Life and things.

It seems like every time I start to do daily updates, something happens that knocks me off my game within a week. Don’t worry — no promises this time about being “better” or any of that garbage. I’m just gonna keep writing when it feels right and I have time. I figure y’all will appreciate quality over quantity.

The Great Housing Hunt of 2014 Continues.

nohouseSo, first thing to update you on – the house. We got to experience deja vu! A bidder came in with a cash offer, and we lost the property again. Adam and I actually have a bet going as to whether or not this bidder will pull out just like the last one did when they realize that the property has 2 PINs and thus has double the taxes they were expecting to pay. We figure we’ll just keep looking. If it comes back up, cool. If not, whatever.

In the meantime, I’m just enjoying our apartment and am doing my best to take advantage of its perks, like proximity to certain friends, easy bus access to get pretty much wherever I want to go, and having a Walgreens and 2 good grocery stores close enough that we can get to them with fewer than 5 minutes of walking.

Shaken, not Stirred

Every time I see "seize the day," all I think about is crossing out the word "the" and replacing it with the word "all."

Every time I see “seize the day,” all I think is about crossing out the word “the” and replacing it with the word “all.”

As for my health, things are super annoying right now. I miss being on birth control and having my hormones balanced by them. I’m having a ton more seizures than I used to, but it’s not an every day thing… just most days. And truthfully, it’s not something that lasts the whole day either. I’m just back to having to really question my ok-ness before I do things.

Fortunately, despite having seizures in the morning, I was able to visit with friends on Saturday night who had just had their second child earlier in the week. I didn’t want to go over to their house if I was seizing because I wanted the opportunity to actually hold their son and not have everyone worry. That’s actually why we waited until Saturday instead of visiting them on Friday night.

There’s a sort of inexplicable joy that comes from the knowledge that I can hold a kid without them being in danger. Truthfully, one of my bigger fears about becoming a mother has been whether or not my kids will be safe with me. I’m incredibly glad that I’ve learned when I need to put on a cold pack or lie down. It’s an important bit of knowledge to have.

She’s c-cold as ice.

cool58vestSpeaking of cold packs, I’ve finally made a decision as to what cooling vest I’m gonna buy. I’m ordering the Cool58 Secrets Vest. I decided on it because it’s supposed to keep you cool for 2-3 hours and the cold packs it uses don’t require a freezer to reactivate. This means, if I’m out for more than 3 hours and need to get them cold again, I can put them in cold water and they’ll be good to go again. I also was happy to see that you can purchase the Cool58 packs without a vest, which means if I end up wanting to create a different vest design later, I can still use the same cold packs.

And now, for a bit of the Awesome.

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3 Great Things About Yesterday

  1. Tried a Rainbow Cone for the first time.
  2. Got the first Dirk Gently book. Life is always better with a little Douglas Adams in it.
  3. Enjoyed the 3rd to last new TrueBlood episode ever.

Daily Cute

Can any species defy the affection of a baby kitten? I don’t think so.

Everyday Earbug
Today’s video makes me smile on a personal level, not just because it makes me want to shake my booty, but because they have a sorority in it called “Electro Phi Beta.” For those of you not in-the-know, when I was in college, I founded the Beta Zeta chapter of Phi Beta Fraternity at Berklee College of Music. I’m not sure if the chapter is still active. Sadly, I don’t think it is, but it tickles me to think of all the amazing women I’ve met through Phi Beta who fit this song. I also am amused by the idea of using a lightning bolt as a Greek letter.

happymonday

I wonder if that means folks with HIV get osteoperosis less frequently…

Folks with HIV get MS less frequently than average folks.

hivScientists from the Albion Centre at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, Australia have found that patients with HIV are 62% less likely to develop MS, compared with control patients. It doesn’t end there, though — it appears that the longer someone has been diagnosed with HIV, the lower their risk of MS. This finding has scientists excited about the possibility of treating MS with antiretroviral therapy that is currently in use for patients with HIV.

There are a few reasons that people with HIV might be more resistant to developing MS. The first is pretty obvious: HIV destroys your immune system. Your immune system can’t very well get on with the job of destroying your nervous system if it’s being eradicated. Suppression of the immune system is one of the primary functions of many current treatments for MS, such as Gilenya and Tecfidera.

The second reason is less obvious. There is a theory out there that multiple sclerosis may be triggered by infectious or viral agents, such as the Epstein-Barr virus or herpesvirus 6. If this theory is accurate, it completely makes sense that antiretroviral therapy would have a positive effect on the course of the disease.

Watch out for Osteoperosis!

osteoporosisAlso in MS news today is the finding that folks with MS end up with osteoperosis more frequently than folks who don’t have MS. This makes sense, since both diseases share risk factors (age, history, family history, race, gender, inactivity, low vitamin D levels, smoking), and steroid treatments for MS negatively affect bone density.

What can you do, if you have MS, to help avoid osteoperosis? Increase calcium and vitamin D intake, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol intake, and regularly exercise.

And now, time for some Awesome.

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Three Great Things About Yesterday

  1. Had 4 seizures while on the treadmill at the gym – kept walking through all of them. Adam said, when he caught me at #4 (The others were simple partial facial seizures.) that he thought it was hilarious that I was still walking. I just kept thinking over and over again “Just keep going.”  Well, sometimes you can’t… but having someone there to catch you is great.
  2. Got to wear my new, pretty, purple cross-trainers. Yay for shoes that make me smile!
  3. Sushi for lunch.

 

Daily Cute

The chirps slay me!

 

Everyday Earbug

Every Monday Deserves Corgis.

Happy Monday!

mondaycorgiToday, I’m trying my best to have a good day and to stop thinking about the fact that today we should hear back from the bank about the house.

Obsessing doesn’t help anything. We either have it or we don’t. Still, the truth is that I’m both excited and scared. Homeownership is both super cool and potentially difficult. I keep thinking about how we’d set the place up, where our furniture would go, and what work we need to do on it… I both keep thinking about how great it’ll be to have our own place with enough rooms that we could have 3 kids and still be comfortable and how incredibly worried I am that we somehow won’t be able to afford it — even though I did the math and know for absolutely certain that it’s in our price range. The fear is totally irrational but intense.

Truth be told, I’ve gotten very comfortable at our current apartment. I like where we live. It’s big enough to not feel cooped-up when you stay there for days on end and small enough that it’s easy to keep clean. I know how to get around here, and I like the gym we go to. All of that might be changing. I honestly think I’m more afraid of the change than anything.

I Want The Crown!

Tomorrow, I have a rare double-neurologist visit. I’m seeing both my MS specialist and seizure doctor at the same time. Usually, I would be excited by this, but I have been lucky — nothing’s really been out of the ordinary for me, recently. I am aware, however, that my “ordinary” is anything but. I know it’s important to keep the doctors in the loop about everything, anyway, and not to sugar coat things just because I’m handling them well.

I don’t know if anyone else does this, but I have a terrible habit of showing up to neurology appointments and smiling through them and saying I’m fine… like I’m auditioning to be a contestant on America’s Happiest Cripple or something. Doing this helps exactly no one. It’s like on some sick, subconscious level, I’m trying to get my doctor to like me. I honestly feel more of an instinctual need to hide my infirmity from them than I do towards anyone else. It’s messed up. The worst thing to hear from a doctor (which I have heard countless times) is, “You’re complicated.” or “Your case is challenging.” I don’t want to be a challenge or a bother. I just want to be better, and for doctors to stop grimacing when they read my chart.

Hello, is there anybody in there?

(Why, yes, I am referencing a Pink Floyd song.) I’ve been feeling kind of lonely recently, and I realized it’s because I’m not really connected with my friends anymore. I mean, we post memes and occasionally chat on Facebook, but there’s rarely deeper conversation.

I started blogging about 12 years ago on a platform called LiveJournal. I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had through that service. Most of them, I still keep up with over Facebook. But I realized, the other day, that I’m really missing the deeper level of communication that comes from sharing your life through blogging, so I re-joined in the hopes that I could regain that closeness with them. I was saddened to find that only 2 of my friends still regularly post there.

I wonder how many of my friends still blog at all, honestly. I only usually read what people cross-post to FB, and that’s not much. I should probably make more of an effort if I genuinely want the deeper relationships that we used to have. That might even mean emailing people directly to see how they’re doing, or, God-forbid, picking up a phone or using Skype to have an actual conversation. (Crazy, right?)

Speaking of making an effort, I have got to get up and get off the computer. If I don’t get dressed and go to the grocery store, we won’t have dinner at a reasonable time tonight, and that would suck. I should also probably eat some lunch, because, you know, eating is a good thing.

BTW — I asked my FB friends for suggestions for delicious weeknight meals, and I got several great recipes. I’ll be sure to hook you up with them tomorrow.

And the Awesomeness

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Three Great Things About Yesterday
I’ve been doing Three Great Things About Yesterday for over a year now, but it’s only just made it to this blog. I have to say, I end up with the best insights on days that, for whatever reason, pretty much sucked. The toughest days to come up with 3 great things for are days like yesterday, where nothing particularly good or bad seemed to happen. It was just relaxing. Still, you gotta look for the good, so here goes nothing.

  1. Accidentally found a kitchy, adorable coffee shop while waiting for a table at the Bongo Room. It was full of 80s movie memorabilia and couches. There was a mock Back to the Future Delorean parked near the ceiling and a replica flux capacitor on the wall. I don’t mind that the coffee is overpriced if I am that amused.
     
  2. Enjoyed a new episode of my favorite soap opera, TrueBlood. (Interestingly enough, the folks at HBO have created a blog that’s “written” by one of the characters on the show. It’s a pretty decent time-waster.)
     
  3. Deeply appreciated spending time relaxing with Adam. Loving that man is my joy.

What made your Sunday special?
 
Daily Cute


Somebody loves his teddybear. ❤
 
Everyday Earbug


I’m really digging this song because it both makes me want to shake my butt and laugh it off. I mean, how can you not be amused by TwerkBot?

entertained

Bang Bang!

30 WHOLE Minutes Without Facebook

fbclosedThe last half hour of my life was illuminating.

At noon EDT, Facebook went down for most of us in the US. All it took was 5 minutes of it not functioning for me to get up, start doing laundry, and finally pour myself some cereal for breakfast. I came back to the computer, and it was still down… so I hopped on Twitter and blamed Hamas for the outage. (Because who else could possibly be responsible? Clearly, it was some terrorist act!) I read through my feed in less than 10 minutes. And then I hopped on G+ and did the same thing.

It’s amazing to me that I can eat breakfast and entirely catch up on 2 social media platforms in 20 minutes, but often stay on Facebook, scrolling through articles and witty shit my friends say for hours. It makes me wonder what it is about that site that has the ability to keep my attention. It must be the conversations.

Annnnnnd SWITCH!

So, I’ve gotten the heads up from GoDaddy that my domain name is fixing to expire in October. They’re trying to convince me to renew 3 months early and pay $14.99/year for the privilege. I wonder how many people are stupid enough to just go along with it. If I transfer my domain name to a different service, I’ll pay about half of that.

This has me thinking: I’ve already got web server space at 1and1.com and I also pay WordPress $13 a year for the privilege of using my domain here. This seems like a silly waste of money, especially considering that WordPress puts banner ads at the bottom of my entries, which means they’re actually making money off my blogging. (And I’m not…)

To transfer a .com domain to 1and1 is $7.99 for the first year, $14.99 every year afterward… so essentially, there’s an incentive to transfer your domain to a different service every year. What a pain in the ass!

Awesomeness for August 1, 2014

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3 Great Things About Yesterday

  1. Remember that awesome house I wrote about that Adam and I put a bid on and lost to someone who came in with a cash offer? Well, it turns out that the bank had misrepresented the amount of taxes on the property, since it’s on a double lot — so the deal fell through, and yesterday, the house went back on the market. 🙂 (We put in an offer today!)
  2. 20 minutes of bike riding at the gym with no seizures.
  3. Deep, deep love for the ability to use 5 Hr Energy, Aleve, and Afrin.

Daily Cute
The folks at Animal Planet are pretty much the world’s experts in cute. What’s cuter than baby animals? Cross-species friendships with baby animals.

Hold on tight, here come all the feels.

Everyday Earbug
I love funk & soul music. Have since I was a small kid. I blame the Muppets! Today’s earbug is my favorite modern, girl group jam since the Moulin Rouge remake of Lady Marmalade. I can’t help but dance to this… and for whatever reason, I’ve convinced myself that it’ll end up as one of the songs in the Sims4. It just seems like even AI would want to shake its booty to it.

And Some Good News In The MS Research Dept.

Scientists have generated stem cells from skin samples and turned those stem cells into myelin-builders.

Check it out.

“For the first time, New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) scientists generated induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells lines from skin samples of patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis and further, they developed an accelerated protocol to induce these stem cells into becoming oligodendrocytes, the myelin-forming cells of the central nervous system implicated in multiple sclerosis and many other diseases.”

I’m guessing that a treatment based off of this research will be available in the next 10 to 20 years… because science is slow.

happyfriday

Cool. Cool cool cool.

Well, that lasted a day…

ohwellI decided it was not worth it to stay off Facebook because I couldn’t listen to my Spotify playlists or publish this blog to all my friends on there. Also, I missed everybody, and it is my primary way to socialize, thanks to MS.

It wasn’t a total loss, though. I did get some graphic design work done yesterday for a good friend and have realized that I want to include things on this blog that I do every day on FB. From now on, 3 Great Things is gonna be a staple here. I’m thinking that the Daily Cute belongs here as well. One last “daily” item that I will be adding is a music video, because I watch at least 1 decent music video a day.

Awesomeness for Thursday, July 31st.

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3 Great Things About Yesterday

  1. Made it back to the gym and put in a half hour on the treadmill without seizing from overheating.
     
  2. After Adam sent back the Skin Balancing Kit I’d purchased from Paula’s Choice (which irritated the everlovin’ hell out of my skin and made it bright red, tight, and embarrassingly flaky), I was able to find good skincare at Walgreens for about half the cost. I will never order skincare from a mail order company ever again. If I can’t swap it out immediately and for free if it doesn’t work for me, I’m not interested. While Paula’s Choice says they refund all your money if you’re not satisfied, you still have to pay to ship it back and then wait up to 2 full months for your refund. 😛  I’m calling it a learning expense.
     
    For any interested parties, I’m now using CeraVe hydrating cleanser, Olay Regenerist micro-sculpting fragrance-free serum, CeraVe SA renewing lotion, and CeraVe PM moisturizer. The only things I’m missing are toner and sunscreen, and since I’m in the apartment 99% of the time, I’m really not that concerned about either.
     
  3. Really enjoyed dinner: baked salmon, asparagus, and rice w/ some moscato wine.

Daily Cute
Today’s Daily Cute comes by way of my friend Fox Circe… so it is, of course, foxy. 🙂



Today’s Earbug
Today’s Earbug is a catchy little ditty (written by a Big Machine’s Aaron Scherz) that, on its surface, empowers women by complaining in the lyrics about how the country music industry has made them into sex objects, but subversively maintains the status quo in the video.

Feminism aside, it’s been stuck in my head all damn day.

Staying cool…

staycool
I still have not settled on a cooling vest. There are too many options out there, and I have no idea which one is right for me. I have, at least, decided against an evaporative cooling vest.

I’ve had a tab open to this one for a full week now. I haven’t gotten it because it’s pricey and goes over your boobs. In my case, that means that it’s going to sit on top of my chest and not under my breasts and against my abdomen (which is where a lot of heat accumulates.) Because of that, I don’t think it’s probably my best bet.

This one looks like it’s adjustable for the female form, but I can’t reasonably go for it because for it to work, you also have to wear a $400 water reservoir and power supply.

The Kool Max Secrets Vest is the least expensive of all of them at $54 and looks to me like it might be the best design for me because I would not need to worry about my chest at all. It’s basically a 5″ long waist-cincher made of cold packs.

The only complication to making my decision is that there are 2 other waist-cincher model vests by the same company that are very similar — the Kool Max Slim Torso Vest that is longer by 1.75″ and contains 2 extra cooling packs for only $10 more, and the Cool58™ Secrets Vest which is the same size as the Kool Max Secrets Vest, but costs about $25 more because the cooling packs do not need to be frozen in order to be effective. Why am I not immediately sold on that one? Because the Cool58 packs do not remain effective as long as the Kool Max packs do. I’m torn.

Do you have a cooling vest? Do you like it? Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated!

Making Some Changes

Breaking The Habit

dollyThis morning marks the beginning of an important change in my life. Last night, I gave Adam my computer and asked him to change my Facebook password and not tell me what it is, so that I can break my habit of waking up, checking FB, and several hours later realizing that I haven’t eaten anything, drunk any water, or done anything productive around the house at all.

I’m not going to say I’m addicted to social media, but I’m totally addicted to sitting on my ass and reading articles that my friends share, and that’s pretty much the same thing.

Thankfully, for whatever reason, none of the other social media outlets puts such a choke-hold on my attention. I can check Twitter for 10 minutes and then not care about it for days… and G+, well, I made the mistake of adding back almost everyone who ever added me to a circle, so it is just an annoying spamfest.

There’s only one hiccup, and that has to do with sharing my blog on FB. I don’t have the password in order to refresh the connection between WordPress and FB, so I’m only publishing to Twitter and WordPress at the moment. Kind of a bummer. Hopefully, when Adam gets home tonight, I can get him to put in the pw and have that fixed up for tomorrow.

I’m experiencing similar frustration with Spotify. Can’t log in with FB. At least I can still log in at all, I just don’t have access to any of my playlists. I guess this is just an important lesson.

Maintaining Good Habits

goodhabitsOne thing that I do every day on Facebook is chronicle 3 Great Things About Yesterday. This daily exercise has been instrumental in helping me maintain good mental health, so I don’t want to quit doing it just because I’m not on a particular website.

3 Great Things About Yesterday

  1. Watched the finale of this season of Masterchef Australia (my favorite reality cooking competition in the world), and the contestant Adam and I liked best actually won!
  2. Adam cooked steak w/ mushrooms and mashed potatoes for dinner, and it was ridiculously delicious.
  3. Was able to convince our building manager to finally find and fix the smoke alarm in a neighboring apartment that had been beeping every minute for the last month. It was driving me insane, and now it’s not! 🙂

What made your Tuesday terrific?

It’s Margarita Time!

attitudemargaritaYou remember how in my last entry, I wrote that I was dealing with quantum pregnancy (having to act like I’m pregnant when I may or may not be)? Well, just like the answer to Schrödinger’s question, the truth can always be found in the box. 😉 (Yup, I think I’m funny!)

Don’t worry, I’m not feeling mopey about not actually being pregnant yet. We haven’t even been trying hard. We’re just enjoying marriage without birth control and are letting the chips fall where they may. I have friends who have actively tried for years, so I’m not expecting to be insta-knocked-up. Things will happen when they happen.

I am, however, quite excited to have a few days of guilt-free booze and forbidden foods… and 5 Hr Energy (because I am so fatigued it’s crazy) and Aleve (because cramps suck). This is particularly good because it means that I can drink a 5 Hr Energy during the time we’re going to be recording a commercial for them in the hopes of winning big money.

Being More Realistic

In my last post, I wrote a couple of things that I’m now going to take back. I needed time to think, and writing in this blog always helps me process things.

First, and foremost, we’re definitely going to keep fostering kittens. I called my OB’s office, and they assured me that as long as Adam’s the one doing the poop-scooping, and I wash my hands after handling the kittens, I’ve got nothing to worry about. That makes me very happy! I enjoy raising kittens, and I know that there’s no good time table for us to know when we’ll finally be pregnant anyway. I really don’t like the idea of putting that part of my life on hold unnecessarily.

kawaiisushiAnd then there’s sushi. Delicious, delicious sushi. I totally forgot that there are several types of sushi that I love that are fully cooked (and therefore entirely acceptable to eat during pregnancy). BBQ Eel! Shrimp tempura! California roll! Spicy shrimp! Soft-shell crab! Veggie! Teriyaki chicken!

There are actually more types of sushi rolls that I enjoy that are cooked than ones that are not. So, I’ve decided to quit trying to convince myself that I need to abstain from sushi entirely, and instead enjoy what I already know is both good and safe.

I think the biggest thing that I realized after yesterday’s post is that I’ve been catastrophizing. As soon as I realized that my thinking was completely irrational, it was a lot easier to calm myself down and be more realistic. Keeping a level head makes life much easier and more pleasant.

On that note, I’m going to actually get off the computer and do some things around the house. You know, like I had planned. 🙂