Thursday, May 24, 2018

Hate-Watching Again

I don't know why I watch Wendy Williams. There are elements I really love to see, like hot topics, but I wish I could mute her opinions. Further, I don't know why I let her opinions get to me. Sometimes, I feel like in the movie Private Parts when they were talking about all the people who hate-listen. I'm not listening to hear what she's going to say though. As in, she's not outrageous like Stern critics used to say about him. I just like to hear the celebrity news and the product deals. An interview here and there. I wish I had a clip of today's episode so you could her her nonsense for yourselves, but maybe I'll be able to update with a clip later.

Most of the time Wendy's not offensive or anything, but today, I was really pissed off as she was talking. She's been talking about Britney Spears a lot lately, something about Kevin Federline asking for or getting more money for child support. First, she kept telling him through the television that he should be asking for like fifty thousand dollars a month. Because the boys are getting older and they are going to want more expensive things.

Just as an aside- Would it be the worst thing in the world if they lived a more normal life? No one needs fifty thousand dollars a month. Even if you're Britney's kids. They get twenty thousand dollars a month now. I'm pretty sure that puts food on the table, clothes on their backs, and pays for their activities. A lot of kids *want* expensive things. That doesn't mean there is fifty thousand a month to buy it nor should there be. #momoneymoproblems

I couldn't figure out why Wendy kept harping on this money thing. Then the real reason came out today. She went OFF about why does Kevin even still have full custody of these kids. Why isn't she being a mother? Why isn't she challenging him for full custody? She chose to have these kids, so why isn't she the one taking care of them on a daily basis. Something about yeah, some women want a career, but she should still have her kids...Blah blah blah. Somehow, even though she's always been a working mother, Britney should be more focused on getting her kids back.

Wendy doesn't know Britney Spears. These kids are eleven and twelve or something. Maybe the best thing for them is where they are with their father. Maybe she doesn't want to rip them away from their schools, friends, and activities. Maybe they've all spoken and the kids want to stay where they are. Not because they hate their mother, but because they don't want to change their lives.

The woman had mental illness issues. Maybe due to those issues, there are reasons she doesn't have some kind of official legal custody. Maybe Kevin doesn't want to give up any legal custody because it's better for him financially. He has like five kids or something. I can't imagine that he's using all the Britney money just for his two kids with her. I read something about her being worried that if she doesn't pay, he'll restrict access to the kids. Who knows??

She really pummeled working moms though by suggesting that she care less about her career, her residency in Vegas, and get back to being a mom. She doesn't know how often she sees her kids, the quality of their time, etc. It just came down to implying that she isn't doing her main job, which *should be* (according to Wendy) being a full time mom.

Sure, Wendy works and has her child. But it's not like her parenting is beyond reproach. She offered up that her kid had gotten into drugs at some point.

Wendy works, and goes home to Jersey every day, as she likes to say, and this was happening in her house.

Stop fueling the working moms vs stay at home moms debate. Or throwing shade at other moms for their choices. This isn't about Britney Spears or her. It's that Wendy had to make it about Britney working and that being a mark against her as far as being a mom.

This isn't about me working either. I work, but I have the best of both worlds. I can leave to go to the school if I need to, and I'm around after school to take him to after school activities or just be around. I'm very lucky. I do *have* to work. AND, I *WANT* to work. I also don't feel guilt for working. I don't think much about it at all. I'm not defensive of working and I don't think working makes me any less of mom or any less good at it. However, I realize that I'm also not the norm in feeling this way. Most moms *I* know, have tons of guilt for working and are very defensive when questioned about it. It's because of commentary like Wendy's today.

Not to mention, having worked in social services, it's not that easy to get back custody of kids. There are so many factors there, it's not like Britney can walk into a courtroom and be like- "It's Britney Bitch!" and get her kids back. Maybe in the movies, but not in real life.

Wendy keeps saying over and over that Kevin should be pushing for more money and she sees his side. Meanwhile, this is a guy who had another kid after his with Britney. Why should she finance his life with another woman and kid? #getajob

I just didn't like the implication that Britney is choosing her career over her kids. No one ever says "You can't have it all" about men. It's expected that they'll have a career and kids, and it will be fine. It's 2018 and women are still getting hammered for having a career, and not even just working because she has to work. WANTING to work is a whole other reason to judge. If you're going to be a mom and work, you're supposed to at least act like you don't WANT to, but HAVE to do it for monetary survival. Guess what- I'd choose working every time over staying home and being all up in the school doing the PTA or whatever. Not knocking the people who are into that, but that's the thing- we should all have the choice to do what suits us without some dumb bitch telling us what we SHOULD be choosing or we're Bad Moms. 

I don't care if you work outside the home, inside the home, or what you do all day. Just don't tell other moms what they're supposed to want out of their days. Do you, Boo. Do, you. And leave Britney alone. Without Britney working, those kids are getting nothing. Britney somehow has a career still after all her messiness. Good on her. On that note, I go back to my own work....

Monday, May 21, 2018

Somehow Summer

Somehow, we're coming upon Memorial Day Weekend. Not sure how that happened, since those of us in NJ, never actually saw any of Spring. I know this because I've only needed one pedicure, and it was like, last week. Since October. I had one in October for my friend's daughter's Bat Mitzvah. Last week when it was time to actually put on flip flops, I realized it looked like I had a reverse French on my feet. I had a band of a deep gray color that grew to the tip of toenails.

Anyone not give any fcuks about the Royal Wedding? Me neither. Didn't see it, didn't read about it before or after, and I just saw the dresses on the noon news today. It's nice, yadda yadda, they got married, it's over. Lest you think I was more interested in the other brother and his bride, I wasn't. At 43, weddings and babies, especially those of people I don't know- I'm over it.

That brings me to what I want to talk about. Stuff. As in, stuff I've found that you are going to want also.

Every summer I mention the Whale Bag by Saltwater Canvas. All their bags are on 25% off sale until May 31. You definitely want to get in on THAT if you ever go to the pool or beach.

Last, but certainly not least, I just finally got a Cool Cabana for the beach. I've been wanting one for like two summers now- ever since I first saw them. But I waited, and now I got one on sale! Normally they're like $118 and they're on sale for $99 with free shipping. You can't get them on Ebay or Amazon unless you want to pay shipping too. It's more worth it to go through their site. It looks like the coolest thing ever so I hope it really is as cool as it looks!

Next thing on the agenda is addressing summer stink. Except not on me, but my kid. He turned nine, and while he doesn't exactly stink of body odor, however, he does smell like musty boy after running around all day, or just being in a hot school. Yeah, we don't have air conditioning here, like in the stone age. I found this deodorant for him called Every Man Jack that smells WONDERFUL. It's aluminum free, if that's a concern. It's not a real concern for me. I'm not so crunchy. I use what works. I figured for nine, if he doesn't have raging B.O., then aluminum free is fine. I don't know if it's aluminum that makes it work, but they took whatever they took out of over the counter cold meds, and now they all suck, so.... I bought Fresh Scent, and boy is it fresh!

As for not-particularly-summer-things, but cool Tara-recommended things, nonetheless: 

I was scrolling through Facebook one day and saw something like- "30 things we're obsessed with on Amazon", so I thought I'd just check it out. One of them was the Mancro Slim Laptop Backpack. I needed a backpack that wasn't a ripped, dirty, old Under Armor one that E used for kindergarten and first grade. It was only twenty-six dollars so I bought it. I LOVE it. I got it in purple. It IS slim, it has a lot of inner and outer pockets, and it's cute! It also has a usb hole on the side so you can hide an external phone battery on the inside and charge something like a phone, iPod, or whatever in a pocket on the bag or on your person, hands-free.

Per the norm every few months, I notice as E's getting ready for school, in the beginning of April, that E's pants are floods again. I went to the mall to see about getting him a few pair of pants in either the Gymboree or Children's Place Outlet. There were NO pants. I went into Marshall's thinking there HAD to be pants there. Nope. I got so annoyed, I just saw a pair of RBX leggings in my favorite burgundy/merlot color. Very few workout leggings I see out are made in a soft cotton - I usually find them only in that really spandex, scuba suit feel. I hate that. So I took these and ran. OMG, I'm so in love. I ran back for four more, "space dyed" in the capri length. I think you can only get those on discount if you look around the internet. They're "performance leggings", whatever that means. I don't need them for performing, but forget that pyramid scheme Lularoe- THESE, are "like butter". If, you're looking for leggings to be like butter.

One day we were trying to look up something on YouTube on our Smart TV. We happen to have a Vizio downstairs. Trying to hunt and peck the letters is so time consuming & frustrating, I knew there had to be some kind of external keyboard. We didn't want some big bulky thing either though. I looked up bluetooth keyboard for tv and imagine this- Vizio has a universal remote for their tv sets that has a KEYBOARD ON THE BACK OF IT. Sold. Bought that baby for like eleven or twelve bucks and no more hunt and peck like it's 2004 and you're trying to send a text via flip phone.

Most people reading know I sell my old clothes on Poshmark. Sometimes I come across something I *would* still wear if I didn't ruin it with some kind of stain. I thought, what if I just try to dye these things. I did a little research and found idye in Blick art store when E asked me to take him there for some kind of eraser. On the idye package it says you can just throw the dye in the washer. You mean, no mess? Sign me up. We all know B hates a mess! I threw the first pack of dye in with major trepidation. It worked! An aqua/mint BCBG track suit from the early 2000's is now a really pretty plum color. I will say, it's not quite as deep a color as if you boiled the items in dye. But if you have something in good shape without major staining, it will change the color for sure. The kind you can throw in the washer is for natural fibers like cotton. They make a separate one for polyester and nylon. I did that one too- but you have to boil that. Boiling clothes in dye didn't go over well with B, so I have to stick to the kind in the washer, where there is no evidence left. You can get it at Jo-Ann Fabrics, Blick, Amazon, etc.

Now, you know how I love As Seen On TV. I have another one for you. The "Better Brella". It's that one you've seen in commercials that opens inside out so you don't get soaked getting in and out of the car with it. I've been wanting this ever since I saw it. I bought the small one. Meaning, there's a big one, and this is a normal size one. I can't imagine how it won't work. It's automatic, and comes in blue and black right now. Of course, I bought it Saturday evening and now it's sunny. I'll take the sun for now and let you know how the umbrella works. But at Harmon, with a 20% off coupon, it's probably worth the fifteen dollars.

Another As Seen On TV product I picked up is Alert Drops. I actually didn't see a commercial for this first. I saw Potsie, from Happy Days, talking about it on Megyn Kelly. No, I do not normally watch Megyn Kelly. She's on at nine o'clock in the morning here, right when I'm getting in the shower and getting ready for work. I turned the tv on one morning and there were the Happy Days crew talking about what they're doing. Anson Williams was talking about making this stuff called Alert Drops to wake you up when you're driving while tired. I'm ashamed to say there have been times I've had to slap myself in the face while driving. He said his uncle is the Heimlich of the Heimlich maneuver. The elder Heimlich told him to bite on a lemon if you're tired and it wakes you up. Somehow they bottled this for money, and I bought it. Haven't had a chance to try it out yet, but I know one of us will need it on the way home from the shore this summer. #GardenStateParkwayTraffic

So that's what I have for you so far! I'm sure I'll have other life hacks and cool things for you as the summer goes on. I'll also come back to let you know how I fare with the new umbrella and the Alert Drops. You know- anything to make my life easier and get more enjoyment out of every second- I'm IN! 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Taste the Rainbow

Pride Month- June, is coming up quick. That means PRIDE month to many. So here's the skinny on some of what to do, where to go, who to see!

June 1st: Glen Rock Pride Flag Raising Ceremony

June 3rd: NJ's 27th Annual LGBTQ Pride Celebration, Asbury Park. We've gone to this twice I think. It's a lot of fun. Vendors, rides, music, food, etc.

June 10th: North Jersey Pride Festival, Maplewood NJ. Memorial Park Ampitheater, Dunellen Rd.

June 24th: NYC Pride Parade and festivities. A personal favorite we've gone to every year!

More comprehensive calendar of all kinds of LGBTQ events in from May on through June:

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Renegade: Take 2

I've had a Jeep Renegade since 2015, when they first came out. B really likes this Jeep because it's bigger than our Mini Cooper S and he likes the way it rides. I don't really care much about cars. I always want or NEED all the bells & whistles, then three years later when it's time to give the car back, I haven't used any of them and don't even know how. My Jeep Renegade was a pretty fully loaded Limited model so there wasn't many bells & whistles missing. I didn't have a sunroof though, which is something B really likes having. He has one in the Mini and always has had one. For him, if he had a car wishlist, I'm going to say that he'd probably ask for that.

The thing is, I got the Renegade with it first came out. There were some kinks that needed to be worked out. One major one was the electrical system. I had a problem with that the first week and had to go back for an "update". However, I don't think this is actually unique to this car. I think that now that we've made this move away from actual mechanics and toward total technology for cars, it's causing us major problems. Back in the day, if your car was broke down, you went to the mechanic. Now you need to go to the I.T. guy! I think this is every brand now. When you have computers running anything, you're going to have bugs. I get that.

Which brings me to what happened to me: My Renegade's electrical system went haywire last Friday. I don't know what happened, and it doesn't really matter. It resulted in the battery not working and me needing roadside assistance. Which, by the way, was covered fully. I knew I had to bring it in to the dealership though, which is totally inconvenient to me, since it isn't around the corner.

I emailed the service department but also emailed my friend Joe Loonam, who is a sales manager there, and who helped me get the Renegade the first time. It's not his department but with as much as I'm in the city with E for auditions and stuff, I can't come back to a parking garage for car that doesn't start. The Precision service department called me on Monday morning and had me come in on Wednesday morning. They told me by eight in the morning, but I came in at seven-thirty just to make sure I was like, first. Or close to it.

Luckily, I got Brian Pangione in service, and he was awesome. He did whatever tests he had to do, then came back to tell me that it was an electrical issue and I had about another hour. After another forty-five minutes, I thought to email Joe to say thanks for making sure they called me, and to tell him I was in the service area.

Joe came back to say hello and we started talking about how my lease would be up soon. He said he was going to look at the specifics and maybe we should just get me into a new car right away. He worked numbers and saw that he had two 2018 Renegades on the lot and was trying to figure out how to get me in one with relatively the same payment I had already. Then he set me up with Tommy Deroberto as my actual salesman. Joe knows me and thought Tommy and I would be "intellectually aligned" and he couldn't have been more correct. I was so pleased, even if I ended up spending the better part of the day in a car dealership.

They got me into a new Jeep Renegade Limited 4x4. While I thank Brian for his fantastic service and helpfulness, I was happier to take a new car home. I have to assume at least some kinks were worked out with the electrical. Also, I don't want anything bigger. If I can't have a Mini, then the Renegade is as big as I can go. It totally flies under the radar as an SUV. Garages in NYC don't consider it an SUV so I don't have to pay an oversize charge. Plus, when I had the CRV, and B's Pathfinder, I hit everything in those SUVs. 

My new car is black, which isn't really me, as you all know. It's boring. Have no fear, I already put my magnets back on - the ones that still stick, and I ordered like five more. I'll just cover as much as I can with my Damn-The-Man feelings in magnet form.

*Let's also say that I was clearly not prepared to be giving up my car that day because it looked like squatters were living in my car. For months. Good times having to transfer all my stuff. And while I was catching up with Joe, Tommy was the one who actually took my piles of crap and put it in the trunk of the new car. Let's also say it was hot as balls yesterday, and Tommy was in a shirt, pants, and maybe even a tie (I forget).

If you're looking for a Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, or Ram. Joe and Tommy at Precision are the way to go. I wouldn't trust anyone else. Buying or leasing a car is a big decision. Normally, for big decisions, B and I do things like that jointly. I would normally have him there or at least consult him. I trust Joe, and Tom, so much, that I didn't even tell B until after it was already underway and I had some questions about minor things, like whether to get coverage for dings and dents. I'm pretty independent, but it's a well known rumor (fact or fiction, I don't know) that women tend to get taken advantage at car dealerships when they come alone. Both B and I knew that Joe would do right by me, so I felt totally comfortable making a unilateral decision.

Tom was just a bonus- fun to talk to, got the job done, and if you get to talking to him, a really interesting guy. He sells cars by day and writes screenplays in his downtime. He's not the typical "car salesman" that gets referenced all the time. You know he's doing his best for you.

**What's changed in the 2018 Renegade vs 2015:  I read there's more storage. There's a little bit. Same tiny on-the-door compartments. But there's an added space in between the front seats for your phone and whatever else fits in there. It's like a side long slot that wasn't there before. I don't know what else. The back up camera/navigation/control screen is bigger and I think you control everything from there. It's touchscreen. Other than that- it's only been less than twenty-four hours and I haven't even finished combing through all the stuff that came out of the old car. Tommy set Howard Stern 100 and 101 on Sirius for me and that's pretty much as far as I got. You know, the most important things first.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Coolsculpting update & SculpSure

Someone recently asked me about CoolSculpting and whether it works or not. I pointed them to my blog, but I thought I should actually do an update since it's been a little over a year.

Just to remind everyone- I had what they call six "sessions". Four parts of my stomach- above the belly button, below, and the sides of those areas. Sort of a square but slanted on the sides like a V. Then, one on each side where the muffin top resides.

Do I still think CoolSculpting is magic?  Sort of. Did it work? That's where it gets a little more complicated. I had a pooch- under the belly button. That really is gone. If I bend over, still, to this day, there isn't really fat there. It's not quite as flat as it was when the swelling went down and I saw the results. But it's pretty flat in comparison to what it was before I did anything.

HOWEVER- above the belly button, to me, is like a bit of a shelf. I guess fat has to go somewhere, right? It's not like I eat Paleo or something, so vodka sauce has to settle somewhere. Above my belly button is softer than it's ever been and has a bit of cellulite. I don't recall that being there before. Or if it was, it matched the pooch so it wasn't as noticeable to me. It doesn't look like botched surgery or anything, but if you were looking, for purposes of comparison or in talking about CoolSculpting, you'd be like- "Oh...I totally see that".

I was told when I did it that I might need more than one time. But to just do that area even is still expensive- like $750. I'm not paying that because I don't have $750 to throw at my jelly belly.

My OB/gyn was considering getting a CoolSculpting machine. He'd asked me about it months ago because they have a weight loss program in the office so it seemed to be synergistic. He ended up doing a ton of research since the last I'd seen him. He went with SculpSure instead, which is like the hot version of CoolSculpting and a little different. A week or two ago, they had an open house for SculpSure at their office. I'm friends on Facebook, with Emily, who works in the office, and she told me about the Open House, so I decided to go just to get some info for friends who asked if I knew anything about it.

I have to say, I watched the demonstration, and there was one thing that sealed the deal for me thinking this would work better than CoolSculpting. This woman who was having it done- she literally danced out of there. After my over-six-hours of CoolSculpting, I wasn't dancing anywhere. They may claim there's no downtime, and I *was* able to go to work the next day, I certainly wasn't up for dancing. I was really swollen too. I needed a compression garment. I don't think they tell anyone to wear one, but for best results, you need to wear it. I saw for my own eyes that there is really no downtime with SculpSure, so it's not like they just say that and it's not true.

SculpSure is only twenty-five minutes per treatment. That's a HUGE difference. CoolSculpting is an hour per session, and each session is one small area. To do just what I did was six hours, but it was actually more like over seven hours with small breaks to use the bathroom and prep the machine or skin in between. This woman was doing somewhere on her back. I think it was like bra fat. When she was finished, she just got up, no redness or soreness, and was good to go.

SculpSure uses up to four applicators per area. You might need only one or two, but you can use up to four for the area you're "sculpting". So it covers more area at one time than the one session of CoolSculpting, if that makes sense.

I'm not sure what the pricing is because my doctor's office gave out a coupon for anyone that booked by a certain time. Just call their office- Comprehensive Women's Care of Paramus- 201-262-7500 and ask for Emily or Mary. Ask if they're offering any special pricing. Comprehensive Women's Care of Paramus

I told them I'd be happy to try it out and write about it if they need someone to do that. Someone who can be totally honest and doesn't have a problem showcasing their fat for the world to see. So we'll see what happens. If I do it, rest assured, I will give all the details. I feel like I'm in the unique position to give an informed comparison of these fat killing procedures, having already had traditional liposuction and CoolSculpting. I'm definitely interested- I'd like to do my whole body. I definitely feel like most of my friends would be interested as well. Now that most of us are over forty, we're seeing that losing weight, especially in certain spots, isn't anywhere as easy as used to be. Or we're seeing fat in places we never had it all of a sudden. Getting old is a real buzzkill.

You can do your stomach area, inner and outer thigh, batwings (if there is fat there, which I have, not just hanging skin), and under the chin. Knowing what CoolSculpting feels like, I would do this 100x over under the chin before doing CoolSculpting there. I would think you would feel like you were choking to death otherwise. Not to mention, I don't know how you'd compress that area with the swelling. 

*Both CoolSculpting and SculpSure are spot/area treatments. This isn't for someone who has fat all over. This is for someone who is around their ideal weight but has stubborn fat pockets, like a baby pooch, or hormonal pooch, that won't go away even with diet and exercise. 

To read about my CoolSculpting experience- Mommy Makeover #1