Random Musings of a Banded Bad-Ass (not really)....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Gift Card Obsession: A Peek Inside My Psyche

I love gift cards. I know some say they are an impersonal gift, but I disagree. What finer gift is there than the freedom to buy what you want, when and where you want it? I like to maximize my gift card value by holding out for a good sale, or a value-added coupon. Now, on with the story: Many years ago, I purchased a $50 gift card for my niece, to a place called Club Libby Lu--it was a little girls' dress up & makeover place and retail store. Well, before I was able to give it to her, I misplaced the card, and ended up buying her an alternate gift. Imagine my surprise to find said gift card a couple of weeks ago, in the side pocket of a purse I pulled out of the closet. I got online and found that Club Libby Lu went out of business in early 2009 (and my niece has since turned 13--a bit too old for CLL fun, even if available). Well, I noted on the site that Club Libby Lu had been owned by Saks Fifth Avenue, so just for kicks, I called the 800 number on the card. To my delight, I was told that they would be happy to reissue a Saks card to replace the defunct CLL card....YES! So, I received my replacement card for Saks, but was disappointed to find that the Saks in San Diego closed shop in May. Well, yahoo, I remembered our Vegas plans, and sure enough, there is a Saks at the Fashion Show Mall, right across from our hotel--KISMET! Now, believe you me, the I am well aware that $50 at Saks is not exactly a goldmine, but I was still excited to get some use of that long-lost card, even if it meant buying a simple pair of earrings or a fancy lipstick. Anyway, if you read my previous entries, you know that my husby took the Estonians to Zion prior to this Vegas stint, and he took my car, where I had staged the gift card. I drove out last night with my brother and sister-in-law, and met Steve at our hotel just after 10pm. Yesterday afternoon, I called him, and asked him to grab the gift card and bring it into the room, so I could make a jaunt to the mall Saturday morning. After he teased that I "might be able to get a pair of socks at Saks with the card", he agreed to bring it to the room. So, I arrive last night, tired from the drive, and make my way to our room. First thing Steve says is "Do you want the good news or the bad news?". OH. NO. [I always choose bad news first, in order to curb disappointment with a high note]. So, he tells me that he lost the card--WHAT? Apparently, he took a cab to the other end of The Strip, and it must have fallen out of his pocket. Instant downer. So bummed. So, the good news? He won the value of the card back playing blackjack, and gave me the cash. Meh. Sorry, not the same. I kept thinking that he would have won the money playing blackjack anyway, and so it did not offset my utter disappointment. And I can not stop obsessing about it. Maybe he just misplaced the card? No, it's lost, he assures me. Maybe someone turned it in to the hotel Lost & Found? Doubtful. I think Steve's exact reply was "Seriously Jen, are you going to obsess about the stupid card all weekend?". Ouch. But the answer is, yes. It was the first thing on my mind when I woke up at [gasp!] 6am this morning. Maybe I'm a little nuts, but I needed to get this off my chest, and I knew you'd listen!

Friday, August 27, 2010

While The Cat Is Away....

Husband took the Estonians for a little jaunt to Utah as of Wednesday, to visit Zion & Bryce National Parks. Then, I'm meeting them in Vegas tonight for a weekend in Sin City. I had planned to make the National Parks leg of the trip, but we had dog care issues (we are unable to board our very neurotic Yorkie, or else he goes on a food & water strike, throws up and ends up dehydrated--ask me about that vet bill sometime). Our trusty dog watchers/good friends were not available until today, so I stayed back. How did I spend my free time? Well, I had a Real Housewives of New Jersey & DC Festival, of course! Now you know how very sophisticated I am. I don't indulge in that very often, but when I'm on my own, I can't help watching that train wreck.

On the band front, I have had a definite step-up in stuck episodes, which concerns me a bit, because while I am satiated after eating, it does not last until the next meal. I went to see my surgeon yesterday, for what I hoped to be my fourth fill, but after I told him of these episodes, I was DE-NIED. Doctor knows best, right? He said he has seen too many patients resort to bad-for-you sliders and gain weight when too tight, so he wants to give me a month to loosen up. Now I'm worried that I'll never find my [thus far elusive] sweet spot. He did offer to write me a prescription for an appetite suppressant to get me through this rough spell. Say what??? I took it, but don't know if I'll have it filled....

Anyway, I'm off to Vegas, Baby! The nerd that I am booked a non-gaming, non-smoking fancy hotel, but now the wild child in me is jonesing for a seedy, smoky, booze-laden casino-hotel. We'll see who wins out, and I'll report back. Until then....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Flour Tortillas Are Not My Friend

Can we all agree that it's too stinking hot to turn on the oven? Well, I refuse, so if anyone in my house wants anything hot, it's either going to be nuked or stove-topped. My brother spent the night last night, and when I gave him his lunch options today, he chose a chicken quesadilla. I put it together for him and browned it on the stove. Mmmmm....it smelled mighty delish, so I decided to make myself a modified, smaller version. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. I chewed that sucker to death, but somehow, in my pouch, all the tiny tortilla particles must have decided to join back together and form little balls of dough. And I use the term "little" loosely. MF-SOB, we're talking 45 minutes of excruciating pain, followed by waves of nausea and then vomiting up dough balls & dough pellets. While I was grossed out, I couldn't help but be intrigued by the perfectly round and/or cylindrical pellets I coughed up. Lesson learned: Tortillas are now playing for the other team, and are not welcome on my plate.

This weekend, we went to The Magic Castle in Hollywood, for my nephew's birthday. We did the Sunday brunch gig, as this is the only time tykes are allowed in. It's a super fun place, but I must say the weekend nights are better than the day shows. Top notch magicians perform at various venues around the castle, which is a private club built in 1908, for this purpose. They say you have to "know someone who is a member" to get on the guest list, but truth be told, you can also get on the list by reserving a room at the adjacent [not so cheap] Magic Castle Hotel (sort of a racket, if you ask me). Anyway, despite the 'fine dining' billing, the brunch was just average, so I was able to avoid temptation, and stick with some healthier options.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A More-Than-Fair Fare to Chicago

In case any of you So-Cal Hotties who are headed to The Windy City still need a plane ticket, check out this deal.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Family Game Night & Dangerous Treats

On Saturday, we had family BBQ & pool party at my SIL's, follwed by game night at our place (remember, the family that plays together stays together). We had a hoot playing Apples to Apples (so much fun for a big group). That is, until my 13-year-old niece read one of her cards, and asked [out loud] "Could you still be alive if you were born in 1965?" Say what?!? Suddenly, a cloud of depression covered the room, so I sent everyone home (TRICK!).

Anyway, I try not to keep sweets in the house, but everyone wanted dessert (and I certainly wasn't going to bake in this heat), so I had a stellar idea to pick up an assortment of Weight Watchers Ice Cream Novelties (sort of like my own little ice cream truck, but not so naughty, and without all the carbon emissions). Anyhoo, as usual, I over-bought (and everyone under-ate) so I am left with several boxes of treats, which are calling my name from the garage fridge. So far I have been good, but man, those ice cream candy bars are simply delectable, and definitely a slider. I should have had everyone take a box home, but didn't think about it. I would send them to work with the husby, but he'd undoubtedly leave them to melt in his back seat. So I think I need to toss them. Or not.

Friday, August 13, 2010

My First BYOC Stint....Here Goes....

1. Do you remember your last dream?
Vividly....In my dream, I ran into some former colleagues and they invited me on a trip to Hawaii, as one of them had access to a huge villa there. I was so excited, and invited my hubby, only to later find out that it was a girls-only trip and I had to un-invite him--I felt just awful. Then I found out that we had to row there across the Pacific, which was an even bigger bummer and made me want to cancel all together.

2. Which is your favorite body part of the human body and why?
I'm a big fan of a good mouth/smile. I don't necessarily like perfectly straight teeth--I prefer a bit of character in a smile, whether it be a gap or a bit of overlap (a la Tom Cruise, although he and his couch-bouncing annoy me).

3. Tell me about your first kiss...
I was 14, and my friend Tammy invited some boys from The Army/Navy Academy (a local military prep high school) to her house. One boy, Mark Alcalay, chased me around her garage and when he caught me, he shoved his tongue down my throat. He had sour breath.

4. How big is your bed?
Cal-King. I like my space at night (and in the day, for that matter).

5. Repeat question....whose blog or comment stuck with you the most this week and why?
Joey's....just so heartfelt and heartbreaking.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mission Accomplished

Hello Lovely Ladies! Can you tell me how many adjustments it took for you to find your "sweet spot"? I finally got fill number four yesterday, guided by fluoroscope (wow what an ordeal!), and am hoping for some real restriction now. After I arrived at the surgery center, I had to go through all the pre-op standard operating procedures (pun not intended, but delightful just the same)....After over an hour of those shenanigans, I went into the OR for my 5 minute "procedure", then was wheeled to post-op, where I waited for another hour, hooked up to monitors, etc., before being discharged. Sheesh, what a pain. The staff there is so nice, but I find it difficult to reciprocate the kindness when I am so agitated with the process. My surgeon apologized for all the theatrics, but said the ASC follows the same protocol for all procedures. Anyhoo, thankfully my port has not flipped, but it has turned a bit, and is at a 90* angle. At least now Dr. B. knows from what angle to enter, and hopefully my future adjustments will be smooth as silk, sans fanfare.

I'm soooo tired....Husby had to leave the house at 3:45 this morning, to [supposedly] catch an early flight to Sioux Falls, South Dakota (AKA Partyland, USA). Before retiring last night, I had to pack his suitcase (I know what you're thinking: I'm an awesome wife)....It was a one-night trip, so he did not want to check a bag, but I was unsure if he could carry on a razor, so I checked the TSA web site. I must say, I find it perplexing that one can carry on "metal scissors with pointed tips and blades shorter than four inches in length", but not a sealed container of yogurt. Anyway, we hit the hay early (10pm) were awoken (awakened?) at 12:05am by the phone (DH's company has an office in Estonia, and we were expecting two Estonian girls to arrive TONIGHT, but someone messed up on that memo, because they arrived at LAX at 11:45 LAST NIGHT, and no one was there to pick them up). After he made some troubleshooting calls, I finally fell back asleep only to be awoken (awakened?) AGAIN at 1:15am, with another call about the girls and some keys we have for them. I didn't bother trying to go back to sleep, as I just laid there in anticipation of Steve's pending 3:00am alarm. Here's the kicker: He just arrived back home (SURPRISE!!!), as his flight was canceled due to faulty hydraulics on the plane [not a huge fan of Delta]. Oh, and the Estonians are on their way....more on that later. Tootles for now!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Life on the Compound (cue banjo music)

I realize that I have not really told you all much about myself yet, and am not really sure where to start. Here's a weird factoid that might make you run for the hills: I live on a compound. It's not quite as creepy as it sounds, but two years ago, my husband and I relocated from Carlsbad, a nice little beach town in San Diego County, to rural Temecula wine country (just north of San Diego), and we live within close proximity to all of my husband's family. Now, close proximity is a relative term in the country (pun intended), but let's just say that the Welty motto is: "The Family That Works/Plays/Lives/Dines/Parties/Invests Together Stays Together". The Welty Compound includes my father-in-law (MIL died of ovarian cancer in 2008, at the age of 60), as well as my husband's older sister and two older brothers and their families (and me & Steve). Everyone (except us) has golf carts to get from property to property, we have a huge garden where we grow lots of fresh fruits & veggies to share, and my FIL loves to give tractor rides to unsuspecting compound visitors. [OK, maybe it is as creepy as it sounds]. But for reals, we are actually pretty normal, and do not belong to some weird cult or stockpile guns and ammo for the pending revolution. My husband's oldest brother, Richard, is the family prodigy and a total computer genius; 26 years ago, when Richard was 17, an MD neighbor of theirs hired him to develop a billing & scheduling platform for his medical practice, and Raintree Systems was incepted. It's actually kind of a neat success story with some interesting caveats, but too much to share now. Anyway, all the siblings work at the corporate office, which is here in Temecula, and hubby was sick of the commute from Carlsbad, so we made the move. I am slowly adjusting to country living....It's really quite beautiful here, and we are literally walking distance to some of the area's best wineries, cha-ching!

Here are a couple of shots of our property as well as one of the Welty Clan (See, no bonnets or aprons). My hubby is at the far end of the table.

I'm Not Worthy!

Woot woot, I have 10 followers! That's just super! Thanks to those of you who have taken the time to read by blog thus far. I really enjoy reading yours, and find the interaction so informative, inspiring, and often times you make me laugh out loud, or cry like a baby. Husby thinks I'm nuts when I do either, but that's another issue.

OK, just for fun here's a cute picture of my FIL's dog, Maggie. What dog climbs a tree, you ask? Sweet Maggie, that's who!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Nope. Nil. Nada.

I met with my surgeon today for what I hoped would be my fourth fill. Boo....He could not access my port. After two unsuccessful jabs, he (and I) felt / heard a clink--metal on metal--oh crap! So, now he wants to do it under fluoroscope at the surgery center (I did not have my surgery in a hospital like most of you--rather, it was done at an Ambulatory Surgery Center or ASC). It's kind of a pain, because his office and the ASC are both is in La Jolla, and it's about an hour and 15 minute drive from where I live. My first fill was tough as well, and he had to delay two weeks because I had some bruising at my port site, so he gave me a cycle of antibiotics. My biggest fear is that the port has flipped, but he said this is "unlikely". [Please, oh please, oh please do not make me go in for corrective surgery!] So, the surgeon's MA called the ASC to schedule my appointment, and a gal from the ASC in turn called me to coordinate the details, telling me that 1) I will need to arrive 1.5 hours before the procedure--say what? 2) I can not eat after midnight before the procedure--OK, fine, but why? 3) Then, the gal asked me if I was having general or local anesthesia--at that point, I got a little bit pissy. "Do you understand that I am only having a saline injection, guided by fluoroscope?" She did not comprehend, so I called the surgeon's office to gripe to the MA, and will let her explain to the numb-skull at the ASC (OK, I know that's not nice, but come on, you should be familiar with the procedure your facility performs, no?). I do not want to leave my house at O'Dark:30 for an 8am appointment (immediately following a lap band surgery by Dr. Bhoyrul). Anyway, I'm slightly annoyed, pretty nervous and majorly anxious for this to be done. Oh, and I'm hungry and I want a spoonful of frosting.