Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Just to be clear, I'm not always a Debbie Downer.

Today, I took care of the whole car situation.  In a nice way:


No name yet.  I'll come up with one.  I love it.

It drives like a dream, and it has a light kit that turns my feet blue.

So, I'm happy.

I'm going to see Louis CK tonight at TPAC, and that's equally awesome.

Enjoy!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Full disclosure

I'm going to put out there in real words something I've been hinting at for the past week.

I'm not functioning especially well in the wake of everything that's happened to me this year.

No, really.

So, today, I'm driving home from work, a day that felt like it was suspended in fog flavored Jell-O, and I have the radio tune to 70s on 7 XM.  Because I hate Sweeney Todd.  Sorry, I just do.  I also hate Phantom of the Opera.   Clutch your pearls if you must.

Anyway, I'm driving and all of a sudden Paul Simon's Mother and Child Reunion comes on, and I just start sobbing.  I cried from Old Hickory Boulevard to Wedgewood Avenue, and didn't stop until several minutes after I came in the house and collapsed on the bed.  It's not that I was ready to stop, I just ran out of tears.

So, I don't know.  Eventually, it won't be like this. Eventually.  And once I have all this car stuff behind me and I'm out of rentals and back to normal, I can stop fretting about that, too.

At some point, every day won't hurt as much as today.

I know I'll never completely stop missing Lola.  I know that some day, I'll have another dog, and that it will also die, and that it will hurt just as much as this.

So, I'm a little slow on the uptake at the office, or I'm not at Monday night Zumba, or my witty banter is neither especially witty nor the full speed of banter...

I'll be OK.  I promise.  Sooner rather than later, if possible.

But I need to focus my energy on just getting through the coming days and weeks.  And frankly, it's fucking exhausting. Yes, that's depression.  I know.  I already take meds for it.  Yes, maybe I do need to reconsider my dosage.  I'm on it.

So, that's all I really have for now.

And dammit, I know I'll feel better if I just go to Zumba tonight, but I'd really rather take a hot bath, swig some NyQuil and try again tomorrow.

But I'm going to Zumba.   Dammit.



ae



Sunday, January 27, 2013

Good game...

This weekend has been epic in laziness.  Epic.  Now, OK.  I did take 28 pounds worth of old bank statements and credit card offers to Office Max where they will be securely shredded.

And I bought a gift for a baby shower, after standing, dithering in Target for about a half hour trying to figure out what the hell to get.  I ended up getting a bunch of stuff with this motif:

Look, the kid is likely to be a redhead like her mother, and all that pink is going to be a disaster.


I went to the shower today, and it was cute.  It kind of stressed me out because there were a handful of young ankle biters running around being "adorable" - I don't do well with kids.  I don't do well at showers.  There were pigs in a blanket - I aced those.

Basically, I'm not doing well.  I recognize this, and I have no idea what to do to pull it together.

I need to get some laundry going.  

I need to get my ass back to the YMCA, where I'll start Zumba, get back to the pool and maybe that'll trigger some better eating habits.

And I'll lose 20 pounds, start to regain some of that confidence, lose even more weight, and in no time...

But even thinking about it makes me want to crawl into bed for a nap.

To clarify - another nap.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

People. People who need people...

I think it goes without saying that this really hasn't been my month, yes?

Well, I left Ohio yesterday, early in the morning.  Joked with the TSA agent who noticed I was bringing back sausage from Schmidt's in my carry-on.  It's apparently not only OK, but pretty common.  I actually asked, "Are you eyeballing my sausage?"  I didn't realize how bad that could've gone until moments later.

I got on the plane, found a good seat next to two very pleasant ladies headed to Florida for a birthday celebration.

I got off the plane, got my bag and headed to car rental.  I struck up a conversation with the agent about why I was renting, what kind of new car I was interested in and so forth.  I requested a economy - the cheapest thing they had.  She set it up in the system and said, "Now, I'm going to courtesy upgrade you to an Elantra - it's a little more substantial and I think you'll feel safer in that."

She also found me a few discounts.   I'm now driving the Elantra, and it has XM.  Which I have tuned to 72 - Broadway's Best!  It's a nice car  - it feels sturdy and safe.

I drove in the pouring rain directly to the office and parked carefully.  I pulled on my coat and headed into the office.  Halfway there a guy with a huge golf umbrella stopped and shared it with me the rest of the walk to the office.

People are kind.   That's my point.

Now, let's switch gears for a bit.

You know how I have problems with process, documentation, being analytical, yes?  Yes.

Yesterday, I wrote not one, but two emails that proved maybe I'm not completely worthless in that realm.

One of them was a summary of a meeting I was in to my new boss, outlining concerns I had with a project that our Product Developers were launching and that I'm a stakeholder in.  Even as I was doodling a picture of a hand holding a steak during the meeting, I was coming up with my concerns in a bullet point list to give to the boss.

I came back to my desk, wrote it up and sent it.  I was so proud, I sent it to my friend, Jim.  He replied with, "Your fifth point sums up exactly what's wrong with our process".

I felt like a kid who'd just been given a gold star for her book report.

Now, bosslady hasn't said anything about it, but that's OK.  I proved to myself something that I needed to know.  I'm smart enough to do this.  I'm organized enough to do this.  I can, and I will DO THIS.

On the way home, I talked with Mom - admitted what we all know - I'm depressed.  I need to eat better, rest up, exercise - you know - all the usual pain in the ass boring stuff.  The meds will do their best, too.

So last night, I came home and completely crashed - I slept.  I slept a lot.  I finally got up about an hour ago, and I'm kind of thinking I could totally go back to bed.

But, while my thoughts may be organized, my home is not.  Today I need to launder, clean, straighten and schlep.    I need to buy and wrap a gift for a baby shower, and I really want to take a big bag of stuff to get shredded.   I also ought to hit up the Goodwill with donations, and I've got to get to the grocery store.

I'm also thinking that Matt and I need lunch at La Hacienda.  Caldo de Res, with lots of lime and cilantro.  Soup heals.  It does.

ae




Thursday, January 24, 2013

Frah GEE Lay

I had one of those training sessions from hell today where the woman who is supposed to be championing the project basically told her entire team, in front of me, that the software is mostly crap, but should help them with a few things.

So, that created a roomful of twenty highly engaged trainees.  Who were rude, rowdy and in one case on the front row, narcoleptic.

I felt like I was getting kicked in the teeth, stomach and ass repeatedly.


F You, Buckeye State (Specifically Delaware County and Hebron)


As I told a colleague on my way back to the hotel, I was tempted to stop at the Red Lobster next to my place, get shitfaced and eat shrimp.

I'm 38 years old, and I've never eaten at a Red Lobster.  Why start now?

I got a value meal at the local McDonald's and in a minute, I am going to bed.

It's 5:30 Central.  But I got less than 4 hours sleep last night, and I have an early flight tomorrow.  So, what the hell - I think I'll just crash.  Because also, the TV in my room doesn't appear to be working and I don't have the energy to complain to the desk about it.

I'm worn out.

I think this weekend, I'll just plan to catch up on my rest, do laundry and get to the Y.

Maybe get a massage.  Maybe not.

I feel kind of broken.  I need to start healing because frankly, it's only about to get harder.

Good night.

ae
 

What's that you say, Universe?

I got a speeding ticket today.    Twelve miles over - 77 in a 65.

In Delaware County, OH.

I think I need to slow down.

I've been missing Lola.  A lot.

While I am waiting for my sleeping pill to kick in, I thought I'd post a little something that, if I were throwing a memorial service for her, I'd play:


I am about ready for a weekend.

ae

Monday, January 21, 2013

Jiggety Jig

I went to visit my parents this weekend - a trip that's been in the works since Christmas.

It was bittersweet to spend time with their pugs - made me miss the old beast, but as Dad promised they put me right to work - they had a party today for President Obama's inauguration. 

So we did party prep and we did it big.

Here was the table, laden with chow:

Obamalicious  
It was a terrific party - all the other liberals in the neighborhood came.  I love that my parents have friends in their neighborhood - it makes me feel better about not coming down as often.

It was a good weekend, but I'm exhausted.  Right now I have some clothes in the washer and some in the dryer so that I can pack a bag - I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon to spend a big ton of time in Ohio.

Ironically, my rental car is from Ohio, or has Ohio plates, at least.

And speaking of...

They totaled Dixie.

So, once I get back from Ohio, and the money arrives from the insurance agency, I'll be car shopping.

I can say one thing with complete certainty.

My next car will NOT be red.

Other than that, who can say?

Time for a bath - gotta do my pre-travel shaving.

I know, I know - too much information.

As usual.

ae

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It's the little things

So, I got a card today.  From our vet's office.  And it was signed from everyone at the office - from the sweet receptionist, Douglas, to the doctors, with personal notes that clearly meant they knew Lola.

And finally, I broke down. 

I wailed for a good thirty minutes, and wouldn't you know, I feel a lot better.

We also got a card from some friends in Georgia.  The world is full of kind people.

I got my estimate from the Auto Repair shop.  It's a gray area.  The cost of repairs is high, but may not be high enough for them to total it.

Now, we watch.  We wait.

And you know, patience is my best virtue.

I cannot tell a lie though - I have been doing a little research... the Mazda 2 is awfully cute...  so is the Ford Fiesta.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with a repaired Corolla.

Patience, grasshopper.

ae


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Confessions.

I'm still dealing with being canineless... I'm having Phantom Dog Syndrome - I keep forgetting for split seconds that she's gone.  Thankfully, it's not painful, mostly nostalgic. I've learned that if you don't have a dog, anything you drop while preparing dinner stays there.  And that while there is no dog, there is still dog hair.  Lots and lots of dog hair.  It's hard.  That said,  I've gotten very kind words and gestures from friends and strangers.  What I have learned, again, is that people are kind.

Now, the car has been another whole ball of wax.  I'm still waiting on the estimate from the dealership.  I'm waiting on the police report, and some news from my insurance company.   But again, people have been kind.  I sent an e mail to a customer of mine (with whom I have a good relationship) who had a past career in law enforcement, asking a few basic questions - he gave me some great advice, and I was incredibly surprised  and touched at the care he put into responding to me.  Now, to be fair, I asked if I could bother him before I just laid it all out there for him.  But I was grateful for his time.  And of course, he knows that as far as his database goes, I have his back.

Meanwhile, it's cold.  And raining.  We're a little concerned that those two things will coincide and result in ice.  Now, personally, I think Snowpocalypse and Ice Stormageddon are both blown way out of proportion - so we'll see in the morning - I have to go downtown before I go into the office, so that's kind of fun.  We shall see what happens. 

I have nothing new to report other than that.  This time next week I'll be in Ohio.  I'm kind of hoping to put new buttons on my wool coat before the trip.  Meaning, I should go ahead and order those.  Because as it turns out, JoAnn fabric doesn't seem to carry more than one or two cards of any one style.

And I need twelve buttons.

I might have too much time on my hands.

But the house is starting to look better.

So.  Awesome. Fantastic!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

And in the end...

One month from today, we will celebrate the 14 year anniversary of my parents finding Lola on the road in the mountains. When they found her sitting there, a six week old, yowling puppy, they got her into the car, wrapped her in a coat, and got her up to the cabin. They found a box, put her in it. Opened the oven and turned it on and put the box on the oven door to get her warmed up.

They fed her some of the roast beef from their sandwiches, and with that, she fell asleep.

When they brought her home to me that afternoon, she was still pretty zonked, and they were worried that she might not pull through. We took her to the Vet – they looked her over and said she was probably about six weeks old, and seemed to be OK. They put a bowl of food and a bowl of water in front of her. She inhaled both, peed on the exam table and from there, we haven’t looked back.

Lola has been, without question, one of the most important influences in my life. Ever. Maybe you think that’s overstating it, and maybe it is. But Lola is part of what helped me get my shit together. At the time that I got Lola, I had been dumped and laid off from my first job – I was still living with my parents and nursing a wounded heart, a depleted bank account, and was working part-time at Macy's, part time doing internet research at Nexchange.

Within six months of getting Lola, I had a full-time gig at Nexchange, I was moving into my first apartment, and I was dating.  Dating a loser, but within a year of that, I'd be dating the man who would become my husband.

I think it's worth mentioning that Lola vetoed two potential suitors - the first because I saw how he treated her.  The second, she gave a clear sign of disdain by walking up to him and shitting at his feet.  Bless her heart, she was right.

I knew Matt was going to be a keeper when, within two minutes of meeting him, Lola hopped in his lap and leaned up against him, happy as a clam.

Today, one month shy of fourteen years together, I took Lola to a different Vet.  This time, sadly, I came home without her.

About a year and a half ago, Lola was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.  Today, after a lot of watching, waiting and soul searching (to say nothing of Googling), we decided that it was time to let her go.  She's been on a decline for about a year, and the past few months, the drop was even sharper.  She had a rough night last night, she's had several before it, and we felt that the kindest thing to do was preempt further pain and suffering.

It was hard to let go, but she deserved the kindest end we could give her, and we felt this was it.

I'm sure I'll second guess myself at some point, but I truly think we did the right thing.

I will miss her terribly.  She's been gone less than two hours and I've already caught myself thinking, "Wait where's...oh."

She was a great dog.  A good friend, therapist, security blanket, exercise equipment.  She was a clown and a princess and a hobo.

She loved cake and sausage.  She would go to great lengths to steal them off the table.

She was with me on some of the best and worst days of my life, and I will miss her terribly.

But 13 years and 11 months is a pretty good run.  And for that, I'm grateful.

Goodbye, Amicalola Moonshine Kennedy Breyer Everett.


Love on four legs.


ae

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Tart/Sweet

So, after some meds and a good night's sleep, I'm doing pretty well.

I do, as it happens, get a rental - I have to pay 20% of the cost, but that is chump change for the convenience of having a car.

I was perusing the lot at the rental place and saw a cute, tiny little Fiat that I would have enjoyed.  I ended up with a Nissan Versa.  Oh well - not a bad little car.  It's like a fishbowl on wheels.  And it's red.  Of course.

I have someone eventually coming to tow the Corolla and repair it.

It's fine.  I'm fine. 

So, there's one thing that came out of all of this that's definitely good.

I have finally got a name for the car.

We bought it in April 2009 - and I haven't named it.

I drove Laura's car as my first car - she called it The Ass Kicker.  It was a blue 1984 Pontiac Sunbird.  My next car was a 1994 Pontiac Sunbird and it was the Red Hot Chili Pepper (it was red, duh),

The Toyota Echo, I named Zippy.  I lost Zippy, you'll recall, in a tornado. I still miss that car.

But at some point during the night, heavily medicated, I came up with a name for my car.

Dixie.

Why?

Because:

My Dixie Wrecked

Yeah, I'm twelve.

So there you have it.  My lemonade.  Just take lemons, dick jokes and a sense of perspective and stir.

Best served cold, with a splash of vodka!

ae

Friday, January 11, 2013

Well, crap

So, as I think I mentioned, I kind of ran myself into the ground this week.

But then as these things will happen, I ended the week getting run into by a Honda.  Like so:



Aw, fuck.

So, totally not my fault.  The other car ran smack into me.  Good news?  New front spoiler.

Bad news.  I'm without a car for a few days.  Or more.

We'll see.  I need to find out if I get a rental from this little incident.

I'm fine - totally fine.  Banged my knee on the console, rattled my filling a little, but by morning, I'll be fine as kind.

Let's be honest though.  This is not what I needed.

But it's my own fault - I am the one who said I just wanted to crash this weekend.

http://www.sadtrombone.com/



ae

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The 700 Club

I have broken the 700 mark in posts.  Go figure.

My output in 2013 has been a bit puny, but work with me.

I've been running full throttle since last Friday night.

I spent the weekend with my colleagues Susan and Michelle, who came in from Maine.  Michelle on Saturday, and Susan Sunday.  I think they had fun.

Monday AM, we started my department's annual meeting.  In the days that followed, I learned several things:

1.  We're all frustrated with the same other departments.

2.  Those departments absolutely do not give a shit.

3.  My manager is changing/has changed. Since I like my new manager reasonably well - and, since she was my manager for about six weeks in 2011, I find that this affects me only as much as I choose to let it.  Am I bummed that I'm not under my old boss any more?  Yes.  Does this mean I can hang out with him outside of work and feel less guilty about it? Yes.  I'm going to call that a win, or at the very least a draw.

4.  The colleague who has been a thorn in my side since October 2008 is leaving the company.  To be fair, I found out about a week ago.  Today, he and I finally had the come to Jesus meeting we should have had a year or two ago.   Basically, he called me on being unwilling to document, and I called him on alienating customers.  And then we felt better.  I still think that fundamentally, he's a colossal dick at times.  I also now understand that I caused him more angst than I intended.  I don't deny I enjoyed messing with him, but I didn't realize it bothered him as much as it did.  I think he realized that there's a lot  more substance to me than he ever realized.  So we called a truce, I guess.  I'm such a grownup.

5. I'm fucking hilarious.  Oh, wait - I already knew that.  But I got to share my gift with a large group of people.  I made a few new friends in the process.   And that's what makes me get up every morning.

6. Our sales people are crybabies.  But I'm also going to have to start getting diligent about paperwork so that they can wipe their tears on it.  See #3.

7. I may have a learning disability. Or I may just be undisciplined.  I'll be Googling a diagnosis. And I'll get back to you.

8. I'm fat.  I also need to re-examine my relationship with food.   Not new, but I got to revisit it at meals and snack times.

9.  My hair is in an awkward stage.  The bangs, layers and shorter cut were a mistake.  I'll be picking up a few headbands until such time as my hair stops growing up and out, and starts growing down.

10.  I may not be the most stylish woman in my company, but I am certainly not the least stylish.  I'm not naming names, but I think we need our swag next year to be company branded Spanx.  This would also mitigate some of the pain felt with #8.

11.  My boss' boss' boss has been relieved of some responsibility due to a recent reorg.  So, now he's going to have all kinds of time for us. Squeeeeeeee!

With that - I'm tired, dyspeptic, and basically recovering from sensory overload.

More to come, but that's why you haven't heard much from me since last time.

A bientot.

ae


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Let's get this out of the way.

Time for my 2013 Resolutions, yo.

1.  Get to work earlier.  I usually skate in anywhere from about 8:07 - 8:13. I can do better.  And yes, I do usually work a full eight, and sometimes longer, but it's about discipline.

2.  Get back on Weight Watchers and quit playing chicken with the scale.  Because I can't beat the scale.  And I want to look good.  And I want to feel good.



3. Tone down the swearing.  We know I can't stop.  I can't.  I love the F bomb.  I love saying "HOLY SHIT!" when the situation warrants.  But I can tone it down.

4.  Stop saying things that shouldn't be said by anyone:  amazeballs, totes presh, foshdef.  I can keep whatevs.  Whatevs stays.  Amazeballs goes. 




Addendum to #4.  Find a small arsenal of words to use instead of awesome and amazing.  As awesome and amazing as they are - I'm not 14.

5. Start eating dinner in the dining room.  Sitting down.  Taking a deep breath between bites and quit inhaling dinner standing in the kitchen. 

6. Enjoy Lola until it's time to end her suffering.  It may be weeks, it may be months.  But having a dog means taking care of her when it's easy, and when it's painful.  The easy part is coming to an end.  But I can still enjoy the good times until there aren't good times to enjoy.

Old girl is a little bloated, but she loves couch time with her people. She's indifferent to her Christmas bandanna.


7.  Visit friends in the cities I go to for work.  I have tons of pals in Chicago.  A few in Ohio, and of course, New York.  I need to connect with them. 

8.  Move more.  Take the stairs, take classes at the Y, and walk around the neighborhood.

9.  Surprise myself.  In 2012 I mastered stir-fry, I drove in downtown New York City, I represented my product at our company's HQ.  I made bread.  I installed a garbage disposal  - electrical AND plumbing - all by myself.  What else can I do?  Anything I decide on.   And that's pretty amazing stupendous.

10.  Learn a few funny clean jokes.  Like this one:  What's brown and sticky?  A stick.  Maybe funnier and cleaner.




11.  Blog often.  Because I never know who's reading (you, for example).


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Two Thousand and Late

Today, I had leisurely lunch with a small subset of "the gang".    We went to Cinco de Mayo  - on the first day of January.

Because they have pitchers of Margaritas, naturally.  And cheese dip.  YUM.

This week will end with more of a whimper than a bang - I need to do some training, get a few things in order for next week - because that's when the fun starts.

We're having the annual departmental meeting - policy review, product overviews, trust falls - and then in the end, we all gather around a campfire and sing Kumbaya.  Or something.  I figure it's good for a few free meals, the chance to see friends from Colorado, Maine and parts hither and yon.  Plus, I get to give a presentation. And I do love good attention. Or bad attention.  Whatever.

So.  I also bought a new lampshade.  Sopa de pollo and home decor - that's been the theme of my 2013 so far. 

Not terrible, actually.

Not terrible at all.

ae