Wednesday, May 30, 2012

So, the Twin might have Sepsis

The Twin is showing signs of a pretty bad infection right now. (She had a breast reduction a couple of weeks ago. The signs of infection kicked in over the weekend.)

I'm worried about her, because I'm thousands of miles away, and can't do much from here except to worry. Her oldest daughter is worried, too. So the Twin and I looked up symptoms of Sepsis today while we were on the phone together, and she thinks she's ok while I'm pretty sure she's got it.

She has a fever.
She has chills, and was shaking pretty uncontrollably under a blanket this morning before taking the kids to school.
She had a rash on her legs yesterday, although she says it's gone today. I don't know if that's a good thing or not.
Her heartrate was elevated earlier today. She says she feels fine right now.

Other symptoms are dizziness and confusion, which she hasn't experienced so far. I told her to make sure her kids know what to watch for, and if anything like that happens, they need to call 911. She tried to tell me she'd just have her oldest drive her to the hospital, but I nixed that. Firstly, the oldest will be FREAKING OUT if her mom gets any sicker. Secondly, she needs to get immediate care if the confusion thing sets in. So 911, please, Twin. Don't be a fucking hero. I will pay the ambulance bill, if your insurance doesn't cover it, dammit!

For those that are unaware, the Twin has type 1 diabetes. And we're 38 years old. She's had 2 kids. So when shit like this pops up, I get a little bothered. She's healthy as hell, though. She walks a lot. She just had her blood panel done right before the reduction surgery, and her cholesterol numbers would make you jealous. (I was jealous!) She has been very good about seeing her endocrinologist for the last several years, keeping up with her blood testing levels and making sure she's on the right track with her insulin and blood sugars and all that.

But having diabetes just makes her more susceptible to this kind of stuff. So let's all encourage her to take care of her damned self in this case, shall we? Think good thoughts. Send healthy vibes. Do whatever voodoo you need to do. I told her that I will fly out there just to kick her ass, so I did my job already. Now it's my readers' turn. Give it all you got, guys!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ok, but before you go away for the weekend...

...how about a small disaster in your yard?


A tree...no, wait...a LARGE tree fell over in our yard into our pool today. Took out our patio table, too. 


It was the largest tree that was up against the fence we share with our neighbor, Ed. In the fall, we had some drainage systems added to our whole yard because we had a problem with rotting wood and windows and stuff around the house. So french drain system went in, and apparently, all kinds of roots were cut.


This is the view from Ed's yard. The tree that fell was probably about 25 feet tall, I'd guess.
This is incredibly depressing to me, not only because of the mess it's made, and the loss of privacy between the two yards, but also because it was a healthy, happy, wonderful tree. And now it's just gone.

We're pretty sure that it was the installment of the french drain alongside the tree that caused it to become so weak. Not only did it have less ground to hold on to on wet days like today, but it's fucking ROOTS WERE HACKED. Now, I was unaware of that. I had no idea that a drain was even over there. I leave all the outdoor shit to Leo to handle because as soon as he starts talking about it, my brain wanders off and thinks about those awesome clothes I ordered from that British company I love and whether they'll show up anytime soon, and then whether or not I've exceeded my Weight Watchers points for the day/week, and which Friends rerun will be on tonight, etc, etc...

So I guess that was my mistake? Or lesson learned for Leo? I dunno.

But dammit. Now I REALLY need a good weekend away. Hope you're ready for me, Chicago!

Happy Memorial Day, all. And to any veterans, or families of vets that might be reading this, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. THANK YOU, for all you did, all you do, and all you continue to do in support of our great country.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fine. I've joined Facebook.

As some of you might have already noticed, I finally broke down and joined Facebook.

It's not going to be a major visiting spot for me, so keep that in mind should you message me there, or whatever.

Also, if you know my real identity, please don't disclose it over there. I'm Faith Smith. Only Faith Smith. I will not be friending my mother in law, and I will not be friending aunts and uncles and such. Just my brother and sisters and brothers and sister in law, as far as family goes.

I'm still trying to feel my way around the site. Give me a little time to work it all out in my fucked up head. :)

This is mostly for XO. But other people might like it, too.

The dude who created/writes The Oatmeal has created a new website called Bearfood. Bearfood is a pretty simple concept, and kind of an awesome thing for people like me who need entertainment in various forms throughout the day, but doesn't always know where to look for it. Basically, there are a shit ton of links offered by random folks, and they're kept in a big "queue" for people to go look at them on, and then vote whether they like them. Or don't like them...I have a couple that I need to give the thumbs down on, now that I think about it.

Anyway, I just found a link through that queue that I thought might be interesting to at least one of my friends, if not more. So here ya go: How big is the sun?

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronomer. And then I realized how much math and science would be involved, and I gave up that dream right quick, but it didn't change the fact that I fucking LOVE the universe and all the things that are in it. (Except people. Sometimes people piss me off, and I wish they would just stop it.) Seeing the display on that website of the planets/stars and their relative sizes? Absolutely fascinating to me.

Now, excuse me while I go spend hours upon hours of visiting different links and voting on them. It's Thursday. A traditionally quiet day in the office. So no worries...I got the time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

No longer designated to the back of a drawer in the closet...

Apparently, this Fifty Shades of Grey phenom has everyone and their mom (and grandma? And daughters. Etc, etc, etceteraaaaa...) looking into OTHER books that offer even better sex scenes and nasty bits. Better plots. Better writing. Better everything all around.

Brittany has a list of suggestions over in her Amuse Bouche section today that might prove useful to anyone looking for a new...eh em, high now that they've finished reading the Grey Trilogy.

Jen over at People I Want to Punch in the Throat was talking about suggestions people gave her to move on from the Grey Trilogy to the Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by Anne Rice in her weekly wrap up on Sunday. That one sounded interesting to me, and I might check it out later today. We'll see...

I swear I've run across other suggestions for follow-up reading after finishing with the Grey books, but I think they were in my Glamour magazine, and I don't have links to that stuff. Anyway...

I find this shift in literary interest fascinating, personally. Smutty books have been around for as long as people have been writing shit down on paper, obviously. But they were books that were considered a somewhat guilty pleasure for a lot of us. I haven't read one since I was living in Boston, and my entertainment during my lunch break was this book that someone had left behind in the breakroom at the Ann Taylor I worked at. I picked it up and read a few pages as a silly joke to myself one day, and eventually got to the point where I was taking it home with me to keep reading, so I could find out what happened next. It wasn't fabulously written, but it wasn't bad. And it kept me in suspense. And had a fair amount of smut involved, to boot. Still, I wasn't embarrassed to take it down to the food court to read while I ate my lunch there instead of in the breakroom.

My parents kept books like that hidden in their closet. (Not very well, as I know I remember finding their hiding place without issue. Not that I was looking for smutty books, of course! I was looking for dad's hidden Playboys, DUH.)

And I know that there's still a big interest in non-smutty works, for sure. I'm in the middle of a YA novel Spoiled by the girls over at Go Fug Yourself right now, actually, and have 3 of the Harry Potter books to read still, dammit. And I'm reading Jenny's (a.k.a. The Bloggess) book Let's Pretend This Never Happened right now, too.

But I'm thinking it might be time for a break from all that awesomeness. And time to hop on this fun, suddenly-acceptable to all smut train that seems to be rolling across the world. It IS summertime, after all. Why not embrace my inner vixen? Everyone else is doing it, right? :D

Monday, May 21, 2012

It's a good sign, is how I see it.

I like that whenever Leo accidentally butt-dials me, I never hear any kind of discussion/yelling/venting about how much of a cow and pain in the ass his wife is.

That always makes me feel good.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Airline call center employees? I forgive ALL of you if you ever came off as bitchy back in the 90's.

This is a good age to be living in. The conveniences we have even just compared to how we did shit in the 1990's are ridiculous.

I used to have to search microfiche for newspaper article references when I was in college. Using this giant, crazy machine that actually had a fun "whiiirrrr!" sound that it made as you slid through the unwanted pages on your way to the info you were looking up. Do they even have those machines in libraries anymore? Do kids writing research papers in 2012 know what a microfiche is?

AOL was only just getting off the ground when I was graduating from high school in 1992, not that I had even heard of it at that point. I didn't even use the internet for regular research on papers I was writing in college until my senior year, in 1996. And even then, it was sketchy. I started writing emails to my older sister who lived across the country in Virginia when I was a senior, too. Saying things like, "It's aMAZING that I can write you a letter, and then come back to check tomorrow and probably find a response from you! WOW!!!"

I was easily impressed by technology back then. Crazy how things change in just a short 10 - 15 year span. My computer probably looked back at me with contempt yesterday as I searched for flights on two different websites, while simultaneously looking at The Gap, and then Nordstrom, and then OneStopPlus for a blazer that is currently needed in my wardrobe, thinking to itself, "Bitch, you couldn't even search like this 10 years ago without conjuring the blue screen of death!!! Appreciate me, dammit."

And I guess I should. It's not the computer's fault that my company has been pushing out software update after software update lately, totally fucking with my work roll and slowing me down every 3 days.

All week, I have been searching for different flight options for two different trips for my boss in June. I have a newfound appreciation for the fact that I found a job in a retail store back in 1997 when I first moved to KC, instead of having to take the job with an airline in it's Kansas City call center. I cannot imagine doing this for a living. It was fun at first. But now, I'm just screaming inside my head, "DECIDE, BOSS. Deciiiiide, goddam you!" (And fyi, that voice sounds like Kelsey Grammer circa the Frasier years.)

As frustrating as it has been to look up flight after flight after flight, without anyone making a decision, I can't help but think that had I been doing this job back in the 1990's, it would have been a gazillion times harder to do, I'm sure.

And we're all finally coming to a decision, it seems. I book one trip to Europe earlier today (including car and hotel, thankyouverymuch), and am close to finishing a quick trip to the east coast for several people that will occur the week before the Europe trip. And then tonight, Leo and I will go to see the Avengers movie in 3D in what I call "the grown up theater" not too far from our house. And tomorrow we will go to a baseball game and buy tennis equipment and start learning how to play together.

It is Friday, mutherfuckers. Enjoy your weekend, mkay?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

UPDATE: Twitches and cravings

I'm totally craving a burrito today. Out of control craving that is eating (ha!) away at my brain.

My eye twitch is completely out of control, as well. This week has been miserable with it.

The funny thing is, just sitting here now, typing this post...no eye twitch.

But when I was talking to my coworker about flights to Stockholm for our bosses? Ridiculous eye twitch. Embarrassing, really.

So as long as I sit and keep my mouth shut, apparently the eye twitch is manageable. However, sitting and doing nothing makes me think about the delicious burrito that I wish I could eat. Sometimes, I'm a fan of just saying Fuck It! and giving in to cravings, because I'm almost convinced that it makes them go away for a long time when you just let go of the crazy and allow the taboo food to enter your belleh. But I'm on Weight Watchers, and having some level of success with it over the last couple of weeks, and I want to keep that roll going. I'm also still primal, and so the burrito obviously doesn't fit into that way of eating, thanks to the wonderful tortilla that holds it all together. (And don't even suggest a burrito bowl to me as a compromise. Already tried that last week! Didn't work...booooo.)

Is there anything weirder than a fat chick walking around with a nervous facial tick she can't control? ::sigh:: I'm so awesome.

UPDATE 12:15 p.m.: Yeah, I went and got a fucking burrito. I calculated out the points of what I can usually eat of a Chipotle burrito (about 3/4 of the burrito is plenty for me - I got one with brown rice, chicken, mild salsa, and lettuce), and it fit within my daily points. I even have 3 left over for the day. I can use that for half a glass of wine, or ignore it, and lose more weight this week.

But this eye twitch can go fuck itself, dammit. Why won't it go away?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Summer activities on my mind...

We opened our pool a little early this year. Unfortunately, it wasn't to take advantage of the early warm days we've been having in the midwest this spring, but instead to repair a bunch of damaged stuff that was making it look broke down and sad. Cracked and broken tiles on the little fountain...the drain covers that were both cracked and missing pieces. We also wanted to switch to a saltwater cleaning system, so we don't have to use chlorine. We were planning that in the future, but since we were totally draining the pool to deal with the tiles and the drain covers, we can do it right away.

Yay...? (All of this is relatively expensive, but like Mike Holmes says, if you're going to do something, you should do it right the first time. We don't want to go through this whole pool-draining thing again anytime soon. I can only imagine the water bill for it, and I'm not looking forward to it, dammit...)

Anyway, the one fun part of this all was that we got to pick out new tile for the pool. I got some crummy pictures of the updated tiles yesterday after the pool guys left, and it looks so much better than the old, boring tile! I picked what I consider to be a sort of preppy pattern. It's all argyle, and shit. But it's tough to see that pattern in the photos. Just trust me. It looks argyle in person. 

So this is what our empty pool looks like today:
Still waiting for them to tile the fountain. There was some cement work that had to be done first, and that needs to cure/dry before it can be tiled. So the tile will hopefully go up sometime this week:

 I tried to get a more close-up shot of the tile, but I don't think it worked. ::sigh::
Anyway, the goal is to be swimming in the newly fixed/updated pool by the time the first week of June is here. So excited!

Also, yesterday while we were on a walk with the puppies, Leo noted the fact that we have tennis courts in our community play area down the street, and said that we should play there.

Cue my disbelief face. Because I have been trying to convince that dude to play tennis with me for 2 years now, and he always said he didn't want to because it was "a rich person sport." Now, I dunno what the fuck that's supposed to mean, and how it effects us because we totally have courts here at my work location that are free as the day is long for us to use. LOTS of places around the country have free courts. I used to play on one in Pasadena that was a part of a park by the Rose Bowl. And other ones that were a part of community college campuses both in Pasadena and in Mission Viejo. Loads of places have courts that anyone can use at any time. So, aside from having to obtain a racket and a few balls, it really is the most free sport there is, next to running.

So apparently, he's been thinking about it, and he's finally going to allow me to teach him how to play, and now we can go and play and have some fun one or two nights a week, hitting the balls around and maybe playing a match or two. WOO!

BRING ON SUMMER!

Friday, May 11, 2012

UPDATE: I am SO EXCITED right now. (It's a twin thing.)

The Twin is getting a breast reduction today. It was kind of a whirlwind deal, as she's been thinking about it for a long while, finally had the means to get it taken care of, and met with the doctor to discuss surgery date options 2 weeks ago. And he said he had an opening TODAY! Eeeee! (For reference, I had to wait 3 months from the time I initially met with my plastic surgeon before he had an opening to do my reduction 2 years ago...so only having to wait 2 weeks? That's just awesome.)

So she's officially getting ready for the surgery as I type this, and I am all butterflies and excited brain right now.

I CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR HOW IT GOES!!! AAUUUUUGGGHHHH...::jumps up and down in chair::

UPDATE at 2:20 p.m. CST: She got through the surgery just fine. I received a texted pic of her from our older sister a few minutes ago, and she looks sooo diiffferent! I think that doctor took her down to an A cup, yo! :D Amazing. So happy for her. I'll update with pics just as soon as she sends me some that she says are ok to post. Hopefully next wek sometime. WOOHOO!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Where do they hold the Met Ball, anyway? It must be ENOOORRRMOUS.

I've been reading all week over at the FUG girls to see all the fun dresses and awesome and/or stupid hairstyle choices that the Met Ball attendees sported on Monday night in New York.

And at this point, I have to wonder why I wasn't invited and just how big of a venue do they procure for such an event? Because it seems like the ENTIRE WORLD must go to that thing. Seriously, it's a never-ending amount of material for the FUG girls to update with! Which has been awesome for me, of course, because I love looking at fun ball-type dresses and making fun of/ogling them.

My favorite so far is Dakota Fanning's dress.

But I also LOVED this dress/pose from Karolina Kurkova. I want to walk around like that all the time now. At the grocery store, I'd just stop in front of the apples and pose, and consider my options. Or at work, I would arrive at a meeting, and stand behind a chair and pose and survey the room while the meeting took place.

Anyone know where I can get a good sparkly turban thing of my own? I totally don't have one, and I'm gonna need it to pull that look off, I think.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Hangover de Mayo

Wait...so "Cinqo de Mayo" doesn't mean that you should drink five different types of alcohols all in one evening?

Oops.

Oh well, at least I had most of the day on Sunday to recover/nap/try to ease the nausea before the fucking TORNADOES started to drop out of the clouds around us. AWESOME.

I'm clear headed today, thank goodness. But I think my liver weighs an extra few pounds thanks to the poisoning I gave it Saturday night. I have acupuncture tonight. Maybe he can help me detox...

Friday, May 04, 2012

My ass is a moving target

I had to stop by Target the other night. Needed 3 different kinds of soap (hand, body, AND face...being a girl is so fun), and some new mascara and concealer. So I dropped by the store on my way home from work, and made my way through the aisles with my teensy list.

Of course, the one aisle my choice of makeup was in was being dominated by a woman and her two children. Those kids were AMPED UP, and were bouncing all over the place as we both searched for our stuff. Unfortunately for her, apparently, the woman was looking for items that were across the aisle from where my items were located, so we were basically back to back in our searches. And while I could totally understand that she didn't want me in her space any more than I wanted her in mine, I certainly didn't appreciate when she said not so subtly, "It's a good thing I'm skinny, I guess."

Yeah. Yeah, I guess it IS a good thing she was skinny. Because being fat is soooo unfortunate. And I'm taking up sooooo much room with my 45 inch hips and 42 inch waist and my great, big, HUGE, 13 inch neck! (It's always 13 inches when my trainer measures it. It's weird.)

It wasn't like I was bending over, taking up more than my half of the aisle. Fuck, her CART was bigger than my ass is! In fact, what probably made her feel more crowded were her obnoxious kids that were moving all over the place, obviously bored with their mother's choice of tasks. I was just standing in front of the mascaras, looking for one that might lengthen and strengthen my lashes as I wore it. That's all.

I didn't say anything, though. I just kept looking for my stuff, and ignored her skinny ass. I wish I had turned around and said, "Excuse me?" But I didn't. I was more in the mood to just get on with my evening, and not call out some rude-ass skinny bitch on her fucking issues with my size.

But thinking back on it makes me wish I had held her accountable for her rudeness. I don't know if she maybe thought she was speaking more under her breath, or what. I got the idea that she wanted me to hear her expression of frustration with my choice to shop right behind her the way I did.

People suck, is all.

Now I shall go forth and have a happy Friday, and tomorrow will have a fun Cinqo de Mayo with my husband. We are going to a party at his personal trainer's house. And we will apparently be required to take on a Mexican name as we enter the home, and I shall dub myself Zoila and Leo will be called Senior Guapo, and we will drink margaritas, and be nice to everyone around us. Even the skinny ones.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

I have some needles, now. I thought I'd try that heroin diet...

Ok, no I'm not really doing heroin.

But I DO have the needles now, should I choose to give it a go!

The dogs both have allergies. Since they are like fur-children to us, meaning that, next to our own bodies, we are most concerned about the wellness of our puppies, we want them to be as happy and healthy as possible.

But Jake will licklicklicklicklick himself to the point where he's basically soaked from chest to dick. And then he'll start chewing on his paws. And in between, he will rub his head and neck all over the grass/carpet/wood floor as if trying to scratch an itch that just will not go away.

And Izzy has this unfortunate problem that can happen as often as a couple of times a week to just maybe once a month, where she starts licking the ground all over, inside and outside the house, carpeted or covered in dirt, presumably to try to get herself to vomit. Which she eventually will do. This generally happens late at night, and it is heartbreaking to both Leo and I to see her dealing with.

So we allowed the vet to run full blood panels on them both in order to learn what they're allergic to. Those who have gone through this process know that this? Is an expensive process. But you shouldn't judge because, really, we don't have to send the dogs to college in 12 years. So we're good to spend money like this on things that will make them happier and healthier.

Anyway, this morning, we had to take the puppies in and learn how to give them both injections. Because the next stage after the blood tests involves us basically trying to immunize our dogs against everything they're allergic to, and that involves us giving them a series of shots of varying potency for the next, oh, rest of their lives. (We've already changed the kinds of treats we give them, along with their food, and I'm working on finding non-cotton sheets that aren't 100% silk because OF COURSE, Jake is allergic to cotton. ::SIGH::) So I'm good with giving the shots, which is amazing to me considering that I haven't been able to watch my twin sister give herself her insulin shots for the last 32 years that she's been diabetic, but Leo needs more practice. I'm surprised that he even tried, to be honest. He really, really, REALLY hates needles. Really. Like, supercalifrajalistically. Anyway, I did a decent job, and I figure Leo will get better at it over time.

And if anyone ever questioned my ability to love small things prior to now, this should hopefully clear some of your skepticism up. I love my dogs. LOVE THEM. Do not know what I will do when they die, kind of love.

And while this might not seem to be connected in any way, it still makes me want to address the possible confusion anyone might have over the sentiment I expressed in my last post about feeling pretty fine with the whole idea of Bring Your Offspring To Work Day that we had last week. Dan, in particular, was surprised that I could be so reasonable about the concept.

But here's the thing: if you HAVE TO have children, you might as well create productive, thoughtful, well-rounded little persons to put forth in this world, right? Part of that well-roundedness is developed, I think, by teaching children how to take care of themselves eventually. And that is generally achieved by children going out, whether at age 13, 14 or 16 and getting themselves a JOB. Something as simple as mowing lawns, to working in a fast food restaurant.

When I was 16, for example, I worked in a doctor's office a few hours a week, doing filing and sometimes answering phones. It didn't work out to be a long term deal, because I just wasn't ready for that kind of responsibility as it turns out, but I still "worked" during one of my hours at school as an assistant in the activities office, so I had that experience going on, too. And when I was 17, I tried again in the public sector, going to work at a place called Baja Fresh - sort of a fast-casual taco and burrito place that was a clean, nice, sort of fun place to work. Sometimes it was hard. Sometimes, I just wanted to wash dishes in the back instead of dealing with customers, and so I did. I had to wear a uniform, and make chips from tortillas, and clean refried beans from large pots, and I still remember those tasks like I just quit that job yesterday.

Anyway, the jobs I had were not truly necessary in my case. I wasn't bringing home extra income for my family so that we could pay the bills. I was working so I could buy things like a replacement boom box because the one that my parents gave me for Christmas was stolen at a stupid party I threw one night at our house in the mountains. I was Spoiled with a capital S, but I still wanted to work, for whatever reason. My parents were fine with it, as long as my grades didn't suffer. I get the idea that many of the kids whose parents are my coworkers have a similar situation in their homes.

But I hope they see that work is necessary. It is important. It is an integral part to their eventual usefulness as productive members of society. And whether they go out and get jobs as teenagers, or wait until after college to pursue a job of any type, I think they need to be told, from an early age, that work is not just important but that it should be inevitable. I don't care if, say, my twin's oldest daughter marries rich and doesn't have to work in order to make a living. She should WANT TO work. Even if that means volunteering to run fundraisers and such...a job that teaches her how to organize things like that would be important to have earlier on in life, IMO. (But she's also already earning money as a cellist, even though she's only 15 and a half, so I have high hopes for her at this point! :D)

Working is never demeaning, regardless of the position one holds in their workplace. If you're earning a paycheck, you are doing right by the world. Now go and tell your kids that Auntie Faith said so. And if they have any questions, you feel free to direct them my way. I'm always happy to impart my wisdom where needed. :P