There might be fish in your brisket

Or, living with food allergies sucks. I’ve gotten mostly used to the tree nut (all of ’em), fish (multiple) and shellfish allergies (all of ’em) I got confirmed with a skin test last summer. I still have moments because of all the places fish can be hidden.

Earlier this year I did the blood allergy test and tested positive to:

Cinnamon
Cabbage
Oats
Cherries
Garlic
Peanuts
Coffee
Apricot

So far, by way of diet changes I have confirmed cinnamon, oats, and cherries.

That means I’m probably allergic to the other things on the list, or if I’m not already I will be once I’m exposed enough. (That conclusion is also based on conversation with my asthma/allergy doctor’s nurse.)

Every now and again I have to go back and look at the blood test results to see what I’m NOT allergic to.

Most recently I started allergy shots with the hopes they will help. After about a month of being sick and adjusting the dosage, my doctor as said we have to stop allergy shots. How about an advance in immunology research for Christmas? Think you can do that for me Santa?

Food allergies make you reevaluate your relationship with food and with your body. Food allergies are hard because so few people understand them – including people WITH food allergies. I’m hating my body a little more right now.

More Student Loans

Maybe my student loan monthly payment is double what I thought it was… seems like it’s closer to $1000/month.

Wonder how long this consolidation is going to take.

Looks like I might be spending most of my evening on the phone.

My Federal Student Loan Debt

I have two college degrees. I’m not a doctor. I have degrees in social science. Sociology to be exact. I’d love to work in a nonprofit job and help out in my local community. Turns out it’s near impossible to find a job (in North Texas) in nonprofit with little to no experience. I work in a glorified tech support job (at a very good technology company) so that I could HAVE A JOB AND GET MONEY TO PAY MY STUDENT LOANS.

I’ve been employed full time for like three and a half months. It’s lovely to have income from a full time job (again). Other than the fact that my job is way below my potential, it’s a decent job. It’s a good company, I just feel like I have to prove myself daily to get anywhere….and I already know I can do better. Ever feel like you’re proving something you already know? Anyways, my job is not a career. The company I’m working for could be a career – depending. But that’s a nebulous cloud of uncertainty! My job is not in my field and not for someone with a bachelor’s and a master’s.

I wonder how many people like me there are just in my state, this region, or this country. Two college degrees. I think that makes me underemployed.

Because I tried to better myself, didn’t have parents to milk for money, and did normal things like get married, but abnormal things like not have a child (or three), I have an exorbitant amount of student loan debt. I’m smart, but not smart enough to get awesome scholastic scholarships. I returned to college as an adult so I wasn’t eligible for scholarships for high school students. My husband has a ridiculously large amount of credit card debt. Thank the gods he only has a small amount of student loan debt. A laughable amount – in that it’s under 10k. We have a mortgage – but I count myself lucky that we have a mortgage.

My student loans are over twenty percent of my gross monthly income. Over $600.00 month. More than a car payment on a nice car. Almost half our mortgage (in a state with high property taxes). Enough money for groceries for a month for my husband and I – at nice grocery stores where I can find food that is safe for me to eat (due to my food allergies). 

Further, because I work more than minimum wage and I’m above the poverty line – I cannot apply for a deferment to cover my student loans (any of them). Therefore, that means the government things I will magically be able to pay my student loans after the balance has increased because of thousands and thousands of dollars of capitalized interest. The federal government really does hate the middle class – especially if you happen to be educated. Obviously, I should budget my year based on how the federal government budgets my life. See how long I still have money for food….

 

Bettering myself puts me in debt. I feel lucky I have debt related to property. I consider a debt under $10k to be small. This literally makes me physically sick.

 

Sick.

I know my food allergies

It’s amazing how many little things that were wrong before I eliminated the foods I turned out to be allergic to.

It’s been less than 2 months since I cut out tree nuts.

1. Less headaches
2. more focus
3. not so tired all the time
4. maybe less asthma symptoms
5. better, more stable appetite
6. less allergy symptoms (?) – this one is hard to say cause of time of year too
7. better mood
8. beer tastes better
9. ability to do housework again (beyond simple things like sort/wash laundry) and not feel utterly wiped out
10. more energy – this is different from not so tired all the time because more energy means being able to think about other things beyond today, tomorrow, the weekend and all the stuff I need to do. like planning.
11. possibly my joints are better too. hard to tell yet.

GRE

Taking the GRE in one week. Next Saturday afternoon. I’m not ready, but I’ll never be ready because you can never be ready for a standardized test.

Hopefully I’ll remember enough of the suggested shortcuts and recommendations for getting through the test.

Big thing about the GRE: It’s one big test of trick questions and nothing too hard, you just have to know how to read the questions.

An “expert” talking about “cybersex”

Q: Have you ever done first-hand research into cybersex—as in, have you ever had cybersex yourself or observed anyone having it?

A: I’ve done surveys and talked to patients. It’s not like I’m just doing this because I’ve heard someone say whatever. As to whether I’ve gone online myself, I haven’t, specifically because these days even if you don’t go online you are totally deluged with email. For example, if somehow you get on this or that person’s list and then they sell the list to everybody else. Every day I probably get thirty emails about “enlarge your penis.” So even without getting on any porn websites, I know what they’re like. All you have to do is just go once on a porn site and immediately your address gets spread out. I just really don’t need that in my life. So the answer is, no I haven’t.

That came from here.

Obviously, she has no idea what she’s talking about. Cybersex according to Wikipedia here. I just skimmed the page – didn’t actually read much. More motivation to do some research or study on the Internet and how the Internet affects our lives – in ways we don’t even realize. The only question is where to start.

Purse Part 2

I got my purse from LLBean yesterday. It’s niiiiice. It’s too big though. Told OP that if I ever buy a leather purse again, if it doesn’t actually smell of leather…. that means don’t buy it. This has lovely construction. There’s a few things I have to get used to. Like the wallet. The wallet is huge but I think I will end up falling in love with it. The bigger wallet is also easier to find in the bigger purse. The purse actually is sorta backpack in construction.

Summary of my AT&T (DSL tech. support) complaint

I was even given a case number to reference my filed complaint. (I know you are surprised, aren’t you?)

But, anyways, a little background first. It took at least 3 calls, multiple tech visits and a 400 dollar bill (we were reimbursed by the apartment complex by paying less rent) to fix the wiring in our apartment and the apartment building so we might have working DSL. Fast forward a year (to a month ago). The DSL suddenly stopped losing internet connection anytime someone called the landline/house phone. Anytime. Every wrong number. Every “you need that identity protection program on your credit card” call. Every wrong number… oh wait, did I already mention wrong numbers? Fast forward to now, earlier this evening. I spent an hour on the phone with AT&T people today.

That’s about 3 to 4 hours total to get a problem fixed.

The complaint I filed about AT&T DSL technical support:

1. agents are rude, impolite and unprofessional sounding.

2. automated system is horrible. It’s built like you aren’t supposed to reach a real person. (Note: I’d like to point out I’m familiar with how automated systems handle a larger amount of calls than call center agents actually do and without the automated system I’d probably have no chance of reaching a real person within 1 hour, let alone 2 or more. This is a matter of how long it takes you to get THROUGH the system and how it makes you – the customer – feel.)

3. Spent 3-4 hours on the phone to solve a problem.

4. It took 4 agents before I got someone who actually thought about the problem instead of just following a script.  The second person (after asking for the call to be escalated – not calling back) I talked to actually thought to tell me to call my phone company. (The first person tried to tell my there was nothing wrong with my DSL connection and that my router was my problem.)

5. Inconsistent tech. support practices. The first 2 people I talked to (a month ago) didn’t care if I had a router attached to the modem or not. The people today wanted to know OS, computers, how connected, router, how computer was connected, etc.

6. I specifically said that if Verizon FIOS was available in my area I would switch in a heart beat. (After pointing out I’m stuck with AT&T service for cell phone and Internet. I should also note our cable internet option is Time Warner but we don’t have TV cable so that would be stupid expensive.)

Odd spam email

Don’t you love those random, very odd, very strange, out of no where spam emails you get?Usually relating to sex for some reason…

Just got this on one of my email accounts:
Hi, ,ivxjkx

i will fullfill it,

I have loved you for so long,

….the email subject was “kinky games”

New Year Resolutions

Resolutions. Resolutions. Resolutions. Usually I find this silly… this year I think it’s probably a good idea.

I need to be better at motivating myself. I also need to remember there’s no reason to get defensive when I’m asking OP for help with something. (Regardless of what I think his tone of voice is or means.) Be better with my asthma and allergies. If it’s going to trigger my allergies and I know it… then say no. More exercise. Less snacks. More sex! (Hey, can more sex ever be bad?)

More writing. I now have multiple blogs. I like to blog, I like to write. Keep up with it! Learn more about computers in general, html specifically. Mostly, keep up with my own interests even when I’m in school, but don’t go crazy over it. Oh yea. Actually continue to use my brand new camera.

Continue with my own readings in sociology. Continue with readings in photography. Continue with reading in general! Do the research and get my project relating to adult asthma awareness underway. (No car right now has put a crimp in that since I want to hit up an actual LIBRARY.)

Put the cats on a grooming schedule. (We can vacuum every week after all.)

Don’t get too stressed out with school. Remember it’s ok to take a “brain break” but not ok to go until I snap.

Depression should be easier to cope with since this remedy is better than the last…. and I have another doctor’s appointment in less than 2 weeks.

Flickr, photoshop and blogging


big-aloe
Originally uploaded by sillililygirl

I’ve been productive recently. Learned more of flickr, learned more of photoshop… and that was just some fun stuff.

Mother of all aloe plants.

(Testing, testing, testing blogging from flickr.)

(and now from wordpress) This seems to work well enough. Sadly… more proof (at least from Firefox) that there is something wrong with this theme.

Update: Saturday afternoon (that is 12/22)

So I have switched back to the theme I had before the last one… I think this one will stay.