Friday, June 19, 2015

Them Grammar Statistics Ain't Right, Is They?

Hello, peeps. I am very busy trying to move out of state (from IL to FL), so I'm dealing with buying and selling, the realtor, the banker, the inspectors, inspectors, inspectors, and all of the fun things involved with moving. Thus, my dear blog has been somewhat silent lately. I hate to ignore my poor blog, so today, being a true blue word nerd, I decided to post an infographic provided by Grammarly.

What do you think of the profile? Does anything stand out to you?

Anatomy of a Grammar Nerd Infographic
Everyday Underwear readers, the thing that stood out to me was the way the statistic about grammar enthusiasts' marital statuses was worded, "50% of grammar enthusiasts are single." Think about that for a moment. My brain immediately went through that statement and pulled out the thought that a high percentage of grammar nerds are single! But that isn't what it says. As many grammar nerds are married as are single, apparently, but the fact that the word single is the only one mentioned makes it stand out and makes your brain think that it's a majority. At least, mine did. I'm curious, did yours do the same thing?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Penis Interruptus

Hey, guess what? I'm not dead! And furthermore, I'm doing another penis post! That's right, as if one penis post on Everyday Underwear wasn't enough... I've had another accidental penis-ing.

Yes, I believe it's high time I address the longfellow again since I was recently assaulted by such a fleshy intruder. By the way, may I just tell you that I found a resource listing 174 ways to call a penis something other than a penis and so I'll be using that. I'll be using that a lot.

Have you ever received a one-eyed snake picture out of the blue? I'm not referring to random porn spam. I'm talking about personalized pork sword sent straight to your instant messenger app. No? Just me? Well, that figures.

Funny story. I had a guest post candidate picked. I had befriended him long ago online and was impressed with his work. I even gave some free criticism and consultation to him on his writing and website. He was a good writer and I accepted his guest post submission, with some tweaking. He presented nothing but professionalism to the highest degree in our dealings. We played Words with Friends, talked writing, and he was a very down to earth and eager writer in search of a leg up.

One Saturday night around 12:30, I received an instant message notification that he had sent a picture. I was busy doing my own thing and didn't immediately look, but figured it was a beach picture. Odd that he would send one at that time of the night, but whatever. He just so happens to live in the area to which I will soon be moving. Yes, I've been a bit busy selling our house and buying another one in Florida, but more on that another time. Right now, we're talking about the skin flute.

Before I had a chance to finish what I was doing and look at the picture, I received several panicked messages in a row from him in the following vein:

"OMG, I'm so sorry!"
"Oh no, I didn't mean to send that to you!"
"Please forgive me. That was meant for someone else!"

Hmmmm, I thought. I bet I know what it is, but I could be wrong. Sending a picture of a tallywhacker doesn't seem like something he would do at all.

I held my breath and cautiously opened the message, knowing that I would have to scroll past whatever it was in order to read the messages, and hopefully the explanation for whatever this offending picture could be.

My face says it all:

Yep, it was, in fact, a schlong-a-long-a-ding-dong, ready for business.

Oh crap, not this, I thought. What am I supposed to do with that! (Blog about it, of course. Duhhhh!Oh, dear. Oh, dear. I wasn't expecting this. What the heck?

My immediate thought was to block him from all connected channels without a word. But then, I determined that it probably really was a horrible mistake and I should give the guy the benefit of the doubt that this was a terrible mistake, never to be perpetrated upon me again.

I don't remember exactly how I responded, but I took the cool cucumber (no pun intended) approach and humorously chided him, telling him it was lucky he sent it to a cool chick like me and not to his mother. I figured by the late Saturday night hour that he was quite possibly intoxicated. I could tell by his responses that he was very embarrassed and regretful and I pointed out to him that he would live in fear for the rest of his life that I would blog about his wiener schnitzel, which I unashamedly am doing - right - now.

I pointed out to him that I had done a penis post before and shared the link. It was then that he crossed the line just a teeny weeny bit. He asked me what I thought of his junk. I knew better than to respond in any encouraging way and told him that I had already deleted the picture from my memory and would never be thinking of it again. I also deleted the entire message thread so that I couldn't even accidentally see it again. I'm happily married. I have no desire for accidental eye-strange, as I've stated before.

Rachel Thompson would slap me upside the head for not blocking him immediately. It's truly a sexual abuse survivor's worst nightmare to be accosted by a strange baloney pony. Luckily, I am healed of past transgressions and it was no trigger for me. But for some women, it would be a major setback to have this happen.

I took some time to let the whole thing sink in and analyze what to do with the situation, and after a great deal of thought, I decided that I could not promote his work on my blog. It was actually a very hard (no pun intended) decision to make. However, I couldn't get past the fact that if he accidentally did this to me, he might accidentally do it to someone else; someone else in a professional capacity, hiring him because I featured him on my blog.

It was a bad mistake on his part. I e-mailed him and told him of my decision and said that I hoped he could understand why I could no longer put up his post, which was scheduled to be my next one, within the week.

This next part... well, I just can't even...

He e-mailed me back and said that he was shocked about my decision, but that it was my blog and whatever and wished me luck.

As I contemplated how to respond, possibly suggesting an explanation or something rational from him as to why he was sending disco stick pictures to anyone, especially in light of the fact that he had just commented before that on Facebook that he was okay with being alone and not dating, which I was wanting to verify that I remembered correctly, I realized that he had blocked me from every connection we had.

Yes, you read that right. He. Blocked. Me.

Wait, he blocked me? Oh my God, he blocked me for real. HE blocked ME.

Well, I never. The audacity! His maturity level presented itself in a glorious all-time low. I refrained from responding or reacting publicly because - well, why? I had better things to focus on at the time.

I am now compelled to add this rule to my guest blogging guidelines.

"If you, at any point, either accidentally or purposefully, send me a picture of your genitalia, I will be forced to remove you as a candidate for publication on Everyday Underwear."
--Sincerely, the Management

Thank you and good night.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Stepping Into the Lymelight... Again

You may have noticed a decrease in the amount of posts I've been churning out lately. I know, it's paltry, to say the least. Let me update you on what I am up against.

On October 11, 2014, not even a prime-time-for-ticks month, I found a tick attached. This is no new news for me, the self-purported queen of ticks. But this one was different. He was very cleverly hidden beneath my left buttock, right where my underwear elastic hits. Even though I check for ticks meticulously, this area was very hard to see and I missed it. I knew it had been there for 24-36 hours, though, because I had felt it and thought I had successfully brushed it away after a walk. Apparently, I hadn't. Or he was hiking my body on the buddy system and I got him, but not his friend.

I discovered him because of the pain. It literally woke me up in the middle of the night. The pain was sharp and intense where he was attached and I knew immediately this was no ordinary tick bite. They usually do not involve pain like that.

Having been to this rodeo before, I knew that antibodies would not even show up yet if I were to be tested, so I waited and sure enough, two weeks later, I could tell I had been reinfected. My doctor agreed to test me, but lo and behold, the results were negative on 10/27/14. The lab also admittedly did not know what to test me for and also told me, "Tell us what to do!" Still, their testing did not produce any results. Thankfully, a full two years after my first Lyme diagnosis nightmare, which she was fully aware of, she told me that I knew more about Lyme than she did and that she would put me on whatever I suggested at whatever dosage I felt I should have and she agreed to refer me to a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor.

I went to see my new LLMD on December 10 and was again tested, this time with LabCorp, a doctor who knew what to look for and test for, and antibodies with ample time to present themselves, even though I'd been treating with Doxycycline already. I was both glad and sad that yep, I had Lyme again. I am not even sure if it is a new infection or the old one reactivated, or chronic Lyme, which some say doesn't exist, but the nurse said they felt like it was a new infection. Nevertheless, I have it. I also was surprised to learn that I have Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and reactivated Epstein-Barr Virus. I also had two forms of Pneumonia show up, but from what I understand, they are not current infections, just remnants of something not caught years ago. Lyme can reactivate things laying dormant in the body.

I have been put on a slew of medicine. My LLMD didn't even wait, he said the clinical diagnosis and the fact that I had such a strong positive the first time in the Lyme rodeo and the fact that symptoms had never completely resolved were enough to warrant treatment before the results came back. So I am now taking Folic Acid, Metronidazole, Nystatin, Doxycycline (twice the dosage as before) and Fluconazole. I also take a probiotic, a Salt/Vitamin C regimen, a multivitamin, and a Professional Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol called Argentyn 23. If I can remember, I also use oregano oil and Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar.

However, I've been getting sicker and sicker since the beginning of January. Today, I was so sick that I could not even take my meds. The mere thought of swallowing one of those pills made me nauseous. I knew I wouldn't keep them down. I got up to get the girls off to school, went back to bed for a few hours, got back up and ate breakfast, then lay back down for most of the afternoon, totally zonked and feeling like I'd been hit by a bus.

My symptoms are very similar to what they were before my initial diagnosis in 2012.

  • Weak, shaky feeling, especially in the legs
  • Easily fatigued doing normal things
  • Itching and pressure at the base of the back of my head
  • Trouble thinking
  • Trouble with both long-term and short-term memory
  • Cry easily
  • Joints popping
  • Joint stiffness
  • Rashes
  • Unexplained sharp pains in the body
  • Major sleep disturbance

This disease is awful. I am hoping that the medicines are causing die-off (also known as a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction) and that I am actually seeing the results of that and it isn't the medicines making me sick. It's so hard to tell. I spend about 50% of my day sitting around on the couch, mumbling, "I don't feel good..." to the point that I don't even want to say it anymore because I feel like such a whiner.

I have a life to live, dang it! I don't have time for this. But I must make time for it or it will kill me. Yes, people can die from Lyme disease, in case you didn't know that. I've had those days. Today, I told my husband I felt like I was on my death bed. He brought me orange sherbet and made me supper and massaged me and it has helped a lot. I feel tremendously better and as I write this, I feel like I might just be able to be normal tomorrow. Lyme is like that for me. From hour to hour, I'm never sure how I will feel.

Remember, you don't know what a person is dealing with behind closed doors and my disease is one of those "invisible" diseases. Most days. I don't look sick, but I am fighting for my life. Tomorrow, you might see me out and about, doing my normal Wednesday routine, looking like nothing in the world is wrong, when just a day prior, I felt close to death. Earlier today, I felt weak, useless, down in spirit, simply ill.

The good news is that my immune system is good and fighting like mad to defeat the army of tick borne nasties wreaking havoc in my blood, cells, joints, and organs. I have a good doctor and am being offered an opportunity to try another therapy which I will be blogging about in the future. It helps things besides Lyme, so if it's awesome, I will be more than happy to tell you about it!

I don't want to talk about my illness a lot on this blog. It's supposed to be a humor blog and full of funny sentences. I'm just not finding the joy to be able to spread it lately, but don't give up on me. I'll be back. You can bet your buns, I'll be back. Hopefully, my funny bone will remain unaffected by spirochetes and Everyday Underwear can return to what it once was. I'm a writer and I will do whatever it takes to regain the ability to entertain you. I just have to focus on this little bug for a bit.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

If You Love Christmas, Don't Read This Post

Christmas is all about sugary goodies, holiday spirit, giving, family and love. Oh, and of course, Christ. You go to that special church service and watch small children enact and recite things badly and butcher Christmas songs. And you still go, awwwww, because that's what you do. You go to grandma's, your in-laws', your step-family's get-together, and maybe drink too much at a holiday work party. You shop and wrap until you are physically damaged and you brave malls and cyberspace with enthusiasm to find everyone the perfect gift.

And if you are a parent, you play the special role of Santa, which involves all sorts of tasks that require staying up later than the kids, which can get very, very, very late as they get older.

Most years, I enjoy all of this.

But sometimes... well... I get sick of Christmas.

This year, I love Christmas! Last year, however, my husband and I made a bold decision. We were sick of Christmas and we wanted OUT! That's right. We wanted nothing to do with Christmas last year. We wanted to escape it, as a matter of fact, and that's just what we did.

Home, Christmas 2014, refreshed!

We called the grandmas and asked if they could watch our cherubs (13 and 15 year old girls, at the time), take care of some of our animals, found boarding for our indoor/outdoor dog and special needs dog, handed off the presents, and told everyone, "We're outta here!" We took off and had a fantastic and much needed vacation in Florida.

It was the first vacation my husband and I had alone in 10 years of marriage. We had been so stressed out by raising kids, pressures of work and the feast or famine nature of my husband's job, family matters, church obligations, busy schedules, and the commercialization of what was supposed to be a holiday in honor of the birth of Christ. We'd had it. We just didn't care anymore.

We needed a break. We needed adventure. We needed new surroundings. We needed rest. We needed complete rejuvenation. It sounds like we were being giant Christmas scrooges, but honestly, it was one of the best things we've ever done. More than once, as we relaxed in the warm weather, away from the Christmastime demands of home, we drank a glass of wine with dinner and became emotional, shedding tears of released stress.

We learned something about ourselves on that trip. We learned that it's okay to take a break now and again from tradition. We learned the earth won't stop spinning if we're not home for Christmas. We learned that we are not comfortable living an existence of "making do" and going through the motions day after day, year after year. We learned that we need a break from our kids. We learned that we need a break from family. We learned that we need a break from church. We learned that we needed a break from Christmas craziness. We learned we needed to socialize and travel, meeting new people and seeing new places.

It. Was. Blissful.

Instead of spending Christmas Day doing the same old thing, we instead started the day with a gourmet breakfast in bed plus fresh fruit at the Bed & Breakfast, complete with mimosas on the little porch outside our suite.

Coombs Inn, Apalachicola, FL

My husband went fishing at the nearby ocean. We met another couple from Italy at the B&B (in America celebrating their honeymoon) and on Christmas evening, we cooked them supper. We shared stories with our new friends and laughed and discussed the difference in our cultures. The wife spoke little English, but the husband spoke English fairly well. Giulia and Alberto Alberti were so interesting, friendly, and warm and we really enjoyed our new friendship with them. We could not have had that experience in Vandalia, IL!

Giulia, my husband Neil, me, and Alberto

We came back refreshed and ready to face reality again. And this year, I couldn't have been happier about Christmas. I didn't mind the over-commercialization. I braved the mall, Walmart, and cyberspace in search of perfect gifts. I hummed Christmas tunes. I wrapped presents until my criss-crossed legs went numb. We're participating in all of the get-togethers with joyful anticipation. I attended the church program and appropriately went, awwwwww, because that's what you do. I'm happy that Jesus was born and that we celebrate that birth.

I'm happy to say that we escaped Christmas last year so that we could love it once again. We're considering going away every other year now. I'm giving you permission to do this, too. Refresh. Rejuvenate. And just maybe, once in a while, you might even take the kids.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday season. Be safe. Be love. Be free.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Four local lives lost - please help!

I'm afraid to say that today isn't a good news Cindy's being funny again kind of day. I do have many serious subjects to talk about for a while, and this one is worthy of blog space and sharing, for sure.

Thursday night, my daughter was in the local Halloween parade. She was already in town with the other cheerleaders and my oldest daughter went in to watch. I stayed home from the parade for the first time. It's always so cold and the parade is so long! I was happy to not be begged to go this year.

From my warm and comfy couch, I read with horror on Facebook that there had been a train/vehicle accident right by the parade route and there were fatalities. I must admit, I thought, "Oh no, I bet it's my daughter." She just got her license recently and I honestly did think, like many others that night about their own loved ones, "Was it her?"

I took a deep breath and sent texts to both of my children, in true optimistic humorous fashion:

"I heard there was a train accident. Please confirm your continued existence."

Within the hour, I knew that my babies were alive and well. But one family in our community wasn't so lucky to receive that text or a reassuring call.

A mother from a nearby town on her way to the parade became trapped on the tracks with a freight train bearing down on her and the gates closed around her. She tried to get out, but was unable. It was dark, rainy, and a confusing crossing site.

She has five children. Four were in the vehicle with her. Three children were killed on impact; 18 year old Alyssa, 13 year old Drake, and 10 year old Abbie. Another son, 9 years old, was in the vehicle, but is expected to survive. The mother, Crystal, died the following day. The fifth child and the husband/father were not in the vehicle.

Four lives taken, just like that. I can't imagine the heartbreak the surviving members of this family are experiencing. The challenges they face are insurmountable. A funeral bill should be the last thing on their list of things to figure out how to take care of. It has been rough on the whole community... heartbreaking, even if you had no idea who they were. My oldest daughter knew the oldest girl and several of my daughter's friends were close friends with the girl.

Please give a donation to their GoFundMe campaign to help pay for the massive funeral costs here. Hug your loved ones. Pray for the survivors. And please share the fundraising campaign on your social media sites. I can't stop thinking, that could have been me and my kids. And it could have. I count each day more precious than before.

Sometimes, our fate is beyond our control, but what the community at large does to rally around in a time of need is something that truly renews my faith in mankind. We are a good people and we want to help. For this reason, I remain glad for my continued existence as a human being. Forgo your latte this week and help this family, I beg of you. They are half way to the goal of $30,000 in just two days. EVERY donation counts. Thank you!