Thursday, September 27, 2007

Canine Party Line!

Not a lot to report on this front. My test results came back, and despite my chubbiness, I have excellent cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Hell, even with my family history of diabetes, I have low blood sugar, as in almost hypoglycemic. Weird, huh? The FSH result was better than expected so now I get to start a new prescription regimen that--fingers crossed--will help me out!

I finally finished my latest novella and am currently tweaking the synopsis and blurb before I submit to my editor. I plan on re-working my urban fantasy novel and using that as a platform for querying agents. Hopefully, I'll get a start on that tomorrow or early Saturday. We'll see.

So the other night as I sat typing away at the laptop, Bosley bounded downstairs (he was sleeping upstairs with Dave) and started to do his potty dance. I let him out, gave him a treat, and then decided to peel a kiwi for a late night snack. Before I could even take a bite, Bosley decided that he wanted to go back outside. Rolling my eyes, I let him out and glanced at the clock. It was a little after midnight. I noticed that when Bosley ran outside, he went straight for the middle of the yard and started listening to the cacophany of barking dogs in our neighborhood. During one of the lulls, he started barking, then paused, got a few barks in return, and then barked a few more times. When he was finished, he trotted back inside and flopped down on a couch.

Contemplating what I'd just seen, I leaned against the wall and munched on my curiously ham scented kiwi. Since then, I've realized that he's going outside to gossip! Seriously, my dog is like Perez Hilton, lol. He goes out to get the straight cheese, tells a few secrets of his own (cringe!) and then comes back inside.

Man, I can only imagine what kinds of colorful tales he's spilling about us. Maybe he's only bragging about all the cool toys he has, the nifty treats we give him, and the veritable smorgasbord of yummies he ingests all day. Nah. Who the hell am I kidding? I know he's out there giving them all the juiciest details of his owners' bedroom antics.

No wonder all the dogs in our neighborhood give us The Look when we're checking the mail...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Better Now

I've been a recluse lately, but that's because I've been majorly stressing about a doctor's appointment. This week, I started seeing a new OB/GYN who specializes in infertility. Switching doctors is a major pain, but anyone who has ever dealt with reproductive issues will understand how terrifying it can be. Turns out I was stressing over nothing, lol.

For the first time in my life, I have a doctor who LISTENS! She walked into the exam room, introduced herself, and started chatting with me. We talked about me--occupation, family, marriage, goals, and lastly health issues. I was just waiting for her dismiss my symptoms with the usual reply, "Well, you know you are a fat cow." But she didn't even broach the subject of weight. I was the one who brought it up.

Her reply: You should lose the weight because of a family history of heart disease and diabetes. Losing weight will likely have little effect on your lack of ovulation.

Her nurse's comment: Honey, we get ladies in here every day who are pregnant or TTC who are double your size. We manage, and so can you.

Dr. A didn't try to shove birth control pills down my throat as all my past doctors have. Since I don't ovulate taking BCPs is sort of pointless, you know? That said, we did discuss placing me on them if we can force ovulation. We discussed all sorts of treatment options from medications I might try to more drastic interventions like ovarian drilling (yikes!) or a double wedge resection. Thankfully, those are last resort options. Also she ordered a full blood panel and will be calling me early next week to discuss the lab results and schedule a follow-up.

And, no, Dave-O and I are NOT trying to conceive. Dudes, we haven't even unpacked from the move. Babies are, like, way down the line. Besides, I'm in that "it's irresponsible to conceive when you're overweight" camp. I know. I know. I should support my BBW sisters, but I just can't. Just because you CAN get pregnant, doesn't mean you SHOULD. Flame on...

As I was sitting in the exam room waiting for Dr. A, I could hear the patients on either side of me. One was a youngish sounding woman who was preparing for her first ultrasound. She was on the phone and begging her husband to come, but from what I could tell, he wasn't all that worried about showing up on time. On the other side was a couple who were arguing about having to wait for their doctor. I couldn't hear much of it, but what I did hear was just terrible.

Husband: I wouldn't have to be here right now if you're plumbing wasn't broken.

OMG! I know, right! The tone he used was just, well, scathing. That statement was pretty simple, but the resenment behind it was fierce. I mean, it's pretty obvious that he despises his wife because she's infertile. All I heard after that was her crying.

My first thought was, "You're a dick!" My second thought was, "A baby ain't gonna fix that marriage."

You know I used to have these twinges of guilt because I would think, "I'm going to be the reason Dave doesn't have kids." There was even a time when I thought it would be selfish of me to stay with him since I have compromised fertility...but then he proposed and I realized that he wanted to marry me even though he was totally aware of my issues. I can't even begin to explain how much guilt that alleviated.

Also, I have to give a little shout-out to Ash. Seriously, I don't know what I would do without her. We're both in the same boat: newly married, building/trying to build families, figuring out what the hell life is about, etc. There are things that I can share with her that I can't with anyone else. It's nice to have a friend like that.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Carpet Burns

So I have carpet burns on my right elbow and calf, but I didn't get them in the fun way. I stayed up all night starting a new novella that has to be submitted by September 30 for consideration in an erotic romance anthology, and when the sun came up, I decided that it was time for bed. I let the dog out, gave him a treat, and then we trudged upstairs. After brushing my teeth, I peeled off my scratchy, dry contacts, slipped them in a clean case, and clambered into bed. I had just fallen asleep when Bosley started barking and jumping and slapping the bed because he needed to go out--again.

I tried to convince him that he could wait another hour until Dave-O came home, but no, he wouldn't have any of it. Pissed and grumpy, I stomped out of the bedroom, hands extended as I felt my way along. (I'm nearly blind without my corrective lenses so the world is just a big ole blur when I'm sans contacts.)

Bosley decided it was playtime. He jumped against my back, nipped at my ankles, and was generally being an ass. Being a tired, frustrated bitch, I snapped at him to go downstairs--and he did.

As he bounded down the first two stairs, he bumped against my leg and caused me to lose my balance. I tried to grab the banister, but it was too late. Flailing my arms, I tumbled down the stairs, smacking my butt, my ribs, and cheek. At the very last second, I remembered to pull my head in and managed not to knock myself out when I slammed into the wall on the second landing. (Our staircase is shaped like a square U so you go up seven steps, then there's a landing, then you go up seven more steps and you've reached the second floor.) There I was writhing in pain and bleeding and what is Bosley doing? Barking. Not that playful bark, but that ear-splitting, stomach rattling bellow that he uses when he's afraid or warning us.

After crying for a few minutes, I pulled myself to my knees and managed to crawl down to the first floor. Bosley was still begging to be let out so I made it to the patio door, let him out, and then we headed back upstairs. Bosley seemed to realize that he caused my fall so he hung way back, letting me get all the way to the second floor before he started hopping the steps three and four at a time. I cleaned up the bleeding carpet burns on my arm and leg, rinsed the blood from my mouth (I bit my tongue, I think) and then collapsed into bed. I called Dave, wanting him, needing him--but he wasn't even close to coming home. Surprise, surprise.

I fell asleep and woke up an hour or two later when Dave finally made it home. Then I went back to sleep. I woke up again around 3. I know it's not fair and it's really ridiculous, but I'm still peeved at Dave. Every time I get hurt, he's never around. I've fallen out of showers, cut myself, burned myself, etc, and I always have to deal with it alone. I know. I know. The man works, cut him some slack, blah, blah, blah. How childish, right? But there it is.

Anywho. I should go finish dinner. I may be grumpy with him, but I'm still going to feed him properly--even if I'm hobbling around. For lunch, I made tomato basil bisque and grilled cheese sandwiches. Tonight it's braised ribs, potato salad, garden salad, and something for dessert. Pudding, maybe?

Lots to do. I'm off.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Quarter Century

Today is my parents' 25th Wedding Anniversary!! Congratulations Mom & Dad!!

Having been married just under 3 months, I find the idea of celebrating 25 years thrilling. We'll see if the attitude changes between now and then, though. :)

That's it for today. Back to the cracking that old chestnut...

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Out of Touch

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've been MIA lately, but that's because I've been cracking the whip and forcing the Inspirado. Mama wants some granite countertops, lol.

Actually, though, this post is about Dave's company. No, I'm not going to name said company. Some of you know us, but most of you don't. Rather than get into a big stink about bad publicity, I'm going to leave the name out.

That said....

Today Dave is at work and while he was browsing the schedule for overtime, one of his supervisors decided to make a snarky remark about "living within our means." Dave being the sweetheart that he is (and no fan of confrontation) let it slide. A few minutes ago, he told me about this remark, and it super pissed me off. I mean irate to the point of wanting to hex someone's balls off!

Who the fuck is this guy to lecture us about living within our means? Has he seen our budget? If he had, he would see the following:

1) Our mortgage and escrow is less than 26% of our gross income. (And no, we don't belong to that group of dummies who got ARMS without understanding that it will, in fact, adjust! We have a 30 year fixed rate at 6 point something percent.)
2) We have NO car payment and our insurance is only $57/month.
3) We spend $250 on groceries/month and $250-275 on gas.
3) Utilities (water, gas, electricity) are less than $200 each month because we keep the thermostat up, only water the lawn in the evenings, and have the water heater set low.
4) Cell Phones and Internet cost another $200 but are necessary for communication and working from home.
5) Student loans (his and mine) eat up $200 of our budget.
6) Feeding Bos and providing meds averages out to 65/month.
7) We have no credit cards, no satellite or cable, rarely (read: once a month) have dinner at a restaurant, and have seen 2 movies since January.
8) Oh, and yes, being the splurge whores that we apparently are, Dave and I do spend $18/month on Netflix.

Now, call me crazy, but I think that's a rather lean budget. Believe me. If I could find a place to squeeze extra money, I would. All of that takes up 3/4 of Dave's net pay. So no, we're not poor, and yeah, we live comfortably, but we definitely need the OT every now and then.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, where does all of our extra income go? If you guessed medical bills, you're right! Yeah. Remember when Dave had to be hospitalized with pancreatitis? We're still paying for that because, yep, his insurance didn't cover most of it.

It's times like this that I see the glaring differences between Dave and me. Had it been me in his position, I would have scathingly pointed out that if Dave's salary tracked with the cost of living and if his company provided full vision and dental benefits or simply BETTER health insurance, a lot of the employees at Dave's company wouldn't have to work two jobs. Hell, some of Dave's colleagues qualify for WIC and Medicaid! Yeah. That's fucking pathetic that these people have one of the most important jobs in society, but they're paid less than the people who push paper in the main offices.

Just to go off on a tangent for a sec: Why is it that we pay the most important jobs (teachers, police, fire, ems, researchers) the very least while people who do absolutely jack squat (athletes come to mind) earn obscene amounts of money? Seriously, when is kicking a football or shooting a three pointer ever going to cure cancer or revive a drowned child or teach your dyslexic child how to read? Priorities! Where the hell are our priorities?!?!

Back to the issue at hand--the rude and obviously out of touch supervisor--I also would have pointed out that the reason Dave picks up OT is to add money to our savings cushion. After buying the house, paying for a wedding, all of the extra medical expenses last year, appliances, and moving costs, we're a little strapped. And no, we're not saving for something stupid like a boat or a pool table or whatever.

Being the selfish and extravagant hacks that we apparently are, Dave and I are saving to start a family. Not so much for the nursery furniture and such, but for the adoption fees, etc. Since I have shriveled prunes for ovaries, conceiving won't be a walk in the park, and, of course, Humana doesn't cover any of the medical interventions I might try. No, I don't mean IVF treatments. I mean simple shit like Clomid. It's ridiculous really that we have to pay $60/month for my insurance, but there isn't a damn thing that I need that they'll pay for! WTF?

Oh, and speaking of the devil, did I mention that our insurance coverage was terminated--on our wedding day? Oh, yeah. Funny thing, though, is that the cost of my coverage has been deducted from Dave's paycheck since June. Hmmm. I wonder where that money went? The really messed up part of this story is that we were mailed new insurance cards in July, but when Dave went to pick up his prescriptions on Labor Day, the CVS pharmacy tech informed us that our insurance had been terminated MONTHS ago! Am I the only person who thinks we should have received a notice? When my dad's insurance was going to kick me off because I had reached the age limit, I got not one, but two notices at 60 days and 30 days. My parents also got duplicate notices. So where were the notices from Humana? Or Dave's HR? Shouldn't THEY have realized our coverage was going to lapse?

Eventually, Dave's HR and Humana worked out the issue, but obviously, they're still passing the blame back and forth. Quite frankly, I don't care who's to blame. I just don't want it to happen again. God forbid I had been in a wreck or Dave had fallen down the stairs! We would have been royally screwed.

Finishing up my little rant, I think that if this supervisor was really concerned with the welfare of his employees that he would make it a priority to champion their needs. Higher salaries, better benefits, a real cost of living study to employ in salary adjustments, etc. Life might be cushy on his supervisor's salary, but the people working in the trenches (and jesus, yes, i still remember the exhaustive, thankless life that is a medic's career) rarely get the compensation that they deserve. There's nothing wrong with a husband wanting to support his wife and dog solely on his salary. I still haven't figured out how the medics with stay-at-home spouses and children make ends meet. I suspect they're the medics who have second jobs.

Anywho. Seeing as we're such horrible spendthrifts, I should probably get back to cranking out tawdry novellas to earn a steady paycheck. Maybe if I'm really lucky I can force a bestselling literary novel out of the Muse. Then Dave can work part-time (since he really loves his job) and spend the rest of his leisurely hours holed up in our bedroom, helping me, ahem, research my latest erotica plotline...

Sunday, September 02, 2007


It's really late or super early depending on how you view time, and I am totally procrastinating. I have maybe half a chapter left to write on my latest novella, but I keep finding all of these really important, super interesting things to do. And why? Because I loathe editing. Seriously. I would rather cage fight Joey, Marcos, and Tricia for the last spoonful of Ama's arroz con pollo than have to edit my rough draft into a presentable final draft which then morphs into a string of back and forth revisions with the Editor.

Oh, and just for shits and giggles, if the four of us were ever to engage in such a cage match, I would tell everyone to place their bets on Tricia. Don't be fooled by the princess attitude and pretty face! She's wily and cunning and has the stamina of a Force Recon Marine. I'm telling you, the girl is fierce like a tiger! Rarr! I wouldn't be surprised if some day she's gracing the cover of Soldier of Fortune. I can see it now. She's wearing a crisply tailored black Dior suit, red Laboutin slingbacks, and is dripping Harry Winston diamonds. She'll have a .338 Lapua slung over her left shoulder, a cell phone pressed to her left ear, and her favorite Balenciaga bag dangling from her right arm--with a Fairbairn-Sykes hiding inside, of course.

Anywho. So I have this huge list o' topics for blogging, but none of them are meaty enough for a full post. Here's the list.

1) I am beginning to suspect that Bosley has deep seated issues that may or may not stem from the removal of his, uh, chestnuts. Firstly, he has a crazy foot fetish. No, really. Ask Sara or any of the other visitors we've had. If you're barefoot in this house, prepare to be suckled by a Great Dane. And yes. It is exactly as disturbing as it sounds. Secondly, he's sort of masochistic. He chews on his paw and makes these really, really inappropriate sounds. It's almost reached the point of bizarreness that I'm thinking about tracking down one of those dog whispering quacks.

2) My favorite blog, Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books, runs this weekly video post, and this week's video is HILARIOUS! It's called Love Story and is a short animated take on the dating scene for modern ladies. Give it a peek. You'll appreciate the humor. Also, the blog itself is worth browsing. The critique of romance novel covers is my particular favorite!

3) Can I just tell you how funny HOT FUZZ is? OK. Sure. It's humor isn't on par with SHAUN OF THE DEAD, but sometimes I like to watch a comedy where you have to think to get some of the jokes. If you've watched a fair share of action and/or cop movies of the "Buddy Cop" genre, then you'll get the subtle spoofiness. And, yeah, the violence is gratuitous, but it's not, you know, gross or disturbing. It's usually rather funny. I particularly enjoyed David Bradley's (plays Argus Filch in the HP flicks) mumbling scene, and of course, the two-footed flying side kick into creepy grandma's nose...

4) Speaking of films! I watched this amazing foreign film the other morning. I can't stop gushing about it! It's called Open Hearts (Elsker dig for evigt) and has such a gripping storyline. A young couple, Cecille and Joachim, have just gotten engaged and are planning their marriage when Joachim is paralyzed by a car collision. The woman, Marie, who caused the accident can't handle what she's done so she instructs her husband, Niels a surgeon, to make amends. He does the only thing he knows how to do: he listens to Cecille. And that's when it gets complicated. The motivations of a middle aged man, beautiful and confused young girl, oblivious wife, angst-ridden teen daughter, and a self-hating quadriplegic all conspire to form a heartbreakingly honest portrait of reality.

The acting and cinematography aren't polished so when you're watching you feel like you're actually watching this story unfold between the characters. The English subtitles are fantastic and easily read, but if you're comfortable with German, you should be able to understand the Danish dialogue without having to glance at the subtitles too often. For maybe the first ten minutes, I was tied to the subtitles, but once I figured out the Danish intonation and pronunciation, I was OK.

It's a beautiful example of why sometimes tiny foreign films are a thousand times better than Hollywood blockbusters. In the end it boils down to Hollywood predictability versus inspired film making. Oh, and in true Hollywood fashion, it appears that Zach Braff has signed on to do a remake of this film. Cripes! When are we going to learn that not EVERY foreign film needs to be remade? Seriously, would it kill us to watch a subtitled film? People in other countries do it all the time. Or, you know, we could broaden our horizons and learn a few languages. I'm telling you, after the first two languages, it's much easier to continue adding new ones.

5) Two words: Fan Fiction. Yes, sigh, I must confess. I heart FanFic! When I'm in a slump, it's one of the ways I recapture the Inspirado. Either, I write a short piece or I read some of the better stuff. If you're every bored, give it a try. You might find something that piques your interest!

OK. I think I've goofed off enough. Sun will be up soon, and I've got a self-imposed deadline looming. Must get cracking!