Thursday, February 26, 2009

I feel cheated!

I work with a lot of those "really cool" parents that bring in the order forms for their kids' fundraisers. (My parents never did that for me.) Anyway, I managed to avoid most of them but I was suckered into buying some Girl Scout cookies. This really is a terrible thing.... especially for my waistline.

Well today the cool mom drops off my two boxes (hey, they're just lucky I bought them in the first place and I was not about to buy more that that!) Trying to contain myself, I put them aside so I won't eat the entire box. This lasted for about an hour and then I dove right in. With excitement, I tear open the Tagalongs and much to my chagrin... they're smaller! They are much flatter and the diameter is not as large as the Tagalongs from my day. Of course I ate them anyway but it makes me sad to know that I just wasted 140 calories on two cookies the size of quarters.


NEW TAGALONGS: they look more like thin mints...

ACTUAL PICTURE- from my iphone
ignore unpainted nails, crappy lighting, blur and multiple beverages in the background...

Monday, February 23, 2009

I want to thank the academy

oh... wait...

Angie over at Klenke Konfessions tagged me for an award! Thank you so much- it really does mean a lot to me and this is now one of my most valued awards.

Sometime it can be a little rough in the blogsphere- I feels like it can be a bit of a popularity contest every once in a while and it's nice to know that someone is reading when I didn't think anyone would. I really do want to thank those that not only read this blog, but my other one as well. The comments you leave are truly encouraging and have gotten me out of a few lags. Angie said, "I like to share and I love the sense of solidarity I feel when people can relate to my posts," and I completely agree. Thanks again, all of you, from the bottom of my heart.

Now, for the fun part...Here are the rules:
“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

It is eally tough to only choose eight- especially because I just tagged a few people last week or they've already been tagged and I know for a fact that a few of my nominees will be touched but aren't always in love with tagging others but I'm going to tag them anyway! (A heartfelt thanks will suffice. No need to tag if you don't feel like it.)

1.) Jen at Eggs Over Medium
2.) Sarah at Sarah Gone Wild
3.) Stephanie at Kitschicagoan again :)
4.) Katie at The life of Juan & Katie
5.) Trisha at A Day In the Life of a Seelen
6.) Amy at The Adventures and Mishaps of Mrs. Amy B!
7.) Kristal at Good Food, Good Friends, Good Life because she almost always leaves a comment and comments make me smile.
8.) and of course, my last one is always open for you. If you do read my blog(s) and have never commented, I encourage you to do so now. I love making new friends.

"There are many more blogs that I read but I could only nominate 8 so don't feel sad if I didn't mention you.
I particularly love to read these 8 blogs, because these ladies are all witty, funny, and excellent writers." -Angie. And I completely agree.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sarah Interviews Me

So when Sarah posted this fun little game, I had to play along. First, the good part - the questions from Sarah and my answers!

1. Where in the world IS Carmen SanDiego?
That, my Friend, is an excellent question... I bet she's looking for Bin Laden.

2. If you had to guess (which you do because I'm asking), what would you say "The Thinker" is thinking about?
All the birds that probably crap on him and what he really did to be stuck outside and not safe and warm dans Le Lourve.

3. Tell me all about your worst college experience. And no, not the class related ones.
Oh geez... we're gonna go there? Hmm... I'm not sure- college was actually a pretty good experience but the worst ever was probably the last day of my junior year (2004) when I drank a HUGE Long Island Iced Tea and fell flat on my face outside the bar. It looked like I was dragged (drug ?) behind a car. I have never been and will never be that irresponsible again and haven't had a LIIT since. What did I tell my parents? The truth. There is no lying to save your ass in a situation like that. It was the day before my dad had to pick me up and move me home for the summer, a week before my little brother's confirmation and two weeks before I was in my cousin's wedding. Thankfully, I healed in time for the wedding... only to faint on the altar... but that's another story.

4. I think it's weird that a food is named "hot dog". Rename it and explain why you chose that name.
Scrap meat. Sounds delicious. That is what it is, after all. Why do they call it a dog?

5. Would you rather be mute or infertile? (Haha - I know you like talking AND babies!)
Thanks! I say mute. I can still see and while I'd be sad not to hear music or sing terribly at the top of my lungs, I'd still be able to photograph my babies.

If you would like to play along, here are the instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions.)
3. You update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. You know, to pay-it-forward and keep this little interview game going.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions and so on and so forth. The first five ‘askers’ get the interview!

I swear I'm not a hypochondriac and I am fairly certain I have this: Delayed sleep-phase syndrome.

I have complained about these symptoms a kazillion times and in retrospect, I'm seeing them impact my everyday life as seen here, here in #17 and 23, possibly here in #7, here and blatantly obvious here.

Wiki states, "Often, people with the disorder report that they cannot sleep until early morning, but they fall asleep at about the same time every "night", no matter what time they go to bed. Unless they have another sleep disorder such as sleep apnea in addition to DSPS, patients can sleep well and have a normal need for sleep. Therefore, they find it very difficult to wake up in time for a typical school or work day. If, however, they are allowed to follow their own schedule, e.g. sleeping from 4 a.m. to noon, they sleep soundly, awaken spontaneously, and do not feel sleepy again until their next "night"."

That fits me perfectly. It's the unwinding and actually falling asleep and then the waking that's the worst part. Once I'm asleep, I'm fine. Even if I do wake up in the middle of the night for some reason, I rarely have trouble falling asleep again.

"They often have asked family members to help wake them in the morning..." I seriously ask my husband every night to help me wake up in the morning. It's terrible. In turn, I'm frequently a few minutes late in the morning.

"By the time DSPS sufferers receive an accurate diagnosis, they often have been misdiagnosed or labelled as lazy and incompetent workers or students for years." I can't tell you how many times I have felt this way, heard it or said it about myself. Some days seriously feel like an out of body experience. I feel bad. I am totally useless on those days. It continues to read, "DSPS is often confused with ADHD or ADD or other sleep disorders..." Who knows me in real life? (I'm still not entirely convinced that I don't have ADHD...)

I found this because I couldn't sleep. I googled insomnia and that led me to this discovery. I know this can be related to stress, depression and anxiety but honestly (aside from the stress of everyday life) I can tell you that I've never had a problem with any of those things... I've tried all of the suggestions to help me relax, unwind, etc. Nothing makes a difference. I about 4 nights ago I decided to self medicate with NyQuil. It worked for two nights in a row. The third night was useless. I decided to forgo the meds tonight and see what happens and here I am- exhausted and unable to fall asleep.

It's currently 2:31 and I am wide awake- and this is common! What do I do? Call a sleep center? Shut up and get over it? Does anyone else have this? Or a problem similar?

*Why does my time stamp say 1:53? Weird...

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Prowler

I've got one in my office. It's terrible. I can't even think straight anymore. I'm exhausted.

I'm in a cubicle with my back facing a wall of offices. The Prowler's office is just a few feet away. He has to pass my cubicle to get to the copier, the break area, the bathroom... there is another route but he rarely takes it. This drives me insane. Some days are particularly bad. Like today. He will seriously read a page of godknowswhat, make a copy, return to his desk and repeat that cycle for HOURS. I wish I was exaggerating. What is he doing?! What could he possibly be doing in the minute and twenty-seven seconds that he sits down before he needs to get up again?

The worst days are when he wears his loafers... I can always hear him shuffling behind me but those days are particularly distracting. I don't understand it. What is so hard about reading an entire article, making notes or flagging them with post-its and then making one trip to the copier? (Oh, and another to the shredder, just for good measure.)

I've tried complaing to HR... actually, I am HR... my boss just tells me to relax. I can't. His prowling seriously stresses me out. I can tell you that I'm -----oh! There he goes again!----- I'm eerily calm as I type this. I'm taking very deep breaths and counting up to 10 and down again. If he walks by one more time I just don't know what I'm going to do... ok.... now if he walks by one more time.... you know what? Just forget it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Kristal asked for more details on my 25th random fact about me. It's kind of long so I just thought I'd create a new post instead of a huge comment.

At least two or three times in my life my sister has told me about some weird dream and then it (or something eerily similar) happens. Weird, huh?

My little brother's story is probably my favorite. He has almost died about a million times. He was born purple because the umbilical chord was in knots and wrapped around his neck, he has survived a 104.6 fever when he was about 6 weeks old and swallowed glass shards from a broken baby food jar that we didn't know was broken because the label was wrapped over it. When he was three, they told my parents he had a benign tumor on his adenoid so doctors removed both of them along with his tonsils. Once when playing catch with my dad, the ball hit my brother's glove a certain way, bouncing out just perfectly to hit him in the chest and send him into cardiac arrest. My mom is certified for her job in CPR, shock and all things emergency. She saved him before the ambulance got there. At twelve he was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. No, that will not kill you as long as you educate yourself and eat certain things at certain times, yada yada but year later he was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and Lymphoma. The diets and medication almost completely clash. A couple of months after that, the doctors told my parents that all forms of cancer and celiac were completely gone. Vanished. They said it was a miracle and couldn't explain it any other way. He still gets tested to make sure it's really gone and they still haven't seen any traces of either disease. He still has diabetes but is otherwise in perfect health. Either way, it makes you realize that everyday with someone you love is truly a gift.

My parents aren't all supernatural or anything but my dad can run really, really fast. It's crazy. When we were younger, he'd give us half a soccer field head start and still beat us. He's 50 now and can still out run my also fast, 18 year-old brother.

My mom is in the STL Cathedral choir and they sang for the Pope when they all went to the Vatican and when he came to STL.

My grandmother is an extraordinary woman. She had an amazing voice- that's probably where my mom got it- and used to sing opera. She was also a professional tennis player. I'm not exactly sure how long she did either but she was paid for it and people came to see her. She's also one of the founders of Our Lady's Inn.

My aunt, Ann Wagner is the Ambassador in Luxembourg. (She's my mom's brother's wife.) She lives there with the two younger kids and my uncle lives here in St. Louis. Their oldest son goes to West Point and would like to be a Senator some day. The distance can be challenging but they are a very happy family. I think this is her last year and she comes home. They have racked up zillions of frequent flyer miles and meet in Washington D.C. sometimes.

Oh- I forgot to add this: A few of you commented on my husband's knowledge in the post he helped me create about the Recession. Now, I might be a little biased but I really think that my husband is probably a genius. He is super smart. You know how lawyers need to pass the Bar Exam to practice? Well people who want to work with the stock market need to pass the Series 7. He did that when he was finishing his sophomore and going into his junior year in college. He began pursuing his CFA after that. There are three tests to pass before becoming a CFA Charterholder. He passed all three the first time. The odds of that are less than 8%. I think that's impressive and I'm extremely proud of him. I'm not saying that I'm not smart but I hope to all that is holy that some of his brains are passed on to our children. (We always joke that he's the I.Q. and I'm the E.Q.) He, of course, would never tell you this and would probably make a joke instead about paying people to take the tests and how his current job involves laundering money. Obviously, neither of those jokes are true!

I'm sure I've got other crazy family members with crazy stories but that's all I can think of for now. I'm pretty ordinary, relatively (pun intended) speaking.

25 Things About Me

For those who haven't seen this... I know you're just dying to know these random facts about me.

1. I hate ketchup- like in an intense, almost fear-like way. I hate looking at it and the smell. I think it's the tomato/vinegar tanginess. BLECH!

2. I love Bloody Marys and tomatoes. I also like salt and vinegar chips.

3. I'm almost 26 and I still can't watch a scary movie without getting nightmares.

4. One of my biggest fears is letting people down. I hate to disappoint.

5. Another fear is identity theft. I probably fear it more than death.

6. I don't really have any regrets now. I might have at the time but now I think that all of my mistakes really made me who I am and for the most part, I like who I am today....

7. ....although I've been trying to lose the same 15 lbs for about 2 years. That part about me can change. :)

8. I had a not-so-healthy obsession with the Twilight series. I'm finally returning to my "normal" state... if I ever had one to begin with...

9. I once went to Schnucks and only bought cat food and alcohol. After leaving, I realized why the cashier looked at me like a pathetic, lonely cat lady.

10. I am really, really hard on myself. Because of this I frequently get hives, eye infections, random viruses and so on. When I ask my doctor why these things happen they almost always tell me that it's a physical reaction to stress.

11. For every bad thing I do or say, I try to do one or more nice.

12. Before meeting my husband, I never knew I was capable of loving someone so much. I can't even imagine what having a child will be like!

13. Oh yeah, I can be annoyingly gushy.

14. I have a really good sense of smell. It's honestly creepy. I'm like a bloodhound. Unfortunately some of my best skills aren't able to go on a resume.

15. I also have pretty good intuition. I can usually sense a funky mood, a lie, when people have a secret or are upset, etc. I'm also pretty good at calling the ending to a movie.

16. I talk fast but I think even faster. I frequently have about 3 thoughts, a song stuck in my head and god knows what else going on simultaneously in my brain. It's like a circus in there!

17. For the life of me I cannot get my ass out of bed on time. I hit snooze about 3 times. I wish I was one of those people that get up 2 hours before the need to leave. I would workout, shower, make coffee and do my make up at home instead of getting out of bed with barely enough time for a shower, forgoing coffee and applying make up in the car on the way to work.

18. I've been told that I'm a "fixer" and a "saver" meaning I like saving friendships that don't need to be saved and trying to fix damaged people that would rather stay damaged.

19. Because I consciously try to be positive, negativity annoys me.

20. I must sleep with a fan on. It’s a hereditary disease my mother passed on to all of her children. No fan = no sleep = tired, crabby, worthless Pamela.

21. I can rub my belly and pat my head at the same time. I can't draw a circle (in the air) counterclockwise with my hand and move my right foot in a circle clockwise at the same time. Try it- it's impossible.

22. I will be friends with just about anyone. You don't have to earn my friendship to get it but you do have to earn it to keep it.

23. I don't like feeling stupid. We all have our days when we aren't as sharp as others but I hate it when people make me feel like an idiot. It seriously pisses me off.

24. I like making lists. For anything. (It's actually the main reason why I decided to do this.) I have tons of different lists and nothing gives me greater satisfaction than checking everything off and throwing it away.

25. My family has done some crazy/extraordinary things: my sister has psychic tendencies, my little brother has about 100 lives, my dad is probably the fastest man on the planet, my mom has sung (sang?) for the pope twice with the STL cathedral choir, my grandma was a pro tennis player and opera singer and my aunt is the US ambassador for Luxembourg. I swear to you, all of this stuff is true even though it sounds incredibly outlandish.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Will our current situation end up worse than the Depression?

I know that I'm usually silly or light-hearted on this blog but Jen's post got me thinking seriously and I turned to my Husband, CFA and asked him the same questions for the millionth time. Here's the response I got. Hopefully it will ease some concerns.


The US and global economic response to this crisis will most likely cause the US to avoid a catastrophe similar to what we saw in the 1930's (the Great Depression or "GD"). But first, we must point out what made the 1930's GD a GD.

1.) countries around the world were tied to the gold standard (meaning currencies could be exchanged for a certain amount of gold held in reserves...aka the amount of money floating around could not be more than the amount of gold that was in existence)
2.) policy mistakes (Smoot-Hawley, fiscal stimulus that came too late, fed increased interest rates)
3.) between 1 in 4 and 1 in 3 people were unemployed

To add a little background, during the 1900's the US was an agricultrually and industrially driven economy (think of farming and assembly lines). We also happened to export quite a bit of those products (meaning we sold our stuff to other countries). As a result, these huge sectors, to a certain extent, relied on our foreign trade partners. This is where #1 comes into play. Our trading partners got into trouble with the gold standard for a variety of reasons (several banks failed)...their ability to buy US ag/industry goods, was severely diminished. With a lot less people buying, this caused the US' supply of goods to build up, and prices for those goods to tank. So eventually, the US ended up importing more than it exported...and the people at the time did not like that. So In response, (this is where #2 applies), congress enacted smoot-hawley tariff act, which was done with the intention of making it cheaper for Americans to buy American goods. Our trade partners freaked out (justifiably so) and put up their own trade barriers, making things even worse as they decided to buy even less american goods. That's when the deflationary spiral really took hold. Farmers don't want to buy their own goods...they want to sell we had a bunch of farmers with nobody to sell to. Lots of farmers defaulted on loans because of this. In fact, enough farmers defaulted that banks started going under and people started losing savings (which caused the infamous "bank runs"). With the financial sector in ruin, companies couldn't invest in productive capacity because they couldn't secure loans. The Federal reserve made matters worse by actually raising interest rates, in the attempt to stem the massive outflow of investments made in the US. With interest rates in the stratosphere, there was certainly no way anyone could get much less afford loans. With virtually no economic activity, a country can't produce jobs for its people. That's where #3 came from.

This time around, our policy-makers have the advantage of history. But whats the same this time around and whats different?


1.) bank failures (lehman brothers bankruptcy really f'd everything up)
2.) deflation (housing prices are going down)
3.) trade protectionism (China actively manipulates its currency so their goods are always cheaper than everybody else's)


1.) the federal reserve cut interest rates to 0 (making it cheap for banks to lend to each other and thus to consumers, also to keep mortgage rates low)
2.) the FDIC insures deposits, so if there is a bank failure, nobody loses their savings
3.) no gold standard (abandoned during the 70's) means we can print as many dollar bills as we if lots of $ is destroyed b/c of bad loans or b/c banks are too chicken to lend, the treasury can always just print more money to replace what's been lost.

This time around, though, China is more like the US was during the 1930's...the US has been spending like crazy for over a decade now, and all we have to do now is save. The money we save will be regurgitated by the US Government in the form of tax cuts or rebates on buying a new home (basically, the $800bn fiscal stimulus plan that's been in the headlines). So unemployment today will probably not go higher than 1 in 10 (its currently ~1 in 12).

China and a lot of asian countries are more susceptable to a GD, imo. They have invested so much money over the past decade, catering to their exporting sectors that they forgot to invest in themselves. Now that the US and Europe are no longer spending money, asian countries face a tough road of developing an actual consumer-led economy, similar to the US'.

This is certainly a Great Recession, but by no means is it a Great Depression. The policy response of our government (no matter how bad the press makes their ideas sound), the ability to print money and the focus on re-engendering confidence in the system are what will keep us out of another GD.