Sun Studio LA in Marina del Rey are Asshats

Sun Studio LA

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  • 4270 Lincoln Blvd
    Marina del ReyCA 90292

    Del Rey

I can’t believe it! Here I am, fighting fraudsters and unethical businesses for the past 7+ years, just to find out that I am equally as stupid as some of the people who’d charge back with my merchants!

Almost 3 years ago, I’ve signed up with Sun Studio LA in Marina del Rey. I don’t know what I was thinking, giving that I don’t tan. But I tried it, decided it wasn’t for me, went in and cancelled (as they stated that any cancelation had to be made in person) and forgot about it.

Almost THREE years later I wonder why one of my credit cards is being paid off slower than expected. I had transferred balances a few years ago, set up auto-pay and never used the card again. I go into my account and guess what? These douche canoes had charged me for another 2 1/2 years after my cancelation!

So I’ve called them up, asked if they had me in their system. The girl who answered the phone told me that they did. I’ve asked her if there was a cancelation for me in there too. She confirmed that as well. I asked her to look at the date of the cancelation; and that is when she told me the manager needs to call me back. Manager calls me back the next day, apologizes profusely, and says she will get back to me by the end of the day. I’ve never heard back. They now claim they never received my cancelation and produced my old contract.

They must have erased my cancelation from the system and I now have no proof that they ripped me off. What a bunch of unethical asshats. I hope karma bites them in the ass. Meanwhile, I am going to spread the word on how awful they’ve treated me. Liars and greedy asses make me sad. If there is karma, it will be on my side, given that I have been fighting fraud for almost 8 years now.


Judgment – ‘Cause I am Right

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Guilty as charged – a truer quote has never been spoken!
I’ve never really been the quiet kind. I’ve had a really hard time with being called judgmental and harsh, but would defiantly push my chin forward and argue that I am neither. So, I’ve spent large parts of my life worrying about hurting or angering others with my sharp tongue and the fear of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time made me even more of a hermit than I already was. After all, I always mean(t) well.

Judgment comes quite natural to me. I adhere to general codes of honesty, integrity, loyalty and decency and don’t understand why these lines are blurry for others. I perceive the world amplified, in a way that other people do not understand.
I don’t easily let go and have a strong compulsion to fight for anything and anyone who is weaker, in the minority or otherwise unable to defend themselves. Hence, I don’t like bullies, I don’t like moochers and those who take advantage of others. I don’t like superior types who think they are better/deserve better because of their status, race, religion, good looks, intellect or education and I can’t stand sense of entitlement. I don’t like liars, martyrs, self-centered jerks and behind-the-back-talkers.
And yes, I am a hypocrite, because I often speak in absolutes and yet, can’t stand those who state that all poor people are lazy, all immigrants are moochers, all Germans are Nazis, all Mexicans are lazy – you get the picture. My absolutes usually revolve around religions and parties. I have grown to strongly dislike Tea Baggers and religious splinter groups, who preach hate, intolerance and fear. I haven’t met anyone on these sides who were humanitarians and people one can look up to.

I am trying to put myself in the shoes of others; but I still fail miserably. I try to listen to any argument, no matter how strange it might be, as long as there is reason, logic and an open mind – preferably a kind heart, too.
A while ago I got into a huge argument with a friend, whose arguments against universal health care, better education and care for all were so angry and hateful that I was shocked. Yes, I grew up in Germany, a socialist country, but have always felt that my beliefs were not based on a political system, but on the fundamental thought that I had been so lucky and successful in my life that I gladly paid it forward and felt it was my duty to help those less fortunate. It takes coming from the ghetto to understand what it feels like to be there.

The arguments of supporting the lazy, helping drug addicts, the homeless and losers, who chose to be in their position, were coming from a devout Christian. Didn’t Jesus preach about helping the sick, poor and less fortunate? The anger about having to pay more (taxes, healthcare, etc.) overwrote any compassion. This conversation made me stop in my tracks.

I am so angry at the unjust judgments and assumptions that are being hurled around about those who are on welfare. I am appalled about the judgments thrown around about women who are getting an abortion, about illegal immigrants, LGBT individuals and Muslims. Yet, how often had I made an assumption about another because they did an asshole move like lying, cheating, talking behind another’s back, judging, belittling or being cowards, when I had engaged in some of these asshat moves myself? And how often had I concluded that all Jews would hate me, because I’m German and that all Christians had turned into Kool-Aid chugging nut jobs. I realized how judging in one area, leads to becoming a judgmental person in pretty much all other areas, too. I understood that every time I judged I was no different than those people, even when or if my motives were nobler or “just.” 

Judgment is a slippery slope. It starts with an assumption; usually the assumption that we have all the facts and know more than we do. It then goes down the path of elevating oneself above said behavior and therefore “judging” that we have the right to tell the other side what to do, hate them, fear them, dislike them, reject them or not support them. This is because we feel that our side is the right side! But judging also implies that we have walked in their shoes and most of the time we haven’t.

So when we suspend judgment, does that mean that there shouldn’t be universal values we are willing to defend? Of course not. But I do believe that the only answer to get ourselves out of this mess we are in, globally, is to start with some compassion and less complaining about your rights being taken away, especially when you are actually pretty lucky, pretty rich and definitely in the position to pay it forward and share.

When I look around and listen to what spews out of people’s mouths and hearts in the name of defending their rights and freedom of speech, I hang my head in shame. Alas, all I can do is do my best to catch myself when I engage in judgmental douche baggery and attempt to do my part to help make this world a better place.


What Self-Love Means

I didn’t write this article, but couldn’t have said it better. I am also proud to report that I have learned this and do a pretty good job, most of the time (still struggle sometimes with not beating myself up over not being perfect on the exterior).

Here is the link and I’ve posted the whole article as well. Enjoy!

What Self-Love Means

What Self-Love Means: 20+ Ways to Be Good to Yourself

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“Self-love requires you to be honest about your current choices and thought patterns and undertake new practices that reflect self-worth.” ~Caroline Kirk

If one more person told me to go love myself I was going to levitate into the air and pull one of those impossible martial arts moves from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I was sick of it!

What the heck does loving myself mean? Were they talking about bubble baths, pedicures, and cucumber masks? It turns out there is so much more to self-love than just pampering ourselves. I found this out the hard way.

About a year and a half ago, I almost died after a bad break-up. I had devoted so much of my energy to making the relationship work that I had completely neglected my own needs, and had given away my power and my responsibility for happiness.

As I wrote about here, when I finally developed the courage to end an addictive and painful relationship, I had to live with the effects of lack of self-love.

I struggled to eat, sleep, or continue my daily functioning. I spent every waking hour to myself, trying to understand how and why I had gotten there. I had to know, because whatever it was, if I did not attend to it, this was going to be the end of the road for me. I knew it.

I made mixed media collages, journaled, watched The Notebook five more times, cried, and called up friends to keep me company while I ate my few bites each day.

During this whole time, I found places in my story where I was not present to my own life, my body or my spirit. I was just there. I found the places where I had abandoned myself and then gotten mad at the other person for not meeting my needs.

The truth was, I did not have a big enough inner container to hold the love I so desired even if I received it, because my self-love tank had shrunk down to the size of a bottle cap.

It finally became very clear to me that there was one core reason I had gotten there: I did not know anything about self-love.

This realization launched me into a relentless search for the meaning of self-love, internally and externally.

I found that self-love is a not a destination, it’s a practice. It is like brushing our teeth. Self-love is a foundation on which we build a happy life. Without self-love, we have nowhere to put the love or abundance that comes to us.

Not sure what it looks like to love yourself? Here is what I’ve learned. Self-love is…

1. Choosing ourselves, even if it means upsetting others and not being popular anymore. Even if it means we leave a party before anyone else because we feel tired, overwhelmed, or just plain feel done with the crowd.

2. Telling what is true for us, not swallowing words that express what we truly feel, think, or want to do.

3. Giving our body the nurturing, rest, exercise, and comfort it needs to the best of our ability.

4. Wearing clothes that make us feel good and fit our personality instead of wearing clothes that are in fashion that we use to impress others.

5. Building a life that we love while we are single instead of waiting for our prince/princess to show up to explore life and to be happy.

6. Accepting ourselves with the good, the bad, the ugly, the sexy, and the smelly—all of it—andappreciating ourselves as whole people.

7. Making time to do whatever we love, just to play, without worrying about wasting time.

8. Owning our inner and outer beauty and complimenting ourselves without feeling guilty, arrogant, or entitled.

9. Not rehashing our past mistakes and dragging ourselves to a dark place when we know that we can only learn from the past; we can’t change it.

10. Spending some quality, connected time with ourselves instead of always watching TV or wasting time on the Internet.

11. Using discretion when sharing our heart, self, and dreams with others.

12. Trusting the path that our soul is on and making a genuine effort to become a conscious co-creator of our destiny.

13. Not blaming our parents for our current issues, and looking for ways to heal our wounds and change our dysfunctional patterned behaviors by reaching out to ministers, therapists, coaches, and healers.

14. Following what our gut/intuition says instead of living out of our brain and ego.

15. Staying in our integrity, both when it comes to ourselves and when interacting with others out in the world. This includes keeping ourselves in check regarding patterns such as lying, manipulating, co-depending, withholding, and pretending.

16. Allowing ourselves to dream big, without contaminating these dreams with judgments, our perceived limitations, or a lack of sense of deserving.

17. Knowing how we’re spending our emotional, mental, financial, and physical energy, and whether these activities bring back joy, connection, nurturing, rest, and creativity to our lives.

18. Taking responsibility for all of our experiences. Knowing that we have the ability for deeper self-awareness and access to our intuition when it comes to making life choices.

19. Not labeling ourselves with others’ opinions of us, while having the courage to look inside to see if there might be some truth to them.

20. Learning to set boundaries that protect and nurture our relationships, with ourselves and others.

21. Allowing ourselves to make mistakes and not berating ourselves for making them. Instead, choosing to appreciate our desire to learn and grow.

22. Refusing to seek permission or approval to be ourselves. Recognizing that we, like everyone else, deserve to take up space on this planet just as who we are right now.

And lastly, self-love is:

23. Loving and accepting ourselves even when we fail miserably at some of these self-love goals.

No one else can offer these things to us. No one else can take our vitamins for us or prevent us from going into a self-loathing attack.

Even if we land the best partner on the planet, this person won’t be able to make us happy and feel loved unless we create the space for it inside by practicing self-love. This is why self-love is an inside job.

From my heart to your heart…

 


Fibromyalgia – This is what it means for me

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I woke up this morning like I wake up pretty much every morning – feeling as if a truck had run me over. My lower back, neck and shoulders were in agony, my muscles were stiff and I had a hammering headache. I reached into my nightstand, grabbed my Cymbalta, took it and then schlepped out of bed; hunched over  and walking like an old woman. I turned on the shower, started brushing my teeth and felt my elbow scream in agony at the light pressure I used to guide my toothbrush. I stepped in the shower and waited for the warm water to bring some kind of relief. Alas, all that happened was that my joints and muscles became fluid enough to move. I knew right then, today would be another one of those days where I needed to take some Advil to make the pain bearable enough to get to work. This is my life and this is what it feels like to have Fibromyalgia.

I was first diagnosed with FM back in 1994. I had been in the US for a mere year and a half. German doctors had treated my ongoing issues of muscle spasms, severe back pain, migraines, swelling joints, gastritis and hypersensitivity to light and other environmental influences with shots of muscle relaxers into my back, or shots of vitamin B. The visit with a rheumatologist over here was the first one I ever had. When he gave me his diagnosis, I didn’t even know how to pronounce the word; I felt he was full of it and had made up some kind of condition; you know, the kind they diagnose you with when they have no other explanation. The anti-depressants he prescribed I poured down the drain.

I went on to live my life and the symptoms would sometimes get better, sometimes worse. I had started to do martial arts and did a very heavy work out regime. But I injured myself, as seemed customary for me. I would bruise quickly and my bruises would take weeks to heal. I had lived with pain for so long that my pain tolerance had increased as well. Or maybe it didn’t increase, maybeI had just become great in ignoring it and working around it. This resulted in realizing that my left shoulder, which had become “frozen” and no longer worked at all, needed a MRI. I had tried at least 2 years of chiropractic, which, besides costing me thousands of dollars, hadn’t done a thing. Turns out, I had a torn rotator cuff and calcium build up around my bones. At 37 I had athroscopic shoulder surgery, which fixed this issue, but the “other stuff” remained.

But I am getting ahead of myself. By the time I reached my late 20s and early 30s I had additional, new “issues.” At this point I had forgotten about the FM diagnosis. I started having dizzy spells, tingling and numbness in my legs and itchy and burning skin. I also would lose my balance quite frequently. I was promptly tested for MS, which I didn’t have. Over the years, I had test after test after test, namely each time I would finally make it a point again to go to a doctor to have my various symptoms examined. I was tested for various cancers, Lupus, MS, lime disease, viral infections, adrenal fatigue and heart disease. I had blood tests, allergy tests, sleep tests, cardiovascular tests like stress and non-stress EKGs and was diagnosed with asthma. Who diagnosed me again with FM? My pulmonary disease doctor! He was the first one who looked at all of it and figured that these were all common symptoms for FM. He decided to do a trial with Cymbalta and within a week, I was almost pain free. The suffering was better, for the first time in a long time. In addition, I got a second opinion from “Best Doctors,” a service one of my companies offered, another year later. My entire medical history of almost 10 years was gathered, including all the tests and various diagnoses and a leading rheumatologist in the US confirmed the diagnosis. That was 2 years ago.

I have spent a lot of time within the past years on researching Fibromyalgia, its causes, treatments and management. I’ve changed my diet many times and found nothing made a difference. I am not allergic or sensitive to gluten, dairy or other foods. I do, however, find that increased sugar intake makes my symptoms worse. I’ve tried an all veggie and juicing diet, which had no effect on my FM. I’ve tried personal training. It was suggested that fitness would make a huge difference, but that was by people who didn’t know that my body is literally wired wrong and reacts the opposite of a normal body. Here is an excerpt from a study:

Pain levels started out much higher in the group of fibromyalgia patients (as expected). In addition, the spinal cord did not kick in to relieve post-exercise soreness in the shoulders. Worse yet, pain sensitivity increased significantly in the leg muscles that were relaxed throughout the study.

What does this mean? The system in the spinal cord that people rely upon to ease post-exercise discomfort seems to be responding to workouts by increasing the pain in fibro. So, if you are a fibro patient on your feet all day long, your activity can cause sore leg muscles and also make other muscles hurt, such as those in your arms.

Increasing physical function has to be done extraordinarily slow in fibromyalgia patients just to keep the pain levels stable. As your muscles get bigger and stronger, your body will be able to sustain more activity before the spinal cord decides to amplify your pain.

I didn’t know these things and the strenuous workouts with personal trainers that I subjected myself to for a couple of years made things worse. I never reached a point of feeling good. While my muscles got stronger, I only experienced severe vs. mild pain now. Once I turned 40, things got worse yet again. Workouts were so painful that I would sooner or later succumb and give up. I had tried any diet, any exercise program out there and nothing helped. Quite on the contrary, they seemed to make my symptoms worse. In addition, my eyes started going bad, which I first attributed to aging. They were so dry that they would burn and hurt. My optomaligist simply told me to get acupuncture, which I did. Another few thousand dollars for training and acupuncture, as well as different contact lenses didn’t do the trick either. I had no idea that the eye problems, as well as my supposed asthma are also part of FM!

So what did help? Well, after 3 years, Cymbalta is no longer working. I doubled my dose about 6 months ago and it’s not helping. Yoga on the other hand, DOES help a lot. However, the hard workout yoga, like heavy vinyasa flows cause pain. Handstands are impossible, but headstands work. Balance is still a bit of an issue, but yoga has strengthened my muscles and makes balancing easier. I struggle with weight gain – always – and I can’t do the exercises I’d need to do. Diets have no or minimal effect, including the extreme ones I did. I love hiking, because I love nature, but the max I can do right now are 3 or 4 miles, before my legs are in agony and my feet are on fire. I pay the price for at least 2 days after, but it is something I have to endure, so I can strengthen my muscles enough to lower my pain sensitivity.

I refer to FM as the devil disease. There is no cure, there are only ways to manage it and sometimes make it less of a hinderance to a normal life. I am always in pain; there isn’t a day when I am not. Mostly, it’s bearable, sometimes it is not and I’ll just take Advil throughout the day. The narcotics are not an option, as they are addictive and would render me useless. I have a hard time concentrating or remembering, which is known as “fibro-fog.” My eyes get so dry, my contacts fall out; my vision is blurry and my eyes burn a lot. I have a hard time seeing. My chest muscles get so tight, it feels as if I cannot breathe. Especially when I am stressed or do anything strenuous. I start coughing and gasp for air. My skin on my legs sometimes itches so bad that I scratch it raw; or it burns and then I put on cooling booties I have in the freezer. Migraines are my constant companion. My jaw is tight and I grind my teeth. My neck goes stiff and I can’t turn my head anymore. Sometimes, part of my leg goes completely numb. My elbows always hurt, especially when I wash my face or attempt to do vinyasa flows. So do my wrists. I struggle with acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome, which I control with diet. I am tired and exhausted – A LOT. Without sleeping pills, which I have been on for the past 4 years, I would get no sleep at all. Luckily, I live in a warm climate, which makes things a little easier and being hyper sensitive to many things like light, smell, sound and substances, have kept me away from alcohol and drugs.

I have another rheumatologist appointment at the end of the month. I hope there are new drugs out there that take care of the pain better and don’t have a lot of the horrible side effects. I guess I’ll have to wait and see.


Facebook Sucks

FB sucks

 

 

 

 

Today, I was shaken to my core about something I had inadvertently seen on Facebook. As I was innocently scrolling down my “Newsfeed,” I stopped at one to read an outraged “let’s get these bastards” comment from my niece’s husband. As part of the ever increasing suck-factor of Facebook and the fact that videos are now starting to play without you pushing the “play” button, I watched in disbelief as a couple sadists poured gasoline over a tiny puppy, set it on fire and watched as it tried to run away, only to be dowsed again in lighter fluid. It was one of those moments where I couldn’t truly comprehend what I was watching until it was too late. I can never unsee this and felt like crying. I still feel sick. I still feel outraged. These images will stick with me for a long ass time.

I don’t know what kind of world I am living in. I can neither comprehend anyone torturing a living being, especially not a helpless baby, human or animal, and I cannot believe that anyone would post this shit either. Sure, you want to sometimes raise awareness, maybe even help solve a crime. In this case, however, the video was posted by a narcissistic asshat, who posted it for likes! The video itself was years old and the perpetrators had long been caught and punished. As is my detective and just nature, I reported the video and the sick bastard who posted it to FB. Of course, neither was removed. Apparently,  torturing an animal on live video to death does not violate FB’s community rules.

The thing is that I once signed up for Facebook, way back in 2008. I signed up because I hated MySpace and I wanted to keep in touch with people I will never see or hear from otherwise; I.e. My family in Germany, my old classmates from Germany, etc. Meanwhile, FB has turned itself and quite a few people who are using it, into monsters. Nothing is “holy” anymore. Everything is fair game in the name of sensationalism, likes and attention. No matter how horrific and scarring the content is, there is always one asshole who will share it under the guise of raising awareness. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Facebook, who has turned into a money grabbing whore, allowing any content in the name of the mighty dollar. The only time they will take action is if enough people rise up in horror and command them to remove the content.

I feel I am part of the problem, because I won’t delete my FB page. Having my entire friend base and family on there is the only reason. My hermit butt would never, ever be in contact with anyone and I would never hear how my best friends’ kids are doing, or what is happening in Germany with my family; like when my sister was in the hospital, which I only found out because my niece posted it on Facebook!

It makes me angry and sad. I want to boycott these douche canoes and yet, I am not. Sure, I get it. There is a bit of a narcissist in all of us. We want to “share” the great things we are doing and quite often, we feel strangely validated and accepted when we can post our successes or find others who “like” them. And no, I do not see it as narcissistic, when my friends post pictures of their vacations, promotion celebrations, new babies, weddings, etc. These are the reasons I am connected with them in the first place. Even the saddest parts and the pain they are sharing is something I can relate to and usually find honest and refreshing in its rawness and straight forwardness. But posting videos/pictures of executions, suicides or torture is a whole different ballgame that violates all rules of common decency. I have many friends who are advocates for suicide prevention, animal welfare, cancer prevention, human trafficking prevention and child welfare, just to name a few and they are doing fine getting the attention and donations they ask for without posting graphic content.

I wish I had an idea like Zuckerberg did. I wish I had the technical expertise to start and market my own social network, so I could keep these asshats of my site. But I guess having these morals would keep me from ever making a dollar, which is also quite sad. I wish all my friends and family were on Instagram or Twitter, so I could delete my Facebook page. Alas, all I can do is keep boycotting horrific content by reporting it and asking my friends to join me in the fight. Facebook sucks.