Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Well, that was...

Here's how I woke up this morning.  From a dream in which I was dealing with a very old, very ill Lola.  I was trying to justify to my mother how I didn't want to euthanize her, and said, "What would you do if it were one of the pugs?"  And she said, "Well the pugs wouldn't act like this."

In an offshoot of this same dream, I was on an airplane with most of my family and lots of friends, but could not find my seat on the plane.  And I kept spilling things on myself.  And my family might have been zombies.  I never did clear that up.

I woke up more tired than when I went to bad.

Now, OK - 2013 hasn't been all bad.

I got to take some fun trips for work - the CAT Conference in NYC, the Alaska trip earlier this month, Chicago in the fall - there were some happy, fun times.

I got to spend time with the families and that's always a good thing, no matter the circumstance.

But I'm not here to be positive, today, dammit.  I want to wallow in my own self pity.

In January, I totaled my car making a left onto South Douglas, jamming my knee into the console - I have a scar.  One of the women in the other car walked onto an ambulance to have her neck looked at.  Great!  Awesome.  I was cited for making an unprotected left.  Failure to yield, I guess.

And then, two days later, I took Lola on one last walk, and had her put down.  It was the kindest thing I could do, but, clearly it still bothers me.  See above.

I hope I am telling her here, how much I love her.


A few days after that, I left for Ohio, where I got a speeding ticket.  Are we having fun yet?

I spent a lot of February laid out with a mystery illness - fever, chills.  And given that February is a short month, it didn't take much for it to blow.

March wasn't too bad.  I got to see a flock of Cedar Waxwings land in my parents' back yard with Dad.  I went to Canada.  I learned to twirl tassels.

April.  Well, Dad got sick.  I didn't blog about it much, but he was just sort of bedridden and nonspecfically sick.  I went to Atlanta for a workday in the mountains, and thought that might be the last time I ever saw Dad.  

May.  I spent the better part of a day cleaning out Mom and Dad's koi pond and a week later, a raccoon stripped the pond of its three residents.  Dad went into the hospital for a few days, I cut my leg on a tree branch up in the mountains while riding the Rhino.   I attempted a Couch to 5K regimen, but this is when I really started putting weight back on.

June.  Dad made a comment to Mom about my weight, which I unintentionally overheard.
I went to Las Vegas for the first time.  Stayed in a hotel that was extremely nasty.  I caught a cold.  I got jock itch, or whatever you want to call it.   I did get to go to Zappos, where one of their Culture Lords told me that "frustration is gold".  I believed it at the time, but I now wonder if frustration isn't actually fool's gold.

July.  Well, the annual picnic in the mountains was cancelled due to rain, but we met up at Alan and Judi's cabin with some of the other hardcore people.  That was fun.  Otherwise, July was a blur - travel, work... the usual. Scratched my cornea.

August.  More travel.  Back to Las Vegas.  My 20th reunion, which stressed my fat self out.  I survived it, and went to Waffle House when it was over.  Got hooked on Breaking Bad.

September.  Travel.  Second place in the State Fair.  Travel, mostly.

October.  Well, on the morning of October 10th, I posted this to Facebook:








Little did I know it was my mother, trying to call me on Dad's cellphone to let me know he'd had a stroke and was at North Fulton.  So, that was October.  Pretty much all of October.  I had a birthday, I went to a Halloween party,  my department didn't win the costume contest.  But mostly it was aphasia and rehab and therapy and fear.  And anger.  Ohh, the anger.

November was fear, anger and travel.  So much travel.  And anger.  And Thanksgiving. 

December was less travel, about the same amount of fear, and a little more anger.  Mom got pneumonia (or maybe bronchitis, but they decided to treat it like pneumonia) And Christmas.  And then the day after Christmas, I got sick.  I'm still a little sick.

And so, today, the last day of this fucking disaster of a year, I say good riddance.

I will gladly put this year behind me.  Here's to a happier, healthier, more joy-filled 2014.

ae

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Puny.

Thursday and Friday I took vacation from work, and I was home with nowhere to be.  I had plans.  Big plans, dammit.  Of going to the Y, doing a ton of laundry, kicking a path through the crap in our dining room.

And then, Christmas - Wednesday night, after we got home, I started feeling bad.  The inside of my nose felt hot, my sinuses started draining.

I woke up on the 26th with a tongue of sandpaper, throat swollen and zero energy.

It was like an invisible hand smooshing my face back into the pillow, saying, "Old girl, you aren't going anywhere."

And with the exception of a brief foray out for some groceries, I didn't.

I spent two days kicking back in my pajamas, watching crap TV and making soup.

Today, I went out to lunch with Matt, then made a quick jaunt to Home Depot and Trader Joe's.  That required a restorative afternoon nap.

I feel a little better - my tongue is still raw, my throat hurts a little and my ears feel "full" - typical sinus crap.  The usual.

I'm going to call it a mixed blessing.  I wish I had gotten a lot done, but at least I wasn't sick while we were with Mom and Dad - giving Dad even a hint of crud would suck.

But more to the point, I think that I needed a few lazy days to recover and get rested, no excuses.

I can't complain.

And I'm definitely rested.  Ready get back to work, even.

Well, kinda.

ae

 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

How is that even possible?

So, I was going to put out a list of trips I've taken this year, and can you believe this?  I took the exact same number of trips this year as I did last year.

How is that possible?

Well it is, so here's the 2013 Travelogue:

Mayfield Heights, OH
Hebron, OH
Oakville, ONT
Newark/Jersey City, NJ
Springfield, VA
Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, NV
Russellville, KY
Chicago, IL
Elmont, OH
Sheboygan, WI
Seattle, WA
Henderson, NV
Chicago, IL
Odessa, TX
Peoria, IL
Houston, TX
Sheboygan, WI
Odessa, TX
Monroe, LA
Anchorage, AK

So, let's have a little best and worst, shall we?

Best trip:  September in Chicago, IL - the NSC Tradeshow.  Flew in on Sunday and did the touristy/shopping thing.  Had tea at the Drake with our tradeshow coordinator, Sandy.  Lots of great meals with great people.  Lots of fun on the tradeshow floor and just a great time all around.  Plus, the weather was insane and amazing, and Michigan Avenue was beautifully decked out for my arrival.




Worst trip:  Hebron, OH in January.  It was cold, the customer hated us and yelled at us.  I think they may have tried to sue us later.  Also, I got a speeding ticket.  On the plus side, there was a trip to the Schmidt Haus complete with sausage to bring home.

Worst Hotel:  The LVH, Las Vegas, NV.  Nicknamed by one of my colleauges, "The Stabbin' Cabin".  It was gross.  It was really, really nasty.   But nobody died.  I did end up with a cold and jock itch, but I don't think the hotel was to blame.

Best Hotel:  The Hyatt, Jersey City.  CAT Conference.  Nice hotel, and they had their own beehive with  extremely local honey.  They also had Aquafresh toothpaste in their toiletry lineup, and I switched my brand to it, based on that trip.



Favorite Meal:  Pretty much all of them.

Orichiette Bolognese - Sheboygan, WI

Crawfish Shirley - Monroe, LA

Deconstructed Crab Salad - Seattle, WA
Jamaican Patty - Newark, NJ


Not-So-Cheap-Dates - Wasilla, AK

Shrimp Po-Boy - Monroe, LA
Warm Spiced Olives - Chicago, IL

Pasta La Scarola - Chicago, IL

Roast Beef on Kummelweck - Buffalo, NY

Schmidt Haus Dessert Counter - Columbus, OH

Oysters on the half shell - Balitimore, MD

Dessert Counter at Caesar's Palace - Las Vegas, NV






 I'd give special mad props to the Roastbeef on Weck (kummelweck - a kaiser roll with caraway and Kosher salt on top) from Schwabl's in Buffalo.

O'Finn's Irish Temper pub in Oakville, ONT was equally special - a lamb burger there.

Basically, I didn't eat a bad meal.  Lots of pasta, as it happens.  Maybe less of that in 2014.

I saw Niagara Falls, several Great Lakes and a dozen moose.

I crossed one new state off my list - Wisconsin.  

I made lots of friends and have a good time.

And I start again in 2014.

Safe travels!


 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Yule Blog





So, Christmas 2013 is in the books.


It was a good one, and all things said and done, we had a good time.

My anxiety was just all over the place, and I felt hormonal, crazy and agitated.

That said, I gave some good presents.

I'm proudest of this gem, which I gave Dad:



It's a flip book that makes up words like "titjacket", and "whorepincher" and "clitwrangler".

It engages both the fine motor skills required to flip through the pages and the language skills required to use the newly created words.  I think the therapists at rehab will be most pleased at my thoughtfulness.

Seriously, though, speech therapist - if I ask you for suggestions and you just blow me off?  I'm going to have to go rogue.

There were a few other great gifts.  A pocket knife for Matt, some Eiffel Tower lip gloss for Mom, and for me... Vitabath.

I love Vitabath:

 
 It smells clean and fresh and citrusy and herbal and I love it.

Basically, it was a great holiday, and I loved it.


I'm ready for whatever 2014 has to bring.

Tomorrow, and through the end of the year, I will be doing my typical end-of-year wrap up posts.

Stay tuned!

And merry, merry!

ae

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Rainbow Connection

So, apparently Utah just dropped the ban on same-sex marriage.

Utah.

Every time another state does it, I think to myself:

"Ohpleaseohpleaseohplease don't let Tennessee be last."

And then I think, "Well, as long as there's South Carolina and Mississippi, I kinda like my odds."


Bottom line - love is a good and rare commodity.  Why must they legislate things that are fundamentally right and good...

Whereas nobody wants to stop people from wearing too much perfume on airplanes, and that shit is detrimental.

Good day, sir!

ae

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Cranktacular

I'm so freaking cranky!

I don't know if it's hormones, or fatigue, or poor eating habits, or just bad juju, but I'm not quite myself.

Tonight I'm meeting friends for a little pre-Christmas merry, merry - and I'm so Grinchy, I'd just as soon crawl under my bed and eat a peanut butter sandwich.

I do love a good peanut butter sandwich.

I have a few more presents to buy, and I'm fat and none of my clothes look good.  I look pretty terrible irrespective of clothes.

Puffyfaced, dried out skin...

I still need to pick up two things for Christmas for Matt.

And figure out a birthday present for Dad.

And wrap it all.

And get it to Atlanta and under a tree.

Or, well, to the den, anyway.

I need to maybe not eat so much sugar and salt.  I also need to drink plenty of water and flush my system.

Avoid caffeine, alcohol.

Clean living, basically.

Hmm.

Or, I could shove it all down with some Rotel dip and press on.

ae

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

This is my space.

I'm back from a long week in Alaska, and trying to get things under control, more or less.

We moved into our new building and my take, thus far is that it's hot, dry and sterile.

Desert-like in "soothing neutral tones".  Frankly, it leaves me a little unhinged.

That might just be jetlag, though.

I pulled a quadrifecta of errands at lunch today - paid the mortgage, stopped to buy a card at Walgreen's, mailed two packages at Goin' Postal, then... Jamaicaway.  They opened yesterday.  I got a pattie:





I'm tired, and I have miles to go before I sleep.

I need to finish Christmas/Birthday shopping, then wrap.  And do laundry.

And cook.

And get to Atlanta.

On top of the rest of this work week.

ae

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cold Chillin'

So.  Here I am in Alaska. I'm sitting at the rental counter and I am pissed off because the rental counter here closes from 2:30 AM - 6:00 AM. I arrived at 2:45 AM.  I am not a math whiz, but that doesn't add up. Two of the counters for other cars open earlier. Except that Hertz is a total hard on about cancelling, I might do it anyway and get going. I have an hour to Wasilla, and I have been traveling for 15 hours. I think. Too many time zones. My brain hurts.



Peace out for now...




ae

Friday, December 6, 2013

Take me to your leader...

I went back to Weight Watchers this week for the first time in ages.  Three months, to be exact.

And as will happen, things have changed.

My weight, well, duh  - has gone up.  More's the pity.  I'll bring it back down to where I need it.

But more importantly, my leader, Alice, whose sweaters I have reviewed at length in blogs past, has retired.

The feeling we get is that she was forced out, but who knows.  I tried emailing her, but it bounced back to me. I need to find a way to contact her.

Our new leader, who I'll call Violet (totally not her real name), showed up for her first meeting this week, and I was in her inaugural class, along with Karen, and Sharon, Christy and...a woman whose name I know not.  It was a small meeting.

So, here's what Violet wore:

Leopard print ankle pants,with gold zippers at odd angles, bisecting her hip bones.  A black sweater with an odd asymmetrical collar, affixed with a gold circle monogram pin.  On her feet, a pair of cigar slippers, black - velveteen, adorned with scarab beetles.

To top it all off - a lot of purple eye makeup.  Hence, Violet.

It was a lot of look.  A lot.

So.  She's lost 201 pounds and kept it off.

She seems like good people.

I'm not totally feeling it, but we'll get there.  I mean, to be honest - it's not like I'm getting to meetings that often.

So....

Yeah,

Welcome, Violet.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

If I Wrote Songs For Christmas



Years of working in retail resulted in overexposure to Christmas Music, resulting in my aversion to it.  Thankfully, Matt had the same saturation point, so we don't listen to it, except maybe on Christmas day.

I think the problem is that contemporary Christmas music doesn't really address the contemporary issues my friends and I experience.


With that, I offer you some titles that resonate with me:



O Holy Shit, I’m Broke!

Didn’t We Buy Scotch Tape Last Year?


All I Want for Christmas Is For Them To Fire That Bitchy Woman In My Department Who Likes to Push Everyone's Buttons and Tap Dance on My Last Effing Nerve

Jiggle Bellies

Oh, Come On, Ye Asshole (Move Your F***ing Car)!

I Saw Mommy Pissing on Santa Claus/Golden Christmas

Mu Shu for Two – Childfree at Christmas

O Why Didst Thou Stop Walking Directly in Front of Me?

Liberal Agnostic Guilt Song

Jesus!  It’s Cold Outside!

I’m So Fat I Look Like Mary Just Before She Got to The Manger

Silent But Deadly

It Came Upon a UPS Truck

It’s One of the Twelve Most Wonderful Times of the Year

Ugly Christmas Sweaters are Still Ugly Even If You Wear Them Ironically 

Whatever, Mary (and Joseph)

The Three Weissmanns  - A Token Tune for Jews

Yes, I'm Still Single, No I'm Not Gay

Jesus Would've Hated Fox News

The Little Hummer Boy

Pull-Out Couch Christmas
Cat Hair In the Casserole (And Other Potluck Perils)


Feel free to write any of these and get back to me.



ae


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Poetry in Motion

I sent the following to 60 of my favorite coworkers to let them know that Dipmas was still happening.
I am apparently wasting a lot of talent.  I just want to put that out there.





‘Twas the end of the Quarter, and at 730 Cool Springs
The folks on the 4th floor were packing their things.
In bins pink and blue, neatly labeled and filled
Contents were moving, and everyone was thrilled.

The files were nestled all snug in their drawers
and piles of debris simply covered the floors.
Although we’re all happy to be leaving our curves,
The timing of it put our plans on a swerve.

For December means Dipmas
That’s twelve days of fun!
Now we’re starting to wonder…
Will we have time for just one?
Twelve days of pretzels and crackers and chips!
And twelve days of salty and savory, and dips!
How are we expected to concentrate on snacking?
When we’re all faced with Christmas, plus the stress of unpacking?

With a so little time, it’s gotta be quick,
But our people need Dipmas; Every Chase, Tom and Nick!
We all need the munching, the crunching, the chewing!
Eating dip with abandon, like we know what we’re doing.

Now Pringles! now, Ruffles! now, Triscuits and Fritos!
On, Wheat Thins! On, Cheez-Its!, On Lays, and Doritos!
If you want to stay healthy, dip veggies and fruit.
But we have to have Dipmas, because, man, it’s a hoot.

So we’re still having Dipmas,
But because we start late…
We’ll narrow it down.
From twelve days, to eight.

Let’s start it on Wednesday, 11th December.
And make Dipmas ‘13 a year to remember.
Bring your best and your tastiest to your floor – five or six.
Let the folks sitting near you get their mid-morning fix.

Since we start on Eleven
That ends it on Twenty
I know it’s not twelve days,
But eight should be plenty!
“So, how can I play?”, you may ask, with a grin.
Just whip of a batch of great dip, and bring it in.
And don’t be that person who just noshes, doesn’t bring.
We’re nice folks, but we do notice that kind of thing.

Since we have just eight days, we need a good plan.
If you want to throw in, don’t be shy – ‘cause you can!
Even though Dipmas’s growth is organic
We’ll put out a sign-up sheet for you, don’t panic!

Come over and check in near Services Profesh*
Simply write down your name on date that will mesh.
On the day that you pick, bring your hummus or queso
It’s fun and it’s tasty, just what we need, if I may say so.

So I’ll end this poem here, and get back to my work,
It was kind of long – please don’t think I’m a jerk.
I’ll get back to timesheets and training and packing.
Submit my expenses and basically stop slacking.

But it’s Dipmas, it’s happening; we need each little elf.
It’s not a holiday you can pull off all by yourself!
So come on and sign up, grab a pen, let ‘er rip.
Happy Christmas to all, and please – DON’T DOUBLE DIP!


*I know.  I’m sorry you had to see that.