Yesterday was a school holiday for both the teenboy and me. This gave me a chance to catch up on a huge chunk of the projects I have due. The teenboy had downtime, so he invited a friend over to the house. She’s very nice. This was an interesting observation in teenage social interactions. They insist they are “just friends”, but for two teenagers who are “just friends” they are constantly flirting with each other.

But that’s just my perspective, I suppose. We all have our perspectives.

At one point yesterday I crossed through to the kitchen to grab a snack (one must eat when working on projects). Teengirl was admiring the décor of our home, but I heard her mutter under her breath, “rich…”.

Puzzled Cat


I suppose that was her perspective…

I said to her, “Excuse me?” She tried pulling the “oh, nothing” on me, but I did confront her on it. I asked her if she just called us “rich”. For some reason that offended me (I’ll go into that in a moment). She ‘fessed up and blushed a bit. I smiled and put her at ease. I told her we are far from “rich”. I’m not working. We’re just lucky my car is paid for and we don’t have much debt. Mr. Magick Man doesn’t like to pay retail for anything, so most of what she sees we get wholesale. If you shop around you get excellent prices. You don’t want to just impulse buy the first thing you find.

She lives in a lower income neighborhood not far from our home. I told her I grew up in a neighborhood just like that. We called it the barrio. “Where you live doesn’t determine who you are.”

Now. Why was I offended because she called me “rich”? That took me by surprise. Was it because I grew up in the barrio? Is it because we’re a single-income family? We’re making ends meet, but a single-income family doesn’t have extra income for luxuries in this economy. I keep going back to the old neighborhood, though… is a part of me proud of being that barrio girl? Does a part of me identify with that?

Comments? Opinions? What’s your perspective?


What I did over Spring Break

I enjoyed some down-time over spring break. I had my projects completed ahead of schedule and discovered I had nothing to do. I discovered I did not know exactly what to do with this “down-time” thing.

A few weeks before, Mr. Magick Man said to me, “you need to get away”. He had a vendor convention coming up where he actually wasn’t going to be behind the tables. This was a convention one of his wholesalers invited him to, where he had the opportunity to look at product and see what’s new. Of course, he could visit other vendors and see what they had as well. Where was this convention?

Vegas, baby!


How could I say no?

I’d never been to Las Vegas. This would be an exciting trip. Three days in “Lost Wages”. 🙂

Mr. Magick Man explained to me we’d be spending most of our days at the convention. Our evenings would be free, but I might be exhausted by then after walking around from vendor to vendor. They had over 2000 vendors at the show. We listed 30 we wanted to see, but once we got out there we’d be walking up and down rows looking at other vendors. It’s not possible to go through all these descriptions online and it’s easier to look once you’re there.

Of course I knew that, but I thought surely I’d have the energy from the excitement of just being there if nothing else to go explore.


Day one ended with me thinking, “I don’t have to walk out of this convention hall. I just have to put one foot in front of the other. Just one more step. Just one more step. Ok, just one more step. That’s right, just one more step.”

Day two wasn’t as bad. We went to the jewelry hall. Mr. Magick Man found a few new vendors there but is fairly set in this area, so we cut the day short. We had tickets to Cirque du Soleil Zumanity that night. Had a lovely dinner at the New York New York casino, explored a bit and got some pictures, played a couple of slots, then it was time for the show.

The show was probably the best Cirque du Soleil show I’ve ever seen! Breathtaking, as always. I’ve never had 4th row seats, though. One of the guys threw me a rose!!

Our last day we did one more sweep of the convention we did one more sweep of the hall before we went home. Mr. Magick Man placed some orders with his existing vendors.

A couple of observations on Vegas…

  • We stayed at the LVH, over by the convention hall, so we had to take a taxi over to the strip or anywhere else we wanted to go. The “touristy” areas and the “convention” areas are these little islands of luxury and excess. They are surrounded by people who live in lower income areas who may never enjoy such things. I saw the same thing when I worked for Microsoft and traveled to India. Maybe I was just tired, but that was my perception as I looked out the window of the taxi.
  • I’m not much of a gambler. I played the slots, but I didn’t go for the tables. I thought I’d like to try blackjack but I saw the minimum bet was $10 a pop. I’m sure that was a “beginner’s” table, but nonetheless, I just couldn’t justify doing it. I’d rather take $10 and throw it in a box than hand it over to someone else, because I know I’m not that good at blackjack. On the slots, I didn’t really lose anything, but I didn’t come home ahead either. It isn’t too bad – I broke even. Anything I won I kept playing. When I lost all of that, I stopped.
  • I never thought I’d hit the point where everything was too shiny. With all the bright, flashing lights, and noises everywhere, it’s hard to focus. It’s hard for me to focus anyway. Vegas just makes it more difficult. It was overwhelming. If you need a quiet place you can go back to your room. If you aren’t at your hotel you’re pretty much out of luck. If you’re the type who doesn’t have this problem, don’t worry about it; however, if you’re the type who needs to go hide under the bed and recharge after being around people after a couple of days, fair warning.

I had fun on this trip despite the work and the overwhelming sensory input. Vegas was a new experience for me and it was just what I needed. I don’t think it’s the ideal vacation destination for me, but that’s just me. I’d rather be on a cruise ship (yes, even after the issues we’ve heard about on the news), where I can find my quiet corner and gaze out over the big, blue nothing.

Big Blue Nothing

Spring break is over and I’m eye-deep in homework once more. Posts will be sporadic, as usual. It’s good to be back.


Depression is a world filled with tears and empty of reason.

Depression has swings and slides, and leaves painful scars on those who fall on its playground.

Depression is a world of isolation,
wondering if your friends left…
…or if you pushed them away
…or if they’re still there and it’s only your perception from your downward spiral.

Depression is a world of doubt and second guessing.
A battle to fight daily in an endless war.




Copyright © 2013 by Menopause Express, all rights reserved

These are the people who will handle my healthcare.

Our healthcare has been in dire need of reform for years. Ask anyone who’s paid out-of-pocket. Ask any physician who charges “X” and gets a statement back from the insurance company saying they’ll only pay “Y” for that procedure, and no, the patient isn’t responsible for the difference. (Oh, and by the way, if you don’t have insurance, you can’t negotiate the price like that)

When the healthcare legislation was pushed through, many people were quite happy. However, I don’t think it’s the answer. Having our government handle our healthcare? Seriously? Have you ever tried to get anything pushed through the mounds of red tape at any government office?

I have a pre-existing health condition that prohibits me from getting health insurance coverage. As a result, I waited my 6-month period and applied for the Federal PCIP Healthcare Program. I sent in my denial letter and all my paperwork on February 1. After three weeks, I should have received some communication from their office. I started calling on February 25.

I was told my paperwork was still in process and if I was approved my coverage would be effective as of March 1. Any medical expenses I incurred after March 1 I could submit for reimbursement after I received my card and all their paperwork.

March 1 came and went.

On March 5 I called and was told my account had not been updated since February 11. I was forwarded to a manager.

After further investigation, it seems someone flagged me as not being a U.S. Citizen. Although my application clearly stated I was born in the U.S., they had my social security number and had complete access to my identity, someone somewhere didn’t know how to read.

Clarifying this on the phone with me wasn’t good enough. They had one specific person I had to talk to. This person had to call me back. She wasn’t in the office. I was told she had two business days in which to call. I got a call from her the next day, while I was in class. Luckily, I was expecting her call and left my phone on vibrate.

When the lady spoke with me, she said it wasn’t a question of citizenship and apologized for the misunderstanding. They were just missing documentation. (Documentation I sent on February 1). Three things went through my mind at this time:

  • So I get all wound up about this “question of citizenship” for nothing
  • It would appear their right hand doesn’t know what their left hand is doing
  • They’re already losing paperwork and they haven’t even finished processing my app yet. Why didn’t I get some communication back in February saying this was missing???

I got her fax number so I could send her the information, and expressed my disappointment and dissatisfaction. I asked her how long this would delay my application. She said she would expedite the application. I doubt it.

If this is any example of what to expect, I may consider cancelling my coverage and just socking away the money each month. Somehow I think I’d be better off going without.