Friday, October 16, 2009

You Can't Fix Stupid

Remember that phrase "stupid is as stupid does" from the film Forrest Gump? Well, my husby coined the 2.0 version of this phrase, "you can't fix stupid." One could apply this phrase to a myriad of issues...the Wall Street crash, American car companies, Bernie Madoff, "Speidi," etc.

Let me give the background on my husband's personality and how his phrase came to be. Whenever I vent to him about something that pissed me off during the day (I know, that's so unlike me), he will answer me with a succinct and pithy response.

This past week at work, I was drafting a communication that contained a URL to an internal SharePoint site. I clicked on the link to confirm that it was working and also to be nosy and see what the site was about. The site served its purpose (informing managers about the upcoming associate satisfaction survey...blah blah blah), but one thing stood out. And not in a good way.

There was scrolling text scrolling SLOOOOOWLY across the top of the screen. No, it was not a stockticker. And, no, it was not breaking news. Alas, tt was the title of the site and the dates of the survey. I freaked. What the hell was up with the scrolling text?!?! Dude, it's 2009! Scratch that, scrolling text has NEVER been a plus except for the two examples I mentioned. It's distracting, confusing, annoying, unprofessional, immature and not to mention, LOOKS BUTT. LOOKS ASS. LOOKS EXTREMELY AMATUERISH.

But, don't take my word for it. Jackob Nielsen, the foremost authority in web usability, includes scrolling text as one of the "Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design," which, by the way, was written back in 1996, so this is not a new fad, people. If you are interested, the list was also revisited in 1999. Guess what? Nielsen concluded that scrolling text still sucked. Okay, he didn't use the word "sucked," but let me take some artistic license here, alright?

Any web designer/developer worth his or her grain in salt treats Nielsen's research as gospel. My husby, besides being incredibly funny, charming and handsome, is also a web developer. I myself, though not a designer or developer, have worked more than 10 YEARS with those said people doing things like designing and developing websites.

In fact, my initial project at my first job out of college was revamping a company's website. At 22 years of age, I was given the task of cataloging the existing site's content, researching content for the new site, creating a feasible budget, timeline and project scope, finding a web development vendor and project managing the entire kit and kaboodle. Normally I don't like to brag, but I ROCKED that project! The site went from trashy to classy -- if I may paraphrase the esteemed Maury Povich.

I do digress -- and I do that a lot, so please forgive me. Anyways, my manager took the burden off my shoulders and replied to the client that the scrolling text should be removed and replaced with static text. I sighed with relief. I had panicked for no reason. Surely the client would take his advice and we'd all move on, right? WRONG.

She proceeded to tell my manager and I that the associate engagement leads (I think that's some kind of HR-type role, but not in any way, shape or form related to design/development) for the survey LOVED the scrolling text and wanted it. LOVED scrolling text? What, are they friggin' blind??? My manager, ever so smooth and diplomatic, replied that the text could simply appear on the screen once and then become static. The client nixed that as well. Scrolling was the ONLY way they'd go.

Now, keep in mind that this SharePoint site was created to house information that managers would access to prepare themselves in discussing and reviewing the upcoming satisfaction survey with their employees. Nothing on the site could be seen as news or stock updates. There was no value-add to keep the scrolling text. Well, besides that it was apparently loved by people.
I LOVE Hello Kitty, but that doesn't mean she gets to appear on any site I create professional content for.

I decided I had to help out my boss, so I scheduled a conference call the next morning to tighten up the communication and give one last-ditch effort at banishing the evil scrolling text. I have to admit, I was quite slick...or so I thought. I asked, "So besides, removing the scrolling text, do we have any other items to discuss?" figuring that the client would say yes and keep it movin'. WRONG AGAIN!

Here are the reasons she shot us down (again):
  • Scrolling text is used "all over." NO COMMENT. I CAN'T. I JUST CAN'T.
  • Scrolling text is used by news stations. Oh right, I forgot that we were working on Anderson Cooper's CNN site.
  • They worked so hard on the site, why slam them? Last time I checked, I am a professional doing a professional job...where did FUCKING FEELINGS come into play? And who's slamming anything? It's called CONSTRUCTIVE -- and in this case, necessary -- feedback.
My boss, sensing the conversation spiraling out of control, gave it one last attempt. He mentioned my company's online marketing team advised against using scrolling text and other unnecessary animation. Mind you, this is the same web team that won an award from JAKOB NIELSEN a few years ago for the redesign of our internal, global employee site. The client's reply? "Aren't those the same folks that don't like Flash and yet they use it now?"

I had to mute the phone and scream. WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?! Oh yeah, I'm so sure that our online marketing team said to never use Flash. What they probably said was to not use HOKEY, homemade animation like...wait for it...SCROLLING TEXT. The Flash pieces they have created are amazing and support the business lines appropriately. But, then again, what do we know? We're only the experts!

As long as everyone gets what they LOVE and no one gets SLAMMED, then la-di-da, who cares about professionalism, polish and presenting a results-oriented project?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Maybe it's Your Va-jay-jay

I’ve got a silly rant today. One of my biggest pet peeves are people at work that always have to wrinkle their noses dramatically and ask “whose food smells???” whenever there are unfamiliar food smells – which, if you work in a diverse company filled with people who eat all kinds of food – is bound to happen. These morons also have to sniff profusely several times just in case you are retarded like them and don’t understand what all the nose wrinkling and questions mean.

Today I was tired and cranky because last night I broke down and had some fast food. It was a moment of weakness that wasn’t worth it. I got out of my jail, er cube, and headed over to the kitchenette on my floor to microwave my Medifast soup – needed to get back on the healthy eating track after slipping so fast and furiously. On the way to the kitchen, a strong odor in the hallway assaulted my olfactory glands...smelled like fish that went bad. I didn’t really care because I didn’t smell it anymore once I hit the kitchen.

While I was warming up soup, I sat at one of the cafĂ©-like tables (ooh la la, so French and yet so cheap) and perused some financial advisor brochures someone had left out. Not that I have money that would be worthwhile for any FA to manage, but I’m weird – I love looking at brochures to examine the paper stock and weight, font selections, stock images, etc. I guess I do this because I’m in marketing communications and those details are my life.

I do digress. Just as I closed my eyes to relax, an annoyingly perky voice exclaimed, “Something smells funky! What is that? What food is that? Whose food is that?” while wrinkling her nose and making the aforementioned exaggerated sniffing sounds. I was irritable and not in the mood to deal with lame people (not that I’m ever in the mood for that!). The three other people in the room and I ignored her at first, but she would NOT give up her smell investigation.

“What is that funky smell??” was repeated by said idiot about five times. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I finally broke down and answered, “well, it’s ain’t (yes I know I am in communications, but I do not always speak properly, okay?) mine because I have flavorless beef stew from my diet plan (I like to refer to it as my alternative eating lifestyle).” She actually responded, “Oh yeah, maybe it’s the soup!” Yup, she’s not the brightest bulb in the Home Depot or insert your preferred big box store here. I rolled my eyes and sighed. Oh great, I thought to myself, freakinCSI Hopewell over here wants to get to the bottom of the mystery smell.

She proceeds to reveal that the smell is “interesting” in addition to being “funky.” Kind of like CHINESE FOOD she proclaimed. WHAT THE FUCK???? Oh yeah and you would know because you eat so much AUTHENTIC Chinese food, right? I was extremely pissed off now. “Umm…yea no. I am Chinese and cook and eat Chinese food and it does not smell INTERESTING and/or FUNKY.” She then attempted desperate damage control and said, “Oh, I think Chinese food smells good, though.” OKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY…Needless to say, I was so over this corny chick already. But I wish I had said what I think really smelled…HA!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Daycare = Anti-christ?

Oh boy, how long has it been since I last posted? I did write a thank you note to you, my dear readers, back in August before I left on vacation with the fam. That was a cop-out, because I didn't have the time or energy to write a real Hatewatchers-worthy post.

And where have I been since August you ask? After Labor Day, I prepared myself to go back to corporate work. I haven't been "off" this summer sunning in St. Tropez -- I've been on maternity leave taking care of Baby Boy. On September 9, I walked into my office building and Baby Boy started daycare onsite. Contrary to what many other working mothers told me, I didn't cry, get depressed, etc. I also didn't blow up the phonelines at daycare and did not stop by to see Baby. No need to...he's fine. Husby and I pay daycare to take care of our son during the day while we work hard for our family. I have full trust in daycare and will continue to until they give me reason not to.

The vacation was a much-needed break from hell, i.e., other parents. (This is my variation of Jean-Paul Sartre's most famous line of dialogue, "Hell is other people.") As you know, if you've read any of my past posts, I hate other parents. Not ALL other parents, just ones that piss me the fuck off. Which, is about 99% of the parents I come in contact with. Actually, I should amend my comments and redirect my anger towards other mothers. Fathers are not so bad. Women suck. Again, please understand I don't mean all women suck and I don't mean all fathers are not so bad. Some fathers suck, too. I will pontificate on that in a future post, I promise.

Okay, I'm off the topic once again. So, back to daycare. Yes, know-it-all moms, I am aware that daycare is a hotbed for germs and Baby will catch colds there. No shit! You know what other location is a germ factory? OFFICES! Yes, from Monday through Friday, I am surrounded by people coughing, hacking, snorting (no, not the fun stuff, just regular snorting), sneezing, wheezing, burping and all sorts of bodily functions. I have gotten sick quite a number of times from work. And yet, I still go. Amazing!

Listen, Baby Boy is going to be exposed to germs. It's life. I want him to enjoy his childhood, which means playing with other kids that may or may not have colds. I want him to play in the dirt and have fun. That's what NORMAL children do.

Another retarded comment I hear from other parents. Now this one I get from moms and dads. "Daycare is soooo expensive!" Yes, it's so expensive. I should just hire a unqualifed person to watch my child so I can pay her/him the minimum wage or less. I may be able to negotiate this person down further if there is a lack of CPR training, credentials, references, etc. Isn't it sad how we love to nickel and dime people that take care of our children, enrich their minds and ensure their wellbeing? Teachers, daycare workers, nannies, au pairs, etc., are all are paid "too much."

I look at it like this. I work at a Fortune 500 company. I want to have peace of mind during the workday so I can get my shit done and get it done right. A big part of that peace comes from having my Baby being taken care of by qualified and loving people. Those people should have the same type of benefits I do: paid holidays, sick days, health insurance, life insurance and all that good stuff.

Now, caretakers having those benefits doesn't guarantee nothing will ever happen to my child. It simply means my child is taken care of by people that have fair and balanced benefits. People that can call out if they are sick. People that have vacations. All those benefits cost money. I am happy to pay what I pay because I know that you pay for what you get.

In the end, the most important thing is that Baby is happy. And boy, is he! Already a smiley guy, he smiles even more now. Already a great sleeper, he sleeps even longer now. Already a great eater, he eats even better now. What more can I ask for? Some would say, a discount coupon. I would say, just keep my child happy and healthy.

Things are gonna happen. Bumps and bruises will occur at daycare. You know how I know that? Because all of these things happened and will happen on our own watch. Let's not go insane and expect our children's caretakers to be perfect people until we are. Besides, perfect is boring. Don't you want to play in the dirt sometimes?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Very Niiice!

Dear Loyal and Newbie Hatewatchers,

Your feedback — positive and negative — inspires and motivates me to keep writing and hatewatching. I wrote my first post "Attack of the Breastfeeding Nazis" because I was pissed off and wanted to vent constructively instead of keying up someone's car. So, I decided to restart my Hatewatchers blog (previously on WordPress now on Blogger) so I could get all my feelings down on paper (screen?). I never expected the breastfeeding post to go anywhere beyond serving as my sounding board. Instead, I've received much love and support from friends, fam and my online community.

Last year I had started the original Hatewatchers blog and didn't really focus on it enough to make it interesting. This year, becoming a mother allowed me to see the world through an alternate set of glasses. Sometimes this is great because I see the good that is out there, but many times, it hurts because I see more bullshit and hate.

Last week, I wrote about inane people commenting on my five-month old's "serious" weight problem and received a flood of encouraging feedback. Thanks for having my back and keeping it real.

I'd love to hear from ideas, criticisms, suggestions? Holla at me.

Ms. Hatewatcher

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fatty Fatty Two by Four

Does anyone know of a local Baby Weight Watchers program I can enroll my five-month old in? Apparently, "experts" (clueless friends, relatives of friends, etc.,) have confirmed that my son is overweight. Yes, you read it here. My baby boy is already fat and in desperate need of a pilates class.

Now, I admit I am fat (and have even more to love now that I have had a baby) and need to get my physical fitness on more, but I am an adult. I can control what, how, where, when and why I eat. Sometimes I eat healthy and sometimes...not so much. I may eat sometimes even when I'm not hungry. But babies eat because they are...wait for it...hungry. Imagine that!

The first few times I was asked how much Baby ate, I didn't mind at all. Now after being asked over and over (and now by the same people over and over), it is really getting FUCKING TIRED. Get a new question! (Click here to see other obnoxious stuff people ask/tell me.)

One friend of mine asks me all the time how much Baby is eating and a few times even laughed and mentioned that he ate as much as an almost-two year old in her family. Let me clarify. My Baby is almost five months old and eats about six to six-and-a-half ounces of formula at each feeding, which is well within guidelines. This amount varies during times he is in pain from teething (four or five ounces only) or is in a growth spurt (seven ounces). Formula is all that he consumes. The two-year old that my friend mentioned surely consumes more than just formula, right?

It's like this. If I said I drank eight ounces of soda a day only and another person drinks eight ounces of soda and eats three meals plus snacks that the fucking same, Sherlock?? (The answer is no, just in case you are a bit slow.)

So my Fat Baby is apparently able to deceive his pediatrician during our visits, because Dr. B proclaims Baby's development as "excellent" and has no qualms about telling me that Baby is in the 90th percentile for weight (16.5 pounds at a little over four months). Last time I checked, babies are supposed to have some meat on them, right? Guess I'm slacking as a parent. First, I stopped breastfeeding and pumping and now I am overfeeding my Baby.

Just because my Baby is on formula doesn't mean that he can be overfed. YOU try and give this kid more than what he wants...he goes ballistic!!! I don't know how other babies are (because I am no expert as my friend and her relatives are, ya know!) but I do know that my Baby will throw a fit if you over- or underfeed him. And, why in world would I WANT to overfeed my baby? That's soooooo strange...perhaps other people have tried this on their own babies???? Who knows...

Another friend of mine has asked me about Baby's formula intake before because her own daughter is four days younger and on formula as well. So, she and I tend to ask one other (politely, mind you) questions involving feeding, milestones, etc. It's not a contest, we just want to gauge if we have the opportunity to exchange tips and share in the joy of our children developing at the same time.

The friend that kept asking me how much Baby ate for no reason also mentioned that people she was talking to mentioned Baby was overweight. Who are these people?? Do they work with Dr. B? If they know SO MUCH about my Baby, why don't they come over here and talk care of him for me, then? Better yet, pay some damn bills around here and shut the fuck up. Another great example of clueless, nosy, ridiculous people butting their noses into business they know nothing about.

They have no idea how hard I work to take care of Baby all day. They have no idea how I ensure he is fed properly. THEY are not around when he's in terrible pain from teething and can barely eat...which would be a win for them because then hopefully he'll lose some of that weight already, sheesh!

These dim people must admire those poor starving babies in Somalia and other third-world countries. All those ribs jutting out, fabulous. I can't wait to get my Baby on a rigorous exercise routine so he can wear his Speedo to the pool by Labor Day!

Just kidding! Seriously, though, we all have insecurities as parents. It's natural to doubt oneself at times. But, do not let your own lack of confidence became the reason for slinging arrows at my family. We are doing well and Baby is fly, fresh and flavorful...accordingly to all the feedback we receive from practically everyone my husby and I know. Not bad for a fat kid, huh?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Does Brad Pitt Change Diapers?

I never realized just how crazy and nosy people were until I became pregnant last June. People of all types (but mostly females, because as you know from my previous posts, they are motherfucking bonkers) would say to me and ask me super-TMI stuff.

My baby is now four months old and the insanity hasn't stopped. Here are some high(low?)lights:
  • Now that you know you are having a baby...the question is...are you two ready? (This coming from husby's "ultra-supportive" mother.)
  • Had you and your husband been trying to have a baby? (Oh, I'm sorry, I should have leaked the tapes like Ray-J and Kim Kardashian...)
  • Wow, you became pregnant so quickly after getting married! (CSI over here...nothing gets by you, huh?)
  • Wasn't she on the pill, though? (This came from one of my husby's male friends. Don't ask.)
  • Did you circumcise your baby? (No comment...)
  • Are you breastfeeding? Why not? (More on this sensitive topic can be found at my now infamous "Attack of the Breastfeeding Nazis" post.)
  • You should have more kids. (This topic will be covered in a future post, I promise.)
  • Does your husband change diapers????????????????
Okay, I really want to talk about that last question. Yes, my dear husby changes diapers. What kind of a question is that? No one asks him if I change diapers. The first few times I was asked this question, I didn't even care. Now, after being asked this on a daily basis, I am starting to get really pissed off. Hence this post.

I'm not here to spout off a bunch of feminist propaganda. And I know that every family and every relationship is different. What works for me may not work for everyone. People tell me all the time how wonderful my husband is because he changes diapers and takes care of the baby as often as he can when he is not working, commuting, running errands, etc. Don't get me wrong, I agree that husby is awesome...but not because he changes diapers. He is SUPPOSED TO DO THAT. I AM SUPPOSED TO DO THAT. THIS IS OUR CHILD, NUMBNUTS!

Husby is the shit (no pun intended!) because he supports me in all my endeavors while also reigning me when necessary. Before the baby was born, I never thought to ask husby IF he was going to change diapers and perform all the other baby-related tasks (well, not breastfeeding, duh). I KNEW he was going to do those things. I wouldn't have married the cat if I was unsure. I mean, really. Wake up, it's 2009.

Now, I'm not trying to sit here and say that he should do exactly 50% of the baby stuff. He can't...he owns his own company and has to work full-time plus. The thing is, I am ALSO working full-time plus. I may be on leave from my corporate job, but I am definitely putting in that overtime. So, because we both work like crazy, why should one of us get out of doing fundamental baby tasks?

Another interesting question related to the diapers topic is, "Are you back at work yet?". Hmm, no, I am still on vacation, I mean, maternity leave. Again, I know people mean no harm when they ask this, but again, COME ON. I thought I worked crazy hours at my corporate job! The baby keeps me busy even when he is down for a nap or for the night. I'm not one of the Real Housewives. I run a company, it's called Home, Inc. My husband and I are the co-CEOs and we have one direct report, the baby. In order to keep Home running smoothly, he and I have contribute as much as we can financially, emotionally, physically, etc.

Husby and I work together so that shit gets done. It doesn't really matter who does it. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that the baby is happy and healthy. That can only be accomplished by us being strong partners.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Singled Out

My dear friend Lady X is a beautiful, caring, intelligent woman with a flourishing career as a communications professional. She has a great sense of humor and loves to watch quirky indie films. Her shoe, clothing and accessories games are all on point. But, there is something tragically wrong with her...she is over 25 and SINGLE. Gasp! Heavens, no! Burn her at the stake now!

You may wonder — as so many in her life seem to do — how is a woman like that single? They are boggled and bewildered. I'm not, because I've been single and loved it. Don't get me wrong, I love my dear husby and would never wish to be without him — we have a wonderful life together. But, when I was single, life was good as well. Coming and going as I pleased. Leaving the apartment a mess or cleaning it as I deemed fit. My apartment's super would fix anything that went wrong upon being paged (as opposed to the joys of home ownership where anything that could go wrong does).

Being single for a few years made me the woman, wife and mother I am today. I am confident, happy and love a challenge. During my single years, I realized how valuable I am and was determined to stay single unless the right guy came along. I could care less if I was dateless to parties and thrived on being able to make plans based on my schedule alone. I strongly believe my happiness and purpose during this time lead me to fall in love with now husby. More importantly, I was open to the idea of not finding anyone at all.

The old saying "you can't be loved until you love yourself" is so true. And in order to love yourself, you have to know yourself. Now, I'm not saying that if you haven't been single since you began dating that you are missing something from your life. I'm simply saying, let's lay off the single folks and let them lead their lives. I definitely am no authority on relationships just because I happen to be in one. I know how hard it is, especially as a single woman, to date (or not date). The constant search for one's "better half" can be exhausting. That's probably why I barely put in the effort during my single days!

Back to Lady X...sorry but if you are familiar with any of my other posts, you'll know that I digress a bit. A few weeks ago, Lady X and I were at a barbecue (the same one the Breastfeeding Nazi was at, by the way. If you haven't read this post yet, check it's quite a doozy). Lady X and I have a mutual friend — Lady Y we'll call her — that is married with two children. Lady Y is one of the most loving and gracious people you will ever meet. She also happens to be very, er, forward, when it comes to her friends and their quests to find significant others and start families.

I always laugh when I think of all the cute e-mails she would send me containing jpegs of mixed-raced babies. These e-mails were supposed convince me to get crackin' on making babies with my then boyfriend now husby. I never minded her "gentle" hints because I knew she was half kidding and the half that was serious meant well. Lady Y is highly family-oriented and one of my role models. She only wants the best for her close friends (and everyone else for that matter).

Towards the end of the event, Lady X and I were conversing (probably about movies and books, our two fave topics) and Lady Y brought up the subject of having children. More specifically, when Lady X was going to start already. Lady X and I giggled and pretended to roll our eyes. We knew the drill. Then Lady Y chimed in something about having to bring Lady X to the sperm bank.

I, for once, was speechless. I couldn't even look at either of them. I didn't know whether to be upset or not. After all, Lady X is a grown woman and didn't need me to conduct any opening arguments for her. So, I chuckled uncomfortably and said, "[Lady Y], sperm bank? Whoa..."

A few days later Lady X and I were chatting and the sperm bank conversation came up. She revealed that she was, like me, flabbergasted and unsure of what to say and/or think. We both agreed that many people thought being single was like a pox on your life. Or to quote Carrie from Sex in the City, "when did being alone become the modern-day equivalent of being a leper?"

A leper Lady X is NOT. Yet, Lady X and I both knew that Lady Y didn't mean to be hurtful. She was trying to be cute and jokey (is that a word?), but failed in our eyes because the line was crossed. Lady X revealed to me that at a recent family dinner, her grandfather proclaimed, "guess you're giving up on finding a man, huh?" Nice. Well, if these types of comments don't motivate one to hurry up and find a man/woman/breathing creature, then I don't know what will!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This is Your Brain on Crack(Berrys)

Warning: This blog post may start or rekindle uncomfortable conversations regarding the (over)use BlackBerrys, iPhones and other PDAs.
This week, my girl KB chimes in with a guest post about the special relationship her husband shares with...a BlackBerry. As many women (and some men) may know, BlackBerrys et al have strong armed their way through piles of other distractions and hobbies (take your pick...home theatre systems, sports, Megan Fox, etc.) in order to claim top billing of all things of the relationship-wreaking variety.
Now, don't get me wrong. I myself have a BlackBerry and love using it. Did you read that carefully? I love USING it. I don't love IT. That's the huge difference between those who enjoy useful technology and those that abuse it.
I also set my BB to turn off and on every day at certain times so I am not tempted to check it every time it chimes or its red light flashes. Sometimes it's just too much...I have alerts for texts, my two personal e-mail accounts and the Facebook mobile app...lordhavemercy, that type of addiction requires its own post (or two).
My dear husband has his moments of iPhone — whom I fondly refer to as "that bitch" — fiending, but over the past few years, he's really gotten better at not using it during family/wifey time. The iBitch is very useful at times, especially when we're on the road. She is also much faster than my BlackBerry.
But I do digress, this post is not about my husband and I and our smartphones. Read on for KB's tale of electronic woe.
First of all, I would like to thank Ms. Hatewatcher herself for this guest spot – I feel so honored!
I have so many ideas that I would love to get into detail about — but here’s one that I think many of us can relate to and if you can relate to it — welcome to my world and can you show me the directions on how to get the hell outta here?!

It all began when my dear hubby decided to get a BlackBerry for work. You know, it all starts off with “babe, I have soooo much work to do and with all the traveling I do, it only makes sense…” and then it's “we can also stay in touch, babe — think of how it will bring us closer!”
Even though I knew what was in store for me, I reluctantly agreed and off we went to what I call hell on earth — the Verizon Wireless store in North Brunswick, New Jersey at Cozzens Lane and Route 1. Seriously, you can go in with a minute issue and be there for hours! Don’t even get me started on the bottomfeeders that supposedly "work" there.
Anyways, the BB finally gets purchased and then all its apps are installed, which by the way, the husband provides me with constant updates on latest ones, yippee. Two exchanges, several more downloaded apps and he is finally happy.
Let me say that this damn phone not only has made us drift further apart as he is always on that stupid thing – I’ve never wanted so badly to rip something out of his hands and stomp on it and do a happy dance – this thing has made me INSANE!
There should be a block on the data part of the phone to turn off at a decent time (Editor's Note: Holla at me girl, I know how to do this!) so some idiot from his work doesn’t send an e-mail to my hubby asking him some dumb-ass question (of course his boss is copied to show that he’s working late) so my idiotic husband can play the same game back and look like an buttlicker responding to a work e-mail at 11 pm….seriously?!?
I've lost my best friend and now husband to CrackBerrys. Soon you will hear of me going postal and stealing everyone’s BB to put an end to this madness… and you know who is behind the BB programming? A Canadian company — my home country has turned on me!
So to those who have BB and are addicts or well on their way, I offer you some simple rules:
  • If I’m talking to you, look at me not the BB.

  • If we’re in bed – BB should be OFF – not acting as a night light.
  • I thought a BB was primarily to be used for work – don’t keep downloading stupid-ass apps so you look cool (or think you do).
  • Stop sending me messages which end in “sent from my Verizon Wireless BB” just cause you think its cool (Editor's Note: I believe that pre-2008 versions of the BB do not allow one to erase or edit this annoying note. Sorry. Mine has that message, too.)

  • Under NO circumstances should the BB be taken into the bathroom — that’s just gross!
Use your BB for good – if we’re lost – log onto Mapquest, find a store or a phone number — I’m tired of hearing the excuse “uhhh, my phone is about to die”...dumbass, it's gonna die if you’re reading useless stuff and playing with your apps five hours a day!

I don’t give a damn about the new BB! Why not keep the one you have for a while — you don’t need the Curve or the Bold or the Storm so you can show it off to your nerdy friends and be “the man.”
I began writing this blog post when my husband was on the BB and I’m done and guess what, he's STILL on it….is there nothing else left to do? What happened to reading a real book or magazine?!
Oh, and I just heard that the iPhone may be launched on Verizon Wireless’ network later this year — if that’s true, I’m filing for divorce, just kidding (I think!)
Well, that’s my rant for now, thanks to the Editor for letting me have a place to vent my frustrations. On a related note, don’t EVEN get me started on Twitter and the damn tweats...the whole concept is not twit-tastic! (Editor's Note: We must be mindmelding. I am working on a post regarding on how Twitter, Facebook and other apps are turning our society into celebretard wannabees.)
Editor Suggests
10 BlackBerry Commandments" courtesy of PINK magazine

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Whassup Doc?!

Over the course of my 32 years, I've had a range of experiences with doctors. There was the primary care doc that had two-hour plus average wait times (oy!)...the ob that promoted her jewelry-making side business...the dentist with the really old magazines in the waiting room (Reader's Digest from 1989, anyone?) I've never had a heated discussion...okay, BLOWOUT...with a doctor until this past Tuesday.

Over the past several years, I noticed that my knees were getting weak. They would make weird sounds when I went up and down stairs and occasionally give out. I figured it was just normal wear and tear due to my getting older. Years of high heel wearing didn't help either, I guess!

Anyways, my knees began to feel even more rickety throughout my pregnancy. I figured the extra weight I was carrying caused this increased sensation and that postprego, I'd be just fine (knee-wise, that is...let's not even talk about how I still feel pain from my C-section). About three weeks ago, I decided that stroller walks and doing my "Walk Away the Pounds" DVD just weren't enough. I needed to lose those remaining baby pounds and fit back into my old gear.

So, I climbed onto my elliptical and did a brisk 20-minute, high-incline session. I felt refreshed and healthy until a couple days later. My left knee was in severe pain and I could barely go up/down stairs in my three-level home. This is a huge problem because I am taking care of an infant and needed full mobility.

At the beginning of the year, I switched from a PPO to an HMO, so I needed to see my PCP (I thought I wouldn't have to hear so many acronyms while on leave from work!) in order to obtain a referral to visit an orthopedic doctor. I wasn't new to this referral business. My baby's pediatrician had written one for us a couple months ago in order to take the little one to an oral surgeon for his frenulum issue.

I chose a board-certified PCP and made an appointment to get the referral and also to find out more about the whooping cough vaccine
I've been seeing a lot of ads in the various parenting magazines I receive. Apparently new parents and caretakers should get this vaccine and I wanted to discuss with my doctor. Who knew how complicated these two to dos would be for my doc?!

On almost EVERY PAGE of the new patient paperwork, I indicated that I needed an orthopedic referral and more info regarding the whooping cough vaccine. I also restated what I needed to one of the two office assistants when she walked me to the examination room. She
let's call her Nurse Betty proceeded to tell me that she used to suffer from knee pain as well and highly recommended the Trenton Orthopedic Group (TOG), conveniently located in the same plaza as my PCP, now known as Dr. Evil.

During my examination, I told the doctor at least three times that I needed a referral. He gave me a piece of paper that listed several doctors from different specialties. The checkbox next to the TOG was filled
I was to go there for x-rays and a consultation. I mentioned the whooping cough vaccine and before I could finish, Dr. Evil interrupts me and says, "well, I'm going to ask my RN about that. I don't know much about that female stuff." WOW. "Female stuff"?!?! Umm, it's a whooping cough, not vaginal cough, vaccine. Even if my inquiry was related to "female stuff" he should have been a professional and told me he didn't know, but would find out for me.

And did I tell you that Dr. Evil also took a personal call on his cell phone during our conversation? Yes, he did. He didn't even try to pretend it was an emergency. Something about dinner plans. Sorry I'm boring you, sheesh. I've never had that happen to me before. I mean, my dumb, yet polite, ass even puts MY mobile phone on silent during doctor appointments. I only expect the same treatment in return. At the end of our consultation, Dr. Evil sent me off to see the "girls" at the front (grown-ass women, mind you). I felt a little put off, but decided that my knee was more important than fighting a battle.

Before leaving, I double-checked with the "girls" at the front desk. Nurse Betty's counterpart, Nurse Bertha we'll call her, assured me that I had everything I needed in terms of referral. Nurse Betty even chimed in with who she thought were the better doctors at TOG. I thought it was strange that I did not receive a formal referral slip (looks like a test answer sheet; the doctor has to fill in blank boxes and assign a referral number), but they told me I was all set.

I made an appointment for the following week. Had dear husby come home early to watch the little one so I could go to TOG. After arriving at TOG, I was told I did not have the appropriate paperwork. The paper I had was only referring me to TOG and did not serve as an true referral. Therefore, my appointment was no longer valid. I was heated! I called Dr. Evil's office and began to tell them the situation. Nurse Betty immediately jumped down my throat and said I didn't tell them I needed one! Wtf! I hung up and decided I would walk over there and settle this matter in person.

When I arrived at Dr. Evil's office, Nurse Betty was already giving me a stank look. She told me that I never indicated that I needed a referral. WHAT???????????????????????????? How is this possible when I wrote it and said it several times! She also told me that I don't understand how referrals work and need to learn how my HMO works. Ummmm yea, okay. I'm not retarded...far from it. How hard is it to understand HMO and referrals? Need to see a doc that's not your PCP? Get a referral. Then see speciality doc. Simple, right? Wrong! Apparently at Dr. Evil's, the policy (which was NEVER communicated to me verbally or in print) is that I have to make the appointment with the specialist first, then call back Dr. Evil's office. Then Dr. Evil's office writes up the referral, then I pick up the referral and bring to specialist. Now, that sounds like a big clusterfuck.

When my baby's pediatrician wrote the referral, he did it during our visit and we left with the referral in hand. No need to call him to follow up. Guess he doesn't do it the right way, huh?

Nurse Betty was telling me that I misunderstood and was not clear in telling them. I told them that I had told EVERYONE I needed a referral. Even wrote it in my new patient paperwork (which she refused to pull up). She interrupted me and said "telling the doctor is not telling me; I'm the one that does the referrals" lemme get this straight, when I told her, Nurse Bertha, Dr. Evil and wrote it in my new patient paperwork, that doesn't count?? How could I never had mentioned it when Nurse Betty herself was providing feedback on the TOG?

I told her that I had a newborn and husband at home. I wasn't leaving without an appointment at TOG. I also asked for an apology. She refused and replied rudely, "well consider my apology trying to get you an appointment at TOG." HONEY, I HAD AN APPOINTMENT AT TOG. YA'LL FUCKED IT UP AND WON'T ADMIT IT. I told her I was the patient and did not deserve to be treated like this. She rolled her eyes and picked up the phone to call TOG. While on the phone with TOG, she mentioned, there was a "misunderstanding"...I heard this and was livid. There was no mix up, I was not given the proper information! I chimed in from the waiting area, "no, there's no misunderstanding, your office didn't give me the correct information!" She huffed and corrected her, "sorry, we made a mistake. Please find an appointment for this patient."

The entire time she was on the phone she was talking trash about the TOG staff (who were utmost professionals not like Dr. Evil and his ass clowns) to Nurse Bertha, the mute assistant who had assured me the week before I was good to go.

I finally got my appointment back and hobbled back to TOG. Now, I ask you, is that how it has to be? Why do some people insist on making simple situations difficult? In her recent post, my friend Dori bemoaned the lack of doctors that care. I agree and go as far as to say, fuck doctors who care. Let's just try to have doctors who are competent and can at least handle the administrative portion of their duties correctly! Is that so much to ask? And I'm also asking for accountability when things do go wrong. I'm human, I make mistake. The difference is, I ADMIT to them instead of blaming an innocent person, which is what Dr. Evil and his staff did.

Follow up: My orthopedic doc give me a script to see a physical therapist. I have a feeling I still need a referral from the dreaded Dr. Evil's office. Let's hope it can be done without insults and lies this time! By the way, Dr. Evil is Dr. Bernard Kelberg of Hamilton, New Jersey. The names of the guilty shall NOT be protected.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Attack of the Breastfeeding Nazis

So the title of this blog is a *little* dramatic. I'll give you that. But, breastfeeding is a VERY DRAMATIC topic in case ya didn't know! It all started back in the summer of 2008 when I found out I was pregnant...there were so many things to decide and plan for in terms of raising my child. One of the major issues I had to think about was breastfeeding and whether or not I was going to do it. Little did I know that it wasn't always a choice one could simply make.

Everything I read and heard touted the benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfed babies are supposed to have higher I.Q.s than babies that are raised on "swill," i.e., formula. "Breast is best!" the associated propaganda clearly states. So being a Type-A woman and determined to provide the BEST for my child, I decided I would breastfeed and ONLY breastfeed. No formula, no pumping, etc. That was my plan and I was sticking to it come hell or high water!

To prepare for this joyous, selfless and MANDATORY experience, husby and I signed up for breastfeeding classes. The instructor showed a couple of videos that featured happy moms and their babies breastfeeding blissfully (try to say that 20 times fast!). My preparation made me so excited to be a breastfeeding mother. I just knew in my heart this was the ONLY way we could go!

REALITY CHECK: I ended up having a C-section. This experience was devastating. Don't get me wrong, the doctors and nurses at my hospital were all great. I was treated quite well. What was devastating was that I was in utter pain and could barely sit up out of bed for a few days. The day I had to get up and walk on my own was THE MOST PAINFUL EXPERIENCE I have ever felt.

But of course, I WAS GOING TO BREASTFEED...I MUST NOT DEVIATE FROM THE PLAN! My crazy ass was trying to breastfeed within 24 hours of my MAJOR SURGERY. Needless to say, I was in mind-crushing pain and still put breastfeeding ahead of my own well-being. To top it off, my poor baby was crying before, during and after feedings and we didn't know why. I was still determined to breastfeed because BREAST IS BEST, dontcha know?! Two of the four nights I was in the hospital I slept only ONE hour because I was trying my hardest to breastfeed like a "good" mom should. Don't get me wrong...I know parenting is not about getting sleep. But, after major surgery (did I tell you I had a C-section??) you need some rest to recuperate properly.

Finally, one night husby convinced me to feed the baby formula. We had a huge fight, but he won, because his point was that the baby needed to eat and eat comfortably, not while crying and screaming while I was bawling and in pain. I finally gave in and the baby ate peacefully and was content.

One of the saner lactation nurses at the hospital discovered why poor baby wasn't able to breastfeed properly...his frenulum was too short. So, the whole time I was trying and trying, baby simply wasn't getting enough. I mean I even had one two-hour breastfeeding session before I found this out! This nurse told me that the baby could get this frenulum problem fixed. Some doctors even snipped it right in their offices! Convenient and so in line with the breastfeeding Nazi agenda, right?

My OB told me to pump breastmilk to supplement the formula and call it a day. Sounds like great advice, right? WRONG! One especially insane lactation Nazi got a crazy look in her eye when I told her I was going to pump. She sounded devasted that I was going to pump. Like I killed her fucking puppy dog or something.

Apparently pumping isn't "real" breastfeeding. Okay, so lemme get this straight. The purpose of breastfeeding is to feed babies breastmilk. When one pumps, one produces breastmilk. WHAT IS THE FUCKING PROBLEM?!?! I ignored her (see, by this time, the confident me was starting to creep back in to my brain and mind) and proceeded to feed my baby formula and expressed breastmilk.

After we arrived home from the hospital, husby went out and rented a pump for me. We decided on a month-to-month rental, but in my mind I told myself I would pump until the baby's frenulum was snipped. About a month after the baby was born, we took him to a oral surgeon for a consultation. He told us he could do the procedure. Great! But, the baby would have to be completely put under. NOT GOOD. The doctor never outright said NOT to do it, but he did tell us that our baby was thriving extremely well on expressed milk and formula and that he rarely ever puts patients under six months old completely under. Well, that was all husby and I had to hear. Our boy was growing and happy. Without "real" breastfeeding...imagine that! Fuck putting him under! If you would do that just to breastfeed, you are motherfucking crazy. There, I said it. You are a crazy, breastfeeding Nazi.

Now, don't get me wrong. I know plenty of breastfeeding moms that are awesome people. They breastfeed and don't judge anyone for not doing it (my dear friends in Langhorne, PA and Yardville, NJ are great examples). They did and do what is best for them and their babies. Those moms are NOT what this entry is about. I'm talking about the rude-ass breastfeeding Nazi bitches that insist on knowing whether or not you breastfeed and then judge you negatively. Like we women don't have enough to worry about!

I do digress. Anyways, so I'm pumping along, feeding the baby. All seems to be going well. And it should be, because when I first got home from the hospital, my wonderful mother stayed and helped out for almost a month post-partum (she came out from Vegas a week before my delivery). Dear husby took time off work, too. So all I had to do was pump and change some diapers and do some bottlefeedings, in between trying to relax so I could heal. Not too hard, right?

WRONG. After my mom left and husby had to go back to work, I was home alone trying to pump, watch the baby, feed the baby, diaper the baby, clean the house, recuperate (C-section, remember?), make meals for myself, etc. I began to HATE pumping. I spent every spare minute I had pumping. It was humiliating to do it. Any woman that says they don't mind pumping are motherfucking lying! YOU ARE LIKE A COW BEING MILKED...IT IS GROSS AND BEYOND TIMECONSUMING. I was supposed to be taking care of a baby AND resting (you know, to recuperate after my C-section) but I never, ever got to rest. Even when my husby would take over some night feedings I had to get up to pump. Then each time I pumped I had to clean all of the pump parts.

Wow, what a "horrible" mother I am. How dare I not love pumping. I mean, BREAST IS BEST...for the love of God, GIVE IT A FUCKING REST. Husby brought the pump back to the rental company after one month. In total, my baby drank breastmilk for about a month and a half, counting the time I pumped in the hospital. I was proud that I was able to give my baby breastmilk for the time I did, so I laid the topic to rest and got over my guilt. The baby and I both put our best foot (or breast in my case) forward and we don't owe anyone any explanations.

Cut to the present time. My baby is now almost three months old. He is thriving...boy, is he thriving! A big, happy baby that sleeps well (day and night), giggles a lot and simply enjoys life. His pediatrician calls him "solid" and I see the baby growing physically and mentally every day. You could put him next to a breastfeeding baby and no one would be able to tell he was drinking that filthy formula stuff. In fact, most people say, wow, healthy baby, he looks very happy! Why, thank you, he is! Biggups to husby and I for that. And I guess the formula must be working quite well, too. Hey, it's not breastmilk and it's not the BEST, but just from looking at him anyone can see how well he is flourishing.

In spite of the baby's apparently healthiness and positive disposition, the first question most women ask me is "ARE YOU BREASTFEEDING?????????????????????????????????????"
No, I say, I did pump for almost two months. Then they get that look on their face like they feel sorry for me and the baby. They also look at me like I am selfish and lazy. Oh yea, you got me girl. I'm just lazy. I don't wanna pump because I wanna go clubbing and dancing. I also wanna attend "How to be a Horrible Mother by Formula Feeding Your Baby" classes in my spare time instead of pumping.

Yesterday, I had a get together where I invited a bunch of my friends and their babies to bbq and chill. I couldn't wait to see one of my friend's babies. She delivered five days before me, so I never got to chance to see her baby girl yet. Now, she had I had talked about breastfeeding before and we both ended up doing the same thing. Breastfeeding, then pumping and formula, then 100% formula. I felt comfortable talking with her about breastfeeding and feeding in general because she genuinely cares for me and my family. Also, she did not judge me and nor I her. She's definitely not a breastfeeding Nazi. I know what kind of moms she and I are...I know we both tried our asses off to breastfeed and/or pump. We are FAR from lazy, I can tell you that!

So at this event, I was feeling great. I was hanging out with friends, enjoying the beautiful weather and even drinking some of those fruity alcoholic drinks. Life is good...until BREASTFEEDING NAZI came and rained on my parade. This is what happened. One of my other close girlfriends asked if I was breastfeeding and I did not mind answering her because she was my girl. Seconds after I answered "no, but I pumped for about a month and a half" the Bf Nazi rolls her eyes and scoffs "ONLY a month and a half? I breastfed for six months." Okaaaayyyy....and so what??? I was LIVID, PISSED OFF, on the verge of MURDA, because I KNEW how hard the baby and I tried. We tried to make it work, but what is best for our situation (I say our, because it wasn't just me involved) is formula.

Where was this bitch when I was moaning in post-op pain, trying desperately to breastfeed my newborn? Was SHE helping me clean my house and fold my laundry when I was home? Was SHE cleaning my pump accessories? HELL TO THE NO.

I remained classy and didn't snap back. I wanted to crack her neck and kick her right in the bandonkadonk. What a classless and ignorant comment.

I came home and vented to my husby. I was so angry, that I restarted this Hatewatchers blog that you are reading right now. I just had to get this incident off my chest! I want to speak up for myself and all other mothers out there that are formula feeding and/or "only" pumping. We have rights, too!

Moral: The next time you wanna ask a women if she's breastfeeding, think twice. Unless she is a close friend (even then, who cares) or has similar experiences, just leave it be. Why not just ask the mom how she and her partner (if there is one) are doing? Why not just hold the baby and enjoy that time?

Ladies, let's act like ladies and leave our intrusive, possibly-offensive questions and comments at the door.

Note: Please excuse the use of "Nazi" in this blog entry. I did not intend to offend anyone. If I have offended you, I hope you accept my deepest apologies. I am just very, very, very angry at these non-supportive, spiteful women that are so proud of the fact that they breastfeed AND can't wait to rub our poor formula-buying noses in it.

Welcome to Hatewatchers

Hello devoted (well, I hope you become devoted) readers! Welcome back to my blog, Hatewatchers. The URL has changed due to migration from WordPress to Blogger, but yours truly is still gonna bring you the realness. You can still view my previous blog entries at, but please start following this new iteration going forward.

For those of you that have never heard of the term hatewatchers and hatewatching, let me break it down. As a female, A LOT of hate is directed towards me from other females. This is sad because as you already know, females do not wield any real power in the world. Oh yea, sure, I can apply to the very same cubicle-based jobs as men and even get hired for those jobs. And yes, I can vote. And in some states, marry another female. And in other states even, gasp...have the right to choose to have an abortion. Okay, did I scare you away yet? Just keep reading. Anyways, I will admit women have come a long way (just like Virginia Slims tells me!) since back in the day, but we still lag behind in many areas when compared to the lives that men lead.

For example, women are still not paid dollar-for-dollar what men are paid for doing the same jobs. We still get treated like second-class citizens in many subliminal ways as well...and MOSTLY BY OTHER WOMEN. This is where hatewatching comes in. Instead of spending our valuable time relaxing, studying, hanging out with fam and friends, etc., some of us engage in the act of hating. Now, by hating, I don't mean people hate me and wish I would die. I mean women"hate" on me...i.e., treat me badly and say ignorant things to me because they hate their own lives, are jealous of my confidence, had a bad day, etc.

Women, we hold ourselves back when we hate on one another. That's why I've created the idea of hatewatching so we could (okay, I, could) keep us in check and report on all types of hate-based incidents my friends and I have experienced, i.e., I am hatewatching. I also wanted to begin writing again, because since I've become a parent, I've experienced new and even stranger forms of hate and need a constructive outlet to vent.

So, be careful who and how you hate, because I may be there to spill the beans!