Thursday, October 16, 2014

Is this a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

My last post was in July. What have I been doing since then? Working. If it's not stuff for my actual job, it's stuff for my EdS degree (aka my Masters in Hoop Jumping). I've managed to work a few tiny wedding plans in here and's a good thing we set the date for next fall because I couldn't have done all of this and planned an entire wedding at the same time!

I thought that I'd have time to post some stuff on my blogs during fall break, and honestly this is the first chance I've had. Really the only reason I'm not working on stuff is that I'm getting my hair done. There's not much you can do with a head full of foil.

On to today's subject. I woke up around 4:30 or 5 this morning and naturally started thinking. I'd been in a deep sleep; you know when you wake up and you can tell you've been in exactly the same position all night? Yea, it was one of those. Whenever I wake up like that I'm always excited because I think, "Yea, way to go! REM sleep and whatnot." The downside is that I can't continue sleeping in that spot because now it's all sweaty and gross and unacceptable.

So I rolled over to the other side of the bed, the completely cool side of the bed--score. Who doesn't love the cool side of the pillow? Probably terrorists. I checked the time, 4:30 or 5. It didn't matter today because I was on break but typically this would be exciting because that means there's more time to sleep. Jim Gaffigan says waking up and realizing you still have time to sleep is like finding $1,000.

At this point, most people would just fall back asleep. But lucky bucket of crazy that I am, I had to go back and forth weighing whether or not my current situation was a good thing or a bad thing.

  • Deep sleep: good thing
  • Sweaty sheets that must now be avoided: bad thing
  • Relocation to untouched, cool sheets: delightfully good thing
  • Time to sleep: good thing
  • Brain keeping you awake with stupid list: bad thing

Ultimately, I came to the following conclusion. What's wrong with me? Everything.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Higher Education in the Wizarding World

My last post dealt with a super serious topic, so I thought I should post something lighthearted to balance it out. A few weeks ago or maybe it was months, I don't know because it all runs together, I was behind a car with a Harry Potter bumper sticker. You'd better believe I was all over that.

Obviously I found this amusing, but then I decided to spend a significant amount of time thinking about it (that's what I do). My over-thinking led to a number of questions:

  • Does Hogwarts have tuition? They don't mention it in the book, but I'm sure it does. I mean, they provide room and board to all the students for crying out loud. It's a far cry from your traditional public school. 
  • Are there scholarships? There must be, otherwise how could the Weasleys afford to send all of their children there? 
  • Are there other school options in the wizarding world? You have to be accepted to Hogwarts based on your potential for magical ability but not all children born to wizard parents have that ability. Take Filch, for example, he's a Squib (non-magical person born to wizard parents). What would be the point of a Squib going to Hogwarts? 
  • Where do wizard children go to school prior to the age of eleven? And what do they learn? Regular math and stuff?
  • Did Muggle parents ever question their children being accepted? "Hey honey, an owl just dropped off this letter saying our kid is a witch/wizard and that we should send her/him to this school that we've never heard of. Well, that seems legit." Did any of them ever say no?
Technically FAFSA applies to post-secondary education and that's not what Hogwarts is. Hogwarts is a secondary school. If you want to get bogged down in semantics, this bumper sticker is inaccurate. But it brings me to my main quesstion: Why is there no higher education for wizards? I can't imagine that sat well with Hermione Granger.

Seven years of schooling and you're done. That's all the education you need as a wizard. You're 18 years old and nobody thinks you should maybe go to some more classes? Not even to do something really specialized, like be an Auror or a Professor? That means that by the end of their time at Hogwarts, Seamus Finnegan and Neville Longbottom had the same level of education as Albus Dumbledore. Sure he had decades of life experience, but they had taken all the same classes.

I'm required to have a Masters and all I teach is Spanish, I don't even get into levitation, transfiguration, Dark Arts, charms, etc. If I were going to send my kid off to learn all of that stuff I'd feel more at ease knowing that the teacher had more than the wizard equivalent of a high school diploma under his hat.

For the record: I would go to Hogwarts today if an owl showed up at my house. Same goes for my future children, I'm so down with them attending Hogwarts and learning magic.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My Letter to Hobby Lobby

I know I'm not the only person who's doing this, and some of you might be sick and tired of hearing about the Supreme Court ruling by now, but I can't not give my opinion on this matter. I'm not going to apologize. And I'm not going to tell you not to read it. You should read it. This is a big deal.

Dear Hobby Lobby,

So, you're a person now. You have religious beliefs. And you don't have to pay for your employees' contraception because doing so violates those religious beliefs. How many sleepless nights has this whole ordeal caused you, Hobby Lobby? I'm surprised you've been able to maintain normal business hours during such a trying time. You brave little soldier, you.

I'd like to take this time to tell you about why I use contraception. Now, it might get a little be honest, you're the first craft store I've discussed my lady times with. I don't make a habit of working these types of things into regular conversation, but since you've made the reproductive rights of your female employees your business and participated in setting back women's rights, I figured I'd make an exception.

I started taking birth control when I was 18 years old. I am now 29 years old. Now I know what you're thinking, Hobby Lobby: What a whore! Believe it or not, preventing pregnancy is not why I'm on birth control. As a matter of fact, I am a Christian who goes to church on a regular basis--are you shocked that we don't share the same "closely held religious beliefs"? Prepare to be shocked yet again! I am currently engaged and planning a wedding for next fall. Most people assume that my fiancé and I are sleeping together or that we're going to move in together before we get married. Nope. Wrong on both counts. I don't typically volunteer that information or correct people who make the assumption, not because I'm embarrassed but because I don't care what people think and it's no one's business but mine and my fiancé's. The only reason I'm sharing it now is to prove a point: Not everyone using some sort of contraception fits into the small-minded, preconceived notion that you created. 

I don't know how much you actually know about periods, birth control, or women in general, Hobby Lobby; but based on the fact that you took this case to the Supreme Court, I'm going to assume you know very little. Periods are supposed to come once a month and last for 3-5 days. Prior to taking birth control, mine were never like that. Sometimes a period would last for a really long time (my "record" was 3 weeks). Sometimes it would be so brief, it's like it hadn't even happened. And then I would go months with nothing. 

Initially I didn't complain much, I was never the Are You There God, It's Me Margaret type of girl who longed for her period. But the fact that I never knew when the freaking thing was going to show up, was starting to piss me off. I'm glad I did finally tell my doctor about these issues because I found out that it could be the sign of and/or lead to bigger and more serious problems. 

Irregular periods can be caused by something as basic as stress to uterine polyps, Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and premature ovary failure. Additionally, if you aren't having a period every month, it means that your uterine lining is not being shed every month (like it should be) and can increase your risk of uterine cancer. So my doctor put me on birth control and it's been smooth sailing ever since. So it's not all about preventing pregnancy. 

One of the specific contraceptive devices you won't be paying for is the IUD. Some people consider an IUD to be more abortion-like than traditional birth control. I'm just going to throw this out there: some women are not able to use traditional birth control (pills) and thus an IUD might be their only option. Since you think IUD's are so evil, I should probably alert you to something: Your employee retirement plan is invested in mutual funds of companies who actually make emergency contraceptives and IUDs. Roughly 75% of the retirement plan as of December 2013, if you want to get technical. I thought I should tell you about this because since your "closely held religious beliefs" are so important to you, I know there's no way you would've knowingly allowed this to happen. Knowingly investing in these companies while filing a lawsuit refusing to pay for the products they make would negate your entire argument. It would imply that all this comes down to is money. Saving money wherever possible, at the cost of women's rights. But I know that's not what happened here, so now you can go and correct that grievous error!  

My main purpose of this letter was to introduce you to the variety of functions of birth control. But I'd also like to take this time to tell you that I will no longer be shopping in your store. I don't know that I'd take the time to tell a corporation that, but since you're now a person, you deserve to know. It won't hurt me one bit to become exclusively loyal to Michael's. Michael's is open every day of the week, and they give teachers a 15% discount. That's right Hobby Lobby, I'm a teacher. Teachers buy a lot of craft stuff. The average teacher spends $1,000 of their own money on their class/classroom each year...and you don't even give them a discount? Well, no matter! Really, the main reason I found myself at your store was convenience. It's closer to my house than Michael's. 

I hope you are being flooded with similar letters, Hobby Lobby. I hope other people are pledging to never return to your store. Women's rights took a step backwards when you received your ruling and that hurts me. Any time someone else thinks that they know what is best for my body or the body of any woman, hurts me. Whenever someone thinks that they deserve to have a say in my medical decisions without my consent, it hurts me.

This is not about me being a liberal, a Democrat, pro-choice, pro-Obama, etc. This is simply about me being a woman. Ultimately, the ones who will be hurt by your actions are women, from all walks of life.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Wedding Plans

My fiancé and I are still in the very early stages of wedding planning, but we have started doing a few things. Basically all we've done is make a lot of boards on Pinterest and add a lot of pins! Most of my time has been focused on applying for jobs since I was pink slipped, but when I need to take my mind off of that I like to escape to Pinterest.

My most recent accomplishment was separating the various pins from one wedding board onto more specific (aka OCD) boards. Anyway, I was texting with Jerry last night and he mentioned that he had been looking at one of my new boards and it quickly turned into a blog-worthy conversation...

New Otterbox Commuter wallet case keeps your phone   your cash safe.Jerry: I hope you don't want any burlap at the wedding. I'm seeing a lot of it.
Me: That's why I love you. No burlap. No mason jars. No rhyming crap about where to sit.*
Jerry: I pinned something with jars, but it is an article about all sorts of DIY ideas.
Me: I know.
Jerry: Thank goodness. Some of that stuff is pretty ridiculous. WTF does burlap have to do with a wedding? Unless you're Amish.
Me: It's the whole country look. It's right up there with your other favorite: dresses & cowboy boots. I can't stand the poems. "Choose a seat not a side, we're all family once the knot is tied!" What? No. Here's my sign: "You're an adult, go find your seat and sit down. If you need a poem to help you sit down, you're at the wrong wedding."
Jerry: Oh, sounds delightful. That is perfect as well as so us, we should have that as a sign.
Me: "Here's your cup for the rest of the night, fill it up with whatever tastes right!" How about, "This is a cup, if you're thirsty put a drink in it"? Create an activity book for the plethora of small kids who attend the wedding. Or just leave your small kids at home. They don't want to come to a wedding.

I may or may not start a list of all the things you won't be seeing at our wedding.

*The rhyming crap is almost always written on a chalkboard.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I Know Nothing of Javert

I've had "Les Mis" stuck in my head for several days after watching a short clip from the Inside the Actors Studio with the cast of How I Met Your Mother. Neil Patrick Harris (love him) and Jason Segel sang part of The Confrontation, with NPH playing Javert (way better than Russell Crowe) and Segel playing Val Jean.

It was a really cool clip but now it's left me wondering, why was Javert initially chasing Val Jean? Was it just because he was a d-bag?

I've been racking my brain for days; mentally going through the plot of the play and trying to make sure I didn't miss something. Val Jean got his yellow ticket of leave so he didn't escape the prison and ultimately he didn't steal the silver because the priest gave it to him. Then he started a new life under an assumed name (is that illegal?), but at that point Javert was already tracking him down.

Weren't Javert's bosses like, "Hey, we have bigger poisson to fry than help you railroad an innocent guy just because you don't like him but enjoy rocking epic duets together. We aren't telling you how to do your job but maybe during all the singing you should've just grabbed him. Don't you feel just a bit silly for that?"

And on top of that, Javert can't seem to catch him. When he sees Val Jean as M'sieur le Mayor he doesn't even recognize him. No double take, nothing. Val Jean spent 19 years in prison under Javert's "watchful" eye. You're telling me that after 19 years you don't recognize a man's voice or his eyes? Come on, Javert! Get your head in the game, son. Also, Val Jean isn't exactly laying low now is he? He's a major business owner and the freaking mayor.

But somehow Val Jean manages to elude Javert for the entirety of Cosette's life. Yea, Val Jean picks up some major baggage while on the run and Javert still can't catch him. Now he's got a girl daydreaming about castles on clouds on his hands and when she gets older men just lose all interest in the French Revolution and sing about her. I think that's going to draw some attention. But not Javert's attention.

So Javert can never quite catch Val Jean. But you know who does find Val Jean and Cosette? My girl, Eponine. Marius is all, "Hey I met this cute girl and sang to her and stuff, could you find her? I know you will because you're so in love with me. I don't really know anything about her other than her name is Cosette and I want to marry her."

And like women have done for centuries, Eponine agrees to find out if Cosette likes Marius even though she likes him because she thinks maybe this will make him like her more. But oh girl, it doesn't (but don't worry, at least you get a pity kiss from that jerk Marius after you get freaking shot). So Eponine takes a stroll around Paris and finds Cosette and Val Jean in about 6 minutes. Javert hasn't found them in over 10 years. He's had special training in finding people and stuff. He's got the uniform, the hat, the whole nine.

That's really all I have to say about the matter other than the fact that I don't know how Javert got his job. I'd say nepotism except he tells us that he "was born inside a jail" so I doubt his mom had much pull with the police. Maybe his father was a guard...scandalous!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I Can't Handle You, Kroger Pharmacy

On my way home from work the other day I heard a statistic from John Tesh saying that the average American fills 12 prescriptions each year. First of all, I'm shocked I didn't crash the car from laughing so hard. 12 per year?! I almost get 12 per month for crying out loud (and that's not counting the OTC pills).

When I was a Kroger employee I had my plethora of prescriptions filled where I worked, even though it wasn't the closest to my house. After I quit, I eventually changed everything over to the Kroger on Boston Road because it's the closest to my house. That's when the trouble started. I've been trying to avoid pointing fingers but they just haven't been cutting it.

It's never-ending problems up there. Prescriptions that should be on file from my doctor disappear from the computer and I end up playing phone tag between the pharmacy and the doctor's office. Despite me telling them time and time again, they keep calling my old doctor for refill requests and then my old doctor calls me and demands I make an appointment. Prescriptions that were once filled for a month are suddenly filled for ten days and it takes multiple phone calls to fix.

And just when I think it's all been sorted out, something else happens. Is it technically hubris when it's not pride but rather the assumption that another failure cannot be possible?

Everybody and their mom is sick these days and I've been feeling a sinus infection coming on so I set about getting some drugs. A friend called Kroger yesterday afternoon and left a message with my prescription order. I didn't receive a text but on my way home from the budget forum (almost 6 hours after the initial call) I thought the medicine had to be ready. Nope. It was not ready and there was no sign of it in the computer. That's odd. Maybe they hadn't gotten to it yet, I'd check tomorrow. I hadn't spoken with my friend, maybe he hadn't called it in. Surely, Kroger hadn't dropped the ball again.

Fast forward to today around 3:30. My friend did call it in; in fact it had been a solid 24 hours since the order and still no text from Kroger. So I went back in to figure it out. They had absolutely no record of it, nor did any other Kroger. So I'm guessing someone heard the message, didn't enter it in the computer properly, and then deleted it? I give them his name and number so they can verify the prescription. "Call him at this number and he'll give you the order again." And here's the part that inspired me to write this post, the person I had been dealing with took the information and told me,

"They'll call as soon as someone gets a chance."

Hmm. I think someone has a chance right now. A chance has just opened up. That's not the best customer service policy. If pharmacies ran like other businesses, this prescription would be on the house or they'd throw in some free pain killers for my troubles.

Sadly, it doesn't end there. After I got home I got a call from Kroger. Apparently they'd tried to page me in the store--but with their phrasing I didn't wait around because it sounded like it might be awhile. So now they want to know who I saw, when I saw them, and where. Because they called the hospital where my friend works and the nurses couldn't find my chart because I hadn't been seen there yesterday. So I explained the situation and they said I had to get him to call them. Well, why wouldn't I?

I have an issue with an inability to follow basic directions. It's very frustrating. Apparently this is what you do on your 29th birthday (haha). I suppose I'm in the market for a better pharmacy.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Unsung Hero of Home Alone: Old Man Marley

Here I am enjoying Snow Day #12, what a perfect chance to update the old blog. I was texting my mom this morning and she mentioned that she ran out of time shoveling this morning so would I mind finishing up. Obviously I didn't mind, so I headed out to finish up what she said was a little bit of shoveling. It must've snowed more since she had shoveled because the whole driveway was covered again!

While shoveling snow it's hard to not notice how difficult it is. And as any normal child who grew up in the 90s, the first thing I think of when I see a snow shovel is the character Old Man Marley from Home Alone.

Buzz (also, who names their kid Buzz?) tells Kevin that Old Man Marley killed his whole family back in 1958 and kept their bodies in a garbage can full of salt that turned them into mummies. And now all he does is walk up and down the streets, shoveling and salting the sidewalks.

You know what, I bet nobody on that whole street appreciates the service that man provides for the neighborhood. Shoveling is flippin' hard work, plus he's an old man! Do you think the McCallisters (or anyone else on the street) ever chipped in money for salt? Doubtful! They were too busy spending money on tickets to Paris, golden kaleidoscopes, and lawn jockeys that are menaces to all visiting cars.

So, yea, they say he murdered some folks...but that was over 30 years ago. Plus, has he ever tried to murder any of them? As far as anyone on that street knows, all he does is keep them from having to shovel their own walkways. I wouldn't say no to Old Man Marley helping out on my street.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

That Ain't Not Bad

When picking up my prescriptions today (which you'd think was my hobby based on how often I do it) I made a fun discovery: my antidepressant is significantly cheaper this year than it was last year. So I guess now it's like a double antidepressant because I'm happy thanks to the chemical balance of serotonin, dopamine, and all that other science business PLUS I'm regular happy because I'm saving money. What an exciting life I lead!

Later tonight I was making my dinner when I stumbled upon my next discovery. I'm pretty sure I'm 5 years old because my dinner was chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. This is not the first time in recent history that I've had that meal. And what's more, I'm totally cool with that.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fire in Shangri-la

I spent all day yesterday organizing hundreds of pictures from my trip to China in a book on Picaboo. I can't wait for the book to come in the mail! I had so many fun times in Shangri-la and I hope to go back soon. There was a sadder aspect to going through all the pictures, on January 10, 2014 a fire destroyed most of Old Town in Shangri-la.

Old Town is where I stayed while I was in China. We shopped in the small shops of Old Town and ate in the local restaurants. We met people who owned the restaurants and shops. And now from what we've heard, they're all burned to the ground. I'm so lucky to have visited all of these places before they were gone. 

According to a recently released story, the fire was caused by an unattended heater in a guest house. Thankfully, no one was hurt. The fire burned for 10 hours. That blows my mind. One unattended heater causing 10 hours of uncontrollable blaze and destroying a town. It breaks my heart. What will it look like when I go back?