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A(nother) New Beginning …

Originally published at Living Life Day by Day .... You can comment here or there.

For the last few days I’ve been kicking around this idea with a few friends of mine. Should I start a blog about what I’ve been going through. First reaction from myself was do we need yet another blog about weight loss. Probably not, no. However this is just not about weight loss, although that will be one of the main points.

You see, I’m fresh from my fourth stay in the hospital and am just about to be released from disability to return to work in a few days. However, my time in the hospital has provided me with little to no answers on what is wrong with me.

Before I go any further let me explain one thing about me. I am not the squeamish type and I have a tendency to over share. So if this is something that would bother you I would suggest not reading or following this.

In the next few days, as I finalize areas of this site, I’ll begin to explain how I landed in the medical position I am in. For now, I wanted to get a little something up and out the door.

My plan is to discuss what is believed to be the start of my current medical status and hope to either help someone avoid the mistakes I’ve made and hopefully find others that are going through the same issues I have looking for advice of my own on how to deal with the constant pain that I am in.

A few quick thinks aside from TMI moments:

My language can be a bit crude so this will be the one and only time I will attempt at any apologies for it. ;)

I absolutely hate condescending people. While I’m not looking to be coddled in any way I expect to be treated with the same respect that you would want from me. Just because something has worked for you in the past does not mean it is right for others. I’m all for trying new things but there is a respectful and courteous manner in which to go about offering said advice.

Finally, this will be attached to both my Facebook and Twitter accounts. If there’s something you want to say to me but would rather not have the whole of my friends list reading it than please use the Contact Form.

I could add so much here but would like to keep this one short. In the next post I will go into more details about the issue I am having and hopefully have a plan I can post about.

Thanks for reading and I am looking forward to some interesting conversations …

More to come …

Before I start, I need to mention one thing about last night ... the founder of TSO, Paul O'Neill - who rarely tours with the band - was there. Also note that he was not at Sunday's concert. Anyway, he came out and played a few songs, he was even out in our section signing autograph *while* the show was still going on.

The show itself was excellent! They must have been working out some kinks on Sunday because there seemed to be more fire and lights last night ...

We decided to stay for autographs again last night. (I don't know if most people know this but after the evening show the entire band comes out to do a meet and greet with the fans.)

Once the final song ended I pushed Katie and Michael (my older niece and nephew) up the stairs so we could get in line closer to the font. We didn't end up last in line. We were about 30 people in so we got through pretty fast.

After we got out of the autographs line Michael noticed a small mob further up past the bands table.

Here it was Paul signing books and giving away t-shirts to the kids. Katie and Michael got in line but Security kicked Katie out saying she was too old.

I was actually standing across from Paul when she told me. He over heard and said said she can stay in line.

But then his personal body guard (I guess) made me bring them both to the front of the line.

He talked to both kids and Michael told him his birthday was yesterday (Tuesday) and how he plays the violin, guitar and piano.

So Paul starts handing both Katie and Michael stuff .. they each got a t-shirt, a personally signed program from the show, he gave them signed guitar pics.

He also gave them, and me, a silver dollar.

Finally, he asks "Who Birthday was it again?" Michael told him his.

Paul whips out a $100 bill and gave it to him for his birthday then gave Katie $100 and said take your bother out for dinner! Michael was OMG!! Thank you I can finally buy my PS3 now, then Paul hands him another $100 and says keep that for the PS3 but here's another for dinner.!!!

Michael gave me one of the bills but I told him I'll buy his first PS3 game and will end up taking him and my mom for dinner after, so he'll get the money back.

Here's a photo of Paul with some baby. It's really the only good one I got of him.



TSO as awesome as ever

Saw the first of two TSO shows last night. Wendy and John met me in Hershey where we went to the 7:30 showing. The show started a bit late because the 2:30 show started a hour late. The band was late getting in from Youngstown, Ohio that morning and the crew needed more time.

They mixed up the play list this year but I don't want to spoil it for Karen so I'll say no more than that.

We sat in the front row where we felt the entire show! I thought it was great but not sure the front row is where I want to be.

Once again, the kid who was given the guitar sat a few rows behind us. The drummer handed me a used drum stick after the show was over and I tried to trade it for the guitar. Here the kid caught one of those, too.

W&J did indulge me and waited in line for the autograph session and thanks to Wendy I was able to get two photos from last year signed. Chris wanted the original of the one on the right (yellow) and shouted out his email to me. It's safely in his inbox. *g* As we were going through the line I told each one that I'd see them on Wednesday when they come to Wilkes-Barre. One the of the band members said he couldn't believe he was signing a picture of Chris. *g* I got 3 new ones for Wednesday's session. One for me and one for my nephew and niece. Only one of them has Chris in it. *g*

Oh, here's the pics!

I got home around 10:30 and was not too happy with work. :P Back to life for another day or two. But a least I have a life ... I bought it on eBay ... according to W&J, that is. *g*



On the other end of the spectrum .. the happy side ... I got someone to go see Equus with me!!!! We snagged 5th row to the 2:00 PM show on December 13th! No ... I will not be taking any pictures. ;)

We might just stay the weekend to do some site seeing, too.

Off to the Bronx tomorrow for one of two Yankee games. Tomorrow night is Snoop night (free Snoopy for the first 18,000 fans) and Saturday is the second to the last game ever to be played in this Yankee Stadium. I'm very excited to that I'm going to experience the final weekend.

Thoughts for today ...

I'm sitting at work today thinking that I should update my LJ so here I am in the lab at school posting what I thought of.

Yes, it's been awhile, since I went to Tulsa, actually. I really have been pretty swamped since being home between work, school, and assignments. Now, starting Friday night we throw baseball into the mix. I won't be going to tomorrow night's opener because I have class. Yesterday's weather gave me hope for this weekend. It was 60, it was warm, and it was breezy! Today those hopes were dashed and it's f'ing freezing and flurrying. Bleh.

There are actually a few things on my mind ...

First off, Happy Birthday, H. I hope you had a good day!

Clinton and Obama were both in Wilkes-Barre yesterday. I would have loved to have gone to see Hilary but there was no way I was going near that place. I had an exam that I even considered postponing (eventually had to cancel anyway). She was at my college gym.

I think I will be really disappointed if she doesn't make it. My biggest fear with Obama is that we'll go from one "Good 'ole boys club" to another.

And what a joke that congressional hearing with the gas company CEOs was. I love the guy from Shell, "We have to make a lot of tough decisions on where the money is going." Yeah like deciding that his retirement fund is the best place.

Here's one I'm conflicted about. Wal-Mart recently dropped a lawsuit against one of their former employees. While she was employed she was involved in a car accident and she's permanently disabled and has partial memory loss that affects her short term memory to the point that she does not remember that her oldest son was killed in Iraq. Anyway, she and her husband sued the trucking company of the trucker who caused the accident. They won a million in that lawsuit but after the lawyer took his cut they were left with $417,000.

Wal-Mart has this clause in their insurance policies, like most companies I'm told, that should an insured receive monies from a lawsuit like this Wal-Mart is allowed to recoup what they paid out. So after the couple won their lawsuit Wal-Mart wanted their $477,000 back, which they paid out to hospitals and in other health care costs. The family appealed but the appeals court said Wal-Mart was within their rights but reduced it to some $250,000 (don't remember the exact amount) which would wipe out the trust set up for her nursing home costs.

So who's the bad guy here, though ... Wal-Mart or the blood sucking lawyer? Due to pressure from the press and public Wal-Mart eventually dropped their lawsuit. They said they decided to do what "was morally right." Uhhuh, right. But what about the lawyer and his more than 50% profit?

Lately there's been a string of stories about abuse towards dogs and puppies and I don't know why but they are really starting to get to me. One nearly had me in tears - at my desk, no less - where this GI threw a puppy off a cliff! And I hate, hate, hate those Pedigree commercials where they show a dog, named Bailey even, and said that his owner had to move and because of that they had to give him up, so they show him in a cage at the shelter. I turn the channel when I see those come on. *hugs my Bailey*


Happy Anniversary to me ...

In all my tire excitement I forgot all about it.

Yesterday was my Second Anniversary of my wieght loss surgery.

I'm 135 lbs down, struggling with my diet, and started a new workout regiment.

Yay me.

Peanut for President part 2

WARNING: Going behind the cut will load 12 photos.


We continued our vacation with a(nother) trip to the Great White North! We started off with the eight hour drive but not without stopping at Wal-Mart for snacks and at the gas station.

Most of the drive was very uneventful; however, we did run into a bit of a problem.

Problems in Canada

Once we arrived in London we got off the exit we were supposed to but I thought I had turned the wrong way at the end of the exit ramp. The GPS said I should have gone the other way. So I was able to turn around and get back on the highway. With the intent on getting off the next exit to go back to where I was supposed to be I was going slowly in the right most lane. We past a cop who had someone else pulled over, there were two cars there with their lights flashing. All of a sudden one of the cops was pulling me over. He took my license and registration, telling me that I should pulled over one lane to the left when passing them, never giving me the chance to explain I was getting off the exit 50 feet away!

What got to me was that he told us it was a newer law, only three years old, and then he told us that he makes it a point to know all the laws when he visits Michigan, where the same law exists. (It does NOT exist in PA or NY.) I'm sure I could find an obscure law he doesn't know about. Here's the kicker: the fine was $490!! We went to the police station the next day with the intent on at least getting the fine reduced and try to pay in payments.

Since it was the OPP (the equivalent to the State Police here, I would guess) the local police could not help, the cop we spoke to even hinted that the only thing he thinks would happen is losing my Ontario license. I mentioned that I don't have one as being from the US, his reply was "Exactly." We then went to the other station down the street where you pay OPP fines. The woman I spoke to said that the only time I can ask for a reduction in the fine or for payments was on Monday's between 11-12 and 2-4 (can they make that any narrower?!) I responded by asking if they took AMEX. Peanut, Wendy and John chipped in towards the ticket but I felt pretty bad about that.

I did feel very taken advantage of and plan on writing to the Ontario OPP to set the record straight. While I don't think it will do any good at all it can't hurt either. I think in the situation a warn would have been sufficient. However, the cop probably thought that I would not put up much of a fight over it being that I was only there for a brief time. Irene's husband later told me that he believed that Ontario does have an agreement with PA in that if I didn't pay the ticket they could have reported me to whomever in PA, who can then turn around and fine me even more.

Just think, this all happened before we got to Wendy and John's. :PPPPPPPPPPPP

I promised my mom that I wouldn't let it ruin the rest of the vacation but I still had a few choice words for the OPP and we did have a good laugh at their expense which made me feel a whole lot better in the long run.

When we finally got to Wendy and John's we had a quick dinner and I think a game or two before settling in for the night.


Our first course of action was going to the police station after lunch. Wendy took us by her work place where we got to see her office (much neater than her Keele office. <G>)

We played lots of games. W&J really know how to find some obscure games like StakXchange (which I lost both times we played), Ticket to Ride (which I like a lot but still lost), Monopoly (again, lost horribly) and a few more.

Playing GamesCollapse )


We met up with friends of W&Js and went bowling. Well, they bowled I went to the arcade. I didn't want to take any chances with my shoulder. I did play some skeet ball but after the third round my arm started to burn so I settled on some traditional games. I did win about 435 tickets which I turned in for a small plush cookie monster.

Before bowling we had some appetizers and left Peanut with the bill.

Sticking Peanut with the BillCollapse )

But she was pretty hungry ...Collapse )

BowlingCollapse )


Peanut and I headed out to early Mass. After lunch we were supposed to have met up with Irene and Doug but the weather, once again, did not co-operate. While we had rain in London they had freezing rain in Kitchener. So we stayed in all day, which was fine by me. We spent the day playing games, watching TV (W and Peanut mostly), and John and I played some World of Warcraft. My mom sent up a pasta dinner with apple pie, which Wendy made for us for dinner.

Monday (Wendy's Birthday)

Kitchener, finally! We watched Wendy open all her gifts and then played another round of StakXchange before lunch then headed out to Irene's. We sat around and talked until dinner. Irene is into making her own jewelry. She gave Wendy a necklace to match the sweater that Y gave her. She gave me one for my mom (I don't wear much jewelry, I'm lucky if I remember to wear earrings) and she gave one to Peanut, too.

Irene and PeanutCollapse )

John and PeanutCollapse )

Wendy (sorta) and PeanutCollapse )

The whole gang (partly)Collapse )

Irene was planing on cooking us a dinner; however, it was a holiday so most of the stores, include the 24 hour ones, were closed. So she and Doug took us to Montana's for dinner. That was an experience. I think the food was decent but the service could have been a little better. Doug and Irene didn't get their order until way after we all did. The manger did apologize and not only gave them their meals on the house but took a portion off the bill. One thing they did forget about that I am sure Wendy was grateful for. Irene told our server, Jay the aviator, that it was her birthday. We saw several people having birthday's and they were made to wear a Viking hat. I had my camera all ready, too. <G> Oh well, whatcha gonna do? <G>

While we were having dinner it started snowing and it then froze. The roads were like sheets of ice. John did a great job of getting us safely home, though. He just took it nice and slowly. Once we were out of the Kitchener area the roads were fine.

We knew we had to head out early in the morning, plus W&J had to go back to work so we headed off to bed soon after we had some tea and coffee.


Time to head home. We actually left a bit earlier because it had started to snow, it was just enough to be a nuisance and lasted almost until we were at the boarder. We had a nice surprise there, too. It took us all of five minutes to cross! I was expecting at least an hour but because Peanut already had her papers we were able to sail right through.

The rest of the drive was uneventful, we even stopped at the Crossings in Waterloo at the premium outlets for some shopping, we made it back to PA by 7 with no run-ins with the police. <G> We picked up some pizza on the way to the house. After dinner I took Peanut to introduce her to my elderly neighbor where they had a nice Italian conversation. <G>


We went to the Crossings in Tannersville to do some more shopping. We hit every shop that Peanut wanted to and finished in record time! <G> We went out for dinner at a local steakhouse. They gave us each a bag of peanuts. <G>

ShoppingCollapse )

Peanut met some nice people. I think they were related!Collapse )

Finally, Thursday arrived. :( It was time to take Peanut back to the airport but not before my mom took our picture.

When Peanuts CollideCollapse )

All in all is was a great couple of weeks. Peanut made it home safe and sound after a four hour stop over at another airport due to fog in Venice. She told me that she could have been home in about an hour or so had they let them off the plane!! I would have been freaking out but that's not Peanut's style. She's as cool as a cucumber ... not at all a bad thing. :)

Well that's all from here I hope you enjoyed our story!! Until the next time we meet ... I explained to Peanut that we shouldn't let that go longer than a year or so. ;)

Peanut for President part 1

... or how I spent my Winter Vacation

WARNING: Going behind the cut will load about 24 photos.

In the last two weeks between the two of us we've done about 42 hours of traveling, lots of walking, and lots and lots of shopping! And we've had a ton of fun doing it. To tell our story we've come up with this pictorial ...

I hope this doesn't make any flist lists too long but I'll cut at least the photos.

Peanut arrived in the states back on Feb 7th and she spent the fists few days down in DC with Doug. The plan was to meet her at JFK on the 11th, come back to PA for a class I had, then drive back to NYC to walk around. Well the weather didn't want to co-operate (or it did, depending on which one of us you ask ;). The final decision was to meet in NYC on Monday and stay instead of driving back to PA. They were calling for snow and freezing rain Tuesday morning so staying over the night before seemed like the right choice. It did give us some extra time to take in the sights.


Peanut and I planned to meet at our hotel, which was just a block from Times Square. It was an okay place to stay. We couldn't have done better on the location for the price we paid; however, their heating system kind of sucked. The second night the heating actually turned off for a while but when it came back on it seemed to work a lot better than the night before. We used extra blankets to get through the coldness.

Arriving in NYCCollapse )

That first day we got eating at the Hard Rock Cafe out of the way and we spent some time at Toys R Us on Times Square. We'll have pictures of those later. We also stopped at one of the Yankee Clubhouses (Shops).

Yankee ClubhouseCollapse )

We ended the night at Rockefeller Center where we stopped for coffee.

Ice RinkCollapse )

CoffeeCollapse )

Back at the hotelCollapse )


We got up kind of early. The plan was to head out to Liberty and Ellis Island. Probably not a good idea in the snow but we braved it anyway.

BreakfastCollapse )

No trip to NYC is complete anymore without a stop at the World Trade Center site. It seems like it draws you down there to see the progress that is being made and to pay respects to those who lost their lives. There are orange fences all over the place which made looking in to the site of the Freedom Tower hard to see but I was able to maneuver my camera to see part of the site. It looks like they are still working on the foundation. Keep in mind that the foundation of the Twin Towers was about 7 stories (if I remember correctly.)

WTC SiteCollapse )

From there we walked down to the ferry.

Statue of LibertyCollapse )

I don't have any pictures of Ellis Island. We were only able to go through the second floor. Holy crap that place is huge!! After we got back to the main land we high tailed it back to the hotel where we met up with Denise Too (a long time Folc who lives in the City.) We went to dinner then we went back to Toys R Us to take pictures since I didn't have my camera the night before.

Dinner at JuniorsCollapse )

Toys Are UsCollapse )


We met up with Paul, who lives in NJ. He took the train in to walk around with us a bit. We really only had a short time with him as Peanut and I had tickets to see Mary Poppins on Broadway. It was my first Broadway play. I really enjoyed it. Peanut said that it was based more on the books than the movie. Now I really want to see another play. Maybe in the Fall I can talk my mom into taking a bus trip.

Before parting ways we walked down to FAO Schwarts, where Peanut actually tried out the floor keyboard.And no trip is complete without a stop at the Disney Store.

FAO SchwartsCollapse )

On BroadwayCollapse )

Before catching the bus back to PA we had dinner at Bubba Gumps

Bubba GumpsCollapse )

Finally, we caught our busCollapse )

That's it for our time in NYC. Part 2 will most likely be tomorrow or Sunday.

DH to be done in two films?

What do you think?

As reported by leaky-cauldron.org:

Deathly Hollows Film Rumor
The annual TSO (Trans Siberan Orchestra) concert was last night! Instead of us being their opening concert we were the second to the last. Tonight the east coast band wraps up their tour in Baltimore.

This year we had seat in the 3rd row, dead center! OMG ... words cannot describe how great this concert was. Yes, they play basically the same set every year; however, it just gets better and better every time! There's only one way to sum it up:

We also had a first for us, since it was my nephew's first concert he wanted to stay for the autograph session. We were almost last in line but it was so worth it! I bought a set of TSO drum sticks and had them sign one of them. The entire band comes out and the line moved faster than I though it would. I think it's something I will definitely stay for next year. I was thinking of having them sign the t-shirt I bought, but maybe next year!

Anyway, for those interested I'll get the rest of the photos up in a day or two.


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