Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Stealing: The Pretentious Blogging Meme

1. How long have you been blogging? Almost four years on this blog, and I think about another year on my other (now private) blog.

2. What made you start? With the first one, just a restless need to write. This blog was started when I was first in contact with J and considering what to do about that.

3. Who inspired you? Interestingly enough, my very first inspiration to blog at all came from reading a blogger who called herself Fat Doctor. I came upon the knowledge of her blog when on a message board having to do with weight loss. Once I started reading I got the bug to write myself.

4. About how many hours a week would you estimate you spend on your blog? Too many, that's for sure. How many though? Gosh, I really don't know, depending on the week anywhere from one to maybe ten.

5. What kind of experience or background do you have with writing? I was on my high school newspaper and yearbook staffs. That's about it. No special writing skills here.

6. Talk about how you come up with blog topics. Where do you get your ideas? Well, let's see. My twisted mind vs. emotions type decisions are the biggest source. Then there's just whatever happens to come up that I have an opinion that needs sharing. I have plenty of those.

7. What or who inspires you and your blog? What inspires me now is that I find blogging to be quite therapeutic for me. That and I want to stay in touch with my imaginary internet friends who I've found through blogging. (Some of them claim not to be imaginary, but while they may exist in real life the imaginary part may well be the friends part not the existance part. I like to think of you as friends, but I think it may be a stretch to think that all of you readers are.)

8. Where and/or how do your brainstorming for your blog? Mostly when I'm sitting at work doing the part of my job that could be done by a trained monkey. I'm not good at mindless work unless I have something else for my mind to work on at the same time.

9. Do you have any blogging rules or guidelines you follow? Always tell the truth. If presented as fact it better be fact. If presented as my opinion or feelings it better honestly represent my true opinion or feelings.

10. Is there anything you will not blog about? I will, to the best of my ability, not start nor fuel nor exacerbate any flame wars of any kind amongst my bloggy friends/acquaintances.

11. Do you have any sort of a publishing schedule in terms of day of week or topic? I try to do the Sunday Stealing post on Monday or thereabouts and to post a Thursday Therapy post each Thursday. Other than that it's a free for all, at least for now. That may change over time if something appeals to me about another "regular feature."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday Therapy: Round and Round We Go

Okay, so my intention was to talk to Freud about the whole W mess and how I am inches from killing (figuratively folks, just figuratively) him were it not for my strong distaste for orange jumpsuits and and doing laundry for 200 other convicted felons. However, we didn't spend much time on that. We again spent time on my work issues, and how that's going and how I can navigate amidst the non-people-oriented people with whom my department is so heavily laden.

I was happy to report to Freud that due to his kind suggestions at our last session I was able to talk to Boss without coming across as a bull in a china closet. For now, things are going so much better, at least between me and Boss. However, there are certainly still issues within the department not the least of which are disgruntled coworkers and a whole lot of backstabbing and distrust and ugliness. I will spare you the details. I didn't spare Freud however. He got to listen to me spout off about all the dysfunction within our department.

In order to understand the department where I work think back to when you were in school. Remember the nerdy brainy kids who were also really shy? You know, the ones whose clothes were never fashionable, who sat on the sidelines reading a book when everyone was playing? Remember those kids? Okay, now think about a bunch of those kids, all grown up and working together in one department. They are all used to being the outsiders. They are all quiet. They are all always waiting for the really cool kids to pick on them. And they have no idea at all how to interact with one another. I swear, we need group and individual therapy for this department. I have never quite seen a grouping like this.

All of this to say that we spent a good deal of time working on strategies for me to navigate through the situations that come up at work due to our strange little group. (Now don't think I only think the others are strange. Oh no, I'm right there with them, just as strange, just as nerdy, just as socially awkward.)

Oh, and the last few minutes, I shared with Freud the incident between W and me. Dealing with that is at the top of the to do list for our next session.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Just a Couple of Goofy Quizzes to Pass the Time

Your PB and J Says You're Adventurous and Accepting

Your eating style is gluttonous. If you like something, you're going back for seconds... no matter how full you are!

You have an average sweet tooth. While you enjoy desserts, they aren't exactly your downfall.

Your taste in food tends to be pretty flexible. You may crave sushi one night, and your favorite childhood recipe the next.

You belong to a class that's all your own. You resist rules and traditions of any sort.

You are a tough person who isn't afraid to live life fully. There isn't a lot that scares you.

You are a pretty easy person to please, but you do have your own little personal quirks. You're far from neurotic, but you can be a little picky at times.

You Are Incredibly Logical

Move over Spock - you're the new master of logic

You think rationally, clearly, and quickly.

A seasoned problem solver, your mind is like a computer!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More Good News

The endometrial biopsy was benign. Yay!

What that means is no D&C in my future (as far as can be predicted now), and all systems are "GO" for me to get an IUD placed so that my bleeding can be controlled, possibly even stopped, for five years. Can you believe that? Five years. By then it will be menopause time so when they take it out if all goes well I will suffer through menopause like my fellow female cohorts and be rid of major hemorrhaging on a monthly basis. Woohoo!

The Dr's secretary will call tomorrow to schedule the appointment. OMG! After living for some 35 years of female "troubles" I'm ever so hopeful that this is going to be the answer.

Crossing fingers and trying not to get overly excited.

Breathe in. . .
Breathe out. . .
Breathe in. . .
Breathe out. . .

Well Tip Me Over with a Feather

Yesterday Boss sat down and asked for my opinion on some work issues. That's right. . . HE.ASKED.FOR.MY.OPINION. And then. . . and then. . . he actually acted interested in what I had to say! I know! It's like a miracle from heaven.

Believe you me I looked out the window, but I didn't see any pigs flying.

What on earth is happening here? I swear I'm going to go read Revelations again. This has got to be one of the end signs.

(Lordy, can you just feel the oozing goodness of sarcasm at work here? Sticky syrupy sarcasm hanging on every word? Yeah, better go wash your hands.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunday Stealing: The Negativity Meme

The theme of this meme fits my current mood quite well. I am, if nothing else, feeling quite negative today, sponsored in part by the letters P,M, and S. Do not cross me today. Grrr. . . . . . .

Foods which disgust the crap out of me: Organ meats of all varieties no matter how they are prepared.

TV show I loathe: This is a tough one for me because if I don’t care for a show I don’t watch it and never really come to a loathing of it. Oh wait, okay, now that I think about it I have one – Family Guy. I truly loathe that show. N begged to be allowed to watch it. I watched two episodes with him, determined it to be wholly inappropriate and stupid, and declared that he may not watch it until he is grown and no longer living in my house.

Movie I loathe: Another tough one. I’m trying to think of a movie I’ve seen that really disappointed me. I know there are some, but I’m drawing a blank right now. If I think of one I’ll come back and add it.

Music genres I loathe: Easy listening.

Magazine which annoys me: Woman’s Day. Now how could such a benign magazine as Woman’s Day annoy me? Well, I used to love their monthly calendar of menus. I used it as a jumping off place for making my own menus each week. Then they cancelled that feature. Then they brought it back. Then they cancelled it again. I’m not sure how many times this happened. I finally gave up on them. Even if they ever bring it back again I will never again buy that magazine.

Makes me cranky at restaurant: Parents who ignore their children’s bad behavior. When N was small if he misbehaved (generally a tantrum) in a restaurant I would take him out to the car. We would stay in the car until the tantrum stopped. Yes, it ruined some dinners for me, but at least it didn’t ruin the dinners of a restaurant full of people.

Makes me cranky in public: People who use bad language without regard for the fact that there are children within earshot.

Makes me cranky in general: Men who don’t take their hats off when eating a meal indoors. Picnics, fine leave the hat on, but when you are indoors the hat comes off, or I’ll knock it right off your head. (Okay, maybe I’ve never done that, but one of these days. . . )

Pisses me off at home: People who don’t take their dirty dishes to the kitchen, their trash to the wastebasket, and their dirty clothes to the laundry hamper.

Pisses me off at work: My boss.

Pisses me off in general: People who think they are all so liberal yet say things that are completely homophobic.

Makes me impatient at home: Waiting for the hot water to get hot. Who’s idea was it to put the water heater at the opposite end of the house from all the faucets?

Makes me impatient at work: Waiting for Crystal reports to run.

Makes me impatient in public: People who can’t figure out when it’s their turn to go at an intersection with a stop sign.

Celebrity I hate: Paris Hilton because the only reason she is a celebrity is because she’s a celebrity.

Music artist I hate: Toby Keith, the epitome of the ignorant redneck.

I could care less about: The fact that it should really be “I couldn’t care less about:”

Annoys the crap out of me weekdays: Getting up at 6:00 a.m.

Annoys the crap out of me weekends: People who call before 10:00 a.m.

Blogger's habit that annoys you: Not posting often enough. Dammit I want to read every detail of your life every day. Now post! (just kidding. . . kind of. . . )

Feature on your blog you hate: Why would I have it on my blog if I hate it? Hmm. . .

Movie star you despise: Again, I draw a complete blank here. Sorry.

Politician that you hate: George W. Bush is the first one that comes to mind although it’s really the whole clan. I’m sorry, but I just don’t “get” the whole Bush family probably because I just can’t wrap my mind around the idea that there really, truly are people who just really, truly only want good things for themselves and their close friends at the expense of others. Nope, sorry, don’t get it, can’t support it, and hope to never have another Bush in office anywhere.

Friday, January 22, 2010

So You Want the Rest of the Story

Sorry. I ran out of time yesterday when writing the post and since it was, after all, Thursday and time to get the Thursday Therapy post posted, I went ahead and did the quick and dirty version focusing on what I need to work on in therapy rather than the precipitating event. Today’s post is the precipitating event. . . in excruciating and copious detail. (Could I write any other way?)

On Tuesday N had basketball practice from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. Also on Tuesday the Illini had a home basketball game at 8:00 p.m. This was cause for a bit of a dilemma because I don’t like to arrive late (aka less than a 45 minutes before game time) to the game because (1) I miss out on a free parking place and have to pay $5 to park and then have to walk farther besides (don’t ask, just trust me I know a great little free place to park close by that only a few others also know), (2) I hate to miss watching the warm ups, and (3) I really hate to miss the opening tip off.

Chapter 1 – Tuesday Morning & Afternoon
Having thought about the dilemma a great deal I proposed the following scenario to W and N. W would take N to basketball practice along with N’s ticket to the Illini game. After work I would come home, get my ticket and go to the game on time. After practice was over W would drop N off at the Assembly Hall to meet me at our seats. Both W and N agreed to this plan. I thought the problem had been solved. I called home late in the afternoon to make sure everyone remembered the plan and was following through. I was assured by W that all was well.

Chapter 2 – Tuesday After Work
I left work late (I will admit that my workaholic tendencies are creeping back to what they used to be in my pre-N days), grabbed Taco Bell for dinner, and went home to change and get my ticket for the Illini game. When I opened the drawer where the tickets are kept it wasn’t there. The tickets for the remainder of the season were there but not any for that night. I looked on the counter nearby but couldn’t see a ticket anywhere. I called W to ask him where he put it. He told me there had only been one ticket in the drawer so he assumed I already had mine. I asked him to flag N down at practice and ask if he had taken one out of the drawer thinking he was supposed to do so rather than W. W asked but N said that he hadn’t done anything with the tickets. W insisted they had only one ticket with them and offered to bring it home to me so I could go to the game. I declined and said that he should take N and drop him at the game, and I would pick him up afterwards. I then asked if he was absolutely sure that he only had one ticket, not two. Silence. . . and then “Oh, I have two.” I was annoyed but decided to just make the best of it. I offered to just let W go with N to the game while I watched on TV. W said he didn’t want to do it that way, but I told him that doing it that way would make me happy as I didn’t want the hassles of going late and he might as well go and enjoy the game. I asked if he would please just do this for me. W agreed to do it my way, and we hung up. I knew, deep down in the pit of my stomach, that W wouldn’t follow through even though he’d agreed. I tried to ignore that feeling.

Chapter 3 – Game Time
Shortly before game time, I settled into my comfy chair with the TV tuned to ESPN ready to watch the game on TV. I thought I heard the back door open, but then I didn’t hear anything else so I thought it was just my overactive imagination coupled with a strong distrust of W to follow through on things to which he had agreed. Then N (aka Mr. Stealthy) poked his head in the family room and asked, “When are we going to the game?”

Blood started rushing to my head as I calmly (or at least I tried for calmly) asked, “Where’s Dad?”

“Out there.” N gestured toward the garage.

I took a few deep slow breaths. W came into the room. As much as I would like to say that we had a civilized discussion about things that would be a lie. I yelled. I screamed. I bellowed. I let W have it. I raged. I fumed. I hurtled insult after hurtful remark. I was furious.

I told N to go get in the car so we could go to the game. He did. As I put my shoes and coat on I told W in that cold, steely voice I get once the red hot rage eases and becomes a slow burn, “I knew, absolutely knew, when you hung up the phone that you wouldn’t do things the way you agreed. I knew that you would bring N back here, and I would be forced to take him to the game. I knew you couldn’t bring yourself to do things the way that would make me feel better about the situation. I knew you’d have to do things in such way as to make me angry. I just knew it. I didn’t want to believe it, but I knew.”

How many times did W apologize to me? A multitude. How many times did he offer to make things right by using the tickets for himself and N? None.

Chapter 4 – After the Game
When N and I got home after the game (after parking way too far away, and paying $5 for the privilege of doing so, and hiking up to the Assembly Hall, and arriving after the game started, and then having to hike back to the car after the game, and fighting traffic to get home) W seemed to think that all should be peachy keen, a-ok, all’s well. Bullshit buddy. Things are not peachy keen nor are they a-ok. Nothing is well.

Chapter 5 – The Aftermath
And that’s how I come to today, three days later, and I’m still not speaking to him beyond the bare minimum to get things accomplished. I am still livid. I am still furious. It may be petty, but I wanted things my way for once. I wanted others to do things my way rather than manipulating me into doing things some other way. I am so fucking tired of allowing myself to be manipulated instead of standing my ground. I am so fucking tired of people not honoring me by either doing things the way that I ask or saying no to my face rather than agreeing and then just not doing.

W took advantage of me. He knew that I wouldn’t let those tickets go to waste. He knew that if he just didn’t take N to the game that I would give in and go. He knew that I would be furious with him for not doing as I asked, yet he did it anyway. He knew there would be hell to pay. I could tell by the way he approached me when they first arrived home that he knew. Yet somehow the anger from me, my disappointment, my yelling, my not speaking, none of those things matter as much to him as not having to go to one basketball game with his son.

Yet I can see it from W’s point of view too. He doesn’t enjoy going to the games that much. He would prefer to stay home. He would prefer not to have to spend too much time with N because of how badly they get along together. He knows I generally like going to the games. He probably thought that I would be happier going to the game than staying home in spite of me saying that I was tired and would just rather he go to the game with N. Plus he probably wasn’t happy about having to navigate through the traffic to get to and from the game. So maybe I did overreact. Maybe I just need to suck it up one more time. Maybe unicorns and fairies will fly out of my butt too.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thursday Therapy: OMFG I’m Going to Kill Him

No I am not literally going to kill anyone. I might consider it, but I have a lot better things to do with the rest of my life than spend it working in the laundry at a maximum security women’s prison. Nobody is worth doing that to myself so the world is spared from a murderer just because I hate doing laundry. Isn’t that nice to know?

Ah but the reason for even having the killing thoughts come from the joys of letting your estranged spouse live in your house. First of all, there is a reason that you are estranged, presumably y’all don’t get along just peachy keen. Second, with both of you living in the same house, even a large one, there are just ample opportunities for one to annoy the other and vice versa. Third, eventually one of you is bound to do something so stupid, so asinine that you just want to kill the other person if for no other reason than to get them out of your way.

I am of two minds about an incident earlier this week. One says that W is an imbecile, isn’t careful, doesn’t double check things, won’t cooperate when asked to do something and is therefore 100% responsible for the incident and deserves to have his ass thrown out on the pavement, kicked to the curb and told to go find himself somewhere else to be. The other says that W may be an idiot, but he’s always been that way, always will be that way, and I’m beholden to let him stay as long as he needs to be there and N needs him, and maybe even the incident wasn’t 100% his fault.

It is this waffliness that I am going to discuss with Freud on Tuesday. I am the wishwashiest, waffliest person in the world. I see both sides. I can be furious about something yet still see the other guy’s side, and me being me I always figure that the other guy is more right than I am. So I waver. Do I stick to my guns or give in? I don’t know. I try to do one and if it doesn’t work perfectly I back down and do the other. Aaaarrrggghhh. . .

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

When Things Just Don’t Add Up

Today’s post is a frivolous little thing, just a bit of a mystery that I can’t solve. I can’t solve it in spite of my affinity for math, my profession as an accountant, and my proclivity for managing money relatively well.

For you non-math types, this is going to be one of those (gasp) word problems that are so reviled by the non-math among us. I don’t know that it will help you that this is from real life or not, but it is. Every single thing I am about to tell you is real, factual, a truth. There will be no exaggerations, no intentional misdirection, no tricks up my sleeve. Yet things just don’t add up.

This mystery started out yesterday at lunchtime when I had some errands to run. I had with me my wallet which contains all the precious cards (drivers license, debit card, Game Stop member card, bus pass, and the like), my cell phone, and all the cash I currently had. All of these things were stored in one of my pockets. The first thing I did on my lunch break was assess my current cash situation. I checked every pocket, put all the money together to come up with two $5 bills, 3 $1 bills and some assorted change. I set the change aside and ignored it. I had $13 total. This was not enough for what I needed so I went to the ATM. I took out $100. I counted it, 5 $20 bills, before I drove away as I always do since I don’t trust anyone, even a machine, to do things correctly. So at this point, I add the twenties to the rest, for a total of $113. So far so good.

My next stop is the pharmacy where I made a purchase for $31 and some cents. I handed the cashier two $20 bills. She gave me back change, both bills and coins (that I didn’t bother to double check), that I stuffed into my pocket. On my way back to work I drove through a local fast food place and purchased $5.17 worth of lunch. I handed the cashier $6 and told him to keep the change.

Although I didn’t count I would have expected that at this point I would have had the following paper money left:
3 $20s = $60 (handed 2 to the cashier at the pharmacy, leaving 3)
2 $5s = $10 (original 2 as I used the 1 I received in change at the pharmacy to purchase lunch)
5 $1s = $5 (original 3 plus 3 back from pharmacy less 1 for lunch purchase)
TOTAL = $75

Also, calculating my various ins and outs (ignoring the coins) it looks like this:

So that afternoon I leave work assuming I have $75 plus some loose coinage. I stop on the way home from work and purchase dinner for $4.08. I give the cashier $5.08 and received $1 in change. At this point I thought I had $71 plus some loose coinage.

N and I went to last night’s Illini debacle basketball game with Purdue. I pulled $5 out and gave to the parking attendant. Now I should’ve had $66. As N and I walked towards the Assembly Hall I was enticed by the offer of front row seats. After haggling, they were mine for $60. I pulled my money from my pocket and peeled off 3 $20s. At that point I was surprised to see there was still a $20 left. Huh? I shrugged it off, my mind elsewhere on a screaming match argument discussion W and I had prior to me leaving for the game, but as I think back I would’ve thought I was down to $6 if I’d given it any thought.

Once at the game I was so immersed in the game that I thought no more about it until N started wheedling for something from the concession stand. I finally told him that when halftime came I’d see what money I had, and we’d see. Maybe he could have a little something. When I checked my pocket at halftime there was not one, but THREE $20 bills along with my $5 and $1.

So the question my dear math friends is this: how did I end up with that money? I have thought and rethought this thing through, and I just don’t get it! I have no idea how I ended up with $60 more than I thought had. I have no idea. None at all. I mean, I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, but c’mon. This is a mystery. . . a huge mystery to me. Math does not work this way. You add, you subtract, and in the end the answer makes sense. This is not calculus. We aren’t discussing imaginary numbers. This is simple addition and subtraction. How can this possibly be? Am I missing something here? Is it as plain as the nose on your face, and I’m just not seeing it? Did someone slip some money into my pocket (ala a reverse pickpocket)? Did I or someone else with whom I interacted yesterday grossly miscount as transactions took place? Did some leprechaun find my pocket a great place to stash his money? What possible explanation is there?

I am so confused.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday Stealing: The Trivia About Me Meme

Trivia about me, well this meme certainly fits with the overall genre of this little blog! As I write this opening I haven’t yet really looked at the questions in the meme yet, but I’m curious as to what I’ll find. Let’s dive right into the deep end then, shall we?


Do you get regular massages? No. I wish I did, but that is one luxury I am far from affording right now.

Do you have an answering machine? No, I have voicemail through the telephone company.

What cuss word do you use the most? This is pretty much a repeat of a question from last week I believe, and the answer is still “shit.”

Are you underweight or overweight? One look and you would clearly see that I am overweight.

Can you see your veins? Not very well, and might I add, I am glad of it. Seeing veins grosses me out.


Soap? All My Children. Oh wait, did you mean like real soap, the kind with which you wash? Oh, well then Irish Spring – made for a man, but I like it too. (Do you have to be old to get that?)

Fruit? Bananas because they are easy to peel, easy to eat, and really tasty.

Kind of red meat? Bacon. If you have to have red meat you might as well go all the way to the really bad for you kind.

Fish? Tilapia or Cod. I’m a big fan of the mild tasting fishes.

Candy bar? I have a new one. It’s the 3 Musketeers Truffle Bar. Have you tried one yet? No? Oh you should. You really should. Best candy bar ever.

Have You Ever…

Eaten a whole bag of potato chips? Well, duh, of course I have. I didn’t build up this poundage being a light eater.

Eaten lobster? Tried it once. Hated it. Never ate it again.

Climbed a mountain? Not unless you count the mountain of laundry I scale daily to get through the laundry room.

Been skydiving? Nope, but I would like to someday.

Been water skiing? Nope, and don’t care to.

Do You…

Wish you could change something about your life? Yes, but it isn’t worth dwelling on since I just have to deal with life as it is.

Like your nose? Why yes I do. It is one of my better features.

Like salt and vinegar chips? Yes, particularly the ones at Jimmy John’s.

Eat salsa? I love salsa. I eat salsa with chips, on omelets, on potatoes, mixed into rice, over fish. Salsa is good.

Own a boat? Nope, and wouldn’t even if I had the chance.

What Is…

A small thing that people let slide but that actually has dire consequences? Not using a condom. A woman who lets that slide risks pregnancy and who knows what kind of STDs, including HIV.

Your most macho trait? Watching sports on TV.

The longest relationship you’ve ever had? Sadly enough, marriage to W.

Your most embarrassing thoughts? I have one I won’t even share here and that only one other person in the world knows. If he were ever to share it with anyone (and I do fear that he might) and I knew about it I would die of embarrassment.

Your most shameful moment? When I admitted to myself that I didn’t have the internal fortitude to remain faithful in my marriage.


Bath/Shower? Shower for getting clean, bath for relaxing.

Markers/Crayons? Crayons, the big box of 64.

Pens/Pencils? Mechanical pencils (0.5 lead, 0.7 is too fat) for almost everything except where pens must be used for signatures and such.

Jelly/Cream Cheese? Jelly on toast, cream cheese and jelly on bagel.

Bagel/Toast? Bagel if it’s breakfast on it’s own, toast if it is accompanying an egg dish.


My greatest weakness is… self-indulgence.

I wish I was… the perfect weight for my height.

Three things I wouldn’t do for a million dollars are… (1) kill anyone, (2) give up my son, and (3) endure extreme pain even for a short time.

The oddest thing I’ve ever put in my mouth is… a dollar bill when I was a kid. I think about it now and think about all the places it could have been before I put it in my mouth, and it makes my stomach turn.


Credit card you had? American Express card that I got a few months after I landed my first post-college job.

Loan you got was for? My 1985 Buick Century in the spring of 1985.

Paycheck was for how much? It has been so very long ago I don’t remember, but my very first paycheck was when I was in college for a part time job at minimum wage ($3.50/hr I believe) so it wasn’t much.

Time you had stitches? When I had two wisdom teeth taken out when I was 19.

Time you went to the hospital for something? When I was three and my mom and I were in a car accident. I was treated and released.


List everything you ate in the last 24 hours? As of 10:00 a.m. this morning including drinks – lots of black coffee, two cookies, vegetarian fajita quesadilla, chips and salsa, Cherry Coke, water, meat loaf, cheese fries, bread, broccoli, brownie, orange, apricot mango yogurt, banana, Fiber 1 bar.

Last thing you used a credit card for? I haven’t used a credit card since W and I separated so it is hard to remember. I’m going to guess it was probably a hotel room, but I don’t know.

What was your job previous to the one you have now? Insurance company accounting drone.

Last thing you celebrated? N doing well on a test.

Last time you were at a sports bar? I was at Buffalo Wild Wings a couple of weeks ago.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thursday Therapy: Working for a Living

Haven’t written a TT post in a few weeks. Life intervened and focused me elsewhere, but I’m back now and hope to continue these weekly therapeutic posts for myself.

Tuesday’s therapy session dealt exclusively with work. Work has been stressing me out lately. I have a really difficult time reading Boss. He is a different personality than I am used to having as a boss, and consequently I don’t have my feet under me all the time when dealing with him.

Boss says things in ways that I take very badly. I hear more criticism than he intends I have learned, but in order to learn that one thing right there has put me through weeks of agony. What you basically have here is a boss who will always share with you what you need to improve but rarely mention, or mention as an afterthought, things you’ve done right. What you also have is an employee who comes from a “there’s perfect and there’s failure with nothing in between” background and hears every suggestion for improvement as criticism. Put these two together, and just maybe things don’t work out so well.

Anyway, therapy happened to be the day before my monthly meeting with Boss. I was beside myself. I had myself convinced that I was one step away from being fired due to some things Boss had said to me within the last week or two.

In essence, what had happened was that Boss had given me an assignment to change a certain report without specifics just that it needed to be more informative to the reader rather than the same old thing every month. I did it and did what I thought was a good job of it, removing redundancies of information, adding a couple of new things, rearranging others. After he reviewed it his first comment was “I thought you were going to change this report.” “Too subtle for you?” I said in a lighthearted manner trying not to betray how awful that one statement made me feel. Boss then went on to say yes they were too subtle. He said he liked this change and that change, but he wanted more. I asked him to be more specific. He again gave me the vague instruction that it needed to be more informative to the reader. He asked if I understood what he was looking for. I said no, I really don’t. He then said we need to keep working on it and walked away. I felt demoralized and was certain that he was trying to push me out of the department by giving me vague instructions so that I couldn’t possibly do it right.

In addition, on a couple of occasions recently as we passed in the hallway he would not say anything to me when I would smile and say hello. Given that he had asked me to improve my communications with him I thought that he was not doing much to encourage that if he couldn’t even say hello to me.

At therapy I let all my frustrations with the situation fly out of me. It is the one time in therapy when I wondered just how well the walls muffle sound there because I think my voice got just a little loud a time or two. I really needed both to vent and also to get some help with strategies for discussing the situation with Boss in a rational way.

Fortunately, Freud was, as usual, very insightful and helpful as he listened to me rant, asked for clarifications, made sure he understood, and then offered me feedback. I swear the man is a godsend to me. He’s good at the how-does-that-make-you-feel thing, but he also is good at discerning what you’re trying to say when even you don’t know exactly what you’re trying to say and then good at helping you deal with it no matter what it is. Freud helped me see that the approach I had concocted (confronting Boss with “If you want me out of this department don’t do it with passive aggressive behavior, but just tell me because if you want me gone I will start looking for another job and get out of your way.”) was not the best possible approach (which I knew, but when I get to a certain point of frustration with hidden agendas and other such bullshit that’s where I tend to go).

Armed with strategies and ready to hear the worst, I met with Boss. Things went much better than I expected. From what I can tell, the guy doesn’t have a clue the impact his words can have on people. He doesn’t buy in to telling people when they’ve done a good job. A good job is an expectation not something you reward. He only thinks you need to point out areas for improvement. I don’t agree. However, understanding his point of view helps me see how I misinterpreted his intentions. I hope that he now understands my point of view so that he can see why I reacted badly to his comments. All in all, it went well. We don’t see eye to eye, and that’s okay. It’s okay because I got him to admit that he wants me to stay in the department, and that the job I am doing is not inadequate. Just knowing that much is enough for now.

And now I can return to sleeping at night without the worries of how to pay the bills if I suddenly were out of a job.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sunday Stealing: The Current Obsessions Meme

This was, in turns, great fun, very frustrating, and eye-rollingly stupid. Never let those difficulties stop me from sharing much too much about my inner being. Heh. . .

Instructions: Answer the Current Obession category and then explain WHY you chose that response.

Sabbath by Wayne Muller. This is the book we are studying at church in our small group studies. We aren’t far into it yet, but with every chapter I am learning something new. One tidbit that I have gleaned: don’t forget that keeping the Sabbath is one of the commandments, just as important as the other nine. Taking a day of rest – as important as not committing adultery or murder? Just another bit of food for thought. . .

Celery sticks with pimiento cheese spread. Yes, this is how you can take a perfectly healthy and low calorie food and turn it into a delicious calorie laden snack. I made a few of these for the relish tray at Thanksgiving dinner and have been obsessed ever since.

Dos Reales. I’ve been on a Mexican food kick lately, and you just can’t find finer authentic Mexican food around here than Dos Reales.

Mango lemonade. I have recently run across this at a few restaurants (both in alcoholic versions and non-alcoholic) and am in love with it. Mmm. . . mangoes.

I don’t obsess over décor. I really don’t. My décor could most accurately be described as hand-me-down-doesn’t-look-absolutely-awful-and-at-least-it-all-fits-in-the-room.

This is difficult. I don’t really have a current obsession with an actor. I’m sure my obsession with Johnny Depp will return though as soon as I see him in his next movie.

Oh gosh, I only really have one real female obsession of the celebrity kind, and she isn’t an actress really. She’s a comedienne and a wonderfully fantastic woman – Paula Poundstone. I heart Paula Poundstone in a big way. If I were the scary stalker type I’d sit outside her house day after day just to watch her live her life.

Avatar. I know, I know, how trite. It’s everybody’s favorite right now. Well so what? It’s definitely the best movie I’ve seen the last couple of months. I love the story. I love the special effects. I love the movie. So there.

TV show:
King of the Hill. Although it has been around for a while I have only recently discovered it, and I love it!

Playing Risk. I hadn’t played in a long while, but during winter break with the weather curtailing much outdoor activity I introduced N to Risk. He has beaten me twice now. I haven’t beaten him at all. I took it easy on him the first time we played but not the second time. I will avenge my losses. . . perhaps over MLK Jr. weekend.

Dixie Chicks. I miss them so.

I almost always have an earworm driving me crazy. Currently, it is the theme song for the TV show King of the Hill. Yes, I’ve watched too many episodes lately. Curse you Adult Swim!

Obsessed with a meme? Are you kidding me? No way am I obsessed with any meme. I find one I like I do it. I get tired of it I move on. Whatever. . .

Too many to list, but then again, y’all hardly ever blog anymore so my obsession is starting to wane. Come back dear blog friends, come back!

No obsessions currently although (and I know I’ll catch hell for this particularly given how I felt the last time we were together) I have been talking to J lately and can’t seem to completely give him up. Sigh. . .

Not so much obsessed as intrigued by my newest coworker, the one I thought I couldn’t stand at first but is now by closest friend. If the friendship continues I may have to assign her a name or initial for this blog.

“Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation." Henry Ward Beecher I selected this quote because it is very much my philosophy in life. I have come to realize that I cannot expect others to treat me in that way. However, I will do my best to treat others with compassion without any expectations of reciprocation.

I have been overly obsessed lately (even more than normal) with improper grammar and word usage. I am becoming one of those old ladies who goes around looking down her nose at those who don’t speak well. Perhaps it has a bit to do with having a fifth grader and trying to help him with his lessons. It really peeves me when the teacher uses poor grammar and misspellings in the papers he sends home.

Basketball. Oh how I love college basketball. My beloved Illini are not the only basketball team I follow. No, I love to cheer against some of my least faves – Duke, Kansas (only because of the Bill Self defection to there a few years ago), Tennessee (only because of Bruce Pearl’s infamous rant against the Illini years ago). Also, I like to watch all the Big Ten games. If I weren’t such an Illini fan I just might be a Spartan fan. I have a lot of respect for Coach Izzo and his program. And while we’re on the topic, may I take this moment to say just how thrilled I am that Kansas got kicked to #3 from #1 in the polls this week? Thrilled I tell you. . . thrilled. (Grudges stick a long time with me. You’ve been warned.)

Singer: Always and forever I will be obsessed with Dan Fogelberg.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Wanna Party?

I know this is way in advance, more than a year out even, but this is big and important so I need to get it out there now. Mark your calendars, save your money, put this at the top of your 2011 travel priorities, get your passports and visas ready if you need them to travel to the U.S. If you are reading this you are invited to this once in a lifetime opportunity that you won’t want to miss.

Trueself will be hosting a 50th birthday celebration for herself on Saturday, April 30, 2011. (I love referring to myself in the third person as though I’m important or something. Heh!) (Also, I would’ve held it the week before which is closer to my actual birthday but that weekend is Easter, and I figure that a lot of people wouldn’t be able to attend on a holiday weekend.)

Now I don’t have a lot of details about it just yet. I may hold it in St. Louis, MO or Chicago, IL or somewhere in a town on either the I-55 or I-57/I-70 corridors between the two cities. It depends on various factors, including but not limited to, availability and pricing of party locations and accommodations.

As time goes by I will get details hammered out and share them with you as soon as I have them nailed down. What I do know is that I am inviting both cyberspace friends and real life friends. I will host the party and provide food and non-alcoholic beverages with a cash bar available. Also, any travel and accommodations you require will be at your own expense. Don’t worry though. You won’t need to get me a present. Your presence will be more than present enough.

If you would seriously consider attending drop me a comment on this post letting me know, ‘kay? I won’t hold you to it, but it would just be nice to know whether I should expect closer to 2 people or 200 when making plans.

Now I just need a catchy name for the party:
Semi-centennial Celebration?

Send me your ideas. . .

Friday, January 08, 2010

Sunday Stealing: The "What If" Meme

Is it too late to post last Sunday's Sunday Stealing entry? Of course not! At least not in my world it isn't.

1. You can press a button that will make any one person explode. Who would you blow up? My initial thought was W. However, as N’s father I just can’t do that to him (just like I couldn’t let him become homeless). My second thought was Osama Bin Laden. Him I think I could live with exploding.

2. You can flip a switch that will wipe any band or musical artist out of existence. Which one will it be? Big & Rich

3. Who would you really like to just punch in the face? George W. Bush

4. What is your favorite cheese? It depends. Pepperjack for most sandwiches, cheddar for omelets, cream for bagels, feta in salads, bleu in salad dressing.

5. You can only have one kind of sandwich. Every sandwich ingredient known to humankind is at your immediate disposal. What kind will you make? Multigrain bread, Miracle Whip, avocado, lettuce, tomato, red onion, grainy brown mustard.

6. You have the opportunity to sleep with the movie celebrity of your choice. We are talking no-strings-attached sex and it can only happen once. Who is the lucky celebrity of your choice? Decisions, decisions. . . so many good possibilities. . . hmm. . . just one, huh. . . Josh Duhamel because he’s gorgeous and 11 years younger than me so he’s old enough to know what he’s doing and young enough to last a long time.

7. You have the opportunity to sleep with the music-celebrity of your choice. Who do you pick? Madonna, because she is gorgeous, adventurous, about my age with a lifetime of varied experiences so we could spend a sensuous afternoon exploring our sensuality together.

8. Now that you’ve slept with two different people in a row, you seem to be having an excellent day because you just came across a hundred-dollar bill on the sidewalk. Holy shit, a hundred bucks! How are you gonna spend it? Buy N one of the Christmas presents he wanted that I couldn’t afford.

9. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go? Australia. I’ve always wanted to visit Australia.

10. Upon arrival to the aforementioned location, you get off the plane and discover another hundred-dollar bill. Shit! Now that you are in the new location, what are you gonna do? Buy a round of drinks at the nearest pub.

11. An angel appears out of Heaven and offers you a lifetime supply of the alcoholic beverage of your choice. It is…? Jack Daniels.

12. Rufus appears out of nowhere with a time-traveling phone booth. You can go anytime in the PAST. What time are you traveling to and what are you going to do when you get there?
Back to the 1930’s so I can go visit my grandparents when they were raising my parents to see what insights I can get into my family history.

13. You discover a beautiful island upon which you may build your own society. You make the rules. What is the first rule you put into place? Always treat others as well or better than how you would like to be treated.

14. You have been given the opportunity to create the half-hour TV show of your own design. What is it called and what’s the premise? It is called “Relationships” and it is a reality show that follows couples struggling with issues in their relationships. Hey, I never said it would be a good show, okay?

15.What is your favorite curse word? Shit, if one were to go by the number of times I use it.

16.One night you wake up because you heard a noise. You turn on the light to find that you are surrounded by MUMMIES. The mummies aren’t really doing anything, they’re just standing around your bed. What do you do? Get up and go to the bathroom as though it were just my normal middle of the night trip, and then calmly exit to the nearest phone to call 911.

17. Your house is on fire, holy shit! You have just enough time to run in there and grab ONE inanimate object. Don’t worry, your loved ones and pets have already made it out safely. So what’s the item? My appointment calendar which contains much information beyond appointments, such as important phone numbers, insurance policy numbers, etc.

18. The Angel of Death has descended upon you. Fortunately, the Angel of Death is pretty cool and in a good mood, and it offers you a half-hour to do whatever you want before you bite it. Whatcha gonna do in that half-hour? Spend it with N in the activity of his choice.

19. You accidentally eat some radioactive vegetables. They were good, and what’s even cooler is that they endow you with the super-power of your choice! What’s it gonna be? The ability to see one day into the future with clarity.

20. You can re-live any point of time in your life. The time-span can only be a half-hour, though. What half-hour of your past would you like to experience again? Sitting in N’s birthmother’s hospital room, holding N while conversing with his birthparents.

21.You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be? With so many from which to choose, this ain’t easy. Hmm. . . Okay, got it. . . Getting hit by a car as I walked through the parking lot at work.

22. You got kicked out of the country for being a time-traveling heathen who sleeps with celebrities and has super-powers. But check out this cool shit… you can move to anywhere else in the world! Bitchin’! What country are you going to live in now? Australia

23. This question still counts, even for those of you who are under age. Check it out. You have been eternally banned from every single bar in the world except for ONE. Which one is it gonna be? The strip club the bi group goes to occasionally.

24. Hopefully you didn’t mention this in the super-powers question…. If you did, then we’ll just expand on that. Check it out… Suddenly, you have gained the ability to FLOAT!!! Whose house are you going to float to first, and be like “Dude, check it out…I can FLOAT!”? It must be an indication of something in my personality that I would probably hide the ability as best I could from everyone.

25. The constant absorption of magical moonbeams mixed with the radioactive vegetables you consumed earlier has given you the ability to resurrect the dead famous-person of your choice. So which celebrity will you bring back to life? Dan Fogelberg

26. The Celestial Gates of Beyond have opened, much to your surprise because you didn’t think such a thing existed. Death appears. As it turns out, Death is actually a pretty cool entity, and happens to be in a fantastic mood. Death offers to return the friend/family-member/person, etc. of your choice to the living world. Who will you bring back? A friend of mine from high school who died when he was only 19 when he was killed by a police officer when the officer shot him in the back as he was running away from a non-violent crime he had committed.

27. What’s your theme song?
Promises Made by Dan Fogelberg

Promises made and promises broken
Measures of our demise
Secrets of souls that rarely get spoken
Pleasure's a thin disguise

Dozens of ways and dozens of reasons
Shielding our hearts from pain
Riddles of romance
That distance may yet explain

Certain of nothing
So fearful of love
Nobody seems to show you enough
Over and over the scenes are replayed
And once again those promises made

Feeling forsaken, broken in two
How did this ever happen to you
Taken for granted, bruised and betrayed
Lonely survivors these promises made

Dozens of ways and dozens of reasons
Shielding our hearts from pain
Riddles of romance
That distance may yet explain

Certain of nothing
You're so damn fearful of love
Nobody seems to show you enough
Over and over the scenes are replayed
And once again those promises made
Those promises made

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Where Am I?

I don’t know. I’m lost in a haze somewhere (not to mention I am freezing just like most of the rest of the people in this country) between holidays and work and whatnot (and in the end isn’t it always the whatnot that just takes up way too much of your time?) so that I’m not really sure where I am or what I’m doing or where I’m going. Yikes!

So, a random collection of thoughts, in no particular order other than when they hit my brain during my writing of this:

Item #1
Work has gotten much worse again. Lately it seems that no matter what I do or how I do it my new supervisor is not pleased with me or my work. Not only that, but he can give me no concrete suggestions on how to improve. It is clear to me he wants me gone and is doing every passive aggressive thing he can to achieve it. As soon as I can find a different position he will get what he wants. I haven’t told him that yet, but I’m sure when I announce my resignation he will celebrate.

Item #2
It helped a lot to write out my anger post (well, along with a more detailed version that I have in a more private place). It helped me let go of it and move on. Funny how no matter how long I stewed about it in my head it didn’t help, but when I finally put words to it and get them out there I could somehow let go. Somehow it helps me process things to put them in writing and reread them a few times. I don’t know why, but I’m simply happy it works.

Item #3
I have to put blinders on sometimes when it comes to W’s finances, or I would go crazy. He continues to get screwed over by Q. He put utilities and such for the house they rented in his name (can you say “stupid”?) so when she didn’t pay the bills as agreed upon he got stuck with them. The latest is a bill for more than $300 unpaid gas and electric charges. All I can do when he starts whining about it is walk away and sing silently “la la la la la la la la la la la la. . .” Of course, this stuff eats into what he can contribute toward his current living expenses. Sigh. . .

Item #4
We’re going to have snow over the next 48 hours, probably just enough to cause travel to be less than fun, possibly enough to cancel school, but not enough to cancel work. N will want to go sledding, but given the frigid temperatures being forecast there’s no way he can stay outside very long without risking frostbite. I am not looking forward to the next few days.

Item #5
In basketball news, the Illini played horribly last night. Fortunately, Iowa played even worse, and the Illini are now 2-0 in conference play. Oh my beloved Illini you are going to have to try so much harder if you expect to win when the real teams come to town. Oh, and could you try to win an away game at some point? Pretty please? If you don’t beat Indiana this weekend when you play there I may just give up on you. No, of course I would never give up on my beloved Illini, but there are times. . .