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Am I the Typical Gen Xer?

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

You know, in previous generations (lookin’ at YOU, Boomers), people generally got more and more conservative as they aged. But I feel that with us (Gen Xers), we’re getting more and more LIBERAL. Perhaps it’s because we got SCREWED out of the American Dream that our parents had…

I say this, but when I think about the people in E TN who I went to school with, it seems they are all Republican and hateful to EVERYONE who is not white and christian like they are… So maybe it’s just me?

But, no, not that either. I think much of how you age and how you feel about society and politics and all that is VERY dependent on WHERE you live and HOW you live.

I really think that getting away from the small town mentality is the key. No matter where you’re from, you CAN get the fuck out of there and make your own mind up about how things should be. Yes, I grew up in E TN with the rest of the hillbillies and it took me a LONG TIME to move past those ingrained attitudes. But I finally did. Being in a large city with people from literally everywhere gives you a much better perspective than people who live their whole lives in a 10 mile radius like my family.

I think that being in a decent sized city with lots of “other” kinds of people really will change your attitudes about them. When you eat their food, shop in their stores and learn how they live, your attitude will change. I don’t think I’d be having miso soup for breakfast most days if I lived in E TN. I don’t think I’d have a pantry full of Indian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Middle Eastern ingredients, either. Food is a powerful way to connect with a different culture. When you are not exposed to different foods and cultures, you’ll never appreciate them.

Fear is fostered when people are never around anyone different. Clearly, this country is full of fearful people. It’s the ones who live in small towns and never see anyone different than themselves. There is a book I’m reading right now that is SO appropriate for our current level of fear of foreigners in American right now. It’s called The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout. Interesting (if slow) read dealing with the attitudes of a small town towards an influx of foreigners.

Anyway, back to the Gen X question. Most of my peers are not raging Republicans yet. I’m talking about the peers I have who are also city dwellers. Most of the people I allow on my FB are living in an urban environment rather than a small town one and they are generally of the same mindset as I, in that voting for Cheeto = voting for HATE. So I wonder if Gen X is split over the Cheeto? If so, in what ratio? Am I like the majority of my peers in thinking that Cheeto is a horrible POTUS? Or is the majority of Gen X (now 40-50) on the side of the Boomers?

I can’t find many articles about this that have non biased opinions, so instead, I found the NYT exit polls, which do seem to bear out what I’m thinking: that education, age and location are BIG factors. Click to see full page:

NYT Election 2016 Exit Polls

Location is a really BIG factor in the voting, which goes with how it felt to me. It felt like hillbillies rallied around the dude who stoked their fear and hatred of The Other. Gaslighting!! Turns out that Gen Xers are indeed divided pretty evenly Dem/Rep. The only ages that had a large margin of Democrat voting was 18-29. All the rest were within 10 points, which points to WHERE these people lived rather than which generation they were. Interesting.

So I guess I am sort of a typical Gen Xer – at least compared to others who live in an urban environment. It’s sad to me, however, that our generation has SO MANY conservatives. I think getting screwed out of the American Dream must have really ruined Gen Xers for giving a shit about others and about how this country is run. I know my brother is completely apathetic and feels completely beat down. Many of us do.

I just hope the bright eyed and bushy tailed optimism of the Millennials doesn’t get killed by crotchety Gen Xers telling them to STFU. I will admit that their constant fretting over which gender they should be is annoying, but hey, whatever. I try to just not say anything about it and let them fret. I do wish they’d vote MORE. But I have no idea how to convince them that it matters when the hillbillies (of all ages) just voted in a Cheeto. ? How to combat that?

I feel sorry for the Millennials, but hey, WE had our shit to deal with, too. Just about the time we got our shit together and got the career and tried for the dream of a home and all that shit, the government fucked us up the ass. We GET to be pissy about that. You young ‘uns can be pissy about student loans and no jobs, but WE got fucked, too. Just remember that.

And also remember that we had better music and bigger hair than you, too. :P

I think we can ALL AGREE that the fucking Boomers just need to fucking DIE already. If we can get rid of them, perhaps something might finally change for the better. As long as we can get the progressive Gen Xers to participate, that is. Again, no idea how to make that happen. Sigh. I fear for our Republic.

Comments are open. Tell me what YOU think, fellow Gen Xers. Do you feel typical? Why?

Scalloped Cauliflower

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

Great low carb way to feel like you’re eating mac n cheese! Yum! I added shrooms because I had them, they are totally optional. This would be really good with fried onions on top, too. Sadly I did not get a photo, but I will next time I make this.

Scalloped Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower, cut into 1-2″ florets
1/2 small box of mushrooms, sliced
1 good sized shallot, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbl butter
1-2 Tbl flour
3/4 C shredded cheese (I used mexican blend)
1/2 C heavy cream
1/2 C half n half (or all cream or all half n half, whatever)
chicken stock to thin sauce if necessary
Panko w/ Cooking spray (optional)
OR parmesan topping

Preheat oven to 375F.

Blanch the cauliflower in salted water for about 8 mins or until crisp tender; drain.

In a skillet, put a coupla turns of EVOO and sautée the shrooms, shallot and garlic until everything is cooked and the shrooms let off their juice. Set the veg aside. In the same pan, add in the butter and melt, then add the flour to make your roux. Cook the flour 3-4 mins then add in the cream and half n half. Stir until it’s all combined then add the cheese. You’ll want about a cup of sauce. If it gets too thick, use the stock to thin it out a little. (I had to thin a little.) Check the seasoning on the sauce – make it just a little saltier than you think it should be; cauliflower soaks up salt.

Combine all the veg and put into a sprayed square baking dish. Pour over the cheesy goodness and make sure all the veg is covered. Put the panko on top and spray with cooking spray so it’ll brown. You can skip panko and use more cheese here if you want to keep out the carbs. I’d use parmesan so it’ll brown nicely. Cook in a 375F oven for about 30 mins or so, until it’s bubbly and the topping is browned.

Let’s Get It Over With

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

This has been sitting in draft since July 2016. Now that this person has removed herself from my FB and I’ve purged all the haters, I’m posting this. Since Cheeto won the election, it’s even more important that people understand where I am. I am not giving passes. You voted for Trump? You are an asshole, period. And perhaps a bit mentally deficient. Don’t like that I think this? THEN MOVE ALONG. This attitude ain’t changing.

Nick says I shouldn’t post about our recent interaction with a Trump supporter in the wild. He’s probably right, but I gotta. This shit goes right into my disgust with where I grew up and I just can’t let it slide. I’m not one for giving passes to assholes and I guess I’m too old to start now.

I’ve posted a bunch of political crap on FB, like everyone else. It’s easy to repost or retweet stories on social media. I would think that anyone who even vaguely knows me would know that I am an Independent who gets ZERO representation in our two party system of government. Anyone who even vaguely knows me should also know that I don’t suffer fools and I’d rather be rid of you than put up with bullshit. Right? Right.

With that sorted, let us get into my post that will probably piss off some people who think they are immune to my short temper and aforementioned lack of fucks to give. Whatever. I’d rather OUT them and let them go their way than be friends with people who are so ignorant of the big wide world that they are afraid of anyone who is not JUST LIKE THEM. Furthermore, *I* am NOT like them, so what kind of shit do they think about ME? I got rid of my birthday twin because she felt “sorry” for me that I’m not a Turbo Christian like she is. I’m glad she told me. I don’t hate her, but we can’t be friends, and that’s fine. (I later find that OF COURSE, she is a Trump supporter. Big shock. Doubly glad I got rid of her.)

I am NOT like the people from E TN. Not even a little. We might be “friends” on FB, but we’re not friends IRL. I’d love to say that friendship doesn’t involve core values, but, sorry, it really does. You can’t be real friends with people who have different core values and being a racist with fascist leanings is FAR from my wheelhouse. Theocracy is also not in my wheelhouse. If that’s your groove, then we are not friends. It’s as simple as that.

First, I’d like to say that I’ve never been more grateful to live in a big city than I am right now. I’ve lived here in ATL longer than I was in Knoxville TN and it shows. It’s taken me decades to rid myself of the toxic attitudes of E TN and I’m glad to see them go. I can see CLEARLY how living in a small town, surrounded by people JUST LIKE YOU is a recipe for racism, religious fanaticism and warped attitudes about anyone who is NOT just like you.

I have lived in Dekalb County GA since 1988. As of the last census, Dekalb County is ~36% white and ~55% black with ~6% Asians and ~19% not speaking English at home. Compare that to Knox County TN: ~86% white, ~9% black with ~2% Asian and ~6% not speaking English at home. Or better, Anderson County TN: ~92% white, ~4% black with ~1.5% Asian and ~4% not speaking English at home. (Full comparative table of Knox & Anderson Counties TN and Dekalb County GA.)

And these people in E TN are deathly afraid of anyone who is brown or wears a hijab. Why? Well, judging by the demographics, it’s because they never SEE anyone brown or in a hijab. But to hear them talk, you’d think that they were veritably SURROUNDED by these scary people. We were in a business meeting with an E TN person who thought it’d be a swell idea to bring up her love of Trump at the end of the meeting. WHY she thought that would be a great idea is beyond me. Up until that, the meeting had been pretty good. It was ruined in about 2 minutes. A couple of excerpts from my conversation with this sane, rich, white Christian woman from E TN who “passionately” supports Trump:

“We’ve got to get rid of the Muslims. They are out to get us [white Christians]!”
“Muslims are everywhere! They are ALL OVER Clinton [TN]!”
“If you give blacks an inch, well, you know who they’ll enslave!”
“Oh, E TN is SO full of blacks now! You wouldn’t believe it!”

ORLY? You are surrounded by blacks and Muslims, are ya? Sorry, but the demographics do NOT support your racist assertions (person lives in Anderson County, btw). And to top it off, this person said this OUT LOUD, in a public place!! In downtown ATLANTA. I was mortified. I’ve heard the same exact shit from my parents for years. When they can’t get something via their shitty insurance, it’s ALWAYS because the blacks are taking away all their benefits. ?? How does that even make sense?

Needless to say, I am very disappointed in this person, but sadly, not one bit surprised. I was expecting the E TN to come out eventually. It always does. I can do the job we were discussing, but unless they are willing to sign a contract with a hate speech clause, I don’t want to risk having to listen to hateful shit while I work with them. (NOPE, did not even discuss taking the gig.)

Some (Nick in particular) would say that I should cut them some slack – they just don’t understand because they live in a bubble!! Well, I say HELL NO to that. These people are just as capable of research and reading from various sources as anyone. These people have the goddam internet. They are educated and well to do. They CHOOSE to be racist, hateful people. THEY CHOOSE IT.

These people are living in a bubble of SAMENESS, for sure. They are surrounded by racists JUST LIKE THEM. All their friends listen to FOX News and Sean Hannity JUST LIKE THEM. All their friends attend a Christian church JUST LIKE THEM. It’s an echo chamber of hate, racism and fear of anyone who is not JUST LIKE THEM. The demographics bear this out.

THIS is why I hate E TN. It is majority white Christians who hate everyone who is not like them. I know only a handful of people who live there who are not Turbo Christians full of hate. I also love the hypocrisy of these hate mongers who openly shout how Christian they are, then turn around and spew racist bullshit in the same breath. The person I was talking to also noted that they don’t “advertise” their Trump support. Gee, wonder why? Think it might OUT you as the racist douchebag that you are? (In a funny twist, she outed HERSELF on my FB feed before she slunk off and unfriended me. LOL)

I read a post by Jim Wright (Stonekettle.com) about how Trump has become the new litmus test for friends:

“And that’s what it’s come to in America. First thing. What do you think of that Trump guy? The answer to that question tells you everything you need to know about somebody and whether they’re worth bothering with.” – Jim Wright

Even the Trump supporter confirmed this during our conversation. They said “This election will break up families and friendships”. Yes it will, because with Trump, it’s all hate all the time and the rest of the world is NOT down with that. *I* am not down with that and I don’t want to be associated with people who ARE.

I know it’s just politics… But this time, I think it’s a lot more than “just” politics. This election is drawing lines between the Old Guard (white, rich, Christian men) and progressives who want change. I’m not a fan of Michael Moore, but this post is spot on: 5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win. I do think Trump will win in November because there are a lot more people who live in small homogenous white towns and/or who are sick of the status quo than there are progressives who wanted Bernie but have to vote for Hillary.

And sadly, we now have Cheeto PEOTUS who will be Cheeto in Chief on Friday (Jan 20 2017). May the gods have mercy on our souls. The hillbillies won and it’s gonna be a shit show. As for me, I’m getting the popcorn ready. I do not participate in healthcare scams, so ACA doesn’t matter to me in the least. I will feel sorry for all the people who do rely on it – UNLESS they voted Trump, then I hope they suffer greatly. I plan to register as Muslim when that bullshit starts, too. You get what you vote for, motherfuckers.

Pricey Make-up and Youtube

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

Is it wrong to like LESS fussy makeup? These youtube girls take an hour to put on layer upon layer of makeup and I just can’t be bothered. I mean, REALLY? I have been working to do better eye makeup, but even then I only use 2-3 colours, tops. These girls use like SIX colours! GAH! And the contouring? NAWP. I use a little bit of blush under the cheekbone and a little highlighter on top. I’ve also found that using a brush for foundation makes it too heavy, so I’ve gone back to fingers. I’m a heathen, I know. HA!

I think as you age, using less makeup is probably for the best. Too much foundation and concealer and all that really globs up and shows fine lines, I think. Less = more. OH! I found a GREAT youtuber that is my age (one week apart!) and we have similar opinions on makeup. She’s an actress named Monique Parent. I enjoy her tutorials and her beautiful grey hair! Look her up!

For a night out, I use this method (currently):
– primer (NYX Photo Primer) applied with fingers
– pore minimiser (NYX) applied to crater sized pores for a better finish
– concealer (Revlon Colorstay) Around eyes and eyelids, applied with fingers
– Revlon New Complexion creme foundation (VERY lightly) fingers
– Mineral Wear powder foundation (past jawline down neck) sponge applicator
– Mineral Wear translucent setting powder, big brush
– base eye colour (usually shimmer) sponge applicator or brush if it’s matte
– base colour under lower lashes (sometimes slightly darker) sponge or small brush
– colour in the crease and outer lid, into a wing, brush
– sometimes I’ll do a darker colour in the crease (gotta be careful with heavy lids!) brush
– eyeliner on top lid only; sometimes with wing (Revlon Colorstay crayon or L’oreal gel w/ brush)
– Almay One Coat mascara is the best (top lashes only) Intense Black
– blend out any lines and up to the brow with MAC Trek50 Luna Lustre highliter, brush
– light blush in cheek hollows, brush
– use same MAC highlighter around eyes and on cheekbones, brush
– lip pencil
– lip colour applied with brush

TA DAAAAH! That’s it. It takes me about 20 minutes, which I think is a LONG time to beat on my face! LOL

I bought some pricey makeup from MAC and a tarte palette, but overall, I’m not impressed. Miracole gave me some pure MAC pigments and I like those better. The pricey MAC mascara is not as good as Almay, IMO. The Trek 50 MAC collection has totally shitty pigments and it’s all quite dull, despite how it looks in the packaging. The tarte lip pencil tint and lip gloss has NO pigment, absolutely NOT worth the money, IMO. I bought the tarte Grav3yard Girl palette and it’s just OK; none of the eye pigments are as bold as they look in the palette. So I say, buy whatever the fuck you want and don’t feel like more money = better product. That has not been my experience! Revlon has the best foundations for my skin and Physician’s Formula Mineral Wear powders are great for me. I’m not even going to bother paying $45 for some fancy shit that I’ll not like any better. I’m going to stick to MAC pigments, I think, for bold eye colours, tho. The pure pigment is the way to go, despite its $22 each price tag. That shit lasts FOREVER.

That’s my take on pricey makeup and youtube girls! Use what you like. It’s all out of the same vat anyway. MAC is owned by Estee Lauder, FFS. So, whatever. I still love the single shimmer eye shadows from Sally for every day wear. RIP. I loved them so. I hope I can find another brand that looks like the Sally does. Every tutorial says, “DO NOT use shimmer shadows on deep set eyes!”, yet it is the daytime look I like best. So that’s what I wear. Fuck the “experts”! LOL On the advice of Monique Parent, I have bought some Revlon ColorBurst lip stains, Neutrogena Shine Control powder and I picked up a Neutrogena fat pencil lipstick that I really like. They were out of NYX HD powder, so I’ll try that another time. Still on the hunt for a good, light liquid foundation.

Makeup is for fun, so buy what you like and PLAY! :) I wore a teal MAC pigment to a party last week, this is the exact makeup I just described above:

MAC Teal Pigment

MAC Teal Pigment

I do wish my skin was smoother. Sigh. The primer helps, but there’s only so much makeup can do, yanno? Whatever, I’m 51, FUCK IT! I wear what I want! :D

Back to Working Out!

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

As promised, at the six month point, I started working out again. I’d been walking on the treadmill, but I wanted to get back to the aerobics and kickboxing I used to do. We’re now past the seven month mark and I’ve been working out for real for about a month. Loving it!

The DVDs I use are by the famous Kathy Smith, who has been doing exercise stuff since the 80s. Her DVDs are high quality and her workouts are really solid. I’ve tried other DVDs and keep going back to KS.

I use the Foundation workout on her Project You DVD. I just bought some new KS DVDs for weight lifting and I’m currently doing Arms on her Staying Strong DVD. I’ll add in the other three sections of the weight lifting after the New Year.

I’m down to 192.5! Inching towards my next goal of under 190!

Still taking Nexium 2x a day, but I’m feeling like I can probably drop the daytime one. I plan to experiment after the new year. I added Maca root by my gyno’s suggestion and I think it’s helping me with menopause sleep issues. It is supposed to help with energy levels all round and I think it is!

This is my current supplement regimen:
1 Vitacost (VC) multi
1 high potency turmeric VC
1 300mcg selenium VC
1 Kyolic KyoDophilus
1 gelantinized Maca root, 500mg, Gaia brand
1 CoQ10, alternating weeks on that one (SO many capsules!!) VC
4 calcium/magnesium caps (half dose, VC) and 2 Pioneer brand Cal/Mag chews (half dose)
OR 4 Pioneer Cal/Mag chews (full dose) if I don’t feel like taking all those caps
1 Quickdots B12 chew 1000mcg VC
1 Quickdots D3 and K2 chew VC (to aid Vit B12 absorption)

I’m feeling good in general. I owe everyone a video, I know, and I’ll do one after the New Year, PROMISE!

For now, Happy Yule and Happy New Year everyone!

Taxes and Obamacare

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

So, last year, our expensive accountant had no idea how much we were fined for not doing Obamacare. We got about the same tax refund as the previous year, so we couldn’t tell, either. THIS year, I am doing a lot more research into the fines for Obamacare and the plans we are offered as well. And AGAIN, I see that Obamacare is ridiculous and 100% useless for anything. You might as well BURN the money.

Here is the Subsidy/Fine calculator:

Obamacare Subsidy/Fine calculator

Obamacare Subsidy/Fine calculator

As you can see, the fine indicated would be around $1500, or 2.5% of our income. OR it could be the flat rate fine of $695×2 = $1390, as the calculator below indicates. Who the fuck knows?

Flat rate $695x2

Flat rate $695×2

And here are the illustrious plans offered us:
Shitty Obamacare plans

Shitty Obamacare plans

Wow, only $7k deductible? WHAT A DEAL! LOL Or a measly $13,300 for the other. LOL The rates in bold are the “discounted” rates that reflect our “generous” subsidy of $235.55/mo. LOL What a fucking JOKE.

Keep in mind, that this year, with ALL my shit: surgery, travel, blood tests, one Dr follow up and meds, I have spent about $5400. If you add our AFLAC accident insurance**, which is about $165/qtr ($660/yr, less $60 wellness refund), that still brings us to only $6000 for this year. Even if you add in the biggest fine ($1500), it’s $7500yr, which is technically more than these shitty insurance plans, but keep in mind that you have to add the deductible, so the cheapest plan comes to $6590/yr PLUS $7000, which comes to $13,590 per year before you get ONE PENNY OF COVERAGE. So how in the blue fuck is Obamacare “affordable”? HOW?

Since the surgery was a one time deal, then without that $5000 my typical spending for healthcare is around $400/yr for both of us. That does not include dental ($400 for both, once/yr or around $700 for 2x/yr) or my eye dr ($130 1x year-ish). So my typical spending is what? Around a grand? I’ll take a grand out of pocket over paying out $6590/yr for literally nothing. Obamacare does not cover dental or eye anyway, so all the suckers that pay for it STILL have to pay for that. SUCKERS.

I still see people complaining about their shitty insurance and how it covers nothing, yet they run themselves into bankruptcy to continue paying Obamacare. WHY?? WHY WHY WHY? I just don’t get it. Unless you have a chronic illness that requires shit tons of non generic meds, then I see no reason to pay out thousands of dollars for “insurance” with a $7k DEDUCTIBLE and $14,300 cap! Which means it ain’t gonna pay, yo! I think Americans are fucking insane. Insane to put up with the ass fucking of insurance companies and insane to elect a fucking asshole who is going to make EVERYTHING privatized. You think healthcare sucks now? HA!! Just wait! All you fuckers on Medicaid/Medicare? Get your lube ready, cuz you’re taking it up the ass, my friends. UP. THE. ASS. The Obamacare subsidies will go away and everyone will end up with heinously pricey insurance with heinous deductibles and YUGE spending caps. You just think it’s bad now…

I will continue to hold onto my cash. If an accident occurs, we’ve got AFLAC. We are healthy and do not take Rx drugs. We’ve got credit and savings if we need it. I think that is a far more intelligent way to manage your money than hand it over to private insurance companies who give you LITERALLY NOTHING in return.

But, y’all keep on handing your money over to those private companies. I’ll be over here counting mine.

**Speaking of AFLAC, that shit rocks. You can’t get hospitalization unless it’s through your employer, which is a shame. I think if AFLAC would offer a stand alone hospitalization plan like the accident plan, they’d own the market. The accident plan has generous pay outs for various things like ER visits, etc. We figure if anything serious happens to us, it’ll be on the road or Nick cutting his dick off with a power tool. Either way, AFLAC’s got our back. We’ve had this plan for a decade. :)

Carne Guisada

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

As with most of my recipes, I started with some meat I wanted to use. I had a pack of carne picada beef (a sliced then shredded cut of chuck or some other braising beef) so I was looking for carne picada recipes. Then I stumbled upon something called Carne Guisada. It has potatoes! This is my version of Carne Guisada for the crock pot. Easy and great for a cold rainy evening.

Carne Guisada de Angela

Carne Guisada de Angela

Carne Guisada de Angela

1.25# picada beef (large shred)
1 med white onion, frenched
4 cloves garlic, minced
10 small white potatoes, quartered
1 red or green pepper, diced
1/2 tsp ea S/P
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 small can green chiles
1 cup chicken broth (plus another half cup towards the end of cooking)
1/4 cup red wine or apple cider, wine or sherry vinegar
2 Tbl worcestershire sauce
optional: sour cream garnish

1/3 cup flour
1 Tbl chili powder
1 tsp ancho powder
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Preheat crock pot on High. Spray with cooking spray and put a little EVOO in the bottom. Add onions, garlic, pepper and potatoes and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and oregano.

Dredge the beef in mixture in chunks and put on top of veg. Add green chiles on top of beef.

Check every hour or so to see if you need more broth. This should make a juicy stew.

Cook on high for about 4 hours until the beef is tender. Check your seasoning, potatoes tend to suck up salt.

Add the wine or vinegar after the cooking is done to brighten up the flavour; same for the worcestershire sauce. This stew tends to taste flat after it’s been refrigerated, so be ready to add more vinegar and worcestershire when you reheat. This is a medium spicy stew. If you are heat sensitive, cut back on chili powder and red pepper flakes. Sour cream is a lovely garnish for this stew.

Beware of Out Patient Procedures

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

So, a few weeks ago, I got my blood tests and called my gyno to get an appointment to discuss. She answered the phone and told me that her nurse, Alicia, had died suddenly, so she had very restricted hours.

I was so shocked, I started bawling on the spot. I was (and AM) very upset by this news.

I’ve been going to my gyno for years. She is the only Dr I’ve ever liked and who is genuinely interested in me as a person, not just a hooha that needs a probin’. Her nurse and office manager Alicia was a part of the fun atmosphere and I looked forward to seeing them every year. Crazy, right? I actually like my Dr and nurse that much. I was looking forward to sharing my weight loss with Alicia and joking around like we do.

So losing her was shocking to say the least. She was mid 40s, had a husband and kids. TRAGIC.

What happened?

She went in for a simple “out patient” sinus procedure that required general anesthetic. They used propofol. They did not monitor her breathing and she died. Just like that.

Sound familiar? It should. It was what happened to Michael Jackson. And Joan Rivers.

Propofol is a VERY dangerous drug. It is used in these office visit procedures because it dissipates quickly for a fast recovery. HOWEVER, it can also overshoot quite easily and requires a very attentive anesthetist to make sure that the patient’s breathing does not get too slow.

The lesson to be learned from this is to NEVER EVER agree to an “out patient” procedure (read: insurance won’t pay for a proper hospital) that requires anesthetic such as propofol to be used without demanding to see the operating suite. They should have a crash cart. They should have proper monitoring equipment for respiration and blood oxygen. Demand to see your anesthetist’s CV and ask how much experience and training they’ve had. Demand to know the procedures in place for respiratory arrest or other emergencies. IT IS YOUR RIGHT TO ASK THESE QUESTIONS.

Or better: do not have surgery in a Dr’s office. If it’s something you need to be completely out for, then do your damnedest to get admitted to a proper hospital. If Alicia had been in hospital, she would not have died.

Alicia’s death was unnecessary and easily preventable. The anesthetist was inexperienced and did not continue to monitor her after the surgery was done. The office must have been sketchy in general, as several employees quit the day this happened. And YES, the family is suing. DAMN RIGHT.

THIS is why I always preach about taking control of your medical issues. Alicia was a nurse and she didn’t take the time to ask the questions. It happens all the time. It’s a simple procedure, but the anesthetic is not discussed. People tend to be afraid to ask questions or disagree with Drs. DO NOT BE. Be your own advocate. If you’ve got a Dr that won’t answer questions, find another. If your insurance refuses to pay for a hospital procedure, then ASK THE QUESTIONS to ensure your safety. SO MANY Drs do “out patient” surgeries because of insurance pressure. And SO MANY do not have adequate facilities or personnel to handle emergencies. Have someone with you to monitor what’s going on. Any time you’re put under, you should have someone ON SITE with you.

I was not worried about my surgery, as it was in a hospital, but I made out my will just in case. NEVER assume that nothing could go wrong. When you’re dealing with anesthetic, there is much that can go wrong. Be diligent. Don’t be a statistic. Please.


Doenjang Mushroom Soup

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

I’m in the kitchen today making turkey stock, testing cheese sauce recipes and testing a Korean soybean paste (doenjang) mushroom soup recipe. I hit the jackpot with the soup! It’s easy and SO much umami that you can’t stop making nommy noises! This soup is a little on the salty side, but I don’t mind. If you are salt sensitive, cut back the memmi (or soy) and increase the rice wine vinegar. Also, this is a VERY Asian soup with specific Asian ingredients. I’ll give you more common substitutions, but it will change the overall taste.

Doenjang Mushroom Soup

Doenjang Mushroom Soup

Doenjang Mushroom Soup

EVOO for sauteeing veg (about 1 tsp)
1 8oz package cremini mushrooms, diced
1 shallot, small dice (about 1 Tbl)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 scallions, 1.5″ pieces
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 Tbl Korean doenjang paste (sub Japanese miso, but it’s not as assertive)
**I also think that adding a tsp of gochujang (Korean chili paste) would be awesome in this soup!
1/4 cup Kikkoman memmi soup base (sub soy sauce)
1/4 cup mirin (sub water w/ 1/2 tsp sugar dissolved in it)
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup water
1 tsp corn starch dissolved in 1 Tbl water
2-3 scallions cut on the bias for garnish

In a medium saucepan, start sweating shallots and garlic in EVOO over med low heat. When shallots are soft, add scallions and mushrooms. Up the heat to medium. When mushrooms release their juice, add mustard, pepper and doenjang paste. Stir until the paste melts and coats the veg. When the doenjang has coated the veg, add memmi, mirin, rice wine vinegar and chicken stock. Bring to simmer. Check seasoning. If it is too salty for you, add the half cup water and bring back to simmer. Add cornstarch and simmer for 2-3 minutes to cook the cornstarch. Check seasoning again and serve with scallion garnish.

VSG Six Month Update

Originally published at Misangela.com. Please leave any comments there.

I could do a video for this, but I’m not in the mood. So stills you’ll get!

My six month anniversary was yesterday, Nov 17, 2016.

I pulled a still from my first video and I just took a couple for comparison.

I started at 250# and lost 10# before surgery. My waist was 51″.

May 2016

May 2016

I am at 192.4# (total lost 57.6#) and my waist is 44″.

Nov 2016

Nov 2016

Nov 2016

Nov 2016

I’m taking 20mg Nexium 2x/day to keep the GERD in check, still on the same vitamins and I’m having little issue with the VSG. My volume is still around 6.5 oz, still small, but doable. I’ve learned to adapt to the small portions and usually eat 4-5x a day. When I remember. ;)

My problems now all revolve around the Mirena and hormone imbalances from menopause. BAH. If it ain’t one thing, it’s another.

Overall, I’m doing well. Can’t wait for the next 50# to come off. It’s going to be glorious!


Blinky doll

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