Posted in etcetera

lesson learned from misadventures with a mystery ailment

I penned these earlier this year after several hospital/doctor visits. (You know me: always trying to help as either a good example or, failing that, a horrible warning. 😉

– It is creepy as all get out when your nurse wears black scrubs.
– You never want to hear a trainee nurse say, “Uh oh” when she’s trying to insert an IV.
– If you want to be ignored, summarize your problem to your doctor as “it feels funny.”
– Don’t be afraid to ask a hospital staff member to repeat him or her self.
– When you receive your bills – and there will be more than one – sit down before you open them. It might be a good idea to have a paper bag on hand to breathe into.

Posted in etcetera

I wrote this today for my “inspirational” blog, and I decided to share it here.

some rain, some shine

Our fourth grade spelling bee had begun, and I was excited because, while I was awkward in many areas, I considered myself an above average speller. Finally, here was an activity where I could shine.

My first turn came, and the teacher announced my word, including it in a sentence for clarity. “Its. As in, ‘The car dropped its transmission.'”

Alright, an easy one! I thought. I spelled the word with confidence. “I-T-apostrophe-S.” Without another look at me, the teacher turned to the next person on the other team and repeated the word, indicating that I was incorrect.

Eliminated from that round, I took my seat, stunned to discover that I was wrong and embarrassed at having missed such a seemingly simple word.

That loss made such an impression on me that to this day I remember *clearly* that its, when possessive, does NOT have an apostrophe. (I’ve come…

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Posted in 2long2twitter, etcetera, feelings

not just the facts, please

This morning, the radio morning show team was discussing noticing details, as in, men noticing little details like women want them to. One guy said that he knows to comment to ladies, “Did you get a haircut?” The other guy DJ replied that when people say that to him, he’s thinking, “Obviously, I did,” so he’d prefer they not say it. The first guy insisted that women like that, though.

I feel compelled to weigh in on this critical matter. I don’t claim to speak for all women, but personally, I *don’t* want to hear some generic statement of fact such as, “Oh, you got a haircut.” (I compare it to pointlessness of telling someone, “Oh, you’re wearing a blue shirt.”) Simply stating the fact that a haircut has occurred is what you say when you know they know that you know they got a cut and are looking for approval – but you don’t approve.

What I would prefer is, if you notice a change and like it, please say something along the lines of, “New haircut? I like it!” If you don’t approve, just don’t say anything… and try not to stare in horror at the ‘do for too long.

Posted in etcetera, feelings

Is it any wonder?

I’m working on my year-in-review questions (to post at the end of the month) but in the mean time, here are some of the things currently occupying my thoughts.

  • My sore throat. It started having that about-to-be-sore feeling yesterday, and today, yep, it’s sore. Plus, I’ve got the chills – they’re multiplyin’ 😉 – so I’m pretty sure I’ll have this crud for at least a few more days. I’ve got several theories on where it came from but the one I lean toward the most is that I caught a cold a few days as I stood in a misty rain at 41 degrees while waiting for a certain airline to return my carry-on bag. :glares in that city’s direction:
  • My job situation. We’ve been having a lot of (unpaid) time off for the last month or so, sometime for a whole week. The boss hasn’t said anything definite about the future, but I don’t think it’s looking good. He’s supposed to meet with a bigwig next week to discuss the upcoming schedule, and if he can get a straight answer, I figure he’ll let us know something then. The thing is, today I found a good job opportunity, and I’m thinking of going ahead and applying. But what if the new place wanted to hire me, and the boss is all, “We still need you”? But what if I wait, and next week the boss is all, “We don’t need you,” but I’ve missed the only opportunity I’ll find for weeks?
  • “Too much time on my hands.” As noted above, I have no work to do for weeks at a time. However, I’ve discovered that my part-time website hobby does *not* make for a good full-time diversion. Although I now have time to accomplish some major overhauls, most of the “ambitious” website projects that I had on my To Do list are already done, and I’m just not interested in working on the other ones that I can currently think of. Just to have something to do, I’ve been volunteering to write short episode recaps for another site… but then I get slightly annoyed when I see that the webmistress there is not posting them as quickly as I’d like. I try to tell myself, “Hey, not everyone has as much time off as you do,” but then I pout, “Well, it’s not like it’s that hard to post.” Sigh. I’m wondering, even if I don’t apply for the job posting mentioned above, if I should seek out some part-time work, just to have something to do. But that idea leads only to a string of questions: What should I apply for? What would I want to do? Would they even hire me? “Is it any wonder I’m not a criminal?”
  • Other. My sister’s job search is frustratingly fruitless – as are my mother’s repeated visits to clinics and doctors to find the cause behind the consistent pain in her side. I’m seriously thinking of telling Jeff that we should see each other less. Why do my Facebook friends hate mirror shots so much, when that’s the only way I can look halfway decent? In much better news, our church choir was invited to sing at our city’s Christmas tree lighting at the court house square; we went last night, and although we had only about twenty of our members show up, I thought it went very well.
Posted in etcetera, follow-up

those things I do, 2011 edition

Because the last four posts are all about badness which is *happily* not representative of my day-to-day, I’d like to share some of the other things that have been keeping me busy. I…

am still employed. Right after the last post, I found a great opportunity. Out of respect, before applying, I went ahead and casually but directly asked my boss, “You keep pointing out how we don’t have much work; should I go ahead and be putting out feelers for other jobs?” He basically said that things weren’t quite that dire, and that if I left they’d have to replace me. So, although our outlook past September 30 is uncertain, I decided to stick with them. I mean, they gave me a chance when no one else would; the least I can do is hang around as long as they need me.

encourage/nag my sister to continue her job hunt. She had her first real interview last week, and it sounds like it went well, although the lady said she had ten to fifteen other people to talk to. A decision was supposed to be made “in two weeks.” :crosses fingers:

sweltered in the heat working in my mom’s yard. With the tree damage from the tornadoes, our yard work was already impacted, but then we lost another month trying in vain to get our old riding lawn mower repaired. Plus, for weeks at a time it was either raining or it felt like 100 degrees outside. Thankfully, the rain finally eased off (and slowed the growing) and we got another mower last week. Considering all the challenges, I’d say the yard already looks pretty good. If the weather would cooperate, it would look great.

spend a lot of time making sure the neighbor’s dog is not in my mother’s yard. Yes, she’s just a puppy (a big puppy), but after seeing a little dog kill one of our kittens two years ago, you’ll excuse me if I’d rather keep the canines at bay.

remain in a very neutral place with my so-called boyfriend. Yeah, nothing really new to say about that. August 5 was the six-year anniversary of our first date. I don’t think we’re going to make it another six.

transcribed a couple of episodes of my favorite old TV shows. After that huge transcript site suddenly shut down, some of the other Scarecrow and Mrs. King fans and I decided to pool our efforts and replace the scripts. I plan to finish my second episode this month, and I’ve discovered that transcribing is right up my alley. When I like a show, I can watch it over and over. Plus, I like to think of the process – listening to a line of dialogue and then attempting to type it – as a good mental exercise.

continue to work on updating my websites. I recently finished the last of my “really ambitious” layout overhauls, and now I hope to move on to the less ambitious but more numerous content updates.

Posted in etcetera, feelings

way too close for comfort

As you may have heard by now, last Wednesday Alabama was hit with several tornadoes. The area my apartment is in didn’t have any damage, so Thursday morning, I had no idea how bad things were in some places. I got up as usual, got ready, and went on to work. When I arrived at work I found that our phone and internet weren’t working. So, I turned on my cell phone (um, yeah, I don’t leave it on all the time, because it’s rare that anyone calls) and found a message from the boss that we wouldn’t be working that day.

I locked up the office and headed on toward Mom’s. Traffic was backing up big time on the highway, and I noticed that every gas station I passed had people lining up at the pumps. Still clueless as to the extent of the damage, I wondered if everyone had heard of an impending price increase, or something.

When I got to Mom’s place, I saw that she had nine big trees down, but praise the Lord none of them hit anything, except for one that leaned over onto the barn. (If one of the biggest ones had fallen five feet to the right it would’ve crushed our best storage shed.) Also at Mom’s, the power and the phones were out and had been since 4:30 pm the day before. Power was also out in the city of Huntsville: hence gas stations couldn’t pump, so people were scrambling into neighboring areas to buy gas.

The fam visited my apartment for meals from Thursday to Sunday. They tried sleeping over on Friday night, but I don’t think any of us got much sleep. We’re not used to people being in the same room, plus the foam mattress they’d brought to sleep on wasn’t too comfortable.

Saturday morning we all rode over to Mom’s to feed the cats. We planned to work in the yard picking up some of the bed of twigs that had fallen in the storm. When we got to Mom‘s, there were five or six pickup trucks in the drive and 10-15 people standing around! We pulled in and someone in a truck pointed us to Mom’s next door neighbor. They were volunteers there to help clean up and they’d already cut up the tree that had been blocking our driveway, and were asking about cutting up the others. We were like, “Whatever you want to do is fine with us!” (They had been concerned about making tracks in the yard with their tractors.) Those guys stayed about three hours, cutting up the trees and moving the logs into a pile. I helped two ladies drag some of the lighter branches into the piles.

Oh, and one of the guys that was working in the yard said that the tornado destroyed a house and a church that are CLOSE to mom’s place, I mean, maybe as close as 1/4 of a mile! That same tornado left a trail of destruction several miles long and nearly half a mile wide in some places. They say that chunks of several different cities look like war zones. The destruction is so bad in places south of here that even long-time residents of the area can’t recognize what street they’re on! With that in mind, we’re not at all complaining about losing just a few trees and being slightly inconvenienced by the loss of power.

When the workers were done, I was just so awed and grateful that all of those people took their time to come and help us. Some of them worked for our neighbor’s son (he has a construction business), but some of them were just members of a large church from the next county who decided to get together and go out and volunteer to help cleanup. We actually felt kinda bad that they did so much. It would’ve been more than enough if they’d only cleared the trees that affected our drive, and then they could’ve left the ones that were just out in the yard and went on to help somebody that really needed it. Still, every time I think of it, I’m just so thankful, and I’m so proud of the people who share my community. Say what you want about the South: I truly wouldn’t live anywhere else.

Posted in etcetera, feelings, follow-up

six billion people to choose from, and he calls me again!

Ray, The Ex Who Will Not Go Away, tried to call me again yesterday. And having said that, I can save a lot of time in this post by pointing you to the July 25, 2010 entry with the similar title and the same situation, because it all still applies. I’m still absolutely boggled as to what makes this guy keep calling me.

The only difference is that the last time, he sounded friendly and upbeat, as if him calling me was the most natural thing in the world — and not a notion so inexplicable, so completely far-fetched that even the most Insane Troll Logic would stop and say, “Wait, maybe this is a bad idea…” This time he sounded a bit forlorn in his brief, quiet, “Anne, this is Ray. Call me.” Um, yeah, he had a better chance with upbeat, because sad and moody I had *more* than enough of in the year before we parted ways.

And at this point it’s been over ten years that we broke up. Over! Ten! Years! Some people may think, “Oh, you should be flattered! You still have a hold on him after all this time!” Believe me, the *only* thing that has a hold on him is that he wants what he doesn’t have. True to form, when he had me, he didn’t want me.

Obviously, he still doesn’t have even the tiniest clue how positively miserable I was during the last part of our so-called relationship, or he would understand what a waste of time it is for him to even think about me, much less call.

I made a note of his number, and I’m actually thinking of calling and telling him in no uncertain terms to forget about me. I’d love to say the line I thought up after he called whenever-it-was years ago, “You didn’t call me all those times I wanted you to, so stop calling me now.” I could explain that all those tears I cried must’ve washed him right out of my heart, and I could finish with, “I’m still dating that guy I told you about five years ago, but even if I wasn’t – even if you were the Last Man on Earth! – I still would not be with you.”

Then again, this is a guy who just doesn’t seem to get what I’m trying to convey. With his track record, I suspect that if I did call him, even if just to tell him not to call, he’d somehow be encouraged by that. :boggles, yet again:

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to see whether my mom’s phone bundle includes the call blocking service.

Posted in etcetera, feelings

let the punishment *so* not fit the crime

My sister was sent home on Monday from her job at the grocery store. Apparently someone had seen her take the seven(!) spare(!) pennies(!) that were left on her cash register. When they asked her about it, she was caught off guard, I guess, because she denied doing it.

At that, the manager switched into super-righteous mode and was all, “I didn’t expect that you’d LIE about it! This changes everything!” He told her to call back to see if she still had a job. She called Monday evening; the manager said that he hadn’t decided, and she should call back the next morning. So she did, and he *still* hadn’t decided. (We’re thinking, “Now, Bruce, don’t hurt yourself with all of this Deep Pondering.” :rollseyes:)

So this was Tuesday, and he said that he’d call her back that evening. But he didn’t. That’s right: HE lied… but I suspect that the irony was lost on him. When my sister tried to call on Wednesday, she learned that he was off. He would be in at noon today, so she went to the store to ask him face to face.

She’s fired.

I really can’t believe it. She’s been with them since 2002 and has an exemplary record. To be let go over something like this is really out-of-the-blue. And for that manager to drag it out like that – when I’d previously thought him to be so professional – well, now I can only see him as a childish game player.

My mom had worked for the same place (although, do you still call it “work” when they go for weeks at a time without putting her on the schedule?), but she quit over the way they did my sister. Mom insists that they’ve been trying to get rid of them both for a while now, and I can no longer tell her she’s just being paranoid. Needless to say we’ll no longer be shopping at… Rhymes-With-Schmublix. If they’re one of the nation’s top 100 employers, I’d sure hate to see the worst!

Posted in etcetera

photo by number

Because I don’t have much to report – work is very slow, free time is very busy working on a certain website overhaul – I’m posting the links and stats of my most popular photos, as ranked by flickr. (Note: since I filled up my free flickr account in 2008, I’ve been posting the newest pictures at my other photo gallery, and I’m not sure that the new site ranks views, alas.)

Without further ado, here are direct links to each picture, the description I wrote for the pic, the number of views as of minutes before this posting, and the date the pic was posted to flickr.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/box47/2356605322/
The pond and the skyline in downtown Huntsville, Alabama.
320 views since being posted on 3/23/2008

http://www.flickr.com/photos/box47/2429937206/
… and this is what I actually look like with chin length hair. I decided on this ‘do after seeing a picture of Mariska Hargitay in next week’s issue of TV guide (page 30, I think).
93 views since being posted on 4/20/2008

http://www.flickr.com/photos/box47/2429937188/
At work, I was finally given double monitors, and OOH, are they nice! (Hmm, you think the higher-ups will expect this to double my productivity?)
90 views since being posted on 4/20/2008

http://www.flickr.com/photos/box47/2429937210/
This is the back of my new haircut. (And there’s my trademark for this type of shot: a closeup of my hair at one side.)
77 views since being posted on 4/20/2008

http://www.flickr.com/photos/box47/2412198806/
At one end of Bridge Street Town Center there is a Westin hotel.
70 views since being posted on 4/13/2008
[W Hotels Fan added this photo to their favorites. (31 months ago)]

http://www.flickr.com/photos/box47/2355756065/
The swank fountain mentioned in p032208a can be seen near the center of this shot. This swank canal runs into the fountain pool. (They pretty much tried to “swank” up the whole area.)
48 views since being posted on 3/23/2008

http://www.flickr.com/photos/box47/2412198802/
Watch out for the spurty fountains!
42 views since being posted on 4/13/2008
[Similar Bridge Street pix had about the same number of views.]

http://www.flickr.com/photos/box47/1992904534/
Of the 20 or so pictures I took of the Houston skyline – most of them from a distance – this one is my favorite.
32 views since being posted on 11/12/2007

http://www.flickr.com/photos/box47/2327281789/
This is my after-the-haircut shot. I got an inch trimmed off the bottom layer(s), and the dear beautician attempted to style my hair.
30 views since being posted on 3/11/2008
[Similar hair pix had about the same number of views.]

http://www.flickr.com/photos/box47/2546841528/
I took this shot the day I discovered that they’d painted the local Wal-Mart orange. o.0
29 views since being posted on 6/2/2008

http://www.flickr.com/photos/box47/2737073162/
This is my favorite picture so far of my latest haircut.
26 views since being posted on 8/5/2008