Monthly Archives: November 2010

No Presents on Christmas? Screw that.

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I hate shopping. You may already know this as I have stomped and whined about it before. Making my way through the tight paths in between stuffed racks, the confused elderly and demonic, armless mannequins is pretty much the intro to any good nightmare. The stores are always about 20 degrees too hot, the dressing room lighting is far too honest and the clothing is usually made for size 0 teeny boppers or 70 year old lovers of synthetic fabrics. The leather leggings makes me look like a fine deli sausage while the Christmas tree adorning fleece top makes me look like that crazy lady with one eyebrow and 60 cats. I often release tears and groans and various expletives during these excursions and if I am not alone, the person with me will likely leave hating me. So, yea, shopping fucking sucks.

My first internet experience was back in the early 90s with Prodigy and then onto AOL. I didn’t find much use for it and I hated chat rooms. But one night, after one too many Rolling Rocks, I strolled around some AOL user profiles. I came across one and I without hesitation clicked that devilish send button. I just HAD to find out if that was the profile of an old high school boyfriend. It wasn’t. But it strangely turned in to a decade long friendship. I was in love from that moment on. Oh, not with him (well…that’s a whole seperate story) but with this new found internetwebonline nonsense.

What in thee hell do these two things have to do with each other? Not much. EXCEPT that years after that semi-useless world of AOL, I discovered internet shopping. (This is when you will hear falsetto ‘hallelujahs’ and the ringing of sweet, sweet bells). Fast forward to the present…I purchase probably 60% of my items via internet. Beauty products (though I am currently super pissed off at Sephora right now), clothes, DVDs, gifts of all sorts, books…really just about anything you can think of. I even ordered groceries from Peapod once. But weirdly, I do not detest the grocery store as I do others…so I still make that trip.

Anyway, internet shopping has been a godsend. Well, I am not sure how much God really has to do with it. Something tells me she doesn’t really give two shits whether I suffer through Kohl’s Department Store or not. Regardless, its totally my bag. Now, enters my intense desire to be as frugal as possible. In other words – I am a total cheap ass. So shopping online actually takes longer you’d think. I obsess about comparing prices. I search endlessly for promo codes and coupons. I will scour the net until I find the very best deal. Which I suppose isn’t a terrible thing. Just slightly neurotic.

In the past week I/we (my husband also suffers from this obsessive tendency to over-research) have gotten some pretty good deals online. A Wii Console with Wii Fit and Balance Board for $250 at Walmart.com – free shipping. My parents Xmas gift (which I cannot reveal until after Saturday) for about $50 (at least) less than regular price. And best of all…I have been wanting the Reebok Easytone (they no longer have the color/style I bought) shoes since they came out. I have never seen them priced below $79.99. Never ever. And, duh, of course I looked. Well, yesterday at 6pm.com I was able to purchase them for 42.90 including shipping. God (yea, cuz she cares about this too), I hope they work. I seriously need to muscle up my non-existent ass. I am not asking for a J-lo ass…maybe just one of her cheeks. Anywho…I am happy with my purchases lately (again, EXCEPT for Sephora…shit pisses me off…perhaps I will share the saga later).

However, I am kinda disappointed (what, did ya think I would write a strickly positive blog…you clearly do not know me well) because since internet shopping, I have really enjoyed searching for the perfect Christmas gifts. I almost always do the shopping for others as well. You know, busier people…with lives, and things to do. I could totally kick ass in a Personal Shopper position. Well, this year, we have very little shopping to accomplish. No one can afford or seems interested in exchanging gifts anymore. And you know what really sucks about that, right? I want my fucking presents!!! Charlie and I usually agree not to buy gifts. And for birthdays and anniversaries…if I get something, it is something I picked out for myself. So, Christmas was that one time I could get excited (because emotionally, I am 7) about the wonderful surprises I would get to open. Yes, I admit it…I am completely self involved…a spoiled brat…and I want my presents!! Damn economy taking away my selfish Christmas joy!!

But also, like I mentioned, I really enjoyed shopping for others. I would take weeks to pick out that perfect gift (you know, the ones stashed in the closets of my loved ones as I type these very words). Maybe they didn’t like or appreciate them…but much thought was always involved and I thought they should love them (isn’t that what really matters?). But now, we no longer exchange with my brother/sis in law or Charlie’s brother/sis in law. Charlie has one grandparent left, I have none. I have no friends to exchange with. Not close with anyone at work. So, this year I have little to do and little to get. And you can preach to me about the true meaning of Christmas and baby Jesus and family love all you want…but you know damn well you love tearing open that wasteful, ugly wrapping paper just as much as I do. Well, maybe not JUST as much…but I can’t possibly be the only asshole. Right? RIGHT??!!

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Racine’s Rockin’ Christmas Lights

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Last night we were driving around looking at Xmas lights and came about this house. I am sure most of you have seen the Christmas Lights to Trans Siberian Orchestra viral video in your inbox by now…its been around for years. I always thought it was so cool. Maybe it is easier to do that I thought because someone in dumb ass Racine figured it out 🙂

Vodpod videos no longer available. Vodpod videos no longer available. Vodpod videos no longer available.

Stuffin’ and Stuff

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Stuffin’ and Stuff

stuffinAnd…on to the stuffing – or as some people call it, dressing. Dressing?? No. Dressing you put on a salad or something you do before you leave the house. It is not the delicious side dish on the majority of Thanksgiving tables. That would be stuffing even though it should never, ever be stuffed inside the holiday bird. Like I explained in my Turkey Blog, the stuffing needs to be baked separate from the turkey. Okay…so let’s get started…

First, what I want you to do is refrigerate an onion. Keep in it there an hour or so and this should reduce the tearful chopping.

Preheat oven to 325.

Time to get your chop on…get an apple, sweet (or vidalia) onion and celery and chop into desired size pieces. Some people like their onion and/or celery to be barely noticeable. I like the crunchy texture myself. Get yourself a nice skillet and coat the bottom with a lil bit of olive oil. Saute the chopped junk until they are soft and onions are translucent. Sprinkle with some sage and thyme and/or poultry seasoning. Salt and pepper, always, of course. Set aside in glass bowl.

Alrighty, now it is time for the tree huggin’ vegans to leave the room. Take a package of ground sausage – I suppose get any kind you want, but I get the Jimmy Dean (or similar) Mild or Sage. In the same pan, brown the meat. Do not beat the meat, because that is totally gross and inappropriate while cooking in the kitchen.

While meat is browning, prepare a package of sage and onion flavored stuffing mix (like those bags of Pepridge Farm) with desired broth (10.5 oz) and a half stick of melted butter. I usually add more salt and pepper. Sometimes garlic powder too.

Mix all together.

Spray muffin tins with Pam. (I got this part from Rachel Ray – Her Stuffin’ Muffins). And fill each muffin cup with the stuffing mixture. Using the muffin tins makes it different as well as gives each serving that best part – the browned crunchy top. If you do not like the muffin idea – a little to out of the box for ya…wild and crazy, I know – use a casserole dish instead and scooch the temp up to 350.

Bake until the top is browning – usually about 20 minutes or so.

Viola…best stuffing ever. You’re welcome.

Regardless of what you do or do not make correctly…I would like to wish you a Thanksgiving full of gratitude, joy, interesting conversation, fun family bickering, a beer or five, maybe some pot behind the garage, a shit load of pumpkin pie, absence of heartburn, well behaved children, lack of caloric thoughts, a mom who doesn’t nag about how much cleavage you are showing the world and most especially, a nap.

Enjoy…be safe…and have a swell Thanksgiving.

My Bird Can Beat Up Your Bird

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While I am thankful (going to try to fit this word in as much as annoyingly possible in the next 2 days) I do not have to clean the house twice, cook for hours and have a shit load of dishes…I am pretty bummed that I will not be gracing our taste buds with my back pattingly good turkey. And because I would hate to see all those turkeys killed only to be ruined by neglectful cooks…I feel the obligation to share with you my turkey recipe. Say goodbye to that shoe leather your family usually chokes down…and you can thank me in Sephora, Old Navy and Victoria’s Secret gift cards.

First thing you need to know is that you must start this TODAY…so get off that bum and get to a local hardware store so you can buy a new, clean 5 gallon bucket. Please do not use the one in the garage which may or may not have had chipmunk poop or paint chips in it.

You will then rinse the turkey as usual and geez Louise…take out the innards sack. Then put the bird into the bucket. You will then fill the bucket with about one gallon of water, about a gallon of stock, a shit load of ice and about a cup or two of salt. Some people may choose to add spices such as peppercorns or allspice…I don’t bother. You will then put this bucket – cover it with plastic wrap or if it came with a cover, obviously, use that – and put it somewhere cold…like your back porch or garage. If you live in Florida (do you even HAVE Thanksgiving down there??) I don’t friggin know…make room in the fridge I suppose. It will sit in this brine for approximately 12 hours. If it is 8 hours, that’s fine. 16 hours, also fine. Just make sure it is a long ass time.

Tomorrow, take the bucket and dump out the water…to be honest, I dump it in the bushes so that turkey spudge doesn’t splash up into my face or counter as I try this in the sink. Time to prepare. Preheat to 500. Yes, 500. Rinse the turkey and pat dry. Place in your pan, on a rack preferably. Now it is time to stuff the gobbler. And this is probably thee most important part. Do not…I repeat…DO NOT stuff that bird with stuffing!!!! It ruins the stuffing AND the bird. It sucks up the turkey juices making the meat dry. And it turns the stuffing into a mushy breeding ground for holiday ecoli (and those are the worst kind because they are usually drunk and start fights at the dinner table…much like Aunt Helen). 

You will be stuffing your turkey with flavorful items. I use apples, onions and spices (typically cinnamon stick, thyme, sage…). You could go the citrus route and use oranges and lemons. But my way is better. Take these items and put them in a bowl with a little water. Microwave for a couple minutes. Then using tongs, place the items in the turkey’s ass.

Slather the bird with either olive or canola oil. Salt and pepper.

You will then roast the turkey for 30 minutes at 500 degrees. After this, take out the turkey and insert a thermometer in the breast. Do not trust that pop up thingy. Once in, LEAVE IT. Do not move it or take it out, you will lose the juices. Turn the oven down to 350 and roast until temp reads 160. Do not open the oven to baste the bird. This is unnecessary and lets out the heat which needs to remain consistent. When you do check after about 2 hours, do it quickly.

Once temp reaches 160, take the bird out, cover with aluminum foil and let it rest. Do NOT take out the thermometer or pop up thing. Do NOT cut the bird. It must rest for at least 15 minutes to remain juicey lucy.

Carve it up and graciously accept your many compliments.

Later…my stuffing recipe which is also better than yours.

Wink wink…nudge nudge. Have a swell day!!!

Black Friday Super Deal from The Fresh Diet!!!

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BLACK FRIDAY DEAL!!

On November 26th for 24 hours (ends midnight pacific time), we will be offering our best prices of the year…

$29.99 per day for The Fresh Diet’s Premium Choice Plan.  Regular price for this is $44.99.  

You will be able to lock in as many 31 day blocks as you like up to a full year. 

If you want more flexibility, you can order any amount of days up to 365.  Minimum is 31 days. 

Now this is important: This is the last time we will be offering The Fresh Diet for $29.99 a day.

This price will NOT be repeated again after Cyber Monday!!!

This Black Friday Special ends midnight pacific time the 26th  and for only 24 hours on Cyber Monday.

All you have to do is contact The Fresh Diet:

1. Phone 1-866-373-7450

2. Web landing page (specific to promo) http://www.thefreshdiet.com/blackfriday
 

As our tummies and cravings are probably aware…Thanksgiving is a mere 2 days away. And of course, it likely does not end there. Turkey sandwiches, left over pumpkin pie, midnight sneakings of sausage stuffing…it could go on for days!! And after all of that many of us are left feeling stuffed and guilty and in search of some healthy help. Well, I have a GREAT option for you!!!

How would you like to have fresh, delicious meals delivered to your door daily? No cooking, no prep, no trans fats, no heart clogging grease….just healthy fresh food prepared by The Fresh Diet.

The Fresh Diet is unique and gourmet and will make you feel like as though you live in the Hollywood Hills with your own personal chef. From Smoked Salmon to Cobb Salad to Strawberry Cheesecake, your taste buds will be grateful and so will your waistline. This is the perfect way to lose that extra poundage before the New Year. Just think…a New Year’s resolution you do not have to waste on weight loss!!

Grilled London broil with haricot verts and celery root puree  Crusted goat cheese salad with Asian pears and almonds on a bed of mecsuline lettuce 

From The Fresh Diet website…here is what you need to know:

What is The Fresh Diet?
Fresh Diet is America’s Premier Daily Diet Delivery Service. Although there are many frozen & vacuum packed diet delivery programs out there, there are only a handful of services throughout the country that offer Fresh Daily Diet Delivery service where your meals are delivered fresh to your doorstep everyday as opposed to once a week via a costly overnight FED-EX fee.

Obviously the other advantages besides shipping prices are better quality fresh meals that have been cooked just hours earlier in addition to not having to store a week’s worth of meals in your usually not abundant spaced fridge.

Fresh diet has changed the way Diet Delivery will be forever with our one-of-a-kind online system that allows our clients full access over their diet and how it runs. We allow our clients to choose online all of their meals from over 4 different options for each meal daily.

We also offer our clients to choose any of their food allergies and dislikes and have our chefs create spectacular dishes for them daily while always keeping out any of their forbidden foods.

Besides leading the way with our incredible menu and variety option, we are known to have GREAT GOURMET food. While serving our clients 3 meals and 2 snacks daily we have a great opportunity to make all types of different delicious dishes. When eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, or one of their two snacks, our clients are always amazed at how delicious a diet can be.

Seriously, who wouldn’t love this help to get back on track or to start a whole new way of eating healthy??!! And now is the very best time to sign up!!

Elected Officials…Are They Really There When You Need Them?

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So, a couple weeks ago I got a bug up my ass and decided to write to half the state pretty much begging for assistance in getting my criminal (that sounds so crazy) expunged. Thus far, I have had little response and absolutely no answers. First, I wrote to everyone on the Expungement Committee. Then someone replied to let me know that the Expungement Committee is no longer existences. Now they have a Special Committee on Review of Records Access of Circuit Court Documents. Not expungement by any means, but the closest thing they have to it. So, then I wrote to all the members of THAT committee. I then wrote to each individual member of The Wisconsin Supreme Court. It must have taken me 3 hours to search for all of that contact information.There is also the matter of Executive Clemency – AKA a Pardon from the Governor. Now, I do not qualify to apply for a pardon. The following are the qualifications:

You are eligible to apply for executive clemency if:

– you were convicted of a felony

and

– it has been five (5) years or more since you completed your sentence (including probation or parole).

You must apply for a waiver before applying for executive clemency if:

– you were convicted of a misdemeanor,

or

– it has been less than five (5) years since you completed your sentence,

or

you are presently incarcerated.

     

So, by those rules, I had to apply for a waiver. Still no word back. However, I found this anyway:

Pardon: A pardon is an act of official forgiveness that restores rights lost due to conviction. For example, a pardon of a felony conviction restores the ability to possess firearms, to hold public office, and to hold or be granted various licenses. The right to vote and the right to sit on a jury are automatically restored by the Department of Corrections once a person completes his/her sentence, including probation, parole or extended supervision.  

So, even if the waiver is granted…even if the pardon is then granted…the shit will STILL be on my record AND the CCAP website. So, what is the point to the Pardon?? None for me really as those are my barriers.

Here is the letter I sent…some wording is different depending on to whom I was writing…but you get the jist…

I am writing to you in regards to a matter which is weighing heavily on my life as well as the lives of my family. I am currently in the process of applying for Executive Clemency. However, the paperwork states that even with a Pardon, my records and information on CCAP will remain. Unfortunately my criminal history and CCAP are the root of my issues.

In 2005, I was charged with felony child abuse after my husband’s ex-wife falsely accused me. I had and have been a primary parent to my step daughter since she was 14 months old. She is now almost 11. Neither my husband nor I believe that corporal punishment is an effective form of discipline and between the two of us; we may have swatted her behind 3 or 4 times her entire life. I have many emails in which my husband and I asked my step daughter’s mother to stop slapping, hitting and pulling her hair as her forms of punishment. We were always met with an “I am her mother and I will do what I want” type answer. After one open handed swat on the behind, 36 hours after actually, she brought my step daughter to the ER. She later apologized, wrote a letter to the court and explained to me that she was pushed into it by her family. Of course, that was too little too late.

I was never arrested, given my rights, investigated or led to believe this would be anything to worry about. I was so very wrong. 6 months later – after no word at all – I received a summons in the mail explaining that I was being charged with felony child abuse. The CPS investigator (Todd O’Brien) who was assigned to my case was charged and fired earlier this year for not conducting the investigations he was claiming to have completed. Again, he never once met with any of us and simply sent the case to the D.A. I am convinced, and always have been that had he investigated, I would have never been charged. Needless to say my family, as I knew it, was destroyed and our lives were changed forever.

My attorney told me that juries do not like to hear the words step mother and abuse in the same sentence and that I would indeed be taking a risk. I had a one year old daughter at home. Therefore I hastily took a lesser plea (Alford) of misdemeanor battery. This is a mistake I will forever regret. I had over 20 character affidavits from psychiatrists to physicians to family members and friends. Everyone who knows me was astonished at the charges and clearly knew I was completely innocent. I am no child abuser.

Before this my record was clear in all regards. I never even had received a speeding ticket at that time in my life. I had no idea how the system really worked. And I was naive enough to believe that the powers that be would clearly see the truth and this would all be over.

I was sentenced to one year probation. After six months, the probation was amended and terminated with enthusiastic consent by my probation officer and therapist. My attorney, whom I did not know prior to this ordeal, assisted with this hearing at no cost. It was always clear to anyone and everyone in my life that I am far, far from a child abuser. Once again, I thought it was finally over. It wasn’t’t. I am reminded every time I fill out a job application and subsequently do not receive an interview. I am reminded when I am told I cannot participate in my daughter’s kindergarten class or go with her on field trips. I am reminded when my goals of social work and local political office are gone forever. I am reminded every time someone sees this information on CCAP. This has really made my life so much less than what it could have been. I am hurting. My family is hurting. Clearly there is much more to this story and I am more than willing to share it with anyone who will listen. I have been writing about this experience and have most of everything in the written word if you would like me to send it to you. Most of the available jobs in this area for which I am experienced are care related and I am not eligible to even apply. Many check CCAP as a free source of background checks even if I can apply. Also (and most hurtful), not being able to be an active parent in my children’s school is heartbreaking as I take motherhood as my most important job. It is everything to me. Always has been, even before my natural daughter was born. I did everything for my step daughter and she was never once taken out of my care. Not once during any of this. I have been the only one to take her to the doctor or the dentist or to help her with homework. I potty trained her, dealt with all daycare providers, purchased all school supplies. I have taken care of her for 10 years now and she is a remarkable girl to show for it. Again, I was never arrested, interviewed, investigated. I was simply accused of a crime of which I am not guilty by an unstable woman who has since recanted with a letter to the judge. And my mistake was taking the plea and not fighting this charge. I was simply a scared, naive woman with a baby at home who could never imagine even a moment in jail.

I wanted to add that as I was writing this, I was turned down for an account on Care.com to be a housekeeper due to this criminal history. Yet another blow to the gut. I am a positive active member of society. I vote in every election, I donate and I am responsible. I cannot verbalize how these constant turn downs and embarrassments destroy me almost daily.

I am appealing to you as my last ditch effort to have these charges expunged and removed from my record as well as CCAP. This would improve my life more than you can possibly imagine. Thank you so much for your time.

Best Regards,

Rep. Schneider’s response:

Thank you. There is nothing more I can do for you as I was defeated in the election in November by people who criticized my efforts to help people like you. None of the people who I tried to help over the last several years would even lift a finger to help me when I was in trouble.The Representative from Racine, Bob Turner, sat on my bills to address this issue for months during the last session of the legislature. I could not believe it since he was black and so many people who find themselves caught up in this system are black as well. I hope you have written to all the committee members with your story and that it will have an impact although I know that people representing the media like Bill Lueders don’t give a royal flying f…. what happens to innocent people with this system. They want all the dirt they can dig up on anyone and so do employers and landlords and it has been very very frustrating for me to hear of all these situations similar to yours and having it fall on deaf ears in the legislature. It is downright sinful when the state itself creates a system that bears false witness every day of the year. I would also suggest you write to the Supreme Court justices (each and every one) with you story. Hopefully there will eventually be a change but right now I am defeated and a has been and will no longer be able to carry on the fight. I am sorry. Perhaps you could write to the moron who defeated me but since his religious cohorts have already attacked me on this issue I presume it will also fall on deaf ears with him. And frankly, the Republicans have sent so many looney tunes to the legislature and particularly after my defeat no one will dare to take up this issue. In many cases I have witnessed over the years there are simply too many gutless wonders in the legislature who care nothing about justice but only about reelection. I am sorry.

Clearly, he is quite angry. I cannot say that I blame him.

Because of this response, I decided to write to Rep. Turner:



Dear Representative Turner,

I sent the following to what I thought was the Wisconsin Expungement Committee. I have since learned there is no such committee anymore but one to oversee the “fairness” of CCAP. I sent this to all of the members and to Representative Schneider whom I heard was passionate about these CCAP issues. My husband and I both supported your campaign and he walked door to door in your canvasses with the CWA. Now, I hope you can help us. It appears I have exhausted all the possibilities of which I am aware and I suppose I am hoping you may have a suggestion on how I can further proceed to improve my life in regards to the following matter. Please do let me know if you have any advice. I have already started the steps to applying for executive clemency, however, it doesn’t’t appear that will help my problem. Thank you for your time.

His response:

Dear Ms. Rayne: (yes, it says Rayne…lol)

Thank you for your message regarding the Wisconsin Legislative Council’s Special Committee to Review Records Access of Circuit Court Documents. I have attached the link for the committee’s schedule of meetings and study documents, which also includes a list of the committee members and the mission statement of the committee. State Representative Kelda Helen Roys of Madison is the Chair of this Committee. The committee is currently developing a list of options (changes) to CCAP that it will consider among its final recommendations. That policy paper should be available on the website within a week or so. I do not serve on this committee.

However, 2009 Assembly Bill 340 (authored by Rep. Schneider) was referred to the Assembly Criminal Justice Committee, which I chaired during the 2009-10 Session of the Legislature. At the public hearing held on this bill, many stories were told by people who had cases dismissed or had been pardoned, but whose information remained on CCAP, preventing them from finding suitable housing and/or employment. I recommend that you follow the work of this study committee closely, as the committee will likely recommended legislation for introduction during the 2011-2012 session of the Legislature. I am also copying your own State Representative, Representative Robin Vos, on this message, to ensure he is aware of your concerns. Again, thank you for sharing your views and experience with me.

My response to him:

Dear Representative Turner,

I emailed the entire committee a few days ago. I also emailed Rep. Schneider who mentioned your name which is why I forwarded this on to you. He claims you held up a bill last year which would help people in my position (I will paste his message at the end of this email). I sent this to you in hopes that you would help a bill like that pass in the future. I am not sure that people really understand the damage this can do to a person’s life. Any accusation can be made against anyone and you are then on your own to prove your innocence…it is clearly NOT the other way around. I checked out the site you forwarded and did not see a calendar of future meetings, but I will look closer. Do you happen to know if these meetings are open to the public? I will also keep an eye out for the new policies.

I have spoken to Rep. Vos about this in the past and am sad that he no longer chairs the Expungement Committee and that there is no longer such a committee.

I suppose you have to be rich to afford an attorney to have a life after such an event. Unfortunately, we are not in that position. From the very few responses I have had regarding this matter, it seems evident that I am stuck without help or hope for a positive outcome.

And then this was a response from his assistant:

Dear Ms. Geyer,

I just checked the attachment to Representative Turner’s e-mail to you and it was fully functional, with links to all written documents that the committee staff has produced thus far.  As the Committee Clerk for the Assembly Criminal Justice Committee, I can assure you that Representative Turner did not “hold the bill” in committee as Representative Schneider suggests.  There were not enough votes among the committee members (Republican or Democrat) to pass it because of the way it was written.  When bills do not have the support needed to pass them out of Committee, Committee chairs generally do not schedule them for a vote.  The Legislative Council Committee’s recommendations will hopefully be a better work product than Representative Schneider’s bill.  Yes, the Legislative Study Committees are open to the public, and many of them are either taped live or for later broadcast on Wisconsin Eye.  I fully agree with you that you are in a situation that is not fair and people in the Legislature are working hard to correct the parts of the Circuit Court Automated Program to address these inequities.   I suggest you address future correspondence to Representative Roys.  If you cannot get your link to function, please let me know and I will send it in a different format. 

 

I have not heard anything since. I feel, once again, completely defeated.

I have no idea what the HELL is going on with the fonts on this stupid site. If you don’t know HTML it is virtually impossible to fix these issues and it is very annoying. So my apologies. Guess I need some tutorials…

Pills, Teachers and Psycho Wives

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Various pills

Image via Wikipedia

I am home with the kids all week. No work until next Monday and I am glad. Yesterday was enough for a while. I just feel like I should be much better than I am by now. My mind isn’t what it used to be and I seem to forget A LOT more than I did years ago. I hate making mistakes and the people I work with (mainly managers and cook staff) act as though I am a total fuck wad if I make a mistake. It all feels so demoralizing. Anyway, the break is welcomed even if I do have to listen to whining and arguing all day.

So a little over 2 weeks ago, I started taking a new medicine. I talked about it last week, Lamictal. I am now on my third step up on the dosing. I started at 12.5mg for one week, then 25mg for a week, now 37.5 for one week…so on and so forth until I hit 100mg. But if I notice I feel better at say 75mg, I will stop there. I had a scare over the weekend. Lamictal has a significant risk of causing a reaction call Steven Johnson’s Syndrome, which if not taken care of quickly enough, can be fatal. Some of the initial symptoms are rash, mouth sores, eye sores, fever, neck pain and spine pain. Last week I developed a small red patch right under my bottom lip and above my chin. I don’t really get reddish acne and though it was small, I worried it was the beginning of the dreaded “Lamictal Rash”. I also noticed two small bumps on the inside of my bottom lip. Like the beginning of a canker sore. I used to get canker sores in my teens and 20s quite a bit. But since I have had Cassidy – virtually none at all. So, getting these was too much of a coincidence in my mind.

I called my Dr. and he said he wanted me to take one more dose to see if the rash spread. If it did or if I developed more sores in my mouth or throat, we would know that the Lamictal is to blame. After hours of indecision, I took the medicine and was fine the next morning. Those sores never developed into cankers and are now gone. And the rash seems to be going away. Now, I have a swollen gum behind my two front teeth and it is REALLY bothering me (and it BETTER go away by Thanksgiving because I am planning on some serious grubbing!!). I have done some reading online and it seems others have had similar side effects and in most cases it seems these symptoms go away once the body adjusts to the med. You have to wonder how toxic these medications really are. But I am at the point where I just want – no, NEED – to feel better. So, I will continue on this path until and unless the side effects become unbearable. I have read countless stories how this medication has saved lives. That it has been the saving grace when other meds never worked. So…crossing my fingers!!!

Tonight we have parent teacher conferences. Cassidy’s is earlier in the evening and I will probably go alone while Charlie sits with the kids. Kenzie’s is later and I probably won’t go because her mom and dad will both go and I really don’t need to be there. I have kind of become less of a parenting role to her. It is sad, but necessary. Let them take care of it. Meanwhile, I am sure both conferences will be positive and probably take a total of 10 minutes. Both of the girls are super smart and well behaved (at school anyway lol) so, I cannot imagine getting any negative reports. Last year at Cassidy’s conference I had to explain to the teacher why I could not be a room parent. It was so humiliating. I am hoping that doesn’t come up again. It is bad enough that I don’t know how to explain that to Cassidy. She wants to know why other moms help in the class/school but I don’t. I want her to know so much that I really want to be there and do all of those things. But what am I suppose to say??

So, last week sure was an interesting one. I think I talked about this guy before, but I cannot remember for sure. Years ago, The Journal Times had a different way of comments/blogging on their site. It was a pretty active forum with a lot of regulars. You would get to know people – not usually by their real names – but you got to know many of them just by having discussions about so many different topics every day. I even had lunch once with a group of ladies from the site. Well, there was one guy I would talk with a lot. We disagreed politically but we had things in common as well. He was also a step parent and had bouts of depression. We would email each other here and there and just chatted about various things. Nothing romantic or bad in anyway, we never once met or exchanged pictures. I truly wouldn’t recognize him if I saw him in public – even if he were standing right in front of me. Anyway, last summer his wife sent me an email telling me to leave him alone. It was pretty irrational and I felt bad for him for being under such restrictions. I was also angry because I enjoyed talking to him. But I didn’t talk to him again. Well, last week I was going through my contacts and found what was his number – how I would email him as he would get the emails on his phone. I sent a message asking if it was still his number. That is ALL I said. I wanted to keep his info just in case. And I was considering writing to him to ask about medications he has taken for his problem because I know very few people who have taken Lamictal and was hoping he may offer some personal experience with it. But I didn’t, I just asked him if it was still his number. About 10 minutes later his wife emails me and absolutely went nuts. She was telling me that he has a history of cheating and doesn’t understand why I wont leave him alone. One email in over 6 months is not leaving him alone?? Honestly, I was thinking that he probably set her straight the last time and explained to her I was not a threat – that we had never met or did anything wrong. Guess not. She went ape shit and decided to email Charlie and tell him I that I wouldn’t leave her husband alone. Well, that brought it to a whole new level and I was about 2 seconds away from showing up at her door. Just because she is insecure and stays in a marriage which is clearly miserable doesn’t mean she needed to throw a wrench into mine. I was LIVID. I explained everything too her, how she was getting worked up over absolutely nothing and to NEVER interfere in my family again. I also told her that if I were under such restrictions and being investigated by my spouse, that I would probably leave or cheat too. Sorry, but its true. I used to be super jealous and possessive and I lost every boyfriend I cared about because of it.  She is in for a long, difficult time if she pursues this desire to control him so vigilantly. Charlie also responded to her explaining that he knew about my conversations with this guy and that he was not worried – that he trusts me. I was very worried at first because Charlie can be jealous at times. He doesn’t like me going out without him and often worries about silly things. Luckily he doesn’t take it to an irrational level. He knows me. He knows I wouldn’t cheat and that I love him. And I know the same about him. So, it worked out fine…but for a couple hours – I was about to do some neck kicking. Needless to say, I will NEVER contact that guy again. SO not worth it. But I wish him the best of luck…how exhausting that must be.

Well, that is all for now. I should get off my ass and try to accomplish something today. Talk at ya later 🙂

“God, you are SO sensitive!!”

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“She exhausts easily under the pressure to be interesting”  ~David Hyde Pierce ‘Frasier’

When I heard that quote years and years ago, I thought it was hilarious and immediately wrote it into my quote book. So funny how the funniest things to a person hit close to home, even if it is subconscious.  My “sensitivity” issues have always been a source of pain, fatigue, misunderstanding, judgment and discomfort. I never felt understood by anyone…ever. because of this I was never popular in school, had a ton of friends and boyfriends never stuck around for very long. I needed so much more downtime than others. My feelings were always hurt so easily. I worried constantly and have always felt the need to fix everything and everyone for the mere fact that I needed it to be quieter, calmer.

I have never known how to explain this part of me which I have never fully accepted myself; and because of that how could I expect anyone else to accept it? From avoiding parties in high school to not fighting my way through college to skipping all formal dances to neglecting events which most people simply attend without a single thought. These are all things that weighed heavier on me. Whether it be the loud noises or the claustrophobic lack of personal space or the obligation to make conversation – it caused this fear of stimuli.

I am understanding more and more what GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) really is. I was diagnosed with it many years ago and I just thought of it as being a nervous nelly with irrational fears and worry. I never realized the little details which always existed, only without a name. They were just my all too familiar idiosyncrasies. But it is like a mind that is always searching for an answer…some kind of solution to whatever issue – minor or major.  The need to fix mixed with the ridiculous amount of avoidance propelled me into this wicked mess I am in today.

“God!! You are SO sensitive!!” I cannot possibly tell you how many times i have heard that throughout my life. Shit, I cannot even count how many different people have said it. Sensitive. It was this weak, pathetic, shameful label which I received at a very young age. And since my getting married, it was easy to stay in this state of avoidance and exclusivity. I had my home, my small family, my cats, my cable…and that was all I needed or cared about. I was able to stay where I was comfortable. I didn’t HAVE to go anywhere very often so the pressure of having to seem pretty or smart or interesting (which is and always was such a struggle for me) didn’t frequently portray itself. My bedroom has been my sanctuary where the TV doesn’t go above a volume level of 30 and the lights are always low. I have what I need right here and because of that…the need to venture out into “the real world” hasn’t been something I have had to do much in these past 8 or so years.

As I am learning what experiences in life created these tendencies, they seem to be so ingrained in who I am that I almost think it is something to accept rather than constantly attempt to fight and fix. But I need to move past certain things to the point where I can at least conduct myself normally through life. Right now, I should really be working. And because of who I have become…having such a social, overwhelming job has been quite the slap in the face. For a long time I absolutely HATED having to go to any social or family functions. I worried about what I would wear, what I would talk about…what on earth could I offer in a conversation is what I always thought. All I wanted to do was stay home. But I noticed how this was significantly altering my marriage and family life. After I lost some weight it was a bit easier to get up the nerve to leave the house and actually DO things. It is still hard, and I still have these silly worries…but the weight barrier is less and did make overcoming the other issues easier.

What am I getting at with all this blathering I have NO idea. LOL. I guess I was thinking about my last post and how it would read to others. I received one very hurtful comment on Facebook about the entry. Basically inferring that I am a big baby who should just stay home because I cannot handle the real world and am not deserving of respect due to my emotions concerning this job. The guy who made this statement was way out of line and is in no position to be judging anyone. But he is a person whom I thought was considerate person. I was surprised and hurt. And I wondered how many others felt the same way. Many I am assuming. But again, I have to understand that I cannot expect people to understand where I am coming from. These people are not in my head. They do not experience the racing heard, sweaty palms, stomach aches, daily cries. They have no clue the exhaustion I experience simply from living a regular life. The actions and events which others go through each and every day seem like such a challenge for me. And its not like I can say I have a disability which creates this abnormal reaction. I am plain and simply just WEIRD.

I was very upset about my job the other day. and I was quite upset about it when I got home today. I feel I am failing at a job a monkey should be able to do. I am ashamed that at my age this is as far as I have come. I feel I do nothing right and everyone only sees my flaws. I know cognitively that these things are not true. I just cannot convince that irritating voice which has made me doubt myself and others since I can remember. I did not quit the job. Not yet. I don’t know what will happen. But I know that there may be days when I will plaster a smile on my face for several hours while making coffee or delivering burgers but then cry for an hour once I leave. I know there will be moments when I use this forum to shout, whine, bitch and complain. I know I will be misunderstood and judged. And what is most important, I know that one day…I just wont give a shit. What other’s think or say – be it a long ago friend on Facebook to a dick wad manager – will one day be of little consequence.

Maybe one day I will accept this sensitive label. Maybe one day I can find the positive in such  a curse. But for now I will have to be okay with being me – flaws and all – from day to day. And whether I hold my head under the covers a little longer one day or venture out into some scary social scene the next – I still know that I am a good person and I do have value.

I HAVE Kids, Don’t Speak to Me Like I am One

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Angry Talk (Comic Style)

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I don’t think this job is going to work out. I know I have a tendency to be thinned skinned at times. And I know that this isn’t suppose to be easy work. But I really have to draw the line at managers speaking to me like a classroom misfit. I am 36 years old. Yep. That’s old. And I think that once I became a parent…once I pushed out a kid, I earned the right to  not be spoken to like one. Snotty remarks from the manager today really got to me. Not once in the 5 weeks I have been there have I heard one single positive thing. I am quite delightful when I am working to be honest with you, I know that must be a shock, but I am a good actress.  I am also very helpful. I never walk past a messy table empty handed regardless of whether or not it is mine. I ask people if they need help. I am there early every single shift. Besides learning errors – and those have been few and minor – I think I have done a pretty damn good job for someone who hasn’t worked in 7 years or served in over 10. I barely make any money, I work my butt off when I am there and I am suppose to let people talk down to me besides?? We are basically FREE labor for these corporate fucks and they seem to think of us – or some of us – that way as well. I just don’t have it in me to suck it up and take it. Yea, when I was 19 and needed the job to eat, MAYBE. Even then I had a hard time with it. But now, fuck that.

I just don’t know what to do. I left today very pissed and cried the whole way home. Is it really worth it? Especially those days when I come home with 13 bucks?? Maybe these kids that just fell out of high school are willing to brush it off. Maybe I am seen as new meat on which to gnaw. Maybe because I am older, less pretty or a little insecure I am seen as a target. Who knows. I seem to notice some people get treated one way and others totally different. I really don’t know how that computation is figured.

I have had one lady call me about cleaning her condo. I can;t imagine that would pay much. I have to call her back later. I searched all the listing again…nothing.

I feel so defeated and stressed and unsure right now. I just don’t know what to do.

Unhappy Meals?

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McDonalds Happy Meal

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In the last election (of which I still cannot speak)a referendum was passed in San Fransisco banning McDonalds from marketing Happy Meals to children with the lure of toys unless the meals were made to be healthier. I read a recent blog at Scary Mommy regarding this issue and left the following comment:

I will probably be the bitch here. I am fine with the ban and wouldn’t mind one bit if it came to my state. I know too many parents who rely on these Happy Meals as their basic diet. I also know that my daughter could give a shit about the food – she just wants that stupid plastic toy that does nothing but puncture my foot in the middle of the night. Let’s face it people, kids are friggin FAT!! Parents are lazy, tired and like their junk food too. Because of this, we have parents who feed their kids nothing but crap day in and day out. Clearly, moderation is not something understood in my fat ass state.

I gained a elephant’s belly when I became pregnant, some due to meds…but mostly due to M&Ms and Fruit Loops. It has taken me 6 depressing and overwhelming years to lose that weight. For a child to grow up this way makes me want to cry. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to lose the weight they have carried their entire lives. We as parents have control when they are young. We feed them what we want to feed them. And we don’t have much time to assert that control. So why on earth make such consistent bad choices now?

Personally, I would like to see a Fast Food tax. I am all for freedom of choice. And nothing is being taken off the menus. It simply won’t be marketed to young children…what on earth is wrong with that?

My kids get treats and even a Happy Meal once in a great while. We go out to eat, get ice cream, have snacks. I am not a health nazi. But I CAN practice moderation. The sad thing is…many parents simply don’t give a shit. So when a healthier meal is marketed with the toy for kids and they THEMSELVES chose that healthier meal, well halle-friggin-lujah!!!

I am clearly in the minority there as I probably will be here as well. But I am curious…where do YOU stand on the topic? Would you support it in YOUR city?