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I Am Nothing If Not Consistent


I ended up talking to the Person In Charge Of The Interns for a while yesterday. She was sputtering and fuming about one intern who was really annoying her. She described him as "an arrogant know-it-all." I asked which intern. Turns out it's the 20-something kid who was talking to me the other day.


When she leaves the room, I laugh at myself...because of my predictable consistency. Young, somewhat arrogant man gets my attention. Just as they always have. It was one of the things that attracted me to my husband, after all. I spend a good half hour chuckling to myself about my own silliness.


The Person In Charge Of The Interns is not the type of gal who'd go for the arrogant young man type. She strikes me as the type who needs to be more in charge of things than the arrogant young man type would like. If the powers that be are kind, at some point over the summer, I will get assigned to an appearance that the two of them are also working. I think it'd be amusing to watch the 20-some-year-old sparks fly.


I got a couple books from the library about being a Medical Transcriptionist. Skimming through them, I notice a large portion of it is dedicated to basic English grammar, spelling and punctuation rules. Not sure how I feel about that. This is where part of my brain starts wondering if this is somehow beneath me.




It'd be so much simpler if I'd just win a big lottery jackpot.

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No More Steak


I cannot eat steak cooked at home anymore...and eating steak from a restaurant is now kind of iffy, too. I never thought I would see this day, when I would voluntarily give up steak. A lovely, perfectly medium-rare, deliciously seasoned with garlic and peppercorn steak was my all-time favorite meal. But I must deal with the fact that I just cannot eat it anymore.


It's not a health thing at all. Well, it sort of is...but not in that "OH MY GOD YOU CANNOT EAT RED MEAT IT WILL KILL YOU" way. About six months ago, my husband brought home a lovely little stomach bug which made us both very ill. The night it hit me, we had eaten steak and cous cous for dinner. So, a few hours later, I was throwing up steak and cous cous in a most violent fashion.


The thought of eating steak after that was just nauseating. I waded back into the red-meat eater pool by having a steak Caesar salad at Outback Steakhouse in March...and that went ok. I also had a steak Caesar salad at another restaurant about a month and a half later, and that went ok, too. Those were my only attempts at eating steak since I was sick last winter.


Last week, we tried fixing steak at home. I had a few bites. And, in my head, I KNEW it was good -- he had cooked it on the grill, used the really good garlic pepper seasoning, and it was perfectly medium-rare -- but it made my stomach do flip-flops in a most distressing way and I had leave most of it uneaten.


I can't stomach the idea of eating cous cous anymore, but that's not a real big loss. But no more steak? I'm in mourning.


I'm not off red meat entirely. I'm ok with stuff like stir frys and beef stew and goulash and burgers and shish kebob, f'rinstance. But I'm afraid the days of enjoying a nice, thick juicy T-bone, sirloin, ribeye, NY strip, or filet are a thing of the past. I look in my freezer and there's a nice rack of baby back ribs, plenty of chicken, pork chops, some ground beef....but no steaks. I want to cry.


Maybe if I wait another 6 months and try again, it will go better. I can always hope.....

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Here's The Kicker...


Oh, I forgot to note this.


I found out a couple days ago that this guy...the one who just left in the midst of a first meeting with someone because she was heavier than she said...considers himself a Christian.


Way to show that Christ-like compassion.


Honestly, what ARE people thinking?

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The Food Nazis Are Everywhere


Over the weekend, I happened to catch a segment of Paula Deen's show. She was cooking some grilled chicken with an interesting-looking sauce. I went online to get the grilling sauce recipe, and was looking at the list of other things she had prepared on that particular show.


One of them was something called Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding. I clicked on the link to get a look at the recipe. It's here: link removed. There's a section for each recipe on the site for people to review the recipe. Ideally, folks actually make (following the directions...) and eat the recipe before putting up a rating and remarks. I thought I'd take a look at the reviews for the Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding, and I was just stunned.


First off, the recipe calls for 2 dozen Krispy Kremes, 2 cans of undrained fruit cocktail, and a can of sweetened condensed milk...and the icing includes a pound of powdered sugar. Taking all that into account, wouldn't even a novice cook conclude the finished product might be a bit on the sweet side? Yet, I kept running accross entries bemoaning the sweetness of the dessert. DUH! The Krispy Kremes alone are incredibly sweet...what do you think is going to happen when you add fruit cocktail syrup, sweetened condensed milk and another pound of sugar?????


Then, I saw the reviews from the Food Nazis. The people who were all "shame on you Paula for this unhealthy food" and making nasty remarks about her weight, her husband's weight and the amount of butter and sugar and mayonnaise in her recipes and how unhealthy the two of them must be and how only the "fat people" at the potluck or party would eat any of the donut delight dessert.


Uh, how does that tell me anything about the recipe? I can see that it starts off with 2 dozen Krispy Kreme donuts and ends up with an icing made of butter and powdered sugar. Anyone with half a brain realizes this is not health food. So, please, tell me why the Food Nazis felt it necessary to reiterate this in the recipe review AND use the opportunity to say mean things about the show host, her husband and anyone who might want to make and actually consume this recipe?


In my web wanderings, I also happened accross some message boards/blogs of folks who want to prevent any of us from ever eating any sort of fast food again by shutting down the McDonald's, Burger Kings, Wendy's, Sonics, Taco Bells and so forth. I have a real problem with people wanting to make my choices for me. I don't disagree that those kinds of foods are not the best choices someone could make, however, I don't think the answer is to take away the option and allow people to believe that they're not smart enough to make better choices. In the same way I don't believe following a weight loss/restrictive diet is a real, long-term workable answer, either.


Seems to me there's some fear there. But I'm not afraid of food anymore. I've played around with it enough to know that if I eat a lot of junky stuff like chips and McDonalds, I just don't feel very good....but if I have stuff like that every once in a while, I enjoy it and I feel good. I've played around with it enough to know that I feel better if eat a modest amount of simple foods that aren't processed to the nines or created (like artificial sweeteners....and "fruit drinks").


I also know that, sometimes, it feels good to indulge in things like Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding. It's not meant to be a "sit down and eat the entire pan by yourself and do this every day for a week" kind of food. No food is. The Food Nazis don't seem to have any respect for the fact that I (and I think most reasonable people) understand that, and we are capable of making decent decisions for ourselves based on that understanding. Their answer is to take away all those things that are "too tempting." That's an answer that springs from fear and a lack of trust in oneself.


I trust myself to take better care of myself than the Food Nazis would.

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A Good Day


Well, except for waking up with a headache, but it's (finally) gone away now. Only took 8 ibuprofen, 2 Excederin Migraine (acetominophen, aspirin and caffiene), and a Zomig.....


Made a batch of spaghetti sauce this afternoon. It's simmering away now. With the exception of 2 bay leaves, all the herbs in the sauce are from my garden.

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Brain All Over The Place


I first noticed this after I started the new yoga classes last week (different night, time, place & instructor than before). It's much more "head-spacey" yoga than "workout spacey" yoga...which is fine. That's the kind of yoga I started with and the kind I liked the most. It's more disciplined and mindful.


Anyway, I noticed during class that my mind was drifting all over the place -- different time periods in my life, people I haven't seen or thought of in years, different places I lived, different clothes I owned -- all these rather disconnected things just started popping into my head during the meditation periods in class. It's continued over the last few days when I find myself not fully mentally engaged in a particular task.


>Sitting in the green Honda with "Mr. Had a Crush on My Friend" on the top level of the Far East parking garage at my college getting stoned and talking about where our lives were going to go....


>The way the afternoon sun came into the bathroom and bedroom windows of the huge apartment I lived in 10 years ago...in the bedroom, the afternoon light would hit framed poster I had (this one, as a matter of fact link removed) and the way the summer and fall late afternoon sun would hit it would make the picture almost come alive...The fairy circle around her feet would look like it was glowing and the soft, glowing light reflected up to her face....


>The weekend I moved into the little apartment in the woods and kept hearing "Banditos" by the Refreshments on the radio every time I took another load of stuff over.


***time lapse***


You never know how things are gonna end up. Back about, oh, 15 years ago, about the time I broke up with my college bf, I developed a serious crush on a guy I'll call "Mr. Good Hair." He had this really great, wavy hair. Anyhow, long story short, I was acting like a silly teenager (even though I was 27) and pursuing this poor guy like there was no tomorrow. He took it with a great deal of grace and was civil and friendly, but not encouraging.


Slowly, it dawned on me. Mr. Good Hair was gay. Very, very closeted...but gay. I spoke to people who'd known him for years and they confirmed it. Did I feel like an ass. Mr. Good Hair was so gracious and classy in the way he handled my crush-inspired behavior...he never did anything to make me feel like he thought I was an idiot.


When I realized my interest in him could never be reciprocated in the same way, we settled into a comfortable, cordial business relationship. Through the last 15 years, Mr. Good Hair has thrown a good bit of freelance voice work my way...including a phone call I got about a half hour ago.


So, you just never know how things are going to end up. Had he behaved differently than he did 15 years ago, there's no way we could be as we are now. In the way he treated me, he showed a wonderful example of class, compassion and graciousness in action. He behaved in a way that allowed me to retain some dignity, even though I was behaving in a rather undignified way. That's some serious people skills, there.


And because of that, I've got a little side project that'll take me about a half hour and get me a little extra money.


Life's good.

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Why Do I Bother With TV?


So, last night, I'm channel surfing while I have dinner. It's after 8, and Emeril is on Food Network, and I don't particularly like Emeril, so I'm perusing other options. I land on VH-1. And I see about 5 minutes of this show called "Little Beauties: Ultimate Kiddie Queen Showdown": link removed.


6 year olds looking like THAT? Am I the only one who finds that deeply disturbing? Have I just gotten old and I just don't get what the kids are into these days? Or is there something really, really wrong about putting 6 year old girls into beauty pageants? "Little Beauties"? More like Little Eating Disorders. Apparently VH-1 is looking to appeal to the pedophiles in their audience.


Is it any wonder I prefer Warcrack to TV? Warcrack doesn't insult my intelligence.


I continue my research into the Medical Transcription field, and my educational options. The distance learning option is looking less appealing. Trying to get any information -- solid information -- out of that institution has been difficult. They seem very reluctant to give any details of their tuition costs, which makes me a little leery. They seem to want you to just sign up without really knowing anything....or they want you to attend one of their introductory seminars. I imagine those might be high-pressure sale kind of affairs.


On the other hand, the community college that has a MT program has tuition information on their website. Only problem there is they have a notice up on the website the the Health Information Management Technology class for fall 2007 is full and wait-listed. I mean, I dunno that I was really ready to get started that soon, but it would be nice to have the option to take a class or two sooner rather than later.


Anyway, I emailed the community college for information and to find out how already having a 4 year degree might alter the course of study. I also noticed they have a culinary arts program. In fact, one of the instructors was on the judging committee for the event last fall that inspired me to take cooking classes.


The reality, though, is I don't want to work in the restaurant/catering/food service industry...I just want to learn how to cook like that. If money wasn't an issue, I wouldn't have a problem going to culinary school for just personal interest. But money IS a consideration, and I cannot afford to go to school just to go to school, y'know? That's why the one-night classes I take at the gourmet shop are good enough. I can afford $65 a month and one night for a couple hours for a class.


I've also started to wonder how much of my "I don't think I want to be here (in the radio biz) anymore" attitude is showing through to the people I work with. More specifically, those who I work for....the ones who could decide things like, "Oh, you don't want to work in radio any more? Lemme show you the door." I don't know if my lack of enthusiasm is becoming obvious or if I am hiding it well enough. I realize they're not privy to all the thoughts I have in my head, and maybe I have managed to keep that to myself when I'm around work-people. But I don't know, and I am starting to wonder.


At any rate, I'm on vacation in 2 weeks and 2 days, and I won't have to deal with any of it for about 10 days.

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Howls Of Riotous Laughter


Mr. Slightly Arrogant Young Man Intern Who Drives Person In Charge Of Interns crazy is gay. There were several of us in a group talking at work and he referred to his ex as "he." I laugh at my never-ending ability to develop interest in those who are somehow unavailable. It's a wonder I ever met/liked/was attracted to/married my husband. Perhaps the saving grace there was that he picked me out and initiated the interaction.


I had to leave the group so I could have a good laugh at myself. No one there would've understood it. Heck, I doubt anyone outside my head would understand why I found that so funny. It's not about him...and it's not about him being gay. It's about my own flaws and imperfections and how they amuse me. I'm hardly ever at a complete loss for something amusing because of my own foibles. Today, my own weird quirks gave me a huge laugh.


Went out to dinner at this quasi-French bistro place after yoga class last night. It was pretty good. I had these crepes filled with chicken, crimini mushrooms & spinach in a light cream sauce and topped with Gruyere. They were very good. The restaurant we went to is just a few doors down from the gourmet gadget shop where I take cooking classes. My next class is Monday.


This weekend, I will be trying yet another rib rub. I had been dinking around with a rub recipe, trying to adjust the level of heat to something I'd find edible and was having no luck. So, I found a sweet rub recipe and will be testing that out tomorrow. Somewhere is that perfect rib rub that's the right balance of sweet and heat for me....and I will find it, dammit.

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The rib rub. It took a mash-up of 2 recipes and some adjusting, but I got the basic flavor I was looking for (sweet with a little heat). One more fine-tuning step (less paprika) and I think I will have my perfect rib rub mixture. This go-round was very good, though. We actually ate the ribs this time, instead of picking at one or two and going, "that's too hot."


Yesterday I made taquitos (link removed...minus the jalapenos and without the guacamole or tomatillo salsa), rice (link removed..minus jalapenos), and sweet corn cake (link removed). Altogether, about 2 hours of prep & cooking, but the meal it created looked and tasted like a restaurant meal. All three recipes came out really well. We have a lot of leftovers, so we'll be doing the same dinner again on Tuesday.


Tonight, I have the Tuscan cooking class.


Over the weekend when I was watering my garden, I noticed that we have tomatoes. 4 very small, very green round things that will turn into tomatoes when they ripen. I feel this is a small success, given my poor track record with plants. I also used oregano from my garden in the taquitos and rice.


All in all, a good weekend.

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The Ways We Find To Hurt Ourselves


Diabulemia. Young women with Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes intentionally cutting down or eliminating their insulin dosage to lose weight. Never heard of it until seeing link removed yesterday.


I would hate to be about 20 years younger than I am right now. For as bad as the pressure to be thin was when I was 23, it is far, far worse now. Having that extra 20 years of life experience now sure helps me to see through the bull****. But even so, the bull**** seeps in sometimes and fouls up my brain. That's usually an indication that I've stopped focusing enough on my inner world (how does my body feel, what am I hungry for) and my attention has drifted to the outer world (fat is bad, sugar is bad, eat 6 times a day blah blah blah). Why should I trust the voices of the outer world? Many of them just want to sell me something. It's my money they're really after...not my health or well-being.


I shouldn't need to be reminded of that as often as I need to be...but that's where I am in my evolution right now...needing to be reminded of that.


Last night at the cooking class, the recipes they gave us had nutritional information per serving. One item had a typo in regard to the amount of calories per serving. What was supposed to be 300 was mistakenly typed as 3000. There was a woman in the class who refused to even taste the item because of the typo....just in case. She missed out on an amazing-tasting dish because of it.


Realistically, it is probably something I will never make myself because it's one of those dishes that makes a lot and is difficult to cut down the amount, it's rather time-consuming and a bit complex to prepare, I doubt my husband would care for it, and a couple of the ingredients are pricey and not easy to find. Last night will probably be the only time in my life I ever eat that. But it was delicious, and I'm glad that I am at a point in my life where I didn't let a calorie count typo prevent me from enjoying it.

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Sometimes, Love Means Letting Them Mess Up


In a twist on the "My gf has gained weight" threads, there was a "My bf has gained weight" thread the other day. Not nearly the amount of responses and heated discussion on the "bf gained weight" topic that there is on the "gf gained weight" topic. Wonder why that is? I mean, I can think of a few seemingly obvious reasons...but are any of them the real reason?


Anyway, another aspect of the issue cropped up a few posts in, and it occurred to me that sometimes, love means keeping your mouth shut...and sometimes you can show respect for someone by letting them make their own decisions (even if they are bad ones) and not berating them for it, and not saying "I told you so" when they have to deal with the consequences of their bad decisions.


For the most part, I think people want to be treated like reasonably intelligent adults who are capable of making their own decisions. To comment on someone's weight gain with a suggestion that they need to lose the weight on some level tells them they cannot be trusted to feed themselves properly. It also suggests that they haven't had enough awareness to notice they've gained weight. How insulting is it to tell an adult that you think they are not capable of accomplishing that most basic of tasks or that you think they aren't bright enough to notice changes in their own body? It sets the stage for a knee-jerk reaction of "Oh, yeah? You think you're my parent and can tell me what I can and can't eat? How are you gonna stop me from eating ice cream/candy/fast food, oh love of my life?" If you treat someone like a child, don't be surprised if they react in a childish fashion.


Wrapping it up in the banner of "concern for their health" doesn't change the underlying message or make it any easier to hear, either. If making people fear for their health or lives worked as a weight loss tool, we'd all be thin. If nagging them to changed their habits worked, we'd all be thin. If shaming and berating them to lose weight worked.....well, you get the idea.


What got me to cut down and sometimes cut out fast food entirely? The freedom to make the decision to eat it as often as I wanted...and then having to deal with the aftermath of that decision. (Yeah, I've eaten at McDonalds 4 or 5 times this week and I feel like crap. I don't like feeling like crap. Maybe I should avoid that in the future if I don't want to feel like crap.) What got me to eat more vegetables and fruits? Experimenting with it, and figuring out I felt better when I did. All the while, this was easier when whoever I was involved with was respecting the decisions I made about what I would/wouldn't eat and wasn't giving me lectures about my arteries or giving me disapproving looks when I opted for fries instead of salad.


Yet again, for as crappy as I sometimes think some of my previous relationships were, I am greatful that they are not like some of the relationships I witness from the outside.


Yup. Sometimes love means keepin' yer mouth shut and keepin' yer opinions to yourself.

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One Less Option


I heard back from the Community College about Medical Transcriptionist training. Seems that the already-full class that starts in fall of 2007 will be the last class, as they are discontinuing the the MT certificate program.


Well, poop. What am I supposed to do with that? See it as an indication that I'm not supposed to do this at this time? See it as a test to see how badly I really want to do this at all? Look at it with some relief, because I wasn't too enamored with the idea of "going back to school" in the sense of physically going to a school and attending a bunch of classes and paying for parking and such? What do I do with that?????


I still have the option of distance learning courses. The first one I was looking at may not be the way to go. They seem to be rather stingy about giving out information unless you go to one of their seminars for the in-person sales job. One of the books I got from the library has some distance-training links, but the book is several years old, so who knows if those are still in existence now. I was going to look them up over the weekend and see if they were still viable options.


I've never done a career change before....should it be this annoying/problematic/difficult/challenging?

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Well, DUH!!!


Saturday, it (finally!!!) occurred to me to visit the American Association of Medical Transcriptionists website (link removed) and see if they had anything to say about schools. Sure enough, they have a list of recommended schools that meet their criteria. All the schools on their list offer distance/online learning. A few have actually brick-and-mortar schools, but none near me. I suspect this might be part of the reason the community college here is dropping the program. The first distance program I heard about is not on the AAMT's recommended list, so I've pretty much ruled them out.


Anyway, I'm not done looking at the recommended schools' websites. The ones I have looked at are saying most students average about a year to get through the training program. Since much of it is self-paced, some go faster, some slower, but the average is a year. One school's website quoted a price of $3800 for training, but I'm not sure what-all that includes. Some of the schools offer payment plans or have eligibility for student loans or grants if the student qualifies.


So, one option went away....and a few more opened up. I still don't have a clue what I want to do, though. More thinkin'. More researchin'. More thinkin'. That's what I see in my future.


Had a pretty good weekend. We went to a festival for a little while yesterday. Got some good people-watching in and some tastes-too-good-to-be-good-for-you festival food. My husband was laughing at me because, after just a few hunks of funnel cake, I was pretty much covered in powdered sugar.


He said, "You look like Tony Montana...but you probably don't get the reference." (note: I'm not much of a movie fan, he is)


I said, "Scarface."


He looked stunned as he said, "....uh, yeah...."


I didn't bother telling him that I only know a character by that name is in that movie. I assume with the powdered sugar triggering the comment that it has something to do with that character going on some sort of cocaine bender.


This is what a two minute attention span will get you. Enough information to fake your way through a moment like that.


I counted 10 tomatoes over the weekend. That's at least one on each of the 4 plants I have. Oddly enough, the plant that's the largest one (it's threatening to grow out of the 60" tomato cage its in) and the one that blossomed first is also the one that's only produced one tomato. The rest all have 2 or more tomatoes.


My husband wanted a birthday party, so I started some menu planning for that over the weekend. Other than that, it was fairly quiet and uneventful.

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.....Exactly What Kind Of Party Are You Guys Having???


So last night, it was off to the local Mega-Mart to replenish my supply of Miracle Grow and pick up a lemon so I could make link removed later this week.


I got in line to pay for my items, when I happened to glance at the contents of the cart in front of me. Two guys were in line with a cart that contained:

>a gallon of 2% milk

>a meat mallet

>a vegetable peeler

>4 packages of bratwurst


>6 - 12 packs of "studded" and "extreme ribbed" condoms


Six dozen condoms....were they on sale? Stocking up for the weekend? What????


It just struck me as an odd collection of things. Had it been one or two boxes of condoms, I wouldn't have given it a second thought....but six boxes....


My husband had stayed in the car since I was only getting two things. When I got back to the car, I said, "You missed it..." and relayed the tale of Two Guys And A Cart.


He was sorry he hadn't gone in.

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Countdown To Vacation


Just have to get through work today then I am off for 10 days.


No plans, really...other than puttering around the house and playing a lot of Warcrack. I suppose I really should make a list of things I'd like to accomplish during the time off so I'm not looking around the night before I go back to work and thinking, "Oh, I shoulda moved all the furniture and vacuumed underneath it while I was off...." But there'll be time to do that later...like tonight or tomorrow.


Our 5th wedding anniversary is next week. This is the only relationship I've been in that's gone on this long and still been this good this far into it. I suspect that's got a lot to do with my own level of mental health prior to getting into the relationship as much as anything else. Had I known how much of an impact getting one's crap together would have on the relationships I've been in, I might've been a little more diligent about getting my crap together first.


Sometimes, as I'm going about my business throughout the day, it dawns on me that it's 2007. I think about different places I've lived and different things that have gone on in my life that seem like they aren't THAT long ago....then I realize it's 2007 and the stuff I'm remembering happened 10 or 15 years ago. Yeesh. That just ain't right. I suspect this is going to get worse the older I get, too.


It's weird how I can remember some things so clearly as if they were recent events....and some things I only recall (and hazily, at that) only when prompted by a photo or an old journal entry or someone else reminiscing aloud. How does your brain select what to remember and what to bury deep?


I honestly think part of the problem I have with this time-shifting thing is the music that fills my day. The radio station I work for plays music that was on the radio when I was in high school and college. One XM channel we listen to at home plays stuff I played at college radio, the other XM channel I listen to most plays more mainstream pop/rock songs from the same time period. So, on a daily basis, things sound like I'm still 15 or 17 or 19.


Except for a few pesky gray hairs, I look in the mirror and I don't look or dress markedly differently than I did at those ages, either. One of the joys of being a radio dj is that you're not really expected to get dressed up for work. In a lot of ways, I feel younger at 43 than I did at 20 or 25....which, in and of itself, is weird and inexplicable to most people....especially if they are 20 or 25. Sometimes, in trying to warn those younger about Life's Little Surprises, I feel a bit like link removed...

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My Full Schedule


Vacation, Day 1:


Played Warcrack

Made Cinnamon Rolls for husband to take to work with him on Saturday

Posted on ENA

Played Warcrack

Made hamburgers for dinner


Vacation, Day 2:


Played Warcrack

Started cleaning out/organizing my 3-ring-binder of recipes

Walked up to Wendy's for lunch (2 mile round trip)

Posted on ENA

Played Warcrack

Made herb-roasted chicken with herbs from my garden for dinner


Vacation, Day 3:


Played Warcrack

Continued cleaning out/organizing recipe binder

Posted on ENA

Went out to dinner


Vacation, Day 4:


Went to dentist

Played Warcrack

Did laundry

Made Cinnamon Rolls for us (he took the all of the other batch to work. there were no leftovers)

Scooped out cat boxes

Cleaned out fridge

Took out garbage

Posted on ENA

Played Warcrack

Shake-n-Bake pork chops for dinner

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More Jam-Packed, Adventure-Filled Days


Vacation, Day 5:


Warcrack down for weekly server maintenance, no playing between 5am-11am PST.

Husband went to midnight showing of Transformers movie. I had no interest. When he got home (2am-ish) we went to Sonic and toasted our 5 year anniversary with breakfast burritos.

Did some yard work

Played Warcrack later after server maintenance was over


Vacation, Day 6/7:


The days started running together. I've been off work long enough that I have to think about what day it is.

I cleaned the dishwasher, wiped out the shelves & drawers in the fridge, and cleaned the oven....a task made much easier due to owning a home. I was able to take the oven racks outside, spray them liberally with oven cleaner, let them sit and then hose them off in the driveway.

Scooped out the cat boxes.

Put the garbage out for pick-up.

Went to a munch last night after yoga class.


And even though I have spent more-time-than-I-care-to-admit playing Warcrack, the chronic tightness in my right shoulder/arm has loosened up considerably due to less time on the computer overall because I haven't gone to work in a week.

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Vacation Odds, Ends, And Stray Thoughts


Just looking at the upcoming cooking classes at the gourmet shop and there's nothing interesting to me in July or August. Oh, well. I'm not going to spend $65 to take a class I'm not interested in, so I'll just skip this month and next.


I did, however, find a couple more classes at the hospital. Went to sign up for the next 6-week session of the head-spacey hatha yoga and found a 4 week session called "Yoga for Depression" and also found a 2 week session on relaxing connective tissue. They aren't until August and September, though. Also found out the woman who teaches the Thursday night yoga class also teaches a Monday night class at a church that's pretty much right down the street from where I live. I had been wanting to pick up another class, and that works out pretty well day, time and location-wise.


Didn't do a whole lot today. Felt all crampy and bloaty and was pleased to find out I have survived another month un-pregnant. Just trying to find some upside to this crampy, bloaty, irritable discomfort. The best thing is the physical confirmation that I'm not pregnant. I mean, I'd be completely shocked if I did turn up pregnant. Like I've said elsewhere, if that happens, there'd best be a bright star to the east and three wisemen come a-callin', because it'd be a miracle if my reproductive system actually functioned that way.


But I digress.


Re-stocked the freezer at the meat store this afternoon. The steaks look oh-so-tasty in the cooler at the butcher shop...but I just can't do it. Stupid stomach bug back in January just killed my appetite for home-cooked steaks. I did, however, find a nice rack of baby back ribs for $3.99/lb. Also got some nice center cut pork chops, some steak burgers, and some rice-stuffed chicken breast.


My tomato plants have reached the top section of their 60" tomato cages. When I was out there weeding and watering earlier this week, I counted 35 tomatoes. All green. The largest is smaller than a baseball. Just a matter of waiting for them to ripen. No doubt they will somehow miraculously do that all at once and leave me wondering what to do with 40 or more ripe tomatoes all at once.


So, I've been off work for a week. I think I could get used to this. If only money wasn't an issue and I could have that option to stay at home and run the household. I go back to work Monday, and I'm hoping that it'll be ok. This week, it hasn't been an issue to go to the gym every other day and to go to yoga class. Heck, I've even gotten motivated to do some yoga at home and walk around the neighborhood some. Throwing work into the equation kinda saps my enthusiasm for doing anything physical/exercise wise, though. I'm hoping that won't be the case when I go back to work on Monday. I'm telling myself that I was so wiped out because I hadn't had any vacation time in about a year and I was just burnt out and it will be better when I go back.


I remember a time, early on in my career, where taking a week off was a stressful thing. I'd fret and worry about what was going on at work while I wasn't there. I'd go back sort of half expecting some sort of dramatic shift while I was gone (new owners, all new air staff, all new sales staff or something equally shattering). It never happened. I'd go back to work, ask what went on, and receive the uniform "Oh, it was really quiet last week" answer.


Eventually, I could take time off without worrying and without really even giving anything work/work related a second thought. By the time I had the medically-mandated 2.5 weeks off after I had my neck surgery, I found plenty of things to do during my time off and what was going on at work just didn't bother me a bit. It's still the same...I've been completely disengaged from it since last Friday.


It's been good, but with each vacation it gets a little harder to go back. Maybe someday I will have the option and the luxury of not having to go back to work......

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I Got Through It


The first day at work after vacation, that is. It wasn't bad, really. It just felt really full and rushed. I got home from work, was home for an hour, then had to leave for yoga. When I got back from yoga, I was running around here like a madwoman -- cooking dinner, taking out the garbage, watering the tomatoes, scooping out the litter boxes -- and then all of a sudden it's 10pm. Work sucks up a lot of time in a day....

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Old Anger


Fall 2003. Towards the end of a full year of me doing what used to be 5 or 6 full time jobs with no budget and no help. Pressured by the sales staff about how crappy we looked at remotes and no help from a promotion department that was more concerned about every other station in the cluster but mine, I came up with a solution. In retrospect, it was a brilliant solution. Looking back, I am impressed with my resourcefulness and creativity in an impossible situation.


I made a remote set up for less than $100. I sewed a custom table cover to fit a small folding table I got at a discount store. Then, I made a sort-of quilt panel of the station's logo to velcro on the front of the table cover. The whole thing was washable. People had wanted to know where I bought it. The initial reaction was amazement that I had crafted it with my own hands.


But it pissed off some people because it brought up questions like, "Why are we hand-making this stuff? Why isn't promotions taking care of this? Where's the money we were supposed to have for these kinds of things?" In particular, it made one person look very bad because it called attention to the fact that they weren't doing their job.


I didn't make the remote set-up to piss people off and I didn't do it to make others look bad and I didn't do it to raise a lot of questions about where money went. I did it to solve a problem that somehow became my problem to solve. I did it because any other "normal" solution wasn't working. I did it because it was the only way to get it done. Instead of getting some sort of recognition or "thank you," I got a lot of crap.


It never occurred to me to get well and truly nail-spittin' mad at the time. Never occurred to me to go postal about the situation that made such a solution necessary. But this morning.....


On the way to work, I heard a song that was being played a lot back then. I couldn't tell you why that song got associated with the home-made remote set-up debacle, but apparently my brain linked that whole saga and this song. So, that song came on and I find myself thinking about the home-made remote set-up...something that hasn't crossed my mind in, literally, years....and I found myself getting really, really, reeeeeallly pissed off.


Why didn't any of those in positions of power/authority think that was odd? Why didn't that raise any red flags with anyone? Why was nothing done? 3 months after the home-made remote set-up mess was when I had my big, fat, work-related crash. Looking back at the months leading upto my breakdown, I can see so many things that should've been HUGE red flags that things were going horribly, horribly wrong. Why didn't any of those jackasses intervene? Why was nothing done after I asked for, nay, begged for help?


I hate dealing with old, deep anger like this. It's dark and sticky and painful. There's nothing to be done about what's past. But I am sure this anger is part of my "new" attitude toward work and working. It may even be the start of it, because it will be a cold day in hell before I allow myself to be put in that kind of position again. If my employer can't pay for the necessary things to do the job, I'm not going to waste my time, effort and energy to come up with a "creative" alternative solution. They can just deal with the fallout of making do with less, I have more important things to spend my time, effort and energy on.


The topic of effort came up when I was chatting with other co-workers recently, and I shared my "why give 100% if everyone's happy with 75%" theory. Judging by their reaction, I must hide my apathy and lack of enthusiasm real damn well. All I heard about was my "strong work ethic" and how the work I do is always good and blah, blah, blah. Well, poop, if my 75% impresses these people, I'm really not motivated to give more. In fact, part of me wonders if I could get away with, say, 65% effort.


Sad to say, but sometimes I think part of the reason I keep hanging on in this business is a desire to just plain outlast some of those people who stood by and did nothing while I went down in flames. In the past, I have adopted that mindset when I was working with or working for someone I found highly objectionable. I would hang on to the idea of outlasting them. It got me through a lot of crap. I don't win anything for being the last one standing, and I doubt anyone outside of my head really gives a horse's behind if I'm still the last one standing. On some level, I'm fully aware that those I'm so set on outlasting aren't even aware of or care what I'm doing these days anyway.


And this....this is part of the reason why voluntarily leaving this business and doing something else feels a bit like failure to me. I couldn't handle it, so I had to turn tail and run. I couldn't deal with it, so I fell apart.


I know I am better than some of the idiots at my former place of employement. I know I have more natural talent at this in my little finger than some of them have ever demonstrated in years. In the years since my breakdown and subsequent exit, several of those who contributed to making my life a living hell have left the business. Excuse me, have been asked to leave the business and they aren't able to get back in.


There's still one I'd like to outlast. Maybe then moving on will be less conflicted......

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That Was Then....


I think the old anger from past wrongs has been mopped up. It was expressed and discussed and that seemed to have neutralized the toxicity for the moment.


Yesterday, I was thinking about the "giving 75% effort" issue. As I was going about doing my show, I thought about how I have done this job over the years. Is it any different that I'm scrawlin' on here now than 10 or 15 years ago when I used to scrawl in my paper journal? Or how about 20 or 25 years ago when I was still in college and would study or write papers when I was on the air? Or when I'd bring books to read during my weekend shift? Is surfing the net really any different than those things? (Well, ok, other than the fact that I am using company equipment to surf the net and could theoretically be tracked.....) But the fact that I'm not necessarily 100% focused on what I'm supposed to be doing at any given minute...is that any different than what I've always done?


No, probably not. And while I don't tend to hang around in the studio during other people's shows, it wouldn't surprise me a bit to find they're doing other things during that time, too. I've walked in on that sort of thing too many times -- come back to retrieve something I left or drop off the next days music log and walk in on what's obviously a personal phone conversation or see that they're on some website buying something not work-related or they're on e-bay or something. Maybe that's just the way this job is (and always has been), and after 25 years of what a lot of people might see as "coasting," I feel a little guilty.


It came up at dinner the other night as I talked to my husband about the old anger that came up, and my ennui about my current job. After a while he said he couldn't talk about it anymore because he was getting irritated. Then it came up that he's struggling a bit with his new-as-of-March job. It's harder than he thought it would be and the working on commission aspect of it is causing him more stress than he thought it would. And here I am whining about being bored and coasting. So, it was understandable that he was getting irritated.


Sometimes I forget he's 11 years younger and I expect him to have answers or insight that he just doesn't have because of the age difference. In a lot of ways my college bf spoiled me. He was a psych major and, at the time, had some interest in going to counseling. I was probably his first "patient" as well as his gf. Ultimately, it's not a good thing for your SO to be your shrink, but having someone who was willing and able to fill both roles for a brief time kinda spoiled me and sometimes, I think I can have unrealistic expectations of a partner in terms of what and how much I can talk about. I occasionally forget that some things are better shared with a shrink and not a spouse.


At any rate, any ideas I had about additional schooling or career training are on hold. Because of his switch to a commission-reliant pay system, things are a little tight. I'm probably going to have to start picking up some bills that he normally covers. I had wanted to get the sliding door replaced before winter (I believe it's the original one from when the house was built 40 years ago). Even though we did the plastic over it last winter it was very drafty. Anyhow, it's not looking like we're going to be able to afford that in the next 2-3 months....let alone something that's not really necessary at this point...like additional schooling.


Yoga tonight. That'll be good.

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Nowhere To Go But Up


Yes indeedy, when your day starts off by waking up at 3:45am with a splitting migraine, there's really nowhere to go but up. Took 4 ibuprofen, put an ice pack on the back of my neck, tried to go back to sleep (unsuccessfully), got up, tried to play Warcrack but the light of the computer screen and movement of the game were making me queasy, took a hot shower, took a Zomig, went back to bed, had my husband massage my neck, put the ice pack back on my neck, dozed off sometime after 5am, got up a bit after 8...groggy and strung out from the Zomig, but not in excruciating pain...got ready for work, took 2 Excederin Migraine (which is just acetominophen, aspirin and caffiene....sometimes it actually works but usually not). It was, oh, sometime after 11am before I was feeling like I might actually live. Now, at nearly 2pm, all that seems like a distant memory. That's a good thing.


In Warcrack news...after playing my Tauren Hunter to level 53, I finally decided to go back to my Night Elf character and get her to the last level. I am now 6 bars from getting her to level 70, which is as high as you can go in the game. I'll probably have her there before the weekend is over...which means it took 8 months to play her to level 70 (well, really, 6 months since I didn't play her for about 2 months because of the Tauren Hunter). It took about 2 months to get my Tauren Hunter to get to 53. I started playing him sometime in late April.


Funny thing is, since I went back to playing the Night Elf, I've had a few people from our old, old guild PM me going, "Where the heck have you been?" (for the non-Warcrackers...Taurens and Night Elves are on opposing sides of the "war," and the two factions cannot directly communicate with each other in game) I had no idea anyone noticed I was gone. My 20 year old sometime questing partner knew why I hadn't been on because he'd been doing in game stuff with my husband and had asked why he hadn't seen me online.

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