Is it hot in here?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It was April, 2009 when my doctor put me on medication for my "condition", GAD, generalized anxiety disorder. For as long as I can remember, I've been anxious. It started when I was a child and the daughter of an undiagnosed mentally ill woman. I never knew if my uneaten peas or messy bedroom would set her off so I spent my life walking on proverbial eggshells. This learned behavior followed me into my teens and finally, adulthood. I felt like I had to perfect to be accepted and it was exhausting trying to fake it, lest someone find out my "secret".
It never dawned on me that there was medication for that. I just assumed that it was something I had to learn to deal with so I read books and tried to hypnotize my way out of it. The spring of 2009 was when my blood pressure became so alarmingly high that western medicine intervened and gave me a magic pill.
Of course, I had to try a round of magic pills to find the one that suited me the best. One pill made me larger and one pill made me small. I was living this song.

I finally found a medication that allowed me to sit still during a meeting without wanting to run out screaming. I figured I would take my chances with the potential side effects:
  • fatigue
  • muscle weakness
  • chest pain
  • itching/rash
  • nausea
  • weight gain
  • lightheadedness
  • decreased sex drive
  • death
Being on the medication proved to be a blessing and a curse. I no longer had extreme highs or lows but, instead, existed somewhere in the middle, bordering on indifference. This decreased emotional reaction was helpful as I maneuvered my way through the illness and subsequent deaths of both of my parents within  a short period of time. I was distraught but I would have been an absolute mess if I hadn't been on meds.
I kept wanting to go off the medication because I was sure that it was responsible for my 50 pound weight gain. Surely it had nothing to do with my daily ingestion of junk food, fast food and booze! I was just too afraid to let go of this crutch that made me appear "normal" to people.
Fast forward to 2013. Hot flashes and missed periods. Oh fuck. My sister's prophecy was coming true.
"Are you sure you aren't perimenopausal? Maybe you're perimenopausal."
I think I'm perimenopausal.
I guess it makes sense but it sure does blow. There's nothing worse than having a conversation with someone and feeling a wave of heat come over you. You can feel your face flush and then comes that familiar trickle of sweat down the middle of your boobs.
A friend suggested Black Cohosh, an herb used to treat menopausal symptoms. It's a North American Indian medicine that has been used for a variety of maladies over the years. Can I tell you that within a day, I was feeling better! And the best part is that I've stopped taking my happy pills and I feel FINE. No anxiety and no homicidal tendencies which tended to come up if I forgot to take pills in the past.
Who knows? Maybe I'll even want to have sex again someday! With a partner!

Monday Morning Millie

Monday, October 28, 2013

"I'll only come out if you're sure the power is on."

Secondhand Sunday

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sundays are my Secondhand day. I'm basically too lazy to think of anything new to say so I re-post a "vintage" entry.

If you aren't in the mood for repeats, please feel free to change the channel.

"Spanx me"

Original Post Date, July 2, 2010

“Maybe you should think about wearing a girdle.”

Ahhhh…Saturdays with Mom.

This is what my mother thinks I look like.

I believe my mother has a condition called reverse other people’s bodies dysmorphia. She sees me as way fatter than I am.

Yes...yes! I've gained a lot of weight but I'm 5'9 so 40 pounds on me isn't the same as 40 pounds on someone who's 5'2. And besides, 25 of those pounds are in my boobs.

What is the big freakin' deal??

Then I came home and tried on one of my skirts from last summer. It didn't zip all the way up and I heard my mother's voice, "Maybe you should think about wearing a girdle." I don't even like wearing control top pantyhose but we're in a different time than when our mother's wore girdles. Today, girdles have fancy names like Spanx and they're trendy to wear. Heck, even Queen Oprah sings their praises.

So I went to to see what the hype was all about. Oh, look! They have a new line of slimming swimwear. Okay, Spanx marketers. If you want to convince me that this bathing suit is going to make me look slimmer, don't show me a skinny bitch without an ounce of body fat wearing one.

"Look at me! I haven't eaten since May."

Show me THIS woman wearing the body slimming bathing suit if you want me to shell out $107.

I looked through all the nonsensically named bodysuits, shapers, panties and slips and finally decided on the "Higher Power" body shaper.

It has a high waist to eliminate the "muffin top" and longer legs to slim those cottage cheese thighs. Wait a minute...$36?!?!?!

Well, I found one for a fraction of the cost on eBay and bought it. Yes, it's probably stolen since there was no packaging but I don't care. Didn't you hear the part about it being a fraction of the cost?

Let me tell you, ladies, (and curious gents) I HATE this stupid thing. First of all, it took me 5 minutes to get it on over my butt. My face was bright red by the time I did and I had to sit down and rest. The high waist doesn't stay high unless you're as thin as skinny bitch. The top rolled down by the time I got to work and created a larger bulge than ever existed before.

There's a handy dandy hole in the crotch for, I'm guessing here, relieving yourself. But it would be impossible to do without dribbling all over it. And besides, it just feels freaky walking around work in what are essentially crotchless panties.

Are they handy for a quickie? Oh, sure. But for as good as they might look under your clothing, they're less than flattering by themselves so it's not likely I would even get any takers.

Sorry, Oprah, I usually like every book, wine, car, hair product and musical artist that you suggest but I have to give you a big thumbs down on this one.

C Cleveland

Saturday, October 26, 2013

For some reason, I woke up at 4:30 in the morning on Thursday and looked out the window.

And not just a little. All I remember hearing on the news was 'light flurries' but this sure wasn't light flurries. I went back to bed and then I started hearing "pop" "pop" "pop" "pop". You know, my overly imaginative brain always assumes it's gunshots so I noted the time in case the police were looking for witnesses. 4:45AM
It didn't dawn on me until later in the day that the popping noises I was hearing weren't gunshots at all but transformers popping. A little later, around 5:00, I heard more odd noises and I got up to see if it was my neighbor leaving for work but it wasn't. It turned out to be the sound of branches breaking.
We had snow, sleet, hail, heavy winds, rain, lightning and thunder. I was pretty sure it was the apocalypse. I was drifting back to sleep when I heard my printer starting up, an indication that the power had flickered on and off.
When I woke again, I looked over at my clock and it wasn't working. I turned the switch on my lamp. Nothing. The power was out. CRAP.
The combination of wet, heavy snow with trees that still had their leaves caused branches to break and power lines to come down with them. Over 35,000 people in the east side of Cleveland area were without power and lucky me, I was one of them. Oh well, this happens sometimes, so I was sure it would be on again soon.
I had to work in the afternoon and the wind, snow and rain continued. Oh well, I was sure my power would be back on when I got home in 4 hours.
Still no power at 5:00PM so my neighbor across the street and I decided to get together by candlelight to pass the time. He moved in a few months ago, so we had a great time getting to know each other and telling ghost stories. Okay, I was the one telling ghost stories.
 But, of course.
I left his house around 10:00 and when I got in my house, the temperature was 50 degrees. BRRRRRRR....
I decided I may as well go to sleep but it's really hard to sleep when you're freezing cold and you have three shivering dogs huddled against you trying to get warm. At one point, they were pushing into me so hard that I almost fell out of the bed. Oh well, I was sure the power would be on by morning.
Nope. A little over 28 hours later, it finally came on. Just in time for me to get ready for a Friday night wedding. Thank God.

Here's some of the damage.


My poor display!

This branch snapped and is hanging above the garage at my rental.

Welcome to the family

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

You know how I've been lamenting that no one will hire me for a part-time job. Well, someone finally did! It's a part-time seasonal job at a card store and it's perfect. I wasn't sure that I was going to get it because in the interview, she looked at my last three jobs and said those dreaded words that everyone says to me, "Won't you be bored?"
That's the point! I just want something fun to do. I don't need intellectual stimulation or a huge salary. Of course, I didn't say that out loud but she must have read my mind about the "not needing a huge salary" part because it sure ain't. But that's fine.
I started training last week and I'm in awe of the amount of training that they have for a part-time, seasonal employee. I'm going on my 10th hour! Policies, procedures, loss prevention, store display, store products. I don't think I had this much training for a hospital administration job!  
I managed a card store about 10 years ago but it was a card and party store. If I never blow up another balloon in my life, I can die a happy woman. Graduation parties were the worst! We would have to blow up hundreds of balloons.

Besides the balloons, it was a fun place to work. I've always liked wandering around card stores and looking at all the unique gift items. The women in this store are super nice and they really are like a little family. There's always a gift or donuts for some occasion or another and you can tell that they really like each other. AND...I get to wear an apron so I don't have to suck my stomach in. When the manager called to hire me, she said, "Welcome to the family."
I think they may wonder why I'm so overly happy all the time. Not sure if I should tell them that I'm just thrilled to talk to someone with opposable thumbs. 

Another Facebook page

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Remember how much I despised Facebook a few years ago and I would make fun of it? Well, much like my indifference to cats (thank you Vinny!), I've turned the other cheek and I now LOVE it!
I think it was more of an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" thing. I've talked about the amazing community that I've been introduced to through the blogging world and the same holds true for Facebook. I never would have met many of you that I now consider friends and it's all because of the power of social media. It reminds me of this old shampoo commercial.

And yes, I actually used this shampoo!

Do you know that 66% of my funding came through Facebook? Isn't that incredible? And it's all because "they told two friends and so on and so on and so on..."
I wanted to be able to keep my Kickstarter backers informed of the progress of the book, so I started a Facebook page for it and I want to share the link with you. Click HERE if you are so inclined.
I'm going to be posting illustrations, updates and also, general senior dog information. I thought this would be a great way to not only keep backers informed but to spread the word about the book. The more subsequent copies we sell, the more I can contribute to shelters after the initial run is exhausted. I'm excited that after one day, I already have 130 likes for the page!
I've never worked with a illustrator before but Jay is making it so easy. Initially, everything is done in a pencil sketch and then color is added later. Here are a few.  

I'm so thrilled that this is becoming a reality! Thank you, thank you for helping to spread the word about the project or I never would have gotten to this point. Love you guys!

Monday Morning Griswolds

Monday, October 21, 2013

I'm speechless. I thought the fact that they didn't have any Christmas decorations last year was just a fluke but LOOK.

No Halloween, either??

You can take a walk down memory lane HERE.

Secondhand Sunday

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I've decided to make Sundays my Secondhand day. I'm basically too lazy to think of anything new to say so I thought I would re-post a "vintage" entry.

If you aren't in the mood for repeats, please feel free to change the channel.


Original Post Date, August 28, 2009

I made a remark to my co-worker, Lori, the other day that one of our doctors reminded me of Mr. Magoo. I haven't watched Mr. Magoo in years but I remember what fun it was to watch crotchety, near-sighted Mr. Magoo bumbling through his days in ignorant bliss.

The colorful characters in the show added to the fun.

Bowser: Quincy Magoo's dog that is really a Siamese cat

Waldo: his dimwitted nephew

Mother Magoo: the self-sufficient mother that Quincy sees as delicate and fragile

Tycoon Magoo: Quincy's rich uncle

Worcestershire: Tycoon Magoo's butler

McBarker: his bulldog who shared his myopia affliction (added in the later 70's series)

and my personal favorite:

Charley: Mr. Magoo's Chinese houseboy who referred to himself in third person as "Cholly"

Lori came to work the next day telling me that she looked up some episodes of Mr. Magoo to show her kids (8 and 10 years old) and how she laughed way more than they did. As she was explaining an episode where Mr. Magoo thought he was taking someone to an amusement park, she had to stop talking because she was laughing so hard as she told of how Mr. Magoo walked up to worker standing at a cart in the salt mine and said, "Two, please" as he entered the "ride".

Right then, I went on Amazon and ordered the full DVD collection that I'm watching tonight. Now I know when the character of Cholly was introduced, there was some controversy about the stereotype but I was shocked that he no longer referred to himself as Cholly but as Charlie instead.


Is this what we've come to in our politically correct society? Can we no longer watch the classics and see a Chinese man refer to himself as Cholly and his boss as bloss?

Television is our time capsule that takes us back to simpler times when blue collar, uneducated Archie Bunker was able to spout off about his meathead, liberal son-in-law Mike while he was arguing with his black neighbor George Jefferson's brother, Henry, about the difference between honkeys and spades.

Look how far we've come. Let's not let this uber PC world keep us from laughing at the lunacy of stereotypes, too.


What was I just doing?

Friday, October 18, 2013

It was probably the late 80's or early '90's when I first heard of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in children and I thought it was just another label for parents to slap on their lazy and/or ill behaved children to excuse their behavior. Put them on meds to control it? Even better. You get the Parent of the Year Award.
Then I became friends with a woman whose child had the latter diagnosis and I was tempted to keep a bottle of Ritalin in my purse in case she ever forgot to refill said child's prescription. Okay, so maybe it was a real thing.
Later in my professional life, I heard the term thrown about in terms of employees with productivity issues. ADD in adults? Are you kidding me? It just sounds like a lame attempt by an employee with no motivation to not work as hard as his co-workers. As IF!
I'm now eating my words (and thoughts) because I'm pretty sure that I have ADD. Certainly not ADHD because God knows I don't get hyper or overly excited about anything. Yay. Another mental illness to add to my already case study worthy psyche.
At first, I thought that my lack of concentration was just a product of my stressful job. But that job is but a memory now and yet, I still find myself unable to focus on one thing for any period of time. I have a load of projects that I want to pursue and I'll start one but get sidetracked and never finish.
And it's not like I'm getting sidetracked by a significant life altering event. It can be something as simple as a squirrel outside the window. It  goes something like this:
"Will you dogs please stop barking! It's just a squirrel!" Then I think to myself, Maybe it isn't just a squirrel. Maybe there's a prowler. Then I think, Do people still say prowler? Is burglar a better term? But if they're not trying to break in, then they can't really be a burglar. How about stalker? No, that would indicate that someone was keeping tabs of me for some period of time.

A wanderer? Oh, that's a good song! He's a wanderer, yes a wanderer, he roams around and round and round...Or is it, they call ME the wanderer? I better look up the lyrics on Google. I was wrong the first time. It is They call me the wanderer...
I go into the family room and sure enough, the dogs are barking at a squirrel but it's not a brown squirrel like we usually have around here, it's a black squirrel. I remember seeing black squirrels down in Kent but I've never seen one around here. I think I'll go Google black squirrels.
And so it goes...
I don't want to go on any more medication than I'm already taking so I looked into some natural remedies for ADD in adults and I found this.

It touts itself as being "a 100% natural supplement suitable for children and adults which promotes focus, concentration, memory and stable mood. The recently enhanced formula is great tasting  (UM, no it's not) and comes in a dropper bottle, making dispensing easy and accurate. This remedy is formulated to the highest therapeutic standards and manufactured under strict pharmaceutical conditions, using ingredients specially chosen for their safety and effectiveness."

I figured for twenty bucks, I could give it a shot. So far, I'm not seeing much change but I've only recently been able to see the proper dosage with my new reading glasses so I'll let you know how I do.

Monday Morning Vinny

Monday, October 14, 2013

Come. Come closer, my friend. Don't be afraid.

Do you see the blood under my eye?
This blood.
It does not belong to me.
 It belongs to someone who chose to disrespect the family.
 Am I making myself clear?

Secondhand Sunday

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I'm basically too lazy to think of anything new to say so I'm re-posting a "vintage" entry.

If you aren't in the mood for repeats, please feel free to change the channel.


Original Post Date,  March 29, 2010

I’m a brand loyalist.

I only buy Diet Coke, won’t eat a salad without Wishbone Balsamic and Basil Vinaigrette dressing and I replace my white leather Keds with white leather Keds. I thank L’Oreal for my long lashes, Bare Minerals for my “flawless” complexion and Pantene for my shiny locks.

When I worked out religiously in the past, I always bought Nike apparel and shoes. They’re one of the few vendors that make a pant long enough for my 34" inseam and the athletic shoes fit me like a glove.

WHY I decided to go out and buy a pair of Avia shoes is beyond me. I suppose it was the pretty sale sign that clouded my judgement. Well, I wore them around the house and hated them. Back they went and I brought home a nice new pair of Nike running shoes.

I know what you’re thinking. Running shoes, Chrissy? Isn’t that a little ambitious?

Well, yes it is, my friends, but this is my fantasy, so shut it.

I headed to the gym last night, sporting an extra spring in my step, courtesy of Nike. I went much later than usual so it was easy to snag a treadmill since there weren’t many people there. As I stretched, I sized up my gym mates.

Two treadmills to the right was a large man wearing one of those silver sauna sweat suits. I’ve seen them in magazines but I’ve never actually seen anyone wear one in person. I would imagine that the fabric is nylon, as they tout the benefits of “sweating your way to a slimmer you”.

Sure, if you don’t pass out and die first. So far, Mr. Silverman looked like he was going to make it as he walked at a regular pace.

To my left, facing the opposite wall was a very large woman wearing white. White calf length pants, white shoes and a white top over her white sports bra. And she was jogging. I thought to myself, If she can do it, so can I!

Scattered around the room were some senior citizens up past their bedtime and some younger guys who were probably the ones who drove Grandma and Grandpa to the Y.

They limit you to 30 minutes on each piece of equipment so I started walking at a faster pace than normal to warm up because I wanted to start alternately jogging and walking tonight.

Since it was dark out, when I looked ahead, all I could see was the reflective image of myself in the mosaic of condensation and cracked glass that the fitness room’s windows provided. It was likely my shadowy silhouette that lulled me into thinking I actually looked pretty good when I started to jog. My new sports bra was keeping the girls in place and my yoga pants gave my legs a really lean look.

I glanced to my right, Keep going, Mr. Silverman, and all this could be yours someday.

I was feeling pretty impressed with myself when a tiny slip of a thing sauntered up to the treadmill between me and Mr. Silverman. She was probably about 25 years old, 5'3, cute as a button and skinny, even though she was wearing two layers of clothing. She started out walking so I, of course, had to continue jogging to show her up.

Game on, honey!

I realized I had pushed my limits when I felt the first bit of vomit coming up my throat so I opted to slow down to a brisk walk. As I gasped to catch my breath, Miss Tiny started to jog. I glanced over and disgustedly noticed that her ass was keeping pace with the rest of her body unlike mine that bounced uncontrollably wondering what the hell was happening.

Once again, I got the bright idea to start jogging. I increased the speed and hoped there was no one on the machines behind me to witness this.

Let's do this, chicky!

I looked at Miss Tiny's reflection in the window because it seemed rude to stare right at her. I saw her reflection unzip her hoodie and remove it to reveal a long sleeved tee. I had to look. It was like staring at the sun. I knew I should look away, but I couldn't. She had barely a glisten on her face while I worried that I might have splashed some sweat her way when I turned my head.

How do you not sweat?? It doesn't matter. I'll just keep going.

Five pathetic minutes later, I slowed to a walk again and Miss Tiny removed her long sleeved tee to reveal her perfectly petite body running like a gazelle in a racerback bra top. You heard that right.

It's a bra.

It's a top.


Game over.

C Cleveland - Downtown Cleveland

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sorry I'm been MIA this week guys!

Here's a cool video of downtown Cleveland that I ran across this week. Enjoy!

Monday Morning Millie

Monday, October 7, 2013

"You gonna eat that corn or can I have it?"

Secondhand Sunday

Sunday, October 6, 2013

I'm basically too lazy to think of anything new to say so I'm re-posting a "vintage" entry.

If you aren't in the mood for repeats, please feel free to change the channel.


Original Post Date, July 1, 2010

I finally took the time to weed and mulch in front of my house. I picked the hottest day of the year but it was oddly therapeutic to dig my hands in the dirt (sans gloves) and whack! whack! whack! those weeds out. I'm still not able to stand in an upright position yet but I'm sure that will come with time.

My father is quite the stickler about the yard and since he isn't able to do his this year, I headed over there to weed, plant flowers and mulch after I finished my house.

My pretty little angel windchime that clinks under my bedroom window

My sister was pretty impressed with what a good job I did and asked me if I would help her with a bed in her backyard.

Sure, I say, No problem!

Well, I went last Friday night and I decided to take Bernie with me. Big mistake since my placid, sweet Bernie turns into Cujo around Lisa's dog, Stewie. I can't really blame her, though. We older bitches get total attitudes when we're around someone younger and perkier.

Where was I going with this?

Oh, right! Mosquitoes.

So Lisa tells me that I better stop around 8:00 because the mosquitoes will start to come out in droves.

"No problem!", I say. I keep weeding.

The next morning, I woke up with no fewer than 15 mosquito bites. Six were on my ass. I jokingly thought, well at least someone wants to get close to my ass. Then I remembered that only female mosquitoes bite and not males. Maybe Mother Nature got wind of my latent homosexual tendencies and is trying to tell me something.

Did you know that when a female bites, she injects you with an anticoagulant so that your blood won't clot as she's sucking it down?

It also keeps the blood from clotting in her stomach since she needs the protein in your blood to mature her eggs.

No one is really certain why some people are more prone to mosquito bites than others but one theory is that larger people tend to attract them because they release more carbon dioxide which the mosquitoes detect.

Shut it! I know I'm larger.

The males die three to five days after mating while a female can live up to two months and lays 100-300 eggs every third day.

Kinda makes you have a new found respect for mosquitoes doesn't it?

NAHHHHHH!!! Kill the bastards. I mean, bitches.

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