Friday, June 16, 2017

In Case You Want Nightmares Tonight

I generally sleep without pajamas in the summer and while pregnant, because it's way too dang hot otherwise.

So this morning, after using the bathroom and getting Claire set up with her morning dose of Curious George and Daniel Tiger, I went back to my room and slipped on my robe hanging in my closet. Laid back down on my bed on my side/stomach to say something to the husband who was attempting to keep the day from starting.

Then I felt something move on my back.

Ever the paranoid person, I first tried to discount it as the fabric moving on my skin.

So I stayed very still, and felt the movement travel across my back, slowly, between my shoulder blades.

I calmly told Caleb it felt like there was a bug on my back.

He, not understanding I meant underneath the robe, placed his hand directly on my back where the bug was, and said, "Nope, there's nothing."

Feeling more movement, I (still calmly) said, "Nope, definitely something."

I attempted to move closer so he could get the bug more easily, but when I went to move, one of the muscles surrounding the baby seized up (as has happens very frequently this pregnancy, ugh) and I yelled out in pain and fell back down on the bed.

Caleb then was frantic, I heard some yelling, then saw what looked like a house centipede jumping on my bed and crawling around.

Image result for house centipede

The thing of my nightmares.

It jumped off the bed and was in my book basket.

I asked Caleb what it was, and much to my relief was told it was a gigantic wolf spider (or something that resembled it in stature and quickness).

Image result for wolf spider

5 minutes of stalking later, Caleb was the house hero and had killed the spider.

The robe is in the laundry, and I may never wear anything again without checking the whole item of clothing up and down, inside and out.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Theft Poll

In inner city Baltimore, we always kept all the doors locked, for obvious reasons.

Our car was broken into twice - once I think a homeless person just spent the night inside and drained the battery, and the second time they just stole our GPS unit.

Since moving here, I haven't been as strict about locking my car. I always do at the store, in places where there are lots of people, etc. Not always at home. I know, that sounds really dumb.

I just heard there has been an increase in car break-ins in the area; specifically, windows being smashed in.

In Baltimore, I rarely, if ever, saw a window broken in. I know it happened, I just didn't see it in the places I lived. Thieves were relying on unlocked cars and easy-to-unlock cars.

It sounds like here, if someone is going to break into my car, they are going to break into my car regardless of whether it is unlocked or not. So, my thinking is that I might as well leave the door unlocked to prevent further damage. My stereo is not worth stealing; the only thing worth stealing is the car seat, which costs less than the deductible I'd have to pay if someone caused any damage, theft or otherwise, to my car. Also, funny as it may sound, out of all my friends who had their car broken into in Baltimore (all of them), not ONE had a car seat stolen. One just had some charging cords stolen, with 2 brand new car seats sitting in the back seat. Makes me laugh. Kind of.

Thoughts?

Thursday, June 1, 2017

I'll PM You

I'm on a roll lately, if you couldn't tell.

What the heck is up with all the people on Facebook marketing something or other but can't/won't give explicit details about it?

If you have to use a thousand emojis to describe your product, have no actual pictures of the product, or the before and after pics have clear and HUGE lighting differences, that's a red flag.

Also a red flag?

If you end the post with "Comment below if interested/for more details".

Then, when someone comments, "I'll pm you."

How about you just put up an explicit price list?

The latest one is a (Facebook) friend who's putting in a life-changing toothpaste order in the morning.

I might actually be interested....but the whole fact that no brand/company is ever mentioned, and no prices or details are made public is ridiculous. Why should 35 people all have to ask the exact same question? Just tell me publicly that it's 25 freaking dollars for a 2 ounce tube and save everyone some time (I actually have no idea how much it costs....not wasting my time).

So yeah. Just FYI, I pass on all these things if there are any of the previously listed red flags. Annnnd....sometimes (a lot of times) I hide these people because they start blowing up my news feed with their business goals rather than their personal achievements and family life. Create a separate business page (kudos to you who have)!

And if you do any of these things, realize that a lot of people feel this way. If you're still making a good profit and have plenty of customer volume and are cool with the fact that you annoy the crap out of a bunch of your Facebook "friends", carry on.

Also, if you do these things, I don't hate you. It's just really annoying.

:P

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fluency

I've been told one way to know that you're really fluent in another language is that you'll start dreaming in that tongue.

Well, I've been frequently dreaming in Spanish, but I spend a significant portion of my dream wondering what the heck anyone is saying, and trying to translate.

What the heck does THAT mean?

Also, may be why I don't feel very rested when I wake up.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Social Media

What I'm about to post will be controversial, for sure, and argued among colleagues for months to come.

Maybe.

Combined Facebook accounts.

Yes, I know some of my readers have them, some have considered them.

Coming from the friend's perspective, they are annoying as heck.

Reason #1:  You never know who is really posting.

Now, I have had some friends combine accounts and their spouse never uses Facebook again. However, I have also commented on friends' posts before, only to find out it was actually their husband posting, their husband whom I have never met. I don't want to be unfriendly, but I wouldn't have started up a conversation with the guy had I known it was him.

I also feel weird when I have friends' posts come up in my news feed that are clearly from their spouse. I didn't friend your spouse, I friend-ed you.

I don't generally "friend" my friends' spouses unless we also have a friendship, a networking need to be friends, or perhaps even a calling where we might need to communicate or share ideas (but really, I've never had that happen).

Reason #2:  Suddenly, I have no desire to ever private message you again.

I will never know who is really reading those private messages.

I'm not one to send skanky pictures via a personal message, or talk about inappropriate things, but I do care to know who I am talking to. I don't plan on sending a message asking "how are ya", "hey do you want to go visiting teaching next week", "oh my gosh the worst thing just happened at work", "My kid just pooped all over the floor", etc to your husband. It's not that it's inappropriate, but I just really would like to be confident of who is reading my message.

Also, that emoji that has hearts for eyes? Yeah, I'd feel weird if I sent that in a message that your husband read first.

Years ago, I was expressing my frustration about combined accounts to a close friend who had recently gotten married. She sheepishly said that they were considering it themselves.

My response was that she should do what was best for herself and her husband, but that she would never get another private message from me, or a post on her wall. It just makes me feel weird. She should feel comfortable in how she uses social media, but I need to feel comfortable too. It goes both ways.

These are really my main reasons for hating it, but these are some reasons I've heard from others on why they are combining accounts:

This will help keep us accountable to each other and have transparency in our marriage.

I honestly believe if you have that big of a transparency issue, you should get off Facebook. And if you really can't trust your spouse that much and it is not unfounded, he/she probably has another account that you don't know about anyway.

With that being said, I don't expect to tell you anything over Facebook that I wouldn't want your spouse to see. (If I had something ultra personal, I'd probably preface my message with just that....but again...your spouse is your spouse, I don't expect you to keep secrets from them). I just don't want to feel like I'm sending something to you that your spouse might first screen.

My spouse doesn't use Facebook anyway, so this way everyone that wants to contact him can just contact me.

If he's not on Facebook, his colleagues and friends probably call/text/e-mail him just fine. And it's probably really apparent from his Facebook wall/profile that he doesn't ever use it.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Think About It

Growing up, in many group chastity lessons, inevitably someone would ask the seminary teacher, or the unlucky bishopric member, a question of "is ___ allowed when I'm dating?" This frequently led to a response of "If you have to ask, the answer is probably no."

This led to youthful me feeling very frustrated. As the oldest child with 4 younger sisters, discussions like this were not frequent in our home. I don't fault my parents for that, but being told that if you had a question about what you could and couldn't do meant that you shouldn't be doing that thing was very confusing. Even though I knew that couldn't be right, every time I wondered something like that I had that guy in the back of my head saying it must not be good then. Not the Holy Ghost. The really otherwise-nice bishopric member.

I think what they mean, or rather should say, is "Here are the clearly stated things you should and should not allow while dating. That specific question might be better to discuss with your parents, where you can come to a conclusion after a thoughtful and personal discussion with people who know you, know your strengths and weaknesses, etc".

I was reminded of this today when talking about keeping the Sabbath holy in Sunday school, a class member with more weight to his words announced that if you are wondering if doing something is acceptable on the Sabbath, it probably isn't.

What if you are a new member and are unsure if leaving your house to visit your sick grandmother 100 miles away, because you might have to purchase gas, is in line with Sabbath day observance?

What if you are a healthcare professional, or a police officer, or just got a random job after a long bout of unemployment, and conditional on retaining the job is that you work on Sunday? And you're pondering what the right thing to do is? The answer is not automatically "Do not do that thing because you're wondering about it."

Or what if you make poor Sabbath day observance choices, but never think about it? Does that mean you're good?

:P

It's not a great message, in my opinion, to spread.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Debt

Yesterday, I had a friend post on Facebook, without going into specifics, about the sheer magnitude of debt they are facing upon graduation from her husband's dental program at the University of Maryland.

This post is not meant to incite pity, or feelings of anger that I want a free lunch or anything like that. I don't believe these things should be free by any means; I mostly just want people to understand the sheer magnitude of money it takes to attend some professional schools, especially those in a metro area.

I won't go into exact specifics, but I am going to give you numbers. They just aren't our numbers. Our numbers are 10-20% higher.

Let's make a reasonable assumption that Caleb will find a hospital pharmacist job that pays $100,000 next year (nice, round number).

In Utah, after taxes, that will be an annual salary of $68,000, or $5,600 monthly.

To me, these numbers are HUGE. With good reason. They are. There is no complaining here.

To pay off our student loans in the expected 10 years, our monthly payment will be $3,100.

Or, $37,200 annually.

If we choose to take the 25 year repayment option, that number will be $1800/month, or $21,600 annually.

The number will be higher when it comes time for repayment, because the interest that has been accruing from day one will be added to the principal.

That interest is accruing at more than $30/day.

Which brings me to the third option, the income-based repayment plan.

Income-based repayment is 10% of your income.

Roughly, $10,000 per year.

If interest is accruing at $30/day, that comes out to just shy of $11,000 in interest per year on the original principal balance.

You would potentially never touch the principal of the loan.

After 25 years, the remaining amount is forgiven, and you are fully taxed on the forgiven balance that year. Oh, and then that balance that was forgiven is now a burden on the American taxpayers.

My friend, who lives far more frugally than I, but whose husband's education was probably 25% more expensive than our situation, was met with responses that went similar to this:

"You've gotta stay away from those student loans."

"You have to live frugally, or you'll be paying that off the whole 20 years."

"I know people who pay off their loans in 5 years and they live way more frugally than those who spend 20 years."

What I saw was a bunch of people who had the right idea, but really didn't understand how large of loans a lot of these professional students, or students from private universities, etc are walking away from school with.

Those who are able to save up and pay for school outright should be praised. That is AWESOME! But not always feasible when tuition and fees for an out-of-state student are almost $40,000/year for 4 years and living expenses are high in the area.

I'm not suggesting school should be free (it shouldn't...economics...hello), but I do think that an overhaul is needed. Can there not be a study or investigation into where the tuition and fees go and why the cost has increased so much?

I'm having a hard time finding any exact data, but suffice it to say that pharmacists who graduated even 10 years ago had nowhere near this cost to their education. Pharmacists Caleb has worked with over the last 4 years have asked him about the cost of his education, expecting it to be higher than theirs, and expecting him to say something like $20,000. He has gotten a sufficient number of dropped jaws to imply that this is crazy high.

I will say that some of Caleb's classmates are graduating without debt. Only a few students have children, many students live with their parents (some students' parents bought them a house to live in while in school!), and many students' parents paid for their education.

My friend's family is planning on taking the income-based minimum monthly payment plan and paying the taxes on the forgiven portion (likely around $350-400,000) after 25 years.

Caleb and I are hoping (and we may be in dream land) that he can find a job close to family (or in an affordable region if there are no jobs available near family) and find as affordable of housing as we can. That he can find a hospital position that has a dependable enough schedule that he can be a floater for another company a few times a month, and that I can find a job to work part time or full time with good childcare options. And that we can pound out our loans as quickly as possible.

We may have lofty and unreasonable hopes.

That's the current plan, but you never know what life will throw at you, so we are ever changing and adjusting, thinking of different scenarios.

I have a lot more to say on the matter, but it's much more jumbled than this already-jumbled post, and I think this gets my point across.