Friday, November 30, 2012

Doctor's Orders

When I was in sixth grade my mom invited my aunt over for dinner one night. My sister and I were helping out with the cooking and I thought it would be nice to have some fancy French cut green beans instead of the boring round kind. After a few beans were successfully halved, the next thing I cut was a big old slice through my thumb.

The cut was so severe we ended up skipping dinner for the emergency room. One full surgery to repair my thumb's tendon and an overnight stay later I was wearing a cast on my left hand. The doctor was emphatic about keeping my hand still to make sure it would heal correctly. About three or four weeks in the cast cracked at the bottom of my thumb and I was thrilled to have some motion back. Eventually the cast was replaced but the same result ensued a short time later.

When we went in for the final removal the doctor assured my mom I'd need physical therapy to regain the mobility of my all important digit. The cast came off and he measured my flexibility. I swear he ran his little silver tool back and forth between my good and bad thumb three times because he couldn't believe what he was seeing. I was just shy of 100% mobility. No PT needed.  Apparently I'd moved just enough to make my thumb heal on its own.

But that was then. I was eleven years old, young, spry and stubborn. Now I'm thirty-nine, hopefully wiser and certainly more cautious. So when I finally heard back from my doctor about what might or might not be going on with my body, and his instructions were to limit my activity until all this is under control, this time I'm listening.

The bloodwork came back and nothing major presented. That was the first sigh of relief. Nothing bad with liver, kidney, not anemia, not cancer. Psychologically that was all a huge weight lifted. Physically however just hearing that news didn't solve my lightheadedness.

Instead of dinner, this time I'm skipping going to Vegas to see my friends renew their vows in the middle of a marathon they've both been training for over the past many months. Does this make me sad? So sad I actually sat sobbing when I sent the message to my friend after cancelling our hotel. But there are some things I just won't fuck with and woozy feelings that have no definitive answers while I'm over 300 miles from home is way up on that list.

Over the weekend I'll be experimenting with some suggestions from the doc and his PA. First is to start taking sodium tablets. When we reduced salt to almost nil with Matt's HBP diet shift it's possible my body went "um, wtf!?" My doc also thinks I might be a low blood sugar candidate which wouldn't be a surprise as it runs in the family. Additionally I'm going on a multi vitamin in case of deficency and amping my water intake to a little over sixty ounces a day.

It is driving me crazy just laying around all day. I miss working but I don't want to do too much. Which of course is stressing me out but until I know what is causing my lightheadedness I'm not taking chances. The good news is that this time my thumbs are at 100% capacity so I can blog on my phone while I lie on the sofa.

At least its something because watching re-runs of 90210 was only fun the first day.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Getting Rid of Clutter and Other News

Yesterday I wrote a big long post over at my website about getting organized so I can start making money as a freelancer. The post is pretty complete and I’m not going to rehash all of the details I included over there because if you really want to know about it then you can go read that one. I’ll wait…

Now that I started the process I’m finding a LOT of stuff that has been taking up mental, emotional, and physical space in my online world that really has to go. Files I haven’t opened in years, documents with print screen shots from paying bills in 2009 (yeah, seriously), websites that aren’t even operable anymore clogging up my favorites – all things I’m working on deleting. And I hate to say it but many blog links are going to be deleted from my sidebar as well.

The reason I hate to say it is because many of these blogs are written by friends. People I love, people who have become such an important part of my life that they are individually thanked in my acknowledgement page in Reckless Abandon for goodness sake. But our once blossoming blog exchange has fallen by the wayside for some people and it’s time for me to move on. Many of them already have so it’s time to face the truth.

There are friends who do update occasionally, I’ll see something new pop up a few times a year, and I want the 411 when they come back. But there are many friends who haven’t posted on their blog in six months (or more) and in an effort to reduce the overwhelming vibe in my brain I just can’t have those links floating out in space for no reason. I’ll completely understand if you all remove me from your linky-lists as well.

However, if you discover that you feel compelled to start blogging again someday please let me know! I always enjoyed reading your updates and would be very interested in continuing to do so. Otherwise we’ll probably just see each other on Facebook.

• • •

In other news I’m going through some freaky health shit right now. For a few months I’ve had this weird pain in my left abdomen which I wrote off as being part of my job because I sit all day and rarely exercised anymore. I started exercising and sometimes it would go away. We bought a new sofa and it seemed to improve.

But over the past month or so I’ve started to notice it again and then the past couple weeks I’ve been having issues with a somewhat weird form of lightheadedness. Well more like light body because I never feel like I’m going to pass out or get dizzy or anything.

That was the last straw though and I finally went to the doctor this week. Not a kidney stone (his first guess). Not central nervous system (his next guess). I’ve been eating okay, consistently, and drinking about 60 ounces of water a day (more if I work out). Working out is no issue, I don’t get weirdness. Standing or lying down is no issue. Mostly it comes and goes when I’m sitting.

He took blood and is supposed to get back to me in a few days. Last night I started obsessing over not knowing what is up with myself and I almost had a panic attack.

I’m wondering if its early onset menopause because I do get hot flashes and cold sweats sometimes. Insomnia started a year or so ago. I’ve always had social anxiety but it has increased in spades in recent months. I tend to cry at the thought of anything these days. In fact based on this list I have all but maybe four symptoms. I’m freaking out and it’s hard not to think about it. Saying that makes me think more. And then I get more anxious. And that depresses the crap out of me.

Guess I’ll find out soon. I really hope so because Dr. House isn’t real but if I’m being completely honest, I’m really afraid

Friday, November 23, 2012

Yeah, I’m Breaking the Rules

My self-imposed rules that is. What’s that you ask? Am I going out of the house shopping today or something? HELL NO!! Not those kinds of rules. I mean the part where I announced I wouldn’t be online or writing anything all weekend. Hey, it’s not my fault. My family was supposed to be my buffer and everyone is still passed out from family, food & festive fun yesterday.

When left alone in the house at 7:00 in the morning what the heck else am I supposed to do other than whip up a blog post and eat blue cheese mix on Ritz crackers and a slice of apple cranberry pie for breakfast? I mean Thanksgiving only comes once a year and those are my cheat foods.

But I digress (as usual) because this post isn’t about food…

There’s really only one reason I got online when I wasn’t supposed to and that’s to tell everybody that Reckless Abandon**, my Romantic Suspense novella released last month on Amazon, is free to download this whole weekend! Woo hoo!

The best ranking I’d reached up to now was about 48,000 in my top category. Which as far as I’m concerned for a relative nobody Author like me (at this moment) I was pretty stoked about that. When I woke up this morning I checked before I even started promoting the thing and HOLY CRAP!!!

Though ranking numbers change by the hour as of right now (8:00 AM in Phoenix) it’s at #7520 in the Free for Kindle store. But those numbers aren’t the ones I’m tripping out over. The part where I’m dropping my jaw in astonishment is where I’m #72 in the Women Sleuths category and #90 in Romantic Suspense.

Hang on and let me let that sink in a second…of the 5,453 books on Amazon Kindle store that are Romantic Suspense my little novella is at a ranking in the top 100 after only 8 hours on the free list.

Okay, my mind is officially blown! I need to do a little more digging around my Author tools to see just how many downloads it has gotten but I may not let myself do that until Sunday after it comes off the promo weekend.

I’m really, really proud of this book and to see it move up the ranks like that makes me overjoyed! Well that and it also makes me want to keep going. To write more, to continue on with this series, and to release a quality piece of fiction to accompany this effort.

If you’d like to check out the book you can see Reckless Abandon on Amazon Kindle store here. If you download the book and read it please let me know what you think! I’m an Indie Author and we live by reviews. Thanks in advance!

Hope you’re all having as wonderful a weekend as I am over here. SO MUCH to be thanks full for this year!

**Reckless Abandon - FREE download Friday - Sunday & you don't have to step foot inside a store

Friday, November 16, 2012

Which Team Are You On?

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 opened last night around midnight. Premiere day is today. I can’t believe I was able to sleep through the night without being shaken awake by the millions of tween girls screaming their love for whichever side they’re rooting for to sweep Bella off her red eyed feet – Team Edward or Team Jacob.


Okay, in all fairness I have to be upfront and say I haven’t read the books. I may never do so because YA fiction isn’t my go-to first choice. Regardless that Stephenie Meyer is a Phoenix based Author. Years ago my friend and sister tried to get me to read them. I resisted then and that was before I ever knew there were going to be four epic saga movies. Before I knew I was going to have to choose a side.

So let’s talk about those sides shall we? Because I think Bella has an awful difficult choice on her hands.

Let’s start with Edward Cullen.

- Vampire
- Skin sparkles in sunlight
- Pale as a hipster in the corner of a Starbucks in January
- Non-stop brooder
- Kind of a chauvinist jackwagon
- Telepathic ability on anyone except Bella
- Freezing cold skin
- Has a pretty cool “sister” Alice
- Doesn’t have to sleep
- Tries not to drink human blood and only that of animals – a vegetarian vampire!

Then we move to Bella’s other point in the triangle, Jacob Black.

- Werewolf
- Tanner than any Jersey Shore cast member
- Lets you see that tan all the time since he never can seem to find a shirt
- Low laundry bills
- High clothing budget since most clothes are destroyed when he goes all wolf on everyone’s ass
- Snarky and delivers a great one liner
- Bound to protect Bella’s kid forever
- Doesn’t eat blood of people but probably not a vegan
- Hot tempered and hangs with a pretty rough crowd

Now maybe it’s just me but neither of those choices sound very, um, smart for a seventeen year old girl. But I’m not seventeen so who am I to judge them right? Because between Edward and Jacob is one man who pretty much didn’t know what to do about his daughter’s growing love for these guys – Charlie Swan.

I’m all about Team Charlie!

- He’s cute in that authoritative kind of way
- He’s a cop so you know he’ll be able to protect you
- He’s just the right mix between snark and brood
- He knows something isn’t quite right about everyone in town
- He likes to chill with a beer and the game
- Oh yeah, he doesn’t turn into anything supernatural, drink blood, chew on puppies or treat his daughter like she’s less than for being a girl
- And seriously, the Magnum P.I. ‘stache just works

Though you all know if there was one vampire to choose, of all the ones I’ve read or watched over the years – The Count, Lestat, Dracula, any of The Lost Boys, Spike (though Angel was better looking and got his own show), Count Chocula, Stefan Salvatore, Edward Cullen – there would only be one who I’d pretty much let sink his fangs into my neck anytime.

Because seriously, when it all comes down to it I’d much rather be on team Damon Salvatore any day. Bella is just an idiot picking between those other self-obsessed dudes when she could have this one! But that’s okay Bella, I’ll be happy to take him off your hands. Why?

- He's chock full of hilarious one liners
- He’s just gorgeous
- He is man enough to let go of the woman he loves because he thinks she loves his brother even though he knows she really loves him
- Doesn’t make friends easily but when he does and they die he continues to buy them a drink at the bar for old time’s sake; now that’s loyalty
- He’s just gorgeous
- Though he can’t dance (really, after 150+ years you’d think the guy could have found time for a lesson or two) he’s willing to take you out to a frat party and dance the night away
- OK, to be fair that’s only so he can drain the blood of a bunch of college idiots and watch you do the same (if you’re Elena) but whatever
- He’s just gorgeous
- The man can hold his liquor
- He drives the coolest muscle car you’ve ever seen
- He lives in a pretty sweet pad
- Sadly his brother lives there too but you’ll have plenty of privacy because the place is huge
- He’s not so shy with the gratuitous half-nakedness but unlike Jacob doesn’t run around shirtless all the time, most of the time he’s threaded up pretty nice
- Come to think of it that whole leather jacket wearing, bad-boy loner simply because he can’t seem to find a woman who doesn’t love his brother (really?) thing is probably the most attractive part of all
- Oh, but did I mention that he’s just gorgeous?

Photos from IMDB found

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Not A Chance In Hell You Will Catch Me Shopping on Thanksgiving

This afternoon I was over visiting my friend Suldog’s blog. For the past seven or so years he’s been running a campaign on his blog and requesting that other bloggy friends take part. The premise is that Thanksgiving comes first. I don’t think I really need to explain the overall gist to any of you right? Check out the Facebook page for more info.

Each year I intend to join the fight in my own quest for normalcy during the busy holiday season but every year I read his plea before Halloween. To me all the holidays should have their own time. Halloween is one of my personal favorites, nothing to do with candy and perhaps someday I’ll share all the details why but today is not that day. Anyway, because I love Halloween I refuse to start talking about Thanksgiving until that day has come and gone. By the time that’s over I end up getting busy with other things and never fully support his cause.

This year is different. Because this year I’m livid.

If you go and read his blog post in the link I linked to above you’ll probably get the gist why. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

See what I mean? What the hell gives Walmart, Kmart or Sears the right to dictate that their employees show up to work on one of the precious few days during the year the retail community gets to enjoy having a day off? Fuck that.

I started writing a long winded comment back to Jim because I come from a personal place of irritation over this matter. I’m a former assistant manager, employee, and manager of retail establishments. And let me tell you something right now, if I were still in that industry working in a mall somewhere and anyone tried to tell me I had to show up for work on Thanksgiving I’d probably pop a vein. And promptly close the gates in a very personal fuck you to the bullshit consumerist regime that was trying to force me to show up on a holiday of national significance.

Here’s what I planned to write out in the comments over on his blog

Petition signed. That's the most outrageous and blatant attempt at power and control that I've ever seen in my life. The employees in that industry already have too much stress at the holidays can't they get one flipping day off? What sucks is that their jobs will probably be threatened if they choose not to work. Millions of people out of work will mean that someone will be willing to do it. Which as far as I’m concerned is total lunacy.

I was an assistant manager of a very successful retail store many years ago. My first Christmas as a manager in that store I was so busy (mind you this was YEARS before what's going on now) that I literally lived on coffee and cigarettes while working double shifts at least 3 days a week for the weeks between Black Friday and 2 weeks after New Year’s (don’t forget about holiday return season!). Generally I worked upwards of 75-80 hours a week covering for my manager who took so much time off to deal with her court troubles I was surprised she retained her job at all.

Luckily I was in my early 20's but it didn't matter. I dropped to about 89 pounds and could barely function. What happened at the end of the Christmas season? My car broke down on the way to work, I called in to say I needed a day off & it was approved. A week later my manager*** told my district manager I'd never called (even longer story) and I was fired for falsifying a time sheet weeks later. Of course this was after I worked a shift for her when another employee came in and stole money from the register that they tried to blame on me (which led directly into me requesting to watch the tape of me stealing money, which they didn’t have because I didn’t steal anything, and my manager telling the DM that I had to go - hence the timesheet instead). The time sheet thing couldn't be proven either way because back in those days we hand wrote everything.

I left retail then and there and never looked back. The way the things are going now I’m surprised every store isn’t open 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

You can bet I will NEVER shop on a day a retail employee should have the day off. Consumerism is out of control. Employees get no respect for their hard work and even less pay for being the thing that allegedly holds up the economy of the entire country.

I don’t just support Jim’s stance on the fact that Thanksgiving – a day to celebrate all we have in our lives that isn’t material – comes before Christmas but now I’m just off the rails that Thanksgiving may not even be a recognized day of rest anymore.

Because let’s face it, if Walmart, et al, opens the rest of them will do the same so as not to lose out on the revenue.

When I was in retail we opened at 8:00 instead of 10:00 on Black Friday then stayed open 2 hours after usual closing time as well. I was already mystified by stores who felt forcing their employees to come to work for a 6:00 AM Black Friday opening was insane. Then the midnight openings started.

And now this?

I can assure any retail establishment out there if they open even one minute earlier – aka Thanksgiving – I will stop shopping there for good. And let me just tell you how my broke ass can appreciate Walmart’s prices. But if they can’t appreciate a holiday and the people who are employed by them then they can say goodbye to my business forever.

Please stop this insanity. Please stop supporting this insanity. And please have a happy Thanksgiving until the moment it’s over. Which is not 8:00 or 10:00 PM.

This information is very real. You can read the Chicago Tribune article here

You can tell Target what you think by signing the petition started by an employee. They’re shy only a few thousand signatures now so spread the word!

Find it on Jim's post.

***update: one of my readers brought to my attention the fact that bipolar and crazy may not be medically accurate since I couldn't diagnose my manager so let's just say this instead, she was

a two-faced lying bitch who used me for her own personal needs and as soon as those needs were met she threw me under the bus as fast as her bleached blonde head would allow her to, since my DM had noticed her absences and someone was getting fired (but she had the upper hand in communication with the DM so it certainly wasn't going to be her).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Forty-Four for Four More

Yeah go ahead and say that four times fast! Well we all are waking up to the news, if we didn’t stay up last night to watch it first hand, that President Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney in the United States Presidential race. How does everyone feel? Wait, don’t answer that…it’s a loaded question.

But this is my blog so you better believe I’m telling you how I feel this morning.

First of all there was this circulating all over the internet last night:

Cute right? It is, and that’s the thing that gets me every time about this guy. The fact that he actually gives a crap. The fact that he seems to connect with his people. Because you know something? Regardless of who gets in they may or may not be able to do anything about anything. But there is no way to fake compassion. There’s no way to fake it that you still love your wife.

He may not be able to fix it all but at least you have to give it to the President, on a truly human level the man does care that its broken to begin with.

Because no matter who is in the position of power in this country there are a few things that are true.

First, we’re a bunch of big babies who have nothing better to do than bash the opposition. As evidenced by the barrage (and I mean flipping barrage) of political commercials telling us how much “the other guy sucks” that I’ve been watching for the past couple months.

Second, when someone in a top political position makes a mistake it’s okay to harp on that forever as long as it gets the other guy the win. Because after all, real politicians don’t ever make mistakes, right?

Finally, and perhaps most important of all, no matter who wins it is our right as citizens to complain about it ad infinitum instead of actually getting off our lazy asses to do something about what we don’t like.

Don’t like Obama? No problem. Just call him an idiot on Facebook, post a photo showing some fabricated statistics that you haven’t even bothered to fact-check and tell your friends to share it. Within minutes half of Facebook is high-fiving you for your brevity in taking a stand against the President, the other half is rolling their eyes and de-friending you.

Then I’m over here like, is this politics or Hollywood? Because I’m pretty sure the lines got blurred at some point. And you know what? So what.

Personally I’m happy the President was re-elected and will be serving for a second term. It isn’t strictly because I trust in his views and plan. It isn’t only because I watched Mitt Romney successfully run Massachusetts into the ground so I would never have voted for him (for us less well-off folk that is, the wealthy were probably holding up rally banners for the guy). It also comes down to that photo up there.

Because if the lines between politics and Hollywood are going to be blurred I’m voting for ‘happily ever after’ ride off into the sunset with your Prince Charming every single time. I love that he loves his wife. I love that she loves him back. I love that the two of them are, dare I say it, a genuinely happy couple with two cute kids and a good family dynamic. From what I see of course. I get that I don’t live with them so who really knows but if there were ever two politicians that seemed genuinely happy together these two are those people.

And as far as I’m concerned that counts for a lot. Maybe more than policy. Frankly I think the entire country could benefit from dropping some of their fear and falling back in love again. I don’t care who or what that love is expressed for, just love.

Love cheeseburgers? Get passionate about it, fight for your cheeseburger! Love your spouse? Show it. And who cares who sees it. Maybe it will rub off and a few other people will start to realize they love someone else too. And then others will see and feel it, share it and express it…

See how it can grow?

A few states pointed their middle finger at fear last night.  Let’s start with Washington, Colorado and Massachusetts. I applaud all of you for taking another step toward the country’s prosperity by approving measures on marijuana reform. Talking about this as a benefit in that tax dollars on the product could assist with reducing the national deficit (or at least at a state level to begin with) deserves its own post. So I won’t go into the specifics here but suffice to say I couldn’t be more pleased to see there are states that get it and want to try to get right with their budgets.

Now, for the naysayers, just because those states approved it doesn’t mean they’re going to force it on you. Believing that you’ll be forced to smoke it and that everyone will be sitting around on their mom’s basement sofa getting high all the time if it becomes legal is, again, just fear. Get over your fear and embrace the revenue this product can support.

And speaking of…possibly the most glorious of all ways to show that love is better than fear, Maine and Maryland** I’d just like to extend a big high-five to both of you for telling the rest of the country that you support love no matter who is in love with who. Gay marriage is legal.

Straight? Great! Gay? Okay! Yeah I’m rhyming here to make a point. What the fuck does it really matter if the two people in question are in love, happy, want to get married? LOVE, remember? Politicians shouldn’t be able to tell anyone who they should and shouldn’t love. Why it’s okay for some people to be happy but others get no benefit for spending their lives together other than the knowledge that they were happy.

And believe me, I get that to a point. Lots of people run around saying that it’s just a piece of paper, why do they need it so badly to prove (to all the straight people) that they’re happy? Flip that argument on its head for a second…why do the straight people give a shit? That’s my question. Does it value love any less if two men are holding hands? Two women kissing? Two happy people are raising children to understand that being in love means being in love and it doesn’t matter who it’s with as long as it’s real? Perhaps they should ask themselves the real question – what is it that really makes them uncomfortable? My guess is that deep down inside, on some level, they are afraid of love.

And that’s a damn shame because love rules.

So personally I’m pretty thrilled that Obama will be in the White House for four more years. We get four more years of seeing that through struggles and difficulties, through real issues we all face every day, in the end the Beatles were right.

All you need is love.

Congratulations President Obama. Please never lose your passion or compassion for the people you go to fight for every single day. And you know I mean Michelle, Sasha and Malia. Because even though the rest of us are an important part of your country, and you are dutifully bound to protect and serve us, your family is truly where your love lives.

And every single American could benefit from learning to appreciate the lesson you’re teaching.

**A side note high-five to Wisconsin for electing the first openly gay Senatorial candidate!