quite tiresome, asking minute details about every ingredient of the poor servers at Applebee's.  I waited tables in casual dining, so I know what happens when customers become a pain in the ass.

And, I am pretty sure their spit isn't gluten-free.

An Open Letter to Our Reunion DJ

Dear Reunion DJ Dude-

I know that you are depressed because this is what you do-you go by yourself to a depressing venue like a hotel ballroom-or worse, a smelly gym- while you "spin tunes" for a bunch of uncomfortable people that are there for one of three reasons:

1. to hook up with the high school crush (that has grown in width more than height since graduation, but who are you kidding, you're no prize with your four kids and gastric-bypass-gone-wrong),
2. to rub in your success which is all a facade, as you are currently living with your in-laws while your children try hallucinogens for the first time as your spouse is off banging the unemployed neighbor (in the 80's it would have been the tennis pro, but times are tough), or
3. to gather up enough intel to discern that life for you isn't all that bad as all the cheerleaders got fat, all the football players are bald, and all the nerds didn't show because they are too busy spending their money.

However, I would like to ask that you follow the guidelines below.  I know this is a lot, as I am sure it takes every ounce of strength you have not the veer into opposing traffic on your way to work, but still, I must insist that:

  1. If you have 250 slightly drunk people milling around the bar area, DO NOT continue to play easy listening/slow dance/junior-high-feel-up songs one after the other. This is actually the perfect time to play some old school dance tunes, and use that long stick-like thing (I think it is called a microphone?) to call out the crazy people that planned the event in the first place to get the party rolling.
  2. If a song such as "Like a G6" clears the dance floor, do not, I REPEAT, DO NOT replay it.  Especially not when people are still sober. We notice. I know it may be too much to ask that you download more than 15 songs to your ipod for this event, but, for Christ's sake, have you even HEARD of file sharing? Steal the good music from the internet like everyone else, you pathetic chump.
  3. NEVER. EVER. EVER. Mess with Sir Mix-a-lot.  His music is for adoration, and your DJ skills are tepid at best. You do not have the authority to mix music. Certainly not music from Rap Royalty.  It's SIR Mixalot---show some respect.
That is all.  Go about your pathetic life.

    Sunday, August 21, 2011

    Cheese Cheat

    Recently, I wanted a bacon cheeseburger.

    It went like this:

    Me: Let's grab a bite after practice, I don't feel like cooking.
    Sky King: Sounds good. Where?
    Me: Ummm, I REALLY want a burger. But, I should be good. So how about Elephant Bar? I could have the ahi.
    SK:  Buuuurrrrrgggggeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrsssssssssssssss.  Yeah, Elephant Bar is fine.

    SK: Can we go to red Robin? The kids'll love it. And I REALLY want a burger now, too.  And those fries.  Good God, those glorious fries.... (or maybe I said that part..)
    Me:  Okay. I deserve a burger. On lettuce.  :::frowny face:::

    Later that night...

    Me:  Yes, I would like a Bacon Burger. Protein style, no mayo, fries with no season salt.
    Server Dude: Would you like cheese on that?
    Me: (Should I?  Gosh, that sounds good-one slice of cheese is so small, and it will be so yummy---hey, is that drool?) Um, yes please.  American.  No, Cheddar.  Arrrggghhh!!!!  Pepper jack.  YES!!!!  PEPPER JACK!!!!!
    Server Dude:mmmm-kay. (Wow, no more cocktails for this freak....)

    I enjoyed said cheeseburger, with aforementioned pepper jack. Much like a man in the desert would appreciate a glass of water. Let's face it, there is no alternative for cheese. If you think there is, you never liked cheese to begin with, you sick, sick bastard. How DARE YOU besmirch the name of cheese. Just look:

    See????  All that glorious cheese. I LOVE cheese. I have REALLY had a hard time adjusting to like without cheese. :::sob:::

    The next day, however, I was reminded that dairy products are not for me.  Or for the ozone layer.  Bad, bad, bad. For those that are squeamish, let's just say that my tummy was not feeling very well, and I will leave it at that.

    Goodbye, so long, TTYL.

    For the not-so-squeamish:

    Holy Shit-on-a-stick!  My stomach made noises like the next apocalypse, and my only rival for bathroom damage could  possibly be Ace Ventura. I had demonic green clouds spewing from me for THREE FULL DAYS.  Paint peeled, children scattered, husbands avoided me. I even got to the point that I disgusted myself, multiple times. I only wish we had a dog I could blame some of these horrible atomic butt bombs on.

    There is a light at the end of this gas-filled tunnel. My acupuncturist, Dr. G, claims to have something that will allow me to "cheat" periodically.  I'm sure at this point, Sky King would sell a child to make sure my gastrointestinal distress NEVER happens again.
    Stay tuned!

    Daniel Tosh and the Douche Canoes

    For Father's Day, I happened upon tickets to a stand-up comedian, Daniel Tosh.  Love him or hate him, he has quite a following. If you are unfamiliar with him, his philosophy is summed up this way: If you have ever uttered the statement "There's nothing funny about _______(cancer, AIDS, racism, fake boobs, people falling)", then Daniel Tosh is not for you.  Luckily for us, we are his kind of sick people.

    We found him years ago on a Comedy Central compilation, and we have followed him for several years. So when we saw he was coming to town, we jumped at the chance to see him live. (He also happens to be easy on the eyes...)

    We could only get tickets to the 10 PM show, so I napped (really, I did!) and we hit the ground running.  We arrived downtown, found parking, and secured some snackies. And drinks. Gotta be at least as buzzed as the people working the front door, right?  Let's face it, Tosh is not high-brow.  A friend of mine made a comment on Facebook that Tosh is "for Mature Audiences only", then she remarked on how ironic that statement is, because his penchant for fart/poop/other bodily fluids jokes is unsurpassed. 

    Anywhoooo---as we were making our way to the venue, we noticed a strong presence of trashy women and douche-y guys.  You know the type, very "Jersey Shore" without the horrid tans. Add in full sleeve tattoos, and you got yourself an audience. Oh, and sprinkle in a few kids. Yep, kids. Prepubescent morsels that will be the talk of 6th grade in 24 hours.

    Here is a pic of the type of shirts we saw on the men in the audience:

    Except, the shirts were on guys that looked like Jersey Shore rejects.  And, they had trashy women with them (wait, that is EXACTLY like Jersey Shore...). 

    So, as we are sitting there waiting for the show to start, my husband and I have the following exchange:

    Him: Wow. Tattoos are really IN right now. I mean, wow. Look around. Everyone has them, everywhere.
    Me: Yep. They are gonna look great in 20 years.
    Him: Yeah, right?  And they are all looking at us, saying, "Wow, look, old people came to the show, how cute."
    Me: No, they are saying, "Wow, employed people came to the show, maybe they can help me get a job."  Newsflash-not a chance in hell. These people are train wrecks.

    The show was great, even though it ended WAY past our bedtime. And, Daniel Tosh is just as hot in person as he is when he is making inappropriate poop jokes.

    Things I Never Thought I Would Like

    Since I began this journey into my quest for a life I can live with, I have made massive numbers of changes.  Most of them, I did not want to make---or I would have already made them, right?  While I have basked in the praises of others over my numerous changes, I have not liked many of them, and I have been left a little, shall we say, bitter?  Yes, overwhelmingly, stomach-twistingly acid-in-the-mouth bitter.  The hardest among them all, many would think, are the food ones.  But, think of it like this:

    You have uncontrollable pain in your body, each and every day.  Some days are worse than others, but for the most part, it sucks.  You have said through tears to your partner, "I can't keep living like this", and you meant it. All 15 times.  Then, you are told that giving up many of your favorite foods might possibly alleviate the worst of your symptoms.  Now are you game? Damn skippy, you are.

    The hardest part has been actually accepting the concept of relaxing. Or, single-tasking.  Or, doing (gasp!) nothing.

    Here is a list of things I have NEVER enjoyed.  NEVER EVER EVER.

    • Sunbathing
    • Napping
    • Strolling
    • Daydreaming
    • Loafing
    • Chilling  (Is there a "g" in that?)
    Here is what I would do on a typical workday:
    6 am-up
    6-7---get me ready, including any items that need to load into the car, check emails, call in to work to see if anyone needs anything on the way, because I am already stopping at Sam's Club, or Office Max, or Target, or WalMart, or Smart N Final.
    7-----start waking the kids
    730--get kids out into kitchen, already dressed, feed them breakfast while I make everyone's lunches
    810--leave to drop kids off
    845--arrive at work
    6-----leave for home
    640--eat dinner with family, clean up kitchen, read to Princess, get kids clean, brushed, tucked in
    815--go run errands for work and/or home, or work on computer
    10 pm-in bed


    Now, I have HAD to cut way back, on many of these things. Not everyone has my flexibility, most people with fibro end up on disability-IF they can get it.  But, I have a flexible situation, owning a business.  So, I have cut back, and given up much of my responsibilities---only keeping the things that I have to do, to keep things successful---some PR stuff, all the bookkeeping, checking in with staff personally.

    I now have to think about every action, with the mindset of: "I may get this done.  I may not.  Either way, I will listen to my body".  You know how you go up against a task, thinking, "I'm going to organize all the closets today."  Then, you get it done, mostly, and maybe drop your standards slightly.  Now, I think, "Gee, it would be nice if the closets were organized and cleaned out. How can I accomplish that?"  Then, I give one closet to Monkey Boy to clean out, with specific instructions. Then, I go to the one bothering me the most, tackle it, and get it done. Then, I take a small break, and reassess. I reassess my energy levels, my pain.  I either move forward, or congratulate myself on a job well done. Then, I pick up a book, or head outside for a bit of sun, or just lay in the recliner, letting my mind wander.  Or, I may go in and chat with Princess, or watch the kids play together. 

    I have found that I like to loaf, relax, chill, snooze, cuddle, snuggle, and sun.  I have slowed way down---people that "knew me when" and haven't seen me in a while are AMAZED at the transformation-they have seen a noticeable difference, enough to ask.  Yes, I have slowed down.  But more importantly, I have learned to appreciate it, which makes all the difference.

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    My Droid Is A Lying Cheating Whore

    You may not know this, but Google/Facebook/Droid is out to take over the world.  I know, shocking. Just remember, you heard it here first.

    Many of you may have noticed that Facebook uses things like your "likes" to post appropriate ads on your page.  Totally invasive, yes, but also a great way to keep ahead of the curve on Frye boot sales. 

    Also, your searches on Google will customizes your ads there, as well.  So if you see ads for shoes, boots, and strange spoon-and-animal-skull-themed jewelry, this is no accident. 

    These technological wonders that we can't seem to live without hit a new low the other day, however. 

    I have an app on my phone to track certain female cyclical things.  For research purposes, I swear.  Well, I logged in the appropriate info the other day, marveling at how the timing was rotten (husband's reunion this coming weekend and it is easier to play the role of trophy wife when I'm not bloated with 7 pimples on my face), and I was a scant early. No biggie.  Just an observation.

    Fast-forward to last night.  I was de-stressing on the couch after a long day of play-dates, chores, football and cheer practices, and a rare meal out. Which means, I was zoned out with my Droid, playing Angry Birds.  Of course, I play the free version, complete with ads that cover the very top of the screen, sometimes blocking the view of the piggies I am trying to explode.  Irritating, but not irritating enough to pay $1.99 for the ad-free version.  I'm no sucker.

    Til now.  Angry Birds just got invasive. As in, totally-in-my-business-in-an-inappropriate-way invasive. there, in black and white at the top of the screen, was an ad for:


    Seriously??????? It's one thing to steal my phone number for telemarketers, or my credit card info for long-distance calls to Nepal, but my deepest darkest secrets? Out there for just ANYBODY?  My Droid has betrayed my deepest confidences, snuck info from one app, and shared that info in another app.  All for marketing.  This is the Junior High equivalent of telling Susie that Becky just got her first feel-up at the latest boy-girl party, all for the honor of sitting at the cool table. 

    Not.  Cool.  At. All.

    Droid/Google/Facebook:  I promise to stop protesting the $.11 charges for Russian mail-order brides on my VISA statement, if you stop telling the world I'm feeling "not-so-fresh".

    Tic Talk

    After some time spent at the local research hospital with Princess regarding her inability to conform to the "sitting still and not freaking out" silliness our public schools insist upon (even the hippy dippy charters!), we have learned some things.  Things we were pretty sure of, but now our opinions are endorsed by people with lots of initials after their names.  PhD, MD, DDS.  Whatever.

    #1-she has ADHD. With emphasis on the H.  We will work this out when we figure out what we want to do, but at least the school will be patient with us, and make accommodations based on what works for her.

    #2-she has a Transient Motor Tic.  We knew this, and thought she was just strange.  Well, she is still strange, but she isn't doing this stuff to annoy us, like we thought.  When she says, "I'm just made that way", she is serious, and cannot control the little twitches.  These are the things she does over and over and over and over and over, that she cannot stop/control:

    The Snarf-this is a sound she makes, where she seems to stop breathing, then forces a large amount of air out her nose.
    The Chomp-she will repeatedly chomp her jaw together with her mouth open, making a sound when the top and bottom teeth meet.
    The Gulp-she will make an audible gulp sound. I can't even come close to recreating this one.
    The Lip Stretch-this is where she opens her mouth, and stretches the skin between her nose and mouth.

    I think I noticed a new one the other night that involves a leg movement, but it could have been a fluke. I will keep you posted!

    All of these tics come and go.  She does them when she is: Excited, nervous, overstimulated, or zoned out to the TV, or listening to a book.  No amount of verbal reminders can stop her.  When asked why she does it, she shrugs and says, "It's just how I'm made".

    I suppose it could be worse---it could be like the guy with Tourette's, back in the 80's on LA Law, that would scream obscenities at people randomly. Fortunately, I am still the only one in the family doing this.  Except, I do it when it is earned.

    So, to recap: It's like Tourette's, without the verbal insults. If she insults you, it was intentional. Think: Your bathing suit is HUGE!!!  But any piggy-fart-mouth noises, don't take them personally.

    Just thought I'd clarify.

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    The Boy Within

    Monkey Boy is 12. This means that officially, the legos are gone, action figures handed down, Christmas list encompassing electronics.  But when they get to this "tween" stage, in between childhood and adulthood, I catch a glimpse of the little boy he used to be.  Usually I run to get his dad, so we can both enjoy it.  Today, I hogged it. 

    I got to watch him through the tinted window while he was in the backyard. I got to watch him wrap a beach towel around his head like he was a ninja, carefully tucking the corners of the towel in.

    He's still my little boy-just only when no one is looking.

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    Don't Tase Me, Bro!

    Today, I went to the Nerve Specialists for some tests.  I was not looking forward to the tests, because even my Acupuncturist, Dr. D, had told me it would SUCK.  And since he regularly jokes about my treatments giving him carpal tunnel, I figured he was not playin'.

    The pamphlet that came with my appointment reminder said that there were two tests:

    #1---This test would have a series of metal disks stuck to my skin. Then, a small electric current would be put through my muscles at different points, to test if there was any nerve damage/superhuman powers.

    #2---This one was the one where they would insert needles into the muscles, then do some other stuff. Afterward, they would have a one-legged orderly peel me from the ceiling, and wheel me out to the dumpster.

    So, I go in, complete with a designated driver.  I get called back, by people that act like they don't know what's about to go down. 

    They take my history (read: listen to me reiterate my entire health history, instead of read my file), then talk about how they don't feel that the two tests will be very beneficial, they would like to do the one test, which they say is pretty minor. They say that they think that my issue has to do with RA(Rheumatoid Arthritis), and that the pinched nerve that made my right hand as useless as a mustard-less hotdog was an RA flare, rather than a problem as yet undiagnosed.

    So, they begin the first test.  First, they make a series of dots with a sharpie (That'll look SWELL at the husband's reunion this weekend...) then stick some goopy metal disks to my skin. Then, they take something that looks like a taser and jam it into various parts of my hands and arms.  Then, they turn a dial, press a button, and an excruciating current shoots through my tendons and make my fingers twitch at strange angles.  After about 30 minutes of this, they say, "Good news! You definitely don't have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  Your pain seems to be related to RA, and you will need to follow up with your primary."

    So, I don't have any other disorders that I didn't have yesterday, which is good.  And, there may be some RA meds that will help.  Also, long sleeves are in order for the reunion---I can feel the bruises forming as I type.

    The bad news is, there isn't anything wrong with me that is fixable.  Treatable, maybe, but not fixable.  This news made me a bit grumpy, and BBQ albacore only partly fixed my mood.

    Maybe some ice cream will help fix the rest?

    Friday, August 5, 2011

    Craving Bad Food

    I have been really grumpy about food lately:

    I'm up and down at weight watchers.
    I have given up nightshade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers) on the advice of a dr.-this means no chips and salsa, no spicy hummus, no tacos, which are things I've come to rely on since I gave up dairy and gluten.
    I get sick of cooking healthy things.

    I have found a frozen mac 'n cheeze from Amy's that works to satisfy my desire for gooey comfort food...

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    Are You Ready For Some Football?

    These 2 hour football practices are KILLING ME.

    So glad I'm not the one practicing.

    What Nerve!

    A few weeks ago, I had a sore wrist, which radiated all day until i could hardly move the arm.  It kept me up most of the night (just when I thought my sleep couldn't get worse...) and I woke with the inability to move the arm without major pain.  I made an urgent care appointment (it was Sunday, of course) and saw a doc.
    He was quite nice and understanding.  He talked me through his thought processes. We ruled out a pinched nerve due to trauma, but we both agreed it was a pinched nerve, we just didn't know why.  So, he referred me out to see a specialist.

    Fast-forward to a week ago-the nerve specialist's office called. They want to do a nerve conduction study to see how signals travel along my nerves. What they do is stick a bunch of electrodes all over me, then trigger impulses.  The insert of the appointment reminder said that it is not painful.


    They also want to do an EMG.  This is where (according to the insert) they use needles placed in the skin to test the tissue for disease. Alternately, this is where (according to a colleague) they JAM HUGE NEEDLES THIS LONG (hands placed about 12 inches apart) INTO YOUR FAT AND THEN SHOCK YOU, LEAVING YOU IN PAIN AND BRUISED. AND IT HURTS SO BAD, AND THE NEEDLES ARE BIG (please, stop....) AND YOU ARE GONNA BE SO SORE, BLAH BLAH BLAH..................

    I am now planning on NOT going back to work that day. 

    More soon....if this test doesn't kill me. 

    PS-Thank you, random co-worker, for having the guts to be the only person who will be honest with me.  Remind me to not have you break bad news to anyone.  Ever. Kisses!

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Paper or Plastic? Plastic, with an extra bag for my gun

    In this job market where there are people with Master's degrees looking to take just about any job, I am even more amazed than usual about the level of stupidity that is in our marketplace. Not that degrees have much to do with common sense, but the stupidity of people seems to know no bounds.

    A while back-I guess it would be 6 months or more-I was at a certain big name discount retailer.  I had done a fair bit of damage to their inventory, and had an overflowing cart.  I pulled up to the check-stand, and unloaded.  A few of my items were over-sized-crates that hold file folders, I believe a food processor-things that clearly won't fit into bags.  Also, I had left all my reusable bags at home.  I seem to do this A LOT, and then buy more to assuage my guilt.  Now, I have over 20 of the damned things, so I just suck it up and schlep home with tons of plastic bags that my husband sneaks into the garbage when I am not looking, before I can recycle them.

    Back to the story-so, the woman has passed the large items to me, and has begun bagging my items.  In the pile of stuff I was purchasing were 2 reusable lunch bags-you know, the insulated type? She gets to the second one (SECOND!!!!) and says, with it in her hand, "Do you want me to bag this?".  I was a bit surprised, but then I thought maybe it was the irony of putting a bag into a bag.  So I just nodded, and went about my digging for my credit card in my overly full purse.  She continues to bag my items, spinning the bagger thingy.  I am grabbing the bags, and putting them in the cart.  She then holds up a 6-pack of v8s.  You know, the ones that are 6 ounces? The entire thing has the shape of a small loaf of bread.  She then says, "Do you want THIS in a bag?" gesturing to the v8s.  I stare at her.  Then I say, "Yes, please.".  In between, she had crammed some picture frames into a bag, ripping in down the side, causing her to have to throw out a bag and start anew, so I am pretty sure she's not some tree-hugging daisy sniffer that is ferklempt about the over-use of bags in America.  And, even if she was, I'm fairly certain she would not be working at the store I am in.
    We move forward, and she asks if I want a 3-pak of sponges bagged.  To which I respond, "Yes.  I would like all my small items in a bag. It will save me several trips back and forth to my car.  Thank you."  This ended our exchange. 

    I spent some time musing over how odd the whole experience was, how completely random and unusual it was, with my sis in law and my husband later.  We all had a good laugh, and I forgot about it completely.  UNTIL TODAY.

    DUH DUH DUNNNNN  (you know, the creepy cue music when something bad is going to happen....)

    I was shopping for some work stuff as well as some hard-to-find school supplies.  Crusing through my local office supply place, I loaded my cart full of pens, pencils, calculators, photo paper, card stock, erasers, and composition books.  I got to the counter, and unloaded the large pile onto the counter, with many of the smaller items sliding to and fro.  As the cashier began to ring the order, he moved them to a different pile.  He then says:

    (you know what's coming, right?)

    "Do you need a bag with this?"


    I look at him, to see what he is specifically gesturing at,  (maybe I put a file cabinet in the cart that I have forgotten about?) and he is gesturing to a heaping pile of pens, sharpies, index cards and pink erasers. What I want to say is, "are you single? If so, I know the perfect chick for you".  Instead, I give him a look that I hope very clearly says, "listen, douche-canoe, not only is that the stupidest thing you could have said, but I might just rip  out your throat with this hole punch". Then, I VERY SLOWLY (so he understands because clearly comprehension is a bit of a stumper for him) "Yes. I would like my purchases bagged."*

    He then proceeds to finish ringing my order complete with scanning each item, even when there arw multiples. Each one. Individually. As if the scan gun will somehow KNOW he scanned that particular eraser already, and beep angrily at him.
    It won't. Bar codes, although somewhat mysterious, are not that technologically advanced.

    This dude is SO LUCKY I'm medicated.

    *Only do this in retail establishments-never EVER in restaurants. I know, I waited tables. Never piss off people that have access to your food. Pens, yes. Food, no. You should probably be nice to most doctors, too. Internists, gynecologists and the like. Oh, and dentists.