Welcome to Snarkfest

Welcome to my snarky corner of the web. Join me as I discuss everything from wine to chocolate. There may be a few other topics mixed in there too. I talk a bunch about my amazing offspring, 23 and 21. I sometimes go on and on about my secret crush on the amazing Mike Rowe. I talk about things that irritate me or things that make me happy. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself talk. Feedback is always appreciated but please make sure it's respectable. No nudity or profanity. I'm the only one allowed to be profane. But any and all snark is welcome and appreciated!

Thursday, June 24, 2021

SURPRISE!!! A New Post! All About the Eyes.

Well hello there, you! How've you been? You look amazing, is that a new shirt?

Yeah, I know. It's been a hot minute since the last time you saw me here but I am writing to let you know that I've just had to make a change to the old blog and wanted you to be the first to know. Many of you (ok 173 but who is counting?) subscribed to the old Snarkfest Blog through that little "subscribe" button there on the right side of the page. The platform that managed subscribers on Blogger is going away and I had to switch over to a new platform to make sure that everyone who wants to see me in their inbox gets that chance (that sounded dirty). 

The new platform is called Follow.It so when I put up a new post, the email you receive to notify you that I've written something new will be from Follow.It. Truthfully, I don't understand much of the technical stuff related to the blog. Hell, I'm lucky I can Forrest Gump my way around to actually post a blog, hit publish and not have my computer explode, so YAY ME! 

In other totally unrelated news, GETTING OLD SUCKS. 

I turn 54 next week and while I'm in fairly decent shape (I run 5 miles every day, I try to eat semi-quasi-healthy-ish) there is something going on with my eyes. I was painting our guest room last weekend with my oldest daughter, 23, when I started seeing flashes and weird things. There had been a fly in the room and after I finally killed it, I kept seeing something flying around out of the corner of my eye.

EYE am watching you. My actual eye after dilation. I know. Uber creepy. Sorry.

"Dammit I swear I killed that little bastard!" I groaned.

"You did, mom. There's nothing there" said 23. 

While I didn't actually feel like I had anything in my eye (like paint, an eye lash, dust or a Corvette) I definitely was seeing something odd out of my right eye. I did the whole eye wash thing, had 23 check my eye to see if she could see anything but nothing helped. Naturally we checked Dr. Google and Dr. WebMD, and they both suggested I had a retinal tear. With visions of needles poking in my eye and other horrific ideas, I called an ophthalmologist first thing Monday morning and was lucky enough to get an appointment to see him Tuesday morning. 

After dilating both eyes and shining REALLY bright lights in both, the doctor put me at ease when he repeatedly said "no retinal tear" after each instruction (Look up to the ceiling in the left corner, no retinal tear. Look down to the floor on your right, no retinal tear, etc). So good news, no retinal tear.

The bad news is, I've got vitreous detachment. Basically the goo inside my eye is shrinking and it's causing what looks like cobwebs floating around the inside of my eyeball (not the technical terminology). I'm at a greater risk because I'm nearsighted (for those of you who, like me can NEVER remember which is which, I can see near, but I need glasses to see distance). Dr. WebMD says that if you get it in one eye, lucky you, you'll likely get it in the other eye within a year. 

Bitchin'!!

What I've got isn't fatal, it doesn't hurt, I will live and eventually I will get used to these floaters. But the fact that I'll be 54 and try to take good care of myself, but my eyes seem to be rebelling against me makes me really cranky. Who else here has eye issues? Apparently it's common for us folks over 50 to start deteriorate, so speak up and let me know I'm in good company. Please.

If you liked this post (seriously I'm bitching about my eyes and my age, what's not to like??) and want to read more of my posts, feel free to put your email in that little box on the right. My last blog post was in February, so OBVIOUSLY it won't be like I'm stalking you. You'll see me in your inbox only occasionally and I promise I'll be fully dressed. I may have a cane, dark glasses, a cup with pencils and maybe a seeing eye dog the next time you see a new blog post from me, but at least you'll be up to date!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

You are enough

Well hello there! I was inspired by my friend Eli over at Coach Daddy to dust off my blog and try my hand at writing something again. So here goes.


Obviously if you are a follower of all things snark, you'll know that over the course of the past 4 years I have really let this blog fall by the wayside. Probably has something to do with the fact that we had an orange tumor in the White House and I got tired of constantly bitching about it. It was exhausting. I bitched on my personal FB page as well as my Snarkfest page and just felt like I was screaming into the void over and over again. So I stopped writing here altogether.

For now, I'm going to write a little something about accepting yourself without exception. My friend Vicky posted a picture of herself the other day on the Facebooks and she was wearing these pants that she loves and wears all the time. Her reason for wearing them so much is because she thinks her legs are ugly, and wide leg cut pants camouflage her trouble areas. But she said that she hates her legs and it's okay. I commented to her that I totally feel what she's saying. No matter how much weight I have lost, my calves and thighs are tree trunks. I will never, ever wear skinny jeans and that's okay with me. Because I run 5 miles every morning, and longer on the weekends. Those tree trunks get me to where I need to go. Do I like my legs? Nope. I don't like them at all, but they are my legs. They function well, I can walk, run, jump, dance (ok that's up for debate) and move. 

They are splotchy with weird veins, they are flabby in spots, lumpy in others, but who cares? I need to stop, no WE need to stop beating ourselves up over perceived imperfections. My arms are flabby. Totally my fault. I ate like there was no tomorrow, I gained weight everywhere, then I lost weight and my arms are still flabby. Bat wings. They flap when I'm waving hello and they are still waving when I put them down. And you know what? Who cares? My tree trunk legs and bat wing arms don't define who I am. I do that. Through my words and my actions. 

I birthed two amazing and beautiful human beings, and am trying to raise them to be good human beings. How flabby my thighs are means nothing to them. The fact that I am a loving mother to them is what they care about. And one of the things I love about THEM is their acceptance of their body image. Those girls got the cakes and are totally fine with it. I have taken a page from their books. How's that for growth?

So why do we constantly beat ourselves up because we don't think we are thin enough, fit enough, ENOUGH? We need to stop looking at social media and comparing ourselves to everyone else. Nothing there is real. Literally EVERYTHING is fake. Filters, airbrushing, photoshopping, none of it is real. So stop beating yourself up because you're a size 12 or 20. What good do you bring to this life? What do you do for others and for yourself? Judge yourself on those things and not your bat wings. Those bat wings are attached to hands that could lift others up. Those tree trunk legs are attached to feet that move, so move those feet and bring yourself someplace where you can do good things with those hands. 

Thank you for coming to my TedTalk. Hopefully I'll be back soon with more snark. Stay tuned, Snarklings.


 

 


Friday, October 23, 2020

Trying to Make a Difference....

Hey Snarklings! It's been awhile. Did you know there's an election coming up? You may have seen a commercial or two. Maybe a debate, I don't know. Perhaps you've received a postcard or a letter in the mail or maybe even a text (or 18). If so, it's very possible that I'm the one who sent you that piece of mail or that text.


We've all seen the political propaganda that comes in your mailbox every stinking day. He said/she said. I won't raise your taxes. My opponent voted against that. It's overwhelming and annoying. I know. I get a shit ton of it every day.

So what's up with that picture of pens, letters and postcards up there? Let me tell you a little story.

Once upon a time there was an absolutely amazing Supreme Court Justice named Ruth Bader Ginsburg. After living a very long and celebrated life, inspiring literally millions of young women to aspire to greatness, she passed away. Within hours, the Republicans were already talking about filling her Supreme Court vacancy. I felt absolutely sickened. That night, the night she died, I cried like a baby. I felt defeated. Helpless. 

The next day I woke up feeling angry and needing to take action. I reached out to some friends, did some Googling, looked on Facebook and found Postcards To Voters, Vote ForwardCapital Region Stands Up and ThruText. I ordered 100 postcards, applied to send letters to voters and started text-banking. Little by little I started coming out of the sadness and felt like I was actually doing something worthwhile and helpful.

I know that donating to political campaigns is absolutely necessary but I've got 2 kids in college, 3 car payments and an obscene monthly car insurance bill, so just writing one check and moving on really didn't feel like it would help me with my helplessness.

However, the feeling I had after handwriting 100 postcards (for candidates in Kentucky, Ohio and South Carolina), 60 letters to voters in Florida and Georgia and close to 3000 texts to Pennsylvania voters made me feel like I was truly making a difference. Texting didn't cost me anything other than time. The postcards were about $35, no charge other than paper and envelopes for the letters and about $68 in postage and I reached 3160 people. I feel like reaching out to that many people may have made more of a difference than sending a $100 donation to one political candidate. 

The usual political propaganda we get in the mail is all preprinted from campaigns, but these postcards and letters were all handwritten by thousands of volunteers. And even if someone looks at it and just tosses it in the trash, at least there is some thought behind it and not a political machine pumping them out. 

What are you doing to get through this election season? (I've been drinking) 

Have you made a plan for voting yet? 



Thursday, April 30, 2020

We are not okay....and that's okay.

I've had this post sitting in my drafts for about 2 weeks now and haven't gotten back to finish it. Now's as good a time as any. It's been raining here all. damned. day. It's a good, soaking rain that washes all the pollen away and hopefully will wash away all the negative feelings I've had these days.

Image courtesy of Morguefile
I'm one of the lucky ones who isn't going stir crazy inside my house. My kids are in college so I don't have to try to home school them (thank you sweet baby jeezus, I don't know nothin' 'bout no physics). My husband is working from home so he gets to deal with letting the dogs in and out and in and out (x 1000) during the work day. My co-workers are all working remotely, so I'm the only one in the office. I need access to the check book and the files, so I actually enjoy going in to work. I get to take a walk to the Post Office (where I practice social distancing and wear my mask) to get some fresh air every day.

But man, this sucks. This new normal really sucks. Wearing a mask sucks. Staying 6 feet away from people sucks. Not being able to hug my friends sucks. But guess what sucks more. DEATH!

Yup, death sucks worse than the rest of these precautions. So here's the deal: if you want to take your life into your own hands by going to get your hair or nails done, have at it.  Wanna go to a sit-down restaurant to eat? Knock yourself out. Wanna go to the gym? Sure thing! But think about this: not only are you putting yourself at risk and the lives of those around you at risk, you're also putting at risk the lives of first responders and health care workers. They are the ones who have to deal with your sorry ass when you catch the Corona and have to be treated. Is it your right? Maybe, but does it make you a selfish prick? You bet it does.

Science matters. The experts know what they are talking about. Jesus Christ, that's why they are EXPERTS. That's why they don't ask Bubba, the gun-toting, flag waiving jackass from Michigan who is protesting to reopen his state so he can go bowling with his buds. He's not an expert, he's an asshole. Listen to the experts who have been dealing with these infectious diseases for LITERALLY DECADES!!

I saw earlier that president shit for brains wants to go back to holding his giant campaign rallies ahead of the election in November. At this point, you know what? Go ahead, fucktard. Hold your rallies. Let your thousands and thousands of kool-aid drinking supporters all gather in one building, breathing one anothers' air, spewing their hate along with their spittle on to one another. Let those freak germs fly! I believe that's called thinning the herd. And while I'm sorry for all the front-line health care workers who have to deal with your sorry, stupid asses, perhaps it will shine a brighter light on what a goddamn stupid idea it was in the first place to gather together.

Do I sound a little bitter? Yeah, probably. Two weeks ago we had to cancel our family vacation to Hawaii. We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and my oldest daughter's college graduation. My youngest and I were planning on running a half marathon together (her first!). And we had to cancel our trip. Our hotel closed, and our flights were canceled.

So yeah, I'm a little bitter. I can't go on vacation but I understand why. It would be incredibly stupid and amazingly irresponsible of us to do so. So we are following the rules. Because that's what it's going to take to get past this round of the Coronavirus.

The one thing that I will give the president credit for is bringing Dr. Fauci on to lead this fight. It's the one and only thing I'll give him credit for. For the love of God, listen to Fauci. The man has worked with 6 presidents, Democrat and Republican. He has the nation's best interest at heart.

The bottom line is this: Yes, things suck right now. Yes, it feels like maybe our freedoms are being taken away. Yes, the rules are hard to follow. And yes, it sucks and we are not okay. But we will be. We will be fine after this. We're learning just how strong we are and how much we miss our loved ones. Maybe when this is over, we'll hug them a little longer and not take them for granted. And maybe we won't take our freedoms for granted.



Friday, March 20, 2020

Just Be Kind




Hey Snarklings. I hurt my back a few weeks ago while cleaning, vacuuming and mopping my house (I won't make THAT mistake again!) and have been dealing with ongoing pain since it happened. The pain got so bad that last Saturday I sent a FB message to a friend who is a nurse and asked if she were in my shoes, what would she do? In the time of COVID-19, I didn't really want to take a chance on sitting in a packed ER and opening myself up to the possibility of being exposed to possible carriers. But I had to do something because I was in agony.

My friend recommended going to Urgent Care, so that's what I did. I entered the building touching nothing. I approached the check-in desk and was met with a smiling young guy named Justin. He took my info and directed me to the waiting room. There were probably 4 other people in the waiting room and none were hacking up a lung or wearing a mask (the sign on the front door directed people with flu-like symptoms to please pick up a mask at the front desk). I brought my book with me because it's an Urgent Care and I fully expected to wait quite awhile to be seen. I thought this was pretty standard, having to wait at an Urgent Care.

Apparently not everyone got that memo.

A woman (let's call her 'Itchy") walked in after I had been sitting there for about 10 minutes and I heard her telling Justin that she had a skin condition. He took her information and directed her to the waiting room as he did with me. A few minutes went by and she looked in my direction and I heard her exclaim "Oh are you kidding me?? An HOUR and FIFTEEN MINUTES??" At first I thought she was yelling at me for something, but when I looked over at what Itchy was looking at, I actually saw the TV monitor on the wall showing the approximate wait time for each person. Mine was 45-60 minutes. Hers was longer. She ranted, hooted and hollered in the waiting room, then went back to the check-in desk (scratching her ass the whole time) to give Justin a piece of her mind.

Look, I get that in this time of uncertainty, we are all a bit on edge. I understand peoples' fears, but that's no excuse to be rude to anyone. I'm sorry, but if you come to an Urgent Care on a Saturday morning, you are going to have a wait. Unless you're head is hanging off and there's blood gushing out of your neck cavity, you're waiting just like the rest of us. Suck it up, Buttercup.

I was embarrassed for her. I understand she needed to be seen just like the rest of us, but that's no reason to be an asshole. We are all on edge with this COVID-19 pandemic, and I didn't really want to be sitting in an Urgent Care waiting room, with the possibility of being exposed, but the alternative is to sit in a crowded ER waiting room, and with a skin condition being her 'emergency' she'd probably have waited much longer than an hour and fifteen minutes.

Not long after her rage filled rant, a boy and his mother came in. The boy was hobbling and the mother helped him to his seat before going up to check in with Justin. The boy apparently thought he had broken his foot.  By that time, I was next to be called and I toyed with the idea of letting the boy go ahead of me, but that would have pushed Itchy's wait time back even more and I was afraid she would come over and touch me and I'd get her cooties, so I shut my mouth, waited my turn and went in when I was called.

Here's my point. Don't be an asshole. We are all worried, we are literally ALL in this together so let's try to be patient. It's only going to get worse before it gets better, so while we are dealing with this horrific pandemic, can't we all just try to be kind to one another?

After being seen, when I was checking out with Justin, I made a point to thank him for handling this madness with grace and a smile. I told him that I heard the interaction with Itchy and that I was sure she wasn't the only one to give him grief and that he was doing a fantastic job in a shitty situation.

Just be kind. It's not that hard. (unless you're the president, apparently he doesn't know the meaning of kind). The rest of us are capable, so let's just be kind.






Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Dumbass

In honor of the fact that my cat, Cinnamon (you all know her as Dumbass because that's how we've referred to her since we got her) turns 19 (!!) this year, I'd like to dedicate this post to her.



For the love of God how much longer are you going to live???

No, seriously, you have used up 14 of your 9 lives, cat!

How many times have I posted about Dumbass jumping into AND GETTING STUCK IN the refrigerator?? COUNTLESS, that's how many. She has been trapped in there more times than I can remember!

I remember when we brought her home on the day my husband ran his first Marine Corps Marathon back in 2001. This cat was actually born ON September 11, 2001 (we should have named her 'Disaster' or something, but we went with Cinnamon). 22 and 20 fell in love with her. She was tiny and sweet and cute and all the things a kitten should be.

And stupid, did I mention stupid?

But I digress. Back in those days, it was still okay to get your cat declawed, so we did. (sorry animal lovers but furniture is expensive, yo!)  Only her front claws were removed, we aren't complete monsters. This was a cat who, while supposed to be indoors, tried to escape every chance she had. If that front door opened for any reason, she was there trying to get out. She never went far, usually just to the tree out front, but the sweet smell of freedom has always been like a siren calling to her. To this day she still tries to get out, but she always comes back.



Anyway, the day we brought her home from the vet when she was declawed (I said I was sorry!) she found herself at the door when one of the girls came home from school and she took off. She went right out to the Bradford pear tree out front and attempted to climb it, as she usually did when she tasted freedom. Only this time, she was at a disadvantage. No claws means no climbing. She got about halfway up and slid down like a fireman sliding down the fire pole en route to get on the truck and go fight fires. It was something to behold.


She terrorized our old cat, Pinhead (are you seeing a pattern of rude nicknames for cats in our house yet?). Pinhead's real name was Sherri (clarification: we had a black cat named Sunni and when we got the new cat, my husband thought Sunni and Cher would be just adorable names for cats. I, however, disagreed. We compromised and instead of Cher we went with Sherri. Except from the moment we named her, we never called her Sherri, because she was such a Pinhead. So Pinhead stuck).

Digressing again. Dumbass always terrorized Pinhead. When we moved from New Jersey to West Virginia, naturally we brought both cats with us (but in separate cat carriers) and when we went to make settlement on the new house, they came into the office with us. We had them facing one another for company and they chatted with one another during the whole settlement process. Everyone in the room got a big kick out of it.

Pinhead eventually went to that big litter box in the sky and we brought home Henry and Cosmo. Dumbass started getting a taste of her own medicine, with the dogs terrorizing her daily. But now that she's old and crusty, she tolerates the dogs and they pretty much ignore her.

Notice the tongue sticking out on this vicious killer cat. The dog is now 34 times her size and could eat her in 1 bite.
Nowadays, Dumbass doesn't really want to be bothered unless someone is in the bathroom because that's where we keep her food. If you enter the bathroom (for any reason) she thinks you must be in there to feed her. I could go in, feed her, take care of business, wash my hands (of course!) and leave, but if I go back in there 10 minutes later, it is obviously time to feed her again. It's a vicious cycle with her.  I don't know if she's forgetting that she just ate or if she thinks her time is limited so she should eat ALL the time.

She has brought us lots of laughs, many scratches with her back claws, many instances where we've tripped over her but she's still here. I think she just refuses to die because she's stubborn.  Either way she's been a good old girl and I wanted to celebrate her while she's still with us. Sort of a living eulogy for the cat.

Relaxed Dumbass




Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Dear Verizon...



Dear Verizon,

I'm cc'ing Apple on this blog post because while you aren't totally to blame, you both need to be in on this. I recently began having issues with my iPhone 6, purchased from you, Verizon, and paid for over the course of God only knows how many months. Shut up, I know that all the cool kids are on the 11 right now but I've never been one to follow trends and I hate learning new things, so sue me.

Anyway, my battery life was seriously starting to dwindle down and no matter how often I'd charge it, it was constantly losing power, to quote Elmer Fudd, at a vewy wapid wate. It became so bad that when I would go out for a morning run, the phone would die halfway through a 5 mile run. Granted, I'm a really slow runner, but still, all I had open was iTunes and I was happily running along when my music would stop. I'd take the phone out of my arm band to see that it had died. Before you ask, no I had no other apps open. I've learned my lesson over the years that when I run, I don't keep other apps open because I know that they will suck the juice out of my battery.

Now here is my major concern: I run half and full marathons and in doing so, I go out on a lot of long distance training runs. I cannot be without a phone if I'm 8 miles from home and either I suffer an injury or God forbid there is an emergency and either I need to contact family or they need to contact me. It's just not an option. So when my phone dies after 25 minutes of only music playing, there's a problem.

I took my phone to the Verizon place in Frederick MD, a place where in the past, I've had excellent customer service. This time, not so much. In the past, they've greeted us at the door, and if there was a wait, they'd take our names and get to us in a timely manner. This time, no one came to greet us. We had to walk over to the table where 2 of your employees were sitting, looking at their phones. Yup, that sucked. When your representative asked what my issue was and I explained to him the problem, he informed me that yes, it sounded like my battery was going bad (ya think? Thanks Mr. Obvious, you're a lifesaver!) However, instead of suggesting that I just go someplace and get a new battery, he told me that Verizon would happily send me a replacement (read: refurbished) phone.

As a side note, dear Verizon, when I asked where the bathroom was (I've used their bathroom in the past but they have since remodeled), I was told that they didn't have a public restroom, so I couldn't pee. WHAT?? Let me tell you something, Verizon: I pay you exactly $274.56 every single month for 4 goddamn iPhones. For $274.56, you owe me the use of your bathroom in your store. Just let me pee!

But I digress, he told me that they would send me a refurbished iPhone 6 and that I would have to back everything up and reload everything onto the new (refurbished) phone and then wipe the bad phone and return it. So now I'm doing their job. Fine, whatever.

The first refurbished phone arrived that Tuesday. I backed everything up to the cloud, wherever that is, wiped the phone with the bad battery and shipped that one back. On Thursday I ran 5 miles and that first refurbished phone died halfway through my run. I. Shit. You. Not.  So I contacted Verizon via chat (why the hell would I waste the gas to drive 45 minutes back to Frederick for nothing?). They were able to do a diagnostic on my first refurbished phone and they told me that yes, in fact, that first refurbished phone battery was bad. Great. They said they would send out another (my SECOND refurbished) phone and I had to backup everything from the first refurbished phone to the cloud (where the hell IS that anyway??) and reload it to the second refurbished phone and send the first one back. That second refurbished phone arrived Saturday. Again, I did as I was told, (which in the past, Verizon has always done as a courtesy but alas no more).  I went through the whole process again, backup, upload, wipe, return. This time I checked the battery health on the second refurbished phone and found that it was only 86%. I did not have a warm fuzzy about that.

Flash forward to Tuesday. Yes one week after the first refurbished phone arrived, the second refurbished phone died during a run. What the actual eff??? I'm wondering if they sent me my original phone back. Anyway, we make the phone call this time and it was determined YET AGAIN that my battery was bad and that they'd be sending me a THIRD REFURBISHED PHONE. Why did NO ONE offer the option of just taking the phone to get the goddamn battery replaced?? Because you people have us trained that when one phone dies, we HAVE TO BUY ANOTHER, bigger better stronger faster phone.

Ok so the third refurbished phone arrives, and I go through the motions yet again. And then I checked the battery health on refurbished phone #3. It was 85%. Again, I shit you not. So guess what happened the first time I went for a run. Go ahead, guess. I'll wait.

If you said my phone died during my run, you win!!!

Guess what I did! At the recommendation of a friend, I took the phone to a place that replaces cell phone batteries and had that bad boy replaced for $60. My battery health is now at 100% and my phone has not died once since getting the battery replaced.

Yes, perhaps I should have done that in the very beginning, but I honestly did not know that it was an option. It's an iPhone, so I assumed if I replaced the battery it would no longer be covered under warranty. But guess what. YOUR WARRANTY SUCKS ASS.  I am keeping my third refurbished iPhone 6 until I run that bitch into the ground and then I'm switching cell providers because your customer service just ain't what it used to be and I am doing all the work AND paying you close to $300 a month.

Phew, I'm glad I got that off my chest. Thanks for your time. And next time, just suggest I replace the battery rather than sending me 3 refurbished phones and making me want to drink my dinner.

Sincerely,
Snarkfest