Thursday, September 28, 2006

What's Your Personality Type?

You Are An ENFP

The Inspirer

You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.
You are also unconventional, irreverant, and unimpressed by authority and rules.
Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.
You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're qutie the storyteller!

You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.

NEVER EVER, NEVER EVER...

am I going to leave "a" alone at a dentist office!!! NOT EVER!

5-Year-Old Coma Victim Dies At Hospital - became comatose after visiting dentist

How much have you changed in the past 10 years?

You've Changed 68% in 10 Years

Compared to who you were ten years ago, you've changed a great deal.
In fact, you're probably in a completely different phase of your life - and very happy about it!

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Educator

OK - so Saturday night went MUCH better than expected.

He was sweet, attentive, funny, ok - a little goofy, kind and considerate. We ran the gamut of having a serious conversation to him doing his impressions of Scooby Doo - Grover - The Jetson's dog (name?) - etc... plus, believe it or not - there was even a little spark when he reached out and started to hold my hand before our dinners even arrived.

He has been teaching middle school science for the past 16 years - and his second job is working at a group home for disabled adults.

Other than crooked teeth (which would be why he had such a grim look in all his photos which had me expecting worse) - no red flags yet.

He is being a little aggressive - although when I told him that it was important to me to find someone who wasn't just a date, but also a friend. He picked right up on that. But, I still want to take my time to get to know him before we run head-long into a relationship. Him - he's already talking about how at our six month anniversary he's going to remind me that I wore a skirt - high heels - and the pretty purple coat - ? so, the part of me afraid of commitment is going - ACK! what???!!! Six months???!!! silly me, it's not that I don't want to find someone who'll be around for a while or anything. That's actually what I'd really like. I guess I'm so used to men who DON'T want long term and only talk about the next date that I'm concerned that he's pushing too fast probably for no real good reason. We'll see.

The Educator wants to go to a movie tomorrow night - my pick.... I told him not unless I find someone to watch "a".

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Running full tilt - then blah!

OK - things have been SO hectic at work, I feel like I've been running a marathon of conference calls, taking notes, building queries and reports as fast as I can. Today, I've had a bit of a break... I've got a ton of "catch up" lower priority duties - but my concentration level is nil. I've just been too "driven" lately to even think about anything other than the next task that should have been done hours ago.

I've got a date (I think) on Saturday night - "a" is going to spend the weekend with daddy, which means I've got to meet him in Iowa City Friday night to "swap". Sunday is my family reunion. It's always the last Sunday in September, but location and time changes. So, since my mother still isn't talking to me becaues I "abandoned" my son, I had to call my sister to find out the where and when. I'm still planning on going... but don't know how to deal with my mother other than pretend like she is talking to me and act like nothings wrong. I know she knows my side of the story, but, whatever. I can't even try to think why she's still acting furious with me.

So - that gives me Saturday all day and night to myself. My date is a teacher from a small town between Newton and Des Moines - and isn't much of an on-line chatter. We'll see, I'm not holding out a lot of hope that he won't fail any of my many red flag tests. And then, I've got another gentleman who might be interested in going out... so we'll have to see where that's going to lead. To be honest, he's at least a little more communicative.

At this point, things are starting to look a little better on the financial end. No, my house still isn't up for sale (maybe Saturday mid-afternoon?)... and I'm still behind on a ton of old bills... but I've managed to start paying some bills off and can start to see progress towards the positive side of things. Work is going well, if hectic, but I'm getting a lot of unprompted praise and thanks from the groups I'm working with. Since my team merged with another team, there's a bit of "ugly step-child" feelings that we're not as good as the team we merged with that I feel isn't going to go away quickly.... but, I enjoy what I'm doing and I don't have to deal with them that often - so it's a fairly easy to dismiss issue.

Health? Well, I've had the sensation that maybe it's not doing as well as I'd like. I'm beyond exhausted every single day. It's all I can do to get up in the morning. I don't know if it's depression (as I am feeling down even with all the positives I posted), related to my thyroid (which is overdue to be re-tested), or related to my other health issues (at this point, I can't fall asleep without either taking a pain killer or at least two hours with a heating pad easing the discomfort... and for the past five days, my right side of my face keeps having "number than normal numbness" issues ... I know ... I know ... I should see the doctor. But ugh! Why take a half-day to a day off work to be told again that they have no clue?). Would I feel this lousy if I was healthy? I really don't think so. Now that the commute is out of my life, I was expecting to have enough energy saved from that 1 1/2 hour to 2 hour commute to be able to start living my life again - but it just doesn't seem to be working.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Red Flags - too few before, now too many

I found this hilarious post through another blog, you have got to go read it, but... MAKE sure first that 1) you have some time .... 2) nothing really good is about to come on tv ... 3) child is settled (ok - Phil that actually means Trev is settled)... 4) READ ALL THE COMMENTS.

I've always thought "tally ho" was an "odd" phrase before, now, well, let's just say, it has a BRAND new meaning now!

So anyway, got me to thinking about how "UNPICKY" I was before and the mess of trouble that led me into... and how OVERLY PICKY I've become since.

I'm just going to have to list my red flags here... and edit it as I end up having more, as I'm sure there will be more. And, oh, ALL of these are going to be from experience.

  • covered with tattoo's - not just any, the blue ink they get in prison; and all over, as in including knuckles
  • if he asks me if slapping me is an acceptable form of domestic abuse
  • he can't hold a job longer than three weeks
  • he's a one-armed mortician
  • he lives 5000 miles away and needs more space
  • he drives recklessly, and then when I mention that it's ok as long as he's never hurt anyone (and never does it with me or mine with him) and he admits that he put a woman and her daughter both in the hospital for over a month and still continued his reckless ways...
  • I don't care if they are shorter than me - as long as they don't have "short-man" syndrome... you know, where they have the biggest chip on their shoulders to over-compensate
  • beating & raping me - probably not a good sign for a good future relationship
  • threatening my children with violence - yeah- here's the door
  • If they believe in soul mates and think you're not it - chances are it's because they know who is and it aint you --- and they're going to spend the next several years trying to turn you into the person that they don't get to be with, but wish they were with
  • they grunt out five words in your pressence (usually while having sex) but can talk for hours with your girlfriends
  • they live with their male boyfriend yet can't admit that they are gay yet
  • they take you to meet strippers in person, not usually a real good sign
  • Oh, how about this, after finding out you get a little "friendly" after a few drinks, take you and a hooker to a drive in movie with two bottles of your favorite drink... yeah, um, I'll sit in the front seat and get plastered - after I pass out, just leave me out of whatever it is you think you're going to do
  • admitting that you had sex with a hooker while I'm passed out in the front seat .... hmmm... just think I was such an idiot that I still married this a-hole
  • buying a dozen red roses for valentines day, giving me a single rose, giving your other girlfriends roses and then sending me the bill for ALL of the roses - yeah, not going to fly
  • telling me that you told the teenage girls (who have crushes on you) that live next door that even though we're living together we're not actually having sex.... and then looking dumbfounded at me when I want to know why you would say such a thing - duh!
  • asking their mother for permission to ask you out

And I don't even think I've hit the who lot of losers I used to date, let alone all the red flags that keep me from agreeing to date someone now... but it'll do for a start.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

we're ok - SUV, been better

Well, we got rear-ended yesterday afternoon. I had to stop for the car in front of me making a left-turn and yielding to traffic. Wasn't stopped more than five seconds - bam! Thankfully, both cars are driveable and no one was hurt. My back door still opens and shuts... but it's bent inward quite a bit. I guess I have to mess around with insurance agents and dealing with getting it fixed now... what joy.

The woman who hit us was nice enough - said "I didn't see you turn on your turn signal"... well, uh, that would be because I wasn't turning. But, she was very apologetic and nice about the whole thing. Her car is older... but I wonder if she'll have troubles getting her hood open.

Just glad no one got hurt...!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Or, more specifically, what do I want to be when I grow up?

When I was six and seven... I had two goals... One was to be a teacher, the second to be small-town bookstore owner (not busy enough to keep me from reading the inventory was the primary goal).

As for the teacher, I taught classes for over 8 years... I loved it, I was paid pretty well, but in order to get benefits, I would have had to take a major pay cut. Being a contractual teacher increased the money, but no benefits. I ended up leaving teaching and becoming a programmer so that I could keep the money and the funds - and get my benefits I needed. I have it in the back of my mind that someday, I'd like to semi-retire and teach again. Nothing specific in mind... but I did enjoy doing it and for a part-time, no benefits needed gig, teaching a few classes a week would be a lot of fun, keep me alert and active, and maybe either help my skimpy retirements funds (or pay for traveling if my retirement funds are in better shape by then).

As for the book store... well, it obviously wouldn't support itself if I was looking to do it... it was just a childhood fantasy to be able to have a job where I could spend my days reading fiction and just relaxing away the day.

Why am I asking it again now? Because my employer is asking if I'd like to manage people (no, they haven't offered me a promotion). They are short resource managers, but because a lot of the people they are hiring are contractors (and they see it as a short-term need), they are letting the analysts volunteer to manage a few of the contractors as they come on board in a "mentoring" role that is a little beyond the mentoring requirements. While I think about this, I'm also supposed to develop my list of goals for the end of the year... I have two sets, the first being for my regular raise and the second being for my bonus. Part of that includes training classes that I can take... and there are tons out there. One of the other types of classes that I could potentially take would include additional technical classes. So, I'm back on the banana boat trying to decide if I want to head towards the more technical side of the career (which isn't always more money) or towards management (which is the best way to ensure more money in the "field" I'm in right now). Not necessarily project management nor requirements management (although those could be options as well, if I want to consider them). But resource management. Part of the reason I'm hesitant is that I see that most of the resource managers on my team aren't as appreciated as they could be, and they tend to have to deal with piddly stuff instead of getting to put a lot of input into solving issues and strategic planning (even just for their own level). I do think that the route up the chain would change all that... and I also think some of my best bets for opportunities are outside my particular department, but, regardless, next week and the week after, I'm to start making plans. Good news is that I'm only planning through the end of the year... bad news is that I'm still on the spot for coming up with "what I want to be" and truth be told - I don't know right now.

I think I'm going to play dumb and there are a couple of classes out there about finding your strength and finding direction for your future... perhaps I can just say "I really don't know" and take some easy courses to give me time to plan for what I can say next year.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

In Honor of Lillian Caceres, 9/11/2001


Lillian Caceres, 48, analyst, was 'dedicated to her faith'


Castleton Corners resident played an angel in a church play the night before the terrorist attacks



Technology Administrator, Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc.
Confirmed dead, World Trade Center, at/in building

Lillian lost her life in the World Trade Center on 9/11. She was a mother, a wife, a sister, and a daughter. She dedicated her life to her family and her faith. Like so many lost, she was simply going about her life as everyone does only to die so tragically that early morning. She was at her desk at 8:00 am so she could meet her 11 year old daughter after school at 4:00 pm since it was her first week at school.

Her story, like so many others, touches my heart. She is the type of person that everyone treasures as a friend. With a kind heart, a beautiful and willing smile, a caring touch and the simple beauty that can only be found in one with peace within herself.

I'd like to dedicate this memorial to Dora and Ray and the rest of her family. May you find comfort and peace.
Psalm 27. The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear. The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me, they stumbled and fell.........Wait on the Lord, be of good cheer, and he shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Back into the office - FINALLY

"a" has finally recovered to the point of going to daycare... And they haven't called me to come pick him up. Wooooshh!

I'm so glad he's starting to finally feel like himself. I'm also very happy that I'm back in the office. It's so much easier to type into a computer when you don't have a toddler tackling you!

I did get work done, and to be completely honest... he was actually really, really good. All except the one day I posted... which was soooooo bad. I actually ended up with a two-day migraine and a re-visit from the rotavirus virus. Lots of pain killers, lots of chocolate, and half a bottle of Wine coolers (the size of a wine bottle) later... and I managed to recover from it all.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My day -

I'll try to keep my humor here, but be forewarned, this is going to be long, and it's going to be sad!

I overslept, not by a lot, but enough that I needed to hop up, call into work to tell them my car is dead and I'll be working from home, call the dealership to come get the car, and then hop onto a three hour conference call that I need to lead. So - no shower, no contacts... oh, and btw my glasses? um, they only have one ear piece left. So, in order to see I have to tilt my head at a certain angle, and if I dare to look down... they drop off pretty quickly. And me? I'm blind. SO if they fall down and it's not instantly obvious where they fell down to... it's patting the ground with one hand to see if I can feel for the glasses.

Ok - so first ten minutes pass in a rush while I make calls, get online, check to see that my network access is still functioning and call the program manager to make sure he knows that I'm up and running and can lead the call.

About ten minutes in, guess who wakes up? No biggie, he's a bit tired and cranky, so I settle him down with his blanket in my bed watching cartoons... worked great last week. Oh, and btw? Because of company policy I can't have any conference calls on cordless phones... oh, and btw? only one phone outlet is currently functioning in the apartment... and it's in the bedroom. Good news is that I have a 50 foot telephone cord - no, don't ask why... bad news, is that means that everywhere I go (say, like taking "a" back to watch cartoons involves me taking the phone, the handset, and the cord along with me so I don't get caught on furniture, or corners along the way and have the whole thing ripped from my hands mid-sentence. I know, it happened every time I wasn't careful enough.

So far, so good. For, what... ten minutes? Ok, next, fix breakfast. Fix bowl of cereal with small amount of milk. I'd put more milk on it, only we're out. Which is actually good - why? because my refrigerator died. Only I can't call the management company until after 9 am - which is the start of my 3 hr conference call. So, because I'm sitting at the coffee table with my breakfast, soda, laptop (which must also be wired), notepaper, pen and everything I need, "a" of course, couldn't sit at the dining room table and fussed for about twenty minutes over moving his bowl to the coffee table, to the "right" place at the coffee table. And then that was the wrong place, you get the idea.

Meantime, I'm trying to be a professional, trying to lead the conference call and resolve the issues we've been dealing with.

Of course, with no milk (oh, and no bread or juice or pedialite either) see previous post about being ill and having no vehicle... hence running out of perishable groceries! "a" wanted something to drink and water wasn't going to be it. I tried and tried... and finally caved (as I HAD to get back on the phone and they didn't need to hear him screaming at the top of his lungs that he "WANTS POP!!!". So, I cave and let him have 7up. How does he reward my leniency? He spends the next thirty minutes trying to show me how if he puts the pop (full & open) at just the right spot on the coffee table, and then he moves the phone cord just so, he can spill the can of pop (dangerously close to said laptop).... only I keep catching the pop and moving it... which is only ticking him off. When I finally take the HAD TO HAVE IT, but NO LONGER WANTS IT IF HE ISN'T GOING TO GET TO SPILL IT pop to the other room. He spends the next hour doing one of three things.... throwing the throw pillows at me (the laptop, my soda, the bowl of cereal, my eggs, etc)... jumping on my head ... or kicking my back. Of course, all of this is accompanied by many various shrieks of anger over various complaints of me not doing what he wants. Now, I know it's all because he's tired of being sick, he didn't get enough sleep last night, he's tired of being cooped up in the house.... and worst offense, I'm not paying 100% attention to him like I did yesterday. SO, I get why he was doing this. It just wasn't making it any easier on me. Oh, and I now know that it is impossible to keep five things from spilling simultaneously when you have no idea a pillow is about to be launched at you and you're tied up on the phone and trying to document things.

I do know that the "RIGHT' thing to have done was time out... but I was stressed, on the phone, trying to read the damn monitor, and "RIGHT" wasn't quite an option. The two times I did manage to get him "sat" in a corner, he didn't stay and I didn't have the extra hands, and arms needed to make him stay. I kept thinking about putting him in his room and locking the door. I did... is it really that inhumane? really? I mean, it's not like he'd be left there for more than an hour, or maybe two? I mean, really? considering the alternative? I didn't... but I did think about it. I thought about it a LOT.

Oh, and let me not forget the lovely undocumented "security" feature. My remote access? It times out every hour - even when you are in the middle of working on the network and especially even though you have a dozen people looking at your screen through Net Meeting - promptly kicking them all off the call simultaneously and losing your IP address. Requiring me to go through the 10 minute log in, find my security key fob, try to read the numbers (Lord knows where my glasses are at this point!) log in and restart the meeting. Since I'm missing my glasses - I've got my face plastered about two inches from the monitor otherwise I can't read it.

Oh, and somewhere in the middle of all this did I not only resolve several issues that were pending for several months now, but I also managed to mute long enough to call "A" to beg him to answer the door for Alliant Energy who were coming to take our old freezer in and extra beg him to empty it of the water from defrosting it and turn it back on (because of course, I couldn't do it yesterday without a car, and I forgot to ask him yesterday, and they won't accept it unless it is defrosted and cold)... and call the apartment management about the refrigerator not working properly.

By the end of the call, I've fixed him some lunch... set him at the kitchen table, I've stopped everything to pour myself a drink (nope, not alcohol, although it was looked at longingly for a while before I selected grape koolade). But, I had to get something to take the pain meds because my head.... it was a-poundin like a parade base drum during the fourth of July.

So, next three seconds... guess what? There's a knock at the door not two feet from where I was standing, so I managed spill grape koolade all over me and the floor (white linoleum and purple koolade; white t-shirt no bra and purple koolade - quite a site!!!!). So I open the door holding my shirt away from my body, grab a rag and wipe up the spill and make my red-faced excuses and race to the bedroom to change my shirt. All while trailing the phone, the handset and 50-feet of cord behind me. Only I'd gone around the kitchen wall... so it got yanked from my hands... and I had to race back through the kitchen back to the living room still hold the very see-through shirt away from my body.

So, coming back from the bedroom with a dry shirt (dark color so I don't have that issue again today), I've got a beverage, I can take my pain medicine for the head - who is NOT doing so good. The maintenance man is here, all is cool right? No - while I was running around trying not to over-excite the maintenance man, my little guy got down from lunch, took his plate over and set it down on the laptop keyboard and proceeded to eat (and drop) his lunch all over the keyboard! So, I sit down in a panic (thankfully call1 is ending now, and call 2 has five minutes until it starts) and try to clean it with a damp cloth as best as I can... seems to be working fine (but I'm not going to stop holding my breath... I'm sure it's just a matter of time).

So, maintenance man interrupts dialing for call 2 of the day, I have to empty the freezer compartment. So, I grab the cooler, grab the phone, dial in.... and put the phone on mute, and proceed to do as requested. Five minutes later, I need to dial into a net meeting to watch someone else go through their issue list - and what's wrong? My access has disconnected, again! SO ten minutes later, I'm connected, I'm answering questions... and every chance I get, I go on mute, and carry phone, handset, cord and all back to the kitchen to take another item or two out. Thankfully, at this point, "a" is busy watching maintenance guy and looking at all his tools and actually behaving just enough to keep his hands to himself.

I actually manage to fix myself a dinner plate... only never got to eat it. As I had a dozen or more emails that I had to send out as a result of the mornings sessions and three more conference calls this afternoon. The afternoon calls did actually go a bit better.... only a few interruptions from "a" and having to empty the rest of the items out of the refrigerator when the maintenance man decided he wouldn't be able to fix it and was going to swap it for a working fridge from storage. Of course, then I had to clean it.... and then they took it out... and then I had to at least sweep out the dirt from under it before they put the new one in. They didn't give me enough time to mop it though.

Somehow, someway, it's now after 5pm. The calls are over (although I have about three hours of analysis I need to complete tonight). "a" never took his nap. The new fridge has been restocked. The freezer was not picked up by alliant energy as they had arrived before I had called, and "A" didn't hear them at the door so didn't answer the door. My car has been towed to the dealership.

There are only two things that I MUST do next.... take another pain killer as the first wore off AGES ago... and two - I MUST go to nearest convenience store. Believe it or not, I survived this far without any chocolate in the house... but I .... MUST .... HAVE .... CHOCOLATE..... and soon!

Are you a slacker mom

OK, not so sure this is a very accurate description of me (see next post!!!) however, it certainly is a flattering post. And I do have to at least peak at the Ladies shoes in virtually every shopping trip... so maybe?

Are You a Slacker Mom?

Your quiz results make you a Pretty in the City Mom

You might have a subscription to both Parenting Magazine and Vogue. While picking up a darling Easter outfit for your tyke at Bloomingdale's you're tempted to grab a pair of Manolo Blahniks for your own tootsies. You are a fabulous mom, and you take care of yourself fabulously, too.

Take this free personality test by Clicking Here>> or going to www.areyouaslackermom.com

Monday, September 04, 2006

Excuse my pity party

The car won't start. I figure it's either the starter or the alternator. Because when you turn the key - it just sits there clicking at you.

Of course, the free 24-hour roadside assistance ended two months ago. And, most places that I can afford to take the car to are closed for the holiday. SO, I guess it can wait until tomorrow. We're out of a lot of the groceries - like bread and milk. I might end up deciding to walk to the convenience store to get them... otherwise, we can wait until after the car is fixed. There's lots of leftovers and pop and water to drink.

I feel like sitting down and having a good cry fest. I'm probably due to have my period later this week... so that's part of it. The other part is that I was just getting to the point where I was bringing my finances around. I had just paid almost every bill out of this last paycheck (plus the one day paycheck plus a couple of PTO days from my last check from my former employer). I was even able to pay off one of my old doctor's bills (two hospital bills left). But my next check, well I was all set so that I could make a couple of big payments on my overdue and going to collection agency credit card bills. I know I only have myself and my health to blame for all my debts... but I am doing everything in my power to fix things. And now my SUV with only about 40,000 miles on it ... won't start. Good news is that it should be under warranty - but I don't know if that includes coming to get the car and towing it back to get it fixed or not. Who, knows maybe they can jump start me and get me on my way. I just feel like the world is conspiring to get me right now. After spending a week home with ill son, and then being sick myself... I was getting a slight impression that all was not well at work ... even though I worked from home for four of the five days (however, only one with network access). And because everyone I work with communicates by email or phone conferences - I can work almost as well from home as in the office... with the limitation of needing to tend to "a" whose bottom is sore from all this. But, he's been awesome - playing well on his own... watching movies and taking his naps well. But, I just have a gut feeling that calling in tomorrow with "car trouble" is going to cause some trouble. Hopefully not. They've been really great in the past and being able to work from home now should help a lot - I hope! We'll see!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hide n Seek






See - even "a" knows it's easier to play this game if you peek! LOL

It's a LONG weekend!

Yeah!

Well, "a" and I are finally off of the bed and I'm looking around the apartment and realizing that there is a mess everywhere I look.

So - off to the shower to come back out and see what else needs cleaning... spend today scrubbing the apartment... then tomorrow and Monday it's off to Newton to keep cleaning the house. I swear it's like the longest move in history. It's now been a full month of trying to go out there every few days, pack a little, clean a little, move a little. I'm getting pretty sick and tired of it.

"A" is moving out today. He's got his first big check and it's enough to cover the deposit and first months rent. I'm feeling pretty proud of him. Of course, it's mainly due to the fact that they finally turned off his free cable earlier this week... not that that's any big suprise, we all knew he would give up living there as soon as he didn't have the internet anymore. The good, great, fantastic news is that he's going to be living in the same building as his restaurant where he works. Which means that if he oversleeps, there's a good chance that someone would just run up to the apartment to get him to come to work. Bad news is that if he's playing the whole play all night, sleep all day routine, it's next to impossible to wake him up without a bucket of cold water, but ah, at least he's not likely to be late hardly ever.

And the sweetie even had so much food given to him by his bosses that he felt compelled to send home some of it with me last weekend. I'm sure he's portrayed me as the wicked witch to his bosses and they feel sorry for the lonely 18 year old whose mother isn't catering to his every need... but, I'm relieved to know that he's eating well and I don't have to worry as much about him only eating junk. I offered to help him with his move today, but he keeps telling me no, I suppose it's so he doesn't have to feel guilty about not helping me move anymore. But, I haven't asked him to, either. I've wanted to... but it's hard to play tough love cards when you turn around and ask them for their help with womething. It'll all work out. I figure the following two days of cleaning should get me to the point where all the big stuff is cleaned and in a good point where I can ask my dear friend Stefanie to let me borrow her trailer one more time... and then it'll just be back to finish cleaning and painting and we can finally list the house. Or is that just wishful dreaming?