2021 Reading List

Welcome to the 2021 Reading List! The list is in chronological order of when I read the books, but the first SIX are the ones carried over from 2020. Photos of books below the list. Books are moved up into the list as I read them.

Bird Box, J Malerman. The book is very close to the movie, but in several ways I think the movie was better. The movie put events in more of a linear fashion, which is easier to follow. But I’d say a good 85% of the book is represented in the movie and the movie is more suspenseful.

Sharp Objects, G Flynn. I liked this book a lot. I think the book is complementary to the mini-series on HBO with Amy Adams. The book is written from the main character’s (Camille, portrayed by Amy Adams) point of view, so you get a LOT more context about her. I also like the tweaks that the series made with Amma – she had MUCH more depth in the movie than she did in the book. Overall, a good read and excellent companion to the mini series.

Dry, Shusterman. This is a what-if type story: what if Southern California’s water really did run out? That’s the backdrop, but the story is about a small group of teens who must survive the breakdown of society that occurs in short order once the water stops. It’s a good paced read and all the action is in the space of just a few weeks. It ends on a good note, so it’s not one of those disaster books that leaves you wishing you’d not read it. Which is important at this point in time, I think.

I’ve read 18 books so far this year with 2 working now [June 8, 2021]. More behind cut! Continue reading “2021 Reading List”

Catering, Party Planning & Meal Prep

Caprese Salad

I specialize in cocktail nosh for small parties. I have done Korean, Puerto Rican, Indian, Italian, Mediterranean and other cuisines. I write all the menus and design all the recipes myself. I specialize in parties, but I could do small dinners as well. I am also available for meal prep. Prices depend upon what you type of food you want and the amount. I will deliver for a small fee.

tailgate catering spread
Cocktail Party catering

HERE is a gallery with some photos of my food!

Shrimp w/ Creamy Prosecco Sauce

You can get ahold of me via email (misangelaspam at gmail dot com), FB or IG. I can’t put my phone number here, but if you have it you can call or text me! Thanks!!

Looking for VSG/Bariatric info?

Hi there! If you’d like to see ONLY my extensive research on Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, bariatric diet and managing GERD (reflux), you can filter out all my other posts and see just those by clicking HERE. You can see my vlogs about my VSG journey here.

To see any category (recipes, for instance), use the drop down menu to the right labeled “View Posts by Category” and select the category you’d like. Thanks for stopping by!

Acupuncture for GERD!

I have taken my own advice and started getting acupuncture for my GERD. These will be in the bariatric section of this blog since my GERD is caused by VSG and also under Health.

I’ve had the first appointment and it went very well. Not very painful at all. I could feel a couple of the needles, but in a zingy kind of way, not a hurty kind of way. I can’t explain it any better than that. The needles are tapping into your energy meridians in order to stimulate Qi, so if you think of these meridians as electrical circuits, you can imaging what a zingy feeling could be like. It’s interesting.

Dr Jiang Li is an AMAZING Chinese doctor here in Atlanta whom I HIGHLY recommend if you have ever wanted to explore Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture. I saw her years ago for compressed disks cause by some asshole “trainer” who had zero clue what he was doing. The acupuncture session then was terribly painful the first time and somewhat better the second, but my back was completely better in just a few days. Read about the first session here and the second here – I am very specific with needle placement for the second session, so read it for info! (I have no idea why I stopped going after only two sessions, but it is SO like me to do that. Sigh.) This time is VERY different!

Anyway, I’ve been recommending Dr Li to people forever and it suddenly occurred to me that I should take my own advice and seek alternative treatment for this damned GERD. So here we are.

I will try to get her to take a photo of me during treatment next visit, so you can see what it looks like. I never look, I just try to be still and breathe. But here’s what happens during a visit:

1. Wear loose clothing! I forgot and had to deal with a bra and jeans! She generally does not ask you to disrobe.
2. She’ll ask you why you are there and allow you to tell her whatever you feel she needs to know. She is a good listener.
3. Then you’ll move your clothes around to expose the areas she needs to use.
4. You’ll lay on your back and she might palpate your organs if you’re there for that. I was, and she did.
5. Then the poking begins. You do NOT generally feel anything other than a tap. However, if she is right on the meridian that is having trouble, you might feel a slight poke and after that, the tingly zing I was talking about. That means she has hit on the RIGHT PLACE. It’s generally 10-12 needles, but I’m not certain since I keep my eyes CLOSED. Yes I am a chickenshit. LOL
6. She will leave you there for about 15-20 minutes. I use this time to breathe deeply into my Qi and try to stay relaxed. I was anxious during my first treatment and my body was trying hard to pass out – which you cannot do while supine, thankfully [memory of the first time made me anxious]. But I calmed down and it was fine. My issue was reflux, which is exacerbated by laying flat. THAT was an issue, but not the acupuncture. (Bringing bed wedge next time for this.)
7. She’ll come back and remove the needles in one motion. It’s SO crazy! Like, literally, ONE SECOND to remove them all.
8. She’ll then ask you to roll over on your stomach, or in my case, on my left side, to access your spine.
9. Again, the poking begins. She might press here and there with her fingers to find the spots first. I felt several of these, because that’s where the problem was years ago and that meridian is the problem child now. But nothing big, just a small prick then the tinglies.
10. She’ll leave you again for 15-20 mins.
11. She’ll come back in and take out the needles.
12. That’s it!

Notice there wasn’t anything about taking histories or any of that? Yep, TCM is about addressing the imbalances of your Qi NOW. You can present with whatever is bothering you and she will ask why you’re there, but that’s all she needs to know. She will also ask you if you have any heart, BP, or other issues before she starts. But for the most part, there is little talking and she gets to business. The session will take about an hour.

Afterwards, you go out front, set your next appointment and pay. If Dr Li thinks you need a medicinal tea, she’ll give it to you now. Unfortunately, I did need one. ::sob:: This is what it looks like:

And it tastes WORSE than it looks. It is BITTER, OMG, SO bitter. Like my soul bitter. ::shudder:: I have to take it twice a day for two weeks, until my next appointment. I will give you this advice about the medicinal teas: take them as a shot! They come as granules in a packet and the instructions say to put in 8oz of hot water. NOOOOOO. Here’s what I do in order to be able to get this nasty shit down my gullet:

Get a jar with a lid that holds a cup, pint, quart, whatever. I use a pint canning jar. Boil TWO OUNCES of water for each serving (1 packet) of the vile tea. Put the # of packets corresponding to the water in the jar. Add hot water to the jar and stir until the granules are dissolved. Put lid on the jar and refrigerate. Get a 2oz shot glass (or make a glass with a 2oz mark). When it’s time for the Death Tea™, get the jar and shake it to make sure meds are distributed, then measure out 2oz in your shot glass. Shoot that shit like it’s cheap tequila!! Voilà! Done!

My food knowledge helped me make up this method; knowing how to make a recipe that gives the proper dose and knowing that refrigeration will tamp down the nasty taste are key elements to this method. And it WORKS. I strongly suggest this if you are given Death Tea™. Blech. (Oddly, it does not make me the least bit nauseous, even being so gross. It’s weird shit, this Death Tea™!)

The teas are an integral part of balancing Qi, so you really need to take it if you are prescribed it. I can tell a difference even after only 1.5 days. If you want to know what you’re taking, you can look it up via google. For instance, my tea is “Left Side Metal” tea and when I search that, I get several articles about what that means, the organs it represents and tons of other info.

Last thing you need to know is that acupuncture is not expensive. A regular session with Dr Li is $80 plus the tea if you get one. That is SO affordable, considering how powerful TCM and acupuncture are. As I said, I’m already feeling different after ONE session and 3 doses of Death Tea™.

If you have chronic conditions, inflammatory conditions, GERD, arthritis, WHATEVER, I say, give acupuncture and TCM a go. I am taking my own advice and wondering why I didn’t do this years ago! I’ll post more about this as I go and I’ll try to get photos.

NEWB Guide for Buying a Used Car

This is a bunch of stuff I just wrote out for someone asking for help buying a used car. I figured since I spent my time doing it, I’d post it here so I can reference it in the future. This list is not for lazy people who just want to go to CarMax and pay whatever they are asking. This is for people who are actively looking for a used car and want to get the most car they can get for their money. YES, it involves work. If you’re lazy, just stop reading and go pay retail for your car at Carvana or CarMax. This info is not for you.

And NO, just because it’s a Honda does NOT mean that “it’ll be fine”. You won’t think so when you have to pay for a timing belt or other big maintenance items that you did not account for when you bought it. Trust me.
Continue reading “NEWB Guide for Buying a Used Car”

About Pride Month

I put this graphic on my FB header the other day. Everyone assumes it’s to “celebrate” Pride Month:

Well, not exactly. When I told Nick it was just for giggles and I was taking it down because I’m SICK TO DEATH of Pride and the double standard that SO many of the Community have, he INSISTED that I make a post about my feelings and lean into it rather than just be silent. So, here it is!

I’ve been very unhappy with the trend perpetuated by mostly the younger set of queer kids that REQUIRES everyone to label themselves and also make sure to tell everyone they meet about those labels in great detail. Also, this is an AMERICAN thing. Americans tend to obsess and this is definitely the case here. The obsession with labels runs deep.
Continue reading “About Pride Month”

Customer No Service

Everyone knows I am notoriously impatient and intolerant of companies with shitty customer service. It’s called No Service for a reason.

These days, it’s considered “Karen” behaviour to ever demand better service, EVER, but I think demanding service has gotten a bad rap because of the Karens who just want SPECIAL service. There’s a difference between demanding to be treated as SPECIAL and demanding decent service in general.

I demand decent SERVICE. If I’m paying a company – any company – for a service, then I expect to be given decent service. It’s that simple. I deal with companies for a living. I’m an admin assistant aka office manager and I get to deal with vendors for everything from linens to internet service. I won’t tolerate bullshit – especially from a sales weasel – and I expect to get the best deal possible. YES, I want a detailed bill. NO I won’t accept your “bundle” just because. Lookin’ at YOU Combastard.

I run my house the same way. This is how I get 200mbs internet for $50/mo. I negotiate. I demand. And I usually get what I’m after because I’m persistent. Persistence is the key when dealing with vendors, especially large corporations.
Continue reading “Customer No Service”

VSG 5 Year Anniversary!

It’s been five years since my Mexico visit and changing my life! Time flies!

I’ve learned a lot in these last five years, that’s for sure. LOTS of gains and losses. Then Captain Trips. It’s been a strange five years.

Despite constant GERD, I still do not regret getting the VSG surgery. I almost reached my goal weight of 170 in year two – I got to about 174, I think. But then my weight rebounded to around 180 and it has stayed there, give or take 10#. So my actual weight loss from VSG was 70#, which is not too shabby.

I refuse to diet at all, but the GERD keeps my intake pretty low. My body likes set points, however, so it’ll stay in the 180s unless I diet it down. It’s maddening to be able to eat VERY little and still not lose. But that’s what I got. I did gain about 8# of pandemic weight, which is coming off on its own. That is from the WINE, no doubt. LOL

Today my weight is 188-ish. I will get it back to 180-ish if it kills me.

I wear a 32/32 jean, which is either a 12 or a 14 depending on which brand it is. I wear a large shirt, which is what I wore before the gain.

Overall, I’m happy that I got the VSG done. I wish they’d have done the anti-GERD part when I was getting it, but that wasn’t standard at the time. It really sucks that I can’t get it done now, but it is what it is.

I take Tums chews (750mg calcium carbonate) and Pepcid (famotidine and calcium carbonate) at night for the GERD. Some days are fine, some suck. It is completely random. Food is random, too, I can eat steak and be fine or I can have a salad and get heartburn. SO, I eat what I feel like and hope for the best. I eat a LOT of club crackers to soothe the burn.

But, overall, I’m fine. I don’t like the way I look naked, but that will not change unless I get tons of plastic surgery, which I’m not willing to do. I’m 55 years old, I feel it’s too late to go through plastic surgery and I don’t want the HORRIBLE recovery of a tummy tuck, either. So loose skin I stay. Whatevs.

I hope to stay in my current weight range forever. I probably won’t, but by the time I get round again, I’ll be too old to give a FUCK. LOL

If you are chronically overweight and have other issues because of it OR can’t get proper medical care because of it, I HIGHLY suggest booking your trip to Tijuana Mexico and getting VSG. It is four days and $4000 that will change your life. Skip the bullshit of the US and just GET IT DONE. Bam. Contact Veronica at QMF and take control of your life. You WILL NOT regret it. Veronica at Quality Medical Facilitators. They speak English and I promise the care you get from this team is AMAZING. Find them on FB HERE.