Wednesday, January 31, 2007

While I was sleeping

So there is this illness going around work and it keeps hitting people
for a day or two and then moving on. I seemed immune. Seemed being the
operative word.

I went to yoga last night and felt great. Came home and at a little
dinner, called my daddy for a chat and then crawled in bed. All was
well in my world.

Then at 3 AM I woke up, my body ached, my stomach was terribly upset and
my head was pounding. What a difference five hours can make. I layed
in bed trying to find a comfortable position that didn't hurt my muscles
and bones. I kept trying to convince myself that I was just tired from
yoga and pushed my body hard. Yep....that didn't work. Within a half
hour I was throwing up and crawling back to bed on my hands and knees,
only to roll out of bed 15 minutes later and do it all again.

And where am I right now you ask? At work. My muscles hurt like h*ll,
my stomach is empty and crampy and my head is killing me. But I had
pneumonia two months ago and used up all my sick leave and went into
leave without pay, so here I am with very little sick leave and an
upcoming vacation to Mexico...and I don't want to lose my saved up
hours.

We'll see how long I last here at work. And for you yoga goers.....yes,
I drank plenty of water after yoga class. :-)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Busy bee

Too busy at work to have any time to blog. Hopefully things will slow
down in tomorrow and I will have some time. My youngest, JRM wrote a
paper for school that I wanted to share. It is so sweet.

Later

Friday, January 26, 2007

Valium and burning jello and tattoos

So in an effort to blog about something other than work, and to catch
people up on what's been going on in my life, I think I'll blog about my
eyes.

Just before New Year's I had LASIK eye surgery. It was the most amazing
experience. Scary, but amazing.

I have been wearing contacts/glasses since I was 15 years old. So well
over half my life. In the last six years or so, I've become allergic to
the plastic used on the most contact brands and had to keep switching
contact brands. I also developed an allergy to the preservatives in the
lens solutions and had to buy more expensive stuff. And in the last
year, my eyes were not getting enough oxygen under the lenses
(because.....I over wore them. I mean come on, is 24 hours a day really
too long to wear contacts??....I think not). So the last time I went to
the eye doctor I had to buy the most expensive contacts and most
expensive cleaners on the market today. It stunk.

Now I have wanted LASIK for a long time, but while married to CP
couldn't get it done because he thought is was unnecessary and of
course, I didn't have a job at the time.

But now I do, and I had a little money saved up. Christmas shopping was
well in hand and also budgeted for and it didn't hurt that my credit,
now that the divorce is over and I have a government job, is pretty darn
good. So I put some money down and financed my surgery. :-)

Does that mean my eyes are not mine until they are paid off?

Eight more payments and these eyes are mine!

Quite similarly:

Eight more payments and this tattoo is mine!

Back to the topic:

So I went to the eye office, took a valium, had a last minute eye check
and then put on this fancy little surgery cap. The very cute, I might
add, eye surgeon helped me into a recliner and set me under a huge
machine. It was freezing cold in the room, so they covered me in a
blanket and then it was underway.

Numbing drops first and then the doc put this clear thing on my eye and
pushed down....down so far that my vision got dark and then went
completely black. Apparently while I had no vision, they cut a flap off
my cornea and then I could see again, but it was very blurry and he told
me to focus on the red light. And then the laser powered up and I could
hear these clicking sounds and smell burning jello. Yep. That is the
best way to describe it. When a laser hits your un-cornead eye, it
smells like burning jello. It's a gross smell...really disgusting and I
don't think I will ever be able to eat burning jello again. :-)

After that it was a downhill slide. The laser shoots and suddenly the
red blurry light becomes crystal clear. The doc took some sort of brush
and brushed my cornea flap back on and then medication over top and more
numbing drops.

And on to the next eye. Which for some reason hurt more than the first,
but they told me it was because after the jolt of the first eye,
everyone knows what to expect on the second eye, so we feel it more
accutely. Makes sense.

I walked out of the office. I felt like I was in a fish bowl because
everything was a little foggy. I went home, took another valium and
slept for about four hours, woke up and put in more eye drops, repeated
times three, minus the valium.

I went into the office the next day and I was seeing 20/15. It was
amazing. I drove my car that day without contacts. I kept watching TV
and standing as far back as I could in the room to check my vision and I
could see the trees clearly, needles and all.

Some people complain of decreased night vision, but my night vision is
actually better now and the halo around lights is less than it was
before. I also went to a Blazer basketball game and could see the names
on the players jerseys without squinting.

All in all, it was one of the best things I've ever done for myself.
And something I highly recommend to anyone who wears glasses.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

But wait there's more

So I was sitting at work this morning and my fellow receptionist, AS,
told me, pretty much out of the blue (maybe she thought she was helping)
that most of the people in the office think I talk too much....and to be
more precise they think I talk too much about myself.

Hmmmm

I kept to myself for most of my adult life, because it was necessary
while I was married to CP. But I've made a lot of friends and don't
have anything to hide anymore. So when people ask how I am or I ask
them how they are and we get to talking, I just feel comfortable talking
and listening.

I felt as if I had friends here. And I didn't think I was being overly
talkative, but according to AS people at the office are annoyed with me
in general and spend a lot of their time talking about me behind my
back. Now I'm trying to take this with a grain of salt, as AS hangs out
with a few people in the office all the time. They drive in together,
takes breaks together and go to lunch together. I suppose they have a
lot to talk about, I just didn't think I was one of those things.

So I don't know how to take this completely unexpected news. Do I shut
my mouth and not talk to anyone? Do I just continue as I am? I feel so
comfortable being me that I don't really feel like changing due to some
errant gossip. And yet, maybe I should take a little step back. Maybe
I talk too much. Maybe I am too open.

I just know that this, coupled with how I am feeling about my current
position at this office, and I want to get out of here yesterday. I am
getting letters from the state all the time and waiting on job
interviews....so I know it will happen. But quite honestly, it can't
happen soon enough.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

But I really, really have to go to the bathroom....please can I?

I don't really remember what it was like to be in kindergarten and have
to line up to go pee and have a teacher telling me what to do every
second of my little day, but I imagine it was much like my work life
right now.

Last June, when I got this job offer, there was something back there in
my brain buzzing at me that I shouldn't jump to take this job.
Something was telling me to wait. But I didn't. I rushed headlong at
the better pay, better benefits and steady schedule. The reason for the
ignored hesitation is glaringly clear to me now. My classification is
as a receptionist, yet, I was trained for weeks on doing specialized
legal paperwork. There was always to be two people in reception,
helping each other and covering each other, and we had other projects
and paperwork assigned to break up the day.

That lasted all of about three months, and in the last three months, my
job has turned into a hardcore, from h*ll, reception job. I am the only
permanent full-time "receptionist" now. From 8 AM to 5 PM with an hour
lunch, I answer phones, open, staple and stamp mail, post mail and sort
mail and I answer phone and answer phones and answer phones. I no
longer do the legal paperwork. I no longer do anything except buckle on
the desk shackles and sit in my chair. I have to ask to go to the
bathroom, I have to ask for a break, I have to take a lunch when they
tell me to.

But where is my fellow receptionists you might ask? He got a promtion
for a limited term job. And they hired a limited term receptionist. At
first it was fine, she did all the "reception duties" and I did my legal
paperwork and covered her on the phones. But now she is gone at job
interviews for permanent jobs, she is gone at doctor's appointments, she
is gone in another room talking on her cell phone or she is gone on a
break that turns into a lunch and then she comes back to take another
break.

I do nothing all day, but sit with a headset on and answer phones. I
have tried to talk to her, but it hasn't resolved anything and I have
tried to see if management can get someone to help me regularly when she
is gone, but alas, everyone is too busy. And I can't really blame them,
I would run from this job at light speed if I had something else to do.


To add insult.....I am also at the mercy of the public transportation
system, which has not been on time lately. My bus came very early in
the morning was mostly late leaving in the evening, so I tried the
commuter train and it was late most of the time and when it wasn't it
was broken and today I got stuck in a tunnel, 700 ft below ground in the
dark pressed into a train car like a sardine. Once I stepped off that
train, I started crying and didn't stop for an hour.

And now, here I am at 3:15 in the afternoon, chained once again to my
desk because the other recsptionist left early. She was in training
this morning. So I have been alone most of the day.

You see, I knew I wouldn't like this job. I knew it wouldn't be a good
fit for me. I don't like being stuck. I don't like sitting down, I
don't like doing the same repetitive thing all day long. But I thought
a bigger paycheck would make it all OK. And it doesn't.

I have been applying for jobs like a crazy woman. I've sent out 16
applications for other state jobs in the last 14 days and I have one
more to do tonight. I have pages and pages of essay answers at home on
my computer. I have endless copies of my transcripts. And I am
qualifying for these jobs. I'm getting the letters back letting me know
I qualify for these positions. I just have to wait for the staff at
those agencies to pull the lists for interviews. Then they send me a
letter and hopefully I will start interviewing soon.

One thing is for sure. I am going to listen to my intuition. I am
going to ask more questions at the interview and I am going to take
another position based on what I know I can get from the job and what I
can give to the job, without giving up my sanity.

Because seriously, I have to pee right now, so bad, and I'm dying of
thirst and it has taken me over an hour to type this email and I sit all
by myself across the building from any of my co-workers. I can't leave
my desk, and I can't get a hold of anyone on the phone to come sit at my
computer and answer the phones while I take a break.

I hate this job. But more importantly, I really dislike the person I am
when I work here. I am irritable, easily annoyed and apathetic to
people's concerns. I am essentially the opposite of what most of the
customer's calling in need. I am the antithesis of who I wanted to try
and be in this job. I wanted to help people, I wanted to be supportive
and I wanted to feel like I was making a difference. I am none of those
things. In part because policy and laws prohibit me from helping and
being supportive and in part because I am just too tired to be
supportive.

Oh and I hate the sound of a phone ringing so much now that I won't let
anyone at my home have a phone turned up.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Wii are family

Wii got a Nintendo Wii yesterday. :-)

I waited in line for an hour outside my old place of employment, drank
coffee and talked with all my old co-workers. Once the doors opened it
was like a Wii cattle rush. They had one Wii table in the back filled
with Wii accessories and the thing was empty in Wii seconds. Then wii
rushed the game cabinet and screamed our Wii titles and grabbed at our
Wii games. I was only a Wii bit surprised at the total Wii price
(sarcasm intended), which really wasn't Wii at all.

After my Wii price heart attack, wii headed to Costco and spent more
than a wii bit on food.

Once home, wii unwrapped our Wii and put up the Wii motion sensor and
got our Wii controllers ready for action.

And oh my dear, within minutes I had a Wii Mii and was bowling and
playing tennis. Then I decided to try Wii boxing and it didn't take
long for my Wii arms to start hurting something fierce. But did I stop,
no. My wii son made his own Wii Mii and then we hit the ring for three
rounds of Wii boxing action. I have no idea how silly wii looked, but
everyone was laughing and making fun of us, which was ironic considering
they wanted to play the next Wii game. So I took my turn poking a wii
bit of fun while they boxed.

The lesson here. Spend just under $500 wii dollars and your wii family
can play Wii games all day long and yell and laugh and sweat and drop
from exhaustion and then get up for a wii bit more.

And note to self: don't play Wii boxing for too long otherwise your Wii
arms will hurt so bad the next day.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

What I'd really like to say

My Dearest Boy,

Happy Birthday! I just wanted to say a few things. I know you don't
mind how our life is now, but sometimes, especially on special days like
birthdays, I realize just how different our life is.

First, I want you to know that even though I am not an at-home mom now,
like I used to be, I still wish I could have stayed home and hung out
with all of you on your birthday. Maybe it's because it was a snow day
for you and everyone was home, I don't know. But I feel like I'm gone
so much now. I feel like life just flies by and special days, just the
days in general, are over before I know it. I don't know what we would
have done if I'd stayed home, but even just sitting around would have
been good.

I also want you to know that I recognize that you, more than anyone in
our family, has been over shadowed by the divorce and life and the
changes. You are the most loving, caring child....and I notice that you
stand back and let everyone else take center stage. You've become the
child that stays in his room and watches TV or movies and only comes out
to eat. I'm exaggerating a little bit of course. There has been so
much going on with your older brother and life with your little sister
is always crazy right now and then there is you. The kid who watches it
all, but flies under the radar and keeps to himself. In one way, it's
good for me, because I already have a ton on my plate, but on the flip
side, I wonder if I'm doing enough for you. Do you need a crisis to get
my attention? Am I giving you enough hugs? Do you really know just how
much I love you and cherish the young man you are growing up to be?

I also realize that since the divorce, birthdays must be difficult for
you kids. There are no more big parties, no family times like we used
to be. I got you KFC and a cake and some gifts. About the only thing
that has remained the same is the number of pictures I take. I also
know that your dad didn't call you to wish you Happy Birthday. I hope
our little party made up for that in some way. I hope our birthday
wishes, our wacky off key singing and the good times helped.

I know, if you could read this you would tell me I'm being too corny.
You would tell me that things for you are just fine and I shouldn't
worry.

Because that's just what you told me last night when I called to let you
know my bus was a no-show and I was going to be late getting home. I
was almost crying and you just brushed it off and told me it was fine.
I hope it was OK with you, yet even if it really wasn't, I bet you
problably wouldn't have told me.

I guess that is just part of the murky waters I must walk in having a
teenage kid like you. With JK everything is buried under endless layers
and I have to wait out the bad patches until he is ready to talk and
with JRM she is ready to explode every second of her life, everything to
her is critical to her future as a teenage girl. With you, it just is.
I appreciate that more than I can say. Yet, there is this part of me
that hopes you will just go wild someday. OK, not really. ;-)

My dearest son, you were so ill for the first eight years of your life,
and I didn't know at times, when I was sitting by your hospital bed for
days on end, if you would be with us the next day, much less the next
year. And now I have been blessed with 14 wonderful years with you.
May life grant me many, many more years.

Happy Birthday, bud. I love you,

Mom

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Let It Snow

So I know this might not be much for some of you, who live in areas where it actually snows in winter, but here in Oregon, we don't get a lot of the white stuff. And today, I woke up and I could hear the cars skidding out on the street. We had no pre-warning of snow....no notice. But I could hear it all from my bathroom and I knew it was bad.

I got on the city bus anyway, and what normally takes a 10 minute drive, lasted almost an hour. I called into work twice to keep updating my arrival time. And then the bus was headed up hill, spun out behind a garbage truck and the whole road we were on was quickly a parking lot.

The bus driver called it in and then let us know it was the end of the line for us. I called work. Called home, and began walking back down the road. I was in high heeled boots. I walked almost 25 minutes when my Baby B finally made it to where I was.

And then, I headed out to take pictures. And like the fun loving Oregonians we are, we headed out for a leisurely drive. :-)

Here are the photos. School is cancelled for my kids for tomorrow and I have to wake up early to see if my bus is even going to run tomorrow. Otherwise, it's another day at home for me.

Enjoy!




The view from my front door


The parking lot....I mean....road by our place. Nobody is making it up that hill.


I love this picture. The camera kept focusing on the snow on the windshield instead of the road.


Driving down the backroads.


The trees by our house, covered in snow.