Black Friday at home

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Everyone loves a good deal, but who wants to camp out in front of their favorite store just to save a few bucks? Who wants to miss their Thanksgiving dinner aka family reunion only to get into fist fights over the last Star Wars Battlefront PS4 and possibly get killed? Not me! No way!

So here’s what I do, I just sit at home and wait for the Black Friday deals to come to my inbox. and then buy stuff online and have them shipped to me, or enjoy them instantly online. I mean sure, it’ll take awhile to get to me, but you don’t really need those things until Christmas day anyway, right?

This is what I saved on. It’s only a few items, but it’s what I wanted to buy.

I got an email from Choxi about 2 weeks ago telling me they miss me. I bought an iPad for my partner last year and I also bought a phone for myself. So the email they sent me was a $10 coupon. I looked at what they had on sale and what was featured, and I found this cool bed or couch table for my partner for $49. Thanks to the coupon, I only paid $39 and with $2 shipping it came to $41. I bought it for him because he spends most if not all of his time on the couch holding his iPad, and I figured he could just put it on this table at an angle and he can just swipe without holding it. He can also push it to the side when he starts to get sleepy. A couple of months ago he fell asleep and woke up to the sound of his iPad crashing to the ground on the hard wood floor. I can’t remember how much it was to replace the screen. This will prevent that from happening again, I hope.

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Yesterday I got a Black Friday email from Groupon advertising this pet carrier and more. I was telling my partner the last time we went out of town that if I had a pet carrier that was like a suitcase and backpack, we could bring her with us. I went online looking for something, but they were just too expensive. I couldn’t pass up $20, so I had to buy this.

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Finally, I went on my PlayStation 4 yesterday and saw that they had a Co-Op sale with some games I was considering, but I really didn’t want them just because they were on sale. Their sale is up to 90% with a PlayStation Plus membership, but I waited. Today I opened the PlayStation store and saw their Black Friday sale, and the game I’ve wanted forever was there, and it was a very reasonable price. It’s normally $99, but it was on sale for $40. I just so happened to have $41 and change in my account, so I bought it and I now have $1.74 in my wallet lol.

The game is The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. It’s the most expensive one they had. They had the one without all the extras for a lot less, but what’s the point when I’m going to have to buy all those extras later down the road anyway? I might as well buy the more expensive one while I have the funds in my wallet. And you can’t beat a $60 savings.

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This after I received an email from Microsoft telling me they are having a sale in the Microsoft store for apps, games, movies and music. It was a .10 cent sale. So I bought Imagine Dragons Night Visions album that is regularly $13 for only .10 cents. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me.

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I got to have a Thanksgiving meal with my partner and I didn’t have to camp out for days in the cold with a bunch of strangers who would probably beat the crap out of me over $5., and I saved $172. You honestly can’t beat that.

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EyePet with Camera and Secret Agent Clank

Secret Agent ClankMy Amazon order finally came today with the EyePet with camera and Secret Agent Clank. Unfortunately, the camera did not work with my PSP. I read every word on the box and I read every word in the description on Amazon, and no where did it say anything about compatibility with the PSP 2000. It did say that it was not compatible with the PSP Go, but that was it.

I went back to Amazon and it shows that if you buy the EyePet game with a PSP 3000 it would cost such and such amount of money, so that right there tells me that it is probably only compatible with the 3000, which I do not have. That really sucks because I was really looking forward to having that camera. I’m not willing to upgrade just for the camera, because if I’m going to upgrade, I’m getting a PS Vita.

So I went to my orders on Amazon and requested a refund. They paid for the UPS shipping label to send it back to them and I will get refunded when they receive the product.

I was more than thrilled that I had Secret Agent Clank to play with. I got my shoes on with “The Spark” from SparkPeople and rode on the bicycle while playing Secret Agent Clank for 40 minutes. The only reason I stopped was because my butt was numb lol. I looked at the time on the bicycle computer and was like oh cool, 40 minutes. Done and done! I didn’t even miss a beat while on the bicycle either. I kept riding the same speed as usual, maybe even faster. It was fun, but I had to get off the bike.

So far my experiment worked. If I play a video game on my PSP while riding my bicycle on the bike trainer, I will not even notice time flying by. I could probably ride the bike for a couple of hours without ever noticing that I’m actually exercising lol. Although, that won’t happen with my ergo bike seat. I’ll need to buy a beach cruiser seat for comfort. Perhaps if I had something more comfortable to sit on, I might be on there for 2 or 3 hours. Hey, it could happen.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and you know I will be on that bicycle for at least 40 – 60 minutes before and after dinner. I really hope The Spark has a good warranty, because that thing will be smoking by the end of the day.

My Year In Review

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before and after morro bay 2013 was a very good year for me.  I started out not wanting to make a new years resolution out of fear of the disappointment that would always come from breaking it.  I decided to make one after a few days, and I stayed with it, well, until July anyway.  I said I wanted to lose weight and I did.  By July I had lost 70lbs with an android app called Noom, but then the weight stopped dropping and I gained 10lbs back, but fluctuated throughout the rest of the year.  I started out the year at 264lbs, went down to 194lbs and as of today I am 205lbs.  I will make another resolution to get back on my diet so I can get down to the weight that I wanted to get down to.  I know how to do it, I just need the willpower.

xray1 On March 16th I had an accident while riding the bicycle home from the grocery store at night and I broke my arm.  It was the ball of my left arm that fits into the shoulder socket.  I didn’t have a cast, instead all I was given was a sling from the emergency room.  By that time I had already lost 35lbs, and as you can already tell from the previous paragraph, the broken arm didn’t stop me from reaching my weight loss goal.

etsy banner While I was recovering from my broken arm, I decided that I wanted to start a new craft.  Well, it wasn’t really a new craft, it was an old craft that I learned when I was 9 and in the Cub Scouts.  I had some materials, so I wanted to use them up by making a couple of keychains.  I had so much fun that I decided that I wanted to learn a more complicated pattern.  I got so good at it and I was having so much fun that I ended up with about 40 keychains, so I opened up an Etsy shop.  I started out with keychains, and I added dangle keychain style earrings, studs and hoops and I already have plans on making and selling dream catcher earrings.

On June 26th, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled DOMA to be unconstitutional and Prop 8 was finally repealed.  HURRAY!  What a glorious day that was for the gay community in California.  In fact, 18 (or 19) states made gay marriage legal in 2013 and legal on a federal level.  The reason I said or 19 is because Wikipedia doesn’t include DC, but says eighteen states AND District of Columbia.  Whatever.  18 or 19, it’s still a huge victory for us.  Illinois is in that 18, but theirs isn’t legal until June 2014.

IMAG2002 In late July I started having pain in my parotid gland, which happens at least 2 or 3 times a year for I want to say the last 10 years, but I am not positive.  It’s been going on for a very long time.  The parotid gland is the saliva gland and for some reason the saliva doesn’t release into my mouth, instead something blocks the way and it swells up to the size of a golf ball or bigger.  I try to milk it so the saliva goes into my mouth, and that does work, but it hurts really bad.  The doctors usually give me an antibiotic and it clears up in a week, but this time it didn’t clear up.  My doctor sent me to an ear, nose throat doctor and to have an ultrasound which showed that I had a stone inside of my parotid gland.  The ENT doctor sent me to have a cat scan with contrast which showed that I had several stones in both of my parotid glands, but the ones on the right side were much bigger than the left.  I had surgery on November 20th to remove my parotid gland.  The area is still numb and I was told it will probably be numb for another couple or few months.  YAY!

My back has caused me tons of pain for so many years and this summer I finally found out what was causing it.  Apparently I have scoliosis in my spine.  I told my aunt about it and she told me that my great-grandmother was born with scoliosis and she lived her entire life with it.  I remember she had a hump on her back, that was the scoliosis.  My doctor sent me to physical therapy for a month and that halted the pain, but it didn’t correct anything.  I have an appointment in January to start treatment up again, and it’s a good thing too because the pain is already starting to come back.  My first treatment was a shock, no, seriously, they put these electrodes on my back and it shot electricity to my nerves to dull them.  They had me do exercises for half an hour and then they would give me a deep tissue massage. The electrode was only applied to me on the first visit, all the other appointments were just me laying on the table doing exercises and then massages.  The last couple appointments didn’t include a massage.

bread slicer pumpkin bread We went to a thrift store in October and I found a bread machine for only $6.  I can’t say I have ever had homemade bread before, like ever, so that was quite an experience.  I did learn that I was doing it wrong for a very long time when I had such a horrible stomachache which felt like I had a 10lb brick sitting in my stomach.  Apparently the bread was too dry.  I read the instructions.  It clearly stated that I was to use exact measurements, no more, no less, so I was only doing what I was told to do, but apparently rules are made to be broken.  Now the bread is light and fluffy and it actually tastes better than store bought bread.  My favorite bread to make is Spiced Pumpkin Bread with raisins.  Have you ever had a ham sandwich or a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich with pumpkin bread with raisins?  It’s quite awesome.  Although I will have to cut back on the bread when I start my diet up again.

We also helped feed a couple of neighbors for Thanksgiving and Christmas, which frankly is what the holidays are all about.  It’s nice to receive presents, but it’s even nicer to do a good deed for someone.  I guess those were our good deeds for the year.

Of course we exchanged presents.  I got a Nook HD+ 32GB tablet from my partner, and I gave him a Google Chromecast so he can watch Netflix and YouTube from his tablet, plus I got him Netflix.

I don’t know what will happen in 2014, but I’m sure it will be as memorable as 2013.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

One more week with a tube

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Last week on November 20th I had my surgery to remove my Parotid gland because I had a stone that was basically the size of a marble which was preventing saliva from being released into my mouth.

If yesterday was not Thanksgiving, today I would be at the surgery clinic getting the tube removed from my neck.  Since the surgeon is only in the surgery clinic on Fridays, I will have to wait another week to have the tube removed.  It’s been more than a few days since anything drained into the tube, so it’s not doing me any good being in there.

I’ve had more pain in the last few days from the swelling than I had when I first had the surgery.  There didn’t seem to be too much swelling in the beginning, it only started swelling after 5 days.  Today it still seems swelled up, but the pressure isn’t bothering me.  Then again, the day isn’t over yet and I’m thinking about getting the ice pack to help the pressure.

It doesn’t seem to be as red today as it has been so that is a good sign.  When I say red, I don’t mean the sutures, I mean my cheek and ear.  It seems from the picture to be a good healthy color.

Next Friday can’t come quick enough though because I really can’t wait for this tube to be removed lol.  It’s more embarrassing than anything.  Last night I went to our neighbors house and totally forgot myself and I went over there with just my shirt and jeans.  I should have remembered to wear my hoodie so I could have covered my head and my tube.  It didn’t freak anyone out except for me lol.  Oh well.

Day 5 After Parotidectomy Surgery

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My surgery was on November 20th so it has been 5 days and I thought I would take a picture to show my progress.  It appears that my ear is swelling up and my face is a lot redder than it was.  I had just gotten out of the bath tub when I took the picture on the right, but it has been more than an hour since then and it is still just as red.  All of the red area is completely numb.

The way the doctor cut my face and stitched it up was perfect.  He followed my ear all the way down and went behind my ear lobe before going down following the line of my beard.  Genius!  In my opinion, he did an excellent job.  I saw pictures of other people who had the same surgery and their incisions didn’t look this good, so I feel very blessed that I had such an artist.

My face has a golf ball sized hole in front of my ear where my gland used to be swollen.  I figured it would have filled in by now, but it is still dented.  I’m sure it will fill in, I’m not worried about that.  It is still numb too.

The only thing that isn’t numb is where the tube is sticking out.  I don’t really care too much for having a tube sticking out of my neck.  It would be awesome if I didn’t have to have it in me for 2 whole weeks.  It was supposed to be removed after 7 days, and they even wrote a note on the paperwork that said “Follow-up KMC ENT Clinic next Friday.”  Well, that is the day after Thanksgiving and they are closed that day.  The reason they said Friday and not Wednesday is because that surgeon is only in the surgery clinic on Friday.  I guess he is the only one who can take the tube out so I will have to wait until December 6th.

I have been catching up on my sleep.  Today I woke up to the sound of my alarm on my phone to tell me to take my pills at 8am.  I had other pills to take at 10am and it had to wake me up again for those.  Then my partner woke me up at 12:30pm and I decided I wanted to get out of bed.  I don’t like sleeping the day away lol.

Another good thing about this is that I am losing weight again.  That’s not always a good thing because the reason I am losing weight is because of the medication, but I am using that to my advantage.  I am normally always hungry, so since I don’t feel too hungry all the time, I am eating the same amount of food I ate when I lost 70lbs.  I have been eating a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerio’s for breakfast with a banana and Silk Vanilla Light Almond Milk.  I ate a Yoplait light Strawberry yogurt at 10am which is my usual snack time and I ate a Weight Watchers Smart Ones meal with Fettuccine Alfredo and Chicken.  It is my 3pm snack time now so I will have a banana, then at dinner I will have another Weight Watchers Smart Ones meal.

When I stopped losing weight in July, I was still eating this same diet, although I was eating a little bit more food and I wasn’t getting a lot of sleep which seems to be the key.  I am getting more sleep now and eating the right foods, so I am losing weight again.  When I stopped losing weight I was 192lbs, but then I went back up to 202lbs and fluctuated between 202 and 210.  Last week when I had my surgery I was 208.  Today I am 199.8.  So I will just keep doing what I am doing to help get me back down to 192.  Whatever it takes, right?  This was the boost I needed and hopefully I will continue to lose weight.

Well, back to bed I go.

Recovering from Surgery

I am still recovering from surgery.  Been laying in bed reading the 12th Xanth book “Man From Mundania”.  The meds make me very sleepy though, so it’s hard to concentrate, but I do my best.  My face around my ear and my ear are still numb and it feels very odd to be numb and itchy at the same time.  I’ve never had surgery so naturally I had no idea what this would be like.

There is a tube sticking out of my neck to drain the fluids that I was only supposed to have for 1 week, but since the doctor is only there on Fridays and they are closed the day after Thanksgiving, I have to have the tube for 2 weeks.  It doesn’t bother me, but I was hoping to not have it any more than I have to because it hurts sometimes when I accidentally pull on it.  It’s also very disgusting lol.  We usually go to Golden Corral on Thanksgiving because it’s easier to have them do all the work, but with the stitches and the tube, I just can’t see me walking around a restaurant filling my plate without feeling like I’m being stared at and judged.  I already had someone blatantly staring at my stitches while talking to me and seeing the disgusted look on his face which made me never want to leave the house again.

I honestly don’t mind the cooking and cleaning, but since it is just the two of us and we really don’t need to cook that much food, it doesn’t make much sense buying and cooking so many different dishes.  I think if we can just get some chicken for the crock pot, a couple of potatoes and a couple of yams and a pumpkin pie we should be fine.  That’s really all I care to eat anyway.

I haven’t been eating as much as I normally have been.  I don’t know if it’s the medicine, but I’m just not hungry which means I am losing weight.  Yes, I have literally lost 6lbs since Wednesday.  I love knowing that I am losing weight, but not because the medicine is making me sick, but because I’m eating right and trying to lose weight.  I don’t know if that makes sense.

Well, I really just wanted to do a status update, but I was up to 3 paragraphs and I figured it was big enough for a blog post so I switched over to blogging lol.  I’m finished so back to bed for me.

Surgery Day

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Tomorrow is the day I have been waiting for since August.  It is the day that my parotid gland will finally be removed and I will no longer suffer from the pain that it causes me.

There have been some good days and there have been some bad days, mostly bad days.  There was a whole week when I didn’t have any pain at all and I started wondering if perhaps I should just not have the surgery and live with it, but then the pain would come back and that would confirm that I do in fact want to continue with the surgery.

I have been quite depressed lately, not just because of the pain that I’ve had, but also because of the fact that I am having surgery 1 week before Thanksgiving and I will have a fresh scar on Thanksgiving day.  If we were staying at home or visiting family that wouldn’t be a big deal, but we always go to Golden Corral for Thanksgiving.  It’s just easier and less expensive.  I’m not depressed about the fresh scar anymore because I’m sure it will be fine in a week.  I don’t know that for a fact, but I’m sure it will be fine.

I will have a tube (I don’t know how they are going to do that, will there be like an IV port coming out of my neck?) draining fluids for 7 days which will be removed the day before Thanksgiving.  I can deal with that.  I mean, it’s only a week, right?  I don’t have any plans on leaving the house during that week.  I plan on lots of bed rest and catching up on my reading.  I’ve neglected my Nook for such a long time, it’s time for an excuse to read a book or two, or three.

Anyway, I’m not scared or nervous.  I’m sure it will all work out and I will take pictures when it’s over and more pictures next week when the tube is removed the day before Thanksgiving to show how much I’ve healed.