31 January 2012

For this Post I am Andy Rooney

I'm so tired of celebrity baby names.  I really am.  If I were to follow trend, then our imaginary baby would be called Rojo Seis Seis  (red 66).

I am also tired of Jennifer Hudson. Well, not necessarily her but the company she now shills for.  Although  I've never been a fan, even back in the American Idol days.  She just comes across as rude and condescending to me.  That's not my point.  I feel like the commercials are just misrepresentation.

She went from sixteen years old to an adult.  From a poor kid to someone who can afford all resources one needs, and she had twins.  What's the average weight gain with twins?  Oh, and she experienced  a seriously unbelievably devastating personal crisis.  Gosh, I wonder how in the world she could have lost all that weight without the help of that weight loss company.

Or let me go a little further with that: Weight Loss Companies marketing using celebrities that just lost 30 lbs with their program.  The catch?  They just had a baby.  What's the average weight loss after pregnancy? Usually 10-30 lbs. 

My far away friend CK mentioned the other day the pet peeve of the use of "over" instead of "more than".  Two that make me crazy is "towards" instead of "toward" and "to try and *verb*"  As in "...to try and make the cake."  No, it's "...to try TO make the cake."

One girly rant, which I never do, I have pre-menopausal PMS.  I have never, ever, had any symptoms before.  Now it's like textbook plus middle of the night hot flashes. WTF is that all about? I know unreasonableness is a symptom but seriously: WTF.

There are two plot points I don't understand in movies.  The symbolic throwing of jewelry into water.  I just see it as so wasteful and pointless.  (I just watched Titanic, in case you need an example).

The other being is when there is an impasse in a relationship then one simply allows the other to walk away without a word. No "Don't Go", no chasing after, nothing.  So not real life.

Toilet Paper Commercials.  I just...they're just...sigh...Make them stop.

People on cell phones in public areas.  Do they think that no one else can hear them?  I just want to shout "I Can Hear You!"   Or answering their phones while you're talking to them (as in clients, not as in friends but that's annoying as well. I love the idea of everyone putting their cell phones in the center of the table and the first to look at their phone buys dinner. )

Okay, I feel better.  Your turn to be Andy Rooney. 

Quote of the Day

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valliantly, who errs and comes up short again and again...who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least her fails while daring greatly."

~Theodore Roosevelt

27 January 2012

Love in Three Photos

Once again the interwebs has given me a fun idea for a post.  I do hope you play along.

SLATE has put up a contest to post three pictures that depicts a love story. Here, I will use their words instead of mine:

The challenge: Slate wants you to submit a love story in three photos. The photos must tell a story, as in beginning, middle, end or beginning, what you thought was the end before another beginning. We want stories of love, lust, heartbreak, makeups, breakups, and surprises. The three photos can span decades or just a few weeks. Captions for each photo should be one to two sentences. Shorter is better. Think of this as a photo haiku.
 The best stories will be featured on Slate the week of Valentine’s Day.

An example: Some of the inspiration for this project came from Chris Verene’s book Family. Verene is the king of presenting complicated, heartbreaking love stories in just a few photos. (Read more about his work here.)

Here is mine.  My in-laws have a sign in their house that says "All because two people fell in love"

Kevin's Parents 1957

My Parents Wedding Day 1956

Our Wedding 1993

I am having fun with this that I may post more.   Please play along!

26 January 2012

Scenes from the last twelve days

Kevin's mom is home from the hospital after twelve days.  This was a bad spell that included: (you might get a drink first)
respiratory failure
heart failure
uncontrollable blood pressure
plaque on the brain

So, yeah.  Fun.  A big change in all of our lives.

Kevin, myself and the brother-in-law go to the dark side of humor when things like this happen.  We use humor to get through and are thusly awful.

One of the moments that made me laugh until tears is while we were in the waiting room.  A woman walked toward us dressed in a bomber jacket, blue-blocker sunglasses, Harrahs Las Vegas sweatshirt, sneakers, and jeans.  She clearly had stuff going on.  She passed us and when she was out of earshot, Kevin says:
 "She used to be a Japanese zero pilot.

I knew that things were bad when my sister-in-law lost patience.  She never loses her cool. Never.  And she has PLENTY of reasons to in her life. This last trip to the hospital there was a whistler in the waiting room.  We're all tired, stressed, and had-enough.  T is quietly knitting and begins muttering "It wouldn't be so bad if Someone would stop WHISTLING!" This starts me giggling and Kevin's sarcasm flipped into high gear.

Oh, and I nearly forgot the European lady whose husband was in ICU.  She interrupted our nurse in the m-i-l's room because her husband's bed needed adjusting.  The nurse actually said "Oh, no she did not!" and chased her out. Unfortunately Mrs. Not From Here walked to the m-i-l's door and stood while on the PHONE.  I got into touch with my inner black girl saying "Oh HELL NO" and walked up to her.  "You. Need. To. Walk. Away. Right. Now. K. Please. THANKS."

We didn't see her again.

This is the latest one.  With all the aforementioned health concerns, the in-laws lifestyles need to change dramatically.  Kevin's mom is a snacker and salt addict, which she will deny to her dying day. 

But if she ever tries to deny it again.  I have this:

This is a full-size laundry basket full of snacks that were located AROUND HER RECLINER.      Just around her RECLINER.            

If you don't laugh, you'll never survive this life.

25 January 2012


I had to write an essay for work, my first writing assignment for my new position.  At first I was a little eye-rolly about topic but once I was done I actually felt a little better about my job.

I was asked to write about a woman in YWCA Bellingham history who inspired me. 
I immediately thought of Frances Larrabee who saw that there was a need for women's housing and made it happen. Without Frances, our lovely YWCA wouldn't exist.

The longer I thought about it, however, the more women I considered.  In a woman-centric program, singling out just one doesn't seem possible. I have encountered countless people who have been a motivation, an inspiration, or just touched my life in an impactful way.

My very first day, Diane brought me flowers as a welcome gift. The small act of kindness will never be forgotten.  She has been a constant here at the YW, volunteering her time whenever and however she can.  It is an especially happy day when Diane is here. Diane taught me about kindness.

Pam teaches dance for people with Parkinsons each week. I don't know if I've ever met a more positive person.  Pam makes you feel better every time you see her. Pam shows me what hope looks like.

Many volunteers spend time here at the YW.  It wouldn't be fair to single out just one. Watching them give their time week after month after year is incredible.  The Boutique would not be the amazing place that it is without them. They demonstrate the gift of time.

Countless women have lived at the YW while I've worked here. They each teach us something while they are here. Many demonstrate strength to us simply by taking the steps to make their lives better.

The YWCA has a variety of donors who support us in so many ways. We are always flattered when they stop by with clothing for the Boutique or items for the residence, and on the best days: treats and kind words.  Our donors seem to understand not just the giving part but also the caring part of contributing.
We were blessed with Julie, who brought the YWCA from turmoil and downturn into a thriving place that continues to grow.  Julie showed us tenacity.

Now we have Cheri leading us into the future.  She makes challenges seem like "Isn't this going to be an adventure!?!"   She is grabbing us all by the hand saying, "Let's see where we can go!"

Nope, there is not just one woman who is inspirational here at the YWCA.  There is an entire community.

22 January 2012

Six Words

I just finished the latest Oprah magazine. It featured an article about Six Word Autobiographies: State your life in six words.

I read all of them and liked most of them. My favorite was "Reads like a Monty Python sketch."

I thought about mine but the one I like is seven words and a U2 lyric: I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

Finally I figured it out. At least until I think of the perfect one (as soon as I press publish)

I'm just along for the ride.

What's your six words?

21 January 2012

Quote of the Day

To fear is one thing.  To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.
~Katherine Paterson

19 January 2012

Whatever You Do, Don't Laugh

Kevin's mom is struggling so send out a thought to whomever you believe in.

With that, I'm sharing a quick funny story and calling it a day.

We laughed at Modern Family where Lilly cursed profusely because we just experienced that with Girl Little.

The kids were sledding for the fourth time in two days.  Girl Little didn't want to because she didn't have gloves and she was just kind of over it.

As she went down the stairs to play in the snow she casually states:

"I'm a pussy because I don't want to go sleighing."

Kevin & I were stunned into hysterical silence.  We knew we couldn't laugh nor scold so we just tried to be nonchalant and nod understandingly.

As soon as we turned away, however, we busted out.

(PS..."Sleighing" is sledding.  We don't know where sleighing came from)

To add to the funny of this story, this is the angel with the potty mouth:

17 January 2012

Snow Day

We have over two feet of snow, more on the way, it's 21 degrees and a Nor'easter is on it's way. 

We spent the day at the hospital, at the grocery store, and sledding with the kids.

How's your winter going?

15 January 2012

A Lot Less Tomorrows

Kevin's mom is in the hospital again.  I say again because it is about an annual thing.  This time though, she nearly didn't make it.  That's a first that we hope isn't repeated any time soon.

She gets sick every January and it invariably turns into pneumonia.  We thought it was that again this year but it seems like they're having a difficult time putting their finger on a diagnosis this time.  No fluid in the lungs = no pneumonia, no shadows on the lung x-rays = no cancer, yet she was in respiratory failure.

She's on steroids, antibiotics, iv fluids, and occasionally on oxygen.  It seems like every time they back the respiratory medicine off, she struggles.

So that's fun.

We have been talking about how she's been failing in health. We've been slowly wading into the "How are we going to do this" waters.  Now we are being shoved into the deep end of the pool and can't ignore it any longer.

Even Kevin's dad has come to the realization that this is it.  To quote Grey's Anatomy (strangely) he's realized  that there are a lot more yesterdays now than there are tomorrows.

We have to think about dividing up chores...who's going to clean the house and help cook.  Who is going to begin going to doctor's appointments, every single time.  Who is going to help pay the bills. And lots of other tasks that we aren't going to think of until they are needed done.

Included in all this is keeping an eye on Kevin's dad so that he doesn't overdo it.  He's so healthy that a person easily forgets that he's 75 years old. Last weekend he spent both days working on the racecar with Kevin like one of the young guys.

So, that is what is on our minds right now.  We are unsure when she is coming home and what care will be necessary upon her return. 

One more movie quote before I go: the scene in While You Were Sleeping when Jack tells his father he doesn't want the family business.  The father says "Just now, right this moment, everyone's healthy, everyone's happy."  Jack tells him "I'm sorry but it's not this moment."  That is what New Years Eve felt to us as the new year rang in.

13 January 2012

Dilbert is An Accurate Depiction of the Workplace

As I often say: my brain is full.  It's been a week, which is so pathetic to say after having vacation and while looking at at a three-day-weekend.

The new job duties have been fun, so far.  Not fun as in confetti canons and dancing bears but fun as in Stuff I'm Good At and Stuff I'm Not So Good At But It's Not Frustrating.

My new boss has turned out to be a fun person to work for.  She reminds me from time to time of Melissa McCarthy.  She doesn't curse in front of us but claims that she does curse.   When/if she ever actually does, I am simply going to give her a ten dollar bill because it's going to be epic.

She doles out support and sympathy and discipline in a fair, straightforward way.  I can sadly say that I've not experienced that in a consistent way before.  It's lovely.

So what's the problem, you're asking.  Co-workers.  To quote Samuel L Jackson: Mother Effing Coworkers.

A tiny caveat: my office is the main office thus the hub of activity.

That being said:

One co-worker will actually go behind my desk to look out the window.  She is sometimes spying on clients (in a good way) but sometimes she's just looking out the G.D. window.  It got so bad that in a desperate psychological warfare tactic, I moved my desk incrementally to make the pathway narrow & not as accessible.  (I know, I am evil)

Today, as I'm working on a deadline and with HEADPHONES ON...bright yellow ones at that...she kept trying to talk to me about nothing really.  That's simply annoying until she takes the picture & tchotchke off my printer/scanner to make a copy "Because I can't figure out my printer.  Or it's broken. Probably broken."


To add to the pressure of the deadline, my boss was at a regional meeting (yes, very Dundler Mifflin) all day so that just left myself and the co-worker.

BECAUSE our other coworker suddenly had to go to Seattle today because it's supposed to snow on Monday.  She had to take an emergency day off to go to what I suspect is IKEA. Yes, an IKEA emergency.  Never mind that it's not supposed to snow until Sunday evening, leaving um, let's see...Saturday and Sunday.  Days she already had off. 

I guess I should be grateful that I had a fairly quiet day.  Most days, there are constant stream of interruptions.  Again, I understand that the location of my office is unfortunate and not a good match for meeting deadlines or avoiding interruptions.

In the end, it's not the new job that is stressing me out.  It's the coworkers.  I use creative visualization to cope with the irritation: imagining spraying them with water sprayers, shooting nerf guns, throwing staplers.

I'm afraid it's going to denigrate to me shouting "SERIOUSLY!?!" at an inopportune moment.

09 January 2012


Back in the good old divorce days, I referred to Michael as Bonehead.  It was the nicest word I could come up with that I could say to my mom.

I never used the word prior to that and I don't use it now.  I don't even use it to describe him anymore.  In fact, I used it just the other day and Kevin was all "Wait, what?"

How I came about "knowing" the word was my old roommate, Jeff.  He lived with us for a little over a year I think.  (Married 18 mos. so you can see how successful we were from the start)

There were two things I loved to do with Jeff...no, not *that*....watch B movies and grocery shop.  He made both entertaining and educational.

One afternoon we went to the grocery store.  We parked next to a car that had three young children in it, the eldest being maybe six years old.  This surprised and annoyed the both of us.

Jeff asked the boys what they were doing and they said "Waiting for mommy."  He somehow figured out that they hadn't been in the car long and that mommy was coming right back. 

Then somehow the conversation turned to calling each other boneheads, as boys are wont to do.   It just made me giggle that he had this car filled with boys laughing and saying "bonehead, bonehead, bonehead!"

The best part was the last thing he said to them:  "And when Mommy comes back?  SHE'S a Bonehead!!!"

All I could imagine was this probably harried mom coming out to a car full of boys chanting "Mommy's a bonehead, Mommy's a bonehead!"

So, Bonehead...feel free to use it as you please.  It fits many different situations.

07 January 2012

A Lot of Stuff to Learn

With this whole new job responsibilities thing I am going to have to work on being a grown-up.  I took this job for the lack-of-responsibilities only to find myself, a mere five years later, in a completely different job with all kinds of new responsibilities.

I accepted this job on a whim, not particularly interested in the mission nor aware of what all the program offered.  I had another job at the time that was cake but I apparently lost my mind and accepted it.

I accepted it on the basis that it was flexible (bwahahahaa) and low-key. (double bwahahahaha)

The other day I actually said "This isn't what my life used to look like!!" then I immediately realized how silly that was.  Well, of course it isn't. Duh.

There are a few things that have recently tripped me up a bit:

I was offered my own company debit card.  This makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it.  I know, I already do a lot of money stuff so this should be easy but still. Then today I ordered a business account COSTCO card with an attached AM-EX card as well. GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Letting go of tasks for someone else to do is a struggle for me. It's taking me a little time to realize that I am going to have Important Stuff to Do and in order to accomplish that, I need to let other things go. I've become so used to having time to do everything that not having time for everything is disconcerting.  (goodbye days of watching television online)

On the reverse of that, my coworkers are going to have to learn that I am no longer at their beck & call.  For this, I may need a spray bottle.  (imagine: training cats)

I know but have rediscovered that I tend to think in-the-moment and not in the future.  I think it comes from being the youngest child, a Sagittarius, and a child of alcoholics.  I need to learn to think a little further ahead.  I don't enjoy deadlines but I find that without them, I might not ever finish anything in a timely manner. (hello finished, unpublished novel and other unfinished novels)

It's time to just say yes, I guess. (so confidently stated, really, wasn't that?) No matter what, I need to try to say yes.  And follow through. And consider deadlines.  And learn to say "Not right now".  And not to throw office supplies at coworkers.

Yeah, that's a lot to learn.  I can't promise on that last one.

05 January 2012

Quote of the Day WTH Does That Mean Edition

Green leaves on a dead tree is our epitaph -- 
green leaves, dear reader,
on a dead tree.
Connolly, Cyril

04 January 2012

Rear View Mirror

I am not sure what disappears into the distance faster than a vacation.

I've been back at work for 6.5 hours and this, this is where I am:

(Why, yes, that is a reindeer hanging on my monitor)

Luckily for me, I had a substitute this year while on vacation so I can safely say: "It could have been worse."  Having a substitute feels like such a luxury and even better? she totally rocks. In years past, it almost wasn't worth the hassle of a vacation for all the mess I would have upon returning.

Thankfully, a lot of the above is busywork.  Filing, double-checking, and quick little tasks.  Well, other than that stack.  That stack.  Ugh.  (there's a similar stack waiting but I didn't have the heart to include it in the picture)

But it's not all bad.  It's been a peaceful day, which is rare in social services.  Kevin wants Taco Time for dinner (I know!) and it does feel good to be back on a schedule.

And, I have Martin Luther King Jr. Day off in a week & a half.

It's fun to post a picture of my desk!  What's yours look like?  C'mon, play along!