Monday, November 25, 2013

Brilliant!


Lemme tell you a little story, friends. The story of a day that truly caught me completely by surprise.

It started out this morning with a doctor's appointment. In a nutshell, I've been dealing with a small medical problem that I knew could potentially be a very big, bad medical problem. So off to the doctor I went. The end result is that we won't know 100% for sure for a few more days, but it is likely a very small problem, and is probably the result of a crappy doctor's misdiagnosis, and possible neglect a few years ago.

I can't begin to tell you what a bad mood this put me in. The misdiagnosis (that the doctor had multiple chances to catch and correct at the time) caused me a lot of grief then, and it's extra irritating that it is coming back to give me problems again now. Word to the wise: if you ever get a gut feeling that your doctor is wrong, go get a second opinion. Don't be polite and give second chances to your doctor. Go get more opinions. Because if you are right, and your doctor is wrong, you really don't want to waste time being polite in the long run.

So off to work I went still feeling quite crappy (the medical problem gets to stay with me for a few more weeks until the corrective diagnosis will make a difference). <Insert sarcastic 'woo-hoo' here.>

But once at work things began to turn around. One of the products I market had a crazy great day. This was not expected by anyone. It was very fun to see it really sell well and work out. This helps not just the bottom line, but me, and a few other people as well, meet our goals. All in all, this alone was cause to declare this a good day.

Somewhere in the course of the afternoon I checked Twitter, and saw a tweet from one of my favorite musicians that said to retweet the status for a chance to win concert tickets. So I did.

Just a few minutes later- POW!- I won the tickets! (To be completely honest it happened so fast that I wasn't convinced it wasn't a scam. I made them prove it before I would believe it.)

Hello! I just won tickets to see Clay Walker at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas for next weekend! Including free hotel rooms and backstage passes!!

(This isn't my first time seeing or meeting Clay Walker. You can see my previous blog posts on him here- 2009 and 2007 pt 1 and 2.)

Talk about good days! I'll take it!!

This is now the ONLY "Doctors" picture that will make me happy. If it doesn't have John Hurt in it, it doesn't count.

And then, as if things weren't already fantastic, it was time to go see the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, "Day of the Doctor," in 3D in the theater. Some things are just too awesome to be seen at home on TV, and should be in the theater. I hadn't planned on paying for the 3D ticket, but all other showings were sold out (I bought my ticket last week). If you are on the fence about seeing it in 3D- do! There are extra jokes, and a whole funny 3D intro with Matt Smith and David Tennant, that makes it completely worth it.

Oh my heavens. As a Whovian, I can't begin to tell you how much I loved the special. It was so good. I loved every second of it, and didn't want it to end. I want to go see it again- tomorrow! (But alas, I cannot because I have to save my pennies for Vegas next week!)

Oh and did I mention I saw "Catching Fire" twice over the weekend? Plus re-read "Hunger Games" and "Catching Fire" and I've started "Mockingjay" again?

My little book-loving, sci-fi/fantasy loving, pop culture-loving, country music-loving heart, is about ready to explode! You have no idea how much I have loved living in my imagination these last few days! There's just something fun and enjoyable about being able to just LIVE in another world. (And then get to have a fun wish come true like going to Vegas!)

Sigh. Le Sigh.

I don't want my fun little dream world to end when I go to bed tonight...

A little Clay Walker for you- one of my all-time favorite songs!

Monday, November 18, 2013

eShakti for All!

Have I talked enough about eShakti to convince you all to buy their awesome dresses yet?
Because I freaking love eShakti! And I think you all need to try them and figure out why.


Here is what the Little Navy Sheath Dress looks like on their site -


eShakti Women's Split neck sheath dress 
And here is what it looks like on me- 
Not only did the color change (and I added a belt), but you might also notice it suddenly has sleeves, and is a little bit longer.

This is the magic of eShakti. YOU CAN CUSTOMIZE EVERYTHING (for just $7.50)!!!
You can add sleeves, change the neckline and/or the length of the dress, plus add or remove pockets, to make the dress suit you.

But that's not all folks!

You can also have the dress custom FIT to you!
Instead of picking size 2, 10, or 18, etc., you have the option of putting in your exact measurements, and having the dress custom fit precisely to you.

I have always had a difficult time finding dresses that fit me. I am short, but with long legs, and a very curvy torso. Finding dresses and skirts that reach my knee is a total joke. Finding dresses or shirts that fit me through the bust, and with my narrow shoulders? Never happened. All of my dresses are either too big in the shoulders, or the waist hits in the wrong place, etc. I usually just compromise with empire waist, or no-waist wrap dresses, and make do.

When I put my measurements in to eShakti I discovered my waist was a size 8, my shoulders a size 10, my bust a size 18, and my hips are size 12. No wonder nothing ever fits!

Which is why I LOVE my eShakti dresses that not only fit me, but actually hit at my real waist and hips as well. The measurements even take into account the distance between waist and hips, so the waist of my dresses actually are on my waist, and not around my hips (like what happens with most of my dresses).

Now, keeping in mind that I am a) not a model, b) not thin, c) not a photographer, d) not very good with any sort of photo editing service, I now share with you what I look like in my eShakti dresses, compared to my other regular clothes. (Also, I could really use a haircut.)

This is the "Ponte Knit Sheath Dress."  This is the same as my red dress above, but I chose a different neckline and slightly different sleeves.





And here is what I look like in a regular sheath dress that isn't custom fit to me.

Okay, so the picture isn't as bad as I want you to see. I'm really not photogenic so the good and bad are all just mediocre bad! Anyway, in this second dress, the black one, it's too curvy, with fat rolls. I look much thinner, and have a much better silhouette in the eShakti dress.

This next dress is the eShakti "Virginia" dress ($74.95). I LOVE this dress. I have never been able to wear a dress with a full or pleated skirt before, because the waist is usually around my hips, and therefore too wide, and really just looks BAD. I still have unfortunately wide hips, but it helps a lot to have the waist fit just right to make it look much more flattering than the alternative.




And here's the closest thing I have to a similar cut dress-
I like how the eShakti dress has a less revealing neckline, but is still a slimming v-neck (important to us full-figured girls). You can see in the second dress that the waist is right around my hips, making me look considerably wider than necessary.

And this last dress is the eShakti Havana dress. I bought this one for my 20th high school reunion. It got tons of compliments. It's just the right combination of modest/not too revealing, and party/sexy. I LOVE this dress. (I just wish I had a better picture in it.)



I don't have anything to compare this dress to because I've never dared to wear anything like it before. It definitely shows off my curves! (A lot!)

Here's a few more details to know- these dresses are VERY comfortable. As in, I'm still sitting here in the Havana dress right now because it's probably the most comfortable dress I own. I love it.

Did I mention it has pockets? And a side-zip?

And they are not dry-clean only. You can wash these at home and hang dry them.

I love them.

So why am I telling you all of this?

Because eShakti is having a 2 for 1 sale.

And they have free shipping.

So in 10 days from now you could own 3 custom-fit, gorgeous dresses, for less than $150. And you know you want that. You want it a lot.

Full disclaimer- I like eShakti enough that I am excited that I just got accepted to be an affiliate marketer for them. (But I've been talking them up long before I even applied to be an affiliate for them.)

So go get yourself some awesome dresses for the holidays. YOU KNOW YOU WANT ONE!!!

I know that I want this one- (I just added it to my Amazon Wish List.)
Retro Plaid Shirtdress- $129.  (I would change the sleeves to elbow length, take the "remove embellishment" option, and make it knee length. And of course have it custom fit to me. That would only be an extra $7.50. Oh and every time you buy from them they send you coupons for your next order, so I'll be taking at least $25 off the price to start with.)





Friday, November 15, 2013

Let's be friends (in other places)


I haven't invited all you lovelies to join me on other sites in a while. But can't we be friends in more places than one?
Come join me. I'll give you a cookie.

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorErinAnnMcBride
http://Twitter.com/erinannie
http://www.pinterest.com/erinannie/
www.linkedin.com/in/erinmcbride/
http://instagram.com/erinannie17#
and last but not least-



And if you don't know about my other blogs, go meet them too!
http://cuttingbackandgoinggreen.blogspot.com/
AND
http://www.mormonbooksandauthors.com/

And just for being my friend, I give you a picture of Colin Firth. You're welcome.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Women over 40 are "more likely to be killed by a terrorist" than find a husband.


(start the video at 38 seconds in)

Have you ever wondered about this statistic? 
Women over 40 are "more likely to be killed by a terrorist" than find a husband.
The now-infamous statistic from a 1986 Newsweek article (and Sleepless in Seattle) was about the poor marriage prospects of educated women older than 30. 

The truth is, it's sort of true, but mostly not. 

"The Marriage Crunch" was based on a study by Harvard and Yale researchers that projected college-educated women had a 20 percent chance of getting married if they were still single at 30, a 5 percent chance at age 35, and just a 2.6 percent chance at age 40. The article seemed to reinforce the most old-fashioned ideas of women's place in society, and both infuriated and struck fear into the hearts of women across the country.

Rather than go into all of the details regarding the misrepresentation of the facts in that original article, (enough credible news sources have already done that), I'll just stick to some more interesting and honest details on the likelihood of marriage at different ages. 
If you live in Nebraska, you're 30 percent more likely to get married than if you live in Washington, D.C. The capital is home to our nation's lowest marriage rate. At 24.9 percent, it's less than half the rates of 42 other states, including Idaho (57.3), Minnesota (54.1), West Virginia (55.1), and Nebraska (54.9). California has the second lowest, at 47.8 percent. Source: Marital Status: 2000: Census Brief
The report on first marriage in the USA by the National Center for Health Statistics found:
Based on interviews with a national survey sample of 12,571 men and women about their marriage history-
Although most men and women between ages 35 and 44 have married for the first time by 35, lower percentages of men have married than women. The survey found that 17% of women had not married for the first time by age 35, while 25% of men had not.

The probability of first marriage by age 30 is 74% for women and 61% for men.

At age 25, women have a 50-50 chance of being married for the first time; men have a 50-50 chance of being married by age 27.

Among those ages 25—44, 71% of men and 79% of women have ever been married.

The report, based on data from the National Survey of Family Growth, conducted in 2002 among ages 15-44, also includes socio-economic, racial and ethnic breakdowns. Overall, being poor is associated with greater proportions of men and women not marrying by age 35.

Regarding race and ethnicity for ages 25—44, the survey found lower percentages of black men and women who have ever been married compared with the same ages who are white or Hispanic. For women in that age group, whites have the highest percentage of ever being married (84%) while the lowest percentage is among blacks (56%).

Hispanic women have a higher probability of marriage by age 18 (10%) than white women (6%) or black women (3%).

Eye Opening Experience





You'll either understand this, or you won't. Because either you literally see it this way, or you won't.

My whole life I have seen "starbursts" after dark. The picture above is an okay depiction of what this is like.
Apparently not everyone sees halos or starbursts when they look at lights. This is just bizarre to me. You mean some people don't see a big fuzzy glow of light with beams? That's just crazy talk. Then what can they possibly see?
A few weeks ago I got new glasses. I have to wear them full-time again for several months. I've yet again built up a sensitivity to my contacts (or more likely the cleaning solution for contacts). And yet again, my prescription has changed. (I would LOVE for my prescription to stay consistent for a few years! Just once I'd like it to be the same! This would be convenient not just so I could qualify for Lasik, but so I wouldn't have to always be buying new glasses and contacts!)
I let the optician's store talk me into different glare reductions, coatings, etc, since my vision insurance covered the majority of the cost.
Wow am I ever glad I did.
I was told that by switching to my new prescription and to glasses, that my night vision might improve.
Improve?
Understatement of the century!
Tonight I drove after dark for several miles since getting the new glasses. NO STARBURSTS! Minimal halos!
It was amazing! I had no idea how easy it could be to drive after dark. No confusion over brake lights versus stop lights from a distance! No rear lights or oncoming headlight with huge starbursts making it hard to see!
I know this probably isn't all that exciting or interesting to anyone else. But for me it was a life-changing moment. To literally see the world in a different way was just amazing.
And I am resisting the urge to turn this into some sort of personal parable or analogy for life. Make your own up. For me, I'm just enjoying SEEING.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Kids Say the Darndest Things

This also happened while hanging out with the little people today.



I had the fun of hanging out with two of my favorite little cousin people for a few hours today. The following conversation ensued.

Little Person Aged 4: Erin, why is your hair yellow and black?
Me: Um... what do you mean?
Her: It's yellow on the bottom and black on the top. How come?
Me (realizing I didn't wash my hair, and I'm overdue to touch up my roots): Well, my hair grows out of my head black, and then I put yellow dye on it.
Her: Hmm... You missed some spots.


Friday, November 08, 2013

Dental Distractions


I've always been pretty lucky when it comes to dental issues. I never had braces. My teeth are/were naturally fairly straight. And until a few years ago I had only ever had one cavity as a kid.
And yet I've had 2.5 root canals in the past week.
It hasn't been pretty.
I also didn't have a fear of dentists until 1-2 years ago. Now my fear is bordering right on paranoia.
Let me explain.
A few years ago, during my Peace Corps paperwork process, I had to go to the dentist. I found the cheapest one in Roanoke and even took a coupon with me. She took some x-rays and declared me good enough for the PC. But she did mention that I had 2 "almost" cavities, and encouraged me to come back for fillings before I left with the PC.
Well, as you might recall, I never did leave with the PC, did I?
So I put off getting the fillings, because, hey, they weren't really cavities anyway.
Earlier this year I finally got around to it (because I saw another coupon for that dentist, and because I had severe pain in one of the teeth she had warned me about). She gave me a filling in that tooth, and at a second appointment, put in a filling in the other problem tooth.
During all 3 appointments I was very disappointed with how I was treated, the state of the exam room, and even went so far as to complain to the health department after my third appointment. Why?
I SAW A RAT RUN ACROSS THE FLOOR!!
But quite frankly, I was seeing a dentist that takes coupons. So what did I really expect?
Oh and she didn't use any novocaine on me during one appointment, but did use topical lidocaine. It was incredibly painful, but she insisted I would be fine.  The only reason I was fine was because I had Lortab leftover from a kidney stone at home. It was horribly painful and I vowed to never return to her again.
For the past year or so I have had very sensitive teeth. It was a new development, and not one I enjoyed. Sensitive teeth suck! Hot food, cold food, etc. It all hurts.
About 2 weeks ago the pain in one tooth became constant, and not just a sensitive tooth. I could tell a part of the filling had chipped off, so I decided to go to a new dentist.
As you know, I've recently moved, so I had to find a new dentist. I looked up my childhood dentist, but he's not taking "new" patients (apparently being one of his very first patients over 30 years ago doesn't grandfather you in), and he wasn't covered by my insurance anyway. I looked up the nearest dentist with my insurance, and managed to get an appointment next day (due to a cancellation).
He took one look at my teeth and some x-rays and immediately grew concerned. In a nutshell, the past dentist drilled out a hole in one tooth, but never put in a filling. And in the other tooth, she drilled out a hole, put in a filling, but didn't complete fill it. So a large cavity had formed behind the cavity. And there was a cavity in the next tooth over due to the random hole she drilled.
He warned me the random hole tooth was likely dead and would probably need a root canal. He worked on that one first.
A few seconds after he started he stopped and said, "The good news is that the novocaine is working and you can't feel anything. The bad news is that your tooth just shattered. But the file I was using is stuck up inside your tooth. Before the numbing wears off you need to get over to the emergency endodontist to get fixed up. NOW."
Several hundred dollars and a few hours later, I had my first root canal.
A few days later I returned for a second one at the dentist's office.
And that's when he warned me I needed a third one.
So I went back today for what we hoped would just be a filling. Ironically, this was the tooth I thought was hurting me in the first place.
Oh, did I mention the other 2 teeth were dead?
Unfortunately I was running late to my appointment today. If I had been on-time, he could have finished.
Yet again he got started and moments later I heard the assistant/tech/hygenist (I have no idea what she really was. She was shadowing for CE credits- that much I caught.) gasp. And the dentist apologized. "Well, the good news is that the novocaine is working. The bad news is your tooth just shattered. Again. And we don't have time to finish the root canal."
So he put on a temporary filling, and I am supposed to go back next week for MORE FUN!
(Hmm... my painkillers  may be kicking in. But I digress.)
Here's the good news, for as scary as root canals are supposed to be, they haven't bothered me much. The novocaine works. I don't feel too much of it. There is a great deal of tension and anxiety as a result of the non-medicated experiences with the crap dentist in Roanoke. And I was crazy sore after the first root canal as a result of having my mouth forced wide open for close to 5 hours.  The endo was kind enough to prescribe some painkillers that made the following few days manageable. But really, the procedures haven't been that bad. Although I admit, I was also taking painkillers to keep calm before I even went in.
Tonight while at the movies with a friend, my temp filling broke. What is left of my real tooth is pretty small, with a very sharp edge it turns out. And there's about half of the temp filling still stuck in there. But I have a very sharp tooth scraping the inside of my cheek.
Oh and let's not forget there's also some serious anxiety now that at any moment the rest of the filling could come out and I will have an exposed nerve. I don't need to actually experience that to know if it were to happen it will hurt like hell. So yeah, some anxiety over that.
And all this for someone who has only ever had 3 cavities before in her whole life. 2.5 root canals.
And you had better believe I'm requesting all my records from the crap dentist for the new dentist to review. And once I have the paperwork evidence, I am reporting her disasters to the state board. Because this is ridiculous.
I do have one positive thing to say. No, make that 2 positive things to say. 1- I have awesome dental insurance. Turns out root canals are covered 80%, and appointments don't have a co-pay. And I only had a $50 deductible. Thank goodness for that. 2- My new dentist has been incredibly kind about this whole thing. I think he feels worse about it than I do.
And since I have no shame, enjoy this lovely picture of me halfway through my first root canal at the endo office. This was actually on Halloween. I was a little disappointed that my droopy face finally got better right before the trick or treaters showed up. I thought I had a great scary face!
Does anyone else get a droopy eye or forehead from dental novocaine? Both the endo and dentist told me that it's unusual. But it happens to me almost every time. I get that little shot on the top, and boom, not only does the mouth and cheek go dumb, I lose feeling right up over my cheek and eyelids. My forehead even looks half botoxed. And I stay numb much longer than they say I should (6+ hours is not unusual for me).


Sunday, November 03, 2013

You Gotta Lock That Down


So my high school 20th class reunion was great. Yada yada. There are pictures and comments all over Facebook. Really, I did have a wonderful time. It was all the usual things you hear about 20th reunions- surreal, awesome, crazy, etc.

Let's stick with the story of things I normally talk about on this blog. Like dating and men.

My reunion was quite surreal for me because of the men. I'm not used to having a lot of men hit on me. It's just not something that has ever happened before. So to have multiple men give me their cards and suggest we go out sometime was... bizarre.

The comments, compliments, and interests from men (most of whom I did not actually know in high school) was just not normal. It was incredibly flattering and ego-boosting. I'm just really not used to such behaviors.

It got me to thinking. Why has this sort of thing never, not once, happened to me with Mormon guys?

I have some theories.

Several men gave me their numbers or cards. This is not uncommon with non-Mormon guys. They give you their card, and ask for yours. The way I see it, they give you their number, rather than ask you out, or ask for your number. If you are interested, you call. If you are not, it saves them the hassle of trying to play the games of figuring out if you were hard to reach, just being polite, playing hard to get, etc. Makes perfectly good sense to me.

Mormon guys? I've never seen this technique in play. (I think they should adopt it.)

Another popular theory I hear about Mormon men, (and I absolutely agree with), particularly in singles wards, is that Mormon men don't have the pressure of wondering how/when they will ever see the woman again. A guy "in the wild" (a bar, a party, store, etc.,) never know if/when they may encounter her again. So they dive into conversations and make a move faster. But a guy in a singles ward, knows the girl will be back the next week. There will always be more places and ways to see her. The get-to-know-you stuff that would take the first 5 dates with a non-Mormon, are covered in non-committal, hallway conversation without ever having to make it clear whether or not you are interested, with someone from church.

Because Mormon guys can always rely on the expectation that they will see the girl again, they have little to no incentive to "lock that down" with the girl. When a guy meets a girl "in the wild," he is far more motivated to do what it takes to "lock that down."



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