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interesting development

October 1st, 2007 at 10:34 am

September brought exciting news! My aunt is giving me a car! It's a 2000 Subaru Forester, and though it has a fair amount of miles, it has all wheel drive, airbags, lots of space, and no rust! Oh - and it's free! (other than paying MN taxes, registration, etc.) I am super excited. SO and I are flying to Texas this weekend and driving the Subaru back. We were planning to take a romantic, four-day trip to Door County, Wisconsin, but now we're driving across the country. I'm looking forward to it anyway. Smile

Last month I visited a retinal specialist to find out about the spot in the back of my eye. After a battery of extremely unpleasant tests (ever had the back of your eye photographed? they pump dye into your arm), it turns out that it's just excess tissue. Perhaps it's been there since birth, perhaps it just developed over time. In any case, it's not a hole, so that's good news.

I also went to a neurologist for the first time to discuss my headaches. The visit was less than thrilling. She poked and prodded me, gave me a prescription for Neurontin (another seizure med), told me to find one thing about my job that I like, and start exercising vigorously every day. Ugh. I go back later this month.

I had a job interview that didn't pan out, only because I can't get comfortable with the idea of not having steady income. (The interview was with a outsourcing firm.) Since SO is a contract worker, I'm our health insurance provider. Plus, what can I say, I like having a set amount of money coming in each month!

My boss took a look at my photos and told me I should consider pursuing a photography career! SO and I are working on a website, and I'm contemplating photography school but it is SO expensive. I just don't think it is worth over $100K in student loans. We're taking an Adobe Photoshop class at the moment, and it is fantastic. I think I'll stick to the route of random classes for a while.

I'll leave you with a recipe for the best brownies I've had in a long time, maybe ever.

Brownies

1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup soy milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup semisweet vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8 inch square GLASS pan. Whisk the oil, maple syrup, soy milk, and vanilla in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture with a rubber spatula. Don't overmix! Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour the batter into the pan and spread it out evenly. Bake for 35 minutes. Don't overbake! Cool before cutting.

lurker

June 27th, 2007 at 10:15 am

Three weeks this time...wow. Just wanted to let you know that I am alive, and still reading your blogs. I have google feeds for several and take a peek at the main blog page whenever I have the chance. So although I may seem absent, I'm still keeping tabs on you!

Let's see...the baby shower I hosted was fabulous. I think most everyone had a nice time, particularly the soon-to-be parents, and they received so many nice gifts. I baked four dozen vegan cupcakes (root beer float flavor and lemon flavor) but didn't take ONE photo of them! They were a big hit, even after SO told everyone that they were vegan. (For whatever reason, that tends to freak people out.) I am incredibly excited about this baby's arrival. Since they are keeping the gender a secret, it will be fun to see what it is!

I have a job interview tomorrow. My main goal is more money and less boring work at this point. I purchased an LSAT study guide last week...still on the fence about actually taking the test and actually going to law school, but it's a start. I need a life plan, a career plan, something I can really feel involved in that will bring in some decent money. Right now, I'm just floating through life, and I hate that feeling. Fern, I've been thinking a lot about what you asked in my previous post, and my biggest gripe is the monotony of my current job. Every day is the same and far too simple. Some of my coworkers drive me nuts, but that's inevitable. I should be getting paid more in general, as well.

If I do go to law school, it will preferably be full time, so it would be nice to have a job for a year that brought in more money than my current job. Anyone with insights on law careers and law school, bring them on! I'm most interested in environmental law, international law, and public policy.

I cut out my daily Topamax pills and am waiting for my headaches to subside. At the moment, I'm pretty sure it's just medication withdrawal. I hope I'm right, or I may need to finally give in and visit a neurologist. I just don't want to be eternally medicated, and cutting out dairy and eggs has really helped with the headaches. I hadn't had a migraine since March, up until last Saturday, when I quite taking the Topamax.

My five-year anniversary with SO is tomorrow. Five years! It certainly doesn't seem that long. I guess that is a good sign, eh? We have no plans to celebrate, but we bought ourselves a Wii...romantic, I know. Wink It's seriously fun, though.

I've been posting Project 365 photos to my flickr page, but here are a few small ones.

If you think vegan food is boring, bland, or uninteresting, think again.

Bean enchiladas with vegan "cheese" sauce, tofutti sour cream, and salsa:


Seitan tacos (one of my favorite recipes):


Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate chiffon mousse frosting - these are to die for:



and, not food-related - beautiful daisies in my yard:

triggers

March 16th, 2007 at 10:10 am

Last night's play performance was amazing. I had never seen it before, and we hadn't been to the new theater yet. It was very sleek and contemporary, with amazing views of the city from the rooftop terrace. While we waited in the lobby, it started to snow over the Mississippi River. I've never seen anything like it - it came down with such force that we could not see neon signs across the river. Thankfully, it quit as abruptly as it began and the drive home was uneventful.

The woman next to me in the theater and her daughter put on some hand cream at the beginning of the performance. At first, it didn't affect me...but then I started sneezing, my sinuses filled up, and the headache started. I've rarely had such a powerful reaction to scent like that. Plus they were going on and on to each other about its subtle, refreshing scent. Just goes to show you how differing opinions can be, and why scented stuff should be applied at home. Not sure what one can do in a situation like that..."Hey lady, could you go wash your hands?" may not go over so well.
Stick Out Tongue Luckily, I had plenty of Excedrin and tissues, and the experience was still fabulous.

I know a couple getting married this fall, one-half of which just graduated from college. They both just bought brand-spanking new vehicles, and not cheap ones, either. I just don't know how people do it. Yesterday I made a chart - at best, with my current salary, I will have my college loans paid off in late 2011. I could not throw a car payment and increased insurance costs on top of that without eliminating my monthly savings. Another friend of mine is having a baby this year and just paid off her 2005 car. I'm just so envious. It's hard not get down on myself when I hear this stuff. I can't help but wonder what I am doing so wrong! I can't imagine feeling secure enough to go out and buy a brand new car (or a house, or anything for that matter)...but maybe that's my problem. Maybe none of these people do either, but they do it anyway.

busy

March 13th, 2007 at 09:43 am

Well, we dug out, and guess what? Almost all the snow has melted already. It's nearly 50 degrees today! The mountains of snow are gone, replaced by gobs of mud and enormous puddles of water. Spring? Is that you?

I've been a bit MIA lately because I haven't been concentrating much on finances, and since this is supposed to be a financial blog, well... However, I have a plan to have $1000 in savings by the end of April, and pay off my smaller college loan in June. My investments haven't tanked too badly lately, thankfully. I am glad I have lots of time to let things percolate before retirement.

I've been on Topamax for about three weeks. It's been working fairly well for my headaches. Yesterday my hands, fingers, and forearms starting tingling and felt somewhat numb, like I had held them above my head for far too long and all the blood had rushed out of them. Shake, shake, shake - nothing. The feeling persisted all day, and my toes starting tingling, too. I went to the doctor, and he suggested more potassium. I'm going to maintain this dosage and see what happens. If this tingling thing doesn't go away, I'll lower the dosage, and perhaps eliminate it completely. It's a shame that side effects have to pop up...my daily headaches are finally starting to subside, after five years of putting up with them.

One day, I tried one Zomig to treat a migraine and was stoned for five hours straight. The doctor suggested I try Maxalt instead, so that's what I've got now. I guess trial and error is the only way to go!

And, my latest obsession, food. Vegan food, to be exact. I cashed in some American Express points and bought Becoming Vegan. It's chock-full of great advice about nutrition and how to become vegan the right way. I have been moving away from dairy and eggs and feeling better overall. Whether or not I ever become fully vegan, I think eating less animal products and more fresh, whole foods is a good thing. My in-laws bought us a juicer for our birthdays, too, which is a great addition to our kitchen! I'd post photos of the great food we've been making, but again - this is a financial blog! I may have to create a food blog...

Mom is still in Florida - yeah, I'm not even kidding. They are having so much trouble getting help from anyone. Hopefully she will be able to come home next week.

SO and I are going on a date later this week to a play and dinner - the play tickets were half price, thanks to a discount through my employer, and the dinner will be paid for by a gift certificate, thanks to my former employer! Cheap date! My favorite.

Oh, and by the way - I'm going to The Police! Smile

new headache drugs

February 8th, 2007 at 11:34 am

Had a doctor's appointment this morning - Topamax and Zomig, here I come. I really like my doctor; he actually takes the time to listen to me, considers what I've said, does a little research on his laptop, and gives me a few options to choose from. He's very thoughtful and considerate. I appreciate that. I find it sad that his type of medical care is unusual.

Luckily, he gave me ample samples of both new drugs, so I don't have to fill pricey prescriptions until I know they work.

I am so incredibly tired of having a perpetual headache.

Last night SO and I used a soon-to-expire restaurant gift certificate. It was a nice place. We did something we've never done before - sent back a bottle of wine. It didn't seem spoiled, just...gross. The restaurant was empty, so we didn't inconvenience our server; we just felt bad about doing it. The second bottle was much better. On the way home, we had to create a pep talk for ourselves - it's ok to politely refuse something unpleasant and ask for a replacement if you're paying for it. That's harder for me that it should be.

We had to take a "strengths finder" quiz at work. Turns out I am intellectual, adaptable, empathetic, have a craving to know more, and am inspired by the future. Didn't really come as a surprise to me, but I'm not sure how to apply that to my career.

I received a very nice birthday gift of cash from my aunt. I'm spending half of it on books and a writing computer program (a.k.a., my kick in the pants). The other half will go into savings.

I wish we were going to Mexico this weekend!

resisted takeout

January 31st, 2007 at 10:00 am

I finally did it...wrote a long post, and then *poof*, lost it. *sigh*

Last night we really wanted to pick up a pizza for dinner, but resisted. We were out looking for the Winter Carnival Medallion, a treasure hunt put on by the local paper (cash prize if you find it). We walked around in sub-zero temps for a few minutes before realizing we could better strategize from the car. I am pretty sure I know where it is, but alas, I'm working today and cannot search for it. We had a mediocre frozen pizza at home instead of takeout.

I've been thinking about what LuckyRobin said about migraines and diet. I think in order for me to do it, I'd have to list what I can eat and come up with a meal plan - menus, perhaps. It would probably be good for me to try it. My problem lies in that I truly hate cooking during the week.

My former boss is finally retiring, and her goodbye party is tonight. I crocheted a wool scarf and hat set out of super-thick, reddish-black yarn. I hope she likes it. It's hard to believe she's truly leaving the organization after so many years at the helm.

Last year for our birthdays, my SIL gave SO and I a gift certificate to the vegetarian restaurant where we had our first date. We haven't used it yet, and it expires next week. Hopefully the migraines will stay away, and we will dress up and go out on the town this weekend!

positive thoughts

January 30th, 2007 at 08:48 am

Fighting a migraine again today...has anyone tried Topamax? I think that's my last option before visiting a neurologist.

I've been trying very hard to think positively...things like, "I am a money magnet" and "I am a job offer magnet", and it seems to be working so far. I revamped my resume, sent out a few applications recently, and am getting postive responses. I am a job offer magnet...big money... Wink

Last night was our first pottery class this semester. SO is taking it with me this time. I made five pots last night...guess I was on a roll! It's fun having him with me.

My dad is creating gorgeous wood carvings these days (in addition to searching for a job). He has made some incredible Native American-style things and matted and framed them, and I really think they could sell. I created an etsy.com seller's page. I've considered eBay, but I'm a little burned out on that. I looked into local art galleries a bit yesterday. Any other ideas? He has taken photos, but their digital camera sucks. I've been researching Canon cameras and am contemplating buying one for them. The A540 has more power and zoom than my beloved Olympus, and is currently only $175. If they are serious about selling their handcrafted goods (my mother is a weaver as well), they need a good camera. I'm just still licking my wounds after getting the car fixed for the umpteenth time.

I worked lots of overtime last week, so my next paycheck should be a nice one!

vegan?

January 18th, 2007 at 01:07 pm

Picked up the car last night...why did it start sputtering again on the way home? I guess I'll drive it this weekend and see if it still does it.

I've been reading a lot of vegan blogs lately. I've found some really fun ones:

- Vegan Eats & Treats
- Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
- Vegan Cookbook Tester
- Vive le Vegan!

Once again, I'm seriously contemplating trying a vegan lifestyle. My dependency on dairy products is pretty bad. I've got to start taking more baby steps toward veganism - maybe some soy yogurt, more soy milk, egg replacers, etc. I've simply GOT to get more veggies into my diet. It's time to start facing the facts - I can't continue to subsist on bread, cheese and chocolate. (ok - it's not that bad - but bad enough.)

I'm reading a non-fiction tome on Elizabeth I. After a bit of an argument with a friend about how much control one's spouse should have over one's life, I realized that I really like Elizabeth I because she never married. She lived in the 1500s, a time when women were expected to get married, raise kids and be utterly subservient to men, and she never married. She never caved to those societal pressures, and she managed to rule a country just fine.

Speaking of ruling a country - England allowed a woman to rule in the 1500s, yet we can't seem to elect a woman (or a person of color) to power in the United States? Give me a break. Sometimes I feel like we are going backwards.

And, something finance-related: I need to set up a high-yield savings account for my parents, and figure out where to move their 401k savings. I am trying hard to not get stressed out about the whole situation, but when dad says mom needs my support right now, and mom says sister needs my support right now, and everyone says dad needs my support right now...well, I just want to curl up into a ball and wait for the migraine to pass. Thank God for painkillers.

Thanks for your comments. I know my blog has not been particularly positive lately...this too shall pass (right?).

migraine rebound

January 12th, 2007 at 09:07 am

Wednesday migraine! Wha-bam!

It was a weird one. I waffled between taking an Imitrex and just toughing it out. A wave of mildly-Excedrin-masked pain came over me, so I took the Imitrex and went to bed. On Thursday morning I could tell the headache was still lurking there in the background, waiting to pounce (guess the Imitrex didn't kill it). I avoided dark chocolate, caffeine, artifical sweeteners, and (sadly) a drink at the bar during a friend's celebratory party. I'm feeling a bit better today, but it needs to just GO AWAY. Seriously. What headache needs to linger for days on end??

The celebratory party was for a friend who finally graduated with her doctorate degree. She will be moving on to do her post-doc in Manhattan. I will miss her. She is the only friend I have who is not gung-ho about getting married and having kids.

I joined another group on meetup.com and am planning to go to my first meetup next week. It's a dinner, and SO is coming with me. I hope it's fun. I tend to be shy in social settings, but I need to branch out and make new friends.

SO and I signed up for the next round of pottery-making. Yes - I lured him into it!

Long weekend, yippee!! The Christmas tree will come down tomorrow. Otherwise, not a thing on my schedule. Nice. I need some down time.

a fat monkey

January 10th, 2007 at 12:18 pm

My head is killing me this afternoon. I know all the triggers this time - stress, staring at the computer all day, and the two beers I had last night.

Stress. It makes me eat more, eat poorly, crave chocolate and salt, want to curl into a ball, be snippy with my SO and the incessant meow-meows, feel down, and creates one big headache. The only thing it hasn't done yet this time around is make me spend money friviously.

I am $437 poorer today. I am grateful that I have a job and make enough money to be able to cover the car repair. The shop owner told me that I should only consider a new car when my average repair bills total $300 a month. $300? I couldn't afford a $300/month car payment. I am seriously considering getting rid of this car, though.

I got the first two seasons of Grey's Anatomy for Christmas, and finished watching season one last night. A friend turned me on to the show last fall, and though I'm not much of a medical drama fan, it's mindless entertainment.

It's amazing how stress can feel like a real, tangible object - like a (fat) monkey sitting on your back, weighing you down. I'm sure everyone here has experienced that feeling when it comes to financial struggles. It's shaking him off that's the trick.

working on 2005 vs 2006 $$ chart

November 15th, 2006 at 01:59 pm

My car is back from the shop, after forking over $470. That's a little over half what I paid to fix it in March. It's been a pricey repair year for a car that doesn't get driven too often, particularly when compared to 2005's numbers: a mere $190 spent on car maintenance.

2006 has also been an expensive year for medical needs. I finally decided to do something about my headaches, had to visit the chiropractor for a few months, and experienced some other medical issues. My latest daily headache medication is really not cutting it, and the only option I have left is anti-seizure meds. I have decided to try a healthier diet and more exercise to treat my heachaches before moving on to any other meds. As part of that effort, I took a brisk 25 minute walk during lunch today. It had to be brisk, walking in 35 degree weather. Wink

I'm looking forward to seeing the results of my 2005 vs 2006 chart after the end of this year. So far, I'm managing my money better in most of the budget categories. I'm really glad I keep track - not only does it give me something to ponder on slow days, but it really keeps me honest about exactly what I'm spending my money on.

The coupon train is apparently suspended in space somewhere. I hope it's not lost. I have so many coupons to put on it, it's ridiculous! My coupon pouch is bulging at the seams, and I have 5 more newspaper inserts to clip. Yowza.

Two quick food reviews:
- Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat beer: My new favorite beer - light and crisp, with a hint of blueberry aftertaste. Really one of the best beers I have had in a long time. I hope I can still get Leine's after I move out of Minnesota.
- Tofu Shirataki Noodles: Supposedly a decent substitute for pasta, with a fraction of the calories. I'm hoping the reason the "noodles" turned out like chewy rubberbands (or bad calamari, if you've had it) is due to user error, and not how they are supposed to be. Last night I placed a forkful in my mouth and could not stop laughing long enough to swallow it. Rubber bands! Covered in cheese! Mmmm Mmmm Good!

first dose of Imitrex

August 2nd, 2006 at 07:43 am

I've had my Imitrex prescription filled for a few months now without needing it. Pretty good, not having had a migraine for that long.

It snuck up on me last night. I cleaned the house, helped SO with dinner (eggplant parmesan and blueberry cobbler - YUM), drank several glasses of water, no alcohol...and yet, the migraine descended anyway. First I tried one Excedrin, thinking it was just a normal headache. Took another one a few hours later, to no avail. As soon as the hatchet-in-head feeling started up (always my first sign), I finally I pulled out the Imitrex and tried it out. I woke a few times during the night. The first time I got up, I felt drugged, but my head didn't hurt. This morning I still have a dull headache, but at least I could come to work! Yay for Imitrex!

Funny thing, I received a e-survey this morning on Imitrex vs. Topamax.

SO had to fill his gas tank, but that's still the only thing outside of the challenge that we've purchased. Not bad!

lots to do, no time for a headache

July 20th, 2006 at 01:47 pm

My head is pounding like the furies today. I'm hoping Excedrin will swoop in and save the day, because I've got to much to do tonight.

My aunts are coming tomorrow and are allergic to cats, so I have to scrub the spare bedroom, wash the comforter, change the sheets, and lock the furballs out of their beloved room. The cats sleep in there all day, so they will be irked this weekend.

Last night I went to Target (saved $9 with my fat stack of coupons!) and intended to go to the grocery store, but it was so busy in the store and on the roads that I just went home. I found it's a lot easier to navigate the crammed aisles, read my list, find the product listed on the coupon, and make it out alive with SO next to me. Tonight I have to go to the grocery store and pick up a few things for the weekend.

I was going to make a birthday dessert for one of my aunts and a chickpea salad for the weekend...don't know how that will happen at this point.

Still not totally sure what we are going to do this weekend. Lots of fluttering thoughts in my head but nothing pinned down.

Maybe if I stop worrying, my headache will go away! Stick Out Tongue

Target is the bane of my existence

June 26th, 2006 at 02:03 pm

and I was doing so well...

SO and I went out for ice cream on Saturday night. If anyone living in or visiting the Twin Cities has not yet been to Grand Ole Creamery in St. Paul, GO! It's a little pricey but so worth it. It's delicious, rich, homemade ice cream, and they put a little malted milk ball in the bottom of your waffle cone to prevent ice cream leaks. So cool! It's a good thing I don't live nearby. Afterwards we stopped by Walmart and $65 spontaneously flew out of our hands and into their cash registers.

The next day we went to the Arboretum...such a gorgeous place. I had never been. Next time, we'll bring a picnic basket and lie in the shade of the trees. Even with a full parking lot, it was easy to avoid the crowds. Afterwards, we went to Target, The Bane of My Existence. Yes, we needed cereal and yes, we needed a wedding gift. But $206? *sigh* We'll see how long we can go without visiting the grocery store/Target again.

I had made some financial goals for June, simply because I couldn't not make goals. Unfortunately the eating out/Target/groceries goal is a distant memory. I am happy to report, however, that I have only driven to work three times this whole month. Rock!

SO and I made our anniversary B&B reservation. I'm soooo looking forward to it. Smile Four years together certainly flew by.

Also looking forward to the chiropractor tonight! I think my new headache meds might be helping ever so slightly, so it will be nice to report an improvement.

And now for my latest career thoughts...I like researching people. I can find things on the internet like nobody's business and it's fun for me. I think it would be fascinating to do geneology research or work in a history museum doing research. I found a MA program in Milwaukee that sounded interesting - a double degree in Anthropology and Library Science. Still tossing it around in my head. It's 51 credits and about $9K per year if I'd get Minnesota reciprocity. I don't know that a degree is necessary, but it certainly is difficult to get a job at the Minnesota History Museum. and...Milwaukee??

I have contemplated being a private investigator, since that deals with researching people too. I just couldn't be the one sitting in the car for hours staking out the cheating husband, you know? I'd much rather be in the office, looking up information.

can't..keep..eyes..open..

June 13th, 2006 at 12:19 pm

I visited the doctor again yesterday and started a new headache medication last night. The beta-blocker high blood pressure med was just not doing it for me. The fatigue and insomnia I could deal with, but once the crazy mood swings, bouts of depression, and worse headaches kicked in - forget it.

I've switched to an old school anti-depressant that is now used mainly for chronic pain. I hope it helps. I am so incredibly tired today that I overslept until 7:20, drove to work, and took a lunchtime nap in my car. I forsee an extremely early bedtime tonight. I'm sure it is a side effect of the new medication. The great thing about it? $5 for a 90 day supply. Can't beat that. The doctor said if this doesn't work, then we'll try anti-seizure meds, and if that doesn't work, I'm off to the neurologist.

Our camping trip was very nice, even though it rained the entire time and our camping mattress deflated in the middle of the night. We were still able to have a fire and eat s'mores (the most important part!). We hiked to a pretty little waterfall and I took a bunch of photos - I'll post some as soon as I can.

Otherwise, just trying to keep June's spending under control and hoping beyond hope that the CT scan bill isn't enormous.

My landlords are getting married next month, and though we aren't invited to their very small wedding, we feel we should give them a little something. We don't know them really well, and I've found a couple of their registries (Crate and Barrel is wayyy out of our price range). They are really into their yard and gardening, though, so maybe I could put together a gardening basket of sorts...

homemade Father's Day gift?

June 5th, 2006 at 02:38 pm

I finally called the doctor's office today, and the CT scan was perfectly normal. YAY! and *whew*. I'm so glad.

The only thing is...what's up with these headaches? The daily ones are getting worse, not better. I'm going to give this med another week, and if it hasn't improved by then, I'll be going back to the doctor. Has anyone tried antidepressants to treat headaches? That may be my next step.

My family visited this weekend, and we had a wonderful time. The weather was perfect, so we grilled fresh peppers, onions, red potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and salmon (for the fish-eaters). I made trifle for dessert. I baked a wonderful banana bread for breakfast, too. I felt good about their visit, since they didn't have to buy any meals. I spent a bit on groceries, but it was worth it.

I'm trying to come up with a homemade Father's Day gift. Any ideas? I'm well past the point of drawing cute pictures for him and I don't have any kids to do it for me. I don't think the kitties would like me to dip their paws in paint...

I wish I knew exactly how much the CT scan is going to cost...it could be anywhere from $40-$90, depending on how they bill it. That will determine if I have any wiggle room in my budget.

waiting for the phone call

June 2nd, 2006 at 10:17 am

The CT scan is over. I had it done early yesterday morning. It was a bit uncomfortable and my teeth ached all day afterwards, but it was a quick procedure.

I'm waiting to hear from the doctor about the results. *insert Jeopardy music here*

I still have daily headaches, but I've only been on the blood pressure meds for a week. I'm soooooooo tired! It's got to be a combination of the meds, poor sleep, and staring at the computer all day.

They've updated our tech environment at work and now many of my favorite sites are blocked. I hope this one isn't the next to go. I have no idea how I will manage if that happens!

Speaking of jobs - I did not get that job I interviewed for, the ridiculously long one interview one. I'm glad I didn't get it. After stating that I wasn't chosen for the job, they graciously offered to give me a free half-hour analysis of my test results. (We didn't like you, and here's why?) Uh, no thanks. I talked to some friends and found out that they know people who have worked for that company and were absolutely miserable...so I'm glad it worked out this way.

To pass the time, I've been checking out homes for sale again. SO would really like to buy a house. There are some cute ones out there...but how much can we truly afford? and what about that pesky miserable winter thing? We're going to make a pros and cons list. The thought of moving all of my stuff again so soon doesn't thrill me, either...but if the place I lived in was MINE...it might be worth it.

Inderal and Imitrex

May 26th, 2006 at 09:42 am

Visited the doctor this morning and came away with prescriptions for Inderal and Imitrex, and a CT scan scheduled for next week. My blood pressure is just fine, but Inderal is sometimes prescribed for headaches. We'll see how it goes.

Inderal will be inexpensive but Imitrex is pricey. Luckily I shouldn't need the latter too often. I haven't had a migraine in a while, just the persistent daily headaches. New prescriptions mean more money taken out of my dwindling emergency fund. This has been an expensive month.

The doctor and his nurse were both wonderful. It was worth putting up with the appointment-setter to see them.

Still nervous about the CT scan...still not sure why.

much shorter personality test

May 25th, 2006 at 07:21 am

This is a much shorter version of a Myers-Briggs test. I'm still an INFP/INFJ.

I'm seeing a doctor tomorrow to discuss my headaches (and the potential CT scan). It took a lot for me to call and make the appointment, and I still can't quite figure out why. The receptionist was rather rude after I stated that my emergency contact is my domestic partner (and I'm single, since the only options were single, married, divorced, separated, and widowed). I couldn't quite figure it out - how does my living arrangement affect her? I was irked at first, but now I'm thinking whatever, my life is my life, and if I don't want to get married, that's my business. It's just too bad that they don't provide an option for "in a happy relationship but not married" and that there are more negative options than positive ones.

Looooong weekend...I'm so looking forward to it! I feel like I could sleep for a week.

job review

May 20th, 2006 at 09:59 am

Yesterday's job review went pretty well. Suddenly my nice boss was nice again. I decided to express my frustration with the office environment, and now she is on a mission to help me make friends. I told her that was unnecessary but that I wanted her to know that it's been a difficult transition for me. To go from one environment that was generally very warm and chatty (almost too much) to an environment that's cold, sterile, and silent....well, it's been tough. I went from a place where my boss was yelling for me every two minutes to only talking to SO all day long. Very strange.

I have two bosses - one did my review, and the other one is doing my raise. I find that odd. I won't find out what my raise is until Monday morning.

This morning I made roti (aka chipati) bread. It's like a thick, whole wheat tortilla cooked on a dry skillet. The only ingredients are whole wheat flour and water, but it's delicious. I had never made it myself before but it turned out pretty well. I'll have to make a nice soupy Indian dish to go with it. However, tonight we're going to a Greek restaurant for a friend's birthday, and then to the Da Vinci Code movie (if it's not sold out).

Headache today, a carryover from last night. SO pulled out the Mayo Clinic medical handbook and read the entire CT scan section to me this morning. I'm feeling a little better about it. I'll call the doctor's office on Monday. I'm going to have to take out more $$$ from my emergency fund to pay for it, though.

Today is my favorite aunt's birthday. She is an amazingly strong, capable, sweet woman, and I have always adored her. Hopefully she and her partner will come visit next month. I haven't seen them in several years. They will both finally be retired this summer, so hopefully we will see more of them. Off to make a happy birthday phone call!

CT scan

May 19th, 2006 at 08:38 am

My chiropractor thinks that I should have a CT scan done because of my headaches. The chiropractic treatment is not really helping them and she is concerned.

I have an irrational fear of that machine. I didn't even realize I had this fear until she told me I should have the test done.

I have no idea if my insurance covers CT scans, and I have to call to find out. Their website will tell me that the estimated cost for a CT scan without insurance is $350-400, but it won't tell me what my actual coverage is with insurance. I have to call a doctor to make an appointment as well.

Ugh...

cross your fingers for me!

May 5th, 2006 at 06:58 am

I have another potential job opportunity on the horizon. It's in the hiring manager's hands now, and I won't hear more until next week. I really hope I get called in for an in-person interview, but there is a ton of competition! It would be a fascinating editing position and I would get paid more, I think. Keep your fingers crossed for me!! I am so sick of reading the material I'm editing now. Boring with a capital B.

Upcoming spending: Chiropractor tonight ($25), haircut and color this weekend ($90). I don't have anything else planned yet.

I've been meaning to go walking for the last few evenings, but my neck has been bothering me so much. Last night I had a massive headache and it has slithered over into today. Ugh. Sometimes I'd like to remove the pain receptors in my head.

I gave up diet pop and anything with aspartame in it. Every time I drank it, I noticed I developed a rash down the front of my neck. Not good! I don't drink regular pop either because of the calories, so I am straight up water now. Not a problem, since I've always loved water and usually drink about 100 fl oz a day. Having a full 32 oz water bottle on my desk is essential! At least I know that my headaches aren't caused by dehydration.

Here's to a pain-free weekend!

walking, walking, walking

April 28th, 2006 at 10:35 am

On Tuesday, SO and I went for an hour-long leisurely walk around the neighborhood, so I could take some photos. Yesterday, I walked 3 miles with a friend and pushed her double stroller for about 2.5 miles of it (whew!). This morning I walked about a mile. My neck seems a bit looser today after the 3 mile walk last night, but my headache is back. We'll see what Ms. Chiropractor says tonight. I'm pleased with the walking, and hoping the double stroller walk will become a recurring event. I just want my pants to fit again!

By the way, did I mention that walking is free? FREE.

I drove to work this morning. That makes it 8 times this month - well over my goal of 5 times. However, a lot of that has to do with chiropractic appts right after work, which I can't take the bus to and can't always rely on SO to take me to. Such is life.

Another month, another budget, coming right up!

in keeping with the weird dreams theme...

April 27th, 2006 at 07:37 am

Last night I dreamt that I attended Princess Perky's oldest son's birthday party. It was held at an enormous church. Her family had just joined the church and the entire congregation was there. I remember that her son's name did start with a G (like it does in real life!) but I can't remember what it was in the dream. It was a surname of some sort. I sidled up to PP and said "hi! I'm kashi!" but she was too busy to talk. Clearly, I spend too much time on this site.

Payday tomorrow - too bad my check is already spent. It's a bad habit.

I'm soooo looking forward to my chiropractic appt tomorrow night, but I'm going to have to cut back. At $25 a pop, it is getting expensive. I'm sure the doctor will want me to come back frequently, but I just can't afford it. SO is gently but persistently trying to persuade me to go to a medical doctor. It's week three, and although my headache has greatly diminished, my neck and shoulders still feel like they are in a vice grip. Maybe he's right...but I have a tendency to have more faith in alternative medicine.

May is almost here! The year is flying by.

thanks for the support!

April 24th, 2006 at 08:03 am

Thanks for all of your migraine support! I am going back to the chiropractor tonight. I am considering making an appt with a medical doctor. The weirdest thing about this is that it was affecting the left side of my head, neck and shoulder, and now that's fine and it's affecting my right side. It makes no sense to me, but maybe my chiropractor can get it all sorted out.

Last night I tried tennis balls under my neck, heat, cold, massage, pressure points, stretching, everything. It didn't do much. I had a massage and acupuncture on Friday night and that helped a lot. I can't wait for my appt tonight.

Band is over! Thank God! I am so glad. I can hardly believe that I made it through.

Yesterday we went to Target and spent $117 on groceries, $10 on cat litter, and $67 on miscellaneous other stuff (including a new ergonomic memory foam pillow for me). I also had two rolls of film developed, $15 (expensive!!). We spent way more than was planned, but I still think I can make my goal this month. My Groceries/Target/Eating Out goal was $300, and I'm currently at $294.

My first roll of 35mm photos turned out fairly well. There are a few that I am rather proud of! I need to work on lighting, because several of them are dark. I think I can scan them in and fix them up a bit with Photoshop. All in all, I'm pleased with my camera purchase, and I can't wait to take more photos. Smile My head and neck just need to cooperate!

migraine, day 5

April 21st, 2006 at 08:24 am

Enough already!

I have been to the chiropractor three times in the last week and am going back tonight. My massage friend is coming over after the chiropractor visit. I hope someone can help me with this headache!! I have to play for 4+ hours tomorrow. Luckily, after this weekend, I am done with playing.

I stayed home from work yesterday. I haven't slept well in two weeks. Wednesday was a nightmare in terms of editing tiny print while simultaneously wanting to rip out part of my neck. I am feeling a little better today...but is that the ibroprofen talking?

My sister just emailed me and said she wants to visit this weekend. It was hard, but I told her no. She doesn't have a car so I would have to shuttle her back to school. I just can't right now. I can hardly function like a normal member of society as it is.

I wish headaches were more important to the medical community. They can be just as debilitating as other conditions, but for some reason, they don't get a whole lot of respect. I shouldn't complain - it's a lot better than it used to be - but I still get people acting like it's no big deal. "Calling in sick for a headache? Please!" It's just a little headache, right? I'd like to transfer my pain to those people for just one minute and see if they can function.

my neck is worth at least $150

April 18th, 2006 at 07:42 am

I went back to the chiropractor last night after a day of trying not to throw up and/or cry from the pain. She snapped my neck back into place, mostly, and it is a lot better today. I am going back tomorrow, again either Friday or Saturday, and twice next week. I'm not too keen on spending $25 a pop for this, but if it makes me feel better, it's worth it. A minimum of six visits this month will be $150.

No April haircut and color for me! Another month of ponytails, I guess.

I have to play for 2.5 hours tonight...we'll see how that goes. If the pain comes back, I'll just have to get up and leave.

My federal tax return and a survey savvy check came yesterday! Yippee!

*sigh*

March 28th, 2006 at 07:24 am

Thanks for all your thoughts. I got the dreaded phone call this morning. I am going to either visit my sister this weekend or have her come visit again. That's all I can really do, I guess. I told my parents to consider coming to visit next month, too. It would be good for them to get away. I wish this was the end of it...but they have a 28 year old horse. *sigh* It is particularly difficult when all of the animals are up there in years.

I'm glad there are people here who understand what it's like to lose a pet. My parents are getting no sympathy whatsoever from co-workers, and my sister's "friend" rolled her eyes at her! No compassion. Maybe we get too attached...but I'd venture to guess that those people are too afraid to let themselves GET attached in the first place.

I went home early yesterday. A migraine started building around 9:30am and I knew I wouldn't make it through the day. I slept - a LOT - and I'm feeling a bit better today. This is the weirdest cold I've ever had. It hit me like a freight train but I'm recovering fairly quickly.

Let's see...in other news...I won a keyboard on eBay this morning! I have been planning to return my hypnosis CDs (the woman's voice is way too annoying to even concentrate), and my massage has been canceled again this month, so it all evens out in the end. I got a great deal on a 76-key professional keyboard, stand, and gig bag. Smile Looking forward to playing again.

SO still hasn't done his taxes. I want to get some sand between my toes, but that Mexican island trip might have to wait until next year. Maybe we can land a cheap flight to San Diego for a long weekend instead.

good news, bad news

March 9th, 2006 at 08:10 am

Yikes, thanks for that article, DivaJen! I've been without Excedrin since Monday. No super excruciating headaches to speak of since then. I will definitely start limiting myself more - is that why my massage friend is always telling me my stomach is bad??

Good news:
I had a job interview yesterday and it went quite well. I'm not sure if I want the job, though. It would be slightly more interesting than what I'm doing now, but I can't see myself staying there forever, either. It may give me more graphic arts and Macintosh experience, though, which appeals to publishers. We'll see. They are going to let me know in the next couple of weeks. If it's more money, I'll definitely take it.

Bad news:
I brought my car in to the shop last night (finally). Russell will be pleased to know that I am no longer attempting to asphyxiate myself by driving the Deathmobile. However, the shop called this morning and it's going to cost $900 to fix (and that is WITH a AAA discount). Ouch. I was expecting it to be high, and I have an emergency fund to fall back on, but I am still bummed. I hate handing over my carefully saved money for something like this.

I may decide to use my tax refund for a Mexico trip instead of using it to pay off part of one of my college loans. I am tired of being practical! and I want to go to Mexico!!! I guess we'll see how I feel once I have the money in my hot little hands.

potential

March 6th, 2006 at 12:57 pm

I have a potential opportunity coming up. I'll post more when I know more.

What a relaxing weekend. Dinner with the in-laws was wonderful - they opened up more than usual. I should have stayed out of the stores yesterday, though. I bought a magazine, a book, and a cookbook - tsk tsk! Also picked up the dreaded Girl Scout cookies and some crafting things. I'm way overbudget, as always. I rarely plan for these "others" like books and beads and cookies. They just happen, and then I scramble to cover the deficit. It's a recurring theme.

I was thinking about using my tax refund for my college loans, but you know what? I'd much rather go on vacation. I found a beautiful, secluded beach resort in Mexico that is just what the doctor ordered. We'll see.

I was going to attempt to live without Excedrin for one week...and failed miserably on the second day. My head was just killing me yesterday. I haven't touched the bottle today, though, so here's me, trying again. I want to make sure they aren't just rebound headaches.


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