Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Where is Simple Respect for Others? (Possibly Not Safe For Work due to Language)

Disclaimer:  If you are easily offended by strong language and sexual content, you probably need to skip this.  On the other side of that, this is not some hot, steamy sex story, either.

At what point in our lives does it become acceptable to send someone a text message saying some horribly awful things?  We all get angry.  One of the suggested ways to get your anger out is to "write a letter", but never to send.  However, too often than not, people just hit send and take out their aggression on the other party.

Someone on my FB friends list posted such a message.  Many have poor opinions on this person, but with that aside, I thought the message was very inappropriate.  No matter how one may feel about another person, it does not provide you the right to say the following:

"I hope you fucking die you stupid ugly lazy drug addict alcoholic no job mooching stupid ass fucking bitch."
"Jump off a cliff"
"You worthless cum guzzling whore"

I have the background for the response, but again, there is no reason for it.  I have been known to craft an email and say all of the things I am feeling at that time.  I take a break and look at it, then realize, there is no way you can send that and not cause drama.  When you actually send a response such as the one above, one must be truly ready to accept whatever reactions should come their way.  Nutshell, you have lost complete control over your words and possibly your actions.  Every action has an equal or higher reaction.  

This is why I get so fed up with people.  It does not take a whole lot to be nice.  While I have my bad days, I also understand what it means to be humble and apologize with meaning behind it - not just words.  People just do not get being respectful.  Everyone expects to be respected without really earning that respect.  

I told the receiver that the best approach would have been to never have answered the young woman in the first place. First, the young woman should not be interfering in matters that are none of her business.  Second, she did not deserve a response.  She was pleading for the receiver to do something that she cannot do in the first place.

Again, a lack of respect because the young woman did not get what she wanted is supposed to be acceptable.  I swear a good part of my generation raised a bunch of selfish brats that expect to get whatever they want.  There are plenty of my friends who are above this sort of behavior, but when I see this, it makes my blood boil.  Why is it that these values were taught to be acceptable?  It just is not acceptable and the fact that we condone it is beyond me.

Before you craft a nasty-gram, make sure that before you hit send, would you want that sent to you and are you ready to accept the repercussions of your words?  You might want to rethink your thoughts and take the Buddhist option - Allow karma to take over.  It may take time, but revenge is not yours to take and it is better to allow things to happen naturally.  If you think that is a load of bunk, check out the news about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Internet or PC?

My current Dell Inspiron was purchased in 2009.  I am a huge believer in that if I spent a good deal of money on something, it better damn well last.  This computer still have Windows 7 and currently have no plans to upgrade the OS.

The machine has had its issues over the years.  The first Dell I bought for myself in 2001 would lock up so much that it was pretty much stinking worthless.  Tech support was basically no support.  In 2006, I bought a Toshiba laptop while I was taking a course at UTD.  Man - that machine was da bomb!  It rarely had an issue and never skipped a beat.  However, I went back to Dell and got this laptop.

Over the years, the laptop has developed a similar tendency, but not with the frequency, of locking up over nothing.  Some times, I have to reboot the laptop about 3 to 4 times for the performance to get better.

As of late, I have noticed that my internet connectivity is really sucking - BAD.  Right now, I have two Firefox tabs opened and they have been spinning away to access their perspective sites for the past 5 to 10 minutes.  I am more than annoyed.

This has been going on for the past week.  A couple of months ago, I increased the internet speed, so I find this behavior very unacceptable.  I have rebooted the laptop several times.  I tried downloading software that was supposed to speed up the internet speed - that was a no go.

I am almost ready to find the portable drive, do a back up, crater the laptop of everything on it, then start fresh.  I feel that the issue is something within the system itself since the problem is accessing the internet.  Of course, what good is a computer if you cannot access the internet.

The other thing I am going to do is see how well my iPad and MacBook Pro are responding.  I feel that my iPhone and iPod Touch are seeing issues with internet access as well.  I know my speed test showed that I was not getting the 200 Mb download speeds I was promised.  Therefore, it is time to figure out what the issue is.

Man - I am so annoyed.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Moving From Beauty YouTube Videos to Bullet Journal...

Okay - I have spent a better part of August and September farting around watching beauty videos.  Total time waste, I know.  Still, you have to be interested in "How in the hell did they do that cut crease?" or "I want to make my eyebrows stand out, yet, I do not want the drag queen look - how can I make them look natural?"  You know you thought it.  I will just be brave to say it out loud...and for the Drag Queens - that is no diss on you, ladies.  That works for you, so you go girl.  I just cannot have no eyebrows at 8 AM and have huge eyebrows at 9 AM.  Makes no sense.

So, what is my real first world problem these days, other than my spelling errors?  With the various doctor appointments and so forth, I had a planner that I kept for reminding myself of what all was going on.  I spent time having to incorporate appointments not only into my phone, but also my work phone and calendar.  After awhile, it was overwhelming.

This past year, due to my clutter problem, I ended up with two planners.  You know how it is, you know you bought it, but you cannot find it, so you buy another one and boom!  Guess what pops up?!  I used one for work and the other for personal and health.  Mistake.  Overload on input basically and the system broke down after about 7-8 months.  (If you know me, that was pretty damn good!  Usually, I give up the mess within 2 weeks).

I learned about the Bullet Journal from two people - Random Cathy and my other friend, Stefanie Harvey.  I have known about it for quite some time and have even toyed with doing it.  However, as bohoberry has pointed out, I obviously have a fear of starting.  It is the whole "Well, I am not very artistic/artsy-craftsy - my creations usually look like - well, garbage.  However, I do not want to mess up this beautifully bound moleskin notebook."  Point is - you have to make mistakes in order to learn.  I know this so very well.

I did do some searches on Bullet Journals, other than the obvious choice.  I think I am intimidated by how some of the women have really put a LOT of effort into their journals.  They are literally works of art!  Seriously, if I were them, I would be proud.

I have gone to bohoberry.com and been viewing the Bullet Journal series.  I need to just ignore all of the artistic things she has developed and devote my time to how I want my layout to work.  That is the whole beauty of Bullet Journaling - you can make it fit your needs and not someone else's (even though we might want to steal others ideas.)

I think the other fabulous suggestion is to get a cheap notebook and use that as your diving board, so to speak.  That way, you can make mistakes as you go along and the beauty of that is you are working out the kinks.  I feel I might want to use a notebook similar to the ones that Container Store used to carry - they were called Myndology.  I love these notebooks because they allowed you to easily detach the pages and move them to other sections in the notebook.  Rather than a wired spine, it uses 12 discs, so you can just gently pull the sheet of paper out of the notebook, then replace it.  I have to order these notebooks from their website since Container Store no longer carries them - bummer.

No matter how I cut it, having an analog planner works for me.  When I do write things down, I remember them much better than just leaving it stuck in my mind.  I will see about working on the bullet journal this weekend - probably stick with plain jane and see if I can add sparkle later...even though my artistic side lacks.

Giving From the Heart...

I did something that many may consider a little stupid.  Sometimes, I do the stupid things to make myself feel better, or at least, try to feel better.  I realize I moan and groan about my back issues.  I just get tired of being in pain all of the time.  However, I also realize that some people have it worse off than myself.

I was reminded of that today, so that was why I did something pretty stupid.  

Back in 2009, I friended a group of women who I knew when I attended Kiroli Elementary in West Monroe, LA.  I was bullied a lot there, but I also had a lot of friends who stood up for me.  One girl had left pretty nasty bruises on both my arms from hitting me all of the time.  When I got in touch with her years later via Classmates.com, she apologized to me for being so mean and how much she had liked me.  Odd - when I had to leave and move to Texas, that first year in 7th grade, I lost quite a bit of weight.  When I ran in the gym and almost caught up to one of the fast basketball girls, I remembered hearing one of them say "Man, she is fast for a fat girl."  I thought my friend would have been proud because she was the athletic type - always playing softball and such.  I envied her for her ability and was always sad of my lack.

Anyway, I came across another friend.  She was nice to me.  She was one of the pretty girls I knew in elementary school - she was popular.  I guess when I left, I had no idea how the junior high and high school I would have attended changed people.  Today, this particular girl looks like she has been through a lot in her life.  Other elementary school friends mentioned that she got involved with the wrong people and so forth.  I think we all know people that we cared about that have gone through that ordeal.  

My friend continues to have a difficult life.  She works hard, but deals with so much.  Not too long ago, she found someone, fell in love, and they got married.  I was very happy for her.  Seemed like her life was taking a better turn for her.  Then, the bottom dropped.

She started having a lot of medical issues.  Come to find out, she has stage 4-5 liver cirrohsis (my spelling sucks - sorry).  She lost her job, now, she has issues with her husband, who has  kicked her out of their home.  

I have been sitting here dealing with my mom and the ever bubbling up of issues there as well as crap with work.  Here, I have a friend who probably feels like she is drowning and needs help.  She had set up a GoFundMe account and I contributed a bit more money than I should have.  Not because it is just lying around, but I truly felt for her and maybe, in some way, I can lighten her load.  

There are plenty of people who need money to help get by in this life.  A lot of the time, I just do not have it to contribute.  This time, I have some and my friend is in a world of hurt.  I might be taken advantage of with this, but this is on my terms.  I gave to her what I could, but I probably won't be able to do so next time.  So my prayers for her is to use the money wisely to get back on her feet, find a safe place to stay, and try to sort out going on the right path.

I should feel good, but I don't and I am not sure why.  That is where my problem lies.  I did what I was supposed to do - give with no strings attached - no expectations.  Maybe I would have felt better if I lived in Louisiana and could have provided her a place to stay and so forth.  I don't know.  

All I know is what I said and I truly believe this - I just wanted to help her get back on her feet a bit.  Life has been hard for her.  Maybe for what little time she has left, she might be able to ease her mind of her worries.  I just hope I was able to make a difference.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today would have been my mom's 70th birthday.  As I sit here and reflect, there are so many things I wish I had done differently.  I wish I could have been a better daughter.  I wish I could have changed some of the decisions I made.  However, I realize that had I done that, I probably would not be the same person I am today.  Some of those changes were necessary for me to grow and learn to live on my own.

I realize that it has been about six and half years since my mother passed away.  I still message her from time to time on Yahoo.  I am not even sure how I would react if I actually got a message in return.  However, I feel it is the one way where I can "talk" to her and tell her what is going on in life along with apologizing for the things I did wrong.

That whole year before she died was some of the darkest days I had ever lived.  I experienced a woman who was not my mom due to all of the medications in her system.  I felt the anguish of not being able to relieve her pain when she hurt the most.  The toughest part of it all - the time the hospice nurse told her that she had the most severe type of cancer and she was dying.  I lived through a literal hell the moment that nurse walked out of the house.  

I feel horrible about what happened after that.  I remember that after my mother died, my director at the time, who had gotten pissed a lot that I was not in the office because I was taking care of my mother, tried to say that at least I had the opportunity to say good-bye to my mother.  (Her mother had passed away on the operating table a few years before my mom).  All I could do was look at her and say "I guess if you call what I went through being able to say good-bye - I don't and I don't think that was what she wanted, either."

I learned a lot from the experience.  Being somewhat in a managerial role these days, as long as someone gets their work done, you do what you have to do when it comes to dealing with family issues.  More importantly, let me take the load off of you and hand it to someone else and you do what you need to do.  Work will always be here - I would never make the claim that I am not paying for a glorified babysitter.  In this day and age, none of us expect to have to care for our parents.  However, it happens and we need to be there for them because they were there for us when we were born.  I wish more work places truly understood that.  

I realize that there is FMLA, but the one thing that they do not tell you - you do not get paid.  If  you are dependent upon that paycheck, FMLA is not the answer.  I saved as much vacation time as I possibly could, but even that was not enough.  I feel that more needs to be done for when we need to care for our dying loved ones.  Perhaps, my experience should be written down to promote better opportunities for reasonable help.  It is hell on the care provider.

I wish I could tell my mother how sorry I was for my behavior at times.  I would be so tired and worn down from everything.  It gets pretty tough when you have to do things that make you feel uncomfortable, but you are the one to do it.  Trying to make a woman get out of a car when she won't because she believes that she is killing everyone with her mind - no one trains you for that and how to handle it.  

So, every year, the anniversary of her death, Mother's Day, and her birthday make me so sad.  Before my mother got sick, my parents would have fights on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, so I do not even enjoy the holidays anymore.  I mean, I will always love looking at the lights, but I do not celebrate it.  Too much emphasis on gifts and the simple act of giving that is never done properly.  

As always, I always wish my mom a wonderful birthday with hopes that she is happy and laughing.  As I tell my mom's sister, I would imagine that their Aunt Marie made one of her cakes that my mom loved and she and the family she loved are sitting around a kitchen table, drinking coffee, eating cake, laughing and telling jokes.  That is how I best remember her as a child - when she seemed the happiest.

I love you, mom!  I pray that you are still proud of your miracle.  I miss you!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Ugh - Not Again...

After the disappointment of realizing that the first set of nerve blockers did not work, I am scheduled for another set of nerve blockers to be injected on Monday.  Am I thrilled?  No.

I did follow my back specialist's suggestion to see a chiropractor that he was recommending.  The chiropractor is really nice.  He actually listens to me, so that helps.  I mean, I have been trying to tell my back specialist that my back pain is only an issue if I stand and/or walk for long periods of time.  (Right now, a long period of time is now 5 minutes.)  

During the initial visit, the chiropractor returned to the room after looking at my back X-Rays and MRI and tells me I have a very bad back.  Well, that was no new news to me.  I shook my head and he said, "Did you know you have a degenerative disc?"  

At first, I got upset, then I remembered, yes - I knew about it, but that was why I was here.  The chiropractor is supposed to help me readjust the discs so that one goes back into place.  I was told by the chiro that I needed to get my hips opened up and so forth.  He popped both hips, then my lower spine.

It did not hurt, but at the same time, when I stood up, I felt so stiff - worse than before that.  I am to the point where I cannot trust my body anymore.  It definitely has a mind of its own.  
My second visit was yesterday.  I explained that I might have had 5 minutes of relief, but that was about it.  I sat down and I looked him straight in the eye and said "Look - I am going to tell you this.  I have no pain when I sit in a chair or lie down on my bed.  If I am not on my feet, I do fine.  However, if I am standing or walking, I have excruciating pain in my lower back that radiates down my legs."

It is at that point he tells me that I have a joint issue - When we stand, the discs in our lower back start to "stack", which makes sense.  Of course, I have that one degenerative disc in the group, so there is no telling what is causing the issue with the back pain, but it is there.  

Nutshell, I get really depressed because my range of activities is being severely constrained based upon my pain.  I feel I am hitting rock bottom.  I am trying to eat less and work on that area in some small way to help me reduce the weight on my frame.  Nothing is going to happen overnight - I know that.  I just get frustrated with dealing with the sharp pain while trying to do something that really needs to be done.

Tomorrow, I have another appointment with the chiropractor.  Maybe he might be a bit more gentle with my right leg when attempting to "pop" it.  We will see.

"Drama" Does Not Just Affect Facebook and Twitter...

I admit - I am a make up junkie.  I was looking around the apartment and I find so many odds and ends that are beauty based and it is quite insane.  (Hence my upcoming purge to get rid of stale and old products.)  I also realize I tend to be the worst "shopaholic" you have ever come across when it comes to buying make up or any beauty type products.  I get it in my head - "I will do this and it will be so cool", then for whatever reason, it all falls apart.  So, for a very long time, I would buy and never wear what I bought.  It is a problem I recognize about myself and currently working on correcting.  Main reason why I started joining subscription services - get testers and decide if the products are worth the money.

Another idea that I thought made a lot of sense was watching YouTube beauty videos.  WOW!  There are so many videos that give tutorials on how to do your eyebrows to providing a drag queen look.  Some are very helpful and others are, well, less than helpful.  Over the past month, I came to the realization regarding how many people running the make up counters at our favorite department stores have discussed:  These people are cut-throat and catty.  I have found more drama here than just the personal drama friends post on Facebook.

The part that is really funny is that there are actual "Make-up guru gossip correspondents" that create content to discuss who is hating on who, who got a collab with a major cosmetic corporation, and so forth.  For one such person, it is pretty much gossip tea-time.  The part that is rather pissy is he will sit there and about to say something, then give some bullshit about "Oh, I cannot tell that.  I made a promise that if it is not on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or YouTube, I cannot tell you."  All of these people edit their content, how about editing this obvious bullshit slip up?  Probably because he is trying to fish more people to his channel.  That is why I call them "Gossip columnists".  I do not care for if, so I move along - but I will call bullshit on doing that sort of thing.

My honest opinion, beware of those gurus who just slap on some product and tell you it is the best thing ever.  That is not anywhere near the kind of product review I want.  I want to hear how well did the product handle, is there anything I need to be aware of, what is the quality of the ingredients, did you experience an allergic reaction, and so forth. 

The YouTube beauty people I follow for straight-up tutorials are Chrisspy and MadeYewLook.  Both ladies show outstanding artistic abilities on applying makeup to achieve a particular look.  That means, not only taking a palette and showing you a look you can create for yourself, but creating other personas to use for Halloween or Comic-con type places.  I originally watched MadeYewLook do various make up applications after watching her series of YouTube videos regarding diabetes - she has type 1.  I was blown away by her artistic skill.  The same came from Chrisspy after watching her do a few Halloween looks, then her look collaboration with MAC on the Star Trek 50th anniversary collection.  She did a fabulous job recreating the various female character looks.

I have watched others, but I feel that they are working too hard to promote product.  That turns me off because I get tired of hearing "Oh Mi Gosh!", "I love sparkle", and so forth.  Being a rather mature woman, "sparkle" is past my prime.  Then, again, I do my reality check and realize, I am no longer 25 years old and they are.

My other very favorite YouTube vlogger to watch is Stephanie Nicole.  If Consumer Reports were to have a make up review section, this woman would be the head editor - I kid you not!  She does not miss a beat, either.  I watched one woman from Kentucky and I grew tired of her knocking products because they did not work for me - meaning that the collection or what have you did not have the colors that she likes.  Stephanie leaves the emotion at the door or until the end of her reviews.  She will show you her standard set up before application, do check-ins to show how well the product is working out, provide ingredient listings, cost break down comparisons, and straight constructive information regarding the product.  If there is any sort of feeling about the product, company, and any controversy, that is all saved at the end.  Also, all of her opinions are backed by facts and she clearly does her homework by providing links to back herself up.  I mean, if I were to ask her opinion or watch her video, she gives it to you with no bullshit and that I can truly respect.  I highly recommend her channel because she does the reviews with NO strings attached - she buys the products out of her own pocket and reviews them.  That way, there is no way anyone can claim that she is biased, which I love.  Even for products that she loves, if the company screws up something, she calls them out and even states her own disappointment.  You have to admit, that takes guts and again, I respect that.

YouTube is full of great videos as well as trash.  You always have to take the bad with the good.  However, as I always tell people, if you have thought about it, someone else has as well and they probably created a YouTube video to do it.  So, if you are into looking for a new look, there is plenty of content out there.  Just beware of those vloggers looking to create "drama."  

Friday, September 2, 2016

Joining Subscription Clubs...

About 3 years ago, I joined Julep Maven subscription service.  Over the past 3 years, I have gotten a ton of nail polish, which is what Julep is originally known.  However, I have watched this company grow from just developing interesting nail polishes to providing products for doing your own mani/pedi with cleansers, tools, and polish tools.  However, the company has also ventured more into the beauty aspect with makeup.

I was curious what I would receive with such a box when I first subscribed.  In the beginning, I would receive two nail polishes, sometimes a full or trial size product for doing a mani/pedi, and always a piece of candy.  I thought that added a fun touch.  Of course, there were paper materials for 15% off your next order and getting a friend to join.  Still, the Julep Maven box was always a nice surprise.

Recently, I had thought seriously about dropping the service.  I have WAY too many nail polishes.  I need to go through them and find the ones I am not really fond of and give them away.  However, when I realized I had obtained over 14,000 points in the past 3 years, I had to figure out what I could do to use them.  This month, I was able to purchase several additional items to come with my monthly box.  Luckily, I won't have to pay extra, so that was a HUGE bonus.  I could have easily spent about $100 and the points allowed me to get these extra items and I still have over 8,000 points.

With that, I also joined Ipsy, Scentbird, and Candy Club.  I put into my mind that I would be able to get good testers from these companies and I can dissuade myself from purchasing the items at full price.  I got my Ipsy bag the other day.  Each month, a subscriber gets a new make-up bag, which is quite cute.  Inside, I got a nail polish, leave-in hair conditioner, complexion powder, a tester of the IT Cosmetics eye liner pencil (which I have been dying to buy, but now, I have a good tester to try), and a mud mask for a facial.  That is not too bad.  I just need to do some reviews and hope that I can get some additional points for that.

Scentbird came up out of the blue for me.  It is a subscription service for getting perfume testers.  You almost get a full ounce of product, which is nice, so that you can determine if it is something you want to pay full price.  Now, oddly enough, I have quite a few of the perfumes that are on this subscription service.  However, I do not mind.  I may purchase a few more of the containers that hold the perfume.  I have yet to get my first delivery, but will let you know when I do.

Lastly, Candy Club subscription service.  I curated my first delivery.  I ordered Jelly Belly jelly beans, sweet and sour fruit belts, and black licorice.  The candy arrives in nice size plastic jar containers with old fashioned paint like lids, where you have to pry the lid up.  I think that Candy Club is changing their packaging, so I will save these containers for next time.  Also, the company threw in a bunch of toffee samples for me to try.  I was really impressed.  So, at some point, I will need to log back in to curate my next delivery.  I am excited about that.

Right now, I love watching the subscription box open and reveal videos on YouTube.  They are fun, but I feel the same as many people - I just enjoy getting a nice surprise in the mail and it makes my day.  I will keep you up to date on following subscription boxes and reveal the goodies I receive.  Share in the fun.

Life Is Just So Crazy...

Seems like doctor's visits, work, and life with the dogs keeps my life going round and round in this rut.  Last week, I had a procedure done on my back to see if I qualified for another procedure to help reduce/alleviate the chronic pain.  I did not realize it at the time, but the medication was only to last for 2 hours.  I laugh because I got very little, if any, relief.  Massive disappointment that this did not work.  Back specialist believes that this could be a fluke, so I have to have it done again, but with a different medication.

I am already a wreck with the OB-GYN suggesting that I get a uterine biopsy to make sure I do not have a cancerous or pre-cancerous uterus.  One night, I just sat down and cried because I do not know why this is happening or what I could have done to prevent it.

My apartment is simply a reflection on how my life is right now - pure chaos.  I am always putting someone or something before what the real needs are.  When I get time to myself, I tend to abuse that by doing nothing but think about "Well, this would be really cool, if I could do ..."  Part of me should get up to do it and the other part of me thinks about the resulting back pain.  What a huge deterrent.

I need to keep telling myself that I must be able to weather the storm.  When all is said and done, life will be better.  In the meantime, I have to make some efforts.  I have started trying not to eat quite so much as well as making sure I eat better foods.  Some times, that does not always go my way, but I am making an effort.

I am trying to drink more water and lay off the diet sodas.  Sometimes, I really want a diet Dr. Pepper, but I have to remind myself of the sodium content.  That tends to stink, but I do put in some water flavoring to help with drinking more water.  Many of those have 0 calories, so that helps.

I hope that the water intake will help flush out the water that my body has been retaining.  I am starting to see a difference with my feet.  Still, my feet hurt and that worries me.  I would like for my feet to feel better.  I have some extra wide calf compression socks that I wear.  It is sort of funny.  I used to wear tons of knee-high socks when I was in elementary school.  Now, I am back doing it and I got some pretty colorful socks to wear.  At least, the compression socks make my feet and legs feel better.  The socks also help with cutting back on the swelling.  That is a bonus.

I have some really great ideas for the apartment.  I just need to work on those and pray I can pull it all together.  I need space, but more importantly, I want to be able to have less weighing on my mind.  Also, work on my Feng Shui for personal improvement on my happiness.  The unfortunate part is that there are other needs, such as grocery shopping, that wear me out before I can do anything.

Perhaps, I will take some of this long weekend, Labor Day, to evaluate how to make all of these pieces fit together.  I have grown tired of the pain every day.  I would like to get to that place of peace and be able to really enjoy life.