The Little Things

November 30, 2016 at 3:31 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )



Change is hard. Growing up is harder. My life has changed a lot this year and promises to change even more in 2017 so I’m having a hard time just keeping up. Some of these changes are good and some I didn’t exactly see coming but I’m doing my best to stay positive through everything. And in order to do that, I’m going to focus on the good things I’ve got going for me. This is a little late for Thanksgiving but it’s never too late to give thanks!

  • I have a great family and I love them all (even the ones who drive me crazy. And vote for Trump…). My family isn’t perfect but we care about each other and do what it takes to ensure we’re all relatively taken care of.
  • I have a great husband and he does things like buy me flowers and chocolates and wine on days that I snap at him on the phone (this may or may not have happened just today). He’s my best friend, he has my back and I love him.
  • I have great friends as well and they supported me through quite a bit this year. Some of them also danced on a stripper pole at my bachelorette party so clearly they are all awesome people.
  • I have a very good job that I seem to do very well. Or so I’m told. I like the people I work with and the work I do and I am thankful for the opportunities, perks and benefits that I receive through my employment. Hell, just a few years ago I was laid off right around now so I’m thankful to be employed at all! But I’m even more thankful to be where I am.
  • I live in a great city full of interesting, new and exciting things to do. And I even go out and do some of them! Chicago allows me to flourish in my geeky ways and places like The Field Museum only contribute to that. I’m grateful to live in a place that allows me to do so many different things and love so many different kinds of people.
  • I’m healthy and most of my loved ones are fairly healthy as well. Yes, I lost my grandfather this year but it was one of those deaths that was bittersweet…I miss him every day but know he’s better off and I’m thankful for the all the time we shared. Most everyone else I truly care about are in decent health as well and I can only hope that continues to hold true.

I have many other things I can be thankful for but having my loved ones in my life, a decent job and a roof over my head are all that really matters so I’m going to end there. And no matter what the upcoming year brings, I have a few things that will always make me smile!


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Third Time’s a Charm!

May 3, 2016 at 2:25 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

So my Girls Weekend was phenomenal and fantastic and everything we hoped it would be!

Something else phenomenal and fantastic? MY COUSIN GOT A KIDNEY TODAY!!!


Go go gadget kidney!!

My cousin Lindsay is just a couple of years older than me and she’s been dealing with various health issues for over a decade. She’s also had two previous transplants – one kidney came from my dad (her uncle) and one came from my uncle (her other uncle). Unfortunately, her body rejected both kidneys due to various reasons, medical incompetence and surgeon error being the biggest. This means she’s been undergoing kidney dialysis six days a week for years. She has a home dialysis set-up so she’s more comfortable but she’s still been sticking needles in a port in her arm and having to stay in a chair while her body recycles its fluids – for three or four hours, every single day. She brings everything with her when she travels to my grandparent’s house at Thanksgiving and has been able to do some traveling herself, but only after researching and coordinating with local hospitals so she can continue with her treatment. Needless to say, it’s been a huge pain in the ass for her and she deserves to live a normal, healthy life. And now she has her chance!

So far, this third kidney seems to be working far better than any other ever did. She’s going to be heavily monitored for a while and will likely be in the hospital for a good chunk of time but we’re all hoping it’s worth it and she never has to deal with any of this again. Lindsay is a strong woman, an amazing mother, a hilarious friend and just plain awesome all around. And this kidney better continue to be awesome for her because she absolutely deserves it!

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Insurance Rant

January 27, 2014 at 5:05 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

I know I haven’t been posting too much and that’s mostly because I try to abide by the adage that if you can’t say anything nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all.  I’m still job searching and while I’ve had at least two interviews a week every week so far this month, nothing has completely come through for me.  I’m trying to stay optimistic though and have two new recruiters I’m meeting with this week so hopefully my phone will continue to ring and I’ll find something sooner rather than later.

The weather also sucks, which of course never helps.  I’ve been logging some good gym time (except today; more on that later) but that’s about the only thing I’ve been doing.  The days seem to run together all too easily and that’s a little crazy.  For instance – I’ll be 30 in 8 days.  That’s even crazier!  It would be a wonderful birthday present to have a job by then but I won’t hold my breath.  I’m saving that to blow out all those damn candles anyway.

Since the days have been blurring together, I’m doing my best to stay on top of my bills.  Don’t worry, credit score, I haven’t missed any yet.  In an effort to keep on the ball, I logged onto my health insurance site earlier today to make a payment for next month.  The company I worked for that closed last month tripled our insurance payments recently so I was forced to get my own independent plan.  It’s not exactly cheap but since my luck would have me falling and breaking every bone in my leg the minute I tried to go sans insurance, I thought it best to remain covered.  I encountered a snafu last month when they double-billed me for my January payment but after spending a good deal of time on the phone, I was assured it had been straightened out.  According to the woman I talked to then, at least.  So while I’ve been lucky in that I haven’t needed to use it, I’ve spent this month blissfully thinking I was fully covered.  Until today.  When I got online to make my payment for February, I was told my policy was cancelled on January 1st.

Excuse me, what?

Can’t they just throw a dog a bone?

Apparently the lady I spoke to last month lied.  Or was confused, or hated me or something.  Even though they kept my original payment for January, they weren’t covering me – obviously, this did not please me.  At the time of my typing this, I have been on the phone for 3 hours, 7 minutes and 17 seconds trying to straighten this out.  I kind of feel like Phoebe in that episode of Friends where she stays on hold three straight days because at some point it just became a matter of principle.  In that episode, she was dismayed to learn that she had dialed an 888 number that wasn’t toll-free.  I sort of feel like that because I’ve used an insane amount of my paltry cell phone minutes to figure this out.  I’m very proud of myself though, I have not cussed or screamed and I’ve only broken down in tears once, so I’m considering myself a winner right now.  It also looks like they’re going to be able to work this out and do so in a way that it does not show I had a lapse in coverage, which is great because in my mind I didn’t.  Apparently this is a lesson in why I should start recording all of my phone conversations.

Why isn’t stuff like dealing with shitty insurance companies and policies taught to us in high school?  I sure think this would have benefited me more than that geology class I was forced to pass.

Okay.  Still on hold and still hoping this will all work out in my favor.  In order for it to REALLY work out in my favor, I’ll get a new job ASAP and it will pay at least some if not most of my insurance for me.  C’mon jobby job job, I know you’re out there!  You wouldn’t want to disappoint an old woman, now would you?

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Hospitals and Old Men

May 22, 2013 at 10:22 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Thankfully, these two things are not related (at least not in this post).

I know three different women who are undergoing surgeries or procedures in hospitals today, in three different states.  The one in Louisville has already come out of it and seems to be doing just fine, so long as she doesn’t share any embarrassing details of her sex life with her mother as she’s all doped up on the ride home.  A family member in Houston who has already faced way, way too many surgeries and health issues to count is going through yet another surgery today and will likely be in the hospital for the next five days or so.  Luckily, she’s one of the strongest women I know and I have no doubt she’ll prove that yet again with this latest trial.  Lastly, an old high school friend of mine in Florida is undergoing surgery to remove her breast today after she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  She’s also very resilient and I know she’ll pull through this just fine.  She’s got a 6-year-old daughter and it reminds me of when my own mother battled breast cancer in her mid-30’s.  My sister and I did shots of tequila with her in Mexico to celebrate her 20th anniversary of being cancer free and I’m sure my old friend will one day be able to do the same with her own girl.

Just because my Papa likes lighthouses. And it’s an appropriate picture for today.

In the midst of all this anxiety, there are also things to celebrate.  My grandfather (my mom’s dad) is turning 85-years-young today.  Sure, he’s not as spry and agile as he used to be but he’s got vitality in his own way and he’ll get riled up to prove it.  My Papa is one of my favorite people (even when he’s being a cantankerous old grouch) and he’s taught me so much in the time I’ve been able to share with him.  For instance, I put a little bit of sugar into my tomato based dishes as it takes away some of the acidity and makes the whole thing sweeter – apparently all of my family does this because of him.  He also taught me the easiest way to crack and egg and that torn pieces of bread placed in a bowl and doused with milk and sugar makes a fairly decent breakfast cereal (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it).  Besides some culinary tricks of the trade, my Papa also taught me most of what I know about family.  He worked hard all his life to provide for his wife and six children and he loves all of us, including his nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, as much as anyone possibly could.  If he had his way he would give us every cent to his name and have us all living within 10 feet of his house.  He may not get around as well as he used to but I talk to him 3 to 4 times a week and he’s as sharp as he ever was.  I hope I’m as smart as he is when I’m 85.

I wish I could be with all three of my female friends and my grandpa today but unfortunately, I have yet to discover the secrets of breaking the space/time continuum.  Which means I’m stuck in my office.  However I’ll be thinking of everyone today and sending them all my love and healthy thoughts, as well as checking in as often as I can.  If you could put out a few good and positive vibes as well, we would all appreciate it!

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My New Hero

October 12, 2012 at 11:04 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I’m not sure if you’ve heard of Malala Yousufzai or not, but you should probably know about her.  Malala is a young woman in Pakistan who is fighting for her life after standing up to the Taliban for her right to an education.  A Taliban gunman tracked her down on Tuesday and shot her in the head, simply because she believes that girls have as much right to learn as boys and because she was vocal about that opinion.  Here’s the latest on her situation from The Huffington Post:

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — A 14-year-old Pakistani activist who was shot by a Taliban gunman after speaking out for girls’ education is in “satisfactory” condition at a military hospital, a spokesman said Friday, cautioning that the next few days will be critical.

So much strength in such a young woman.

The shooting of Malala Yousufzai on Tuesday as she was coming home from school set off an international outcry.

Maj. Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa said she is being kept unconscious and on a ventilator, and doctors will decide when to take her off.

“Her blood pressure is normal. Heartbeat is normal, and thanks to God, her condition is satisfactory,” Bajwa said.

Bajwa said the bullet entered her head and went into her neck toward her spine, but it was too soon to say whether she had any significant head injury.

Yousufzai is widely respected for her role in promoting girls’ education in the Swat Valley, where she lives, and the rest of Pakistan. A Taliban gunman shot and wounded her and two other girls Tuesday, sparking widespread condemnation. There has been an outpouring of praise for her bravery from Pakistani and international leaders.

The school she attended in Mingora, owned and operated by her father, reopened Friday. The atmosphere was grim as children and teachers tried to come to terms with what happened to their star pupil.

“We have decided to open the school after two days to overcome the fear among our students that gripped them due to the attack. The number of students is low today. We have not resumed regular teaching activity, but held an assembly to pray for Malala and the other two injured girls,” said one of the teachers, Zafar Ali Khan.

Police had been deployed around the school, but even so, many students stayed away.

“Although we have gathered here for to pray for Malala, this shows we will keep her mission going,” Ayesha Khan, a ninth-grade student. “Many of the students haven’t come due to fear, but I believe this fear will subside ultimately.”

The girl was initially airlifted from the town of Mingora in the Swat Valley to a military hospital in the frontier city of Peshawar, where doctors operated on her to remove a bullet from her neck. On Thursday she was transferred to a hospital in Rawalpindi, where the Pakistani army is headquartered.

In addition to the team of Pakistani military and civilian doctors who have been treating her, two foreign doctors have also been consulted, Bajwa said. He said so far there are no plans to send her abroad for treatment.

So while you go about your weekend, take a moment to give thanks for some of the things you’re able to take for granted that so many are not – like freedom, education and your safety.  I’ll be sending all sorts of good vibes in Malala’s direction and I’m sure she’d appreciate it if you did the same.

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