Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Oh, The Drama!

Winter is for the birds. It's March. I know it's supposed to come in like a lion or something but damn, when March hits, I'm thinking it's almost time to be back at my perch at the pool. And I'm so annoyed too- the past few years we haven't used our snow days so we got the day after Memorial Day off. That was the BEST. No having to worry about getting back from down the shore at a reasonable hour for E to sleep for school. Or not having to run home from a BBQ so we can all get ready for the next work day. We've just been through two back to back "nor'easters". Luckily we didn't get hit too bad but I know a lot of people who lost power and may still not have it back.

I see I haven't written since February. That was only a blog letting people know about spring swim team at the YWCA. It wasn't an actual update. A lot of stuff has gone on, but I don't want to clutter one post up with everything, so I'll do it little by little.

Last month we went to the Glen Rock High School musical- Legally Blonde. We always go to the musical. Sometimes we go to the regular, non-musical play too, but we've been taking E to the whatever musical they're doing for years.

I have to say- try to support your high school drama program by going yourselves and/or taking your kids. We don't have high school age kids, but these kids work so hard and do such a great job, EVERY TIME. You also don't realize how time flies when you notice kids who were in the plays, then not, and it's because they graduated!

We've seen them do Beauty & The Beast, Little Shop of Horrors, The Matchmaker, and some others. We've seen some of the kids from when they were freshman through their last performance senior year. There have been families of kids who have all gone through the drama department in their four years.

I really hope E expresses an interest in being in the high school drama department. They all seem like such a nice group of kids with diverse interests and a lot of talent. There's a girl, Tina, who has been in every play we've seen. At Legally Blonde, we realized she's graduating this year. We don't even "know" her, but will be sad to see her go. She always seemed so much older than a high school kid and she's really talented. I always look forward to seeing her perform. Same with both Bennie and Frankie Fontana. Bennie graduated but her sister Frankie is also fantastic and did a kick-ass job as Paulette in Legally Blonde. I've only seen her in more supportive roles, but she had a big part and did terrific. Last but certainly not least, we miss Jake Aboyoun, who is the son of friends of ours. He also was in every play we say before he graduated. He was in the audience this time, a glaring reminder of how we miss seeing him on stage.

I think they always do one musical and one non-musical at GRHS. We'll probably see the non-musical too, just because we know it's always a great performance. It's a fun night out and you're helping support the arts! A win-win in my book!

Little Shop of Horrors

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Get Your Feet Wet

I can't believe the regular swim season is coming to a close. In a way it's nice because that just means I'm that much closer to being back to my perch at the town pool. I have to say, the older and more self sufficient your kids get, time really flies. It's because you're not sitting home, watching the clock, waiting to hand you're significant other (if you have one) a baby and run. At least, that's how I felt.

Anyway, our regular season is coming to a finish, but there is a short spring season coming up that goes from the end of March through the end of May. So it's REALLY short. It's an AWESOME way for your kid to try out being on the swim team without a huge commitment.

The YWCA Tiger Sharks Team is a small, young, nurturing team where your child isn't just a number. We did one of those big, uber-competitive teams for E's first go on a swim team when he was in Kindergarten. We didn't know any better. It was a nightmare. That could've been the end of swim team for us had I not found the Tiger Sharks. And luckily & coincidentally for us, my one friend I made from the other team, Tracy Cohen-Grady, came over to the Tiger Sharks too. She has become an assistant coach. Along with Head Coach Kelly Dunnigan, I know there is also Coach Blaze and Coach Dan, but I think they may be others that I don't know. E has only been in the Bronze age group so I only know who he trains with. Every once in awhile, E ends up at the Silver group practice because of our crazy schedule and I've seen coaches there I don't know.

They've made swim team a very nice experience, where I know E is learning, but he's also having fun. He is always happy to go to practice, and they've been very accommodating with E's other commitments. The coaches are always available to talk, answer questions and emails, and I feel like they all genuinely care about the kids. I feel like they enjoy being there themselves. And Kelly is in college, so I'm extremely impressed at her time commitment to this team. Coaching a kids team of any sort wasn't what I was doing in college.

So if your kid can swim and you've considered seeing if they'd like being on a swim team, I strongly urge you to try out the Tiger Sharks for the short spring semester, to get your feet wet (pun intended). FYI- I don't get any kick back or anything for recommending them. But we plan to continue with the Tiger Sharks for the foreseeable future, so I'm doing my part with public relations, and basically a positive testimonial. I don't recommend stuff I don't like. You don't see me recommending our old team.... ;-)

Try outs are coming up in March-

The spring schedule isn't up yet, but for more info on try-outs and registration, contact Heather Seeback (contact info in link)

Monday, January 22, 2018


I don't remember when exactly it was but maybe like eight months ago, I went to my OB/Gyn for a routine appointment. When I was done with my doctor, I was asked to go into another room to be "swabbed". I didn't ask a lot of questions, because those who know me, know my motto in life is not to ask questions I don't care what the answers are. You need me to be swabbed, I'll be swabbed. It wasn't really presented as a question either. I guess I could've declined, but why? I assumed that if they're asking me to do it, it must be necessary. I know they said it was some kind of test having to do with genetics that sounded cool but you know, I have a very short attention span.

Greg Young is the guy who works for Gulfstream Genomics, the company that does the testing, told me that the test would tell Dr Wiener (my doctor), and me what medications are metabolized best by my body and what doesn't. This was extremely intriguing to me.

The main reason I was so interested in this testing is that I have had migraines, terrible migraines, since I was a kid. I'd say they started when I was about six or seven. I know it was before I could swallow pills. Migraines run in my family on my father's side. My mom got a headache like once a year so she never really got it and honestly never really investigated doing much about it. I don't remember how I figured it out- maybe from getting pain pills from a wisdom tooth extraction when I was in college, but most over the counter pain medications never seemed to help. College for me was in the mid-90s so I was given Vicodin or Codeine or Oxycodone. Yes, those are strong. And addictive, but I don't have an addictive personality to substances. Sugar and cake, yes. Drugs and alcohol, no.

I'd gone to so many doctors since college because of insurance changes and moving, and they've all given me different prescription meds that are supposed to work for migraine. Fiorecet, Celebrex, Imitrex, etc.Yet they never did. Only opioids, which are not prescribed for migraines. Before opioids became an epidemic, they could be prescribed whenever in however many pills. It's crazy that I could say I have excruciating back pain (which I've had since 2004) and get the pills but not for vomit inducing migraines. It's all pain. I'm no scientist, but pain is pain.

I had a horrific incident with an unscrupulous general practitioner. He'd prescribed me oxycodone for the migraines. I cut them up into four pieces each because they make me tired and I wouldn't be able to function if I took more than a quarter. I ran out of pills before my honeymoon in 2006 and I called the office. They told me I needed to come in to the office to get that prescription. I went in and loudly I was told by the doctor in front of the full waiting room that I couldn't have those pills for migraine and basically implied that I was like a junkie or something. I was so mortified. If they'd told me over the phone I couldn't have them, I wouldn't have gone in there. He'd given them to be before for that. It had taken about a year to use them so it's not like I'd been back to try to score. I felt like I could never go back there and didn't. I also was out of pills so I was back to just trying to live with the pain.

I also was embarrassed. I felt like I legitimately need these pills. I was treated like a liar. People who don't have migraine have no idea how debilitating it is. It's not "just a headache". I've missed events, like the Harlem Wizards game my husband was playing in for a school fundraiser, because I was laying on the bathroom floor in between vomiting. I was afraid to ask any doctor because I had PTSD from the last time. And I only really have an OB/gyn as a doctor. I just never found a general practitioner I felt any connection to like I do with the person who delivered my son. Plus, having another doctor just seems redundant. My doctor does my blood work like every six months and knows me.

I can't live with the pain of migraines though. At some point in 2012, I couldn't live with the back pain either. I told Dr Wiener about my back and he ordered an MRI. I had the MRI and it turns out I have bulging discs and degenerative disc disease. Because of that, he could prescribe me the oxycodone and did. I'm actually willing to deal with the back pain and only take the oxycodone for the migraine.

What the oxycodone does is just take the edge off the pain. It takes it down to a dull pain where I don't feel like I'm going to throw up and I'm not crying in pain. That's all I want. Dull pain is a cake walk and I can live with that. Knowing that I could never predict if I'd be able to get a refill, I really had to know my pain threshold to decide to whether to use one of those quarters. To me it's like being lost in the woods with only enough food to live for a short time and having to ration it out. By the way- to illustrate how sparingly I use them, it's 2018 and I'm only now almost done with them. As an aside, I also have a strong suspicion that a decent amount were stolen from my house. I really don't know by whom, but I just know they're missing. And NOW, the doctor can't even prescribe them anymore. I don't even want to think about how screwed I am.

This brings me to the genomic testing Gulfstream did. When my test came back, it turns out that my body doesn't metabolize most common pain medications well and that's why nothing was working. Advil, Motrin, Celebrex - none were good, and I have it ON PAPER NOW. Funny (or not funny) enough, I'd had a terrible experience with Celebrex years ago.

When Dr Wiener and Greg were going over the test results with me and I saw how almost no pain meds metabolize well for me, I got truly emotional. I finally felt validated for what I'd been saying all this time. That I wasn't a junkie for asking for what worked for ME. I don't know if it would work for someone else. I'm not a doctor and I know this is a highly addictive drug for most or many people. I just knew for damn sure what does NOT work for me. In my mind it's like toddlers and cold medicine. Because some parents made poor decisions using cold medicine to make their kids sleep and overdosed them, all kids under six are supposed to suffer with "natural" remedies that DON'T WORK. Everyone gets punished.

I don't know why every doctor's office doesn't use this kind of test. I know with the neurologist, before I got my Botox for migraine, for insurance purposes of paying for it, I had to "fail" two or three medications before they'd okay the Botox. Insurance had to pay for three visits, three medications, and I had to pay co-pays and waste time. I had to waste time in pain. If they'd just given me the test or I could've brought the test results had I had them already (I didn't), we could've skipped all that. I don't know why everything has to be made more difficult than it needs to be.

I'm not sure how it works - as in, I'm not sure how Wiener ended up having this company come in. But he's always on the cutting edge of what's new. Last I saw him, he was deciding to bring a Cool Sculpting machine into his office. I guess the idea is that you have a baby, aren't happy with your post baby body. and you freeze your fat away. I think that's brilliant.

Insurance should pay for the testing. I have Horizon Omnia Silver and they paid. They'd be crazy not to pay. It ends up helping them in the long run. They don't have to pay for medications that don't work or appointments people don't need. I will say that without insurance it would be very expensive. Somehow the wrong code was entered when it was put through insurance. I ended up with a bill for 4k then another for 8k or something like that. It was a mistake for me to be billed but that's about how much it would've been if I had to pay for it. Before you let anyone swab you, check with your insurance first to make sure they're going to pay.

The other part of why this is great is that treatment can be more accurate.When I went back a month or two later, I got swabbed again. I didn't ask why but then the next time I came in I asked what the last swab was for. Greg said that it was to check to see if I was taking what was prescribed and if it was still working. So I guess it's like a check up that's more accurate than relying on a patient's word. When it comes to my health, I like things to be as accurate as possible. The way to do that is to have checks and balances. Not everyone is honest or remembers to take what they're supposed to take.

So Dr Craig Wiener offers this cutting edge technology. It makes me feel confident in my doctor knowing he's always adding the newest technologies to make patient care better. I feel like every time we turn around, we're being offered less for higher costs (in terms of insurance). I want to go where I'm at least offered the latest in what can be offered for optimum care. I don't know what I'm going to be able to do to alleviate my migraines any, but at least there's info on what doesn't work with my body. That's a step in the right direction!

Comprehensive Women's Care of Paramus:

See the photo below. That's just a random page in alphabetical order of different medications and how they would or wouldn't work for me. I have no idea what most of those are for, but you're tested for everything. Notice though, what it says for Celebrex. And note that I mentioned above that I had a terrible reaction to it years ago. Had I had this test, I'd have known not to even take it in the first place! 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

An Unfathomable Tragedy

I can't believe I have to write this but here it goes....

So, E has been going to Jeff to get his hair cut since he was two and a half years old. It took awhile to find someone too. I'd gone to all the "kids" hair places in the immediate area. All of them. Rita's, Charles, David Alan Kids. I had someone at Rita's for awhile, but then he went missing. Literally, missing, to the point where I wrote a blog looking for Ricky, but to no avail. Then I was like, why am I paying twenty-five dollars for a child's haircut. That's the going rate at all these kid places and it's a racket.

B, E and I would go to eat dinner in Garden State Plaza and Plaza Salon was right there in the mall. It was easy to either eat dinner and then get a haircut for him or vice versa. None of these kid places are open at seven or eight o'clock on a Saturday evening.

After going through a few hairdressers, we found Jeff. With E doing acting, he has to have his hair relatively the same all the time. He has to look like his head shot photos. Jeff totally gets that and cuts his hair perfectly every time. Plaza Salon left the mall, but it's still on Route 4, just on the other side, so it's still extremely convenient with they're late hours during the weekend til nine and Saturday until eight.

Jeff always takes E on the fly, gives him a great, quick cut, we chat about life, and we're on our way. Even B started going to him. It's been like six years now. We've known Jeff before he was engaged, before marriage, before kids. We knew how happy he was before and during all these milestones.

We've never met Danielle, but we'd hear about her all the time. I remember him telling us they she was pregnant. Then when she was pregnant AND uncomfortable, and I told him to go get her a Snoogle pillow from Buy Buy Baby after work and surprise her with it.

He is always interested in what E's doing on TV and what auditions he's gone on. He's just a really nice guy. I don't want to get him in trouble, but he never even raised the haircut cost on us even though he knew E would've aged up to the next price. I know it was hard for him to tell us he had to charge us a dollar more because that's what the minimum is now. He could've just said on E's birthday last year- "hey, happy birthday, now you owe more for your hair". But he didn't. And we really appreciated it.

We knew Danielle was having the new baby (we didn't know a name, just that it's a girl, Gia Rose!) between Christmas and New Years. B had gone to get a haircut and said that if E needs one, Jeff's out after X date. I timed it so he wouldn't need one until Jeff would definitely be back.

We went there last night and when we pulled in, B said that he didn't see Jeff. Jeff's chair is by the window so we always look to see if he's there. We went in, heard what happened, and were shocked. I immediately Googled them to see if there was anything online (my first go-to). Jeff is kind of private and hates social media, even though I've tried to get him to promote himself on Facebook for years! So I knew I couldn't find anything on Facebook (except now would be a good time to go on Jeff...). I saw the article in the Daily Voice and knew I'd be writing this today. I texted Jeff to ask if it was okay, told him it would be shared on Facebook and Twitter, and he still gave me the go ahead.

Long story short- Ten days after having her baby girl, Danielle had a thunderclap headache and bleeding on the brain. She went into a medically induced coma. Last night I believe we were told she's out of the coma, but I'm not 100% sure on that. Regardless, she's going to need a lot of therapies and who knows what else. She's a teacher, and obviously can't teach. Jeff is a barber who doesn't get paid if he doesn't work. He can't work while his wife is fighting for her life and he's taking care of a two year old and a newborn. I'm sure he has some help from friends and family but there are still going to be tons of medical bills and things they'll need that insurance just doesn't cover.

Someone set up a Go Fund Me account so I'm sharing it. Any amount can help ease some of the financial stress that this is putting on this young family. Jeff is the nicest guy, and I can only imagine how hard this is for him and the kids, not to mention Danielle who has a long road ahead of her medically.

Friday, January 12, 2018

That's So Marvelous

After yet another day where the news of the real world makes me want to take to the bed, I'm here to discuss television. Our only escape now.

I don't know about you, but I'm always reluctant to try new TV shows. It's the whole getting invested. That first investment- figuring out what's going on, learning everyone's name, the whole drill. I want new shows, but getting into them seems like work sometimes. Then, there's always the fear that if I invest, it'll be cancelled. Sometimes, I just DVR like half a season or a whole one, being that some "seasons" are now only ten episodes (WTF?). Then I binge them when I'm done with all my regular programming- either by hiatus or just timely watching.

What's funny is that I get casting calls for E for many of these new shows. I'd gotten numerous ones for The Marvelous Mrs Maizel. The times and dates never really worked for me and it didn't sound interesting. I hated Mad Men. YES, I HATED IT. It was boring AF and SO slow. I'm not into the fifties in general. I don't like the music, the clothes, or the lifestyle. I would've jumped out a window being a fifties housewife. So a period show like that had no appeal for me. I COULDN'T HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG.

I hadn't really read the premise. I just saw fifties, housewife and I was over it. Then I heard it was really good. I saw previews for it. Over the holidays, when all our shows were on hiatus, B and I decided to give it a whirl.

Ok, if you're not Jewish, I don't know if you'll *relate* to it as much as we did. You'll still think it's funny and great though! When I talk about being Jewish by culture, this show is exactly what I meant. I don't know much about actual religion, but I got every reference and both B and I laughed our asses off. No one gets using a fabulous brisket as collateral more than I do!!

I read articles (editorials?) on Kveller sometimes. One lady recently wrote how much she loves the show BUT.... But, she has an issue with how uninvolved Midge is with her kids. Well, did she ever see Mad Men? Season one (all I got through), Betty Draper sent her kids out to play with plastic bags on their heads or something like that. That was the times. And some parts of fifties parenting doesn't seem that bad. We could use a little more parents not being up their kids behinds so much. This was a time when kids were not the center of your universe, but just part of it. I think that was a positive. Midge is supposed to be twenty-six and a newly single mother, living with her parents. Her mom doesn't work so she's around to watch her kids. I'd call it more, benign neglect.

I'm the first to bitch, and HAVE, mercilessly (Ambig-jew-ity), when we can't have a good, funny, show with intact Jewish families. Where the joke doesn't come from the typical nebbishy Jewish guy married to the blond shiksa. Or on Odd Mom Out, which was supposed to be semi-autobiographical, where of course, the very Jewish Jill Weber (Jill Kargman) is the Odd Mom Out because she married into a wealthy WASP family. Except that in real life, Jill Kargman is married to a Jew. I asked her why an intact Jewish family couldn't be a good show and she just gave me a bunch of excuses.

But this is a whole show filled with Jewish characters! We FINALLY GOT ONE. So quit complaining that all the actors aren't Jewish. I'll take the characters. I'm good on this one and the Jewish quotient.

Of course, I think the success of the show, and why it's so damn good is all Amy Sherman-Palladino & Dan Palladino. The genius also behind Gilmore Girls, if you didn't know. Where do you think all the super wordy, ultra quick dialogue comes from?? Kudos on another winner Amy & Dan.

Jewish or not, getting the references or not, you should check it out. It's a phenomenal cast. Rachel Brosnahan, while not part of the Tribe, plays a amazing Jewish Midge. The rest of the cast is superb too. Alex Borstein, who I only know as Dawn from Getting On, is hysterical as Midge's reluctant friend and eventual manager. Tony Shalhoub plays Midge's dad. I didn't realize that Michael Zegen grew up in the town next to where I live and his mom is the Hebrew School coordinator at the Jewish Center in my town. I hate his character, but he's great as Midge's philandering husband. Last but definitely not least is Kevin Pollack, who plays Joel's father, and to the letter- like every Garmento you've ever come across in this lifetime.

I CAN'T WAIT FOR SEASON TWO!!! How could they only give us eight F'ING episodes?? (Amazon Prime)

Another one we picked up to watch in December is SMILF. You should know what that stands for. It's about a single mom in Boston- a "Southie". Her life is a MESS. She has an amazing kid, food issues, a mentally ill mother, played to perfection by Rosie O'Donnell, a mess of an ex- her kid's father, and the best of television BFFs I've seen in a long time. It's a half hour show, written and starred in by Frankie Shaw.

This show isn't for the conservative or prudish. It's has truly some of the most messed up scenes I've ever seen on TV. I wasn't sold on it at first, like in the first episode. But I HAD to see where it was going to go. I'm glad I did. The cast is awesome- Connie Britton plays Frankie's extremely wealthy, totally narcissistic, lonely, needy boss. Frankie tutors her children and is sort of like an assistant. Rosie O'Donnell certainly knows how to play mental illness. Raven Goodwin is my favorite. As Frankie's best friend, she is ride or die, hysterically.

I don't know where Frankie got all this to write about- she's playing Irish Catholic, relatively uneducated, and poor but in real life, she's Jewish and very well educated (Barnard College of Columbia University). The only things I know (hope) she has in common with the character are that they're from the Boston area and they each have a young son. She’s very convincing as a hot mess though! You believe she IS Bridgette Bird- a SMILF who named her kid Larry Bird because she LOVES basketball and always dreamed she'd play for the WNBA. This is on Showtime.

We just started 9-1-1 on FOX Wednesdays, which is only two episodes in. Also a great cast- Angela Bassett, Peter Krause and (AGAIN!) Connie Britton!! I do love me some Connie. We may not have Friday Night Lights anymore, but she's everywhere right now. 9-1-1 is a show from the perspective of the paramedics and firefighters. Since I watch all the Chicago shows (PD, Fire, and Med), this is right up my alley. It's graphic and emotional, edge of your seat kind of stuff, but it's great.

On episode two, you'll say to yourself, "Where do I know her from?". You'll be talking about Autumn Reeser who played Taylor Townsend on The OC. I still miss that show. This show is a real nail-biter and it reminds me a lot of Southland actually. Another gone-too-soon fave.

As far as new shows that started in the fall, we really only have The Good Doctor on ABC. That's quickly become a favorite for both of us. I didn't realize the star is Freddie Highmore from August Rush. B and E love that movie. That has a great cast and premise. If you haven't started it, I definitely recommend that.

We were watching Wisdom of the Crowd, but thanks to Jeremy Piven being pervy or sexually harassing women, that's cancelled. It was a really cool premise, but whatever. That's done. I have one left to watch but I don't know if I'll bother. I don't know if they're going to wrap it up or what. Maybe they'll move Monica Potter over to 9-1-1 to reunite with Adam...oops, I mean Peter Krause.

That's all I got for now. I have The Brave DVR'd but haven't watched one yet.

Happy TV watching. I'm going back to checking on whether my old clothes are selling....

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Not Even Gonna Lie

Seriously, I'm not even going to lie. I just opened my blog to see the last update was Dec 8, 2017. I am SLACKING. On this. I had said I previously wasn't writing because of politics and the state of the country, world, etc. And that's partially true. However, that's not the whole deal. I actually have a decent amount of things to write about. Happy New Year, by the way.

I'll give you a little teaser of some things to come- I found awesome French Macaroons. I got my genetics tested or something - by a company called Gulf Stream. It's testing to see what medications work with your body and which don't, in every part of your whole system. Yeah, in this context, that may not make a whole lot of sense, but I'll explain further in it's own entry. Greg- I got you. I'm just slacking. (Greg is the guy who does my testing). The holidays happened. We saw some movies. We watched some tv shows. Awesome tv shows. Some of my shows got cancelled because sexual harassment and allegations of rape. Not me, but the actors in the shows. I went to a 40th birthday party at a cool place I want to tell you about.

But I need more time for all that. Instead I'm going to just talk about shopping. Or selling. Or both.

What I've been obsessed with, and spend all my time dealing with, is selling my old stuff. I talked about Tradesy before. And I talked about Poshmark recently. But Poshmark is a totally different animal than Tradesy and eBay. I tried to sell on eBay once. It was so confusing and a rip off, that I posted a few thing, they didn't sell, and at the end of the listings, I owed THEM money. Tradesy was good when I started with them. Their site is the most professional looking. They also used to only take 9% commission. It was 2.9% to deposit into your bank account. Then they went to 14.9% commission, without doing much else to help sales. Now they're just over 19%, not counting the 2.9% bank fee, and there's NO help with sales.

I keep my stuff on Tradesy just in case something sells, but Poshmark has a "feed" like Facebook. So people are liking and sharing your stuff all day long. I started selling on there in mid-October. I've sold fifty-four items. FIFTY-FOUR (update that to fifty-eight only 24 hours later). Now, because Poshmark seems to run on haggling, some of these things went for ten dollars, so the profit is ridiculously low with Poshmark's cut taken out. But it's fine- the old stuff is leaving my house and it adds up. I'm also not in any hurry to sell these things, so if someone really lowballs me, I just don't accept the offer.

Potential buyers do ask QUESTIONS. They might ask a lot of questions, even before they buy that ten dollar item. Someone asked to see a photo of the inside of a kid's practically new coat. Then, *crickets*. Yesterday, while the person was super cool in general, she wanted to know if a pair of E's shoes "smell". I told her I didn't think so but I'd go home and sniff them later. I did, they didn't, and *crickets*.

All of my stuff is stored where we don't allow the cat. Not specifically because I want to keep it cat-free, which is just a bonus, but because we just don't want her in these spaces. When someone wants measurements, or the only piece of info I don't have listed about something, I have to battle Kitty-High-Five to get to my things. Really- you're buying an Express shirt with stretch from 2000. Do you have such abnormally long or Cee Lo arms that your purchase hinges on the arm measurements?

I've bought only shirts from Poshmark and I've never needed measurements. I just make it work. Or re-sell. But whatever- I'll have it out with Kitty to do some "pit to pit" measurements for whomever asks. I should've recording measurements when I first started listing but I'd never asked when buying and I've never been asked when selling on Tradesy so I didn't really think about it. I'm starting to think some people ask questions just to mess with you. To see if you'll do it. Like being hazed. Especially because when they do buy it, I'm supposed to make it pretty like a ZTA "do-nice".

Of course I found a "group" or two- like message boards, but on Facebook, of other Posh-ers as I think we're called. The one group has been great for bitching and goofing about situations that arise, and general questions and whatnot that have helped me make sales. I didn't realize though, the one annoying thing about that group is that the admins need to approve your question or post before it's posted. So if you want a quick answer, that isn't happening. They really police what you can and can't post about too. Yesterday we got the rule that we can't post about lowballers "because there are too many people in the group". I have NO IDEA what one thing has to do with the other and the whole idea of "groups" is to bond with the other members. Part of bonding is bitching and lowballing is what there is to bitch about when talking Poshmark. I guess I'll be limiting my time in that group.

The pros of selling on Poshmark are many. You have access to SO many people seeing your stuff. I have almost ELEVEN THOUSAND followers in the almost three months I've been selling. The more followers, the more shares I get from them, the more chance that someone is going to buy something. If you have a lot of stuff to sell, without making your own website, it's a platform with a lot of users in general.You also are dealing with people from all over the country, people who may not or flat out don't have the access to the kind of shopping we do on the coasts & metro areas.

I haven't really experienced the cons except for the exorbitant commission they take. Apparently, there are buyers who are shady- some sellers have talked about buyers who have gotten an item, it didn't fit or they just didn't like it, so they damaged it themselves, then opened a claim against the seller. You can't return something just because you don't like it or it doesn't fit right. Only when an item is damaged or not as described. I haven't had anyone do something like that, so far. Fingers crossed that doesn't happen, but I guess the more you sell, the more chance of encountering someone unscrupulous like that is possible.

It's also VERY time consuming if you want to be successful. I'm sharing people's stuff whenever I get a moment during the day. I'm sharing my own stuff. I'm watching tv and sharing. I'm listening to you talk, I'm just not looking you in the eye because I'm hitting share. It's not like reading Facebook or looking at Instagram, not engaging. I'm listening to every word but I'm also hitting share on items I'm not even looking at.

I also didn't really take my photo taking very seriously at first. I've always had a dress form but I didn't think about background or lighting. Some photos I originally just took quickly and on hangers. Some were really wrinkled. B has a light box he set up in my little "dressing room"- our small spare bedroom where I keep my clothes, get dressed, etc. A light box sounds like something small, when it's more like a tent that could fit like 2-3 adults sitting in it. It takes up like three quarters of the room. It's cool though and I've been spending time re-taking most of my photos. They have to fit in a "square" on Poshmark and their photo editing is beyond primitive. Most of my old photos didn't fit into their square so some were cut off and looked bad. Now, most of the photos look awesome, especially in comparison.

Again though, time consuming. I've been in that bedroom with the door closed, so the cat doesn't come in, for hours on end. The cat is throwing herself at my door, meowing like someone is stepping on her tail. Meanwhile, I'm like, in a schvitz, because the heat is pumping and I'm trapped in there.

When you spend all this time taking photos, storing items properly, etc, lowball offers are annoying and you take them personally. The post office is up the street from home and work, luckily, and it's not a hardship going there. I know people want their stuff quickly, because we're in the Amazon Prime age of 2-day shipping. When someone purchases one of my items (or more), I make sure to get that thing out the same day unless the post office is closed. I'm not running for you when you're offering me eighteen dollars on something I have fairly priced at fifty-eight dollars.

Speaking of pricing, I also spend time researching prices. A lot of my items I had on Tradesy first. When you input the brand and the condition it's in, Tradesy gives you a range of what items like it are selling for. I also look up items online to see what they're selling for. I'm like the damned Price is Right. I know what things cost from food to my clothes from 1998. Don't offer me eleven dollars for near perfect Nike's you know cost one hundred and ten from a retail store when I have them priced at twenty dollars. It may be what you want to pay, but it's insulting when I look in your closet and you have everything priced super high. You're not willing to be lowballed either. My advice as a buyer and seller is just to be respectful. If you look at any Poshmark seller's offer chart, you know what a fair offer is and what is lowballing.

All in all, it's been a really good experience so far. I can't believe my clothes from the nineties and early 2000's are selling but they are. Fifty four things have left my house, gone to new homes and I'm making a decent dollar that I need. I'm listing things like crazy which is really opening up room in all our closets. I would've never been motivated to clean out the closets so quickly. I have my bags of stuff separate that E and I give to homeless people on the street in NYC- this is all just....MORE stuff. This is decades worth of stuff. Even with the bags of stuff I've marked for the homeless, I still have almost SIX HUNDRED listings right now. I give some, make money on some. If Rita was still alive, I really could've gotten some "vintage" items like scrunchies, denim button-down shirts, and fanny packs....

I'm still learning the ins and outs. In the past two days I've gotten offers given to me on size six boots when I'm a nine and a half and on tops I'd never wear. I figured out that somehow I added them to a "bundle" (when someone wants to buy more than one item from the same seller they save on shipping cost this way) by mistake. The seller then has the opportunity to send someone a private offer on cost or shipping when someone adds one or more items to a bundle. Yeah, like I said, learning. XYZ in Florida has no idea I wouldn't wear five inch heels and must have clicked bundle instead of "share". 

If you want to buy or sell on Poshmark, you need to make an account. Whether you do it in your browser or you get the app, and you want to give me credit, you can't sign up through your Facebook account. You have to do it with your email address. It's so annoying, but when you do it via Facebook, there's no input area to give someone credit. When you sign up with my closet name for credit, you get five dollars to spend and I get five dollars if you ever make a purchase. It's a win-win. And I'm more than happy to give you all my tips and knowledge. They don't call me know-it-all for nothing! My closet name is tsdk74 - just copy and paste it right now.

Ok, writing this today took up my allotted writing time. Tomorrow my goal is something else. Totally unrelated to my new selling hobby. At least it's not an MLM!! (NEVER)

Friday, December 8, 2017

Kidney 4 Alex

I'm not even sure how to begin so I'm just going to go right into it. My friend Alex needs a kidney. Not two, just one will do. What better time than the season of giving to change someone's life?

This is hard for me to write. It took my living in town like ten years to meet "my people". I have a lot of people I'm friendly with and I have a LOT of acquaintances but I finally found my people over the past two years or so. Alex is one of them (as are her husband Mike and her daughter). She is the one I spend the most face to face time with, and who we hang out with most, as families, with. We're the unicorn "only child" parents. When everyone else has two or more, closer to four, we're the one and done crew. Six fits quite nicely in a booth at Grand Lux Cafe, where you can find the six of us, for the early bird special, most Saturday evenings. Apparently, Alex isn't on time for anyone, but her butt is in that booth at six o'clock sharp, for me and my senior eating habits. Anyone that knows me, is fully aware that punctuality is my most prized quality in other humans. B still tells people that his ability to be on time or early is why I married him.

Back to Alex. I love her. And Alex has Polycystic Kidney Disease. I'm not going to go into a whole long boring thing. I'll just give you the basics- Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic disease (passed from an affected parent to their child) causing uncontrolled growth of cysts in the kidney eventually leading to kidney failure. It affects all racial and ethnic groups equally.

There are two types of PKD: autosomal dominant (ADPKD) and autosomal recessive (ARPKD). ADPKD is the more common type and affects more than 600,000 Americans and 12.4 million people worldwide. ARPKD is a rare form of the disease that occurs in 1 in 20,000 children worldwide.
A typical kidney is the size of a human fist and weighs about a third of a pound. PKD kidneys can be much larger, some growing as large as a football, and weighing up to 30 pounds each. The number of cysts can range from just a few to many. The size of the cysts can range from a pinhead to as large as a grapefruit. Although the primary sign of PKD is cysts in the kidneys, there are other symptoms that can occur in various areas of the body.

You can find info here-

That's the short of it. I know that I can go on long as it is, so I don't need that taking up space. The bottom line is- Alex needs a kidney. And she needs it like yesterday. Apparently things can go downhill fast with this and she's quickly approaching the bottom of the hill.

Alex is very private, (how I'm so attracted to friends who are like a vault, I don't know). For her to let me put this out there means the disease has progressed to a point where she has no choice but to let those of us who love her to put her business out there for help. So here I am, throwing her business out there. There is no more luxury of being tight lipped in this case.

Alex is a mom, a wife, and an awesome friend. She's a great cook, who makes enough for a village when she only has one kid, and is always happy to share the leftovers. She loves her bags and shoes like they're her other babies, but didn't hesitate to hand over a vintage Valentino when I needed an accessory for my one and only tv background actor debut. She will watch your kid for hours and treat them like they're her own. She will take you on a tour of Brooklyn, taking on rides at Coney Island and then introducing you to the REAL Russian market. And like I said, if she really wants to show her love and affection, she'll eat with you at a ridiculous hour and even be on time for it with a smile. She'll also make sure to text you every time she comes across a five foot metal chicken you've been yearning to buy as outdoor home decor.

Once she gets a kidney, she'll even attempt to make your dead mother's spectacular turkey recipe. Err, maybe that's just for me? Really though, she will be much appreciative and I'm fairly certain she'll bake you her double chocolate cupcakes with homemade buttercream frosting. I *know* she doesn't just make those for me. She'll also cut your onions (for brisket cooking) faster than the guy on the Ginsu commercial so you don't have to wear ski goggles (that also might just be for me).

You can get tested to be a living donor. Living donation is when a living person like you chooses to donate their organ to someone in need of a transplant. More than 6,000 organ transplants a year are made possible by living donors, with kidney being the most common organ transplanted.

There are many reasons living donation is better than the alternative (deceased donation). These reasons include:
  • Scheduling the transplant at a time optimal for both yourself and the recipient.
  • Better genetic matches between yourself and your recipient may decrease the risk of organ rejection.
  • Kidneys from living donors usually work immediately, as the kidney is removed from a healthy donor and transplanted right away in an operating room.
  • The gift of an organ can save the life of someone in need. The experience of providing this special gift can serve as the ultimate positive aspect of the donation
Who can be a living donor?

Living donors must be in good overall physical and mental health and at least 18 old. Medical conditions that may prevent a living kidney donation may include: uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, HIV, hepatitis, acute infections or a psychiatric condition requiring treatment.

When considering if becoming a living donor is right for you, it is important to understand the process. To start the process, you will contact the transplant center where your recipient is listed. You don’t have to tell the recipient you are getting tested if you do not want to.

The first step will include an initial screening and blood tests to determine if you are compatible with the intended recipient. If you are not compatible, there may be other options to donate (see types of kidney donation). If you are a match, a nurse coordinator will contact you to continue the process. As you navigate the process, you will be assigned an independent donor advocate (IDA) who is not part of your recipient’s medical team. Your IDA will assist you through the process, answer your questions and focus only on your well-being -physically, mentally and emotionally. All conversations with your IDA are completely con fidential; your recipient will never know the questions you ask or the concerns you have.


Go to to fill out your information. You need to do that at least seven days in advance of your appointment. It takes about 5-10 minutes to fill out.
You need these answers for direct donation:
Name: Alexandra May
DOB: Feb 25, 1975
Not on dialysis but needs transplant
And yes she's with Cornell currently

I'm going to thank you in advance for reading and for possibly screening. I'm going to think positive and just know she's going to get a kidney. But I still need your help. If you could share this entry as much as possible, I'd really appreciate it and I will update as I get any further information. If you have any questions or whatever (or a kidney), email Mike (her husband) at 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Lips, Fat, Gums, & Vagina Eyes

I know there's irony in the fact that I love the "Mean Tweets" bit on Jimmy Kimmel more than anything. I look forward to a new Mean Tweets more than I do a good cupcake. However, I think it's because the celebrities reading them have a sense of humor about it. They're okay with poking fun at themselves and watching their confident reactions to the tweets make it all even funnier. As an aside, I didn't really enjoy when other celebrities read the mean tweets ABOUT Jimmy, for his birthday, because it's not as fun when the person isn't reading them himself. Except, of course, Larry David, because of his overwhelming laughter at what he was reading. That was funny as hell.

I watched some of the American Music Awards last night. Or, I should say, I put it on, and I was half listening. I just wanted to see Kelly Clarkson and Pink's singing collaboration. I didn't know they opened the show together. I thought it would be at the end. I watched as much as I could before falling asleep. I did catch Christina Aguilera do the Whitney Houston tribute. I thought her voice sounded great. I didn't really feel any kind of way about her look. She looked pretty. I was more focused on her voice and seeing whether she was going to sound like Whitney, or change things up.

On Wendy Williams this morning, Wendy talked about how mean people were about Christina's look on Twitter. Mostly about her lips. People were tweeting that she sounded good but she should stop getting lip injections. I'm sure there were worse comments. I thought Wendy was going to defend Christina or something but she jumped right in. She wasn't awful about it, but I just thought- Why?

Mean Tweets is a bit that came out of way people feel it's okay to just pick people apart, publicly, TO them. Or about them. I thought it was brave of Christina to take on Whitney. Watching all the singing reality shows, we always hear- you don't take on Whitney, Mariah, Celine, or Adele. People are especially protective of Whitney's memory, so that had to be a scary undertaking for Christina. Yet, people wanted to just attack her look.

How about Kelly Clarkson, who always is a powerhouse, yet, most of what people want to talk about is her weight. Luckily she doesn't seem to care, as she recently said in an interview when she was on Howard Stern. It can't feel good though! It would be better if people didn't find it necessary to tweet about someone's weight.

This movie Wonder came out, that I know is from a book. I don't know the book and didn't read it obviously, but I've seen some press on it. I gather the meaning in it is to be kind. To accept people no matter how they look. And I bet some of the people who tweet about Christina's lips, Kelly's weight, or Gwen Stefani's gums (I saw that in a Facebook group this morning) are going to go see the movie Wonder. They'll cry, they'll feel all warm and fuzzy, but then the message will be lost as they walk back into daylight. They'll go back on their phone and fire off a tweet about how People Magazine must have been blind to pick Blake Shelton as the Sexiest Man Alive this year.

Psst...Guess what? No one is agreeing on the Sexiest Man Alive. I'm not sure I've thought any of the men on the cover were the Sexiest Man Alive.  But I also don't CARE who People Magazine crowns this honor. But people get CRAZY about People's choice. CRA-ZY!

I guarantee that no one Mean-Tweeting would say any of their observations about appearance TO Christina, Kelly, Gwen and/or Blake. If they were to run into any of them, you know they'd be asking for a selfie.

Many will say it's no big deal. They're celebrities, this is what they signed up for. I just don't think that's true. All of these people have talent. They have talent that the average person doesn't possess. They're famous because their talent somehow brought them a platform to be in front of millions of people. I don't think just by being born with talent should make you a target for being what I'd call cyber bullying. Yes, they have the choice not to be on social media and not to engage, but the comments are out there, whether they read them or not. The comments get talked about on the news, in magazines, and who knows where else. It's everywhere and probably really hard to escape unless you live as a recluse.

I guess I just don't get the motivation to be mean just for mean's sake. I'm not immune to gossiping and judgement of celebrities. I read People Magazine and US Weekly. Yes, I have opinions about the clothes, the styles, and I have thoughts about how people look. The difference is, while I might have that conversation with a friend in passing, I don't feel the need to tell the world in a personally directed Tweet that someone's eyes look like vaginas (that was a Mean Tweet last week- don't remember to whom it was directed!).

Sadly, I don't see things changing. We are where we are. Pandora's Box has been opened and people feel like they can say anything behind a computer screen. It would just be great if people would realize that no one needs their public opinion on how someone else looks. I'd like to see all the photos of people who tweeted about Christina's lips. I am going to venture to guess that Christina, with or without lips, would still look better on her worst day. I thought she looked great.

Christina's Whitney tribute:

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Really Bad Moms Movie

I saw A Bad Moms Christmas last night. I wasn't in any hurry to see it. I went because my friend C asked me to go and I love her. As social as I seem, if I have the choice not to go out, especially during the week, I choose not to go. No one wants to eat dinner with me at five-thirty or six o'clock and no surprise here, I'm highly routined. I'm well tucked into my couch by eight and my DVR is at 91% at all times these days. I went to the movies because I thought I'd try on being social, and I did think the last Bad Moms movie had some funny moments. I didn't relate to it- like blogger KatyKatieKate-, I agreed with everything she said. I did like the supermarket scene though. Maybe it was because I love that song.

 I've said- I don't feel guilt. I don't have Mom Guilt. It's not a "thing". I do me, and don't get bogged down in mom drama nonsense. I listen to a lot of it, I just don't want to be IN it. As a mom, I do my best some days, and some days I probably suck. My kid knows me as his only mom, and I've asked him, at times when he's annoyed at me, if he wants a different mom and he always says no. #winning

Ask your kids if they want a different mom. If they say no, take it at face value and give yourself a pat on the back. If they say yes, then your kids are assholes.  Simple as that.

I'm not gonna even lie- I love Carla. She's my favorite and the only one I could semi-identify with. I was kind of raised by wolves and I would make a gingerbread penis when everyone else is making houses. I know you're supposed to love Mila's Amy the most, but her character is a real crybaby wuss. If I had to pick someone to hang with, it's Carla. She gives no F's and frankly, neither do I. However, I think we're supposed to judge her as the worst mom of all. To me, only if the bad in Bad Moms is supposed to mean Bad-ASS. No, I don't think EVERYTHING she does is getting her an award for her parenting skills, but I think we're all lucky there are no awards.

Back to the movie- in the first one, I thought Amy's kids were lazy, spoiled jerks, especially because she did everything for them. I didn't get where in the end someone praised her on what awesome kids she has. I thought I missed something. They were rude and fresh to her and blamed her for anything that went wrong. Then she felt bad about it. Did not compute. The whole working mom vs stay at home mom thing is real and relevant, for a lot of people, and we're beat over the head with Mommy Wars, so I got the concept. Same kids this time, same little assholes.

This Christmas thing? The family thing? Nope, nope, no. I didn't get it at all. All three of their moms were awful and ridiculously cartoonish. I'm sad that the amazing Christine Baranski read a script like this and agreed to do it. I mean, they made her racist. She thought her daughter's boyfriend was the help. As a joke. Used throughout the whole movie. She and Mila Kunis had no chemistry together whatsoever. Susan Sarandon, I get why she'd do this movie. I think she really IS high all the time. I totally understand why Katherine Hahn would do this- it looks fun as hell to play Carla.

So, like I said, again, Amy's kids were whiny, spoiled jerks who turned on a dime. They seemed fine at first, then not. Nothing even made sense. The older set of mothers were terrible - Ruth was nasty, belittling, and showed no love the whole time. She just handed out expensive gifts to the kids here and there. There was no emotion. Yet in the end, when Amy finally stood up for herself like I wished she would the whole movie, and tried to give her kids the Christmas they asked for, everyone was pissed at her and she AGAIN, felt guilty, like SHE was wrong. NO!!! Her kids were angry that Amy kicked grandma out, said awful things to her, and stomped upstairs. So what does Amy do? Go find mom, apologize, and then bust her ass to make her house a Christmas wonderland. To quote her overused-supposed-to-be-funny line- "What the F*CK?!"

Ruth was a giant bitch and I can't imagine why the kids would talk about how much they love grandma, except for the gifts. We got no prior inclination that they ever even saw this woman. Or that she was capable of any kind of warmth. In 34 years, Amy never heard about her mother's childhood? Then Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher, The OC) swoops in and tells Amy that mommy was treated poorly as a child so she does the same and all should just be kittens and rainbows after?

Poor Carla had a completely absent mom, Isis, who only came around for money and then took off. She did the same thing this time. That was some heavy sh*t for a movie like this. Then in the end she came back because she felt bad, and said she was quitting gambling and giving her back money. Sure. Talk about having to suspend disbelief. I'll also just add, I was really uncomfortable with the stealing of the food from people outside the grocery store. I know it was supposed to be funny, but it just wasn't.

Kiki's mom was just a weird loser and it seemed even more strange for her never to say anything before that. It was just a lame plot line. She was the most cartoonish of all. I get the whole smother mother thing. It just wasn't funny because none of the things she was doing were even remotely relatable. I know a lot of co-dependent mothers and daughters. None of them have shirts made with the other's face all over them. Maybe I just know healthier co-dependent people?

The best part of the whole movie was seeing a lot of Justin Hartley naked. I liked the Carla/Ty romance but it did remind me of a copycat Fat Amy & Bumper (Pitch Perfect 2, an equally horrid sequel) I also always get a little nostalgic when I get to see Sandy Cohen. OH, and Christina Applegate's line- "Did she have a broken dick on her face?" was one of the funnier moments.

I think the movie was supposed to be about the pressure to make holidays perfect, specifically Christmas. I guess there are people out there that feel that pressure? I don't know. I'm glad I don't feel the pressure to make anything perfect. Perfect to me is being with people I love, and making sure there is good dessert. Beyond that, I certainly don't care about decorations, perfect gifts, watching a five hour Russian Nutcracker, or Kenny G.

All I have left to say on this is, that you can tell that these Bad Moms movies are written by men. There's no way any woman would write movies like these. I doubt women were even consulted for opinions unless it was about how hot Justin Hartley is on a scale of one to ten. The moral of this sequel was to just suffer as much shit as your mom/family can lob at you, forever, to make a holidays "perfect". No thanks! I'm good!