Some Christmas Favorites

This is a small list of some favorite Christmas movies (basically the ones I have to watch in order for my Christmas season to feel complete):

  • White Christmas-This movie has childhood memories. I remember cooking stew on the stove with a sore throat, excited to watch it. My mom was sick, but I couldn’t wait to see Danny Kaye.
  • Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas – For me, this is a classic. I remember when it was on TV every year. I couldn’t get into the Jim Carrey version.
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas – It isn’t Christmas until I have watched this. Religious message aside, this is a great little special.
  • Home Alone – Of the original two, this is my favorite (I am also a fan of the third one). It feels more realistic, unlike a kid wandering around NYC and somehow being able to dupe a hotel into giving him a room.
  • A Christmas Carol – I like the Reginald Owen version, in the original black and white.
  • The Christmas Card – This is one of a very few Hallmark movies I like. I first saw it in 2008, right after we had moved to Oregon. All the snow made me angsty for a white Christmas, but I really love this movie.
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – I had originally seen this at my cousin’s house the week of my grandma’s funeral. Thought it was stupid. Watched it last year because I had a raging migraine for background noise, and loved it. I’m weird.
  • Christmas With Holly
  • A Holiday Affair – Saw this for the first time last year on TCM, and it is now on my list of favorites.
  • Scrooged – It is a ridiculous parody of A Christmas Carol, but I love it.
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Mom

I’m currently evaluating the role of my mom in my life. Events are happening that make me take stock of how much she means to me, and I feel that at some point, I will touch more upon this subject in the future.

I went from iOS to Android (not an ad)

And what a journey it has been.

At the end of May, I suffered from agonizing neck pain. And I believe I mentioned that I had gone to bed on the couch one night with my phone at 68%, but when I woke up the next morning, it was telling me the battery was low.

So, I became the black sheep and got an Android. I had been plotting this move for months. Why, you might ask? I was tired of being controlled by Apple. After a certain point, Apple’s batteries become shit (obviously) so that you are compelled to trade it in for a newer, more expensive model. I was tired of being a monkey, so I started looking into Android models in January.

Almost immediately, I was drawn to the Google Pixel 2. I snuck behind my sisters’ backs and looked at one at Target. I thought it was a beautiful phone, and the more I read about them, I just wanted it.

So June comes along, and I make the choice. By this point, my youngest sisters know what I am doing, and I have been “disowned.” I get the phone, and within a few days, I knew things were wholly different.

An Android is not a smartphone that is so inherently different that you are puzzled by how it works, but it is a whole other ball of wax in many ways:

  • The first being cases. A smartphone is an investment. You want to protect it from mishaps. Google Pixels DO NOT have many options in regard to cases, if you want something pleasing to the eye or relatively cheap. Some might not have trouble shelling out $40+ for a phone case. I do.
  • The apps. I have two or three apps on my phone that I also had on my iPhone, and the differences are staggering. They are at least 6-12 months behind iOS. My Target app on the iPhone had an option to create your grocery list within the app, with helpful guides on aisles where the items are located (which would be helpful, since Target is moving their aisles around for a useless remodel). The Android app doesn’t have the feature, and it doesn’t look like it will before Christmas. Also, what gives with Apple apps getting dibs on updates?
  • Messaging. Everyone knows about iPhone/iPad having their own messaging system, iMessage (or whatever the heck it’s called). As an Android user, it is one of the things I miss. I have had to adjust my group messaging settings so that my sister can receive group texts containing photos. She won’t get them if they are sent to me. It doesn’t always work, and I receive such flak over it. Also, my messages take forever to arrive.

One thing about the Google phones that angers me is the lack of customization. You can drag widgets anywhere on screen (or to the app drawer, which I LOVE), but the ringtone volume for anything other than what comes standard (and Pixel’s standard tones SUCK) is too dang low, even on the highest setting. Also, you cannot customize vibration. I have an incredibly vibration-resistant butt, and therefore will miss texts and calls for this reason. Pixel’s vibration is horrible. It reminds me of a scene from The IT Crowd, when Roy has Moss work with the vibration because Roy’s new phone has a terrible vibrate setting.

And yet for all of these gripes, I love my phone. It charges fast, it screens calls for spam, and I love the finger scan placement. It also takes a beating better than my iPhones, not that I drop it all that often.

Oldest Child Rant

I’m 35…

Sometimes I wish I were younger, so that I could act inappropriately and not be judged for it….

Sometimes I wish I could stoop to the level of my sister who is two years younger than me, and give her a taste of her own medicine…

Or punch her in her sourpuss face

And blow all the secrets she keeps from her Facebook friends so that they know who the real person is.

Continue reading Oldest Child Rant

A Disclaimer

I want to start this post by saying the following was a cathartic piece that I had to write in order to prevent myself from unblocking my sister and hurling all kinds of Shakespearean insults and other things that would cost me my home and whatever else. And please understand that I truly do not like my sister. We have never really got along, and that did not change once we became adults. If I were to go to family counseling, I would most likely be forever shunned by my dad, who when he isn’t having his marionette strings tugged by my sister, is a somewhat decent person.

I realize that the post which is scheduled to go up at ten is mean and vitriol-filled, know that my sister (and every Republican in DC and Brett Kavanaugh) are the only people who bring out this ugly side of me. And to be honest, I left out A LOT. Mainly because my brain was going 120 mph, and I forgot. I might go back and add more.

Maybe she isn’t psychotic like I believe. Maybe we aren’t as dysfunctional as other families, I don’t know. I just thought I would warn you.

Update to Previous Post

Through reading a review of something on Amazon, I discovered that while third party sellers can email customers, they cannot do what they did to me.

Sellers cannot offer products for good reviews, and they cannot bully you into changing your reviews once they have “resolved” your complaint.

With this knowledge, I sent a message to Amazon to apprise them of the situation.

I am going to revise my review to reflect this, and block the seller’s email.

Dubious, Or No?

I want to take a moment to speak my mind about what I feel is a disgrace. No, it’s not about Kavanaugh (who doesn’t deserve my referring to him by his official title), but instead about a recent Amazon purchase.

I know foreign companies use Amazon to sell their products, and I know Amazon has dubious business practices, but I am amazed by what I have experienced today.

I bought some headphones to replace my old BOSE ones that have frankly seen better days, since I require headphones to sleep now that the people downstairs insist on making noise about 20 hours a day. I decided on wireless headphones, since the idea of sleeping with my iPod in bed makes me nervous.

I got them, wasn’t impressed by how they felt and I ended up returning them. I hoped I wouldn’t hear back from the company itself, which is based out of China.

And then today happened.

The initial email was the usual “We’re sorry the product didn’t work, is there anything we could do to improve them?” I gave them some ideas, and sent the email back. I received a $.01 credit from them (and $18 from Amazon, after they took six bucks for the return label), and then sent another email asking if they could help me further by offering me sport earbuds that are comfortable and useful. I don’t need these earbuds, so I politely declined.

Then, I got this:

Screenshot (16)

And I was appalled. I cannot fathom someone being penalized for a customer returning a product, so I went and looked at these earbuds, and accepted them. More than likely, they will end up in the trash, but I am not getting someone in trouble. As someone who worked in retail, no one deserves that kind of treatment. I don’t know if this is the Chinese company’s policy or Amazon’s, but this is disgusting.

Why I don’t know if it is Amazon’s, is because when I ordered something last year that didn’t get delivered two times, I contacted Amazon. The woman who works for those poor couriers told me (and I quote): “That worker will be re-educated.”

Instant red flag. I admittedly spend too much time watching World War 2 movies and documentaries, and paid attention in school when covering Communism, so I know what re-education is. I don’t like that word. Maybe I blew it out of proportion, but I was wary to buy anything from Amazon that requires those couriers.

Just a head’s up.

Health Update

Okay, so I went to my doctor’s appointment on August 7, and was treated like crap. Because she appeared to be concerned about a heart condition, I had an EKG done. Came back normal.

The next day, I went to the lab nearby my apartment and had a barrage of labs done. A week later, the doctor’s office called, and this was what I heard verbatim: “I have your lab results-you have high cholesterol, which you can control with exercise and changing your diet, and you are Vitamin D deficient.”

I had to do my own research into how to lower my cholesterol and change my diet. I also had to figure out how many units of Vitamin D I needed. Another week after that, I was able to see the numbers.

My cholesterol levels were scary. As someone who has heart disease in the family, this was something I was afraid of. The diet change is challenging, as I am someone who likes a burger and fries (and fried mozzarella and zucchini). I am not doing so hot, although I am improving. What I am having a hard time with is finding things to make. You would think the Internet would be a great tool, right?  Nope. I have gone through dozens of sites, and I cannot find anything I would eat. A lot of it is due to my living situation. I don’t have a gas stove, no broiler pans, and a limited income.

I am still remaining optimistic.

My Past Week

To start off, I turned 35 last Sunday. I had sushi, and basically avoided the heat.

On Monday, I went to my hairdresser for a haircut, and that was basically the beginning of the week from hell. I have stated that each milestone year, something gets screwed up in my body. Monday was no exception. I was sitting in the chair, my stylist blow-drying my hair, when I suddenly started experiencing symptoms I only do when I am outside in the heat for too long or standing in one position for an extended time. She takes a break, and brings me a cold water. I feel better, so we proceed. She is 98% done blow-drying, and it happens again. Another break, and then she says we should get to styling in case it happens again. She is curling a second part of my hair, when whatever is wrong with me (which I am getting looked at on August 7) kicks into high gear. I am losing vision, my hearing is going, and I am fifteen seconds from passing out. I am texting my sister incoherently so that she knows she needs to come in for me (she was outside practicing a speech for her college class). My stylist is panicked, and gets my other sister’s stylist to help me outside to my sister’s car, all the while I am trying to act like this is nothing, even though I am internally panicking myself.

I am taken to our parents’ apartment, where my blood pressure is taken, as is my blood sugar (got to love having a sister with diabetes), and I am pumped with sugar. I have experienced slight symptoms off and on throughout the week, and so I have been avoiding being out in the heat (because it has been 105+ outside during the day), which means the mail is in desperate need of being picked up. We have two possible diagnoses picked out, but my doctor’s appointment is to rule out diabetes, and to see if I have the other.

I was joking to my sister while I was having issues that I was experiencing a Steel Magnolias moment. It’s been fun.