Friday, February 24, 2017

Three's Company TV

I always really disliked the TV show, "Three's Company". Everyone seems to like this show, but I don't. I don't know why but the whole general Three's Company formula of telling a story just kills me. Remember how they'd always have a scenario where we, the audience, know something, but the characters don't. Then, because they don't, there is always a huge misunderstanding. The whole scene gives me anxiety. One person would overhear something, it would be misconstrued, and trouble would ensue. Resolved in the end, but the whole episode, I'd have anxiety.

I feel like this is the formula for a lot of TV now. I want to be surprised along with the character. I don't want to know stuff the characters don't know. For instance, I've been watching The Good Wife on Amazon Prime, for months. At one point I almost quit because I couldn't take the anxiety. When Cary and Alicia were leaving Lockheart Gardner to start their own firm but still working for LG. Everyone convinced me to stick it out. But I did take a few weeks break before I could go back. Now I'm at the end of season six, Calinda is downloading files at Lamont Bishop's and doesn't see him coming in on the monitor. That's where I had to stop it because I can't bear to see what's going to happen. I need to push through because I WANT to watch the new spin-off with Diane, but the anxiety of what will happen to Calinda AND the back and forth Three's Company scenario of the is she or isn't she with Alicia vs Cary, Diane and David Lee is JUST. TOO. MUCH.

Why couldn't Diane, Cary and/or David just walk into the goddamned conference room and say to Alicia - "HEY, I THINK WE HAVE OUR WIRES CROSSED"!! Instead, she's working against them, they're working against her, all because of a misunderstanding we all saw and know but they don't.

I'm just at standstill! And I want to just finish it already! 

It's soap opera storytelling. I can deal on General Hospital because GH moves pretty fast. Story arcs just don't go on forever. And I can fast forward when the story is too long and the anxiety gets too much. However, that's why I can't watch Days Of Our Lives. It was ALWAYS that kind of audience-knows-but-character-doesn't plot lines. The story arcs would also go on for years. I bet if I tuned into DOOL today, I'd still know what's going on.

Before Cary and Alicia left LG, the stories weren't like this. They were riveting and you didn't know what was going to happen, but you found out the plot twist the same time the characters did. It was more about relationships and the cases. Then it went all Three's Company. You can tell a compelling story without it being like that. If I want anxiety, I can just read my Facebook feed or watch the news. When I watch Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, or Grey's, coincidentally or not- all "Shondaland", the twisty-turny plot lines surprise you. Not just relieve your anxiety because the story ends. I had NO IDEA McDreamy was going to die. It would've ruined the whole episode if we knew and were just waiting for Meredith to find out.

I want TV to be my escape, not the source of my anxiety. I have enough anxiety in the real world. Yes, there can be suspense and cliff hangers. It's not about that. It's about the misunderstanding part. All the medical shows- Chicago Med, Grey's, Code Black- they all surprise - who lives and who dies. Who is fired and who stays. But WE don't know until they know. We don't find out then wait for them to find out later. We didn't know Alex was asleep in Meredith's bed when they didn't know whether he was in jail or not. We found out, together, with Meredith, at the end of the episode, like we SHOULD.

Ok, that's my TV rant for the day. Because now I'm done with this week's Chicago Fire, Grey's, and halfway through the finale of The Affair. Although, I have to say I'm pretty tired of Chicago Fire's overused plot devise of angry bad guy targeting someone in the fire house or the house as a whole. How many times is there going to be a baddie threatening everyone? It's happened like ten times already. Lather, rinse, repeat. I'm pretty much hate-watching it now, just for Severide.

I'm looking forward to Chicago Justice. New cases to be involved in. And The Affair- B will be glad I just watched without him. What the F kind of finale is that?? I'm a little more than halfway through and all I can ask, is, who gives a crap about the French lady and her family? I get that the show is "The Affair", and technically, Noah was having an affair with a married woman. But no one cares about her! I have to assume most people want more Cole and Alison. At this point, Alison's life and Noah's life could be two totally different shows. I'm not done with the finale but I'm assuming it's just Noah and the French lady. I'm going to be so annoyed. I could barely get through the first half hour! I'm on the treadmill having to read sub-titles? No.

Looking forward to The Catch coming back. I feel like GIRLS has been hysterical in the first two episodes of the final season. We're liking Big Little Lies so far after one episode. I have the first two episodes of Doubt on tap to watch and This is Us is everything on Tuesday nights. This is Us has plot twists and lots of drama, but we find it out with the characters. We didn't go a season knowing William was sick but having Randall not be in the know! We knew when he did! And he knew early. It wasn't a secret. There are some other things starting- American Crime and When We Rise. We plan to watch both but they are both mini series.

I still have all of Summer House (Bravo) & Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce (also Bravo) on DVR. I just haven't gotten to Summer House, and GG2D, I totally just hate-watch because I'm already invested.

And yes, maybe I need some kind of medication if TV is giving me anxiety. Whatever. I just like my stories told in a certain way!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Cool Sculpting Update: Almost 4 Weeks After

Update on my Cool Sculpting:

I got it done on January 24th. It's been almost four weeks. I'm still wearing the compression garment. I'd say that by today, I have ninety-nine point five percent feeling back in my stomach area. It's still a HAIR numb but not painful or anything. Just a slight numbness. Yes, I was told it could be numb this long, but when it's your body, it feels like a really long time.

The million dollar question that everyone really only cares about is- Did it work? Yes. YES. I believe it has worked. *I* definitely see a difference. And you're not really supposed to see the full results for one to three months I think. They're going to take the "after" photos for BC Magazine the second week of March so it'll be in the middle of that "recovery time period" but I'm okay with that. I'm not a water retainer or whatever, so I think for me, whatever results I'm going to get, it's going to be on the sooner end, rather than later.

I can tell when I sit, if I'd bend forward, I'd have a big roll of fat. Always though- even when I was a teenager. Now that I had a kid, it was a baby pooch. It wasn't like a kangaroo pouch but just a roll. And a muffin top. I never really had back fat, like women have around their bra, but I'd always had what I call a butt muffin. Too much chub that could get pushed up by jeans. I never had those two dimples that most people have above their butt because it was like back then right to butt. If that makes sense. It's definitely flatter there now. It's hard to get a pic of it myself. I tried to have E take one but I'm not sure how well that came out. If you see me in person, ask me to pinch my fat for you and I'll show you.

I'm wearing the compression garment still because that's what I do. I get into a routine and then that's that. I think it's just one of those things that can only help. Weirdly enough, it seems to help my lower back pain from just getting old, not from any procedure I've done. It helps with that a little bit. I know they sometimes help your posture, so normally, I could see that being it, but my posture still kind of sucks. I like the garment though, so I'll keep wearing it until it's really inconvenient or hot. It's inconvenient because I only have two, and I wash one daily. The washing is a pain. The laundry never ends in my house though, so the daily washing just helps keep the laundry pile small.

My ending thoughts for now on cool sculpting. If you have the money to do it, and a decent pain tolerance, I would say that it worked for me. You want to make sure you trust who is doing it because you want to know that you really have the kind of fat, and kind of body it's going to work on. I don't know it would work great on someone with more of an apple shape that has a lot of fat. You also don't want someone to tell you that you could just do one piece or something when you really need four to be even.

I look at it more like tradition liposuction. It's not for weight loss. You lose as much as you can and then you use this or liposuction as the finish line- to get those spots that are never going to respond to diet and exercise. Even when I was doing stroller strides six days a week and probably in the best shape of my life post-baby, my belly still had a pooch. The way I stand too, in pictures, people have asked if I was pregnant. Thanks, girl-from-college-I-barely-knew for that one.

Now, I feel like my stomach is just flatter. It's still loose because I'm not doing crunches or anything specifically targeted to give me a six-pack or anything. But it's not sticking out like it did.

Would I do cool sculpting again? I really don't know. On one hand I feel like the cool sculpting worked, so if it worked, imagine how it could look if I did it in the same spot again (as is recommended by the cool sculpting company in their literature and what I've read online). But I am kind of a baby. So the jury is out on that one. My advice to others is to do it once, then you'll see how your body responds and where you fall on the recovery spectrum, from it not bothering you to being too much. It's a very personal thing. Right now, while it's no longer numb or itching, I can say to go for it. You only live once. If you have the means to freeze your fat off, you have to try!


Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Mommy Makeover Part 3

I can't believe it's been three weeks since the last update! A lot has gone on since then! I have to first just thank Rhonda, Pam, and everyone else at Aesthetic Rejuvenation Center, and Sobeida and staff at Illuminada Studio in Englewood. They've all been so amazing and fantastic in this transformation. I feel like "The Swan" from that reality show in the early 2000's.

Ok. So after the Ulthera and Dermapen, I had to wait two weeks to do anything else to my face. A week ago I went back to Pam for another session of Dermapen, which Rhonda okayed on Pam's recommendation. We're trying to eliminate my acne scars as much as possible in this short amount of time in the least invasive way possible. Pam felt I should do another session so that's what we did. She also did one session of Microdermabrasion and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light).

It's funny- I felt like Pam was really concerned about the Ulthera and the Dermapen hurting, which I didn't feel at all. It was totally fine. She used so much LMX 4% (numbing cream) that I didn't really feel my face at all. I would say the IPL was a little more painful. Not painful where it was real PAIN, but just if you were to compare the Dermapen/Microdermabrasion/Ulthera to IPL, I'd have to say- I "felt" the IPL where I didn't feel the others. It certainly wasn't unbearable or anything. I think maybe it's just the little light jolts are like tiny sizzles. That's the best way for me to describe it.

Not that it matters. I'd do it all again. I can't even BELIEVE how my face looks. I guess I never really inspected the sides of my face. I knew I had the acne scars, and those were the most bothersome. Maybe I ignored all the brown spots? I knew I had brown spots, but I didn't know how many and how prominent they were. I've also always been somewhat tan from indoor tanning, all winter, every winter since I was fifteen years old. I think the tanning definitely had to obscure some of the brown spots since the rest of my face was at least somewhat brown. I haven't been indoor tanning since around Thanksgiving, so this is the whitest I've been since I was pregnant. The brown spots were everywhere.

Now, NOW, they're almost ALL GONE. Literally, gone. It's so amazing. The IPL really targets the brown spots. What it does is zap them, they crust up, and just flake off. Whatever is left, you just exfoliate off. I don't normally wear make-up to work anyway, except concealer. But without it, my skin apparently looked terrible. I would just use the pore minimizing "blur" stuff from L'Oreal. Sometimes I'd throw some kind of loose powder on top. I could totally use nothing right now and I wouldn't look like a troll.

With my acne scars, they aren't totally gone. I knew that going in. I think I'm going to save up to try to do a Dermapen treatment on them again in the future. I am SO impressed with how much they've been plumped up. It's like night and day. It's hard to get a good picture, but *I* know how deep they were before. I didn't look like Crater-Face from Grease, but they were definite indents that really bothered me. Now, they're not really noticeable probably except to me. Especially with make-up on. I don't wear heavy make-up ever- I use Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging, which to me, is sort of like a cross between a tinted moisturizer and a BB Cream. When I put that on, and a loose powder, I really think having had the Dermapen twice, makes a world of difference. More important, I can go without make-up and not feel like- "oh well, you can really see the acne scars...".

I'm beyond in love with Pam's work. I highly recommend her. You don't want to let just anyone just touch your face with light zaps and needles. I trust Pam implicitly. Not just because she's pretty and her skin is perfect, but she clearly knows what she's doing. And you know, once I have my person, I have my person. I don't seem to have any good before pics, but these are the after. I will see if I can find better before ones.

Today's face with hardly any brown spots and less acne scarring
 I also went to Dr Freund (at ARC), last Thursday for Xeomin. It's another kind of "neuro-toxin" (sounds great right?) that paralyzes the muscles that cause wrinkles. Like Botox, which I've had cosmetically and for migraines. Xeomin is cheaper. I'd done it once before, but I don't think as many units as Dr Freund was doing for me. I was actually kind of wary that it was Xeomin and not Botox, because the time I had it done somewhere else, I didn't feel like it worked that well. However, this time, I do feel like it's definitely lessened my wrinkles.

I am posting a before and after- the spot by my temple is a bruise from the needle, which happens often and has happened to me before. It goes away in as long as any regular bruise. He said he wants me to come back to see how it worked and then decide if I need filler. I think I need the filler because no Botox/Xeomin is going to do anything for those bottom of the eye-socket wrinkle. I know that from two plastic surgeons I've seen for Botox prior. Maybe a little more of the Xeomin would help, but it still wouldn't eliminate those wrinkles.

Before & After Xeomin
 I told Cunningham about the filler part. She's my person when it comes to beauty treatments. She always looks like a supermodel, she researches all this and I don't, so I'm going with her recommendation. She told me the only one I should agree to do is Belotero. She said it's thinner and can be fixed easy if it's too much. She did it- I went and watched until I had to leave. I'm a little afraid of doing filler but I do want to try it and this is my chance. I'm just going to make sure to ask for this specific one. I saw Stein get Juvederm once and I could tell it hurt like a mother. I think because it's thick. I don't know but I'm not doing that. I don't want Lisa Rinna's lips under my eyes. Not to mention that B will FLIP if I mess up my face. That was his only concern of this whole thing.  

Speaking of my person, part of this makeover is getting my hair done. So I'm having to cheat on Don, my hairdresser of over twenty years, and trust the team of Illuminada. I went to meet with the owner, Sobeida for my consultation. She and her staff put me at ease immediately. In fact, Sobeida and I ended up chatting well after the shop closed for the night and we became fast friends. Time flew. I'm putting everything they're doing in their hands, and all I'm doing is bringing photos for "Hairspiration".

I will do a whole write up on my experience at Illuminada after it's done. I'm actually going there tomorrow for the better part of the day. I know I'm doing an "express keratin", a full head of highlights, and a cut, but not really sure exactly what that's all going to amount to. I trust them though- the salon is IMMACULATE. Like, it looked like it was camera ready while they were working. The sinks shined like the top of the Chrysler building. Everyone was super friendly, and I think it's going to be a great experience.



My thoughts on everything so far:

Beauty treatments are addictive and expensive. Expense is all relative though. I needed all these treatments more than I need new shoes. If I had the money, I'm thinking I'd put it in the face stuff. That's the first thing people see. That's why in the 80s and 90s we only teased the front of our hair- that was your hair entrance. Seeing the amazing results on my face has me, ME, seriously considering wearing sunscreen at the beach this summer on my face. I know that's common sense for most people, but that's like a lifelong anorexic saying she's going to eat cheeseburgers daily. It's a TOTAL change of mindset. I want to keep these results though and I'm already trying to figure out how I can do other things. I've always hated my big pores, like on and around my nose. So I'm thinking there has to be a treatment for that too. Although, my next stop is a dermatologist to see about fixing this weird red spot under my right eye. I was told that needs to be looked at by a dermatologist.

I'm almost at the end of the total makeover at Aesthetic Rejuvenation Center. I'm happy to have my stuff done, but bummed to be leaving them. I really feel like they're invested in the end result, not just because of how it makes them look, but because they're really into seeing my transformation. They seem really genuine about me being happy. They could've been really whatever about it, and really nit-picky about sticking to whatever the cost of the treatments they wanted to give. They assessed me and then made a whole treatment plan tailored to what would make me look best. Then they tweaked and added where necessary or where they knew I'd benefit, and didn't make me feel like I was wanting too much. I don't even know what any of these treatments cost besides the Dermapen and the Cool Sculpting- because I specifically asked, in conversation. And they didn't make me feel like I had to keep to a tally.

I have the hair stuff tomorrow, then Rhonda is having me come back to get my teeth whitened. I have to make an appointment to get my teeth cleaned at my dentist though and no one has any idea the level of dental fear I have. So I'm just psyching myself up to make that phone call and appointment today. Or tomorrow. I'm going to do it because I want my teeth whitened. But the anxiety of going for the cleaning might kill me first. I'm more afraid of the dentist (any dentist, not my dentist) than I am of cool sculpting. If I do the filler, it will be the same day. We shall see!

The previous blog entries about all my treatments:
Part 1:
Part 2: