Friday, October 21, 2011

The One About Propofol

Did you think I'd fallen off the face of the Earth? I sort've have-after having my baby, I then needed to have my gallbladder removed. I don't recommend two abdominal surgeries in as many months, if you can avoid it!

Anyway, have you been following the Conrad Murray trial? To be honest, after the whole child molestation accusations, Michael Jackson skeeved me out and I didn't follow him much except to notice he too fell of the radar. I have been somewhat interested in Conrad Murray's trial, though, because it reminded me vaguely of the situation with Jack Kevorkian. I am simply fascinated with the line between providing medical care, and providing a service for pay. I know the comparison is a stretch but try to stay with me on this one.

One of the experts at Murray's trial made a statement to the effect that Murray wasn't doing his due diligence as a medical professional, but rather was taking instructions against his better judgement, in the name of celebrity and profit. Now, obviously Kevorkian had a passion for helping people who were suffering (whether you agree with what he did or not, you must admit he did seem to care for his patients) but the fact is that he was doing something illegal, and something (intentionally) dangerous. I don't know if Conrad Murray cared about Michael Jackson but he was doing something dangerous and he knew it. He wasn't following medical protocol.

I think Murray giving Jackson Propofol was immoral and deplorable, but I also know people who work for celebrities can become enamored with their status and the wealth that might come from working for them. Clearly Murray violated all kinds of ethics in administering anesthesia as a sleep aid! But I truly believe it was just bad luck of the draw. It could've been any other number of physicians lacking a moral compass who enabled him in his drug addiction. I believe in my heart of hearts that if it wasn't Murray, it would've been someone else. There has been no evidence that any medical professional in his life stepped up to the plate to forcefully care for him as a patient and try to help him work through his issues. Now, I firmly believe an addict will only stop when they want to, and something tells me Jackson's narcissism and addiction prevented him from seeing himself in a true light. But! At the very least they could've tried to treat him the way all people seeking medical treatment deserve to be treated-with dignity and respect for their life. Addiction is a cruel, cruel beast.

I know this post is all over the place. Sorry for that. It was much more concise when I was composing it in my head at 3 a.m. What got me off on this misguided tangent was my gallbladder surgery. Another expert at the Murray trial said his patients ask him daily if the drug he is administering is the one that killed Jackson.

I feel bad for the manufacturer of Propofol; it is a good, effective drug. It has gotten a bad rap it doesn't deserve. Lots of medications are good medications but once you abuse something, you can't turn back and blame the drug. My anesthesiologist didn't specifically say he was using Propofol on me but I read the label when he was showing me the drug. I didn't so much as flinch. I knew it was being used in the appropriate way and I was thankful to have access to it. Anesthesia, to me, is a life saver of sorts. My operation, though routine and technically not life-threatening, couldn't be done without it. Well, I guess it could but I'd likely have gone into shock and died from that alone. (Side note, did you know when they remove your gallbladder they re-wire your intestines to your liver? Yeah, it's kind of a big deal.) And let me tell you, when I awoke from being put under, I felt like I'd been to hell and back. It was very difficult for me to regain all my faculties. I'm totally shocked someone could try to rehearse for a major stage show after being put under. I had to have my husband help me get dressed! Ugh!

All this to say, I will be intently watching to see the verdict on this one, as I truly believe a precedence may take place.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Is Whistling the New "Thing"?

Have you noticed there are a ton of songs on the Pop Top 40 that include whistling? I am left to wonder if it is one mega producer playing a joke on everyone, or if musicians have simply run out of ideas.

So.Much.Whistling.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Olives

One time I went to a dinner party where I didn't know anyone. The hostess was serving pasta and a salad. I watched as she took a can of whole olives and cut them into slices.

Doing so was very labor intensive.

Why would someone slice whole olives? They are sold whole, sliced, chopped, pretty much any way you could want them. Now me, I love me some olives, but for those who don't, leaving them whole would probably make it easier for them to pick out.

If she had been my friend, I totally would've questioned her olive cutting logic.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Well, That Was Rare!

Do you remember the actress Kim Field from The Facts of Life and Living Single? She was on today's rerun of The Wendy Williams Show. Unlike many (most?) child actors, she took her money and ran off with it to college. Pepperdine, to be exact. She now has a successful career working with money-machine Tyler Perry as a producer or something (I didn't pay close attention here, as I am not exactly Tyler Perry's demographic.)

Anyway, Wendy was talking to her about the fact that she developed physically at a very early age, and that many young women struggle with body image, etc. Wendy then went on to ask her if she had any advice for young women who struggle with such perceptions.

I almost fell out of my chair when I heard her response. No kidding, I was genuinely shocked. Kim looked directly into the camera and said, "Girls, you were created by God himself in His image. God doesn't make mistakes. Go forth with confidence knowing you look exactly how you are supposed to. Have confidence." I may have butchered some of the last part of her quote but you get the gist.

To clarify, I wasn't shocked at the content of what she was saying, as I happen to agree with her.

Rather, I was shocked that a person worthy of being on national television would speak so candidly regarding God on national television.  You don't see or hear that very often. I am impressed with her courage to risk alienation. We should all stand up for what we believe in, and Kim's words to young women were very inspiring. Kim is not exactly an A-list celeb, but in my mind she is an A-list person.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I Love Falsies!

Time for a random, uncompensated product review. (P.S. Maybeline, if you're reading, please feel free to send me some mascara, LOL!!)

Ladies, this mascara is a miracle product. I have paid a small fortune for products such as Lancome Extencils and this drug store product is better. I don't wear makeup often but if I wear only this mascara and some foundation to hide my terrible skin, I'm looking pretty good. I got mine for less than $5 at Walmart. There were three shades of black, which was perplexing, but I settled for the shade called Black Drama.

Run, don't walk to get this if you're on a budget like Yours Truly.

Photo: www.nerdygirlsmakeup.com

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Is Tipping A Regional Thing?

If I receive poor service, I tip accordingly or not at all. It is my firm belief that a tip should be based upon quality of services rendered. It would seem tipping is a foreign concept here outside of the restaurant environment.

Thus far, the dog groomer, the window tint guy and the car detailer have all acted incredulous when a tip was offered. The auto detailer (who performed a $250 service for $50) went so far as to say nobody had ever tipped him!

So, am I tipping when I don't have to (or shouldn't) or is it weird for people to not receive a tip in various industries if they do an exceptional job?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Making A Good Case For Requiring A License to Breed

Have any of you been following the story of the Canadian parents who are keeping the gender of their child a secret? The short end of it is, they don't want their child to feel societal pressures regarding gender so they are keeping it a secret. Only their midwife, the child's doctor and their other children know the gender.

These parents are adamant that there is no such thing as gender, and that people are only determined to be male/female based upon how society reacts to them. To wit, their older son wears dresses, etc. Older articles discussed at length how their older daughter feels, but I don't remember. I'm sure if you wanted to learn more about the other siblings you could Google.

These people are ludicrous in their thinking. They're so concerned with society imposing their values and opinions, that they've neglected to notice they're clearly and blatantly imposing their quirks on the poor kid.  Obviously parents have a moral obligation to impart upon their children what they view as right from wrong, but this is off the charts nuts.

This poor kid does not stand a chance at normalcy with two nutcases at the helm. Nobody would've ever cared about this family or this baby until they decided to exploit the child.

Mind you, their issue is not about sexuality, only gender. So, what do you think-are they genius in their "experiment" or are they irresponsible for burdening their child in this way?

Friday, July 15, 2011

I'm Rich!

No, not really. In fact, not even close if we're talking abot material possessions. However, I decided to get all of my financial affairs in order prior to my c-section on the 26th. Since moving I have not really set up my filing cabinet or organized what we brought with us.

Two bags of trash and countless papers to shred later, I am the proud owner of several gift certificates. Some were left over from our wedding! I don't know how this happened since I love to shop as much as the next woman but I won't look a gift horse in the mouth (such an odd saying!)

We still have a lot of stuff we need to buy so this will really help! God always provides, that's all I can say!

**********************************************************************************

Sorry for the lack of posting as of late. I know I don't have a huge following, and it's highly likely anything I write is interesting only to me or close friends. But that said, I feel like I'd rather write nothing than write something even more mundane just to fill space. I have a lot of things brewing in my head but I absolutely need to stop procrastinating on that other side of my life, AKA Motherhood, and prepare for this pending major life change. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

You Might Not Know This, But...

I am a HUGE civil war fan. Well, really I love all history but a few events are my favorite: The Civil War, World War II, and all things (ancient) Egyptian. Today I needed to buy some stamps but they were out of the cool new ones I'd had my eye on. As luck would have it I was being served by Mr. Surly and he is not usually patient while I choose my stamps. So, we're going through the file folder and I am not seeing anything I like (what? stamps are serious business!) because they were all famous-yet-irrelevant-to-me people.

But then! Then! He offers me 150th anniversary civil war stamps. Be still my beating heart! I very excitedly tell him those are the ones I want and he replies, "I have never seen a woman get excited over civil war stamps. They almost always wants something floral or girly. You have shocked and amazed me."

For the first time since living here Mr. Surly perked up and showed some personality. I love meeting fellow history nerds!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Burned Out But With Good News

I'm burned out on religion stuff. I am supposed to be doing a course where I read the entire bible in 90 days (a tedious undertaking if you want to actually digest what you're reading), a women's bible study on the book of Ruth, and Crazy Love by Francis Chan for our "small group."

I think it is difficult to savor what it is you're trying to learn when you have so many other critical or important things you're trying to do. But! At small group tonight we were discussing a chapter of Crazy Love when I have my own revelation.

God is consistent. Sin is sin. What God views as a sin on Tuesday he will also view as a sin on Wednesday. This makes life very easy. You always know where you stand. Some people might resist this notion because it makes it hard to justify things but if you let the principle guide you, you'll probably do pretty good. It is when you approach with the attitude of, "Well, we're all sinners so I am bound to fail. I will just ask forgiveness later" then you're probably setting yourself up for failure in God's eyes and your own. Nobody has to fail. That is a comforting feeling to end my week with.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Marital Musings

Mr. Case and I are discussing P90X...

Me: I don't want to do it because I don't want to get buff. I don't mind being firm but I like curves.

Mr. Case: You can do side bends or sit-ups, but please don't lost that butt!

Me: Did you just quote Sir Mix-A-Lot?

Mr. Case: Maybeeeeeee!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

Is anyone else watching this show? I find it intriguing, not to mention I love anything wedding-related.

I have noticed that as a whole, the group is devoutly religious. No pre-marital sex, no socializing with the opposite sex unless supervised, etc. So what I want to know is:

How can they be so "religious" but have no regard whatsoever for modesty? I mean, from the outfits on the guests to the bridal gowns, there is a TON of T&A! My wedding gown was strapless but I'm flat-chested and there was no cleavage to speak of. If I were busty, I would've worn a different style. I'm not anti-sexy but these are very young girls putting their goods on display. There is no way in hell I would've ever made it out the door in one of those outfits (call it the fear of the wrath of my Dad, LOL.)

So, do you think it is possible to respect your body while still leaving very, very little to the imagination?

Just Keepin' It Real

Yesterday I wrote a glowing post about Mr. Case on our family blog. I still mean everything I wrote, but something went horribly wrong last night.

First we got to the gym and the pool was closed so I had to sit around bored till Mr. Case was done with his workout (not his fault, as he offered to leave knowing I was in my swimsuit, and he DID buy me a smoothie to occupy my time.) Then he wanted In n Out for dinner and I wasn't in the mood. They proceeded to screw up my order four freaking times! Needless to say, I was in a foul mood by the time we got home to actually eat at 9 p.m. I can't typically eat that late because of the medicine I take for heartburn so it felt like one thing after another building up, even though individually those are all really pathetic things to be angry about. Talk about First World problems!

Anyway, I tried to take a shower and pray and calm down but it didn't work. My mind started spinning with every marital insecurity I've ever felt. It was like the devil was sitting on my shoulder. Good grief. I ended up doing The Ugly Cry.

I think the most frustrating part of pregnancy is trying to ascertain what is a hormonal issue versus a legitimate issue. Notably, Mr. Case tried to be loving and comforting to me during the gym/dinner fiasco but things were tense during the breakdown following my shower.

It was just a bad night. Just keepin' it real!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Fair

I really miss the Orange County Fair. I know compared to the Midwest, it's pretty small and rinky-dink but I grew up attending and darn it I will miss it this year! Supposedly Texas has one of the most epic fairs in the entire country but I am skeptical I will be able to attend in my "condition." This is what I am indulging in to pretend:

Image via taquitos.net

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Coincidence?

Poor Miss Paris has a ton of hair. The humane thing in this heat is to get her a military-style haircut, which is to say, do our best to make her look masculine. She gets everything shaved! Her groomers in the past would always try to affix a bow despite the lack of hair but this groomer puts a bandanna on. Here she is after her last trip to get beautified:



Do you notice she's wearing a Breast Cancer Awareness bandanna? Do you think the groomer noticed she is "different"? She's seen vets who haven't even realized she's missing all her nipples until I point it out. After her double mastectomy last year, she is wearing this bandanna with pride!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fairweather Fan

Yesterday Mr. Case mentioned meeting up with some of his (male friends) from church to watch the Mavericks slaughter the Heat. This was an excellent idea to me, as I had no interest in watching the game.

Well, our money tree has yet to bloom so from there I suggested he invite his friends over to our home to watch. From there I learned several of the wives (AKA my dear sweet friends) also wanted to watch the game.  None of my friends have even been interested in sports so this was new for me; I'm much more accustomed to sitting at the table to chat while the game goes on.

You know where this is going, right?

An impromptu party! Our group is famous for the amount of Little Caesar's pizza we buy and last night was no exception. I also baked a butter pecan cake and some brownies. Another friend brought watermelon while still another brought a fruit pizza.

The Mavericks won so I will consider the night a success. Being pregnant got me out of almost all the cleaning and preparations! Next time I fully expect more than 4 hours notice from Mr. Case before hosting an event for 8 people, ha! All in all a great time was had by all.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

On Honesty

About six months ago, I decided to start being honest in my marriage.

OK, I admit that is an absurd statement. To clarify, I was never dishonest in my marriage. However, there are varying degrees of honesty in any relationship.

I made a conscious decision to be up-front about my feelings. No beating around the bush. No withholding how I felt to spare my husband. No leaving passive/aggressive hints like crumbs for a mouse. I decided I was just going to cut to the chase and speak my peace.

Even if it felt like pulling a tooth with no anesthetic.

And sometimes it does. OK, to be fair, many times it does!

For the sake of disclosure, I will say that Mr. Case and I have always been resolutely devoted to working on communication. Or at a minimum, he goes along with whatever I want to try. We had pre-marital counseling, and literally since we were first married we have been active in marriage groups within our church, attended retreats,  read books and guides, etc. I married a good sport. Well, in fairness, I guess calling Mr. Case a "good sport" is demeaning because obviously he is committed, too, or else he wouldn't partake in all this. I guess what I'm trying to say is, we work really hard.

Moving has been difficult. Being each other's sole source of entertainment for quite a while, and having no other outlets, challenged our communication.  I decided we could stand to improve. Part of my epiphany was acknowledging that it is easy to reflect on my spouse's flaws, but that true change would need to start with my own flaws.

The changes within myself have left me feeling liberated. I just take a deep breath and say how I feel. Seems so simple, right? Maybe even a little stoopid. I can't say where my mindset originated (the media? family or origin?) but I have conditioned myself to holding back. Mostly it was out of fear.

And let me assure you, Mr. Case is benefiting from this, too. He doesn't have to play psychic. He is relieved to hear what is upsetting me, and he is even more relieved when I tell him what he needs to do to fix it, rather than him having to speculate and hope something works. It is easy for me to think that after a certain number of years he should "know" what to do but in reality, that's unfair. It's easier for both of us to fix big issues and little ones if we know what the person needs. A lot of emotional exhaustion has been removed from situations, making it much, much easier to move forward.

This new found honesty hasn't prevented any disagreements, as surely anyone in a long-term relationship can understand that things will never be "perfect." But it sure as hell helps to remove an extra level of drama that is entirely unnecessary.

The level of intimacy we can achieve by allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is amazing. At one point I found myself saying, 'If we can't be honest with each other, than who can we be honest with? At this point in our lives, we deserve that honesty. A spouse should be a safety zone." Mr. Case concurred.

So yeah, it hurts. But the end result is always better than if we'd continued playing charades. I'm very proud of us.

And to think, it only took slightly more than half a decade to get here....

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Party Foul!

I was woken first thing this morning by a call from the fraud department of my bank. Well, more accurately, their third party firm who handles fraud. I guess someone stole my debit card number (I have the actual card in my possession.) The thief has been on a fine dining adventure across NYC. 
On the one hand, I am so very, very thankful for the bank's diligence in bringing this to my attention and cancelling my card before it could get worse.
On the other hand, I am now in a state of panic. Mr. Case just barely started back to work this week so we haven't seen a check in 5 weeks. We had literally just enough money to pay my COBRA and for my prescription blood thinners. Now, not so much. Thankfully I have enough injections to get me through to Monday when I can call the bank. My prescription is at Sam's Club and I always pay cash because I don't have a MasterCard, which is the only credit card they accept. I'm really praying that recuperating our funds is a quick process.  
I'm quite perplexed as to how they got the card number. I never, EVER use my debit card to make purchases online and I ALWAYS use it as a credit card, not debit card, when I get gas. Those are supposedly the two ways they can steal a number easiest. Otherwise, I've been broke and haven't been anywhere to make purchases, LOL. I guess it is a moot point, anyway, since they have the number and were using it. Let me just reiterate how thankful I am my bank was proactive. My parents want me to switch banks now but I refuse-one time my husband's card was stolen and they were excellent in resolving our issues so I am entirely loyal to them!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tomorrow

Tomorrow is going to be a big day up in the Case household. In the morning I have a pregnancy-related doctor's appointment (growth ultrasound) and Mr. Case is taking a drug test. 

The drug test is for a job he reallllllly wants. This potential job would mean rotating Saturdays off, better health benefits, and a quitting time of 5 p.m. 

The downside is that the dealership is sort've far, but we're at the stage where until he can leave his industry completely, we need to "give a little to get a little." Aside from the commute, the job is amazing. I really hope he gets the job. He passed the background check and he will (obviously) pass the drug test tomorrow. I am not sure what other requirements they have but with any sort of miracle he will be working sometime this week. Praise God! He has two other offers but one offers no health benefits whatsoever, and they are both 6 days a week; I don't think I need to explain why this neither of those is ideal. 

Please send up some prayers for Mr. Case. Heck, even crossed fingers are appreciated!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Simply Put

My anxiety and fears are getting the best of me today...they don't deserve my worst, let alone my best!  Health issues, money issues, blah, blah, blah.

Not where my heart should be.

Do you ever feel this way? Like you're spiraling out of control and you need to re-focus?

I need to disconnect from the world and get my act together.

Tomorrow is a new day-catch ya on the flip side!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Love!

If you're in the mood to be moved, this YouTube video speaks for itself and is worthy of your time. I love a good marriage proposal!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Update: TSA

I always try to be fair so I thought I would share an update on my incident with the TSA agent from Hell.  as you may recall, I went to the TSA website and filled out a complaint. I didn't think I'd ever hear anything about it but first thing Monday morning I got a call.

Much to my surprise, the head of the entire airport called me! (Any by "head" I mean the director of the TSA, not the actual airport; they're separate entities.) I reiterated the information in my complaint and he took down all of the information.

Now, this airport is huge. Larger than LAX and Miami! The director told me he has well over 1,000 agents but that he was going to endeavor to track her down with the info I provided. I was very impressed.

I will likely never know if he was ever able to find her, but I felt good that he took my complaint seriously and that he took the time to call me first thing in the morning.

He also informed me that at any time you are allowed to stop your screening. It is not the same as being searched by the police, where you basically have to endure the search till the cops decide it is over (I have never been searched by the police but this is my understanding.)

In the moment I never thought to ask for her to stop her tirade. Honestly, I assumed she'd punish me further by not allowing me on the plane. But, according to the director, you can ask for a supervisor to intervene at any time and the current search must end. You don't even need to list a reason or excuse for why you're uncomfortable. You only need to say, "Please stop my search and summon a supervisor."

This is good information to have going forward. Just like any other interaction, you might still come across someone who is a miserable person in general, but at least now we know we don't have to tolerate verbal abuse from anyone, especially out of fear.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Shame On You, TSA

This evening on the news they did a story on the TSA and how unprofessional some of the agents are. In my state specifically, they are looking to pass a law that punishes TSA agents for roughing people up unnecessarily and violating them physically beyond the requirements of their jobs.

Now, let me just say that I don't have a problem with TSA. The majority of times I have travelled, I have found them to be efficient and quick. Can't ask for much more than that. At Honolulu International Mr. Case and I were dismayed and concerned over two agents who were supposed to be monitoring the contents of the luggage ignoring the conveyor belt in favor of discussing how drunk they got over the weekend, but otherwise I have had nothing bad to say... Until this past week. Incidentally, the story on the news featured a former beauty queen travelling out of "my" airport who posted a YouTube video after a TSA agent allegedly touched her vagina during a pat down.

For medical reasons, my doctor instructed me to ask for a pat down instead of going through the full-body scanner. Prior to travelling I went on the TSA website to check on the most efficient way of getting this done, what the rules were, etc. In other words, I did my homework like I should be expected to. Through my research, I learned anyone can request a pat down, no reason needs to be given, and you simply need to inform the agents.

Here is how it all went down:

I arrive to the first agent and hand her my boarding pass. I ask for the pat down. She tells me, "OK, tell the agent in front of the scanner." I load all of my stuff onto the conveyor belt and proceed to the agent in front of the scanner. I state, 'On the advice of my doctor I would like to request a pat down instead of going through the scanner.'

No lie, the agent's face completely contorted with disgust and she proceeded to hold up the entire security line to give me a lecture on how I am ignorant and need to do the scanner.

When she was done with her tirade I calmly replied, 'I am not here to dispute any of your scientific facts. Now that I have listened to you may I exercise my right to the pat down?'

This infuriated her more. I am not sure why she took it so personal but she was not going to let me go without drama. She says to me, "Well if you're going to insist you're going to have to wait a long time." She then looks to the other agent and says, "Tell her she's going to have to wait a long time."

In an attempt to look unfazed I replied, 'Well, I did my homework and knew to come early enough to wait.' I then looked at the male agent (who by this time was squirming watching her mistreat me and hold up the 50 other people in line) and said, 'And if it is easier I will accept my pat down from a male agent if it makes your job easier.' In an attempt to bust my chops more she was stalling as long she could in using her walkie to summon a female agent to do my pat down.

I don't know what the heck the problem was. I know everyone has bad days but this agent was awful and treated me like I had insulted her personally by declining the scan for a medical reason. It isn't like I declined the scan due to some conspiracy theory, or to be a pain in the ass. There was no need for her to make a fuss, especially considering she was not even the one to perform the pat down!

I feel it is only fair to note that the agent who did my actual pat down was polite, courteous, efficient and quick. I have no complaints about her. Furthermore, she did in fact touch my genitalia, too, but she informed me of the need to do so before even beginning the pat down. There were no surprises, and there was absolutely nothing perverted, sexual or inappropriate by any means. The entire thing was over in seconds.

I know it won't do one bit of good, but I did fill out a complaint with the TSA so they can know what a bad name this woman is giving them (and her fellow agents!)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hitting the Trail

Due to the industry he works in, Mr. Case often has to head out on foot in search of employment. There are very few jobs posted in online resources such as Monster or Craig's List. It's just the nature of the beast.

Mr. Case spent several hours yesterday scouring the internet and applying to jobs both in and out of his field, but today he is hitting the trail.

This makes me sad for him. Mr. Case is shy, but will do anything for our little (growing) family. He humbles himself to walk up to complete strangers and ask if he can at least drop off his resume'. I could never do that. The constant rejection would be emotionally crippling. To wit, Mr. Case was very anxious and stressed before he headed out, but out he still went.

I love him for that. He prides himself on being a good provider and for that I am thankful. Putting yourself out there to countless strangers takes a lot of courage.

I'm indescribably proud of him. Please send him some good vibes!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sick, Sick, Sick

I admit that this is a sore subject for me given the fact that several people I love (and have loved in the past) are addicts, but I am truly bothered tonight. As it is well know, Lindsay Lohan is an addict (as are Charlie Sheen and many other celebrities.) 


One of the gossip rags posted a story which detailed a probation report written about Lindsay. Now, I am not a fan of hers, have never seen one of her movies, etc. Frankly, I wish someone in her life would step up to the plate and sequester her, but that is neither here nor there. 


It is completely shameful and disgusting that anyone would publish a report that detailed, specifically, which medications Lindsay is one. Everything from what she uses to fall asleep, to her preferred birth control, to some antibiotics, were listed. 


Now I accept culpability for reading these sites and therefore encouraging them to print such garbage, but I honestly prefer the happy news of babies, engagements, etc. 


Listing someone's personal medical information is not acceptable. People laugh and say that because they're celebrities, they open themselves to the attention. To an extent that is true. But what does it say about us as a society that we discuss the personal troubles of people like Charlie Sheen ad nauseum? 


Sheen is another one with very, very, severe problems. He is an addict in the throws of a personal crisis. There is nothing funny about his antics. He has five children, none of whom will be "OK" should he meet an untimely demise, and none of whom will survive his addictions unscathed. 


Where is the line drawn on acceptable news and gossip items? Recovery is hard, and that is putting it mildly. Though I prefer him sober, from not only loving addicts, but working with them for five years, I can promise that I understood 100% when he said, "I was sober for five years a long time ago and was bored out of my tree." 


To maintain dignity as a culture we need to step back and allow these people to either heal, or self-destruct, in private. Yes, they do bring on much of it themselves, but that is not a license to feed their demons. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Blah

Today is not a good day.

I got in a fight with my brother which somehow morphed into an ugly fight with my husband.

Being away from alllllllll your friends is really, really hard. Seeing our friends this weekend was a painful reminder of that fact.

Depression is rampant 'round these parts but I am trying to keep in perspective what I can control and what I simply can't.

Tomorrow is a new day. All I need to remember is that I have my health, and that someone, somewhere, always has it worse. No time for a ride on the pity pot today!

I can't lie-things are rough right now, though. Any spare warm fuzzies, prayers or the like are greatly appreciated!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Statue

I have seen this quote twice in one day and therefore think its relevance is a sign:

Not every day is sunny; some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue.


The day before we left for our trip to California, Mr. Case lost his job.

On the one hand, I feel very relieved. His job was awful. He was working a minimum of 10-12 hours a day, if not more, and making very little money.

Very little money. 

But, he stayed at the job for some valid reasons:

1. He is nothing if not dedicated to providing for his family. Frankly, I am pregnant and we needed the health insurance.

2. He thought if he demonstrated how industrious he was, then when things improved our financial situation would improve. Unfortunately, his industry dictates that when the economy is bad, so is our bank account situation.

So, needless to say, there has been a lot of mixed emotions. It was truly not a good environment in which to be spending the majority of your day. Without going into too many details, there are reasons we feel a peace about the situation.

And, most importantly, we are confident God will provide for our family as He always, always has. we are trying not to operate in fear, but of course we have our weak moments.

If you have any to spare, please send some prayers our way.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Random Weekend

This past weekend was about as random as they come. Saturday I ate some bad Jack in the Box and spent most of the day in bed. Later that night I met up with my friend Natalie who was visiting from Canada for a conference. We were joined by her friend Lauren. Natalie's mom, Lauren's husband and Mr. Case were all there, too. We ate at Mi Cocina (the only decent Mexican food in all of Texas, trust!) Here I am with Natalie and Lauren:



On Sunday I worked check-in at the nursery in church. Yikes! I'm skeptical I would cut it as an actual teacher. After church Mr. Case and I headed to the Dallas Convention Center for what we thought was a car show. We were so very, very wrong! It turned out to be a hip hop concert with some cars. And not just any cars, but pretty much the most ghetto vehicles you could imagine. It might as well have been called the "donk show." Ha! (If you don't know what a donk is, click here and see definition #2.) The fashion sported by most of the concert goers was unlike anything I have ever seen! I was not the only pregnant woman there but I was the only one not wearing visible thong underwear or full-body stockings as maternity wear. Some people have no shame!

Possible Mom-Mobile?

Gotta love snakeskin!

The foam oozing out of the seats was icing on the cake

Headlining artists, of course I have no clue who they are!

Nipples on your hood = classeeee (poor Mr. Case didn't want his photo taken!)


Friday, April 29, 2011

Why I Wouldn't Trade Places with Kate Middleton

I know a big deal is being made of "the royal wedding." Frankly, I'm just not into it.

Moreover, I sort've feel bad for Kate Middleton. On the outside it appears as though she is having a glamorous fete but I suspect the reality is that very few of the decisions on her special day, were actually made by her. According to the incessant media blitz, Kate was at one time quite the party girl. A stuffy wedding where you have no real control over everything from the guest list to the food. Not to mention, answering to the Queen!

Yikes. I'll stick to my commoner wedding where I chose most everything (except for the hors d'oeuvres, but that's another story....)

So, did you love the wedding? Are you glad it's finally over? Was it your style?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mediocre

I was really excited to try the Pepperidge Farm Milano Melts. When I opened the bag, they smelled absolutely divine! They're pretty bland, though. Don't waste your $4.

www.thefunky-monkey.com


Pepperidge Farm didn't pay me for this review but if they want to send me some cookies in the other flavor, I'd gladly give them another try!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Just Wrote to Say "Thank You"

In high school I had a teacher that made a very strong impact on me. I have thought of her often over the years. I won't bore you with how or why she impacted me, but after much thought, I decided I should thank her.  With gross overcrowding in public schools, teachers often feel like babysitters, and it can be hard to get through to kids when your classroom is a circus not of your doing.

I know if I were a teacher, I would want to know if I made a difference. This woman impacted the woman I am today. I found her through the magic of social media and I wrote her a letter. It wasn't as eloquent as the one I planned in my head at 3 a.m. but I hit "send" anyway. I nervously and anxiously waited to see if she would respond.

She did! And she said very nice things. And despite our roles from close to 15 years ago, she wrote to me woman-to-woman. She was very pleased to hear from me and said she'd treasure my letter. I am really glad I sent it.

Sometimes I think our first instinct is to complain about stuff, but really, taking the time to compliment or speak of good things is what we should be doing. I felt good sending it and I felt even better knowing it made someone else feel good.

Monday, April 25, 2011

More Prayers, Please

My husband's grandfather was hospitalized this morning. Honestly, I don't have a specific cause to plead for but Mr. Case and I adore his grandfather. He is the cutest, sweetest little man. He is affectionately known as "Dido" by the family and he is a very inspiring person. He survived a Nazi concentration camp and came to America where he successfully built a life for himself and his family. We would just be devastated if something happened to him. Our plan was to visit during our trip to California next month.

Also, I have a very close friend IRL who is enduring something very, very gut-wrenching. Her story is not mine to tell so I can't in good conscience betray her confidences. But if you could, I would appreciate some generic prayers/good vibes on their behalf's.

Character

My husband is a man of character. This week alone:

1. He stopped to help a woman stranded on the side of the road. He was going to change her tire for her so she didn't have to use her AAA but she had two flats and only one spare.

2. On Saturday night, during an electrical storm, he pulled over to help a man pushing his stalled car. It was pouring rain, there were no streetlights (welcome to Texas, y'all!), and I silently worried the man could've been a serial killer, but that didn't deter Mr. Case. He pushed the man's SUV to safety.

I'm so blessed to have him as my inspiration to serve others.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

3+

Happy Easter from the three, soon to be four, of us! He is risen!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Frazzled

I don't know how I managed to not mention this, but, my FIL was in the hospital again starting last Sunday. More heart problems. It's not my story to tell so I won't elaborate (or bore you!) but any spare prayers or well wishes would be much appreciated. My husband could use the good vibes, too. It's complicated but needless to say he is very upset over his (young-ish) father having heart problems. He had another heart surgery just in January, so, needless to say this isn't a good situation.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

MIA

Guess it has been a long time since I posted! I'm really losing track of my days lately. Nothing of interest is happening. We booked a quick weekend trip to California, which I'm really looking forward to.

My FIL is in the hospital and it is causing Mr. Case great stress, as is to be expected. Plus, his work has been really slow and that is worrisome. My poor husband!

Paris seems to be feeling considerably better. We had an incident with our other dog yesterday, too, and I felt like such a schmuck taking him to the vet because the second we got there he acted like he was totally fine. I love when my pets make a liar out of me! Well, better that than the alternative.

I need to do A LOT of cleaning and organizing but I can't seem to get motivated. If you walked into our room, it would show! Poor Mr. Case is so beyond stressed and he has to come home to a pig-sty. I really need to get my act together. I keep telling myself, 'Tomorrow, tomorrow.' Hopefully I can get everything done by the weekend so we can enjoy our holiday.

Speaking of Easter, I need to bring something for church service. Usually one person brings a light snack each week such as donuts or muffins but there might be upwards of 150 people for Easter and while I don't have to provide for all of them, I do want to make a nice contribution on a meager budget. Suggestions?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Well, MAYBE Buy

I know I said to never buy a Babyliss Pro blow dryer but I may have changed my mind. Several stylists on a message board I frequented really encouraged me to try another one. They also suggest I look at TJ Maxx because apparently they get high-end blow dryers in.

Lo and behold, I was able to get a late model machine for $25! It is lighter than my other blow dryer and despite the buttons being a little wonky, it seems to work great. In summary, I would buy another Babyliss Pro but only from a discount merchandiser like Marshall's and never for full price. Ever.

(Ever.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rough Weekend

I have been trying very hard to adapt the mindset that complaining is entirely unacceptable. The theory comes from the book I'm reading, which essentially tells you that complaining is detrimental to your psyche and it does more harm than good. I am not perfect (obviously.)

Sorry for the delay in not posting much. My weekend was awful. On Saturday I came home from running some errands with my mom to find my beloved Paris having a Grand Mal seizure. We rushed her to the vet and the vet was a very cruel, unkind woman. I am honestly surprised she works with animals for a living.

Paris was so bad off that we planned to have her euthanized on Sunday morning. We were under the impression she was paralyzed, and she would not eat or drink. Long story short, in typical diva fashion, she was waiting for something more delicious, I suppose, because she proved to us she could walk when offered an omelet.

I know some people think it is silly to get so worked up over a pet, but honestly, she has been more loyal and loving to me than many of my human friends. I had her before I had Mr. Case! She has helped my entire family (as individuals) through hard times. Both my brothers left work and came home to say their goodbyes, and my parents spent hours holding and petting her, too. Not one person didn't shed a tear.

Thankfully Paris has been rebounding. Another doctor from the vet hospital called to check on Paris and I relayed to her the treatment we had received during emergency hours. She insisted I speak to the owner of the hospital and when I did he was the kindest man. He had me come back in and he wrote a prescription for anti-seizure medicine, which is what I had been hoping for,but has been denied by the mean vet. He also went to great lengths to assure me he had reprimanded the other vet. In all, he really went out of his way to rectify the situation and ensure my animal received proper care.

**********************************************************************************
I have received a couple of emails and just wanted to mention that yes, I will be announcing the baby's gender but it won't be here. Still trying to keep this a relatively baby-free blog. The announcement will be on my family/pregnancy blog either tonight or tomorrow.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

So Very, Very Broken

Our new insurance kicked in this week.

Let me start by saying that as someone who has spent the past 5 months pregnant and uninsured, I am very grateful to have insurance now.

But the system is broken. I've posted a few times about the odd laws in my state as well as what many of the insurance companies are doing to protect themselves from the impending reform. But seriously, we have a major problem in this country.

More than a political issue, this is a common sense issue for me. This morning at bible study I was talking with a friend who said, "I used to go to the doctor whenever I felt I needed it. Because of my new insurance, I have to think twice about whether to get a recommended test, etc." How sad that medical decisions are made based upon finances and not health.

I had to make one of those decisions myself. I am currently taking blood thinners. I am currently on an inferior drug because I can't afford "the good stuff." I patiently waited for my insurance to become active so I could finally get the medicine my doctor and myself, prefer I take.

Well, the deductible on my PPO is so astronomically high, that I still can't afford the superior medication. As a consequence, I will have to stay on this inferior medicine for as long as I can. In doing so there is a fair amount of risk to me, as it has the potential to severely damage your platelets. The first quote I got for my magic elixir was $2,000/month. With my new insurance, it is $800/month.

Not gonna happen.

I still have to pay my doctor a delivery fee prior to my delivery (screw you, global billing!), on top of the hospital fees. My savings is quickly dwindling, and frankly, I am one of the few people I know who even has a savings account. And let me promise you, mine is very modest.

I feel the current health care reform is too flawed to work. But it was a much-needed start to an issue that effects millions of people. I have been on both sides of the fence: insured and uninsured. I can say with complete honesty that I have wondered which was the lesser of the evils. That is not a good thought to have racing through your mind.

I would be lying if I said I had the solution(s). But what I do know is that we must all take a vested interest in this issue. If you have the time, please write to your local congressman with your suggestions. I'm sure most congressman don't take the time to read every letter they get but I believe a worthy letter might garner the attention of an intern, and in turn the actual talking head. Write a blog, send a letter to the Editor of your favorite newspaper. Whatever it takes, please, do something.  In my heart of hearts I don't believe you can afford not to!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Do NOT Buy!

Due to the funky nature of my 1/2 Puerto Rican hair, I am required to buy high end styling tools and products if I intend to look half-way decent. I have tried tools from places like Target but they simply won't work.

I have been a loyal Salono blow dryer fan fro many years but about 5 years ago I bought a Babyliss Pro on the recommendation of my stylist. My blow dryers typically last me many years because I don't blow dry frequently. Therefore, it is easy for me to justify the enormous cost for these tools. This particular blow dryer set me back close to $300:

www.frugalcouponliving.com


About a year ago, one of the plastic blades on the fan gave out. Mr. Case was able to break off what was left hanging and get me to the point where I was still able to use it. Given our circumstances, I was looking to delay buying a new betrayer at any cost.

Well, this morning, the thing made a noise that resembled death and spit out a massive spark, shocking me along the way. I was literally so frightened I threw the blow dryer onto the floor, even though it was still on. It is safe to say I am livid. I will never buy another Babyliss. I take very, very good care of my tools. They are always kept clean and in their original packaging. There is no excuse for such a costly product to give out 4 years in.

Now, I have to search for a new blow dryer. I do not have $300, let's just say that. Any suggestions?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tacky, Tacky, Tacky!

Mr. Case and I were perusing the dollar bins at Target when we stumbled upon some pink, plastic flamingos. You know the kind, right? They're most frequently found on the lawns of the elderly in Florida. We hatched a plan to plant one in my parent's yard, and wait to see how long it would take for them to notice. Here it is:



We took bets on Facebook on how long it would take them, promising the winner baby naming rights. All of the guesses were very weak and gave my parents entirely too much credit. It's a good thing, too, because the options weren't names we were too fond of, to say the least! Myrito Axle Rose, anyone?

Anyway, much to our shock, it took longer than even we anticipated. My mom didn't notice till day 4 and my dad didn't notice at all. My baby brother had noticed on day 2 but I had sworn him to secrecy. To our further surprise, mom loved it and decided she wanted to get a flock's worth to put out as a signal when she is hosting a party. Go figure.


Monday, April 4, 2011

They Have It Out for Me

The California Department of Motor Vehicles, that is.

When we were beginning to plan our transition to Texas, I learned that out insurance broker couldn't write policies in Texas. Bummer. So I set up a new policy with a broker in Texas. For well ove a month we had overlapping policies. Way more insurance than we needed!

We let the California policy lapse on its own. In California, your insurance company informs the DMV that you are covered with them, since it is a requirement in order to have a vehicle registered, that you provide proof of insurance. When they no longer cover you they also inform the DMV. Obviously there was no expectation on my part that our Texas company would let them know they had taken over coverage. I knew California would contact me to demand proof of insurance. Fine.

So the letters come demanding I provide proof of insurance before today, April 4th, or my registration would be suspended and I would be fined.

I mailed in my proof of insurance, via certified mail, and it was confirmed delivered well before today. Last week they sent a letter claiming the registration had been suspended and the fine imposed. How can they do this before their deadline? Furthermore, it is isn't even possible that the letters crossed in the mail because I still had until today. And lastly, where is the proof I sent them? So far I have only received a supsension confirmation on one of the vehicles so we are only driving the other one. I really don't need the stress. I am waiting on a call back from them now so hopefully someone can help me!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Avoid, Avoid, Avoid

If ever you're at the Galleria in Dallas, for the love of all that is holy, do not eat at Salad Bowl. I got a mild case of food poisoning and am simply glad I lived to tell about it. No bueno. You've been warned.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Allen Avengers

Tonight we went to a hockey game with our friends from church. It was a play-off game featuring the Allen Americans and The Killer Bees, both minor-league teams.

Despite being the play-offs, tickets were only $9 each. Ha! I must say, the facility was super nice, with comfortable seats and good concessions. Parking was even free, which is pretty much unheard of at a sporting event.

I laughed a good portion of the night watching the sponsors scroll across the big screen. They included such big names as Uncle Bob's Storage and Littlefield Cleaners. Welcome to Middle America, folks! And, despite there being very few people in attendance, those who were sure had a lot of team spirit!

As we were preparing to lave Mr. Case asked me what he should wear. we are not true fans of either team, having never heard of them before, but I asked Mr. Case to guess the team colors for the Allen team. Naturally he guess right: red, white and blue! I love me some patriotism! I definitely think we will go to more of these local events in the future.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Insurance

We are beginning the process of shopping for life insurance. It is a very daunting process. Prior to planning a family, I did not feel life insurance was an apropriate product for us since we were able to maintain our lifestyles on one income.

Things are changing. There are fr too many stories of families being devestated financially on top of emotionally when a breadwinner dies and there are no plans in place to ensure financial stability. Not to mention, if God forbid my husband or I were to die, I am confident we would need time off from work to grieve without the pressure of paying the bills.

When I was with my ex, his sister was killed unexpectedly, leaving behind a husband, a son and a brand new mortgage payment. Literally the night she passed, we had to go to an ATM to get some money for the husband because they had been having a tight month having just moved in to a brand new house. Neither Mr. Case or myself want this to happen.

The good news, I trust my financial planner completely. When I worked in the stock market, I worked directly under him for half a decade. His moral compass is admirable and I know he eats, sleeps and breathes his business, always taking care of his client. Navigating the options is stressful at best but I know I can rely on his council.

As a blogger, I am aware of quite a few blogs where young people have unexpectedly lost their spouse. it is a painful reality check. I encourage everyone to take the time to investigate insurance for their spouse and themself. The fact is, it is much easier to get a large policy, and keep it going during your lifetime, whie you are young and healthy. Trying to get a policy after an illness or when you're older, if very difficult. I worked with these products for 10 years so I know of what I speak. People close to me have paid on policies for many years, only to allow them to lapse during tight financial times and learn they are unable to get a new or comparable policy despite their years of paying on their old policy.

Can we afford life insurance right now? Probably not. But the bottom line is, we can't not afford it, either.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Etiquette

I would really, really, really like your opinions on an issue. I was raised that when you are invited to someone's home, you bring a hostess gift, and at the very least ask to contribute to the meal in some way. Further, when you bring something to someone's home, it is considered a gift. For example, if I am going to a potluck and my dish is not fully consumed, I am only entitled to return home with my Tupperware, not the food that was in it.

I have had people come to my home take back something they brought. I have also had people come to my home with a contribution to the meal/event and get put out if I did not serve their contribution right away (imagine they bring a bottle of wine but there are already three other bottles open, of course I would wait to open a fourth!) Worse is if you don't use their contribution right away and they nag you about it on subsequent visits, but that is an entirely different Emily Post post.

I was in charge of snacks for bible study last week and I overbought considerably. I helped tidy up and left the remaining food behind for the hostess. She didn't offer or insist I bring it with me and I was 100% fine with that. I would not expect otherwise. Coincidentally, it was my turn to bring breakfast at church that week. Someone suggested I should bring the leftovers from the bible study (also another Emily Post post, lol.) I replied that I had left all the leftovers behind, and I received several quizzical stares.

So my question is, what do you do when you contribute and there are leftovers? Would you ever rescind a hostess gift? Is this a regional issue, an etiquette issue or something entirely different?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

No.

Someone else shared a link to this story in my reader. Um, all I can say is a resounding 'Heck no.' I don't do spiders, even a little bit.

Weigh in:

Spider Trees

or

Malaria

Monday, March 28, 2011

Grown

I have issues with modesty. Long-standing issues. I didn't even like to change my clothes during gym class!

Anyway, my entire adult life, I have dreaded vaginal exams. Before I get one, I am nervous, sweaty and otherwise uncomfortable. The anxiety that comes from having someone poke and prod your lady bits is incomparable.

Everybody says that once you give birth, modesty becomes a thing of the past. While I don't think this will be entirely true for someone like myself, I will say that for the first time in many years, I just sat down and waited. No hyperventilating, etc. This is a proud moment for me, ha! And, might I add, it was literally the quickest exam I have ever had!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Changed

One of my greatest personal flaws is that I am consumed with worrying about what other people will think. To that end, I obsess over not insulting others to the point where I censor myself even if it is against my moral code. Take this blog, for example. Sometimes I feel compelled to write about spiritual and religious things that are weighing on my heart or my mind. But I rarely give in to those urges because I don't want to alienate any of my (few!) followers.

Such insecurity is dumb at best. If there is a topic on my mind, it is obviously there for a reason. Maybe writing it out might bring new perspective to someone, a teaching moment if you will. Or perhaps if I shared what was on my heart, there would be an opportunity for me to learn. I still have a lot to learn.

So starting today, I am going to ditch the worrying. You see, my life is changing.

Many times in my life I have heard people say they've read a book (usually of the self-help variety) that greatly changed their life. I always found this humorous. How could someone else's experience profoundly change yours? It was ignorant of me to underestimate the power of empathy and sharing.

At church the women were starting a new bible study. I think the devil must've been on my shoulder because I was extremely hesitant to read this book with them, not even knowing the title or subject matter. Then, one by one, the women started remarking on how humbling and insightful the book was. I don't know about you, but I could really use some humbling!

I found it very cheesy that they were so greatly impacted by a book for which they'd only read one chapter. Obviously, I need to check my ego at the door.

For whatever reason, I felt compelled to join the study.

I put off reading the book till the very last minute, AKA, the next meeting for chapter two is tomorrow!

God as my witness, this book has changed me. And humbled me. And given me insight. No lie, everything the other women discussed rang true for me, too.

The book is called Calm My Anxious Heart and it was written by a woman I have never heard of named Linda Dillow. Readers of my old blog know I have literally been paralyzed in the past with depression and anxiety. One look at the title and I knew it was no accident I signed on to read.

Going through this study is like having the one person who knows you most intimately in the world, call you out on your BS. But they are doing it in a kind, loving an gentle manner. They're doing it in a way that allows for growth and humility.

This book is so full of usable content that I often find myself re-reading sentences over and over so I don't miss something. I haven't read this intently since college.

There is nothing that I can say that will do this book justice. I feel like it was divine intervention at work that the book even came into my life. If you're hurting, if you're worried, if you're scared or if you need peace in your life, please do not hesitate to look to this book for guidance and support.

notebook.booksonsales.net

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sorry!

I sent Mr. Case to Sam's Club to pick up some bulk water. Rewinding a bit, he left his debit card at Dave & Buster's on St. Patrick's Day so he is only able to use his credit card for purchases. He got all the way to the front of the line with his 4 (!) cases of water, only to be told they only accept Mastercard. Sorry, Mr. Case! I'm really over these club stores only accepting one credit card. I get why they do it, but honestly, I'd spend more if they were regulating my currency.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ugh

Middle Brother is attempting to "play" the drums. I asked, 'Since when do you know how to play the drums?' He retorted that he was going to "practice." Sans lessons, naturally. I even heard him mutter under his breath, "I wish Baby Brother was here!" It doesn't sound good, I can tell you that much. Hope it doesn't last too long!

Edit: He played for less than 5 minutes before giving up so I still have my hearing in tact!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Suggestions?

I need to bring a meal to a woman who just had a baby. I always bring either Italian or Mexican lasagna. Bo-ring! Plus, if it is hot outside I'm sure she won't want some heavy meal. Do you have any suggestions?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Whoops!

Sorry if any of you have a pregnancy-related post in your feeders. I accidentally posted something here that was destined for my family blog. My bad!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Savant

I have two brothers, Middle Brother and Baby Brother. Both of them are gifted in their own ways. Me? Not so much. I'm OK with being average because it is better than being below-average, right? Right.  Anyway, this isn't about me....

Let me tell you a bit about my brothers. Middle Brother excels at things related to computers and technology. He is also very adept at math. He works for a major electronics retailer and can basically work any department because he has memorized the features of each gadget. He is putting himself through college and I am very proud of him.

Baby Brother is a musical savant. One day, he told my mom he wanted to learn to play the guitar. She obliged and bought him one. He taught himself to play. He then decided he wanted lessons; after the first one, the instructor took my mom to the side and told her he didn't need lessons, and that at some point he could teach himself! After the guitar, Baby Brother taught himself how to play the bass. One day, on a whim, he bought himself a fancy-schmance professional keyboard from a musician moving out of town. That night, he taught himself to play the piano on his highly, highly sophisticated keyboard.

Fast forward to this morning: Middle Brother decides he is going to buy a drum set off of Craig's List. He enlists Baby Brother's help since Baby Brother has been in several bands and is adept at recognizing good equipment from bad, etc.

So, my brothers pull up and begin unloading the drums. Baby Brother takes on the task of setting up the set. Middle Brother, who constantly feels in competition with Baby Brother, decides to criticize and claim the set is not set up properly. Baby Brother is the baby of the family so naturally there is an ego issue at hand. He goes online to research the set up. Middle Brother continues to criticize. I can see where this is going.

The brothers decide to take a break from the bickering and go about their days. Middle Brother leaves explicit instructions that nobody (read: Baby Brother) is to touch the drums. Of course, the second Middle Brother leaves, Baby Brother jumps right on there.

Naturally, he has taught himself how to drum in the span of 15 minutes. This? Amazes me. Perhaps my mom's dream of having her own Partridge Family just might come true. Mr. Case owns a bass and longs to learn to play it, ha! But really, the point of this post is to sing the praises of my brother. he is a true musical savant. Not only did he teach himself a popular song, but he then began writing his own beats. In school Middle Brother and I both tried different instruments as part of the curriculum but it is clear neither of us ever stood a chance-all the skill went to Baby Brother. Obviously.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

OUT!

As in, my back. All of the aforementioned productivity has left my back in bad shape. This has happened once before since being pregnant but I literally can't even walk without looking like The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Oh boy...

Productivity

Man, I really kicked ass today in the organizing department. To be fair, Mr. Case did the majority of the manual part of the labor but I supervised and pointed my finger for where stuff should go. Getting up off the floor several times left me feeling really sore. I'd love to be able to crack my back!

I hope I can continue this streak of getting stuff done because Lord knows I am not done yet. We organized our storage stuff and considering the vast amount of stuff and space, it is a miracle we didn't harm one another! Next I tackle the closet!


***ETA: We are in the process of reforming our hoarding ways. By the time we discovered our fifth scientific calculator, we knew we needed to throw out more crap.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nuclear

I have just a few Japanese-disaster-related thoughts:

1. It's terribly sad that news of the nuclear power plant is overshadowing the human interest side of the story. An infant was rescued from the rubble and many people are missing, dead, or otherwise devastated. This should take precedence in my mind.

2. I am terrified of all things related to nuclear power. That said, one thing I learned living literally a mile from a reactor is that the media creates unnecessary frenzy at times. I'm sure the anti-nuke people are lapping this stuff up, but in reality the Japanese have the situation as under control as possible. We are all only human and the engineers there are very bright. They don't really need us second guessing their every move. Talk about pressure!

3. Lastly, nuclear power is still the safest means of harnessing energy.

Writing about this is making my heartburn worse so I will leave it to you guys to share your opinions with me.

Monday, March 14, 2011

FAIL

I should've known better than to commit to Nablopomo on a month when I would be travelling. Not to mention, I ended needing to have my hard drive replaced, which left me out of cyber commission for the better part of a week.

Anyway, I know I messed up. The good news is, the month is only half over so there is time for me to redeem myself these next two weeks!

Mr. Case met the head chef for a famous, celebrity-owned restaurant and he promised us a good time if we went to his restaurant for dinner to celebrate our anniversary. We are long overdue, as our 3-year was on the 2nd.

In other news, my dog was hospitalized while I was gone and my entire family conspired to not tell me, thinking it would've upset me too much. Maybe they were right, I don't know. I do know hearing about it after the fact made me worry, too. Poor Paris had pancreatitis, which I blame entirely on my mom feeding her from the table (that's a whole 'nother Oprah!)

I deep cleaned my bedroom before going out of town and it sure felt good to come home to a clean space. Does anyone else clean before they leave so they don't come home to a mess?

There is no cool segue out of this random post so I will just say goodnight for now!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Can't

Today I can't write a decent blog post. My family is in the midst of a gut-wrenching crisis and it is all I can do not to perform the ugly cry several times a day. Consequently, I have a migraine and a cranky attitude. Tomorrow is a new day in which to focus on the positive, yes?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Paris

I think if looks could kill, I would be dead. She appreciated the belly rub up until I had Mr. Case take her photo. Paris is like me and doesn't like to have her photo taken!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Marriage

Today is our 3-year anniversary. Nothing special is planned due to budgetary restraints but it doesn't matter, anyway. We love each more now than we did three years ago. I can say with confidence that I married a wonderful man. Marriage is not an easy endeavor but it is so worthwhile. God gave me the perfect partner, and for that I am eternally thankful.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Drama

The writing prompt for March on Nablopomo is "one word." Their prompts are pretty liberal so I will take this to mean I only need one word as inspiration or title. My track record is pretty awful for these monthly things but I'm gonna give it a shot.

I'm really sick of drama. Everyone has their fair share but on occasion I question if I'm not a personal magnet. But things are changing inside of me. I have an entirely new set of responsibilities and they're only going to increase. It is time to look out for Numero Uno.

I can't live in fear any more of the "what ifs" of life. The fact is, there is a lot beyond my control. This is some revelation to have at 29, right? Better late than never, I guess.

It has been a rough 5+ years. I contemplated recapping a brief list of the traumas of the past half-decade but am torn over whether I want a written account or not. On the one hand, my history is my history and it is part of who I am today and why I am the way I am. On the other hand, if I write it out will it be the equivalent of re-living it? Will writing it out somehow hold me back from healing? I'm not sure what the answer is. I do know I have blogged for several years now, and it is very rare that I dig through the archives for something.

God promised a joyful and full life, He never promised a happy life. Happiness is circumstantial, whereas joy is a feeling I wish to know in my heart and live every day. I need to accept that traumatic and bad thins are going to happen. Hurting will occur, not "if" but "when." I am only responsible for my own actions. If someone hurts me, I have to accept it and move on.

Currently, one of my brothers is having a hard time. When he hurts, I hurt. Our connection is strong and I vibe off of him. I need to let go. He needs to be able to make his own good decisions. And not all of his decisions will be good. Nobody's decisions are always perfect. But sometimes you need to learn certain life lessons on your own, even if it feels like it is killing those who love you.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Human Alarm Clock

If left to his own devices, my husband would not wake up in a timely manner for things such as work and church. He simply doesn't hear the alarm. I have my theories about this: mainly that he knows I am there so he gives himself permission to not worry. Men are so good at that-I need to learn the same trick!

When I go out of town, not only does he turn up the volume on the alarm to ear-piercing levels, but he also sets the alarm on his phone and makes me call, too, regardless of the time zone I am in. Now, my biological clock actually wakes me up at the same time, every day, regardless of any other circumstance (such as it being a weekend, holiday, etc.) I am a morning person, not a night person. I have woken up at the same time for at least 15 years. No joke.

Here is what gets my goat: I am an insomniac. Even though I wake up super early, I can sometimes force myself back to sleep. If my husband thinks I am awake, he will try to snooze for a few more minutes, which means I have to stay awake to remind him a second time to get up. Lately this has been infuriating me! If I have to stay up, chances are good I won't be able to fall back asleep. I have found myself tersely demanding he get up and out at a speedy pace.

Anyone else find themselves responsible for someone else in this manner?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

True Love

True Love is when you continuously eat crackers/cookies/crunchy stuff that leaves crumbs on your spouse's side of the bed and they don't say a word about it!

Yup, I married a saint. What'd he get out of the deal? A shrew! Ha!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Your Daily Laugh!

I have to watch this video at least once a year. It is so disgusting and hilarious at the same time! It never fails to amuse me. Poor Sandra Lee! I was thinking about it last night at 3 a.m. so I assure you it's good viewing.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Don't!

Mr. Case always laughs because I have this mantra where I don't believe in saying negative things out loud. I always chide him with, 'Don't put that out into the universe!' As though somehow that might make it true? I'm not sure but I'm not into taking chances.

I learned a valuable lesson today: maybe it isn't so great to put good things out, either, say like bragging about the value of other people's marriages, unless you're prepared for a jinx. I guess I need to follow everything I say with a knock on wood?

I know, I know, that's utterly ridiculous. For tonight, I shall practice my real and true mantra:


Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, 
Courage to change the things I can, 
And wisdom to know the difference


For now, I am over today. I hope everyone had a good weekend.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

On Marriage

My parents have lived a lot of life in the close to 40 years they've been together (married 38 this September.) They have lived through the death of parents, ups and downs, their marriage survived having a child with cancer (no small feat, I assure you), significant financial gains and losses, etc. 

Obviously I am very proud that they are still married. Many people have quit through much less. and if I am to be honest, they have weathered some very, very rough storms. To say their marriage is imperfect is an understatement. But then, who does have the perfect marriage?

If I know one thing, it is this: whether they are on great terms or bad, they always go out on dates. Even when we were small, they'd sneak away for the weekend or at least go out to dinner. They made the time. I'm confident this is one of the sole reasons they survived. 

Mr. Case says he has not one memory of his parents ever going out alone, together. Not one. His parents are divorced. I wasn't part of their marriage so I can't say if this was a contributing factor but I do know I have an ingrained fear/presumption that couples who don't spend time together alone, run the risk of waking up one day not knowing who their spouse is anymore. What happens when your kids grow up to live their own lives? 

I am 29, my middle brother is 22 and my baby brother is 20. My parents still plot elaborate, detailed plans and schemes to find time without us. For instance, last night they had to make a run to "Wal-mart" when in reality they wanted to go out to dinner and didn't want any uninvited guests. This did not offend me in the least. 

Mr. Case and I promise one another on a weekly basis that we will never turn our heads and question when the last time we spent time alone, out of the house was. I know things will be changing in our near future, but I also know we have some control. I intend to exercise it. Sometimes an hour away for coffee can make a difference, ya know?

Friday, February 18, 2011

I Can't Help Myself...

Photo: olbroad.com
I'm on my way to Sonic to pick up a Red Velvet Cheesecake Blast. I make no apologies. It is almost 80 degrees here and humid. It is not even Spring yet so this is simply uncivilized. I'll be back...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Target, You SUCK!

Long story short, in this state, toilet seat covers are a novelty. Meaning, you are lucky to find a public restroom with them. Now, as a germ-phobe, my first inclination is to "squat" anyway but that will be increasingly difficult in the near future. So, I ordered some toilet seat covers online from Target.com (they were not to be found in any stores!)

I had a gift card I wanted to use. After perusing the site, I learned that in case there is a discrepancy with your order, they require a credit card on file "for protection" in addition to taking your gift card info. I also learned that your card can be charged before the gift card is charged, but once the order is confirmed they will "right" any issues regarding charges. My gift card was sufficient to cover my purchase but I had no choice but to leave my credit card.

Well, no surprise here, they charged my credit card for the entire purchase and didn't use my gift card at all. I called the online customer service center where I was routed to India on a crackling line to speak with "Kishorna P." It's crappy enough that Target outsources, but the person they routed me to is basically a $h!t stain on society. She was rude, condescending and not helpful to say the least.

When I got my customer service survey to rate her service, I made sure to tell them as much. I also emailed their online customer service department to reiterate my feelings. Ya know, Wal-mart is constantly getting a bad rap for various things (some of which are justified, some not so much) but I will say this: when you call for customer service, you get to speak to someone in your own country and they don't treat you like garbage. I have been a loyal Target fan for many years but it seems like one problem after another with them. OK, rant over.


***Edit: Target responded to my complaints. They are willing to help me resolve the billing issue. For that, I give them credit. However, they fully admitted to outsourcing, and for the amount of time and trouble, I just don't feel it is worth my money or effort to continue shopping with them online.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mental Note: It's Not the Last Supper

I have been binge eating all day.

I had a granola bar at about 7 a.m.

At 9 a.m. Mr. Case took me to Ihop where I had some eggs, meats, hash browns and 1 blintz-type thing. I didn't finish all the food, but still.

At 3 p.m. I had a candy bar (Thingamajig!)

At 4:30 p.m. I had a mini "slider" burger and a small chili cheese fries (which Mr. Case finished on my behalf.)

At 7:30 p.m. I had a meatball and a 1/2 cup of linguine.

I may or may not have just eaten a miniature peanut butter cup.

This gluttony must end!

Yum!

I love chocolate and these are, by far, two of the most delicious candy bars I've ever tasted:

Photo from coca-heaven.com
They don't have the Thingamajig in California but they do have the Whatchamacallit! Seriously, seek them out if you haven't already tried them!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ah, Love

Yesterday marked the 4-year anniversary of the world's most epic marriage proposal. When we were discussing marriage, I told Mr. Case several times that I wanted a grandiose, memorable proposal. I know many women desire intimacy and privacy, but not me. I wanted over-the-top and Mr. Case delivered!

On February 14, 2007 Mr. Case professed his undying love for me over the radio on a popular Los Angeles station. The first words out of my mouth, sadly, were profanity because I was so shocked. Hey, I've come a long way and don't curse anymore, but I digress....

I was so stunned that I barely heard his proposal. I made him re-propose several more times so I could feel special. Thankfully, the radio station recorded it and sent us a copy for posterity.

A friend told me his proposal to his wife was intentionally low-key so he wouldn't have to top it year after year. That works for them but I can say with honesty that Mr. Case makes each Valentine's Day memorable.

I hope everybody had a fantastic day. We celebrated on Sunday with a special dinner at The Melting Pot. Last night we ate Golden Chick in bed because I didn't feel too great. Ah, romance, ha!

Here we are, at our wedding venue, shortly after getting engaged!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hope

Tonight my husband is going to take me to a romantic, sophisticated dinner to celebrate Valentine's Day early. Yesterday he surprised me with beautiful tulips.

But, it wasn't always that way.

I was one of the very last hold-outs to get married. In fact, most of my friends have all been married long enough to be in the baby-making business end of marriage.

Outside of my husband and one long-term relationship, I was single for many Valentine's celebrations. I was the certified Queen of the Lonely Hearts Club Band.

So for anyone out there that wants to vomit on February 14th, or who feels lonely, or who thinks their perfect match isn't out there, please take heed:

Your match is out there.

It might not be this year, it might not be next, but so long as you are emotionally available that person will find you. The best advice I ever got while single was, "Accept every single offer for a date. Even if the person is not your type, even if you're not attracted, accept. Worst case you have a fun diversion or you could meet a friend. And maybe you're meant to meet a friend of your new friend!"

Had I not kept an open mind, my husband would not have made it past the night we met. He was tenacious and went for what he wanted and I finally relented on the advice i just shared.

I hope this doesn't come across smug; really I just empathize with what it feels like to have no Valentine, when all you want is someone. I know what loneliness feels like and I know what it feels like to dread February 14th like The Plague.

Please never lose hope because sometimes it is all we have to get us to the next chapter.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Petula

Even though it is not sandal season and even though I am pregnant, I couldn't resist this show at Target. Those gift cards from my birthday were just burning a hole in my pocket! Not made for less than $30, I think! In fact, I just might wear them tonight....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Not So Charming Charmin






www.charmin.com

www.coupangal.net















This post is not formatting well so my apologies in advance (this would never happen in Wordpress, right?)

Anyway! I love Charmin toilet paper. If I come to your house and you have cheap TP, I will notice! Charmin is literally the only brand I will buy, even after trying to make fiscal cutbacks and trying different brands; there's simply some things you don't skimp on!

The above two products in the Charmin brand are just plain awful. No, really. The "Sensitive" leaves a gooey trail behind. Their claim is that they leave a minimal amount of aloe/lotion on the skin to prevent chafing and to aid in case of sensitivity but no. Just, no. The product itself is deceiving-when you touch the TP it doesn't leave a residue but the second you wipe with it, all bets are off. Nasty goo!

And then there's the "Basic." Oh how I wanted to love it. Everything about it seemed perfect in theory: it was my favorite brand and it is economical. How could I not love it? Let's just say "basic" is an understatement. It's scratchy and thin. No bueno in the world of toilet paper. 

From here on out I will only use the "Ultra" or "Ultra Strong." I'm too scared to try the "Comfort." Toilet paper is a serious issue 'round these parts!

Edit: I didn't mean for this post to sound condescending. I know this brand is expensive. I don't really judge people for cheap TP. Please forgive me in advance if I need to use a little extra when I visit!



***Charmin does not know I am writing this review. I could only wish they'd send me some free toilet paper!