Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fat vs thin...the never-ending battle!

Why do I care about how much I weigh, again?

Gap, Talbots, Old Navy, Lane Bryant (although I haven't shopped there in years, really), and even some Anthropologie clothes (stretchy tops and sweaters, for the most part, of course) all fit me juuust fiiiine.

So what if I don't fit into Urban Outfitters stuff? All I really like are their t-shirts, anyway, and those are good on me. The rest of their stuff is overpriced for the quality, IMO.

I can make it up a steep hill without losing my breath anymore, thanks to my return to working out.

I don't know why I don't lose weight, now that I've reincluded working out regularly into my weekly pattern...its not like I started eating more when I started working out more, so...::shrugs::

I just don't fucking care about the "being thin" thing any more. I am what I am, I think my body is trying to tell me. I smell good, I don't have high blood pressure or bad cholesterol levels, and I can dress cute. No, I don't look like I did when I was 22, and I don't know if I ever will.

So in the mean time, I will eat my portion of chicken parmesan that Leo makes for me tonight when I go home, and I will get up at 4:30 a.m. to go get my ass kicked by my trainer tomorrow, and then I will buy some cute-ass jeans in size 18 from Talbots on Thursday. Because that's how this fat ass rolls.

This post was brought on by me feeling a bit lazy and sad about my weight over the last few weeks. I'm trying to let it go. I'm trying to surrender. I'm trying to stop beating myself up mentally over my only working out 4 times a week most of the time. I will stop looking at my fat ass in a swim skirt on the lake beach in Havasu, and move on with life. Feels good...feels real good...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Question: What do moles and bears have in common. No, not that kind of mole. Just read the post!

Leo is a moley guy. His torso is covered in moles.

Well, used to be anyway.

I can’t remember what started it, but he began having them removed and tested by dermatologists a couple of years ago. Someone initially referred him to a doctor that turned out to be out of network for us, which I was completely unaware of until I received a bill from them for $850 one month. At that point, he’d had 3 moles on his back removed and tested (one had been the step beyond “moderately advanced” so he had to have an additional amount dug out of it, if I recall correctly…the other two were ok as is, and the initial surgery took care of any danger they presented), And the doc had his eye on more, and I was all, “Yeeeaaah, we’re gonna find another dermatologist that’s in network to check you out after this, mkay?”

::shaking head:: (This all accompanied a very upset call to the doctor who hadn’t been billing us on an appointment basis, and they also hadn’t been telling Leo how much his procedures cost when he went in. They just took a copay, and happily moved on with life until they sent me a bill for 2 months’ worth of work all at once that said they required payment within 15 days. Um, a-fuck you. “I’ll pay you in 3 installments over the next 3 months,” I told their accountant. “Can you possibly do it in two insta…” “NO. 3 installments. You’re lucky if I don’t do it in 4!” Fucking morons…)

As I have melasma on my face, and needed to have a couple of questionable birthmarks on my arms reviewed, I went ahead and found a new derm for us that was between work and home, and was also in network. She was busy - I had to book my appointment 3 months out! - but I took that as an overall good sign that she was a pretty decent doctor. As I waited to meet her the first time, I sat in the exam room for about 10 minutes by myself, like ya do, and had a chance to look around. There were the normal posters and diagrams all over the walls. A jar of giant q-tips and some cotton balls sat on the countertop next to the flyers about melanoma and that sort of stuff.

And then there were 3 pictures on the counter. One was of a woman sitting at a picnic table that had a bear – like a bonafide, large brown bear in the wild – standing about 10 feet away.


The other two pictures were of bears, too. But if I remember correctly, they were just the bears in those photos. No lady plus bears.

Turned out that it was definitely my dermatologist in the picture with the bear and the picnic table. I really didn’t know what that was about. I just had to assume that the chick really likes bears, and move on with things, because she seemed busy, and I wanted to keep my questions to just being about dermatological issues.

I told Leo he should set up an appointment to see her when he got the chance. I told him to look for the bear photos. I told him to ASK about the bear photos if he was feeling brave enough. I really wanna know WTF is up with those bears!

So he started seeing this dermatologist about 2 months ago. He went in for the initial consultation, and they worked out a plan for removing the rest of the moles that she felt might be dangerous. Starting with one on his stomach and one on his rib cage area (one was cancerous, but they got it all out the first time, and the other was…just a mole. Oh. Good.), and then last week she got one on his right-lower back, and this week she got another on his left-lower back (it was a doozy...6 stitches!), and one on his left man boob.

Last night, I asked him if he’d asked about the bears yet. “No, but I asked her why she had 3 names.”

“Well, the first one is her first name, and then the middle one is likely her maiden name, and then her last name is her married name, dude. That's usually what that's about, anyway. Why would you ask her that?”

“I dunno. I just thought it was weird. So she told me about how she and the guy up front [he was referring to the guy who handles the money for the office…he sits in the reception area to collect our cash] are actually in love, and she’s separated from her husband right now because she and that guy are…”

“Wait a minute! She just told you all of this? Because you asked her about her 3 names? The fuck?" Thinking for a second... "Hey, does that guy only have one arm?”

“No, he has both arms.”

“Are you sure? It looked like his left arm was missing when I went in to pay that one bill the one time. Maybe a bear attacked him? Oh, are there pictures of bears in all the exam rooms? You’ve been in just about all of them now, I’d imagine.”

“He has both his arms. And yeah, there are pictures of bears in the other rooms, too. So anyway, they apparently went to high school together, and she had a crush on him then, but they went to different colleges, or something. Or she went to college, and he went and did something else, and she met her husband and married him. But they ran into each other again recently at the grocery store, and fell in love…”

“She seriously told you all of this? And she said they were "in love"? ::squinching up face:: WHEN?”

“Last week. Yeah, she told me while she was doing the removal.”

“It just seems really inappropriate, is all!”

“Yeah. Well, I just wanted to know why she had 3 names.”

“Dude, I coulda told you why she had 3 names! WHY DIDN’T YOU FIND OUT ABOUT THE BEARS?”

::Leo shrugs::

“Ok, you have another appointment, right? Can you ask her about the bears then? PLEASE?”

“Yeah. Ok.”

I cannot WAIT to find out what the fuck is up with all those bears. I’ll fill you all in when I find out, promise.

3 couches in 5 years...that's pretty normal, right?

When Leo first moved in around 6 years ago, I had this HUGE sectional in my living room...built for lounging and entertaining a large group. Which I had done exactly once in my 1.5 years in the house at that point. (The entertaining, I mean. Not the lounging. Lots of lounging was done, fo sho.) It was a hatefully huge couch that I didn't measure well for prior to going out and purchasing it. Getting rid of it about a year and a half later was a blessing!

We replaced it with what we thought was The Couch That Would Stand the Test of Time AND Our Asses. Got it at Crate & Barrel. Spent a fair amount on it. It looked great, fit well in the living room, and was lovely for napping.

But, unfortunately, it did NOT Stand the Test of Our Asses. It seemed to break down, comfort-wise, pretty quickly. It felt lumpy and thin at the same time, somehow, and we wound up not liking the material as much as we thought we would. Here's a semi-decent shot of it from back around Christmas of 2007, I think...
Anyway, we started a search for a new couch a while back, and finally found one at Thomasville that suited our needs and our budget pretty well. We ordered it back at the beginning of June, and it finally came in this week! We cleared out the old sofa, and Leo went to town cleaning it up so we could try to sell it. Fortunately, we have a friend who has a shop space that he could store it in, and we split the earnings with him 60/40 if he could sell it for us on CraigsList. We wound up getting way more than I expected from it, so the whole thing worked out much better than planned.
And here's the new couch!
These are just crappy cell pone pics from the day it was delivered, mind you. I'll get better ones this weekend and update this post after I load them. We love the size of it, and how it looks in the room. And the cushions are pretty high right now...not sure if they'll settle over time, but we love the difference in how they feel compared to the old sofa. That sofa was the kind that swallowed your ass every time you sat down in it. I had to rock myself forward to get up off the damned thing, and I may be fat, but that was ridiculous. (Leo had to do it, too, and he's tall and skinny!) The higher profile seats on this new sofa make us feel so much better supported, and comfortable. It's awesome!

This is literally the most exciting thing that's happened to me since Havasu popped up. ::sigh:: This week has been a killer, though, so I'll take the "excitement" of a boring ol' couch delivery, really! I'm so glad it's Friday! I have another story to share later, too, so keep an eye open for that...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

For those who've been waiting, pictures are over heeerrre!

Ok, since I'm not sure what I am and am not allowed to share with the general interwebs when it comes to pictures of my family, I'm gonna have to be a little selective with what I choose to show here on the blog. But that's ok...it's not like everyone was super-psyched to see photos of relatives that mean pretty much nothing to them, right? Yeah...::shrugs::

Here's me illustrating what it is you do on the drive between Vegas and Havasu:

That was an "action" shot. Because you pretty much look forward, aaaannd...that's about it. Because...


Oh! Oooohhh...

And then you celebrate because this means you're almost there...

And THIS means you are there! (London Bridge)

I heard it fell down once, so I'm not sure why they wanted it there, particularly. Meh.

Our hotel had a cove that my brother could park his boat in, and he also rented a cabana for the weekend so we had some shade. Awesome.
Here's some more of the hotel...we stayed at the Nautical Inn. They've recently done some remodelling, but not apparently to the room we stayed in. Made 'em cheaper, but DAMN. Ours smelled funky. Blech.
Ok! Here's someone y'all know! It's the Twin! Wave hello...
And here's Leo, relaxin' on his b-day celebration weekend with a...well, it was an iced tea. A really strong iced tea, but tea all the same. We drank beer on Sunday, but Saturday was more of an adjustment to the heat/drink caffeine and water kind of day, for some reason.
I titled this photo, "I want THAT boat." Because, um...I want that boat. :/
I honestly don't know what happened to my ass. It doesn't look like that in real life. We're having the camera checked out...

I'm standing like this in a few photos from the weekend. I don't know if this is a pose I strike a lot or what, but it seems to be the case...

I went out on the boat twice. Both times, we were going fast, but didn't get back too far into the river/canyon area. So they weren't really photo-taking opportunities. Plus, we were afraid our camera might get fucked up from water damage, so we kept it in a drawer while we were on the boat a lot of the time. If I could go back, I'd get more photos of us out in the lake, maybe some video of the super-fast boats ripping by us as we either stopped for a swim or went our measley 45 MPH, and definitely beg my brother to take me and Leo into the canyon so he could see what it was like back there.

Next time...definitely next time.....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Updating for the sake of updating...

This shouldn't be news to anyone who read regularly, but I've been a total slacker when it comes to adjusting and posting the photos we took from our vacation a week ago. I don't have any good excuses (plus, excuses are for pussies...just own up, yo!), except that my days have consisted of me working from 8 - 5, getting home at about 5:30, lying comatose until dinner, eating dinner, and then watching TV for an hour before giving up and going to bed at about 8:30.

And then I slept until 10:30 on Saturday, and 11 on Sunday. If that gives you any clue to how tired I still was when the weekend arrived. At least I got in to the gym finally on Saturday and Sunday! That made me feel slightly less sloggish, I guess.

So my plan for tonight is to go home and set to work on those photos immediately while Leo works on dinner. It doesn't take long, really. I've just not been in any kind of mood to get on the computer when I get home, I suppose. So I'll force it. Because I love sharing, and that's what photos of vacation are all about...the sharing.

This is boring, eh? ::sigh:: My mojo is all run out! And nothing overly exciting happened over the weekend, except that Leo and I went to that Revival furniture store down on Metcalf at 90th to look for a new side table for the guest bedroom. And everyone was quiet in there except for an older couple that passed by me as I sat at the coolest game table EVAR (I totally want it...for my non-existant game room), and the lady was saying, "...The only place to put it would be in front of the bookcase, and that makes no sense." The man had no reply to that because, really, it doesn't make any sense, and I don't even know those people.

I also got in a fight with a friend about USC not being elligible for the BCS this year, and how he feels it's because they are "cheaters" when I disagree and feel it's simply because a player they had on their team 5 effing years ago broke some rules, and the school is the place that had to pay dearly for it. "Yeah, breaking the rules = cheating." Um, but the school didn't break the rules...a player that was there for a couple of years did. And they didn't cheat at playing ball. "Faith, breaking the rules IS cheating." Whatever. I disagree with that, and he knows it. Why he keeps bringing it up is beyond me. He was being a total dick, and if he's going to continue behaving like that, he's seriously going to lose two of the last friends he has in his life. I don't understand why people pick fights with people they love over something they don't even give two shits about. It really makes me question his sanity at times, to be honest.

Anyway, I hope to become less boring over the next few days. Cross your fingers for me!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

We're all experts, every one of us.

A coworker just asked me if I'd had a chemical peel on my face, or something.


I feel so pretty now.

I'm trying not to get worked up about MM's latest post. If you haven't read it yet, get yer ass on over there! I liked the 1st bit...it was news to me, so it was interesting.

But the 2nd bit? ::shaking head in sadness:: Just, no. And of course, commenters are spewing opinions (including me! So don't think I'm pointing fingers here, or anything), and even trying to tell me what my opinion would be in different scenarios. I effing hate that.

If you know anything about PPD, please get over there and share. (Twin, I posted some info about your own PPD issues, just to warn you. I can ask MM to delete it if you need me to...just let me know. I was bothered, and posted in the heat of the comment moment, so I feel bad about that now. Sorry! :S)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

If you just wanted to lay down again, why didn't you stay in bed???

Dehydration is no joke. I am a walking mass of dried skin, organs that don’t appear to be able to absorb water, and general tiredness. The tiredness is getting better as I sleep more regularly every day. But the peeing and the dry skin are still in nightmare mode right now. My face itches! And I’m tired of peeing every 30 minutes. ABSORB, SKIN AND OTHER ORGANS! ABSORB!!!

So I’ll tell you a story about our trip to take my mind off of it. One that involved the plane travel, because it wouldn’t be a proper trip without something to complain about, now would it? Noooo.

We flew out in the middle of the day on Friday. It was a full flight, as most are when it comes to traveling to Vegas, so Leo and I found our seats in front of the exit row, and settled in for the 3 hour flight.

There was an attractive couple sitting in the seats in front of us. Leo noted that they were excessive PDA-ers…I couldn’t see it so much from my vantage point, so I was lucky. All I noticed was that I liked the lady’s dress…it was pretty. I wished I had one.

About halfway through the flight, the man in front of Leo decided he wanted to put his seat back, but was apparently too retarded to figure out how to do it. He kept pushing back and pushing back, and basically shaking the whole seat around like a monkey. I finally said, “Sir! Excuse me, SIR!” And he stopped. Then he must’ve found the button that makes the seat go back. DUH. He promptly settled it into its ever so comfy position on my poor husband’s knees, and relaxed. Good for him. ::roll eyes::

A few minutes later, he started pushing at the lower part of the back of his seat, shoving it even further into Leo’s knees. He kept shoving it and shoving it, and I was saying, “Excuse me, sir? Please stop!” But he wasn’t paying any attention to me. He just kept shoving back like a moron…I really didn’t understand what he was after. It was odd and rude. I offered to change seats with Leo, but he said he was fine. He wasn’t fine, though…he was PISSED. He’s just difficult like that at times. So I just let it go.

A couple of more minutes passed and the dumbass in front of Leo started wiggling around again, jamming his seat back into Leo over and over again, he finally turned to look through the seat space at me and said, “His foot, or something, is in my back.” I leaned forward and said, “He’s 6 foot 3, sir. His KNEES are in your back. How the hell would his FOOT be all the way up here?” And I might’ve called him a moron under my breath when he turned back around. Maybe.

After another couple of minutes, he put his seat back up, realizing that the 2 extra inches of back recline wasn’t worth having something (you know, those pesky knees that belonged to the person behind him, and all) poking into his back for the duration of the trip.

Personally, I never recline my seat on planes. I don’t see the goddammed point. It only takes away from the person’s space behind you, and likely makes it so they’re breathing right down your neck, literally. I don’t need a stranger’s hot breath on my shoulder, neck, or head, thank you very much. I strongly dislike being even 1 foot from the person behind me, but I have to deal with it for the duration of any flights I get on to go from point A to point B. So to recline into that space and making it smaller? It’s idiotic, IMO.

The funnest part of it all was that those same assholes were on our flight back with us on Monday. Joy. At least we were aware of what kind of fucktards they were, and found seats on the opposite side of the plane from them. (In the exit row this time…behind another exit row that only had 2 seats, where Leo could stretch his legs and not have anyone in front of him. Yay!)

Can someone please just invent the teleportation machine, already? GOD.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

::incoherent babbling::

I'm back from my mini-vacation today, and am feeling a bit slammed at the moment. All I can think about in a serious way is a home-cooked meal, and my bed. Everything else I'm doing is really just out of politeness, or not wanting to be a total slacker at work. But my brain feels mushy, so it's hard to even try!

I'll have pictures and stories up soon, though. Should make this week more tolerable, really! For the time being, thank you, Kansas City, for welcoming us back from the depths of 115 degree dry heat with a nice 75 degree, rainy day. You're awesome, and my slightly burned nose and shoulders definitely appreciate it...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

So close, I can almost taste it...

We're getting closer and closer to vacation time here in the Smith bloghold, and if you think I'm not counting down the minutes at this point, you would be wrong.

Leo and I are going out tonight to celebrate his birthday privately before we head out of town to join the Giant Family Reunion-Type Vacation in Havasu tomorrow. His birthday is on Sunday, but his birthday food request was oysters. They don't even have a seafood restaurant category on the Yelp page for Havasu, so I gave him the option of going out before we left, or after we got back. He chose before. (Really, this kept us from having to buy groceries for one night this week, so it kind of chose itself!) So we will be at McCormick & Schmick's for dinner tonight, and I'm not exactly unhappy about that. ;)

Ok, so...vacation. This is what I like to do when I head away from my desk for 4 days, with no standard responsibilities of home calling to me at any given time:

1. Drink more than usual. Of course, with heat like they have out in the desert, I'll be careful, but still...beers will be had. (They have a lot of water in them anyway, so I should be cool.) (I'm kidding, of course! I'll drink plenty of Diet Coke in between beers to maintain my hydration levels, ok?)

2. Relax on a beach. Or in the water. (Or in a bar.)

3. Not read emails. At all. Is there a way to turn off the notification function on my Blackberry? I don't even wanna see that those suckers are in there waiting for me.

4. Read plenty of my backlogged Glamour and Vogue magazines. Btw, Glamour has actually gotten good since I last read it about 10 years ago. I wound up with a subscription to it when Domino went under (::sob!::), and I was initially a little pissed off because Glamour used to be kinda trashy while at the same time a LOT liberal. It was nasty. But now it's all about women of all sizes, awesome clothing finds for reasonable prices, and fun articles about people OTHER THAN Gisele Bundchen. Yeah, there are some pages in there giving tips about how to pinch your guy's scrotum juuust right, but for the most part, it's like a party in my hands. I like it. Which makes me suspicious of me all over again. Seriously, have I been body snatched? ::scratching head::

5. Reconnecting with my family, of course. It's been 6 months since I've seen most of them, and I haven't seen my nieces and nephews since dad's funeral. I'm really looking forward to visiting with them, and seeing what's up in their little heads.

That's about it. What am I missing? What do you guys like to focus on when you head to a relatively low key place for vacation? (Think a cleaner Lake of the Ozarks, here...they don't have anything Smithsonian or Guggenheim-like in Havasu, yo.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Yep...we get all kinds of crazy when we travel together, yo.

Yesterday in the comments section of my post about going to Havasu this weekend, the Twin alluded to a past trip that was relatively fun-filled. Action packed. (i.e. Fucking insane.)

I think we were probably about 17 at the time. We were either already in our senior year of high school, or it was a couple months before we started…I can’t honestly remember what month it was that we were out at the lake. Anyway, we went out there and met up with some friends of our parents’ and their kids. It was the first time dad had parked the boat on a beach instead of in a dock slip, and so when we all got ready to go out and tool around the morning after we’d arrived, he started up the boat, and promptly sucked a big rock into the engine somehow. It was very odd. And also it fucked up our boat.

So mom and our brother and our older sister and her husband at the time went off with our parents’ friends on their boat, while the Twin and I, and our older sister and her husband at the time stayed with dad. We planned on rendezvousing later at a restaurant/bar that was back in the canyon part of the lake that we liked to head into for a quick stop sometimes. We figured we’d be about an hour or so behind them, depending on how hard it was to get the rock outta the engine.

It didn’t really take long, as I recall, to fix the boat and get back on the water. Maybe 90 minutes? Not sure. Anyway, we finally were on our way, and headed back into the canyon. Dad wasn’t sure if mom and their friends would be at the bar already, so he decided to check out some of the coves along the way to be sure we didn’t miss them hanging out in there for a swim, or something.

The lake was a bit low that year. Not so low that they shut off the canyon access, which had happened in the past, but it was still low, and we were cautioned to watch for sand bars/high ground where we might not be used to sand bars and high ground being. The Twin and I were watching the level of the water off the side of the boat pretty closely. We had entered a cove that was pretty large and relatively deep as far as length goes. The water was NOT deep, and we alerted dad to that fact right quick. “Dad, the ground is right underneath us in here. Watch out!” Dad ignored us. You know, like dads are prone to do when it comes to teenage backseat drivers.

We went to the back of the cove, saw that our friends and mom weren’t in there, and turned to head back out. Dad was speeding along at a steady pace, too. Probly about 35 or 40 MPH would be my best guess. We weren’t tooling around like grandma, is my point.

As we headed back out of the cove, the Twin and I continued to warn dad that the side he was on now looked even MORE shallow than the side we’d entered on. He didn’t respond. We both looked at each other, and then turned around in our seats to sit properly, and hunkered over like you would if you were on a plane going down. And as we did it, dad drove us right up on top of a sandbar, sucking a bunch of mud and sand into the engine as he did. The boat stopped, sat still for a moment, and then teetered over to the right side where it settled into the sandbar nice and tight. Here…I drew a diagram to help you visualize the situation a bit better:

There had been another boat back in the cove when we first drove in (which was why I think dad thought it was ok to head back there in the first place, actually…), and they slowly drove out past our semi-wreck of a sandbar parking job without calling out and asking if we needed help, or waving or anything. Just…ignored us. As they slooowwwly drove past in a deeper part of water. That was awesome.

Even more awesome? We put up our red flag (which was made to look like a pair of old-timey undies that ladies used to wear in the 1800’s…) and started waving at boats as they passed out in the canyon about 200 yards away. Not joking…people WAVED back at us. Like all friendly and shit. Oh yeah, HI! We’re just hanging out on this sandbar with our boat parked on it and unable to move, waving our RED FLAG at you, just to be neighborly!!! Assholes.

No one would stop to see if we needed help. NO ONE. It was awful! Even more cool was that I was the first one to be brave enough to get off the boat and see what we were stuck on. Turned out it was a muck of sorts that came about halfway up my calf. And when I sunk down into it, I must’ve stepped onto a weird reed that was buried, or maybe a piece of glass, or something, and it sliced into my big toe. So I was bleeding everywhere. Well done!

I learned to just forget about it, and suck it up, though. I couldn’t be on the boat as we tried to move it off the sandbar, because we needed it to be as light as possible. At least we were all adults…and we had 3 men with us. (Twin, was oldest sister’s husband with us, too? Now that I think of it, he must’ve been, because I remember all the seats being full.) But the boat was at least 20 feet from any edge of the sandbar. We decided it made the most sense to pull it in the direction the hull was aimed, because…well, duh. We had to.

But it wasn’t budging. We broke a rope trying. We were starting to freak out a little bit. We didn’t have a wireless phone in the boat, and we had a CB radio, but it was broken. Always had been. And people just kept passing by and waving back at us when they saw us flagging them down! GAAAH!

Finally, we saw someone coming towards us. Two someones! On jet skis…perfect!!! They came closer, and we saw that it was a couple who each had a small child with them on their jet ski. They asked if we needed help. We almost screamed YES! And there may have been tears. Possibly. (I’m a pussy in survival-type situations, not gonna lie. And yeah, we’d only been stuck there for maybe 40 minutes at that point, but I HADN’T EATEN SINCE BREAKFAST, DAMMIT!) This couple had passed by a jet ski camp just a couple of miles back down the canyon, and apparently it looked like a big one with a fair amount of men that were there…they said they would go and see if anyone there was willing to come help. They left, and we prayed that they didn’t desert us if they couldn’t find help.

20 minutes of tugging and pulling passed…the couple and their kids still hadn’t returned, and we started to wonder why our friends didn’t maybe come looking for us, since they had likely been at the rendezvous point for at least a couple of hours, and we should’ve met them long before! But whatever…we just dealt with it as it was, and kept pulling on that damned boat.

After about 30 minutes had passed since the little family on their jet skis had left to find help, we heard a noise. A roaring of sorts. Sounded like several boats were going to race past the opening to the cove, so we turned to look and see what was up. But it wasn’t boats. It was jet skis. Lots, and LOTS of jet skis. There had to have been about 20 of those suckers headed right towards us! It was awesome! (Tears might’ve been possible if I hadn’t been so awestruck by the sight of all these strangers coming to help us.) The best part was that these weren’t your average jet skiers out for a joy ride. These were like Hell’s Angels jet skiers. They were wearing leather, I shit you not. And they were big, and strong, and they had a plan! AND MORE ROPE!

They set about pulling on the boat, with a few in the back pushing as well, and not 5 – 10 minutes later, we were back to floating point! Our boat was freeeee! HALLELUIA, I wasn’t gonna die on a sandbar!

Unfortunately, dad didn’t learn any kind of lesson from his dangerous driving through the cove, and continued to give us all little heart attacks all the way to the bar. Where our mom and her friends were still hanging out. And were also SMASHED. My brother had gotten so drunk while hanging out with those folks, he proceeded to try to fall asleep on the table at dinner that night. The waiter told us it was “illegal” for him to put his head down on the table like that. Which was fucking crazy, but ok. Our brother needed to go paint their restroom with vomit anyway, so no biggy!

It was a pretty crazy day. One I’ll never forget. One that I know we have better pictures of, but these were the only ones the Twin was able to find for us.

Us in the boat...I'm the one in the back right, our older sister is striking the dramatic pose in the blue bikini, the twin is glancing over her shoulder in sunglasses, dad is driving, and my ex-brother in law is in the passenger seat. I think the person behind my twin is...oh, is that your ex-boyfriend Matt, Twin? Was HE with us? Damn. My brain is broken...I can't remember any of this stuff!

Dad and ex-bro in law surveying the distance to the nearest edge of the sandbar.

Some of the jet skis that had stopped to help us out.

Here’s to hoping we have a much higher water experience this time around! WOOHOO!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I haven't had a vacation since February.

Is that a normal amount of time, do you think? Aside from the week off I took for recovery from the boob reduction, I haven't had a vacation-vacation since February, when Leo and I went to Vegas for a few days. Of course, there have been little holidays here and there since then...4th of July, Memorial Day, and that sort of thing. But it's definitely time for a vacation where I travel someplace, and relax, and possibly drink a little too much here and there...

So when the Twin mentioned Havasu (as in Lake Havasu, AZ) in the comments of a post a couple of weeks ago, I got on it. At first I thought that I hadn't been invited because my family wanted to go withOUT Aunt Faith along for the ride. But that proved to be just my sensitivity poking at me (what? I have a sensitive side, ok?), and it turned out my brother just hadn't mentioned anything to me because he didn't think I'd wanna come all that way just for a weekend trip.

On the contrary, I prefer the weekend trips. I don't use up a bunch of vacation days when I do them, and as far as I'm concerned, it's perfect going someplace for 3 nights if you're paying for hotel and car rental, and stuff. So he told me to come along, then!

I am SOOOOO excited. We used to go to Havasu for vacations starting when we were kids. Dad eventually just started storing our boat out there after we moved off the mountain (we lived in Lake Arrowhead, CA when Twin and I were in junior high), so it would be ready to go whenever we needed some lake time.

I remember when we used to go out there, and the blistering heat would slap us with a full body "howdy do!" every time we left an air conditioned space. We stayed at a hotel called the Pioneer a couple of times that we went out there, and my favorite thing was staying up late, and getting a brownie fudge sunday for dessert from room service (late being 9:30-ish, or so...I was 12, or something), and finding a fun sandbar to hang out on up the river a bit the next day, away from the crowds around the London Bridge. Ooh! Or getting salt water taffy from the shop right by the one side of the bridge, where you could watch it being made through a big plate glass window.

The last time we went out there together, I was about 24, and it was a couple of months after mom had passed away. We talked dad into heading out there so we could all try to forget about the pain, and enjoy some time together in a way that didn't exclusively involve grieving, and hanging around the house. Besides, the boat had been sitting in storage for close to 10 years at that point...we really needed to see if it was ok/still existing! And it was. It was dusty, and there were some spiders (surprisingly few, though), but it was there. We cleaned it up, and got the engine back in working order, and got back out on the lake. It really was a good time.

But I'd forgotten about the heat. Good GOD, the heeeaaaat! This is what this weekend is looking like:

It's a dry heat, but regardless, those temps are pretty pervasive when you're out in them for extended periods of time. I told Leo that there are a few ways to survive heat like that, and still be happy...

1. You keep moving in the boat. Wind in your face, scenery whipping by...it's pretty hard to be bothered by the heat when you have that going on!

2. Then you get wet. Just park the boat, and get in the watahhh. Aahhh.....

3. Then you just stay wet. You wrap yourself in a towel, and that gets wet, and eventually you dry off again because, well...see above about the heat. It's like being in a big clothes dryer on high for hours at a time! So when you dry off, you get wet again! Lather, rinse, repeat.

And then getting dressed for dinner in the cool AC'd hotel room feels so nice after a day of skin tightening from the sun and wet/dry back and forthness.

Basically, the 112 degree days have their positive sides, too, is all I'm sayin'.

I'm really, really excited. Oh, and there WILL be pictures! We don't leave until Friday, mind you, so this isn't my last post for the week, or anything...I'm just getting all riled up and excited, so I figured posting about it would help. WOOHOO! (Guess it didn't help much, after all. Shoot.)

Monday, August 09, 2010

Kind of a movie review: Kick Ass

That movie was...not what I was expecting. I know it's been a while since it was out in theaters, but people who've seen it, too, let me know if you were surprised at all when it came to the actual content of the movie compared to the ads you saw for it when it was out.

The thing is, it's not like I read all the synopses of movies when they come out, or what have you. Or reviews, or anything like that. I tend to watch a movie based on the ads for it, and the actors in it, and the storyline involved.

But I was so. dead. wrong. about what Kick Ass entailed! I thought it was supposed to be a kids' movie, to be honest! I really thought it was just a goofy Disneyfied kids-as-superheroes kind of flick that would be fun for a Sunday night.

And then there was blood. And gore. And mobsters. And a LOT of the word "motherfucker". ::shocked face::

Don't get me wrong! This was a pleasant surprise for me, overall. Cussing doesn't offend me! And the mobsters made sense in the context of the film, and were kind of a surprising element, really, so that was nice.

But, I could just see parents allowing their 12 year olds to go and see this film when it was out in theaters, and renting it now for fun because it's what they do on a Friday night, and just being completely sideswiped with the violence and sex and the 11 year old running around calling people cunts. Just sayin'.

Am I the only one that had this surprised reaction to this movie? Because between this, and the whole "Democrats are voting, too?" thing last week, I'm starting to feel a little body-snatched. Maybe I have a virus eating away at my brain...

By the way, LOVED the movie. It was fun, and entertaining, and kept me on the edge of my seat at times. I'd recommend it...for people over the age of 15, or so, anyway. Depending on the kid, of course. ;)

::waves hands about while screaming in frustration::

OMG!!! It isn't that tough, folks. If someone has their turn signal on, it's an indication that they need to get over into your lane. If you are behind them and can see the blinking light? You have to let them over!!! It's illegal not to. ILLEGAL*. Fucking tools.

It's not even like it would slow you down much, either. So don't be a cow. Let the person in, and move on with your life.

But clearly, you're more satisfied with creating a traffic hazzard. Because, oh hey! That person STILL needs to get the fuck over, and now you've caused them to have to slow down to try to get over behind you!!! Assholes.

Now I'm in a bad mood. Bah.

*I've checked the driving rules for Kansas, and Googled it in general, and haven't found anything specific to the laws here in Kansas with regards to legality of passing someone who has indicated they need to get over into the lane you're in. I know that in California, it's illegal to pass someone who has their signal on. If you're in a spot where you can see the rear blinker showing their desire to move over, you have to slow down a bit, and let them in. (Even bigrigs. ::groan::) I would figure it's the same here in Kansas, but I might be wrong. It should be the same, though. But regardless, it's just douchey, if nothing else.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

I like Mexican food. (I like ALL food really!) (Well, except for Indian food. Just not my thing...)

Me: “I think I’m going to try those new cantina tacos from Taco Bell. They look good.”

Leo: “What mama don’t know won’t hurt her!”

Me: …
Me: “Huh?”

Leo: “What mama don’t know won’t hurt her! You can go right ahead and try those tacos, but I don’t need to hear about it. As long as I don’t know you did it, it’s like it never happened.”

Me: ::mild concern that my husband is referring to himself as 'mama':: “Well, they have completely identifiable food items in them. I think they can’t be all that bad!”

Leo: “Look, if you want diarrhea, go right ahead and eat ‘em.”

Me: “I always have diarrhea! I’m totally trying them. Likely on Friday.”

Leo: ::groaning and then laughing, because he knows it’s true about the shitting:: “Yeah, well, whatever. You do what you want.”

Me: “I WILL. At about 11:30 a.m., you can go ahead and picture me driving through the drive-thru line at Taco Bell. MAMA.”

When Leo and I were first going out, he told me stories about his sordid past and how it included a stint in a Taco Bell kitchen when he was in high school. Suffice it to say, I haven’t eaten at Taco Bell since we started dating, which was over 5 years ago. I kind of gave up all drive-thru food at the time, really. I eventually allowed myself a return to McDonald’s, and when I’m in California, I have been known to eat at a Carl’s Jr., or El Pollo Loco, but it’s rare when it happens. I ate McDonald’s last week, and that should hold me over for another month or two, really. (It’s the fries that get me. I’m one of those people that just absolutely adore their fries!) (Which Leo says he doesn’t understand, btw. He’s broken in some ways, I think. I blame his upbringing.)

But those cantina tacos look pretty good to me! So I figure it can’t hurt to try ‘em.

For the record, if Gavino’s (at 83rd and Metcalf) were closer to work, I’m pretty sure I’d be eating there a least 3 times a week for lunch, and Taco Bell truly wouldn’t even enter my mind as an option. As it is, Leo and I tend to eat there at least once every weekend, so maybe it’s a good thing it’s as far away as it is! I mean, I can only bust my ass so much at the gym.

Speaking of busting ass, I’m down to 32.5% body fat. Two months ago, right before the boob surgery, I was down to 34.3%, so the drop is nice to see. My waist is still only down 3 inches, which sucks, but we’ve been working on that. (It’s at 44” right now.) I’m down to 210 pounds, which is frustrating in some ways because it’s been there for over 2 months now, but it’s still nice that I’ve gotten down from the almost 220 pounds I weighed in February. And thanks to the body fat measuring, I know that it’s more lean body mass than it used to be, so I’m on the right track. Just gotta wait for that lean body mass to help burn more fat, now. ::sigh:: And of course, I have to keep building more lean body mass to help that out.

Slow and painful. That’s what it’s all about.

And then you reward yourself with a couple of cantina tacos now and then. (And maybe a beer.)

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Politics suck as much as Apple does.

I went to vote yesterday, like the dutiful Republican that I am (now and then), and wound up getting snickered at, condescended to, and then most of the people I chose to vote for didn’t even win, so that sucked.

First off, no one told me that the polling place had been moved from where I’ve been going for, oh, 6 years now. So I headed out early before work only to get thoroughly confused when there weren’t any signs and/or people at my usual location. I decided to look it up when I got to the office, and found where I’m supposed to go now, and headed there after work instead.

When I walked in the door, a lady handed me a green piece of paper and pointed me in the direction of the table I was supposed to approach to get signed in. The green paper had instructions about the voting machines they use, and told me that basically they would time out if I let them sit idle for 20 minutes or more, so I made a mental note to wait until I got in my car to take my 5:35 p.m. nap, and NOT while I was voting, if at all possible.

I got up to the table and overheard the check-in lady telling the man in front of me that they had combined two districts, and that was why our polling place had moved. I said, “Oooh! That makes sense. I went to my old one this morning because I didn’t know about the change.” Apparently, this lady has Apple customer service training, because she held up a purple mailing card and said, “They sent these out 3 weeks ago to alert those affected.” I guess it didn’t occur to her that maybe some of us didn’t get those cards like we were supposed to. “We didn’t receive ours, apparently,” I told her. “Well, they were sent out 3 weeks ago.” Um, yeah…great. DIDN’T GET OURS IN THE MAIL, LADY! GOD. (Sometimes, I wish people really could hear the shit I’m yelling at them from inside my head. I think I’d have more of a personal buffer zone if that were the case. I like a nice, big buffer zone around me at all times…)

So in order to sign in, I had to give her my name, which I did. ”Smith. Faith…” So she’s looking, and looking, and then she comes across the names. “Leo?” “Um, no…Faith. That’s my husband.” ::confused over the fact that Leo is listed, as well as why the lady just ignored my saying my GIRLISH first name 2 seconds prior:: “Wait…I thought this was just a Republican primary? Democrats are voting today, too?” The lady next in line behind me snickers, and the check-in lady confirms that it is, indeed, a primary for both parties.

Huh. Well, I guess the Democrat side must not be all that important, because all I’ve seen on the Kansas side are ads for Republican folks vying for spots in Kansas legislature of some sort or another! It honestly didn’t even occur to me that Democrats were voting as well. And this is why I hate politics. Well, this, along with all the dirty, fucked up political shit that goes along with it.

Oh, and the lady who snickered behind me? Yeah, she got a mental taco kick from my pointy heels, thankyouverymuch. Like the yelling I wish people could hear, I also wish they could see me flipping them off and kicking their crotchetal regions as well. Fucking old bag asshole…

So I voted (without falling asleep even once, mind you!), and then went home, and woke up this morning to see that maybe 2 out of the what? 9 or 10 candidates I’d chosen had actually won. It was stellar. ::sigh::

I hate politics.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Oh Apple...how I hate thee!

Years ago, I pledged that I would never fall prey to the lure of Apple, saying that my CD’s were good enough for me, and that iPods could all suck it as far as I was concerned.

But then I married Leo. And he gave me an iPod to make me feel better after a particularly rough day once. (Just a Shuffle, but that was all I really needed, anyway.) And then this past year, I got a bonafide iPod in the form of a Nano for Christmas, I think it was. It’s nice, I guess. I like it well enough, even though the Shuffle was awesome in its little clippie way and all. Made workouts a little easier. But I can put a specific workout mix into my Nano, which gives it that little edge.

Anyway, when I received the Nano, suddenly the cord that I had in my car that connected it to my stereo system didn’t work for charging purposes anymore. It works fine on the Shuffle, but not the Nano. ::sigh:: Great. And over time, it became apparent that having the charging capability within the car was a handy option. And I needed a new cord to serve that purpose. Fine. Gotta go to Apple, I figured.

So I went, and I looked at the options, and basically they had two that applied to my needs. Yep. ONLY TWO. I have to hook in through my radio signal, because in 2002, it wasn’t common for a BMW to have any kind of MP3 player capabilities. It was an additional option, if I recall correctly. And I always thought that I’d be fine with my CDs, and I was for a long while! But I didn’t have a boyfriend/husband at that time that would prove to be the downfall of my Apple boycott.

Fast-forward to the beginning of July. I finally get my ass into the Apple store, and have to deal with their idiotic way of helping customers, as well as their dumbass, fucked up “no check out counter…we’re too cool for a check out counter” way of paying for products. I found what I thought I needed on the wall, and then was approached by a guy who had appeared to be on his way to the back of the store to check on something when I finally held my hands up in the air in my “anyone able to tell me what I’m supposed to do NOW?” gesture of helplessness. “Do you need help?” Well, yes. Yes I do. Glad my gesture of helplessness was actually successful! I asked him to confirm that the product in the box was what would work for my car, and he did after a bit. And then I was all, “Ok, I guess I need to buy this, then.” He said he was actually helping someone else, so he’d find someone to check me out of the store.


Why the fuck did he stop to ask if I needed help if he was already helping someone else? The problem being that he now seemed to be blaming me for taking him away from this other customer. It was the tone in his voice that did it. The whole “you’re wanting to buy a $70 iPod connector, and I’ve got someone else I was helping to buy a computer, lady…who do you think I’d rather be with right now?” kind of tone. Yeah, I don’t need that shit. So I said, “Oh, I’m sorry! Why did you stop to help me, then?” And he said it wasn’t a problem and I said that it sure seemed like I was inconveniencing him, and then he found a chick who was able to check me out, and I was finally able to leave.

Fucking hoity-toity assholes. (I hope that everyone has actually been in a busy Apple Store, and knows what I’m talking about with all of these references. Basically, it’s hard to find a salesperson that’s free, because they all always seem to be helping other customers, and then they look right through the customers that aren’t being helped as if we don’t exist. At least, that's how it is in the Leawood store that I was visiting. I initially made eye contact with a chick that had appeared to be free when I was first looking for help, and she said, “I’ll find someone who can assist you.” And then never did. Awesome. So that’s what I mean with my description of the whole experience. In case it wasn’t clear…they just all come off as being jerks, is the thing.)

It became apparent after only a week or so that the new connector wasn’t going to work in my car. My old connector had been receiving a bunch of static (“They’re all going to get static, ma’am,” the Apple Store douche had told me, in his oh-so-superior-to-me voice that he must practice at home in his bathroom, or something), which was also something I was trying to clear up, hopefully. But it was only worse with the new connector, and I wound up switching back and forth between the two in order to charge my iPod in my car, and then listen to the music through the old connector.

Basically, the new connector was a stupid purchase. I wanted to return it.

So I planned to return it, and then got busy at work, and I wasn’t able to get out at lunch the way I’d wanted to for a good week. I figure I have 30 days to return the damned thing, so I didn’t worry too much about my scheduling issues. Plus, I fucking hate that store, so going in there isn’t high on my want-to-do list, you know?

Finally, last week, I pull out my receipt to make sure I have the right one and didn’t accidentally throw it away. Got it in tact. Good deal. Then I spy a little odd line on the top of the receipt. “Return date: July 23, 2010.” Huh? Return date….? So I flip the receipt over to read that their fucking DUMB AS HELL return policy requires returns to be made within FOURTEEN DAYS of purchase. WTF? I was pissed. There’s nothing on there about getting store credit (that I likely wouldn’t use anyway) if it’s after that date, or anything. Just 14 days, and that’s it.

So I ask a friend of mine for advice on the matter. Her husband works at an Apple Store in Ohio, and I thought maybe she’d have some insight for me on the matter. She gave me some tips (tell them I was out of town and didn’t realize the return date had come and gone already, and be really nice about it), and thinks that the refund will be given. I decide to give it a shot. After all, it had only been a few days since the return date had come and gone…surely they can be a little lenient about it in cases like that!

I hated that I had to go back in there again, but I sucked it up, and went in on a Wednesday during my lunch hour. By then, I had also bought a new car that would have MP3 connectivity in it, so the cord was completely obsolete to me anyway. I approached a woman that appeared to be available to help, and told her my story. “I had no idea the return policy is within 14 days! I don’t shop here often…my husband does. I was out of town and wasn’t able to get in here anyway…” She takes the receipt to her manager, and asks for permission to refund my money. She obtains the permission, and I thank her profusely.

And then begins the fucking TEN MINUTE LONG process of returning a single $70 iPod stereo connector cord at the damned Apple Store! She was punching in numbers and scanning my product’s UPC code, and then goes over to a manager for a signature or something, and then comes back and stares at her little check-out gizmo some more. So I try making small talk. “Man, that 14 day policy sure seems tough! I mean, I was really surprised when I saw it!”

“Well, it IS right on the receipt. And it’s standard in our industry to have a 14 day return policy.”
“I didn’t pull out the receipt until I knew I wanted to return it for sure, and by then, the date had passed. Again, I don’t shop here very often! Target and all the places I buy clothes from…they all have a 30 day policy, so that’s what I’m used to.”

“Yes, well the technology industry usually has a 14 day policy.”

::me nodding:: “Mm-hmm…well, I’m glad to know about it NOW! ::big grin:: Thanks again for your help with this!” Waiting, still, for her to finish the damned transaction already!!!

Another minute passes, uncomfortably...and then: “Have you ever heard of Best Buy?” she asks me.

::whatthefuck look clearly painted across my face…I couldn’t help it!:: “Yes. Yes, I’ve heard of Best Buy.”

“They have a 14 day return policy, like we do,” she explains.

“Oh. Well, we usually buy products from them that would require a warranty of some sort, so I guess I just was never aware of that. Good to know.”

Seriously, did that bitch just ask me if I’d “ever heard of BEST BUY”??? I mean, honestly, do they teach a class on how to talk down to their customers in there? Or are they just prone to hiring assholes and douchebags to work for them? I know that can’t be the case, because my friend’s husband is a nice dude, and HE works there, so really I’m just honestly confused about the two experiences I’ve had in there. Maybe they’re just really good at reading my poor disposition towards them all, and they’re reflecting it back at me when they deal with me. I’m not sure.

But I fucking HATE that place. I told Leo that’s he’s in charge of shopping there from now on, should we ever have need. It’s clearly a mistake for me to even attempt it at all!