All about my makeup

March 28, 2012 Leave a comment

For as long as I can remember, I ‘ve been a makeup junkie. I love colors, textures, consistency. Everyday on my lunch break,  I would  walk to the drugstore, handle all the new items and purchase something I didn’t need.  My interest was piqued as a toddler–Let me explain. My brother ( a year younger than me),  were staying in a hotel room along with our sleeping parents.  I was 2 years old and mom’s foundation was on the dresser. What a blessing! Needless to say,  I got my hands on the stuff, rubbing it all over my face, little body, and the hotel carpet too. My brother saw the fun I was having and crawled over to join in the fun. That bottle of makeup cost a lot of money: my dad had to reimburse the hotel for the damage we did to the carpet, and Greg and I got spanked (that was legal back in the day) for wasting the makeup and Pops money. When I entered elementary school, I would go downtown to the big department store and just ogle the makeup counter, the beautiful women who handled the products , and the happiness in the face of a satisfied customer. This was the life for me.

Over the years, I have become somewhat of a cosmetic snob having purchased every drugstore brand imaginable. Now I want to emphasize that drugstore brands work for some folks, but not for me. I adore deep rich build able shades that I have never found in drugstore brands. Thus, I seek out the higher end brands that I now review, test and wear.  Sephora is my favorite store and Ulta comes in second. Part of my lust with these stores is their return policies. There is nothing worse than being stuck with a sticky lipstick, ill colored blush or stinky foundation.

I love the feeling of excitement I get when I enter one of these stores. The sight of the all the product, the sound of the music, the lighting entices my senses.  The first five minutes in these stores are my personal time. My attempt to fly under the radar of a store clerk usually works and this is where the control aspect begins.

So, I admit my obsession–I take full responsibility for it. After many agonizing years of buying cosmetics my analysis brings me to this conclusion: makeup does not reveal beauty.

More to come. . .

Categories: people

3rd Ave view

March 11, 2012 Leave a comment

3rd Ave view

This is what I’m talking about

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Operating Room

We arrived at the hospital at 5:30 a.m., and proceeded to the neurosurgery outpatient suite. I did not want to start my day on irritated, but the Greeter, or whatever title she held, changed that for me. The woman screamed overkill  with her fire engine red hair straight from the bottle, and the ring on every finger  I recall her name tag–it read “Bossy.”  Promptly, she instructed family members in our group, (yes, I said group) to turn off his/her cell phones. Apparently, Verizon is the only cellular carrier that works at  Presby.  She pointed to a light up board on the suite wall stating,” Your name will come up when your surgery is over.” She turned and commanded the group, follow her.  We were led through a door, and down a hall to a room were she pointed off beds to us. This was the pre-op area.  I couldn’t help  but feel like I was a lamb going off to slaughter.  I was assigned to the bed on the far wall. Staff talking about their kids, their men, their evening. Everything except how quiet they should  be.  Next to me, on the left side of the curtain lay a woman who also had a brain tumor. Her doctor came into see her in his scrubs. I could hear Dr. Scrubby relating his operating tactics to this woman. “I’ve been thinking of you and this is what I am going to do to get to the tumor. . . ”   I didn’t like the way that sounded. There I was feeling sorry and  scared out of my mind while my neighbor lady was  about to go through  far worse than me.

Next, the anesthesiologist INTERN came into my curtained off area.  “Wow, he’s a cutie,” I thought. He introduced himself as Mike.  I won’t bash interns, they are learning, but he is burned into my memory bank becasue he attempted to insert the a small catheter into the fabulous vein on my hand, not once but three times. Mike, the cutie in green scrubs,  was no longer looking good to me. Finally, the nurse anesthesist came into my area.  Mike was taking too long. When I saw her, I cried out, “He can’t get it in.” I had  reached my ‘nice’ limit, and I asked her to stick me. She hit the vein on her first attempt. Mike seemed relieved. We were off to the operating room.

Categories: people

The Doctor

March 2, 2012 1 comment

Before I go chatting away about my surgery, I’ve got to tell you that the best Neurosurgeon in the free world was in charge of my life. As you can imagine,  it is no easy task to find a brain surgeon. Just the thought of needing this person scared me. How does a person go about finding  this specialist? I didn’t really know a lot of people who experienced my kind of tumor. I was on my own.

After doing a slight bit of research on meningioma, I googled the phone number for University Pittsburgh Medical Center, Neurosurgery.  I called and explained my diagnosis (the little I knew about it),  to the lady.  Without hesitation , she stated that I would be best off with Dr, Friedlander.  She knew he specialized in my area and she scheduled an appointment with him for September 1, 2011. That is how Robert Friedlander came to be my Neurosurgeon. Not through endless research on physicians, ratings and  reviews, best hospitals, practices, etc., but through the office receptionist.  It turns out that he was new to the hospital, less than six months at “Presby,” but not to neurosurgery. It turns out that he is the Department Chair and head of Neurosurgery at UPMC Pittisburgh and it turns out that he is a Harvard Medical School trained physician with specific concentration in frontal lobe tumors.

Categories: people


On October 12, 2011, I was scheduled to report to Ambulatory Surgery at 5:30 am for surgical prep.  We live about 60 miles from the hospital, so we decide to stay in Pittsburgh the night before my surgery because this was the one appointment we needed to be on time. We opted for  The Family House, one of the hospital owned  sites specifically for out of town patients and their guests. This was not my choice–If this was going to be my last night alive–if I don’t wake up from this insane surgery, I wanted to spend my last night  at a Marriot, a place that was clean , bright, hopeful.

When we entered the FH,  an old victorian,  a sing along was in progress.  I felt doom and gloom immediately.  The decor was frumpy and old, the people were ill and I was right in the middle of it. We were escorted to our room by a host who ran through a list of do’s and don’ts and then disappeared. No, i definetly didn’t like this place. The bed was lumpy, the noises were different than at home, and I was off to the OR in less than 12 hours.

I didn’t sleep that night and was “awake,” at 4:00 am, showered, ready to go.

Categories: people

The Brain Tumor–Part 1

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Brain tumor. I  never had a reason to fear a tumor because I didn’t have one until I was diagnosed with a Meningioma in May 2011. It was Thursday, and I was enroute to my appointment at the  Headache Center, Pittsburgh. My cross-country trip was  scheduled in two days,  and I wanted to get my occipital block so that I wouldn’t have the dreaded headache worry while away for home. Kimberley (the PA) and I were wrapping up the appointment when I asked her about ordering the follow-up MRI I was supposed to have 3 years ago. She wrote the order, I got my shots and was on my way. The next day the MRI scheduler called saying she had a cancellation and asked if I come in for the test. I was leaving for Arizona in 24 hours and didn’t really have the time, but she assured me it would be weeks before they could get me on the schedule, so I said, “what the heck.”

Fast forward to Wednesday May 27. Scottsdale AZ.  I was getting ready for another fun-filled day with my family. We had shopping and dinner and more shopping planned. My cell rang while  I was putting on my earrings. The caller ID identified the Headache Center as the caller. “Hello.” “Hi, Is this Christine?” “Yes.” “Tthis is the nurse from the Headache Center. Dr. Kaniecki read your MRI report and he wants you to see your Neurosurgeon.” ” Why?”  “Your MRI revealed a tumor behind your right eye.” “Is it serious?”,  I ask. “Let us know when you have seen your Neurosurgeon.” Shocked, yet still stunned ,  I answer, “I will,” and the caller hangs up.

Categories: people

Facebook–Modern day tool responsible for breaking up any relationship

February 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Facebook breakups. We’ve all heard the stories. You’re were on FB, checking out photos and what do you know.  There’s your boyfriend gettin jiggy on the dance floor and it is not with you. Or maybe you’re friends with a cousin–not one of your nice relatives, but nonetheless, friending a family member seems like the polite thing to do . Until you check you account  about a month later to find out she has deleted your friendship.

Today, I posted a funny feminist quote I read from a book Ollies written by a blogger. The moral of her blog was, don’t waste your youth on an idiot. I got a few thumbs up from my girls, but my son’s girlfriend specifically believed  that comment was in refernece to her. Surely, If I meant that for my son, I would have posted it on his status, but since it wasn’t meant for him and his already troubled relationship with Miss ThinSkin, they both ran with it.

But that is not where it stops: Several month ago, when Miss ThinSkin was finding herself, she decided to block me from her daily status updates, FB friends and photos. She relagated me to stalker status since I was unable to really communicate with her. On clean out your FB friend day, I closed up the book that contianed no pages. I’ll admit, I was a bit offended since she and my son have been together for over 5 years at the time. I defriended her.

 End result: My son broke up with me on fb today. I am intersted in hearing you Facebook breakup stories, so please share them with our blogging community

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