Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Who Trains These People?

At lunch time I made the call, thinking this would only take a few minutes, I ordered my lunch for pick-up from across the street. I dialed the 800 number they gave me which was their automated banking number. The automated voice asked me for my 4 digit PIN number. I don’t have a PIN number, it’s an ONLINE ACCOUNT(actually, after some thought later I do have a PIN, my mind was just not picking up on that, my bad) so I hit ‘ZERO’. The guy I got on the phone took TEN minutes to find my account and the cause of the lock down on my transfers. Then it took him ANOTHER ten minutes to find out what he was supposed to do about it. This wasn’t looking good for my lunch. So I told him I didn’t have the time for this, that I had to go have my lunch and he LAUGHED at me. Yeah. Laughed at me that I had a lunch hour to consider. Nice. The next day I tried again. Again when the automated voice asked for my PIN, I hit zero. It told me again to enter in my four digit pin, I hit zero. I went through this 4 times before it finally connected me to a person. The girl that answered the phone was very pleasant and I was happy to be dealing with her, until she told me that she would have to transfer me to internet banking.(*this is very important for later.) Great. The guy I got? WOW. Not as bad as the guy the day before, whom I could at least understand, this guy, not so much. Guy #2 was faster on the draw with the whole situation, I’ll give him that, but his tone was downright condescending. He asked me a few questions to “verify” my identity.
“What type of account do you have with us?”
“On line savings.”(*this is also very important for later.)
Your birth date?”
“Blah blah.”
“What is the date you opened the account?”
“The date?”
“Yes, when did you open the account?”

My mind went blank. This was a very interesting security type question, and if I hadn’t had my paper work with me in my office, I would have flunked it. I can tell you, I don’t really remember when I opened my ‘real’ bank account either; I’ve had it so long.

“Oh, um, hang on a sec, Blah, yeah, BLAH.”
“Ok, at which branch did you open the account??”
“What Branch? It’s an ON LINE ACCOUNT.”(* I was unaware that an on line account has branches, who knew? Especially since I was talking to an INTERNET banking specialist.)
Yes. Ok, now these are the questions I’m going to ask them, so you know in advance. The account number, if you are still the owner of the account, and if the account is still active.”
“Ok, fine.”
“Now I need the number of your bank so I can call them.”
“Ok, it’s their 1-800 number.”
“That’s fine.”
I gave him the number, which he dialed. My ‘real’ bank went through its own automated version of prompts. We came to the end and Guy #2 never picked anything.
“Uh, Miss DH, are there any other options from which to choose?”

Now mind you, he never told me I’d be driving the ship on this whole thing. I didn’t know I was supposed to be picking the prompts or anything. I figured he’d be doing it all.

At this point we were connected to a person at my ‘real bank’.
“ ‘Real’ Bank, This is Suzy Q speaking, how may I help you?”
I said nothing, thinking he would take the lead on this.
He said nothing.
“ ‘Real Bank’ how may I help you?”
Again, complete silence from both of us.
Finally I chimed in, “I’m supposed to be on a conference call with you and another bank????!!”
“Ooook.” said Suzy Q from ‘Real’ Bank.
Guy #2? Said NOTHING.
“I don’t know what happened to him!!???” I was getting very irritated at this point.
He finally speaks up. “Hello yes! I’m Guy #2 from on line bank and I need to ask you a few questions about Miss DH’s account.”
“Allllright.” She was completely confused. “Ok. Ma’am, what is your SS# number?”
“Ok, thank you. What is your account number?”
“Ok, thank you Mrs. DHF(I had changed my name with them and I then feared when she called me by it, Guy #2 would shut the whole operation down because I hadn't changed it with them), how can I help you?”
“My account at my online bank needs to have the bank to bank transfers reinstated, and they need to ask you a few questions.”
“Oook. Go ahead.”
“Go ahead.”
“Yes. What is your name?” Guy #2 finally came on with.
“Suzy Q.”
“Can you spell that for me please?”
“Ok, thank you Q. (not miss, or mrs., just Q.) I need to know if Miss DH owns the account?” says Guy #2.
“Yes, she does.”
“Ok. Q,I need to verify the last four numbers of her account. Are they WXYZ?” (these would be the SAME numbers I just gave her so she could get into my account, which he heard since we were, after all, on a conference call.)
“Yes?” poor Suzy Q was completely confused by this whole thing.
“Good. And Q, her account is still active and able to receive transfers?”
“Ok! Thank you Q! You have answered all my questions.”
“Oook, Mrs. DHF, is there anything else I can help you with today?”
“No, thank you SUZY.”
Suzy Q from ‘real’ bank hung up and probably shook her head and then had a good laugh with her co-workers.
By this point I was gritting my teeth because Guy #2 was not bringing his A Game at all, and I was irritated that I’d just wasted 40 minutes over four very stupid questions. The whole thing was a joke.
“Well Miss DH, I will reinstate your bank to bank transfers right away! Is there anything else I can help you with?”
I was going to say No, but I decided I needed to say something.
“Actually, I would like to make a suggestion.” I said through gritted teeth.
“When things of this matter happen, it would be best to e-mail to a person’s personal account instead of using the bank internet mail. I don’t check that very often and this whole thing could have been prevented.”
“Well, yes I see, but we did send it to your personal account.”
Suddenly, he had complete access to EVERYTHING at the tip of his fingers! For the next five minutes he continued to ARGUE with me about what my e-mail address was, if I was in fact sent an e-mail and to top it off he said to me,
“Well Miss DH, I would suggest that you check your e-mail more often.”
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT????!!! Did he really just SAY THAT?!?!?!!?? OMG. At that point I said goodbye or I was going to come through the phone at him to verify that I have five fingers in each fists.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Technology Be Damned

We have an on line only savings account. When I opened it, it was making 4.25% interest. It was a great place to put away money for the wedding because they have no actual branches in our area so even if we were tempted to tap into it, we couldn’t without having to wait several days to have the money transferred to my actual bank, where we could then get at it. We decided after the wedding that we would keep the online savings account because at that point it was still offering a great interest rate and it would then become our “nest egg/emergency” money. Every now and again I would transfer money over from my ‘real’ bank to the on line bank. I set up one of these transfers a while back but forgot to transfer the amount from my ‘real’ checking account to my ‘real’ savings account from where the on line account would draw the money from. I set this up to happen on a Thursday. When I checked my e-mail on Friday morning I saw an e-mail from my on line account telling me that they attempted the transfer but there weren’t enough funds to cover it. They would attempt it again.

Fri 2/20/09 4:12 AM
You recently made the following funds transfer request: XXXXXXX.Unfortunately, we could not complete the request. The account provider from which you requested the funds be transferred has indicated to us that there are not sufficient funds in your account to honor the request. Because this could be a temporary problem in your account, we will automatically submit this transaction once more. If funds are still not available at that time, we will suspend, as a security precaution, your ability to make funds transfer requests. We advise you to check your account balance and deposit funds immediately, if needed. As a security precaution, future Bank To Bank Transfer Settlement Days for your Bank, Savings account have been extended to 4 days from the current 3 days due to insufficient funds activity. This restriction will be removed after you complete 3 successful transactions amounting to $1,000.00. If you have any questions about Internet Banking, please send a secure E-Mail from Internet Banking or call our Customer Relationship Center at XXXX. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will be happy to help you.

So I went online with my ‘real’ bank and transferred over the money.

Xfer $700.00

Thinking everything would be fine I went about my life and my weekend. Until I came in on Tuesday and get this e-mail from the on line bank:

Tue 2/24/09 4:16 AM
Dear DH, On February 19, 2009 (you can clearly see the above e-mail was in fact sent the 20th, splitting hairs, maybe.), we emailed you that there were insufficient funds in the account and that we would submit the request again. Unfortunately, we have submitted the request again and your account provider is still indicating to us that the funds in your account are insufficient. Please contact us to resolve the problem. As a security precaution, we have suspended your ability to request transfers until the matter is resolved. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Ok, I was a bit flummoxed. Unless in all actuality they only waited like 20mins from the time they sent the 1st e-mail until the time they attempted again, there was plenty of money to cover the transfer. So I logged into the account and sent them a secure Internet e-mail telling them it was ok to transfer the money now, because as you can see, they do not tell you just how exactly I needed to contact them. I heard nothing, and saw that in fact the transfer never took place. I let it go because during the waiting period F and I decided that the money would be needed soon and so it really wasn’t worth stashing it away on line. A month passed and F requested that I get some money out of the on line account so we could buy a car. I logged into the site and saw this message:


Thank you for contacting On Line Bank. We are unable to initiate a Bank to Bank Transfer on a customers behalf. Your Bank to Bank Transfer of $ from ‘Real’ Bank account to your On line Savings Account failed due to insufficient funds. In order to reactivate your Bank to Bank Transfer service and unsuspend the ‘Real’ Bank account for the Bank to Bank Transfers, it is necessary to initiate a conference call with ‘Real’ Bank so that we may verify a few details with them while you are on the phone. Please contact us at 1-800-XXX-XXXX. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

I’m sorry, a CONFERENCE CALL?? Are you quite serious?? I appreciate the “security” precautions that are being taken here, what with all identity theft and all, but I wasn’t sure how a “Conference Call” with my ‘real’ bank was going to prevent this. I had to cool off for a few days before I made the call………

Where have all the Stalkers Gone?

See that over there? ----->
Where my Digital Stalkers are listed??? ------>
I've lost two of them.
Where did you go?
Why have you abandoned me?
I swear that I have not taken out a P.P.O. against you!!!!
Please come back.
I miss you.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Good Intentions

That fabulous McD’s McGriddle I had the other day? Well some of the greasy goodness found its way onto my blouse. So I used my amazing TIDE Pen that I keep in my desk drawer (yeah, I gotta roll like that) and it didn’t banish the spot, which was a good inch by an inch and half. It faded a tad. So I Tide penned it again, still, only fading, but now I had a RING around the spot that the Tide pen left. This was getting worse, not better. I remembered I had some Woolite spot treatment wipes, and so I used one of those, hoping that the spot AND the ring around the spot would magically vanish.
The spot was still there.
The ring grew to a 4” X 4” nightmare that I had to live with everyone seeing just above my boob ALL DAY LONG.
I tried water too, that left yet another ring within the larger ring.
I should have just stayed in bed.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Color of Money

I woke up hungry and convinced myself on the ride into work that if I didn't stop at McDonald's I'd die before lunch. McDonald's is pretty much, literally across the street from us, more kiddy-corner, but anyway, I HAVE to drive by it on my into the office. I made the decision on the highway off ramp and swung the truck into the drive-thru. You know my one true breakfast love from McDonald's is the #6, Bacon, egg, cheese MCGRIDDLE, heaven and death in a hand sized bundle, oj, no coffee, PLEASE! I roll up to the drive-thru pay window and hand over my $20 spot. (amazing, I had cash on me! plus, most ATMs don't give out 10s anymore.) Last time I was there, the cashier did the whole "light test" where she held it up to the light looking for the little strip thingie. I thought that was a bit much for a $20, but what do I know? I'm no longer in the retail business, so I don't know, counterfeiting might be hitting McD's hard. This time? This time she scanned my $20 with some thing. SCANNED IT. BOTH SIDES. I couldn't believe it! What is that all about? Where can I get me one of those? And what does it say about the area I work in that McD's is scanning the CASH, yo?????

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Reflections of me

I looked in the mirror this morning while doing my make-up and did not recognize the face staring back. The hair seemed darker, the nose looked fatter, the cheeks were puffier, the eyes had sunken dark circles under them, the chin was thicker. I was shocked. Slightly horrified. What had happened to me? What is going on? Why do I look this way? And what the hell can I do to change it? I blinked. It didn't go away. I stared a little harder at myself, and I think for the first time in my life, I saw my age. My REAL age. I've never felt my age. When I was a kid, I felt I was too old for my age, as I got older, I've felt I am too young for my age.
If this is what my real age is going to be, I prefer the denial.
Mirror Mirror on the wall, what the hell has happened to it all?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Name Change Journey, Part II

My third stop of the Name Change Journey was the bank that supports one of my credit cards. I tried to change my name on line, but it said I had to go to a bank. Luckily, and I do mean amazingly luckily, there was one of these banks across the parking lot from where I updated my driver’s license. I went in to the teller and said, “Hi, I need to change my name on my credit card??”
“Really? Hang on a sec.”
I was directed to a desk of a woman who was stick thin and happily munching on chocolate.
“You need to change your name? You get married?”
“Well congratulations! However, I’m not sure how this is going to work. See, we don’t OWN your credit card, we just support it, so I don’t know if I’ll have access.”
“Really? the website said I HAD to come to one of the bank branches to do this.”
After several minutes of us both exclaiming in disbelief about how the whole credit card/bank thing was set up wrong and how silly it was that I had to come to the bank, she got my name changed, but could not request a new card with said name on it for me.
How messed up is that?
Anyway, she gave me one of her chocolates. A bite sized Easter bunny Resse's.
“Here, these things are ADDICTIVE!”
She soooo wasn’t kidding.

That was so much nicer than the condescending jerk I dealt with at MY personal bank on my fourth and final stop.
You could tell the man was less than pleased to be interrupted to actually help a customer. He begrudgingly moved aside his work as I slide my marriage license across the desk. He scowled the ENTIRE TIME I was there. He squinted at my driver’s license, squinted at the marriage license, and then scowled at me as he said, “there’s an awful lot of hyphens here.”
“There’s only ONE hyphen, in the last name. Really, I’m only ADDING a name.”
“Grunt. *Scowl*”
What a jerk! I sat there and thought, buddy how old do you think I am? That you think you can talk to me like a kid! You sexiest prat! But, I keep my mouth shut as I shot him dirty looks.
After much sighing and hmphing on his part, my name was changed on my account. It wasn’t until after I fled from there that I realized I would need a new ATM card as well. I wasn’t going back. No thanks! I’ll save that for another time. Besides, I’d just gotten a new card anyway, after I “lost” mine on the floor of the car.

The last piece of the Name Change Journey? My Pass Port. Thankfully, if I read the website correctly, all of THAT can be done via mail.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Still Surprised By It

F and I were at the eye doctor the other day. His appointment was before mine so I got there a little later. The receptionist blindsided me with several “Your Husbands”. “Oh your husband is already here.” “I’ll put that under your husband’s heading.” “I’ll use the same insurance card as your husband’s.” It totally stunned me. I’m still not use to other people referring to F as my husband. Me? I refer to him that way all the time. I enjoy saying it. “My husband.” It’s the “Your Husband” that I’m still getting accustomed to. I think part of it is because I feel like everyone doesn’t know (outside of family and co-workers, and people who read the announcement in my small hometown paper, of course) and I want it to still be my little “TA-DA….. I’m MARRIED!!!!!” and when they come out of the gate with “Your Husband” it kind of steals my long awaited thunder.
Selfish? Yeah, maybe. I waited along time to have a husband, and I’m not quite ready to share the announcing part of it with anybody else yet.
I still get misty looking at the wedding pictures too.
So sue me.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What’s in a Name Anyway?

I took the day off to become “official” with the whole last name thing. Remember this story started on a Saturday when I was denied out right? So, anyway, I took a day off to get all of this corrected and hashed out. I headed out to my first stop, my stomach telling me in advance that I would most likely encounter some kind of issue. Let me back up 30+ years, to my birth. My mother and father could not agree on my name so decided to put all the choices together, giving me a first name, and two middle names; and we aren’t even royalty. All told, I had 4 names. When my mother received my Birth Certificate, my 2nd middle name was misspelled. This misspelling made the name the “male” version, which, clearly, I am NOT. However, since it was “only” a middle name, they never bothered to have it corrected. I said I would do it when I turned 16, I didn’t. Then I said I would do it when I turned 18, again, slacked off. It didn’t happen when I turned 21 or 30, I just couldn’t be bothered. I know, I shot myself in the foot on this one.
Back to current time……
Upon arriving at the Social Security office I take my number and take my seat. I begin to freak myself out. I had filled out the paper work ahead of time, nicely typed, and corrected, and typed and corrected, changing the “misspelled” name a million times over.(not really, just like twice) I get sweaty, antsy. I was all manner of worked up when finally my number was called.
(Ok, I KNOW this isn’t that big of a deal, and I totally blew it out of portion, but for whatever reason I was just really freaked that they would turn me away and I would be caught in this months long battle to simply add F’s last name to mine. I was being overly dramatic, I have no idea why.)
I head up to the non-private window determined to be polite and disarmingly charming.
“HI! I’m here for a name change!” as I hand over my neatly typed form and marriage license and Pass Port.
“OK, great.” He begins to look over the paperwork and his forehead furrows.
“There are a lot of different spellings here.”
“Yeah, I know, it’s spelled so many different ways on so many different things. *weight of the world sigh*”
“Is this how it is on your Birth Certificate?”
“Yes, they misspelled it.”
“WELL! (overtly cheerful!) That’s not a misspelling! That’s who you ARE! That’s your NAME! Here’s not where you’d change that!”
And for whatever reason, I kinda, slightly, lost my cool.
“It doesn’t need to be changed, it needs to be corrected. Its spelled A-B-C-D-E-F-G, NOT A-B-C-E-F-G. I didn’t have anything to do with the change on, on, the, oh, the…..”
And here is where I start to sputter. I knew I shouldn’t push the government worker, but my brain decided to turn to mush on me. It took me a good 2 minutes of sputtering to finally get out, “PASS PORT!” instead of Post Office. I felt the heat rise in my face. This is NOT the way I wanted this to go down.
“And how is it on your Social Security card?”
“I think it only has the first middle name on it.” (it actually, I found later, only has my first middle initial on it, neither of the middle names are spelled out.)
Several long moments of agonizing silence pass. The Government Worker is typing away on his computer.
“Ok. Well, here it is, now look over everything and make sure it is all correct. When you go to your next stop, see if they’ll change it on your driver’s license, because really, you want all these things to match up.”

VICTORY WAS MINE!!!!!! PROPERLY SPELLED MIDDLE NAME!!!! Hyphened LAST NAME!!! I walked out of the Social Security office with the weight of FIVE properly spelled names proudly about my shoulders!!!

With renewed hope I made my way to get my driver’s license changed. I even got pushed up in line as a “return customer”, even though I tried to explain to the man that I was a return from a WEEK AGO. I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth, so I took up the “no waiting, return customers only” spot.
I was called to the counter.
“HI! I’m here for a name change!” nice smile, nice innocent smile.
“Where’s your return pass?”
“I don’t have one.”
“You don’t? Who told you to come up here?”
“The man.”
“And they didn’t give you a return pass??”
“No?” confused innocence.
“Hmmm, I wonder why.”
*Innocent shoulder shrug and head shake* (I said a silent prayer to GOD to forgive me my half truthful lies)
“Ok, well, let’s get this done.”
She gets down to business and I try to slip in the spelling correction when she slides the paper over to me, “Can’t you, uh, change this so it matches up to what Social Security has?”
“No. That’s something you’ll have to go to court to have changed. We view that as you, legally.”
I decided not to push the issue. I had lined jumped after all.
New picture! New NAME! NEW LICENSE!
YES! Two down, two to go!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Um, NO!

Remember Mrs. Nosey? I just ran into her in the kitchen. She was eating leftover cake that someone had left on the counter. Directly out of the box. Over the box in fact so the crumbs fell back INTO the box. Eating directly from the cake. With the same fork. Over and over again.
I feel sick.
This is something you might do AT HOME. Where you are most likely RELATED to the other people who will eat the cake. Not at work where other, non-related, people may eat the cake. GAG!



Sunday, March 15, 2009

10 kids drink windshield wiper fluid at daycare

Now, I'm not saying I've never grabbed the wrong bottle. The other night I almost put lotion in my contact case, ALMOST. However, windshield washer fluid? HUGE label? Missed it did they? The SMELL, missed that too, did they??? It smells NOTHING like Kool-Aid!!! Makes me not want to put any potential future children in daycare, ya know???

Staff put liquid in fridge and it was mistakenly served as Kool-Aid

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Ten children drank windshield wiper fluid after a staffer at an Arkansas day care put the liquid in a refrigerator and mistakenly served it thinking it was a flavored drink mix, hospital officials said Friday.
Doctors estimate the children, ages 2 to 7, drank about an ounce of the fluid late Thursday afternoon before realizing it tasted wrong, said Laura James, a pediatric pharmacologist and toxicologist at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock.
Only one child remained hospitalized Friday morning after blood samples showed "measurable levels" of methanol, a highly toxic alcohol that can induce comas and cause blindness, officials said.
"All we know was that the individual at the day care had recently shopped and had come back to the day care with a lot of different products," James told The Associated Press. "This product was mistakenly grabbed and thought to be Kool-Aid and put in the refrigerator."
Julie Munsell, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services, identified the day care operator as Carolyn Bynum in Scott, about 15 miles east of Little Rock. Bynum declined to comment Friday.
Investigation under way Bynum had a state license to care for 10 children in her home and had no found complaints or serious compliance issues in the past, Munsell said. Child welfare investigators planned to interview Bynum on Friday.
"They'll go out, they'll get an explanation and they'll try to sort (it) out preliminarily," Munsell said.
Munsell said a suspension or license revokation (isn't this spelled wrong?)could be imposed pending an investigation.
The toxicologist warned that many antifreeze or windshield wiper solutions have bright colors, which can be mistaken for fruit drinks.
"I think the take-home message is not to have these products in the kitchen or where you're doing any kind of food preparation," she said.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hairless Suffering

Oh how we women suffer for beauty!! Waxing can be deadly! Who the hell knew?!?!

Nine Cosmetic Treatments to Rethink

Why do it: Waxing yanks unwanted body hair out by the roots. It's faster than tweezing and lasts longer than shaving. The problem: First off, burns from hot wax can be severe and are more common than you might think, according to the medical journal Burns. Waxing also leaves your body vulnerable to infection. In fact, the FDA advises people with weakened immune systems to avoid waxing entirely. Anyone using wrinkle creams or acne treatments that contain retinol should also rethink waxing. Retinol can make skin so sensitive that there's a risk of it peeling off along with the hair. But the biggest worry is topical skin-numbing cream, often used to make waxing and laser hair removal less painful. The FDA says drugs in the cream can end up in your blood. Use too much of it, or a cream that contains too high a concentration of the numbing ingredients, and the results can be life-threatening or even fatal. It's best to avoid numbing cream altogether, but if you do use it, the FDA says to choose a cream they've approved as safe, to use as little of the cream with the lowest amount of active ingredient as you can. The FDA also recommends leaving the skin uncovered (don't cover the treated area with plastic wrap or other dressing), and says to pick the correct cream with your doctor's help—not that of your hair stylist or spa technician.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ripely's Believe IT or NOT!

I don't mean to make my Blog into a recap of news stories, but some are just too weird or annoying not to share. Like this one. I had never heard of this condition?, is that what you'd call it? I'm not sure. Anyway, this kind of freaks me the hell out and also makes me extremely curious to actually SEE one of these things.

The curious case of the stone baby
Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 10:59 AM PT
By Diane Mapes
While a 92-year-old woman delivering a 60-year-old baby may sound like a bizarre plot twist from the movie “
Benjamin Button,” it’s true. Huang Yijun, 92, of southern China, recently delivered a child which she’d been carrying for well over half a century.
The baby wasn’t alive, however. The woman was
carrying a lithopedion — or stone baby. It's a rare phenomenon that occurs when a pregnancy fails and the fetus calcifies while still in the mother’s body.
According to Dr. Natalie Burger, endocrinologist and fertility specialist at Texas Fertility Center, lithopedions
start off as ectopic pregnancies, a condition where the fertilized egg gets stuck on its way to the womb, implants and develops outside the uterus.
“Usually an ectopic pregnancy will mean a [fallopian] tubal pregnancy, but in a small percentage of cases, the pregnancy can actually occur in the abdominal cavity — in places like the bowel, the ovary, or even on the aorta,” she says. “These are very rare locations and they can be very dangerous.”
In most cases, Burger says, doctors will recommend the pregnancy be terminated due to the extreme risk to the mother. Or the fetus will simply die on its own due to a lack of blood supply.
“The vast majority never get anywhere close to multiple months of pregnancy,” she says. “They die, the tissue breaks down and they’re gone.”
In certain cases, however, the implanted fetus gets to an advanced stage before it dies. Too large to be absorbed by the body, the remains of the child or its surrounding amniotic sac slowly calcify, turning to stone as a way to protect the woman’s body from infection from the decomposing tissue. Because the mother’s body doesn’t recognize the hardening mass as foreign, if there are no other complications she can basically just go on with her life.
Stone babies are extremely rare, but you wouldn’t know it considering how often they’ve been used as a plot device in novels, short stories and TV shows. For example, in recent years, they’ve shown up on “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Nip/Tuck” and the Australian series, “All Saints.” Maybe calcified babies are so popular because they
tap into a mythological fascination with or deep fear of a soft, innocent body turning to stone.
According to a 1996 paper in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, only 290 cases of lithopedion have ever been documented by medical literature, the earliest being that of a 68-year-old French woman Madame Colombe Chatri who, when autopsied after her death in 1582, was found to be carrying a fully-developed stone baby in her abdominal cavity. Chatri, whose abdomen was said to be “swollen, hard and painful throughout her life,” had been carrying her stone child for 28 years.
The mean duration of a “stone pregnancy,” according to the Journal article, is 22 years. Some women, such as China’s Huang Yijun, have carried their calcified fetuses for more than 50 years.
How could a woman walk around with a stone baby for years and years and not realize something was amiss?
“In some cases, there would be symptoms of an early pregnancy and then they would go away,” says Burger. “The women would just think they just lost a pregnancy and wouldn’t think any more of it.”
In other cases, a lack of money or medical resources comes into play. Huang Yijun told reporters she didn’t have the money to have her fetus removed after doctors told her it had died inside her in 1948. So, she simply “did nothing and ignored it.”
Other women, particularly those living in countries where obstetric care isn’t readily available, are unaware of their condition until the calcified mass causes a serious health issue. According to Burger, lithopedions — which can weigh up to nine pounds in the case of a full-grown fetus — have been known to cause intestinal obstruction, pelvic abscess, problems with delivery in
future pregnancy and fertility issues, among other things.
They’ve also been known to cause quite the public sensation.
In 1582, the autopsy findings of Madame Chatri – complete with illustrations depicting the woman and her stone child — became an instant medical bestseller and the calcified fetus was quickly sold to a wealthy French merchant (sort of the P.T. Barnum of his day) who put it on display at his museum of curiosities in Paris. The fossilized fetus reportedly changed hands several times after that, finally ending up in the King of Denmark’s royal museum in 1653. Two hundred years later, the museum was dissolved and the stone fetus was transferred to the Danish Museum of Natural History.
Several years after that, the stone baby was lost. Or perhaps laid to rest, at long last.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Who Are You?

Have you ever had a dream where you are yourself, but the opposite sex? What the HELL does that mean???????????????

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Just One Please

I have TMJ*. I acquired (and I say acquired instead of developed because I blame this solely on my crazy boss, she gave it to me) this while in my mid-twenties, when my Boss at the time went psycho and started micro-managing, it got to the point where she had to be medicated to come to work, seriously. My stress level hit the roof and it expressed itself through my teeth each night. I would wake up with horrible earaches and jaw pain that radiated into my neck. My dentist fitted me for a bite plate, and my world changed for the better. Granted I can’t sleep without it now, but it’s a small obsession I can deal with. Over the years said bite plate has become increasingly worn. A hole in the front, interior cracks on both sides in the back. My insurance only covers one bite plate. Ever. For my ENTIRE LIFE. The hole in the front continued to expand in size so I decided to see if short of shelling out $450 for a new one, the dentist could do something with the old one. And she did. She put fake nails on it. Ok, maybe not fake nails. But she did fill it with the same acrylic that is used to make acrylic fake nails. For 30mins I felt like I had a nail salon in my mouth. The smell, ugh. THE TASTE! Double UGH! It was thicker and all the wear and tear was hidden under a layer of fake nails. I was a tad concerned how my mouth would respond to this change; I was also concerned how ingesting fake nails would affect my stomach. I heard from my mouth first. More particularly my tongue. I awoke in the middle of the night to a great pain. I had bitten the very outer edge of my tongue, and holy hell how it hurt! It made it hard to close my mouth because my tongue was raw and sore and even the lightest touch against my teeth brought tears to my eyes. At night I was afraid to fall asleep lest I chomp down on it again. And there were some nights when I would awake again, tears of pain bursting forth because my tongue had taken another hit from my teeth and new bite plate. I determined that my tongue was getting pinched between my bite plate and my teeth because the “repaired” bite plate had changed the way my teeth were sitting against it. This continued for a little over a week until my tongue finally healed. Every now again, like last night, I nip my tongue again. And without fail, I wake up because of the pain. It stays sore all day, because like a missing tooth, you keep “checking” it to see if it’s still sore. I think I’m just going to have to break down and shell out the cash for a new bite plate. It would be nice to have a new, non-yellow bite plate. It used to be clear, until I soaked it in Original Listerine. Which is gold-ish in color. Um, yeah. I know my tongue would thank me. My wallet certainly won’t be happy.
I can get a new wallet at Kohl’s.
I can’t get new teeth there.

*There is an entire association for this? If you read over some of the stuff on the website it sounds like TMJ can become a rather serious condition. Dang!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

DNA, Hair sample and Finger Print Needed

I haven’t changed my name yet to reflect the fact that I am married. Well, that’s not completely true. I have changed it in a few places. My work e-mail. My FB account. My work Voicemail. One credit card. And checks from “our” Credit Union. I waited to change it because you must have an official copy of your marriage license and I knew that I couldn’t get a new Passport and driver’s license before we left for the Honeymoon, especially since I had to book the flight as ‘old me’ to match up to my credit card. Anyway, to say the least, I’ve been putting it off. And it has affected the whole “OMG!! I’m MARRIED!!!” feeling because it’s not right up there in my face every time I sign my name because as it stands now, I’m still signing as ‘old me’. So I finally decide to up and get it changed ASAP and started doing the research to make sure when I showed up at the gov’t offices I had all the paperwork I would need upfront. I was going to change my driver’s license first. It seemed simple enough, their website said all I would need was my certified marriage license. They even had hours on Saturday! Excellent! So I got up early on Saturday, showered, did my hair and make-up and made my way to the office. They opened at 9am, I arrived at 9:06am and there were already 60 people in front of me. HOLY CRAP! I waited my turn and smiled at the line lady, “Hi! I’m here to change my name!”
“Did you go to the Social Security Office first?”
“You have to go there first.”
“I do????”
“Yes. And then bring this back (hands me a form) when you come back here.”
“Um, ok.” I walk away defeated.
By the time I make it back home I am fuming! I stomp down to the basement to check the website again and there it is:

How to Change Your Name on a Driver's License or Personal ID Card
If you need to change your name on your driver's license or personal ID card you must go to a [redacted] to process the correction. Present your valid driver's license or personal ID card and proof of the name change. Proof of your name change must be established, such as a certified marriage license, divorce decree, or a legal name change document. A fee will be charged to correct your name and a new photograph will be taken.

See? Right there! The VERY FIRST thing!!! No mention of having to go to the Social Security Office first!!! I was PISSED. So I filled out their little “Tell Us How We’re Doing” section. While F is standing over my shoulder, “Don’t fill it out in anger. Calm down and tell them what happened. What do you want to say?”
“That they are a bunch of fucking idiots who need to make their website better!”

It ruined my entire weekend. I was ready to be “Official” and a stupid website prevented me from doing it! Here I had done my due diligence ahead of time and it totally back fired! Now I have to take an entire day off of work in order to do this. Social Security office, Driver’s license office, bank, bank( I have to go to the bank that owns my credit card in order to change my name) and who knows what else. Probably all the stores where I have credit cards too! GRRRRRRRR.
Boys have it so easy! They don’t have to plan the wedding OR change who they are!

NOT FAIR! *foot stamp*

Monday, March 09, 2009

What IS That Smell??

Is it just me, or should the eating of tuna fish as a lunch time meal in the office be banned?

Get your minds out of the gutter kids.

It makes the ENTIRE office building reek. UGH.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Should We Start Testing for I.Q. Before You're Allowed to Reproduce?

Here is more about the highly intelligent woman who was driving, talking on her cell, and breast feeding her baby.

"I'm following right behind her right now on Far Hills Avenue," the caller said as he spoke to a Kettering dispatcher in a recording of his non-emergency call that was released by police on Friday, Feb. 27. (this is what the guy said who reported her)
"I tried to say something to her. She literally has the little girl on the steering wheel and I said, 'I can't believe you have that kid in your lap and she said, 'You want to pop your titty out and breastfeed this kid?'
(nice, such fabulous manners)That's what she said to me. I'm like, 'You can feed your kid when you stop.' It's like wet out here. It's full of traffic. It's ridiculous. She's got like three other kids in the car."
The police came to the area and tried to locate the van, but could not find it. So they used the license plate number to track down her contact information, Burke said.
When a police officer spoke to her, she admitted she breastfed her child and also told police that she does not deprive her child when the child is hungry, Burke said.

Deprive?? DEPRIVE??? How about the fact that you are DEPRIVING your kid of it's safety!!! You stupid heffer.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

How Do You Do That?????

Texting while working out. This was something new. I’d heard about those crazy kids these days, texting while driving. Seriously, that is not a smart thing to do. But there she was, on the elliptical next to me, texting away. On a regular cell. Not one of those full keyboard ones, like what I have now(way cool), but a regular old, 3 letters to a key, cell. She’d get a message, turn down her iPod, spend several minutes sending back a lengthy response, put the phone back, turn the iPod back up and continue working out. All while not breaking her stride. It was mesmerizing. I am completely envious of her abilities. I thought I could multi-task with the best of them, but she truly put me to shame.
The girl next to her had on sound cancelling headphones. They looked so bulky and outdated, even though they were shiny new. Amazing how your perceptions change.
Ah, to be young again and not have to worry about losing your balance on the elliptical.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Who Are These People?

Woman has 911 meltdown over McNuggets
Fla. police say she called emergency number 3 times after store runs out

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Authorities say a Florida woman called 911 three times after McDonald's employees told her they were out of Chicken McNuggets.
A police report says 27-year-old Fort Pierce resident Latreasa L. Goodman told authorities she paid for a 10-piece last week but was later informed the restaurant had run out.
She says she was refused a refund and told all sales were final. A cashier told police she offered Goodman a larger portion of different food for the same price, but Goodman became irate.

"This is an emergency. If I would have known they didn't have McNuggets, I wouldn’t have given my money, and now she wants to give me a McDouble, but I don’t want one," Goodman told police, according to The Stuart News. "This is an emergency."
Police say Goodman was cited on a misuse of 911 charge. A current phone listing for Goodman couldn't be found.
A McDonald's spokesman says Goodman should have been given a refund, and she's being sent a gift card for a free meal.

Seriously?? 911 over nuggets?!?!?!!?!? Granted they told her wrong about the whole refund thing, but seriously. 911!!!!!!!

Where Did It Go?

Have you ever gone to the grocery store with a list, buy all the items ON said list and then discover they are missing once you get home? This happened to me. The Grocery Void has struck again. I went to the store on my lunch hour for several items and I CLEARLY remember buying them because I remember standing in the aisle comparing prices. The items that needed refrigeration were brought into the office, the others left in the car. At the end of the day, I loaded the items into the van and went home, placing them in their proper place. Several days later when it came time to make the meal with said items, they were no where to be found. I even had F check the car for me. I even found the receipt! They were ON it!!!
Items currently missing: 2 packages of taco seasoning. 1 can of tomato puree. If you see items, please contact me immediately! I need to know where I lost them so I'll stop going crazy.

Side item: I scrub the bathtub so hard over the weekend that the muscle in my forearms hurt every time I type something. Making my work day so much more less enjoyable. And it STILL looks dirty! But I know it is not! This stupid tub is stained or something. If you have any cleaning tips for evil tubs please let me know!!!

My forearms thank you in advance.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Um, wait? But! ***UPDATED***

So the ladies that decided for everyone about the mile stone birthday, decided that the office of the person needed to be decorated. But the lady who was suppose to have the decorations just up and left. With not a word to myself and G, who said we'd stay late the night before and decorate.
What is that? How can you make a decision, tell people what to do, and then not give them the stuff they are suppose to do it with???
So now we get to wait and see what the fallout will be when the others come in the morning and there are no decorations.

They all came in early and decorated. But never mentioned the plan change to G and me. Not a word was spoken about who did what, or why it wasn't done the night before. The one lady who decided we needed a speciality cake, also decided that she wanted cake NOW! because SHE was hungry, so we had cake sans G who arrived a few minutes later. Oooooooooook.

Monday, March 02, 2009

It's Been Decided

They have struck again. Those ladies who decide for everyone else. Forcing gift giving where ever they go. They who don't participate themselves. Yes, a milestone birthday has arrived for one in our group. I overheard the conversation of two of them deciding what to do. Expensive speciality cake? Check. "Forced" chipping in? Check. Mandatory group meeting to "decide" what to do? Check.
I don't mind participating, I've said it before. What I mind is the forcing. What I mind is announcing the decided plan, then asking for input, as an afterthought.
I need a chill pill on a daily basis with these women.

OMG, Gene Pool Needs Cleaning

Really? She's an idiot. PULL OVER FOR 10 mins!!!! Seriously.
Breast-feeding, cell-using driver charged
Ohio police cite woman with child endangerment

KETTERING, Ohio - Police in Ohio say a woman has been charged with child endangerment after another motorist reported she was both breast-feeding the youngster and talking on a phone while driving.
Police in the Dayton suburb of Kettering say the caller told them he saw the woman Thursday.
Officer Michael Burke says authorities used a license plate number to track down 39-year-old Genine Compton.
He said the woman told officers she was breast-feeding and wouldn't let her child go hungry.
Burke said the legal concern is that Compton had a child in her lap while driving, not that she was breast-feeding in public.
He said the child was under 2 years old.
Police say the woman faces up to 180 days in jail and a $1,800 fine if convicted of the misdemeanor.