Showing posts from July, 2007

The Tripods

As a kid, I was a voracious reader. The Nancy Drews got read over and over and any printed material in the house did not escape my attention. When money was tight, Mom ditched the Newsday subscription. Six months later, she started it up again because she could see how much I missed having the paper to read every day. I was 11. Around that time, one of my mom's friends gave me some college psychology texts and those got devoured as well. This love of reading comes from my Dad, an extremely prolific reader.

When I started middle school, 'required reading' was a new concept, but not one I disliked. One of the first books that was assigned was "The White Mountains" by John Christopher. I loved it. It was a gripping sci fi story, set many years in the future. I polished it off in one night, even though the teacher gave us two weeks to complete reading. During class the next day, Mr. Deck informed us that if we liked the book, there were two more in the s…

Almost the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything...

41. Yep, one year away to being the answer! :)

The day was nice, got to spend the majority of it with Ed and the kids. Ed got new glasses, we went out to dinner and got free ice cream at Cold Stone. (Score, I forgot the rest of mine was in the freezer!) Then we headed over for a dip in the pool after Ed went to work, since I was unencumbered by an Unna Boot. It sure felt good.

Funny moment: Youngest son decides he wants to have a race, so he, Michael and older son race to the opposite end of the pool. Michael handily getting down there, younger not far behind, and older (walking) not much behind him. Once at the opposite end, younger asks why I'm not racing, and Michael responds "Oh, she was down to this end and back before we even got here." Love that sense of humor!

On another subject, we've been visiting the library a lot lately. It's a good way to pick up DVDs I don't want to spend money to rent. My thought was to get older son to search better by…

Diet Sodas are EVIL

Many of you are aware of my severe allergy to Nutrasweet. Giggle's husband discovered that this was the trigger for her numerous migraines and she passed the information on to me. I remember exactly where I was when we were talking and she told me she hadn't had a migraine in a week (Barnies, Dulles Town Center in line to order a Mocha).

We both experienced an amazing thing in that the removal of aspartame from our diets meant we hardly get migraines. The down side for me was that I switched to regular soda instead of cutting it out and quickly gained 50 pounds. I still miss my Fresca, btw. If I have so much as a sip of diet soda, within 5 minutes I experience symptoms and if I don't act, a raging migraine occurs.

Now, Newsday has some proof of Nutrasweet causing problems:,0,1193801.story?coll=ny-top-headlines&track=mostemailedlink

I could go on and on and give testimony about how much weight I've …

I hate my leg

I am in a world of HURT tonight. The latest RSD flare up has been a doozy. I cut off the boot the other night, and the nerve endings are so toasted from the previous boot that the slightest pressure or touch on the leg makes me want to climb the walls. Somehow, the leg has scabbed up around the back (where I pinched it a few months back and caused severe pain then) and where the faulty valve is. So we have insult to the injuries.

There was a doctor's appointment scheduled for this morning. When I scheduled it, Nurse M and I thought we'd be rehashing the nerve block. Instead, I spoke to her on the phone about the pain and the cancelled procedure. She's at the bottom of her bag of medical tricks. I've been prescribed vicodin for so long that they fear federal scrutiny of my file. She finally suggested today (knowing how I feel about it) that I take disability from work until I can work without using painkillers to get through the day.

She was confused by the fact…


The sitemeter has been a source of great interest for me. It shows me where people are visiting from, how long they visit and what brought them here.

For instance, that recent post about Ratatouille spoke of the movie trailers. Someone googled "Mr Magorium's Magic Emporium" and my blog was one of seven hits. The person didn't stay long. Well, if that's all you're looking for, that's fine.

Another person googled about DVT and Joe Namath, and I was among the pages and pages of hits. She mentioned having a similar DVT history in a comment to me, but hasn't returned since. That's a bummer, because it's always good to have someone with shared health expereinces. You tend to learn from each other (or in my case, Giggles is a wellspring of RSD info and I haven't given much back-YET).

Some of the locations are curious. I kept coming up with Phoenix and wondering who the hell I knew there. Then I clicked on the map dot and found out that it&#…

What Flair

There are many lessons to be learned about RSD, and yet another one presented itself. It seems that if you've had a bad flare up due to Unna Boot issues, it's probably not a good idea to put another one on until things resolve.

The most recent boot was trouble from the get go, but in a different way from what I'd experienced before. The top of the foot was fried from shoving the shoe on it. As such, it was hypersensitive to anything touching it, and I spent the entire time this current boot was on pulling down the gauze and the outer layers when they inevitably crept further up the foot. Last night, I finally cut the thing off, because I'd had enough. The vicodin and the Lyrica weren't even cutting the pain, a sure sign that I needed to do *something*.

Now that the boot is off, I'm experiencing the lovely and all too familiar pain of anything touching my leg and foot that cause the foot to feel like it is on fire. Remember how I'd told of the one and o…

Of Birthdays, Bookstores and the Boy Who Lived

Friday night, I took the boys to our very first Harry Potter release party. Younger son was given the option of choosing the activity for his birthday, but when I mentioned this possibility, there was no question of where he wanted to be for his 8th birthday.

We have a tradition of going to dinner at the birthday celebrant's restaurant of choice. Interestingly, when first asked what he wanted for his birthday dinner, he said chicken with honey mustard sauce at home. We make Outback's Alice Springs Chicken and this was his initial choice.
He later changed it to dinner at Cody's Roadhouse. As has become the norm lately, he and I conferred with each other and shared a meal. This works out well for both of us, as I no longer eat a normal adult size meal and he has grown beyond the chicken finger/hamburger/macs and cheese kids meal options.

Another tradition we've created with the boys is that instead of buying them gifts and wrapping them, we take the birthday boy to pic…

Bad Girl, no Nerve Block

I won't be getting the Nerve block. Not anytime soon, anyway.

My health insurance is a PPO plan. If you go to plan doctors, you have a $25 copay. If you use a plan doctor for surgical procedures, it's a $100 copay. I'd though that the nerve block would fall under this umbrella, since I'd be be booked into a surgical suite and under anethesia.

No, my insurance covers the nerve block under the other half of the policy that is subject to the 80/20 rule. What this means is that I must pay a $500 per person deductible (and I received a 5:45 phone call that payment is due when services are rendered). I don't have that kind of money, which means I will be living on the Vicodin and Lyrica until the pain goes away or we come up with the money. At least any other nerve blocks done in the same calendar year will be paid at 80%.

Argh. My only option was to cancel Monday's procedure. After last week's call to the insurance company's 24 hour nurse line, I rece…

Banks Banks Banks BANKS!!!!

If you were around when I had the practice husband, you probably got subjected to our excitement on various shows or music. His preference for making everyone listen to the three Johnny Clegg CDs over and over didn't scare everyone away, fortunately. For the record, I happened to like the CD's, I just couldn't convince the man that common courtesy dictates that you ask your guests what THEY'D like to listen to.

One show I absolutely adored and shared with everyone was a video of a Showtime special entitled "Steven Banks Home Entertainment Center". In it, one hour of comedy ensues when we watch a young man in his apartment in his attempts to write a speech for his boss to give to the stockholders and board of directors. Doesn't sound that funny, does it? I assure you, it is.

It never failed that someone would come visit us and that video would come out for viewing. We would all roar at this man's comic genius and musical abilities. 18 years later…


This is a week for countdowns:
Days till younger son's birthday :2
Days till we attend our first Harry Potter book release party: 2
Days till my nerve block (and please, oh please let the thing work, dammit): 5
Days till my birthday: 8

We went and preordered our two copies of Deathly Hallows yesterday at Books a Million. The local mall has a Barnes and Noble on the entrance road that is such a pain to get out of that I no longer visit there. There's a Borders on the opposite exit of the mall, which is okay, but now IN the mall is BAM. So yesterday, we went over and preordered the books, once I determined that my young birthday boy is jiggy with the idea of spending the waning hours of his day waiting for the next book.

There will be a Harry look a like contest, and young son, potentially showing his skill as an events promoter, immediately told older son "You look just like Harry! You MUST enter this contest!". It was quite humorous. About ten minutes later, he com…

It really IS a small world

I attended college on Long Island. Hell, you all know this. It is a fine establishment for higher learning, despite the derogatory nicknames the school earned. In a nutshell, you got out of it what you put in. In my case, it was a great place and I wish that I'd been more responsible with my meager pay and finished the degree (six lousy credits, I tell ya...)

At work, we ask all our guests for their emails. Today, a woman shared her email with my coworker and I heard "at". I made the comment "You wouldn't happen to be employed by my alma mater, Nassau Community College?"

She was. In fact, the one department (besides Theatre and Dance) that I spent a lot of time in was Psychology. (No, they didn't examine my head-I heard that, Bob! And no, that wasn't the voices, either.) She has been an instructor in that department since 1975. I'd mentioned the professors I'd had and I have to say I loved every psych class. I did well, eve…

Suzanne service announcement

Normally, it'd be a Public Service Announcement, but it's only serving me. With the current health issue, one side affect has been insomnia. This is also apparently a common occurance when you take Vicodin. As a result, sleep usually doesn't come before 3am. Sometimes, I am up until 4. I hate it, but I'm dealing with it as best I can.

It's been mentioned in the blog entries, but I think this problem may have appeared as a sporadic event, rather than the daily occurrence that it is. I ask you, my friends, to call me AFTER 12 noon. This way, if I've had a rough sleep night, I'm awake and moving on with my day. It also saves you from feeling bad for waking me up.

To both of you who have woken me this week, you're fine-I realize I hadn't made it clear that this is what is happening...

Another day, another leg update

Last night, I got three hours sleep. The burning sensation was like the little engine that could and what it could do? Drive me completely and batty. This morning, I made the decision to cut the top, stretchy layer of the Unna Boot off. I wish that I could report that this brought an immediate end to the pain I'm experiencing. It didn't, but it did bring that burning feeling down to a dull roar.

Off to work I went, with three hour's sleep. I think I would have a valid excuse to be extremely crabby and rude to people, but I wasn't. Instead, the customers were both crabby and rude to me without any good reason. My coworkers were great, as always-they could see my poor attempts to hide the pain today and would 'buddy up' as I was helping the problem people today.

The nerve block is 8 days away, yay. In talking to Giggles, her impression was that relief from a nerve block is only 2 to 3 weeks. Of course, this sent me digging. There are several types of…

The time has come

The past two nights have been very rough. New symptoms have emerged with the foot that concerned me. The foot immediately below the Unna Boot has a burning and hot sensation, but it's cool to the touch. There isn't any redness or specific pain site, other than Vern doing his knife throwing into my calf.

The odds are good that there isn't a clot brewing. This morning my nurse practitioner concurred At 3:00 am, so did the nurse at my insurance provider's 24 hour Nurse hotline. She even said I was extremely self aware after I triaged and said I'd ruled out a clot, that I'd palpated and found no tenderness or warmth and that the Hohman's was negative. The current pain keeps me from sleep. It makes me extra vigilant this weekend. If things get really bad, I'll cut the boot off. I really don't want to do that unless absolutely necessary, since it makes a huge difference in the healing of the wound.

However, the pain reminded me that Dr.K's off…

Harry Potter (some spoilers ahead)

After not seeing three movies on the big screen and seeing the last at the $2.00 movie theatre the week before it came out on video (which was pretty cool, btw), we saw Order of the Phoenix on opening day.

Over the years, the lesson has been a hard one: never, EVER go into a movie and expect a faithful adaptation of the book. I'd been burned many times. Patriot Games, Raise the Titanic, The Firm and others left me yelling at the screen, furious that the director ruined the book. As a result, I've learned to be a lot more forgiving. I now walk into the movie expecting nothing more than approximately two hours of entertainment. And so it was with Order of the Phoenix. Two and a half hours is not enough time to cover 900 pages. It ain't happening, folks.

We were smart-the tickets were purchased online. This is a nifty feature. We still paid less than the after 5 price for the showing. The 2:30 show did sell out-there were only six empty seats in the theatre. All we h…

Will someone tell Vern Troyer...

to stop stabbing my leg?

I've got another RSD flare going on. It's a minefield. Just when I think I've figured out what's triggering it and eliminate it, I get another flare and have to figure out why. I have my suspicions about what caused this one. If I'm correct, I will have to either get a pair of cheap shoes in two different sizes OR really insist that I have to wear the Crocs. I suspect that I'll need to contact the pain management doctor and the podiatrist to have three doctors saying the same thing in various notes.

This reminds me that I have to call and schedule my appointment to schedule the nerve block. I had one in May, but the scheduler goofed and gave me an appointment with the wrong doctor-so of course, instead of giving me one with the right doctor, they just cancelled it outright. Bah.

At least with the vascular group, I enjoy a standing appointment for the Unna Boot. Heck, the valets know my car and know me-there's never a question o…

July 3,1976

When I wrote about my Star Wars experience, I knew I'd write this one. Alas, it got away from me and is a week later than originally intended.

My mom worked nights as a waitress. If you're good at it, you can make enough money to support a family and pay a mortgage. Mom was very good at it. Rough work, though, and it meant being away from home five nights a week. We were very lucky, after my mom and dad split, Dad would still be at the house when Mom worked. The split shift parenting they did was kind of unusual. We spent a lot more time with Dad as kids.

So Mom would do her best to make things fun every once in a while, because it really bothered her to be away from home so much. During the summer, this meant getting a membership to Newbridge pool and going down there once or twice a week. At least one of those trips would be in the evening, and we'd battle the green flies and enjoy the pool in the evening dusk.

On July 3rd, though, Mom came home from work and woke…


Tonight, I took the three boys to Ratatouille. Younger son had a friend sleeping over (well, that was the plan-he missed dad and went home) and my two. As is typical, if older son didn't come up with the idea, he's a stick in the mud. I hadn't seen much in the way of previews of this one, mainly because I don't work for Disney anymore and I honestly do not turn on the TV myself the majority of the time. Until last week, it hadn't even clicked that this was Pixar's newest offering.

We got to the theatre in the middle of the first preview and that movie looked interesting. Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman, "Mr. Magorium's Magic Emporium". Then one for "Underdog "(ugh-didn't like the cartoon and now it's live action?), and then a promo that made me a little sad. It's the promo for "Wall-E" that started out telling of a meeting in 1994 between John Lassetter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and the late Joe Ranft. …

Three days off

I have been bestowed a three day weekend from work. Right now, we are three managers running the place, when it's usually five that cover floor leadership. It can wear a person out, so the Assistant Manager/Acting GM (for another three weeks) has been awesome. He took a three day last weekend to close on his house. Then he gave me this weekend, and the other manager next weekend.

Ed's working two of the three days, so that kills going anywhere. Instead, I let younger son have his first friend sleep over tonight. Dinner will be fondue (at son's request) and we'll go see 'Ratatouille'. As for the rest of the three days, we shall see. If I were inclined to drive over to St. Pete this afternoon, we could get tickets to the IMAX sneak peek of Harry Potter on Monday night. I'm not. Instead, I'm going to see if I can buy advance screening tickets for Wednesday afternoon.

BTW, if you're a Harry fan, go to Yahoo Movies and click on HP. You'll…

I've got another one for the weird file...

I had an eye exam yesterday. Since I turned 40, the vision ain't what it used to be, so I schlepped over to the vision place everyone else in the household has been to. The reading glasses should be ready in two weeks, fortunately, my distance vision doesn't need any help at this time.

The addition to the strange file: when the optometrist was viewing my left eye, she spent a LOT of time on it. She said that the eye was fascinating, because she'd never seen the vasculature of the iris. Most people, you can only see the pigmentation. She'd never seen this before and told me it's extremely rare.

She also took the time to go through the eye chart letter by letter with the left eye. It had been 20/200 at one time, now it's 20/100, but when I'm allowed to 'bring the eye in' on the chart, it's 20/30. Cool.

It should be interesting to see how much time it takes to get recognized by people who know me with the new short hair and the new glasses o…

Wine and Foodies

I resurrected the food blog. The rash made me do it...

I'll be adding it to the links on the right. Of course, if Ed disagrees or has additions to the list, they'll make the addendum...

Time to give it a go again...

Sorry for the lack of posting. Yes, getting *those* comments again. For a readership of oh, 15 people, y'all do get kinda mouthy when I don't post in a couple of days. Why don't all of you start your own blogs, huh? Just kidding. Honestly, I was kinda in a funk after the last entry, because I saw my future flash before me and it did *not* thrill me. Suffice to say, it'll get better-it has to.

(and on a tangent-why is it that Trillian uses a doorbell chime when people log OFF?)

Anyway, as much as my writing must thrill some people, I'm going to give another try at a food and wine blog. The last venture into multiple blogs resulted in blogger hosing up bigtime-I hardly posted for about six months because it was such a pain to access the account. It is now linked to my gmail account and is running smoothly. Did I say that? Yes, I did.

The food and wine thing will be resurrected in the next week or so. It'll catalog the tasting notes for the wines we drink …