13 of 30: Keeping Me In Stitches

You might think I’m some kind of masochist for even mentioning this NOW, but I was researching necklifts. Not the mumbojumbo kind that requires exercising with springs or some weird shit like that or yoga because I am not the patient kind. I want results, immediately.

Ironically, by the time I saved the money for one I could have a neck that could crush a walnut. Except I don’t believe that kind of stuff works. Hereditary trumps all but the knife.

I haven’t been happy with my neck for a while. I use to have the kind of neck that made turtlenecks look good. Long and thin, but lately I’ve noticed wrinkles and sagging and more wrinkling. I’ve always believed that if one could afford plastic surgery, then who is to begrudge them that luxury? Good for them. Lucky them. Except when it goes awry because some poor bitch thinks she wants to be a living Barbie and ends up looking like a Barbie zombie instead. I’m talking about nips (even those kind of “nips”)  here and tucks there. Like my neck. And my eyes. And a tummy tuck. And a saddlebagectomy.

As I said, I was researching necklifts and found this before and after photo…except something’s not quite right with the “before” and “after”. This is the kind of shit I notice that makes my friends and family roll their eyes.

I wonder if botox would fix that eye-rolling problem they have?

12 of 30: At this point in our relationship, there’s no such thing as TMI

Wednesday evening I noticed a tightening in my stomach and knew what the next 24 hours had in store for me. By 11:30 p.m. I made my first of many sprints to the bathroom.

I made love to the heating pad for the rest of the night and most of Thursday. Doodicus was sick as well, but not to the same extreme. He even hit the Wii for a few minutes in the morning.  The kid hasn’t napped in almost four years and even sick he was up and about only complaining when Sparring Partner came home with his homework.

(He’s at it right now…the moaning and whimpering! You’d swear he was on the rack.)

(Remember, I try to write these in advance; it’s 7:00 p.m. Thursday for me.)

Right now I’m going to pop a couple tylenol p.m. and hope the aches that comes from doing five rounds with the Mike Tyson of stomach flu alleviate just a bit. Plus I used a sharpie to draw Hugh Jackman’s face on the heating pad and he’s calling – no singing – my name.

11 of 30: Bills, Bills, Bills

Now that NaBloPoMo is a third of the way over, are you just pushing the PGDN button on your keyboard while in your reader? Go ahead, you can admit it to me. I do it and I’m participating for heaven’s sake.

Working a decade in the healthcare industry has given me such an insight to the internal bullshit, especially the patient billing. EOBs (Explanation of Benefits) are not scary and confusing bits of paper to me. Now that I’m self-pay/private-pay/uninsured/underinsured I can easily understand why so many billed people get annoyed and angry and frustrated.

One of the clinics I use locally gives self-pay patients a 25% discount.  The hospital I had my surgery at in The Metro gave us a 20% discount. However, the hospital, my former employer, had a policy of giving a whopping 5% discount for self-pay patients IF paid within 30 days of the first statement. It would seem that in the past couple of years they’ve been under a bit of a financial strain, what with deciding to build a multi-million dollar expansion during the financial downturn and losing their asses SO when I received a statement from them, I found out that the “generous” cash discount offer had been rescinded.

Of course I’ll be calling to negotiate: 10% discount or I’ll pay $10 a month for the next couple of years. Of course I’ll be nice. I can be nice. Stop looking at me like that. I can too.

I also called another clinic about a balance from Doodicus’s visit to find out what kind of discount they offer. The person who took my call countered me with the most ridiculous response: “We are a self-funded, self-employed clinic.”

“And I’m an unemployed, uninsured guarantor on my son’s account, so what?”

“We don’t offer a cash discount. We don’t get kick-backs from the state.”

“Neither do I.”

Really?? As long as that doctor sees any patient who has insurance, he (“he” as in “his business office manager”) is     negotiating discounts. This rep went on to tell me that they can set up a payment plan but that they have a minimum monthly requirement. I should have replied with, “Well, I have a maximum monthly availability and that trumps your requirement,” but I didn’t. I could tell I was stressing her out, so I told her once I get a statement we can figure out how to proceed. Never mind Doodicus’s visit was nearly two months ago already.

The other notable experience I had as an uninsured patient was just yesterday at yet another follow-up appointment with the surgeon (don’t have to go back for another six weeks!). Just as the nurse calls me back, I get halted by the receptionist who informs me that their business office manager wants to speak to me first. O f course I know what this is about. I get redirected to a tiny, windowless, torture room where the manager hems and haws uncomfortably while she pulls up my account on the computer, which she informs me has been “flagged.”

“Have you talked to anyone in our office about financial counseling?”

“No and I don’t need to.”

She stared back at me, a little stunned.

“Oh. Well, we normally try to work out something with our private-pay patients before their balance gets too out of hand and your account, which is over a certain amount was flagged because we didn’t have any arrangements in place.”

I wanted to tell her that it’s not my fault that no one from HER staff contacted me about the financial arrangements. The surgery was scheduled. It wasn’t emergent. Not my responsibility. I don’t work for the surgeon, she does. I also thought about telling her that there’s really nothing she can do at this point as she can’t deny me my follow-up visits which are all included in the surgery itself, but I didn’t. I just told her that when I finally get a bill, I’ll take care of it. She told me it was sent out on the 5th….it’s the 11th and I STILL don’t have it. Gotta love that outsourcing, don’t you?

Now don’t you wish you had clicked the PGDN button?

10 of 30: Nailing It

Aside from the edema and debilitating carpal tunnel during my third trimester with Aitch, my pregnancy was relatively uneventful (it was the getting pregnant that was unusual). However, I noticed that my fingernails – specifically the first two on my left and the first on my right – would start to curl down as soon as they grew past the finger. I meant to blog about it then but you know how it is when it comes to blog posts. Or maybe you don’t. It’s irrelevant because I’m blogging about it now.

The reason I’m blogging about it now is because even though the nails stopped curling over shortly after I had Aitch, I noticed recently that my Eff You finger on my left hand is doing it again. With the way my luck has been running, it probably means I’ve ingested some weird African parasite brought over to the U.S. via a chameleon smuggled with the help of analease and some valium by the barista at my favorite coffee stop and eventually my nails, my hair, and eventually my arms will turn purple, rot and fall off. Or not. 

So here’s another photo for you to deliberate. Yes, it was taken in front of a web page that discusses the possible reasons fingernails curl.  I especially like the “can indicate physical or mental stress” line.

See? The nail is just as long as the ring finger’s, but because it’s curling (more on the right side than the left), it looks like the nail’s broken, which it’s not.  You thoughts on this mystery?

8 of 30: Trading Spaces

We’ve been living in our house for 5 years. We did not go whole-hog when we built by financing everything down to the ninth throw pillows on the bed. Instead we tackle interiors and landscaping one room/section at a time.

Most of you have seen the exterior of our home and probably envision the interior to be finished with lovely textures and colors and knickknacks up the ass, but really it’s as dull as dirt. No room is really finished. The closest is the kitchen but even that is awaiting some finishing I’ve been wanting to do since we moved in.

The windows in question are at the back.

This year, Sparring Partner and I have agreed to purchase window treatments for the living room as a Christmas gift to each other. When we selected the windows and their trim, we originally thought we didn’t want to put any treatments on the windows. We didn’t need to worry about privacy and we didn’t want to hamper the one of a kind view. However, as time has passed, we realize that we need to soften up the wall that is now all glass and mission-style trim.

The Front Yard

I love pattern and I have a very eclectic, but sometimes-traditional style. My husband is not crazy about bright colors or big patterns, but the room can easily handle both as it has an 18 foot vaulted ceiling. The only limitation in color we have is that it must coordinate with the wall color, a dove grey. I do not plan on painting for a very, very long time. The furniture is temporary: until the kids are older (leather is a godsend when you have young kids).

So now I’m looking for your suggestions on type of treatments for the windows below. I’m leery of anything that would require damaging the wood, but whatever can be put on the wall directly is fair game. Actually, any ideas would be welcome. You might envision something I never would have thought of on my own.

7 of 30: Exhaltation

It’s been an awesome weekend so far and Sunday just started! Lots of great news but really can’t disclose much of it, at least for now. No, I didn’t get a job. No, I didn’t win a lottery. Don’t ask me about work or money unless you want to be buzz killers.

Before I share, a couple of weeks ago when I was still limping around, the doorbell rang. Doodicus looked out the front door when I asked who it was and he said he didn’t know. Strangers in these here parts are rare. (Now, reread that with a southern drawl.) I painfully limped to the door to see a woman standing there. I opened the door and saw she was holding a couple of buckets full of brushes and rags and she had a swiffer in the other hand.

I couldn’t believe it! Someone had surprised me with a housecleaning since they knew I was laid up! My husband? My in-laws (doubtful, but possible…)? Who, who, who??!

“Are you Amy?”

My mental happy dance stopped abruptly. “Erm…Amy? No, I’m not. But what’s Amy’s last name?”

She told me but I pretty much knew the answer before she said it. Amy and her husband, my cousin, had just built a new house exactly one mile from us. They would definitely be the types to hire a cleaning lady. Damn.

We chatted for a bit and I joked how Amy’s new house shouldn’t require a cleaning already; that they had just moved in so if she wanted to start here first…I was only half-kidding.

Now, my good news?

No, I didn’t get a housekeeper! Stop trying to guess!

I found out this weekend that my stalker/ex-coworker accepted a position in The Metro, two hours away. I will never have to see their stupid Acadia, which has made me want to key every Acadia I have ever walked by in a parking lot, ever again as they do not have family here. She will never become my friends’ boss. She will never be someone I have to think about running into at the mall or grocery store. I don’t care if the job she accepted is better than the one here. I don’t care if she’s making more money. I am THRILLED that she’ll finally be gone.

I am also thrilled that I won’t have to send her boss copies of her facebook postings but I still would love to send them to her with a note, “Even though you couldn’t keep your big mouth shut, be thankful that I could.”

6 of 30: Hot Glue and Glitter Make Me Cry

I was actually ahead by two posts for a couple of days there, having scheduled at least one post a day in advance, but today (now yesterday because I am/I have scheduled this post to publish approximately 6 hours ahead), I spent it driving four hours on the road so that I could take my mother to the craft show in The Metro.

Always a love/hate experience for me. I love crafts and arts. I hate that they hold it in November. Back in 2004, this annual craft show was my first public outing after my first miscarriage. I really, really tried to find comfort in being around two of my sisters and my mom – girl-time – as we strolled past booth after booth. Unfortunately, I couldn’t help but think, “If I was still pregnant, I would have bought this picture frame; this Christmas decoration; this quilt…” At that time, even watching my mom try to decide what kind of ornaments to get the grandchildren was like a rusty dagger in my shattered heart.

I also couldn’t keep from tearing up every time I saw a pregnant woman or a newborn, snuggled into a woman’s arms while she used the stroller as a makeshift cart. Sights and sounds that were commonly ignored were jarring on my hypersensitive nerves. That day, I excused myself from my family around the half-way point. I just wasn’t strong enough, less than two weeks from the day I was told, “I’m sorry, but there’s no heartbeat.”

In the next couple of years, I declined the invitations to go. Then about two years ago, I agreed to take my mom to it again. It was still difficult, but tolerable. Like having a root canal with a completely numbed mouth. You can’t feel the acute pain, but you know something unpleasant is going on and your brain can’t suspend the reality.

It was like that this year as well. I can’t imagine it NOT hurting just a little bit. I don’t wonder what’s wrong with me for not being able to disassociate this event with my first miscarriage from six years ago, a girl, at almost 16 weeks. Instead, I would have to wonder what was wrong with me if I didn’t remember; if I didn’t feel some pain and sadness.

5 of 30: Won’t You Be My *social network* Neighbor?

Hey! Did you know that if you are signed up on the NaBloPoMo website, you can create your own page? And you can add friends?? Huh, didya, didya?!

At first I was like, meh, big deal, but you know, there’s really no reason for at least those of you participating not to become friends there to. Plus, I look really pathetic with just three friends.

So today’s post is really just me asking you to be my NaBloPoMo friend.


4 of 30: Smug as a Bug

I’ve been complaining on Facebook about one of the people I’ve been stuck next to at my current temp job. I’ve mentioned her here a couple of weeks ago. She happens to be the first and only woman to have ever become pregnant! Can you believe it?!

Within the first two days working in the same room as her, she has imparted the following bit of trivia:

  • How long it took to get pregnant
  • When she found out she got pregnant (I already mentioned, it was on her son’s 1st birthday)
  • Where the placenta is
  • How much the baby moves
  • How her future FIL believes alcohol will not harm the baby
  • How her pregnancies had ruined her once teen-modeling body
  • How utterly OLD she is now (she’s not yet 30)
  • How to spell her fiance’s name (it’s tattooed on the back of her neck)
  • How often she has braxton-hicks contractions (since she pants, oohs and ahhs, and rubs her abdomen with each one)
  • How many weeks and days she’s pregnant and she updates us each day (“Yep, I’m not 32wks and 4 days!” and then the next day, “Wow! I’m already 32wks and 5 days!” because anyone who might have paid attention the day before was too stupid to do the math)
  • How naughty the baby is (because it keeps her up all night shoving its knees into her ribcage)
  • What a “chunk” it is as it’s now 4lbs and 12oz (and the next day, the baby is 4lbs and 14oz – again, we are all apparently stupid)
  • And finally, how she forgot to bring in the 4D ultrasound pictures, but she’ll remember them next week! (and she did and then proceeded to pass them around)

You know, it’s one thing for a fellow employee to do this if I had been working with her for a couple of months and we had developed some kind of repoire, but this woman is the Queen of Overshare. I don’t know if she’s hoping that we’ll throw her a baby shower or what, but christ! I don’t care to know that much about a stranger. I’ve never liked chit-chat so this bedroom exchange is really annoying the living crap out of me. Let me clarify that she’s not just coming over to my desk and telling me all this, she is announcing it to the room of 12 people.

And it’s not like I can escape the endless wah wah wahwahwah wah, because I can’t physically leave the area and still do my work. Instead, Sparring Partner took pity on me and filled up an MP3 player with a bunch of my favorite music. It helped.

It was pointed out to me on FB that my bitter complaining should be channeled more constructively into happy, congratulatory thoughts. I suppose that’s a valid point IF SHE WAS A FRIEND, but she’s not. I don’t owe her happy, congratulatory thoughts. She didn’t offer me any sympathy on the day I showed up in crutches and it the unavoidable  questions were answered, but they were answered simply.

Let’s end this post, probably one of the longest I’ll have during NaBloPoMo, on a happy note – literally:

 * Pregnant Women Are Smug (click to hear it sung: Awe – some!)

Pregnant women are smug

Everyone knows it, nobody says it

Because they’re pregnant

Effing son of a gun

You think you’re so deep now, you give me the creeps

Now that you’re pregnant

I can’t count all the ways how

You speak in clichés now

Riki: So, do you want a boy or girl?

Kate: Oh, doesn’t matter as long as it’s healthy

Riki: Really? ‘Cause I don’t feel that those two things are related. It’s not like one or the other.

Kate: Oh, really, as long as it’s healthy.

I can’t wait to hear someone say

“Don’t care if it’s brain dead

Don’t care if it’s limbless

If it has a penis”

Pregnant women are smug

Everyone knows it, nobody says it

Because they’re pregnant

This zen world you’re enjoying

Makes you really annoying

Riki: So, is it a boy or girl?

Kate: Oh, we know, but we’re not telling.

Riki: What you’re gonna name it?

Kate: Oh, we know, but we’re not telling.

Riki: Who’s the father?

Kate: Oh, we know, but we’re not telling.

Bitch, I don’t really care

I was being polite

Since you have no life now

That you’re pregnant

You say you’re walking on air

You think that you’re glowing

But you’ve been ho’ing

And now you’re pregnant

You’re just giving birth now

You’re not Mother Earth now

Riki: Oh my gosh, I’ve got so much going on. I got my novel published, I moved, I got married.

Kate: Gosh, you know, everything seems so trivial now that I’m pregnant.

Riki: Well, I also helped end gang violence in Mexico when…

Kate: You know, I can’t even remember what I did before I was pregnant. Everything else seems so meaningless.

Pregnant women are smug

Everyone knows it, nobody says it

Because they’re pregnant

Effing son of a gun

You think you’re so deep now, you give me the creeps now

Now that you’re pregnant

* And if you are currently pregnant, please realize that this is not directed at you personally. Unless you’re acting smug.

3 of 30: Batbaby

While I was recovering from my surgery, my Kindle was an almost permanent fixture in my hand only set aside when the percocet had kicked in. In that time, I had finished the third in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I then decided I need a break from Diana’s heroine, Claire Randall, as I found her excessively whiney and lacking any common-sense.

So I thought I would see what the big deal about Twilight was and within a couple of days made it through three of the four books. And once again, the heroine, Bella, made me roll my eyes and grit my teeth more than I care to admit. It seemed like I liked ALL the other characters, EXCEPT for her which is the only way I can explain why I kept reading them.

I haven’t downloaded the fourth book, Breaking Dawn onto my Kindle as of yet. I can’t help but look at the reviews and in doing so discover that Bella ends up pregnant in book number four.

(Ooops. Spoiler alert. One sentence too late. My bad.)

I was like, whatthefuck?! How could a vampire get a human pregnant? Doesn’t the sperm require blood and isn’t it considered “fluid” and in the past, no “fluid” has been noted coming (pardon the pun) from a vampire when they were shredded by the werewolves. I mean, COME ON!

And then I realized I was trying to figure the logistics of a purely mythical and fantasy- based creature getting a human pregnant.


I think I now know why I don’t like Claire or Bella. We must be too much alike.

2 of 30: Revenge is Sweeter When It Doesn’t Involve Revenge

I was talking to my friend who still works for my former employer about my crazy stalker and former fellow employee. She said to me on the phone, “She’s up for a second interview…” and I tuned out the rest. Supposedly she was being groomed to be the new Controller as the old one, my boss, had been promoted up the sewer line. I was livid. She’s a psycho!

I pulled up an old file on my computer. The screen shots from her facebook page that I had saved from what feels like eons ago. Even now, I flushed in fury at how careless and idiotic she was to say some of the things she had in a public forum, her pages now private, but then? Damning to the point of immediate termination if they were ever exposed to the employer.

I so badly wanted to print the file and mail it anonymously to my former boss knowing that he would not only kick her out of running for the position, he would send her ass packing. As much as I wanted to, and if you don’t know the history, believe me when I tell you, It Was Bad, I knew morally that I would feel like a shit for doing so.

Later, I met with my friend, and while I normally try to avoid talking about my former employer and all related, it came up anyway. My friend said she really was hoping Psycho get the job because she’s been such a bitch lately. I asked how her becoming the boss would make her any less of a bitch. My friend looked at me funny and said that she wouldn’t be HER boss. She was up for a second interview for a position at The Metro, 100 miles away. I had misunderstood; made assumptions.

I breathed a sigh of relief. I didn’t have to worry about sweet revenge. In fact, suddenly I was enjoying the view from a moral high road and told my friend I would say a prayer for Psycho and hope that she got the job.

Hey, that’s still a moral high road. Don’t try to convince me otherwise or my head will explode.

Lucky Moe…

I don’t know why I do this to myself. I know how I react when I see others doing it (pulling my face into a very unflattering grimace, thankyouverymuch), but dammit, sometimes it’s good to practice a little self-discipline even when no one really gives a flying, poopy monkey butt.

I vow to keep them short. Not short and sweet because that would go against my very nature.

So, for my first post of National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) (Naw. Blow Po’ Moe), I’ll tell you about our Halloween weekend where Aitch was Tinker Bell and Doodicus was a Petulant Ass.

In other words, I copped out and bought the first costume that meant the least amount of work with Aitch. I mean, really? Tinker Bell?? She’s a two-year old, blonde, blue-eyed toddler. Wow! What a stretch!

As for the Petulant Ass? Well, he told me earlier in the week that he didn’t want to trick-r-treat and surprisingly, he didn’t change his mind. I asked him if he still wanted to celebrate Christmas. He just shrugged his shoulders. It emphasized the zit I saw on his nose. Yeah. A zit. He’s 8 and 11/12 years old. Holy hell. Fine, it might have been a clogged pore, but the coincidence is uncanny.