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What Goes Around........



Deep sigh.


Yesterday, after I got done with my show, the GM asks to have a word with me. In my business...especially for the job I'm doing, the less you see your GM, the better. Turns out he wants to ask me a few questions about one of the candidates for a job that's open here. He had found out that I had crossed paths with this guy. A Dude from Dysfunction Junction (to be referred to as DDJ from this point forward).


Dysfunction Junction. My last employer. The one that tried to work me to death and caused The Great Crash of 2003....the one where I ended up on my bathroom floor puking and sobbing about my incompetence for a few hours. Good times. Anyway, DDJ was the guy who took over the portions of my job that I stopped doing after the Crash....was actually my immediate supervisor for the last 4 months I worked at the place.


My departure from Dysfunction Junction is still a sore subject. I wrote about it a bit on another thread and will just copy that here:

I turned in my 2 weeks notice. They let me work one week. Then I got cornered in an office and "fired" on that Friday....at the same time they were throwing a "Good Luck/Good Bye" party for the sales manager who was also leaving for a new job and who'd been there about as long as I had. And there I was being hustled out the back door like someone's dirty little secret after 20 solid years.


The rest of the staff was not told of my abrupt departure until after I had left the building. Several of them got in trouble for either e-mailing or publicly saying something about the crappy way I'd been treated when they did find out.


DDJ was one of the people who cornered me in that office my last day there and "fired" me. Knowing the other people involved, I'm fairly sure that little move wasn't his idea. It's my thought that the other person in that room was the one directly responsible for how poorly that whole situation was handled. But that doesn't mean I'm gung-ho to cross paths with either one of them again.


My GM said that DDJ himself had informed him (my GM) that he did know me and that we didn't part on very good terms. I gave my GM the nickel version of what happened...including my opinion that I don't think DDJ was to blame for what happened. Under different circumstances at a different company, DDJ probably would've been an ok guy for me to work for. I said as much to my GM. From what I can gather, the choice to fill the job here is down to DDJ and some other person who I don't know.


That was enough to send me on some weird thinking-about-crap-I-really-don't-want-to-be-thinking-about bender from the time I had that conversation with my GM yesterday, into last night, and up to now. Well, except for the couple hours I played Warcrack last night...then I wasn't thinking about it at all. Warcrack's good for that. Even now, just writing "Warcrack" is a distraction....how weird is that?


I can tell yesterday's conversation and resulting thoughts are bothering me a lot...because the screwy food choices began last night and continued this morning. Got up and instead of my usual cereal/fruit/tea and a matzo breakfast, voices in my head were screaming, "DOUGHNUTS! NOW!" I opted to give in while being consciously aware of what was going on.


I called my husband to tell him about it just after I left work yesterday and we talked about it over dinner. ("You can eat and talk and feel at the same time," they told us in the hospital's ED treatment program) I can't tell if it helped or not. I still feel crappy, but this is the first time I've felt motivated to write since it happened. I suspect this (and repeated rounds of "this") will help ease the crappiness. Writing always has, so I don't see how this would be any different.


There are a couple of things going on here:


1. Unease over thinking I'm going to have to see/interact with DDJ if they bring him into this building for an interview.


2. Unease over the thought they might actually hire him.


3. Remembering those last few months at Dysfunction Junction.


So I'm getting a weird mix of "old crap" and "crap that hasn't happened yet (and may not happen at all)."


The doughnuts were good. They didn't solve anything. But I was conscious and fully present when I was eating them. That's something. Maybe not much....but something.


I have to believe there is some reason this particular turn of events is taking place. That is what my life philosophy/belief system tells me. There is a reason for this...and the reason is my highest good. I'm just not at the point where I can fully trust that enough to make the leap of faith. I have no doubt I will get there...even if I leap because I get tired of waiting for the doughnuts to actually DO something...I will make that leap at some point.


Just not now.



"Wounding & Healing" - Francis Dunnery


I don't know if I'm getting old

I don't know if I'm getting tired

I don't know if I want to go to work today

'Cause I spent last night with my old friend

He said its make or break time

So I asked the burning question

Why when I want to make a forward move do you knock me to the ground?

and he said...


He said I'm gonna break you down

and then I'm gonna build you up again

Stronger then ever before


I don't know if I'm getting wasted

I don't know if I'm disillusioned

I don't know if I want to make the effort today

I had another bad night with my old friend

He said there's no separation, there's only integration,

He really isn't anything physical

Just a voice inside my head, that keeps saying, keeps saying, keeps saying.


He said I'm gonna break you down boy

and then I'm gonna build you up again

Stronger then ever before

(he says I'm gonna break you down boy)

He said I'm gonna break you down

then I'm gonna build you up again


He said I'm gonna take your mother away

So I can watch your boyhood burn

E'en though your father failed to show you the way

and now there's no where left to turn

He said I'm gonna break you down boy

I'm gonna turn your rock to sand

He said I'm gonna crush your spirit boy

Then you'll have to take a stand

He said I'm gonna hurt you so bad

you'll have no where left to turn

(He said I'm gonna break you down boy)

He said I'm gonna break you down boy

Then you can finally be a man

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Dreams, Thoughts And That Psychic Twinkle


The realization hit me like a ton of bricks. The timing of things in my life once again gives me pause.


Earlier last week...say Tuesday or Wednesday...out of nowhere I started thinking about a guy I worked for very early on in my career. I had the great good fortune to work for him for just over a decade. He was the one who "spotted" me slaving away as a part-time board op and saw something more there. He then started a campaign to get me hired full-time working on his staff. He was a mentor and coach and father figure and boss all in one, and I couldn't have asked for anyone better for any of those things.


He left the business about 10 years ago, and I have had sporadic contact with him since. One significant one was right before I moved to the city I live in now. It was several months after my crash, and I called him to let him know I was leaving town and to say good bye. We talked about what had happened to me, and (as always) he offered up some valuable insights about the bunch of idiots I was working for and said some things that helped re-build, what was at that time, a somewhat shaky faith in my own abilities.


So, I started thinking about him and what an amazing relationship that was and how fortunate I was to work for him...and that was a day or two before that conversation about DDJ potentially working here and all the stuff that dredged up happened. Last night, I had a dream about the time period where my mentor/coach/father figure/boss left the business. And I made all the connections this morning.


Sometimes, I get a sense of what's coming before it arrives. It's not always conscious, but stuff will happen and I will find that I'm "coincidentally" prepared for it. One morning, as I was walking out of my apartment building for work, I literally heard a voice say, "Your car isn't going to start, but it's not serious." Sure enough, car didn't start because of a dead battery. Dunno how I knew before it happened (or, more correctly, didn't happen) but I did.


So a few days before I get all this crap dredged up because of a conversation I couldn't have foreseen happening, my brain tosses up some very strong reminders of that mentor/coach/father figure/boss...as protection...as a reminder of the truth...to walk me through it. Which, after a few days of rumination, I think I have. To me, the dream I had last night was that spirit saying its work here was done and it was going where it needed to be now.


And, again, I am awestruck: Everything always works out for me...and I am one of God's favorites.

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They're In Their Own Little World


Several times on this board, I've had occasion to break the news to people stressing out about being noticed by other people...and not in a good way.


They're so focused on wanting to do/wear/say the "right" thing, they kinda sorta forget to enjoy life.


People don't notice as much as you think/fear they do. As I've said before in several posts...it was a sad, sad day when I realized I'm not nearly as important to the overall picture as I think I am.


Now, there's some science to back-up what was just an observation of mine:

link removed

In one experiment, they had college students enter a room with other students while wearing an "embarrassing" T-shirt. (The shirt bore the likeness of a certain singer, whom I won't identify here. I will say that for days after reading this study, I was medically unable to stop humming "Copacabana.")


When the mortified students were asked to guess how many people in the room would remember the face on their T-shirt, they gave a number about twice as high as the number of students who actually remembered the shirt.


Other studies support what this one suggested: The spotlight effect makes most of us assume we're getting about twice as much attention as we actually are. When Lincoln said, "The world will little note nor long remember what we say here," he was wrong -- but only because he was president of the United States.


Now, my next goal is to convice people the vast majority of the time, others aren't doing things to piss you off or in response to something you did. They're far too focused on their own agendas and their own reasons for doing what they do.


It's a bitter pill to swallow....realizing that it's not all about us. But it isn't. And that should be a source of comfort and a stress-reducer for all of us.

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More Of That Psychic Twinkle


So, at the beginning of yoga class, as we're going through some relaxation exercises, the instructor suggests we set an intention for the class. This instructor does this before every class she teaches. Basically, what are we looking to get out of the next hour or so. Last night, as I'm lying there on the floor, it pops in my head -- "Letting Go."


Several minutes later, when we're finished with the relaxation exercises that start the class, the instructor talks about her intention for the class and asks if any of us have anything in particular we want to work on. In addition to teaching yoga, she is also an Accupressure practitioner...so she'll show us some Accupressure points for whatever we're working on as well as yoga poses that are related to those points. Anyway, she starts talking about (of all things...) Letting Go.


During the course of the class, she showed us two Accupressure point related to the lungs. They're on the upper chest...about armpit level...about halfway between the armpit and sternum on both sides. Access is with the thumb of the opposite hand at the same time, putting ones' forearms crossed in a "x" accross the chest at the level of the heart chakra.


So, there we all are, sitting on our mats, pressing on this accupressure point and I felt it starting slowly and building. More of a mental/emotional release than physical, really. It was kinda weird, but felt like something got broken open that needed to be broken open....if that makes any sense.


If they bring DDJ into this building for an interview, I am ready. Should he end up working here, I am ready. It will sort itself out, and I have already worked through it in my head. I have made my peace with it. It is what it is, and I conducted myself in a way that was in line with my beliefs. I did nothing that I should be ashamed of, sorry for, or embarrassed about in that situation. So, should our paths actually cross, I will hold my head high and retain my dignity.

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When Internal Organs Attack


I feel like I've been run over by a herd of elephants. I was jolted awake at about 3 this morning with the intense pain of a gallbladder attack. It eased off after about an hour/hour and a half. Went from intense stabbing pain to soreness. I knew it was over when I started getting sleepy just after 5 this morning.


Problem is, I have a long day today. I'm supposed to go host an event the station's sponsoring and that runs from 6 til 9 tonight. All I want to do is chug Maalox and sleep. Getting out of bed at 7:30 to get ready for work was incredibly difficult. Even the cat alarm (the tiger cat walking around/over me, purring at my head, meowing and licking my hand) was easy to ignore this morning. Had some tea. Between the heat and the caffiene, I started feeling like I might live.


But, hey, at least I made it to the gym and worked out last night before all this started. And it didn't last nearly as long as the first attack. And other than being tired and having a lingering ache in my middle...I'm ok. Maybe I can skate outta here early and catch a short nap before I have to be at the event tonight.


I see more tea in my near future, though.


Dunno what my massage therapist did to my hips when I saw her Tuesday. It was the bordering-on-painful deep tissue stuff I like. I got a much greater range of motion on the outer hip/outer thigh machine last night...and I suspect it's related to whatever she did on Tuesday. It surprised me...in a good kind of way.


Yeah, definitely another hot tea in my immediate future...and no more herbed bread-dipping oil again. Ever.

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Weekend Update


Went to a kink party Saturday night. Had a good time. Saw some people we hadn't seen in a while. Socialized, had some food, played a while. Didn't do a whole lot else this weekend. Made spinach dip in a bread bowl for the party (which was really good...I combined stuff from a couple different recipes I found online). Also made some egg salad because the hubby wanted it.

The Stupid-Easy Spinach Dip:


1.5 c. Miracle Whip

1.5 c. sour cream

1 pkg. Knorr's Spring Vegetable recipe/soup mix

1 5-oz. can water chestnuts, minced

1 10-oz. pkg frozen spinach, thawed and well drained/dried.

1 large round loaf pumpernickel bread


Mix Miracle Whip, sour cream, soup mix & water chestnuts in a bowl until well blended. Fold in thawed & drained spinach. Cover & refrigerate at least 1 hour. Cut top off bread and hollow out middle. Tear or cut bread into chunks to dip. When ready to serve, spoon dip into bread bowl and serve with bread chunks on the side.


Played a good amount of Warcrack. We're actually pretty close to getting the second computer. Yesterday we went and got the stuff we're gonna need to network the two computers. It was on sale so the router (wired) and cables came to $75. Paid cash. Got a couple hundred saved for the computer, so it'll be a little longer. But we already have a desk & chair, game software, game keyboard & keyset...all paid for in cash. Have been acquiring one or two items per paycheck and setting aside a little money from each paycheck, plus there was some money from some things he sold on e-bay. So, it won't be too much longer. Maybe another month or so.

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Brain Droppings: A Collection Of Random Thoughts


So the guild went on a 25-person raid last night, like they usually do on Mondays. And it was a great example of why I don't like to do stuff like that. Things were not going well, people were getting frustrated, blaming other players, and creating a lot of drama and BS. Then, people starting leaving the raid and logging off because, hey, it just wasn't much fun anymore -- imagine that!


It was mostly one person creating the problems. The sensible thing to have done would've been to boot his character out of the group and let someone else in. Most of the people involved were (theoretically) adults...over 25. There was one teenager (17), but he is the son of one of the other players who was there. The 17 year old was behaving himself fine...as was his dad....and mom (who were both in the group. The daughter wasn't there because her character wasn't a high enough level for what they were doing). Yup. We have the whole fam damily in the guild.


So, yeah, I don't know who-all's Depends were chafing last night, I just know that it was a great example of why I don't do stuff with groups in game and I don't do stuff with groups in life much either.


Speaking of people creating drama...I've noticed some of that here. Snipy, back-bitey comments flying back and forth between people. There are a handful of pairs of posters that clearly dislike one another. What I have to wonder is why isn't one or both of them using the "ignore" function? You may think you "win" when you get the last word, but if the other person's viewing it that way, ultimately, no one's going to "win." It takes 2 to argue. If one quits, they have the control. Walking away from a pointless arugement takes more self-control, discipline and maturity than continuing the drama.


I dunno, it seems pretty simple to me. You read someone's posts and you find you never agree with them and they irritate you to boot, then stop reading their posts. The "ignore" list makes this stupidly easy to do.


Then again, I guess there are people who like being irritated and arguing...much like my shrink told me there are some people who just like to complain. Not my cuppa. Life's too short to spend much of it annoyed/irritated....particularly over stuff written online by someone I don't know and will probably never meet. There's plenty of stuff in the offline world to be irritated/annoyed by. I don't need to find new sources of irritation online.


I am too old and have seen too much to even think with enough "understanding" we can all like each other. Some people are NEVER going to get along. That's fine. They don't have to like each other, they don't have to agree, and they don't even have to understand each other. However, they don't have to pester, annoy, bait, cajole each other either. They can exercise enough self-control to be civil and learn to ignore each other and spare the rest of us the drama. Please.


So, we've come into some unexpected money. Not a lot, but enough to move up the timetable for the purchase of the second computer. We'll be going to get that tonight. Good, bad or indifferent, it's going down today.

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She's Visiting


"She" was the first female disk jockey I ever heard on the radio. I was about 15. I called her a lot. We had a relationship of sorts...probably best described as mentor/mentoree. She was a Bruce Springsteen fan, and she turned me into one, too. She was killed in a car accident just after my 20th birthday...a few months after I had landed my first paying gig in radio.


There have been times throughout the years where she's made her presense known. Mostly career-related stuff, since that's the strongest link I had to her. The other night, I had a dream and she was in it...at the station she worked at when I first met her. Yesterday, driving home, the ipod selected a Bruce Springsteen album. The one that included her favorite song of his.


"Ah...you're here," I said, "still around me after all this time."


Wouldn't surprise me one bit if DDJ has been offered the job here...all these protective forces gathering around me like this. It's good to be one of God's favorites.


Got the second computer last night. Got it set up and networked with the existing one and the cable modem with no problems. We both got on Warcrack and went and did some stuff together in game for a couple hours. Ok, that was kinda fun. My 20-year-old, sometime questing partner has been doing some character trades with his buddies, so I kinda lost track of him the last month or so. Well, he surfaced last night and let me know what character he's playing now...and that was cool, too.


I was thinking about the kink party I went to Saturday and thinking about some of the comments made on the numerous "physical appearance" threads here. What a difference in attitudes. I've been pondering this since the day after the party, and I still can't quite grasp it, so I'm just going to write down the stray thoughts.


This gathering Saturday wasn't markedly different in terms of attendees to other kink events I've been to. It's mostly a middle-aged crowd (30 is young in most out/public kink circles), and they look it. It's not the 40 or 50 of Hollywood and celebrity. It's the 40 or 50 of people who've had ups and downs in life, who've maybe had a child or two, who've possibly had a couple of surgeries, who've followed a typical American lifestyle of a little too much food and not enough exercise, who've (in many cases) been pretty-much life-long smokers. They don't look like models or actors or celebrities or atheletes. Yet here we all are, in various states of undress, playing and having some great kinky fun in an accepting, supportive atmosphere.


Then the contrast.. coming here and seeing a picture a girl posted of herself asking for opinions...a picture that showed an average-sized body for a 20-something, IMO...and then responses saying she could "tone up some." I think what those people's comments might be if they had somehow managed to get into the party on Saturday. Will they still be as critical over superficial things after life knocks them around for a few decades?


For all the therapy I've had to manage the eating disorder and body image issues, I still think one of the things that enabled me to take a big leap forward was getting involved in the out/public kink scene. Being in that kind of environment at a play party. I mean, it could've been a physical appearance/body image nightmare...but the atmosphere at these things has been so accepting and supportive that it's anything but a nightmare. The vast variety of people at these things...from bone-thin to very well padded, 20-something to 50 or 60-something and everything in between... It was kind of an "aha!" moment for me. I'm normal. There's nothing really weird or abnormal about my body. There are people smaller than me, and people bigger than me, and I'm just somewhere in the middle and it's fine.


I remember talking to my long-time shrink about these revelations after I'd attended a few play parties. Yeah, it was an odd way to go about getting to that point, but it did what years of therapy hadn't really done, y'know?


But seeing the contrasts in attitudes between the party and here...I can't quite put my finger on it, but something about it disturbs me. Ultimately, though, it makes me glad that I'm living my "real" life with the people I'm living it with and that my online life is very secondary.

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One Day Later


So, the first full day of being a 2-computer household has passed. I am stunned at the difference it's made so far. When I got home from work yesterday, I felt absolutely NO crazy, rushed, pressured, have-to-get-everything-done-online-before-he-gets-home crap at all. I was able to unwind after work, do some things around the house, eat a leisurely dinner, and eventually get on the computer to schedule a music log and play Warcrack when I was ready. I wasn't running around, doing 3 things at once because I had to make sure any computer related stuff was done before he got home, and getting overly hungry because I was putting off dinner so I could use the computer.


Me likey.


****************BEGIN TMI WARNING!******************


I will now be discussing my internal plumbing. Please skip this section if "chick stuff" squicks you out.


Given the choice between lots of cramps, but not too much mess or a huge hemorrhaging mess with a minimum of cramps, I'll take the huge mess with a minimum of pain. That's exactly what I got this month...massive hemorrhaging with next to no pain (or other symptoms for that matter). To say it's made me tired the last couple days would be a bit of an understatement, but at least I can sleep because there's no crampy uncomfortableness to keep me awake. I just have to make sure I can get to a bathroom about once an hour to keep from bleeding all over myself. It's things like this that make me look forward to menopause.


**************END TMI WARNING!**************************

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It's How Old?


So, there I was, driving home, groovin' to this Jackson Browne album on my ipod, and thinkin' how this was all over the radio station I was listening to in the summer of 1980.




....and then it dawned on me that summer of 1980 was 27 years ago. I have concrete memories of events that took place 27 years ago. It's a difficult concept to wrap my mind around.


Stopped at the grocery store after yoga. We have another kink group party to go to this weekend, and I've had a request to bring the Stupid-Easy Spinach Dip I brought to the last party. I had to get a round pumpernickle loaf and some spinach to make it. Probably mix up the dip tonight and cut up the bread tomorrow.


After dinner last night, we both logged on the Warcrack and went out farming motes. (an item both our characters need to create a pretty high-ticket item we can sell in game to other players) It went a lot faster with both of us working on it. Did a couple of quests with someone else we ran into. I'd already done that particular quest chain, but my husband hadn't. It requires a minimum of 3 players, and there was some other player asking for help with it on the in-game chat, so we made arrangements to join him. Again, I didn't have any of that crazy-making pressure when I got home from work.


It dawned on me this morning...it's just like food. When you make a particular food "bad," purposely try to limit it, and tell yourself you can't have it, it only creates an insanely intense appetite for it. I was having the same dynamic happen when my access to the computer was limited because he HAD TO be on it at specific times for very long periods of time. The restrictions aren't there anymore. When you take the restrictions off food and make all foods "legal," you may over indulge for a while, but eventually, you get sick of it and don't want it anymore...and you also know if you want it at some point in the future, you'll be able to have it. To paraphrase Geneen Roth, when you truly give yourself permission to have it all...you realize you don't want it all.

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Oh, It's Such A Perfect Day....




Yesterday was one of those days that shows up like some unexpected gift. From start to finish, it was just good. We didn't really do anything special or out of the ordinary -- played Warcrack, took a road trip and poked around this smallish town we like to go every once in a while. It's a little over an hour away and there's a restaurant we like to have lunch at and a few stores we like to go to that aren't here.


It was one of those days that makes it so clear to each of us why we married the other. We still just like hanging out together and not really doing much of anything, even 6 years later. The weather even cooperated, giving us a sunny, mild fall day. The trees here are approaching their peak of color-changing, so it was just a nice looking drive adding to the overall great vibe of the day.


Proof of my naturally depressive/pessimistic nature - it's the kinda day that makes the depression say things like, "Yeah, it's the kind of great day you have right before it all goes to hell/before the other shoe drops." I still have those stray thoughts, but I don't let them take over. I stop, I question them, I laugh at them, I talk back to the black dog and point out the chances of it all going to hell are minimal...and even if they do, I am capable of dealing with it.


Yeah, that's all still there...that's the way my brain function is for whatever reason. But I have learned to manage it without meds, for the most part. It a weird way, I'd miss it if it wasn't there. In its own twisted way, it sorta forces me to look for the good and focus on it...forces me to find ways to be more at ease and not live in a constant state of worry and panic. If I didn't have it there as constant challenger, would I have ever done the work to find ways of looking at things differently?


Yesterday, during the road trip, we were listening to Bruce Springsteen's "Born To Run" album and talking about how great it was. If I remember my Springsteen trivia correctly, when he was recording that album he was under some pressure to have it be a hit or else his recording career was in jeopardy.


So, we were talking about how sometimes that kind of pressure can spur people to heights of greatness. It can give them the incentive to go beyond what they think they can do. And sometimes, that kind of pressure will make people crack. What makes the difference between pressure that pushes you into something greater and pressure that breaks you?


Or is the breaking necessary to become something greater?


I mean, it's easy to sit here, some 32 years later, listening to that album and knowing what happened to him in the aftermath of its release and how it pretty much sealed his career. But at the time he was working on it...before it got out...before it took off...what was it like then? Was it looking or feeling more like "pressure breaking me" than "pressure making me greater?"


In some ways, I guess I'm trying to figure out if the pressure that resulted in the Great Crash of 2003 hasn't ultimately made me better than I was before. Wondering if I didn't actually make that passage successfully, even though at the time it was going on it felt more like a huge failure. I think back to what the station sounded like toward the end, and even though it took a huge chunk outta me, it sounded damn good. There is part of me that KNOWS this with absolute certainty.


But I never want to program a station again. Oh, I know I'm more than capable of it. (and probably loads more capable than some people that ARE doing it) I just don't want all the associated bull droppings that go with it.


Went to another kink gathering Saturday night. It was good. Different house with a larger play space than the week before. Some of the same people and some different ones. But many of the same thoughts and observations as I had after the last party about body size, acceptance, appearance, and so forth.

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Rumor Has It


One thing I learned early on in my career was this rule of thumb: No matter what station you work on, have as friendly a relationship as you can with ALL the cluster's engineers. The engineering department is your friend, and you should treat them as such. Being friendly with the engineering department tends to get you more prompt attention when you are having equipment or computer issues.


It also gets you information. Very often, the engineering staff knows more about what's going on (what's really going on) than just about anyone else in the building. They tend to be among the first to have information about the goings-on because they generally have to be in the loop if other people want stuff done. If you're friendly with the engineers and they trust you, then you will very often get wind of things a bit before the general population. Particularly if things coming down the pipe would be of interest to you.


Like who they're gonna hire for the job that's open here. Rumor has it (from a highly reliable source) the job was offered to DDJ. Rumor further has it that he wanted to take the offer, but was unable to get out of his current employment contract. So, it looks like he won't be darkening my doorstep after all. My source thought I'd like to know, since I gave him the nickel version of my history with DDJ. Granted, it's still a rumor...and time will tell if it's completely accurate information. But for now, it's enough.


Had a full show remote yesterday. We do that once a month for this one advertiser. I get a free lunch and a short day out of it, so I don't mind. It makes the week go by quicker since I'm not in the office for a day.


I got rid of one of my Warcrack characters. The Tauren hunter was still on my husband's account and I couldn't see paying $25 to transfer him over. We created a couple of Blood Elf characters with the intention of leveling them together, sold all the stuff the Tauren had and sent the money to the Blood Elves before bidding a farewell to the cow (deleting him from my husband's account).


Given all the stuff he has going on with his other character, I really don't expect this "leveling together" thing to go on for long. There are only so many hours in the day, y'know? He is very into the 10 and 25 and more person things his main character is doing (the stuff I don't have any interest in doing), that I really can't see him dinking around with the Blood Elf for a long time. He can't even chat with the people he does this stuff with because the Blood Elves are part of the opposing faction in the war. It was one of the things I liked about playing the Cow (Tauren)...nobody on the Horde side knew me...and I didn't know anyone over there.


So, I'm looking at the gourment shop's website the other day, scoping out their class schedule. They haven't offered anything that sounded even remotely interesting to me since June. But next month, finally, they are offering a bread class. I signed up for that. We'll be making soda bread rolls, brioche and a couple other things. I'd been scoping out a few brioche recipes online anyway, so that'll be good. The class is in a couple weeks.

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Announcement made today. DDJ is not coming to work here. It's someone else I don't know and don't know anything about.


I still think it's....?odd?comforting?interesting?....that I had the various thoughts, dreams and manifestations of protective forces swirling about me just prior to learning DDJ was a leading candidate for this job right up to the point where there was an announcement made of who was actually hired. I know some people would look at that and write it off as coincidence or magical thinking or mild insanity. But I don't believe in coincidence. I believe things happen for a reason and the things people want to call coincidence are more like road signs -- warning you about things ahead or pointing you in the right direction. At any rate, I'm left feeling thankful for the psychic twinkle or the ability to plug into and be guided by Universe/Spirit/Higher Power/God/The Force.




Plain to see...in the guise of the first female DJ I ever heard and a mentor/boss/father figure I had the good fortune to work for for a solid decade.

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It's For Charity


So, my station's doing a fund-raiser for a local organization that runs (among other things) a homeless shelter and community food pantry/community kitchen. We had our big pre-event meeting and tour of the facilities last week.


I am no stranger to these kinds of organizations that seek to help those who need it. The last station I worked had its own non-profit organization that raised money and gave grants to charitable organizations. I've done the whole fund-raiser/radiothon thing a time or two...from being just the air talent that presents the message to being involved in the behind-the-scenes planning and production of these events. From homeless people to battered women to sick kids to people who train companion & helping animals for the disabled and organizations that addressed issues and problems I never in a million years would've thought existed.


For the most part, I do see the good stuff these organizations are doing. I realize there is a need and they are trying to fill it. Many times, I've walked away from these various tours and grant request reviews thinking that I could be doing something more important with my life and time than what I am doing. I've met some really uber cool people who are running and working at these organizations. The same is true about the charity we're helping out on this go around, too.


At the same time though, my cynicism is growing. These planning meetings prior to broadcast fund-raisers are the cause. The charity has some fund-raiser-professional type who is on their staff or an ad agency they are working with who will come in and give the alleged air talent the big rah-rah speech. Stuff like "don't say (whatever) in your on-air appeals....say it this way instead"." Then they go on to cite all this research they've done over the years on what works to get people to call in with their pledges. Present it this way on the air, not that way. It really is about as well-researched/targeted as advertising for any product you encounter commercials for.


In a way, the manipulative aspects of it don't sit well with me....almost like I'm participating to trick people into giving their money. Here, here are the buttons you have to push in order to make the people perform. Yeah, it's a worthy cause....yeah, they're doing good work...but there's something about the cold, calculating way the fund-raising aspects are done that are really not palatable to me.


I will tow the line. I will make the on-air presentation this way and not that way. I will make it sound like they want it to sound, and I will sound like I'm full-on into it when we do this thing.


But in the back of my head, this unease with the process will still be there.

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Well...Now What?


Had a doozy of a gallbladder attack last night. 3 solid hours of excruicating pain capped off with a puking session that relieved it, then left me feeling exhausted and like I'd been run over by a herd of elephants.


I know the damn thing has to come out, but I am in limbo because of #*&^!$% health insurance. We have this short term health policy I bought to cover the gap between his last job change and the end of the year when I can get back on my employer's plan.


Well, the first gallbladder attack happened one day after the short term health policy went into effect. They have not paid that claim because they are investigating to see if it was a pre-existing condition. They asked for the names, addresses, and phone numbers of every doctor I have seen in the last 2 years. I gave them all that information. They're not going to find anything. I had no idea I had gallstones prior to that ER visit in September.


The short term policy has a $1000 deductible, then they pay 80% of covered expenses. Which would leave me with the deductible, the 20% co-pay AND anything that's not covered. Between my husband's fluctuating income with the job changes this year and the expenses from the appendectomy, I don't see how we can afford for me to have this surgery now.


After the first of the year is no guarantee, either as I do not know what my employer's health plan policy is regarding "pre-existing conditions." I have a diagnosis now from that ER visit, and that could well be the kiss of death for getting surgery covered on a new plan for a while.


Two hours into the worst of it, curled up in a ball, crying and screaming because it hurt so bad....AND knowing that going to the hospital wasn't really an option unless it was a life-or-death deal because of all the crap with our finances and health insurance really, really sucked. There is nothing to be done for that pain...no over the counter drugs, no relief in changing positions...nothing. I don't know how I started thinking throwing up might help, but I did. I wasn't nauseous, so it took a while of sitting on the bathroom floor in front of the toilet and purposely trying to throw up.


I can see the story now..."Gallbladder Disease Triggers Bulemia." Great. Just great.


I started having some minor pain on Sunday night and it was there through the day yesterday, then it exploded after dinner last night, and now we're back to minor pain since I woke up this morning. Thus far today I have eaten a banana (which doesn't seemed to have caused any issues) and 2 cups of green tea with sugar (which also seem to be behaving). I am a little leery of eating anything anymore. On the up side, I don't seem to have much of an appetite when I feel like I've got a railroad spike run through my middle anyway.


I really don't know what to do at this point. I know I need the surgery...and I know I can't afford it right now. So, what do you do? Wait until it is so bad that the only options are have the surgery RIGHT NOW or die? Tough it out until we get on an insurance plan that will cover it without having to fight them or be investigated for potential insurance fraud?


It's not that I don't want to have the surgery or fear it. Heck, no. If we were still on the insurance from my husband's old job, I would've already had it removed and been well on the way to recovering from the surgery by now. It's the financial consequences of having the surgery now that I fear.


Something's really, really wrong with that.


Sometimes the only humor is dark humor, so with that in mind, I say, "Heck, maybe I'll be able to lose a few pounds before this is resolved!"

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Oh, The Irony.....


I go through the struggle to believe all foods are safe and legal. I make the discovery that being a "foodie" and learning about food and cooking are not bad/forbidden things to be feared. I learn the world won't end if I eat the occaisional ice cream cone or piece of cake.


Then I wind up having to figure out what I can eat that won't trigger a gallbladder attack and make me sick. Which leads to restricting myself to "safe" foods, reading nutrition labels like a madwoman, and hearing the voice in my head start up about weight loss.


If I didn't laugh at this turn of events, I'd have to cry. I've done both in the last several days.


Cautiously wading back into the wonderful world of eating. So far (the last 24-36 hours), the following things have not caused me trouble:


oatmeal with dried cranberries & brown sugar (no milk)

toasted english muffins with honey (no butter)


hot tea


plain bagel


I understand I'm looking at a low-fat (and minimal dairy) diet until I can get this #*%$(^! thing removed, but it's kinda freaking me out. All the old crap from the times of active ED are being brought out of hibernation. Because even though the intent behind and reasons for modifying my eating habits is different (and vitally necessary)...the feelings about it are the same.


I'm really tired of treading over the same old ground that I have been walking over for the last 20+ years, but these same issues keep returning. Oh, sure, it's a little different every time, and the level/depth that I'm presented with changes...but, for God's sake, it's still the same damn area!


We talked about it all some last night. He is feeling pretty crappy about his decision to leave his job at the bank without giving any thought to the other areas of our lives it would impact...the drop in income for a good chunk of the year, the issues not having health insurance or having crappy, high-deductible health insurance would cause. After switching jobs, he's realized that gig at the bank wasn't so bad after all. It was the attitude he was bringing to it that was making it intolerable. He likes the job he's got now...and he's bringing a different attitude toward work with him now. There were some good things to come out of that little detour working at the car dealership, and I suspect it will be beneficial to both of us and the relationship overall in the future. But that doesn't really help with the problems I'm having right now, y'know?


I haven't blown up at him for the series of bad decisions, and I only played the "I told you so" card once...and even then it was after being invited to play it by him. Yeah, it's hard sometimes, but I try to keep the larger picture in mind. It's not like he did this intentionally...and if we had known I was going to REALLY need decent health coverage this year, I don't think he would've done what he did. Sometimes, though, it's hard. Like when I'm having another gallbladder attack and thinking stuff like, "Dammit, if we had decent insurance, I wouldn't be in pain with this right now...but nooooo, you had to go and mess that all up."


Yesterday, he apologised (again) and said he's really learned some hard lessons from this. He said he's also finally starting to understand why I got so upset after that first attack when I was faced with the realization that I no longer have any choice about dietary changes. For some reason, he just wasn't getting it before...he was just getting pissed off because I didn't want to go to the restaurants we used to go to or eat things he wanted to eat. He says he gets it now.


I don't know if he does or not. I told him, for the time being, he's going to have to be responsible for his own dinner, though. I am not meal-planning for both of us for the near future, because I'm pretty sure he's not going to want to eat what I'll have to eat so I don't get sick.


There was a bill in yesterday's mail for the ultrasound they did during my ER visit where they found the gallstones. The bill says the short-term insurance has denied the claim...but when I go to the insurance company's website, it's showing the claim as still being processed/investigated. Huh? I know it looks fishy...having a claim the day after the policy went into effect for a condition that doesn't just develop overnight...but dammit, I really had NO idea I had gallstones before that ER visit! I had NO symptoms to make me think that was a problem and I never consulted a doctor about it prior to that ER visit. They can look all they want, but they're not going to find anything.


I'm really not up to fighting to get $3k in medical claims paid....but I don't have the $3k to pay it right now, either. Not that they'd pay the whole amount anyway...there is a $1k deductible, after all...plus they'd only pay 80% of what's covered...and at a discounted/pre-negotiated rate.


Heck, at this point, I'd be happy if they said they weren't paying anything but I only had to pay the discounted/pre-negotiated rate and not the full amount.


The end of the year can't get here fast enough. I'm ready to be done with 2007.

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Wide Awake In Dream Land




I am looking through a window at a wooden playground structure that's outside. It's one of those multi-level contraptions with ladders and slides. Basically a whole lot of splinters, bruises, scrapes and broken bones just waiting to happen.


He is sitting on the edge of one of the platforms, waiting. He is wearing faded bell-bottom jeans, a plaid button-down shirt and a form-fitting white jacket. He has longish, wavy medium brown hair, an impish face, and hazel eyes. He is so amazingly beautiful, it makes my heart hurt. It was how he was at 15.


The day wears on, and still he waits. I still watch him from the room through the window. He's here for a reason. He has a purpose. He continues to wait. I slip through the window. He sees me and walks over. We have a very long conversation. He says, "I came back for you."


I wake up. It's nearly 6 am. I remember nothing of the long conversation save for the one line.


The voice in my head that insists on blaming me for the current miserable state of my gallbladder is not my voice. When I'm not paying attention and let my guard down, it continues to harangue me. It's my fault. My fault for taking high-dose birth control pills for 10 years (only option at the time), my fault for doing crash/starvation diets and losing a lot of weight rapidly, my fault for doing a non-diet approach and letting my weight settle where it did, my fault for not trying harder to be thin, my fault that I'm sick, all my fault.


I know whose voice it is. And I know if she was still permitted in my life, this is what I'd be hearing now. But the dream starts to make sense to me, as I scrawl this out...it makes sense. I couldn't figure it out this morning. He only shows up in dreams at specific times (when the violets bloom in the spring, during perseid meteor shower and his birthday) and for specific reasons. There is no coincidence...and yet again, it's been "made plain to see."


And just like that, I go from teetering on the brink of despair to being so incredibly greatful and feeling so incredibly blessed.


(note: I really don't expect any outside observer reading this to have any understanding of what just transpired in the above paragraphs. Know, however, that it all happened in real time...I set off to write about the dream I had, then the other stuff bounced in, and it all clicked in my head. Just understand it was personally significant and was definitely some mental shift that needed to happen. This...moments like this...are why I've been keeping a journal since I was 12.)


He's gonna be in my head forever, isn't he? No matter how old I get or how good my current relationship is, he's gonna be there if I need him. At this point, it's really more 'me' (and my own ideas) than 'him' (the reality of him). It would seem I want to put it into the form of him at 15 than some intangible "my own faith and ability to handle stuff." Particularly in dreams, which are more visuals anyway.....

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Make It A Game


When I broke up with my college bf and started living alone for the first time, I soon ran into the reality of having to get by on just my salary alone. This was when I still had huge credit card debt and a student loan.


I'd get done paying my bills and realize I had very little money left to buy groceries (or anything else) until my next payday. Getting scared and sad wasn't going to solve the problem. I couldn't go running back to my college (ex) bf....and I wasn't going to go running to mommy and daddy at that age. So, then and there, I made a conscious choice to not let fear run me.


I decided...I chose to make it a game. "The Feed Yourself For 2 Weeks on $20" game. I went to the cheapest grocery store in my neighborhood. I bought store brand stuff, I ate what was on sale, I figured out what I could make cheap. I made it work. And it was fine....as long as I could look at it as a game...and not, "Oh my God, I only have $20 to feed myself for 2 weeks!!!!!!!"


I remembered this and wondered if I could apply the same thinking to the dietary changes I have to make. It's a game to figure out what to cook and what I can eat that I'll still enjoy and won't make me sick. The game started last night, when I made vegetable fried rice without using any oil. I had it for dinner, and it didn't cause a problem and it tasted like regular fried rice. I had leftovers of it for lunch over an hour ago...no problems.


Tonight, I am trying baked chicken fingers. I had bought some chicken tenders at the butcher shop a few weeks ago and was going to do fried chicken fingers...but I can't have that now. So, we're going to use corn flake crumbs on them and bake them instead. I took them out of the freezer this morning to thaw. This is the first meat I will be eating since Monday night, so we'll see how that goes.


I have to view it as a challenge...as a game. How can I apply the things I've learned about food and cooking over the years to make this work? How can I cause the least amount of disruption in my life until I can have the surgery? If I keep focusing on what I can't do and what I can't have, I'm going to make myself a basket case.


So, we'll make it a game instead.

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Growing List, Shrinking Gut


If you consider Monday night's gallbladder revolt (that was no attack, that was an uprising) the low point of the week, there's been steady improvement since then. Ate one and a half chicken tenders (coated in seasoned salt & corn flake crumbs & baked), some baked beans (surprisingly low fat grams per serving), and broccoli for dinner and had no problems.


Tonight, we'll be trying a grilled, center-cut loin pork chop as the entree. See how that goes. It's weird. I sort of timidly nibble these meals, then wait for an hour after I'm done to see what happens. I've already figured out if I'm going to have problems, most of the time, they will develop within one hour of having consumed the problem-causing food. So, the list of "safe" foods has grown since earlier this week. I can eat more than oatmeal and bananas.


Went to the gym yesterday. Wasn't sure how that was going to go, but I actually felt pretty good when I was done. Weighed myself. They have these scales right there, and despite all the things I believe about that, every once in a while I still succumb to temptation. As one might expect after a week that included violent vomiting and a decreased food intake because of it, I'm down about 3 pounds from when I last knew what my weight was. (Maybe a month ago).


I don't want to be happy about that. Mainly because of the way it's come about. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't some small part of me that's just giddy with the thought that delaying gallbladder surgery could result in some significant weight loss. I hate that part is there in my head wondering (in gleeful anticipation) how much weight I could lose because of this. I hate that it still matters...even if it's just a little bit.


But I tried to keep my focus on how the workout felt, and that was pretty good. Wore my ass out, though. I was falling asleep before 10 pm, and I slept for a little over 7 hours straight through.


Called the insurance company to see what's going on with that mess. They're still "investigating." In the meantime, I have this bill for the ultrasound. Unless something changes in the next week, my plan is to send them $50 out of my next pay check just to get them off my back. $50 is about half of what they're asking for...but since insurance hasn't processed the claim, they shouldn't be asking for anything yet.

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That Which Is Unseen



We're all the walking wounded.


At any given time, there are people you encounter who appear to be happy and content...and everything seems to be fine. But if you scratch the surface, if you take that extra minute to look or listen closely, the pain and misery they try so hard to hide comes tumbling out.


Two women. One I have known for over a decade. One I have known for only a few years. One just discovered that the great guy she's been seeing for most of this year is a closet alcoholic. The other is preparing to leave her long-time addict husband.


Both of them opted to unburden on me...and that's fine. When that happens (and it's not an infrequent occurrence), it makes me wonder what else is being hidden. Not so much from the person unburdening themselves, but all the other people I encounter over the course of a day or a week or month or a lifetime.


I can understand not wanting to spread one's personal business indiscriminantly. That makes sense. But when I get these glimpses into the burdens others are carrying, I wonder if we maybe haven't taken that desire for privacy too far sometimes. I imagine I am as guilty as anyone...what with the "I'll deal with it myself" attitude that's been a pretty major defining point of my personality for years. I tend to go the "professional help" route when I feel like I'm in over my head. Both of the women having issues with addicted SO's are not going that route, though.


Sometimes, I look at people and I wonder what they're hiding. What's making them one of the walking wounded? What difficulty are they attempting to deal with while going about the motions of daily life? And what would it be like if we were all a little more open and a little less guarded about these things?

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If I Could


If there was some way to remove the parts of my brain that held memories from the time I worked at my former employer, I'd have those parts removed.


Then I wouldn't have the occasional (but extremely vivid) dream about that time and those people anymore. And I wouldn't wake up feeling icky.

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