llcoolvad: (newer)
Ugh. This hasn’t been the best year so far between my back and my aunt. Let’s start with my aunt.

Cut because 2000 words! )

OK. I will stop whining now. My problems are not so large. Pain just makes everything bleaker, you know? Feh.

year end!

Jan. 1st, 2016 09:24 pm
llcoolvad: (newer)
HELLO REMEMBER ME?! I have been a failure at journaling this year! I spend all my energy on Facebook, I guess. So the least I can do is a roundup of 2015.

As with every year, there were ups and downs. My aunt has been in the hospital since Oct 14th. She's 87 and fell, and while she didn't break anything apparently the fall set off a cascade of infections and since then she's been operated on, been put on dialysis, now is on a respirator, and mostly unconscious during that time. We changed her status to "no heroic measures", but she keeps healing up from various things and occasionally is completely conscious, so I don't know what will happen. The social worker told us that once you're on a respirator there is a lot less likelihood that you'll just code (which is both comforting and ghastly—like, how long do you linger?!). Going to see her tomorrow. I've been handling her finances, and my mother is her medical proxy, so that's been pretty stressful around here.

My own health wasn't great for the first 2/3 of the year (although obviously it's been fabulous in comparison). I was pretty optimistic in my few entries from last year, because I thought I was feeling better. I was, but it was on a logarithmic scale, I think. There is still a long way to go to get to "feeling good." My main problems beyond the surgery recovery were that I had high blood sugar, and I still had no energy. Once the snow finally melted enough to leave the house, I went to see an endocrinologist. He was very thorough and put me on some new meds, which have done their job and lowered my blood sugar to reasonable levels. I also finally started on thyroid meds in September, which surprisingly had almost an instant effect. I finally had a little energy and felt better. It's sort of evened out now, but I am not as draggy as I was. I think my levels are still a little hypo (and I still have a lot of the hypothyroid symptoms), so I am planning on asking for a slight increase at my next appt. I have not been exercising at all, really, other than trying (sometimes) to get some extra steps—thanks, Fitbit. The startling thing the Fitbit has shown me, however, is how little sleep I am getting. I am still pretty sore, so I roll around a lot and almost never sleep more than three hours straight. Most nights I get about six hours total. Not good! Since I put some weight back on the snoring is back but it's a lot different than it was, so I am not certain if the apnea has returned. I really think the poor sleep is more about being achey. I saw my eye doctor a couple of times this year because I had three small eye bleeds in one of my eyes (something you have to watch out for when you're diabetic) but thanks to controlling my sugar better, there's only a trace of one left, and he feels he can wait a year to see me now. So that's good.

I spent a lot of money this year, more than usual. I bought a new dryer. I had a large car expense (tires, brakes, and a 100K service thing all at once, ouch). I bought a computer. I took a class. I took over paying the cable bill for mother. I had some medical expenses. I stayed in a few hotels. I think there were others but I can't remember them.

I audited a Knowledge Management class this fall from my LIS grad school, which coincidentally is what I do for a living. If we're Facebook friends, you know all about Lazy and Crazy. If not, let's just say I had to do a group project, and predictably, the people in my group were...people. And all that that implies. If I were getting a grade from the class I'd be getting an A (a 98.35, in fact). Instead, I get a "nice job" from the professor. Auditing isn't very satisfying. But at least now I can battle feeling imposter syndrome. All good. And I get to cross a goal off my work self-evaluation.

I took a couple of mini-vacations this year: Cape Cod in June as usual, near Hyannis this time which was a nice change (saw the Edward Gorey house! went to the Cape Cod potato chip factory!). Then NYC in August with Patrick and Peter for Patrick's play in the Fringe. That was pretty awesome, if exhausting. I walked more in one day then I usually do in 3-4. Then finally Vermont in September with Steve and Val again. Man, do I love Vermont! I might think about retiring there. Good vibe. We were near Burlington, right in a cottage on Lake Champlain. Wow, talk about gorgeous. Burlington is big enough to make it reasonable to live there: plenty of shops and restaurants and people and things to do. Anyway, it was a surprise for me. I guess it's been a LOOONG time since I've been there. I also drove out to Western Mass in August to hang out with Suzanne and see Eddie Izzard in concert, hit the Van Gogh exhibit at the Clark (which was AWESOME), and almost wander around in MassMOCA. All really good. Jenn and I went to the ICA in Boston to see what they had, and there was a pretty great exhibit of sculpture that I liked.

Other random fun stuff (which I'm sure I would have forgotten if I hadn't documented them with pix): I survived the winter, which was pretty intense but after a while kind of felt like a challenge. I played pinball a couple of times in April. Patrick and I hit two bead shows in Jan and May, although I haven't done much with the beads I bought yet! Ugh. On the other hand, I have been coloring a bit, which I know is the current fad but I made all my coworkers color back in the 90s while we answered customer service calls about student loans, so I feel like I have cred. I saw three concerts: Richard Thompson in June with my old work pal Mark (he won tix), then Joe Jackson in October also with Mark, and Difford and Tilbrook (Squeeze) with Joanne in December. All shows were great, although I have to give the edge to Joe Jackson. He was on fire! I saw three theatrical things: one Cirque du Soleil with Jenn in July, and two Patrick plays with Patrick (the Fringe one was full-length, and the Suburban Holidays one was one-act). I watched fireworks from my pals' seaside house on the fifth of July, which was pretty fun. They close down the entire main road and have a block party for it. I also had dinner several times with my ex-Monitor coworkers, which is always fun. Three of the four of us that usually go out have now left the company, so we get to hear about who is left and what's happening. I worked there for 13 years, so getting all the gossip is fascinating.

And that's all I can think of. It was a year. Time crawled all winter and flew by all summer. I think the only part of the year that time seems normal is fall. We don't reallhy get spring...

I will post year-end watched/read separately. This is plenty long enough!

----

SO I guess now I can address my goals for last year, and if I managed to complete any of them:

MY DIGITAL LIFE: I got a My Cloud personal cloud storage thingie for Xmas.
Not only no, but it's actually worse! I got a new desktop in March and I moved my files over and then just kind of threw my hands up in the air and walked away. Renewed focus here. I need need need need to get this done. I have a bunch of hard drives under my bed. I have the old desktop. I have the old laptop. I am in duplicate file hell. I need to do this!! Especially because I just had to clear out some videos off my phone and put them on my desktop. I increased my dropbox storage to hold everything, too. I don't want to pay if I don't have to! Feh.

MY DOMESTIC* LIFE: The house is a wreck.
(*renamed at Deb's suggestion) Yeah? No. I am maintaining, but have made no inroads here. I always have great ideas for the weekend, and then I just don't have the energy to get it done. Small steps will win, here, but I need to make them.

MY CREATIVE AND LEARNING* LIFE: Revisit online learning, do more jewelry-making, make interesting photo sets, etc.
(*Also renamed, but not happy with it) Managed to complete this one by taking the class, doing the coloring, taking a couple of Lynda.com video classes in Photoshop. Win.

MY MEDICAL LIFE: Eat better, exercise, try to get blood sugar way down. Breathing is a good idea.
I guess this one is halfway, kinda? Blood sugar and eye better, breathing improved. I got the new Fitbit and have been wearing it basically 24/7 for the whole year. Food stuff got really sidetracked when mother decided she is now a vegetarian. As a diabetic, you're encouraged to go low-carb and eat lots of lean protein. Still, I can't blame her entirely. I just need to start planning.

MY FINANCIAL LIFE: I am one year away from only having student loan debt left. I will make that happen.
This couldn't be less done. I am exactly where I was for debt, although it's a little rearranged. I paid off my car in January, so that's good. The student loan is smaller. I'm down to two credit cards. But it's not much less in debt. So that's a renewed focus. I can probably make a huge dent here by decreasing the amount of meals I eat out.

MY SOCIAL LIFE: Continue as usual. I like my friends.
This counts as accomplished. Not only did I see lots of people, but I even saw the family (although not at the summer shindig). I have a date to meet my half sister, too. I finally arranged it (we're facebook friends) but I got sick, so we're doing it in January.

MY FRIVOLOUS LIFE: Nail art, funky glasses, silly jewelry, fun accessories.
We can count this one as fully realized, too. And I think this new year is in the bag, too: already picking out this year's glasses frames from Zenni and got a lot of nail polish for Xmas.

MY WORK LIFE: Patrick and I had a little chat tonight about how we'd like to be less negative and less stressed at work. I want to also be way more productive.
Alas, this one is really not great. I had some serious productivity at the beginning and the middle of the year, but the last 4-5 months have been terrible. And that negativity thing? It's sort of died down about work, but it's still simmering there. I am going to consciously try to be better this year. I feel badly about the lack of productivity since basically August. I can do a lot more. (Now that I am re-reading the post, it's interesting to me that I was unproductive at the same time last year, too. I need to figure out why that is and address that somehow.)

So that's a lot of no. Out of 8 categories I managed 3.5–4. Not good! So I guess I'm just going to continue those into this year. Goals often are multi-year goals, right? Sigh.
llcoolvad: (newer)
Storage unit is fine. Everything is exactly where I left it and nothing was wet (and I have a loveseat up on one arm, which would have been very sponge-like and noticeable). Yay, one small win!
llcoolvad: (newer)
Weather: (FEB 15) OK, as of January 23 we'd only had 5.5 inches of snow for the whole season. We've had 90 inches since then. 90. Seven and a half feet. Today is February 15. So in approximately 24 days we've had seven and a half feet of snow. It's like the freaking apocalypse. It's incredibly claustrophobic. It's impossible to pull out of driveways, which also means it's impossible to drive down streets without worrying that someone is going to pull out of a driveway into you. When you try to go somewhere, it's a lengthy search for parking. Just depressing.

Really it's the mental aspect more than the physical for me. I haven't had to shovel much. Van takes care of all the snow removal (which because of my chest is a Really Good Thing). But the cabin fever and the feeling that there's nowhere to go and no way to get there is just hard. Plus it's been mostly gray every day. Every day. Ugh.

----

(MAR 15) I left that for the record. I was too depressed to continue. So it's now March 15 and today we broke the snowfall record for Boston for all time. 108.6" of snow this season—they count snowfall seasons from July 1 to June 30, so we will probably get more, since there's already more in the forecast for this week. Previous record was 107.6 back in 1995 (which I must have shoveled, because I would have been in Watertown and going to school and working in Waltham at the time, but I don't remember. It was probably more reasonably spread out over the season then). But honestly, if we hadn't made the record I would have been depressed! It's deal-withable now. We had over a week of warm weather and sunshine, so we've lost the opressive towers and we're down to a normal amount on the ground.

I'm not up to peak mood yet, but I am not completely unable to cope, either. Progress.

----

Stuff: So my belongings are split right now between three places. I have my daily stuff with me at Mom's house. I have a lot of stuff like books in Patrick's attic. And I have a small amount of stuff in a storage unit. Couple days ago I got a call from my storage unit. A few weeks ago the building next door fell down, or something, and we were all locked out for a few weeks until they could inspect and make sure it was safe to go back in. Well, we're allowed to go back in as of tomorrow, and we're not just allowed, but ENCOURAGED to stop by because when the building fell down it took out its sprinkler system and the water runoff from that building ran into our building and they don't know how many units are water damaged so we're all supposed to stop by and check. Awesome!

Between this incident, the LAST flood at the same storage place, the flood in my garden apartment, and the flood in mother's basement, I am not meant to have any belongings at all. It's just not ever going to work out for me. I need to just get rid of my stuff. Screw all of it. It's just my first 50 years. I don't need it. Everything I need I have with me already. I need to get maybe six boxes out of Patrick's attic of papers and photos, and get that digitized. Beyond that? Screw it all. I don't need the 2,000 books. The crates of records. Tools. Kitchen stuff. Towels. And whatever the fuck else is up there. And I certainly don't need whatever is in the storage unit. It's stuff I had in Patrick's basement. So it's like Christmas tree stands and my futon and some other random crap. Who needs stuff?

Sigh.

----

Health: kinda dodgy, really. I have been sort of ignoring my diabetes the last few months. Part of my depression. So last week I decided to take a blood sugar reading and...not good. At all. So I put myself back on insulin (I still had some unopened pens from pre- and post-surgery) and have been taking it for a little over a week. And it's made me gain about a pound a day. CHRIST. So I need to figure out a solution there. My pants are tight and it's making me grumpy. AND my blood sugar is better, but not GREAT. I might have to see my doctor. I can't deal with doctors still right now.

And my chest still freaking hurts often. And it pops and clicks and grinds, sometimes, especially when I drive. I've been coughing and it sucks. And my leg hurts. And my feet feel swollen sometimes. And blah blah blah --- all the usual ailments. Tired of this!

----

Work: Ups and downs. Got a raise. Got a really good review. Didn't get promoted yet. Finished a huge project, in the middle of another, feel like I'm not making anyone happy, but what the fuck, kinda don't care. Get to work from home when I want to. 10 minute drive from my house. Work with my bestie. I'll keep doing it for now. If I can get my shit together this year, finish healing up and such, maybe I'll think about something else. But for now, status quo. Took a "sick" day a couple weeks ago, went shopping, saw a movie, had some lunch. Much better than working. Will do that again in a few weeks. Gotta get through the long stretch between holidays somehow (we go from Jan 1 until Memorial Day with not a single holiday).

----

Entertainment: Pretty much the thing keeping me going. Movies, tv, and books. Fewer books, more movies, lots of tv. I should update my lists. Blah.

----

Short-term plans: So this week I'd like to make a few inroads:

  • Visit storage. Is everything damaged? Is nothing damaged? Make decisions.
  • Eat better.
  • Get caught up on laundry, etc.

Start small.
llcoolvad: (newer)
So it's been six months (give or take a couple days) since my surgery. Before I had it, I expected that I'd be 100% back to normal by now, and I'd probably be going to the gym and losing weight and feeling pretty good.

The reality is a bit different. I feel probably about 90% now. I have some energy. I have no real pain unless I sneeze or cough. I have reasonable mobility in my body. On the other hand, I still get short of breath. I still hurt when I sneeze or cough. I can feel my chest sort of roaming around sometimes. When I tilt my head back my incision is super tight (and when I get up in the morning I sometimes stay hunched over a bit because to straighten feels really uncomfortable).

Little things cause setbacks. Like when I got a cold at the end of December, I felt almost as bad as I did around week three because of all the coughing. I felt so much pain in my side that I went to urgent care last week and had them do chest x-rays to see if I'd cracked a rib (I didn't! Yay!).

I'm also not totally back to full capacity at work. It's a good thing my boss believes in me. I have been running at about 70% productivity since maybe late November? And before that I wasn't more than 50%. So I'm improving, but not all the way there yet.

But damn. Six months is a long time to be recovering. I can't imagine what it must feel like to not recover. To be sick all the time, every day. That spoons concept, where you only have so many spoons in a day and sometimes you just run out when you're disabled? I get that totally now. And I've now had a bunch of days where I ran out of spoons. I couldn't be more grateful that I am slowly getting another spoon here and there, every few weeks.

The last two weeks I've been trying to force myself to get to bed earlier. I might be one of those beta sleepers (as one of my friends called it), but I have the ability to fall asleep pretty quickly, so at least if I force myself I can get maybe 6.5-7 hours per night. And I'm drinking a lot of water, taking all my pills (including some supplements: potassium, D3, biotin, zinc, and a multi—thinking I might add in a B of some kind), and trying to eat better at least during the day. I still am snacking at night, so maybe I can cut that out. And on weekends I tend to only eat two larger meals, which isn't very good. I guess I am at 70% effort in taking care of myself. Maybe next week I can get it to 80%.

Anyway, closing in on bedtime. Tomorrow I want to get a bunch of things done. Laundry, housecleaning, maybe file taxes, do a little work, pay some bills. What I don't want to do is get distracted and get to 9pm with nothing accomplished. Here's to that.
llcoolvad: (newer)
Trying to get my life back into order after my unproductive vacation. Didn't really feel motivated until this week.

Monday night I decided I needed to put away the new beads I got at the bead show (I went to a bead show on Saturday, for whoever isn't on Facebook and doesn't already know that). Which then prompted me to make a couple of bracelets and some earrings. So that was fun. One of the bracelets was for Mother. The beads that I bought for her were decoupage pictures of kitties, and she was very excited. Trying to be creative at the mess that is my desk was obnoxious, so it prompted me to start to tidy it up.

Tuesday I worked from home after getting my crown put on in the morning. Went out midday to run some errands — city yard with recycling, couple stores for mother, bank. Then when I came back I did some work, then just sort of lit up for the night. It happens sometimes. I emptied and refilled the DW, took out the trash, did two loads of laundry and hung up and put away, fixed a drawer in my bureau, sorted the other drawers, tidied my desk, sorted my mail, fixed mom's printer and laptop, printed out some return labels for Amazon, boxed up those returns, cleaned out my work bag, reorganized some work notes into a new notebook, changed my bedding, refilled soda into my minifridge. Crawled into bed at 2, slept kind of poorly.

Today woke up early to a leg cramp (which sucked), went to and did a bunch of things at work, took a midday break and went to UPS with my returns, cleaned out some work email, picked up dinner, came home, sorted receipts and tossed most of 'em and put the rest into my tax file, paid some bills. Now I am just going to finish this show I'm watching and try to sleep early.

Tomorrow night hopefully I'll still have some momentum and will get some more laundry done. I have a lot of mother's laundry stacked up (she barely leaves the house, so I never prioritize it) that I'd like to get through, and I should move her files from her old computer to her new one. This weekend I have no social plans, so I'm hoping I can keep the momentum going at least through Saturday. I'm willing to slack on Sunday. I love slacking on Sundays.

So that's it. A wee bit productive. Need to continue.
llcoolvad: (newer)
Last day of vacation is over. Because I had the dental work done, I didn't get a lot accomplished during my break. I've also had a cold the last week or so, so that really dragged me down once I had finished with the dental stuff. (Plus the goddamned pain from coughing has made it very hard to be comfortable. I was up at Jenn's house yesterday with Patrick and Peter and we were playing Cards Against Humanity and it made me laugh and cough so much that today I feel like I broke a rib! Which is funny, but also sucks!)

It all makes me a bit frustrated, I have to admit. I had a list. I only crossed a few things off of it! I guess it's good that I got the cold and the dental work outside of work time, so I didn't have to miss any additional time, but if I wasn't being productive I could at least have been deliberately relaxing and doing nothing, and I just wasn't. I managed to get everything done for Christmas, of course, and I managed to clean the kitchen and do a bunch of laundry and return a couple of things and run a few mom-errands and help mom with her new laptop, and I did have a few social activities. But it was 12 days! I should have a bit more to show for 12 days. Like here it is, 12:45am Monday morning, and I probably should pay my bills out of the paycheck I got on the 26th. Nothing is due until the 10th, but still. I've put it off SINCE the 26th, that's the point. And I need to make my new budget for the new year. And things like that! Taxes! Etc.! GET IT TOGETHER, WOMAN!

But tomorrow is back to work, so I'll probably just go to bed soon. I don't want to go back there! They're all perfectly nice and all, but I just want to be retired already. Is that so bad? I asked mother tonight if she could write me a note so I could stay home. Just like when I was a kid she said no. Waaaah. We have no holidays now until Memorial Day, which is a long brutal stretch, so I'll have to take some long weekends at the least.

Next weekend I go to hang with S&V at their seaside home. I have been invited to stay over, so perhaps I shall do that (they have a whole second apartment in their house). I haven't attempted to sleep anywhere other than in my own bed since I got home from the hospital, so I dunno how I feel about that. No wedges! No down comforter! No down pillows! No little Zak! Will I SURVIVE??? (probably if I decide to sleep over I will bring a wedge and two or three pillows. I have a car, after all, and what am I, a barbarian?!)

Tomorrow I am going to try to get back to eating better, too. I have a pile of candy I'm bringing in to the office to leave out for the ravening hordes, and most of the ice cream in the house is gone. There's not much else to make me stray, so that should help. On the other hand, there's not much good in the house, either. I was busy on Saturday, and today was just too blah to get any grocery shopping done. Another thing to add to the list! Hopefully the routine of being back at work will make me snap out of this zombie state I am in.

now what?

Jan. 3rd, 2015 12:30 am
llcoolvad: (newer)
OK, the past is now behind me. Now to address the things I'd like to do with the new year. These aren't really resolutions, just things I'd like/I plan to do. Maybe writing them down will force me to do them. I liked all the things on the positive side that I did last year. So I think I will do more of all of that. I can add in a few things:

  1. MY DIGITAL LIFE: I got a My Cloud personal cloud storage thingie for Xmas. It is time to really get all my files (especially my photos because I have so so so many backups of those everywhere) organized. I want to tag things, too, because the dayjob is rubbing off on me. I'd ideally also like to re-rip all my CDs to lossless, and then get rid of the CDs. My new cloud storage is 2TB, so there's plenty of room. I'm also going to back up Mom's files to the cloud, and organize the heck out of them. I got her a laptop for Christmas, so I need to move her files over anyway.

  2. MY PHYSICAL LIFE: The house is a wreck. I haven't been at full capacity for most of this last year. I need to get a lot of things done. Major cleaning of every room (curtains washed! Walls washed! Books dusted!). And finally address the basement. I've started this last month on a few small projects (closets, pantry) but I need to get more gung-ho and focused. In theory I can lift things now! This is good.

  3. MY MENTAL LIFE: Revisit online learning, do more jewelry-making, make interesting photo sets, etc. I think I have done all the idle Facebook reading I can handle, now. It was PERFECT while I was recovering. Tiny bites of sort-of interesting stuff, read or ignore at will. But my nights need to be a little more fun and productive. I certainly won't be leaving Facebook, but I plan to moderate my usage. Very little during the day, only a bit at night.

  4. MY MEDICAL LIFE: Eat better, exercise, try to get blood sugar way down. Breathing is a good idea. Will try to make sure it happens. I will think about getting a second opinion on sternum options, but maybe mid-year. Not soon. Try to cook better food. Not sure where the inspiration will come, there, but I will try. Keep wearing my FitBit, using LoseIt, tracking everything. Gamify where possible!

  5. MY FINANCIAL LIFE: I am one year away from only having student loan debt left. I will make that happen. If I get a raise, maybe it will happen a month sooner. Once it's gone, I will power down on the student loans. Ideally I'd like a new car in 2016, so maybe the current car can not break? That would be swell.

  6. MY SOCIAL LIFE: Continue as usual. I like my friends. They like me. I will go back to family gathering this summer too. Etc. Try to get out to Western Mass more. Hang with S&V.

  7. MY FRIVOLOUS LIFE: Nail art, funky glasses, silly jewelry, fun accessories. These things bring me tiny smacks of amusement throughout my day. That is good! More pedicures.

    That's every aspect, right? Oh, wait.

  8. MY WORK LIFE: Patrick and I had a little chat tonight about how we'd like to be less negative and less stressed at work. So, that. Try to steer the lunch conversation with our bitter colleagues to complaints about CNN coverage or something. I want to also be way more productive. I am capable of a lot more than I've been doing (especially the last four months) so I'd like to crank it up a bit. Even if this isn't the company I want to retire from, this is the company I currently work for. I should be learning more and taking advantage of everything I can. It shouldn't be too hard, now that I'm getting better.

So that's the new year. We'll see how it goes!

it's a wrap

Jan. 2nd, 2015 11:39 pm
llcoolvad: (newer)
Another year ALREADY?

Although in many ways it feels like I have lived two or three years this year. But since most of it was boring or stressful, it doesn't feel like much was accomplished, so it feels like it should be no further into the year than mid September.

Glad to say goodbye to it, really. I didn't have the worst year ever, though. I mean, I had my worst health year ever, but the year my Dad died (11 years ago today) was a pretty shitty year. That was probably the worst. Hell, even a few years ago when I had a different health crisis and had to move out of my apartment, that was a pretty shitty year. A couple of years before when I had pneumonia and the goiter diagnosis and the eventual surgery, etc., not a great year. This one? Was scary a couple of times, and sad a couple of times, and definitely painful a lot, but wasn't the worst. I'm happy it's over, nevertheless.

2014 IN NUMBERS

In 2014 I had:
  • 1 endoscopy
  • 5 CAT scans
  • 20+ chest x-rays
  • 10 PT visits for my back and leg
  • 2 gallons (hyperbolically estimated) worth of blood tests
  • 30u of insulin per day because of high blood sugar
  • 1 episode of bronchitis that lasted about 6 weeks
  • 1 major surgery involving partial sternotomy filmed by Frontline crew*
  • 2 thoracentises (fluid drained from the lungs via a big-ass needle)
  • 2 EKGs
  • 1 echocardiogram
  • 1 pulmonary function test
  • 1 regular stress test
  • 1 invasive stress test which involves a catheter being inserted into the neck down into the heart
  • XX doctors' visits with not sure how many doctors
  • 2 wisdom teeth extracted
  • 1 root canal
  • 1 eye test where the eye doctor said there are a couple of "small bleeds" in my eye
  • 4 prescriptions for antibiotics
  • $165,911.70 charged to my insurance so far in medical bills
  • 18 pounds gained

    In 2014 I read/watched/wrote/took/attended/planted/had/socialized with/got/attained:
  • 39 books
  • 134+ movies
  • XXX hours of television
  • 26 blog entries
  • 630 photographs
  • 2 shows (Luka Bloom and The Book of Mormon)
  • 1 family reunion with 31 relatives
  • 4 flower-boxes on my porch for the first time
  • 1 4-day mini-vacation on the Cape
  • 3+ occasions of playing pinball
  • 2 trips to western Mass to hang with Suzanne
  • 1 fancy dinner with 2 college roommates who live on the west coast
  • 15+ new CDs (yay new music!)
  • 1 pedicure (first time!)
  • 2 surprise birthday parties (one at family reunion, one at P's house!)
  • 6 pairs of earrings at aforementioned birthday party
  • 1 robot (MINT!)
  • 2 weeks off for Christmas vacation
  • And finally, I managed to make it to 50

    The two sections pretty much balance each other out, I think. The crappy and the good. The health stuff vs. the fun stuff. Since hopefully the health stuff is resolving as much as it can**, maybe this new shiny year will have a lot less on the sucky side so the good side can totally overbalance it. Because I feel like I'm really due for a win!

    Asterisks within )
  • llcoolvad: (cold)
    Had a pretty decent couple of weeks. Started out stressed out about work things, since I had to make a couple of presentations to people I didn't know and who were all senior to me. Did ok. Patrick says I fidget in my seat when I present, which I didn't realize but am not really surprised by. When I used to teach college I would spend the entire three hour class pacing back and forth and waving my hands in the air. I'd get to the end of the night and I'd be completely exhausted. I even get up sometimes and pace when I'm on WebEx, so clearly I am a bursty sort. I don't know how to solve that. Maybe I'll just stop giving presentations! Yeah, that'll work.

    The department my group has been reassigned to had a huge organizational meeting this week in Colorado. There was the slightest possibility that I'd have to go, but thankfully (see: fidgeting) I didn't have to and my boss went. It was pretty much bosses and other key players (I am certainly too new to be a key player). They're finalizing our reporting structure soon (ish), so I guess eventually I'll find out who is above my boss. Currently we're going to be reporting directly to the new SVP with no one in between, but that will probably change as soon as they figure out who is in charge of the new group they're creating. Anyway, all is in flux. Which is surprisingly disorienting. Do we continue to attend the old group's team meetings? Do I have to tell my no-longer-overboss what I've been doing for the past few weeks? Will he give a rat's ass? Stay tuned!

    I got some public projects done this week, and was able to cc: my boss on some glossy thank yous from people, so that was spiffy. I still feel like I know nothing, but apparently some people know even less. I am the one-eyed king, I guess!

    Another good thing: FINALLY an ex-coworker of mine from the last job got a job offer somewhere else. She's gone on a couple of interviews, but this one was really quick. Interview was Thursday, job offer was today (Friday). SO HAPPY for her! I am ALL IN FAVOR of everyone leaving my old boss, and I will do whatever I can to make it so. I have been pep-talking her for months, proofed her resume and made some suggestions, helped her brainstorm her portfolio, and offered to be one of her references. Oddly, for this job they didn't call. Sometimes I suspect that they just want three names on record to prove that you know three people who will stand up for you. Everything else is just unnecessary. She was very pleased to give my old boss her notice. As was I! Such a good feeling. So long, clown!

    Thinking about going to Colorado anyway. My cousin lives in Boulder, and she has enthusiastically invited me to come and visit and offered to be my guide. My cousin is pretty swell, so I am giving it some thought. Maybe the end of April/beginning of May. I've never been to CO. Might be awesome!

    This weekend I should do my taxes and see what I owe because I have a largish expense on the horizon. Thursday is my endoscopy to see how things are going down the hatch: has my Barrett's* stayed status quo-ish, or has something changed? Good times. Especially since I still have $900 or so to go to meet my deductible, and then I pay 20% of everything after that (up to $4k after the deductible). Looking forward to seeing how much an endoscopy is going to cost me.

    Hopefully it's a huge waste of money telling me my esophagus looks spiffy and fine. I'd like that. Terms like "premalignant" are disturbing. I'd like the pre part to continue to be there, however. I only vaguely recall my last endoscopy. I recall being wheeled into the room, someone saying "swallow! swallow!" and then waking up feeling grumpy. Procedures suck. Espcially expensive ones.
    ______

    Updates from previous entry: the notebook stayed on the floor in my coworker's cube for a bit over three weeks. And then, one day, it was on his shelf. Sad trombone.

    And, finally, my review was excellent—as excellent as a review can be on three months' of performance. Got a raise, but it was prorated so much that it was laughable (seriously: 0.66%! that is a tiny amount of money no matter what you make unless you make CEO pay). But they kept me and my boss is happy with me, so that's good. Now it's another year before I get another shot at a raise. But I am still making more than I would have been at the old job, and I'm learning tons of new things. It's all good.

    * Wow, maybe don't click that link. The image is kinda gross.
    llcoolvad: (cold)
    When will February end? Seriously. It's the longest damned month. The calendar is a big fat liar. It is apparently: American Heart Month. Library Lovers Month. Black History Month. Children's Dental Health Month. National Cherry Month. National Embroidery Month. National Grapefruit Month. National Snack Food Month. National Wild Bird Feeding Month. Responsible Pet Owners' Month. I can get behind any of that. Those all sound great. But can they all be over already? I think I'm going to have to use a few of my precious vacation days next month, because bleah. I guess if I lived in the southern hemisphere it would probably be July or August that I hated. But I don't live there, so fuck you, February.

    Next week is my review. My boss tells me it's all good, she's really happy with where I am, my progress, etc. So that's good. We'll see if it means more money. That would also be good. Patrick tells me that it will be prorated, since I've only been here six months. Well, that's still something. It's a stupid policy, because it's a whole year until the next raise, but they could give me nothing and it would still be a whole year until the next raise, so I guess if I get any cash it's all good.

    I have been kind of moving right along lately at my job. I keep tackling problems and solving them. P tells me I've been good in a couple of his meetings. Feeling ok about all of it. I am enjoying the actual work. There are a lot of political maneuverings and machinations all around me, but so far it doesn't really involve me. I have a friend there (not P) who's in the thick of it and so I hear all about it from her, but we're in different groups so I am mostly insulated from it.

    I have been very appreciative of the "no micromanaging" policy of my company, especially lately. When I started my boss told me that as long as the work gets done, no one is terribly bothered by clock-punching or facetime, and that I should just use my best judgement about things. I have used this rather liberally lately, as the weather has been terrible. Why should I go out on the roads and risk anyone's life if I don't have to? And it's fine. At my last job, it was a constant battle and stress and anxiety, but here it's nothing. I don't even have to tell anyone. I just stay home and log in and work. There's a guy who sits behind me that hasn't been in for almost two weeks now, and I don't think anyone other than me has noticed. (He has kids, it's school vacation. Pretty sure that's the reason.)(I've mostly noticed because about three weeks ago he dropped a bright green notebook on the floor in his cube, and despite being in a couple times, didn't bother to pick it up. Every day that I walk in past it I notice it, so I'm sort of tracking how long before it's off the floor. Secretly I hope he never picks it up. Statement of slobbishness or ennui? I choose ennui.)

    SO basically work is good. I just wish I could get my shit together at home. Practically every single night looks like this: leave work sometime between 5:30-6:30. Pick up something at a store, usually for mother. Come home, make dinner. Eat dinner, tidy up. Do chore (sometimes trash, sometimes laundry, sometimes just load the dishwasher). Turn on desktop computer and tv, zone out playing FreeCell and reading the internet and watching tv. Phone alarm reminds me to go to bed. Get in bed with iPad, catch up on Words with Friends and Scramble with Friends. Read a bit of my current book. Sleep.

    I seriously need to do more! I have somewhere between four and five hours of non-chores time after work before sleep, and I'm not using it productively at all. No jewelry making, no walking, no elaborate house cleaning, no organizing, no projects. Nothing! If nothing else I should get some more damned sleep.

    Well, at least I can manage that last one tonight.
    llcoolvad: (cold)
    Not a lot going on. Last week we had to postpone the coworker get-together because of snow, so I just had my Jenn dinner last Thursday for social stuff. We went to a newish restaurant near my work, the Yard House, and ate lots of nummy things like deviled eggs and truffle fries and appetizer tacos. I even had a drink!

    Took a sick day on Monday because I hadn't been feeling well all the prior weekend, and the Marketing department that I'm now apparently a part of had their monthly meeting, and I guess my site was the main topic of discussion. Great. I missed it. So it threw me into a tizzy of working extra all week, trying to justify my existence. I scheduled a meeting with some of the key players and my boss on Friday because I figured I should just face the music and see what is going on, and apparently I did a really good job during the meeting and my boss was happy with me and pleased with all the stuff I'd already done. Whew. I am not sure if I was worried for nothing, or if my week of extra work and diligence pulled my ass out of the fire. Apparently I know some stuff and sound like I know some stuff, so maybe that's enough.

    Tuesday was the work people get-together. We all get along pretty well so it was a fun night of a lot of laughing. Went to Longhorn's and ate lots of steak and dessert. This hasn't been the best week for my "make better choices" resolution. Because then the girl scout cookies rolled into work, also. Ah well. There's always next week.

    Did a few other chores-type things this week. Got a new tire for my car after realizing that the low tire pressure idiot light was actually correct and my tire wasn't complaining about the cold, it was actually not holding air anymore. Managed to dispute a parking ticket online (dunno about the success of it, yet, but at least I tried!). Collected all my tax information except one W2. This year I'll have three: one two-week period with my old company, almost 8 months with the company that bought my old company, and 4 months with the new company. I have all but the two week period (OF COURSE). I also have all three proof of medical coverage forms, and my student loan interest paid form, and info about my 401k loan. Just waiting on the two week W2. Would like to file to see how much I owe. Because this year I will definitely owe.

    Mailed a package to California on the 9th of January, and watched it travel to Springfield, then New Jersey, to Cali, back to New Jersey, to Springfield, back to New Jersey, and finally to CA again, arriving at its final destination on 1/29. And the Post Office wonders why people get so pissed off at them. 20 days? Very glad I got tracking and insurance on it. That's pretty infuriating. And why all the touring? Christ.

    Did very little today. Slept as late as I could, but was awakened by a text at 9:54 so had to give up then. Had lunch, grocery shopped, put some windshield washer fluid in my car (I realized that I had thought I'd go to Jiffy Lube today partly because I needed fluids topped off, and then I thought that was a really dumb reason and bought fluid myself. Geez, woman, get a grip), came home and put everything away, and just slumped in bed reading for the rest of the afternoon. Lots of rest. I still feel sick, however, and would like to take a month off and hide under my covers*. I have a doctor's appointment scheduled for Monday. Not because I'm not feeling well—my doctor's office calls me every six months or so and prods me to come in for bloodwork and such. But the timing is handy! I'm sure his prescription will be to go to bed earlier, eat healthier food, exercise, and drink more water. Sigh. BUT IT'S FEBRUARY! I don't do well with those things in February.

    My real goal for this month is to survive it by drugging myself with television and fiction. As I do every February. And ok, I'll try to drink more water and sleep more. But I make no promises. March will get here eventually.

    Off to hibernate!

    * Actually, I'd like to take a month away from my actual life and go somewhere where I don't know anyone and don't have any obligations, and just read books and wander around taking photographs and having nice lunches. Preferably somewhere with sunshine and excellent food, and perhaps with free massages. Because dear god, I seriously need massages.
    llcoolvad: (cold)
    Fairly ordinary couple of weeks. Busy at work, but I feel like I am in a classic "two steps forward, one step back" pattern, so that's not mentally encouraging. My boss was in a casual conversation with the new head of Marketing about me and what I'd been doing, and the head of Marketing said something like "Oh, we should have a win there, maybe by February?" But with no indication what a "win" would consist of. I guess something that would be visible, that could be released to the company at large? I dunno. So I am quietly sweating that. I was going to try to work some extra this weekend, but I just don't feel like it.

    Had a couple of fun social things, with a couple more coming this week. Hung out with Stephen and Val a couple weekends ago, which was good. Hadn't seen them in a couple of months so it was good to catch up. They have a giant 3D television that they were showing me, and I have to admit, it's pretty cool! You have to wear glasses, still, but they're fancy electronic glasses and the effect is pretty darn good. Probably not something I'd be willing to spend the dosh on anytime soon, but neat to know it exists. Apparently there is a whole section of 3D things you can watch when you have FIOS. Pretty cool.

    Last night I went to Arisia, our largest local science fiction convention. I didn't go to actually attend the con, but to see people. My college science fiction club, fondly known as UMSFS, was having a 50th anniversary party. First up, however, I got to have dinner with Suzanne and two of my college roommates (a married couple). They moved to California a bunch of years ago, so it had been a really long time since I'd seen them. Really fun to hang out with them all night. When we were roommates, their son was born. He's now a junior in college! God I'm old.

    We headed to the party after, and I got to see a bunch of people that I also hadn't seen in decades (and some I see all the time). Lots of them are Facebook friends, so your typical "What have you been up to?" question quickly proved to be kind of dumb, since I already knew who had kids, where they worked, and the kind of things they did for fun. But it was still good to catch up in person.

    There was an amusing picture of me with C., the other half of the married couple, sitting on my lap in the photo album that was being passed around. I hope they scan it, because I'd love to have a copy. I must be 24? 25? in it, because I'm not wearing glasses and I look pretty young. C. pointed out that in every picture of her in the album she is being dramatic and center-of-attentiony, and she said something like "I guess I was THAT girl." Interesting to look back and glimpse who you used to be! I guess that's what reunions are all about, really. Anyway, it was a fun night. I really should have gone to the convention this year, got a hotel room, all of that. It would have been fun to stay up super late and not think about home. But I left around midnight and slogged through the snow, found a $40 ticket on my car (says I was in a residential parking zone and I totally wasn't! I was in a metered spot! I'll have to go back in the daytime to take some better photos and then dispute it), and drove home.

    Next up is dinner with the new work crew on Tuesday. The company is having a big dress-up party at some yacht club on Thursday, but it's employee-only. No plus-one, which we all thought was stupid. So we're doing an alternate program with spouses invited, which means Patrick will bring Peter, and Charles will bring his wife, and the remaining three of us will blink quietly to ourselves (we're all single). Should be fun, though! Damn the man!

    Thursday night is dinner with Jenn. Not sure where we're going yet, but I always have a good time with Jenn.

    Three social things in a week is a lot of social things for me!
    llcoolvad: (cold)
    Thanks to Hercules, I haven't left the house since midday on Wednesday. Bought a few things at the grocery store and I've hunkered down since. I can work from home whenever, basically, so I did that. The landlord cleaned the majority of the snow off all the cars, but tomorrow (since it's supposed to make it into the 20s, temp-wise) I'll go out and do the rest on both my car and mom's.

    I'm also going to hang out with S&V tomorrow night; they have a place in Lynn, right along the water, so it should be pretty dramatic there in the aftermath of the storm. They showed a lot of impressive pounding surf footage on the news all day long from various beachfront locations, and Steve said that you could see his house in some of them. I didn't ask if the entire front of his house is encased in ice. I guess I'll find out tomorrow!

    It was cold enough out that I finally watched the final episode of "Treme" tonight, hoping it would make me feel warm. That worked, but I also spent the entire 80 minutes weeping that the show is now over and I'll never see new scenes from those characters. It was SO very good. Between "Treme" and the James Lee Burke "Dave Robicheaux" series, I feel almost like a New Orleans native. I guess I really need to at least visit there sometime. Take in the music and the food, beignets and etouffee and muffulettas and po'boys and gumbo and jambalaya.

    I've also spent the past few days watching the first 2.5 seasons of "Being Human"* (US version), which is fun in a vampires/werewolves/ghosts kind of way, but watching it all at once with no buffer of time makes you want to smack the characters a bit—stop making bad decisions!

    * Not to be confused with "Almost Human", which is way more fun but has only aired half a season.
    llcoolvad: (cold)
    So they finally found the REAL ACTUAL problem with the car. The power junction box had to be replaced; it was causing a short of some kind, so that when I used something like the rear defrost or the heat or something (they weren't sure which thing) it would cause a drain when the car was off. But only sometimes. They found it because I said "the only things I've been doing differently this week than the last time was that I used the rear defrost, used the seat warmer, and probably ran the heat some" and so they put everything on, then turned the car off and found the drain. Yay!

    The part cost $850. Boo!

    But in theory it's fixed. I guess we'll see. A week so far and everything is fine.

    Been busy at work. Happier with it. Got a bonus. They gave me a full actual bonus based on my annual salary, rather than a pro-rated this is how long you've worked so far bonus, so that was super nice and unexpected. I am using up my accrued vacation time the last week of the year (I have 39 hours, so between Dec 20 and Jan 1 I need to work 1 hour) so I am eagerly waiting for the next two weeks to pass.

    On the other hand, I probably should do some Christmas shopping for people before then. I bought mother a present and a couple of small things, and that's it. I spent pretty much all of my bonus already by fixing my car, so I need to wait til Friday for any serious shopping. I am determined to not use a dime of credit card money from here on out, maybe for the rest of my life if I can swing it, so everything will have to wait til after the 13th. I had planned to clean up the living room some and put up the tree this weekend but I just didn't get to it. I'll do it in stages after work this week.

    Going to see P's show on the 13th with Jenn; that should be fun. Jenn also picked us up tickets for The Book of Mormon for April, so that should be fun, too. ("Tickets? I love tickets!")

    I got nothing else, really. I have a yule log video on my other screen, so it's sorta soothing. I've been toggling mute on and off, because dear god, some of the music is dreadful. Vince Guaraldi is there, but so is Kenny G.

    Evidence that I am not exercising enough: I had to spend some time today picking out books to listen to at Audible because I had 12 credits stacked up and that felt wasteful. 12! So now I have 10 new titles, 2 credits in reserve, and no time to listen to books. The job requires too much of my brain to listen while I work, and the walking is cold and outside, and usually done with Patrick lately at lunchtime, so no listening options there. My commute is 15-20 minutes most days, so I won't get too far in any book. I'll have to give that a shot, though, because that's all I got.
    llcoolvad: (cold)
    And a week later and I feel much better about work. The very next day after I posted that last, my boss and I had our weekly meeting and she said how impressed she was with what I'd been doing. I held a shit-ton of meetings with people this week and they were all productive. I took on an additional project outside of my actual job, because it totally is the same as what I do, but for a separate group (sorta).

    So work is kinda good! I now have a metric buttload of work to do. METRIC BUTTLOAD. But being busy ensures that I won't have time to feel lonely or useless. Which is good.

    So in non-work parts of my life, I finally went to the eye doctor for the first time in a few years. I went to Patrick's eye doctor at his suggestion, and I love him. He's very soft spoken and nice, but has a funny edge and listened to my questions and answered them, unlike my old eyedoc who was basically an android who ignored me while quietly humming to himself. The end result is that my eyes are healthy, I only need to go once per year, and I got a new prescription. I got one new pair of glasses through his place, because hey, he's swell and I have an eye plan that pays for a lot of it and he should make some scratch off of me. Then I got one through Zenni Optical, which I'd been planning on doing for YEARS, but never got around to. My glasses from them arrived today and they're totally cute and they fit and the prescription is perfect. And hey, frames for $19.00! Of course I needed progressive lenses and I got antiscratch coating or something so they worked out to a little over $50, but cool backup glasses for $50? I might get a different pair for every day of the week!

    What else is new? I haven't been reading as much as I did this summer, when I was taking the train every day and read for a solid half hour each way, but I've been getting some reading in. I need to post my updated counts. I don't know if I can go back and review everything. Mostly I'd say "hey, this was pretty good!" about all of it, anyway.

    Oh, and the car. Sigh. The car. So I bought the damnable thing in May of 2010. Happy happy joy joy! 2007 Mazda 3. Cute! Really fun to drive! Then in December it needed a new battery. Ok. Probably it still had the original battery, and the car had over 60K on it, maybe that makes sense. Fine. AAA puts in a new battery with a warranty. There were subsequent jumps, not sure how many. At least two the following November, because I have printouts from them. Pretty sure some in between. Probably right around there I got a warranty replacement battery because it finally tripped a sensor to say bad cell. So, 1.5 years, two new batteries. Ugh. Definitely got another warranty battery in October of 2012, because again, I have the slip. AAA getting annoyed with me. "They can't all be bad batteries." etc. I can't afford to be without the car for long enough to get it diagnosed, however. (batteries #1, #2, and #3)

    May 2013, I get moved to new office in Boston. Car sits all week, because I am taking public transportation. Very first week I have to get it jumped.

    May 13, I have it towed in to the dealership. I figure ok, I don't need it for M-F, they can keep it all week and diagnose and fix the problem. Left it there for three days. "Nothing we can find. Sorry! We even checked with Mazda to see if they had any ideas. Nope." They charge up the battery. That should do it!

    June 10, dead again, back to the shop. Left it there three days. "Can't find any draws, starter is fine, diagnostics say everything is AOK. Must be the 'aftermarket' battery. We recommend a Mazda battery." Uh-huh. Ok, fine. Put in 3 year warranty battery. That should do it! (battery #4)

    July 30, dead battery. Dead dead. New battery put in under warranty. Found a corroded connector on the battery terminals. Cleaned that. That should do it! (battery #5)

    Stopped working Boston job end of August. Started driving car daily again.

    October 12, 92K on car, clutch craps out. Put in $1400 new clutch. Unrelated, but relevant to frustration level. Helpful "Full Circle Service Report Card" on back of expensive receipt gives battery a green and says 100% charge level! That should do it!

    November 5, dead cell in dead battery. Diagnosis, must be the battery was defective. Uh-huh. New battery put in under warranty. That should do it! (battery #6)

    November 20, 15 days later, car starts hard. Was the first really cold morning of the year, so while I had the dread sick feeling, the eternal optimist was all "oh, it'll probably be fine". Left work that night, car started hard. Ugh. Drove it extra, so it could charge up? Be warm? Mostly because I felt like if I performed the right series of rituals it would all be fine.

    November 21, car won't start. Battery not dead, but really drained (I could open the door locks and the dome light came on when I got in. When it's dead dead I can't do those things). Had towed to dealership. Told service guy if they couldn't find the problem this time and they tell me it's fine? They have to buy it. He laughed nervously.

    Phone call end of November 21: "We found two problems!" (I might have some of these details wrong, because I took the call at work and was slightly distracted, so don't hold me to this) Apparently my hood pin sensor (something) was disconnected, which told the car that the hood was open all the time and kicked on an idiot light while the car was off. I never noticed it??? Sounds unlikely. And something about the starter needed cleaning and adjusting, it made it start harder when it got jostled, and that is a known problem in Mazda 3s.

    IF IT'S A KNOWN PROBLEM, mightn't someone have thought of that back in MAY? When they supposedly contacted the mother ship who said no, no known issues with starting in Mazdas. (They probably asked if there were any known issues in battery draws so they missed the obvious?)

    ANYWAY, they think this time that they've got it for sure. The sensor light drained the battery enough that the starter issue kicked in. They reconnected the sensor and cleaned and adjusted the starter. They're keeping it overnight. Going to see how it is in the morning. That should do it!

    Can't wait to see if it makes it past three weeks, this time. Thankfully all of this shit (except the clutch) hasn't cost me much. Two batteries. One small diagnosis fee ($60). Whatever it costs tomorrow. And my blessed AAA membership. But the annoyance factor? I feel like I've aged 10 years!

    I don't plan on buying another Mazda after this one, which is a shame, because even with all of its problems, I heart it. I only have $5k left on the payments, universe. I've only had the car 3.5 years. It's only six years old. CUT ME SOME FREAKING SLACK!!

    So that's my week. How's yours?
    llcoolvad: (newer)
    This one's probably too dull to read, so feel free to move along!

    So this weekend, to distract myself from waiting, I did some deep cleaning — a lot of the stuff I've been procrastinating. My closet was a mess, and so I'd been putting closet stuff (bags, mostly) on the comfy chair next to the closet. Which means I've been sitting at my desk and not sitting in the comfy chair. It all needed to come out before I could sort it out, so the other night I just started by pulling everything out of the closet and piling it on the bed. Once I do that, I know I'll keep going, because otherwise I can't go to bed.

    I decided I was keeping a few things that I didn't need to keep, so I kept those out. Also I took some clothes out that are (temporarily) too small, and put them away. Always good to let the closet breathe a little. Took the giant IKEA bag filled with mother's shoes into her closet in her room. I hate bringing stuff into her room (since so much really should come out), but really, why should I live with them? And hooray, suddenly the chair and the closet were mine again.

    I had also been thinking about a few other problem areas, and I was determined to implement the solutions I'd devised. One is the linen "closet" — a series of shelves we have that hold all the sheets, towels, facecloths, pillowcases. The main problem is that mother has difficulty getting across the room to get to the towels, which we kept on the left of the unit. I keep my scale and my laundry basket usually right there, so she'd have to go around them. There's also the comfy chair and ottoman, making it slightly more obstacle course-y and she's not very spry. The rightmost column, which is closest to the door, had linens for the spare bed, the middle columns had linens for her bed, and the far left was all the towels and facecloths. I often leave a clean stack of towels and facecloths in the bathroom, but the cat is very good at knocking things down so that had to stop. How to solve the problem?

    So suddenly I had a DUH moment and realized if I just rearranged the stuff in the linen cabinet I could make her life a tiny bit easier. Move the sheets over to the far left, voila, room for the towels in the area closest to the door. Clean mother, no falling. Why didn't it occur to me to change it sooner?

    Another "think different" moment: a coworker bought herself a three-drawer filing cabinet recently. Not one with one file-sized drawer and two smaller drawers, but two full-sized filing drawers and one small drawer on top. She said it changed her life: she was so excited because 1. it locks, and she lives with busybody relatives, and 2. she has somewhere she can just dump receipts and mail until she's ready with it, and it's not all in the way. I suffer from a lack of surface space in my room, so I was instantly jealous and spent a couple of hours over the next few nights researching the filing cabinet options out there. I couldn't find one that I like, however, as to a unit they are all too shallow for my needs. I already have a stuffed full 2 drawer cabinet that is 28" deep. Most of these were 15" or 18". Nope, can't do it. Plus mine is nice, and these all seemed too cheap. I couldn't find an equivalent one, so I gather there is no market for this item. Most people either want four drawer tall filing cabinets, or ones that will fit under a desk. Anything in between is no go.

    All of that is the long way 'round, I'm afraid. So I was sad that I couldn't change my life, too. I was convinced that the only solution to my desk drifts was the three drawer filing cabinet. But again, a couple days ago, I had another aha! moment.

    *Hey, self, you ALREADY HAVE A DESK!*

    Um, yeah?

    *THE DESK HAS SIX DRAWERS!*

    Right, but each drawer has a task.

    *BUT YOU COULD COMBINE TASKS, and make one into a receipt/mail/deal with later drawer.*

    But...

    But...

    Wait, I really could, couldn't I!

    *DUH!*

    So I did that, too. And now I don't have to move things off the desk on work from home day! Genius. Except not, since it took me months to think of it. Christ. At least I didn't think of it AFTER I tried to buy something to solve a problem, rather than just repurposing something that was already fine.

    Back to waiting.
    llcoolvad: (newer)
    The blur of days is a little ridiculous, lately. I know I've worked some. Took most of last week off, however. Work does a floating holiday per year, and this year it was the day after the 4th; since I work from home Wednesday and took Saturday off, I got a nice long span of not going into the city. Which is really good, considering how hot it's been. Subway is gross in the heat. No really! I'm sure that's a shocker.

    I went to Patrick's as usual on the 4th, and as usual it was fun. No parade this year (I guess the Wakefield denizens didn't get their collective acts together), so we didn't have our usual alone time with the pool, but I went in anyway. Too hot not to! So swimming was had, food was eaten, and hanging out was done. Always fun to spend time with the fam. Was thinking about going in to town to see the fireworks from my office, since the view would be totally awesome, but was pretty fried from the day and just couldn't bestir myself. Spent Friday doing not much. So hot! Couldn't bear to leave the air conditioning, but did a little shopping and errand running.

    Saturday Patrick, Peter (Patrick's BF, who officially has won the Most Patient Boyfriend EVAR title), and I went to Marlboro for a gem and jewelry trade show, because yes, we are officially crazy. The event said cash only, so I took out a specific amount and spent all but $30 of that amount. And it was only my relative newbie-ness and lack of real skill that kept me from hitting the ATM and getting ALL THE THINGS. Several of the vendors were selling good quality semi-precious gems and stones, and man, as much as I love costume jewelry and beads, I could totally see myself getting into the good stuff. Every single time I was really drooling over a string of something it was inevitably over $100. Good move bringing a flat amount and not breaking it, Laurie! But of course, maybe by next year I will have upped my skill level and design capabilities and will talk myself into real stuff. AIEEEE!

    Sunday was again low-key. I went out briefly to pick up some storage containers for my bead hoard, and was able to effectively utilize Joann's Fabrics sale price matching to get the sale price they offered online only. Got four many-compartmented storage bins for $12 total, instead of the non-sale $24, so I felt better about at least some of the spending the day before. I spent the rest of the afternoon in blissful air conditioning cataloging and putting away the hoard. I feel compelled to track the cost of everything in a very detailed spreadsheet, so when I wear a necklace or something I can think to myself "self, these earrings took an hour to make and $4 worth of beads, and you look fab!". Also so if I ever decide that I am crazy and want to sell stuff I'll know how to price it. Also so I can say, "Hobby, you've cost me $xxx.xx so far, and I think you're worth it, maybe."

    Monday was Visit the Elderly Auntie day, and it was unexpectedly fun this time. She's normally a little professorial and a bit detached, but I think because she was still very sad about her brother's recent death and her own inability to make it to the memorial, this time she was extremely gossipy! Lots of interesting chatter about the family. My family doesn't have any REAL dirt, however. They're all pretty nice people. So this was more how she felt about so-and-so and who was kind of snobby, and like that. My main takeaway from this (and really from life in general) is that it doesn't matter how old you get: most people never really change much from when they're kids.

    Work has been extremely frustrating this last few weeks, and I'm still waiting to hear back to see if I make it to the next round in the interview process at the potential new place. P assures me that he believes I am one of the front runners and also assures me that the process is always extremely lengthy at this company. It's fine. I JUST HATE MY JOB AND WANT TO LEAVE NOW NOW NOW KTHXBAI.

    I visited my doctor last week, finally. First time since October. And I have gained 25ish pounds since October. Which I knew. Still, harsh to see. My numbers were all still good, and despite my many aches and such he didn't find anything in particular going on. He had my knee xrayed and had nothing to report beyond some osteoarthritis, which, duh. I probably need some other test, MRI or something. Because it still fucking hurts and I am pissed about it.

    But going to see him seems to have snapped me out of my eating obsession, somehow. I told myself that after the 4th I'd start up with my food tracking and see if I could knock back off some of these pounds, and I did start back and already I'm down three pounds. And, irritatingly, I feel a bit better. I hate it when I have to keep relearning this shit. I also picked up a new FitBit, because I totally lost my old one, and I've been trying to increase my numbers there, too. It looks like an average commuting day is about 6500 steps, which is not enough! And my home days are WAY too sedentary. Ow. My poor knee.

    I really need to see the eye doctor next, and I suppose I should pursue the knee thing further but the whole idea is exhausting. We'll see how much progress I make there, I guess.
    llcoolvad: (new)
    Not much going on around here. I've been somewhat productive thanks to lots of time trapped inside due to weather, but being trapped inside made me want to eat all the time, so I've lost most of the ground I gained since Jan. It's a roller coaster of joy, indeed!

    Things I managed to accomplish: Filed taxes, getting decent refund. Rearranged Mom's computer desk area, cleaned all around it, set up her new monitor (finally!). Took a few photographs of the storm and aftermath. Filed a bunch of papers away, set up new folders for new job, insurance, etc. and used them. Got all of the work compliance training done, finally. Did some scanning for Mom. Shoveled a lot of snow, was sore for a few hours after, then felt ok! Started to get the cat to enjoy being brushed. It's a process. He's a long-haired cat and he'll eventually require lots of maintenance.

    Been maintaining Inbox Zero at work, which in my case means I made a lot of folders and as soon as anything comes in I read it quickly and either delete it or toss it in a folder. If something needs doing, I try to do it right away. If I can't, I mark it as unread and leave it for the next day. So maybe that means I'm at Inbox One on occasion. But it feels good. The email there is overwhelming. 20-30 messages per day just of random corporate blather, in addition to all the normal stuff one gets. Now if only I could get my personal email under control.

    Spent a tiny amount of money this week. Newbury Comics was having a rare "buy two get one free" CD sale, so I indulged. New Richard Thompson! Handful of others. Balanced it out by writing out some checks to charity. Also used my firm "buy nothing — much" concept to keep myself from buying a lot of clothes at Lane Bryant and at Macy's. Too expensive. Made it easier to resist.

    Haven't done a lot of social stuff. Barely seen humans other than Mom — worked from home last week Wednesday, Friday AND Saturday, and only left the house for a few minutes on Saturday to run to the convenience store. Sunday I helped shovel out the cars. Monday I went to the mall for a short walk and to buy the CDs, plus I got a pair of pants at Macy's. Ate lunch at Qdoba, then back home. Today was work, then home. Tomorrow is work from home, then out to dinner with Jenn, Patrick, and Peter.

    My elderly aunt who lives in Bridgewater lost power Friday night, and didn't get it back until Monday. Somehow she got her heat back on Sunday. She was without heat from late Friday until midday Sunday, so that freaked us out. She wouldn't go to a shelter; I had decided I'd go down and get her on Monday if things hadn't improved, but when the heat came back on we all relaxed (she lives in a condo, no idea what her heat is). She told us she spent the time in bed and was perfectly warm. Still, if her health hadn't been improving lately, that could have turned out a lot differently. Next time I will drive down there and forcibly put her in the car, if I have to. I am grateful for cell phones. She complained about trying to read by flashlight, so Mom came up with the idea that she should get her a Kindle for her birthday on Thursday, the backlit kind. So I ordered that for her last night, and she'll have it tomorrow (how much do I love Amazon Prime? So much). Yay! Hopefully she'll never have another power outage ever and will never need it.

    And that's all the news.
    llcoolvad: (new)
    Had a week. Went to PT a few times. One time involved a kinda painful deep tissue massage on the inside of my leg and knee, so that sucked because it hurt for four days after, but then it started to feel better overall. Also am doing my stretching exercises. Picked up three more exercises, now have to do six, three times each, two times per day. Sheesh! Apparently you have to stabilize the hips and ankles to make the knees better, so that's sorta interesting. And also interesting because my hip hurts a bunch anyway.

    Managed to get a few things done when I had some energy last Wednesday. Lots of housework, moving of air conditioners, laundry, organized the closet finally, etc. Hung out with P for a bit watching Revenge. Sunday he and I went over to Stephen and Val's for dinner, which was fun.

    Exercise Oct 2-Oct 9:
    Tue: Walking 20 min (started to rain!); Fitbit logged 5,000 steps
    Wed: Nothing; Fitbit logged 4,500 steps
    Thu: Walking 30 min; Fitbit logged 8,400 steps
    Fri: Walking 10 min, weight lifting 45 min; Fitbit logged 5,500 steps
    Sat: Walking 50 min; Fitbit logged 10,400 steps
    Sun: Walking 60 min; Fitbit logged 11,400 steps (and 32 flights of stairs! thanks, Breakheart!)
    Mon: Nothing; Fitbit logged 2,500 steps
    Tue: Walking 55 min; Fitbit logged 10,300 steps

    HATED exercising all week, right up until I went back outside and walked on Saturday, and then again on Sunday at Breakheart. I do much better outside. Was exhausted on Monday, no idea why. Barely did the food shopping, otherwise was pretty comatose all day; finished reading a book. Maybe the excitement of two days in a row walking did it. Didn't even go to weight lifting. Turns out it was probably for the best, as I found out today at PT that one of the things I do regularly at the gym is a very bad idea for someone with my back issue, so I will now stop doing that thing! I have a new thing I can do, so that's all good.

    Yesterday I managed to get my walk done at lunch, again back outside. I was feeling pretty pokey and slow, however, feeling every ache and creak. PT told me to take it slower while the knee is getting better, but I don't know if I'd be able to speed along right now anyway. Can't tell if it's physical or mental, this malaise. Hope it hits the road soon!

    Last week I decided to email the director of my YMCA to thank her for running a good facility. I pointed out a few specific things that I really appreciated, like my class and the pool with full time lifeguards, etc. I got a nice email back from her in which she told me that most of the email she gets involved requests or suggestions for improvement, so getting my email made her day. That was nice! And then it would seem that my good karma came back to me in the form of a weekly win in my LoseIt/YMCA challenge (the Hometown Wellness Showdown, which I have been participating in): a $50 gift card to New Balance! Cool timing.

    I logged into LoseIt today and saw a banner across the page suggesting that I upgrade to "premium", and that the upgrade was on sale for $14.99 down from I think $39.99. Since I've been using them for over a year for free and have lost about 85 pounds almost directly due to them, I decided that upgrading was a good thing even if I didn't use any new features. They deserve the cash! If an app is good I usually upgrade. They just didn't ask me to until now. Looks like the new features are interesting, so I'll have to explore that.

    I also bought the Humble Bundle today. I only had one of the books already, and it's good to feed the authors and donate to charity. I paid $25, although they'll accept any amount. Now I'll just have to up my reading pace to get through them all.

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