Friday, May 04, 2007

Busy busy busy

Very busy today, and not feeling too hot. Breaking in some new meds all at the same time, because I am adventerous that way. And to state for the record, the new whole grain Life Cereal is pretty good, in case you were wondering. Slightly less sweet than the regular, and has a slightly different taste and a pleasing texture. But don't be fooled, if you don't like regular Life cereal because it gets soft fast (and I think it has the record for the fastest crunch-to-mush ratio in cereal history) then this won't thrill you either. I do feel the texture holds up a bit better, but it still gets soggy quickly. So eat it standing up at the counter like I do - don't even THINK about taking the time to put the milk back in the fridge - or eat it dry and take a sip of milk with every mouthful. Not that I have ever done anything even remotely like that. *Cough*. I also want to state for the record that if you decide to go cheap and buy a store brand of veggie burgers, you are taking your chances and have no right to be horrified when they turn out to be gross. I should say SOYburgers. Most veggie burgers made from veggies and grains and legumes seem okay (if hard to cook), but soy based meaty types? Not so much. Dh and DD ate some lovely hand packed burgers, and I took one bite of my store brand soy burger, pulled it out, and ate the condiments on their own while that disgusting patty sat in the garbage and thought about what it did wrong. I did offer a crumb to Ruby. She rolled on it. This dog eats bugs, litter box crunchies (when she can get them, which is not often), and sock lint to give you a reference. The texture was too chewy and yet soft at the same time. The fake grill flavour overwhelmed the REAL grill flavour from being bbq'd. Once again, the fake garlic taste was so strong it made me gag. What is it with vegetarian options so loaded with that awful pseudo-garlic? I asked around a bit, and was laughed at. LAUGHED at! - when I asked what brands of these items people are using. "Oh no, we don't get that stuff here. You have to shop in the states for that". Oh. I guess that would explain why I can't find good veggie dogs and burgers and things here, except for that one brand of nuggets. And wouldn't you know it, I haven't been able to get the plain nuggets since posting about them. They have only had the spicy buffalo wing style since then, which I tried, and they are too hot even for me let alone DH and DD. What did you all do, run out and buy out all the stock after I posted about them? Sheesh. Offhand (mostly so you can be as shocked as I was) did you know that many brands of frozen burgers - not the veggie variety now, but rather your basic beef burger - are over 400 calories PER patty? We won't talk about the sodium right now. Most people I know eat two burgers at a bbq or picnic. That is 800 calories and we haven't even figured in the two buns, side dishes like potato salad, and that fizzy sugar in a can people swill like water. Even by modest estimates, that makes that dinner top the DAILY caloric value for most adults. Almost double the fat grams allowed before you add toppings like mayo and cheese, and don't even mention the mayo based and oil dressed salads. I am not exactly on a soapbox here, but do you know how often we eat that way in the summer? Crickey.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Yeowch!

Another day, another laser hair removal treatment. Last time it was decidedly pinchy. This time? Positively OUCHIE. The technician told me it gets worse and worse because they dial up the strength for each visit. That means next time? Well, next time I might use words I don't usually part with in public ;). I am seeing a difference though. There are patchy spots now, and the regrowth is really slow compared to how it used to be. The hairs themselves are lighter and finer, too. So I am sticking with it as long as I can stand it. In other vanity news, I am considering teeth whitening. In light of recent occupational events however, I may have to settle for an off the shelf product rather than a professional treatment. I am not convinced that doing it that way wouldn't be a false economy though. I mean, has anybody had really really good results with home whitening? Is it even worth my time at all? I have been thinking about it for a long time....in an "if I win the lottery" kind of way. But what better time than looking for a job to enhance my self image? Make my "package" a little easier to sell. Sure, it's wrong to think that having whiter, brighter teeth would give me a better chance in the job market. But every last thing helps. Right now I am competing with 25 year old guys and young, skinny things with blonde hair. I need all the help I can get, and lipo hasn't dropped into my price range yet. Speaking of fat. I also had my doctors appointment today. Things are not good, and I knew that because I have been feeling like crappola of late. My A1C results (which show control of your sugars for the past 3 months, roughly) are not the greatest. Not horrifying, but bad enough that they called twice to make sure I didn't miss this appointment. I have NEVER missed an appointment, so it's not like I am a regular flight risk. Dh and I were starting to get scared - this must be SERIOUS. So, more new medications to get used to. And that crappola feeling? APPARENTLY, it means that my blood pressure meds are working because I am taking them to make it lower than "normal", and low blood pressure makes a person feel crappy. How nice of my doctor to think of me, and make me feel crappy for a reason. This was the third time I have tried to get a prescription filled, at a different pharmacy even, and been told I have to come back tomorrow because they don't have what I need. WHAT?!?!?! And I am not talking some obscure thing either, I am talking regular meds that a lot of people take. Then again, maybe that is the problem. Higher demand depletes their stock? I don't know. But I find it annoying. I decided not to deal with that pharmacy anyway because of an incident (which happened while I waited an hour to be told they couldn't fill my prescription, and let me tell you I was pretty ticked off about waiting for that). There was a young child who threw a tantrum. For almost that complete hour, she screamed and cried and threw herself on the floor and pulled at her father demanding a stuffed toy. He did what we are all told to do. Ignore the tantrum, do not yell, do not give attention, and do NOT give in. Kudos to him, but we all had to listen to it. Now, my daughter is young enough that I know exactly how that guy felt. I have been in those shoes. I know what it is like to be someplace and have DD stage the biggest meltdown ever. You can be the best parent ever born, but in that moment the entire store is looking at you with "Bad Parent" eyes. Alcoholics that abandoned their kids at birth, drug dealers that light their toddlers up for fun, and pediphiles look at you like you are scum, because your child is screaming and behaving badly. You are being JUDGED, man. Did I like listening to that? No. Did I wish he would just leave? Yes. But he was getting a prescription for one of the other kids with him, and that child needed the medicine. I saw them get off the bus together, so it's not like he could just jump into his car and come back later. While this was going on, there was a pharmaceutical rep talking to one of the pharmacists. And this salesman was getting more and more agitated as the screaming went on. He made many sarcastic comments, glared, and huffed a lot. Then he made this comment: "If it were my kid I would have given her a shot in the head by now". And yes folks, I lost it. I stood up and said very loudly "Excuse me. Would you mind telling me which company you represent? Because I want to make sure I never, ever, use one of your products again. If this was MY pharmacy, and a vendor treated one of my clients that way, our relationship would be OVER.". He stammered, made an apology, packed up his stuff and beat it out of there. He wouldn't tell me what company he was from. Seconds later my name was called. I was planning on telling them to KEEP that prescription, but I didn't have to bother because they didn't have it anyway. They were going to send it later, I said no thank you. I will bring my business elsewhere. I don't want to frequent a store that allows it's vendors to treat the customers so rudely. A handful of people left with me. The rest stayed but avoided eye contact and looked uncomforatable. The way I figure it, my work was done there ROFLMAO. In lighter news, last night DD had her "Spring Concert". Her class sang two songs, did a dance, and enacted Rumplestiltskin. And they all did a spectacular job! I am not kidding, this was the most impressive school event we have seen. All of the classes did a good job. There was a recitation of a Dr. Suess poem by grade seven kids that blew us away. When I saw the program, I thought it was backwards. The younger kids were singing serious songs (One World) and doing a complicated dance, and the older kids were reciting Dr. Suess and singing Wiggles songs. But you know what? It was ingenious! There was something about teenagers belting out "Quack Quack Quack Quack, Cockle doodle doo" with beaming faces and pride that elevated it and made it ART. The kids reciting the poem were in groups with primary coloured shirts, and they enunciated and if the man himself could have seen it he would have been proud. Still not impressed with the principal (the address she was supposed to give was given by the Vice Principal instead) and some of the organization could have been better. The programs were poorly photocopied and stapled together when they could have used half as much paper with a double sided copy. But the show itself was stellar. We were extra proud of DD. Normally she gets so excited and over stimulated, that she ends up getting upset and scowling through the whole thing. This time she smiled a mile wide, and went with the flow. Even when her hat came off, she just laughed and set it off to the side and continued on. That's my girl! And now I am going to take a nap before doing some REAL work today. Too many errands, too much waiting, and my brain is tired and cobweby.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Caught her red....mouthed?

There is a spot on the carpet that is on the stairs going to our uppermost level. Not a spot as in a stain, but rather more like a bald spot. Right on the edge of the second stair from the top. It has been there for a few years, and sometimes I think it is getting bigger but then convince myself that it is not.

How did it get there? I firmly believed that the area got burned or clipped by our old vacuum. You had to lift it and place it on the step, and if the bar was allowed to spin in the same spot for a long time, it had been known to flatten or pull out carpet fibers. I thought maybe DH placed it on the stairs to vacuum the baseboards from the hallway or something (there is no way I could lift that thing onto a step, so it wasn't ME). Dh claimed it must be the cats doing it. The CATS? Why would the cats chew a spot on the stairs, in such an inconvenient place? Why haven't they done it anywhere else? I felt he was falsely accusing them.

Last night I was on the phone. The windows were open, DH and DD were already asleep. I heard noises in the livingroom, a banging, almost like somebody stomping around. I panicked a little. After all, the window in that room is ground level and it was open, and it was dark outside. I told my sister (who was on the phone) "I am going to check this out, and you are coming with me" lol. I slowly snuck up the stairs, peeking around the wall to see if anybody was there. Nope. Then I realize the banging noise is coming from UPSTAIRS. Yikes! The intruder is already in the hallway where the bedrooms are!

I steeled my nerve, and peeked around the stair well. Just in time to see Jasmine, draped over the step, pulling and biting at "the spot". We are talking yanking hard enough to pull the carpet up, then letting it snap back down - thus the banging noises. I emitted a startled HEY! and she ran like hell. To think I defended that little monster! How dare she deface my step! Between that and the hairball stains (and an unfortunate stint of peeing blood which was not her fault and has been resolved), she has single handedly ruined most of the carpet in this house. Except the basement carpet, which has a colour and pattern not unlike a hairball and this hides stains well. I would be scared to know just how dirty that carpet is. It is vacuumed regularly, but we have never CLEANED it. Bleah.

Cats are the most subversive animals I have ever met. They do dastardly things in secret. Things that have no rhyme or reason, and they do it in such a sneaky way that you don't find it right off and thus have no proof of their guilt. Every magazine I read has punctures in the corners of the pages. Xena feels the need to bite every corner of every piece of paper she encounters. She also bites the corners of boxes, photos, photo albums, movie cases, and dvd cases. She especially loves the pointy parts of library books and homework assignments. She will climb book cases and into backpacks to get at these items. A few times she has been unable to contain herself and actually bit a corner of a book AS I WAS READING IT. Then she acted surprised to see me, like she was in some kind of strange paper trance or something.

I keep finding little stockpiles of stuff - under couch cushions, in corners behind tables, under appliances. I am pretty sure it is not DH doing it (he would place the items in a grocery bag and pile them on the coffee table or next to the tv). It can't be DD because she hides all of her little things in purses and ring boxes and tea cannisters and little tins. I just leave my crap all over, no hiding here. If it were Ruby, the items would be awfully wet from being sucked on, and arranged in a circle in the middle of the hallway. No, it must be the cats. They hide pony tail holders, twist ties, bits of yarn and string, polly pocket shoes and tiny barbie accessories. All things they are not allowed to have but feel compelled to steal.

So. Let's regroup. They ruin carpets by barfing on them and eating them. They steal. They bite things. They stink. Okay, they do NOT stink but DH made me put that in as his contribution. Sometimes I wonder why we even KEEP them. I mean, once they aren't cute kittens anymore, what is the draw? Then I remember. I remember times like last night, at about 3am when I was feeling icky and could not sleep. And Jasmine came and laid next to me and clutched my hand with her paw and purred. And when I was feeling depressed and cold and lonely and Xena came and looked right into my face, then sat in my lap calmly (for a fleeting two seconds before she couldn't take it any more and launched a vicious "squirrel" attack - which is more funny than scary but we won't tell her that because she believes she is being ferocious even though she looks like a squirrel when she does it). I guess they can stay a LITTLE while longer.




Monday, April 30, 2007

We can take her socks....

...when we pry them off her cold, dead feet. My sister LOVED her birthday gift - the pedicure socks. She put them on right away (we all run around bare foot most of the year) and didn't take them off ROFL. And now everybody wants a pair. I am such a trend setter! My mother said I could go into business selling these things to day-spas and beauty parlours. I said first of all, there is a copyright issue. Second of all, I don't knit nearly fast enough to do something like that. If we "paid the rent" with my knitting, we would all be living in a cardboard box faster than you can say kid merino. I don't want to live in a carton with a DH and a DD and a dog and two cats and a canary and a fish and a snail. Where would I keep my collection of cookbooks and knitting patterns and throw pillows? Not to mention I can't stand the sound cardboard makes when somebody touches it. *shiver* No thanks, I'll leave the mass production of cheap footware products to sweatshop kids in third world countries like the lord intended. The truth is, in this day of dollar stores and discount chains, the market for home made items is in the toilet. Oh, people WANT hand knit and crafted things. They just don't want to pay for them. "I could make that myself for five dollars". No. You couldn't. Because it COST me seven dollars plus the labour time to make that, and I am fast and good at it. You are slow and suck at handiwork, which is why you are shopping at a craft fair for premade items. It is hard to get people to see the merit of your work when they can go two blocks over and get something similar in a dollar store for less money. Of course, it is not well made. And the colours are off. And it was indeed made in a sweatshop in a third world country by underpriveledged women and children. But it only costs a DOLLAR. You can't make it for a dollar. I once costed out a cookie recipe for a bake sale. I factored in labour time and the overhead (gas for the oven, etc.). I nearly fainted. It is cheaper to buy cookies premade than to make your own if you are making more than a batch or two. Does that make people appreciate home baked cookies all the more? No. Home baking is considered a cheap endeaver. "Oh. You made them yourself. How quaint. Are you out of work?". Who can compete with the grocery store bakeries with the minimum wage staff, and the power of bulk buying and commercial grade goods? Never mind they are loaded with chemicals and additives to keep them shelf stable and looking pretty. And the packaging, my god the packaging! Just short of bubble wrapping each individual cookie. Wouldn't want a crumb to break free, now would we. Of course, that is impossible considering the addition of dough conditioners and humectants but that is besides the point. Of course, I didn't factor in that to truly sell those cookies on a wide scale I would need a licence, have to take food safety courses, and would have to rent a certified and passed kitchen. No home kitchens allowed! Especially around here, where the health department pours bleach on egg salad sandwiches made by church ladies in the park. Since my job is ending, I have had more suggestions to start my own business. And it sounds like a grand idea, doesn't it? But where is the start up capitol coming from? For supplies and permits and licences. Businesses here (from restaurants to barber shops) go out of business here at the rate of about 70% within two years. Most are dependant on the local "big three" economy. They are laying off. Tool and Mold shops are closing. If the people who were to buy my products (and never mind we don't even know what I am supposed to be selling) are out of work and can't afford to buy things, where does that leave me? Holding the bag. Or the socks or the cookies or the.....you get the picture. Nah. I guess I'll find another day job ;).