Thursday, May 31, 2007


Well, like I said in my last post - I'm no longer feeling responsible for telling the programmer how to do his job! I'm just making sure that the information he receives is as accurate as possible. I honestly believe at this point that the two people who are supposed to be documenting the EO requirements don't know their *ss from a hole in the ground.

Quite literally, they can't seem to think in terms of "sets" of data. They just want to copy & paste data from my emails directly into their spreadsheet without thinking through how it might impact any thing else. That's sort-of ok when I'm at the top of my game, have time to do their work for them.

NOT ok when I'm stressed, over-worked, exhausted, and have no mind left. I'm trying very hard to refuse to do their job for them anymore. They're job is to interpret the requirements to what the system can provide. My job is to make sure that they understand what they are asking for - not to understand their system. I end up having to do it 90% of the time because they can't seem to get how the "business definition" impacts their technical requirements.

BUT, I also need to stop wining!

Did go into see a couple of doctors - regular doc on Tuesday, internist this morning. The regular doc is "hoping" I have mastitis in my left breast... it's painfull but does not have any other signs of mastitis. However, my lymph nodes on that side are swollen and painful. So, if I'm very, very lucky this is just an infection (although he can't explain how I could have gotten it nor why there aren't any other symptoms of it) and it's spread to the lymph nodes but will respond well to the antibiotics. If it isn't an infection taking the antibiotics can't hurt anything. If it isn't an infection, it could be a sign of progression of cancer... which the doctor initially was trying to state things along the line of "but very few breast cancer patients have pain" until he found out that I have so many aunt's with breast cancer. Now, he's just adamant that 1) try to treat the mastitis in case that's what it is and 2) Get the mammogram ASAP. (It's scheduled for next Monday).

The internist didn't have too much to say other than he wanted to bring me in to discuss how I'm doing, what kind of symptoms I'm having AND to draw a bunch of blood for tests. I did update my medical history to explain mom's situation... which he was very, very interested in. We discussed it for a while and his primary concern is that I NOT get high blood pressure. My blood pressure is usually extremely good - except the last couple of years it tends to flare up pretty high while I'm in a lot of pain. Right now, it's running fine...

It was kind of odd though, even though he agreed that anuerysms can be "acquired" he also thought that I'd inherited some sucky genes with mom having had so many of these and then having died from a "bleeding event" and with my dad having a "clotting event". Can I dare hope that basically the two different sets of problems could balance out?

Oh, and per a couple of people on my clotting list group? They think I have the exact same symptoms as they do - they have another acquired condition called APS - which produces "micro-clots" that are undetectable by today's equipment, but can cause the symptoms I've had including chest pain from "invisible" PE's and strokes from "invisible" clots to the brain. I've been struggling forever with trying to figure out if the pain I'm experiencing is due to clotting that's too small to detect or is it just pain for another reason - but I'm blaming clots due to an irrational fear? I don't think so - I think I have a level head about this sort of thing. It may come off that I obsess about it, and maybe I do a little too much. But, if you felt as lousy as I do (I swear most days I feel like an 80 yr old woman)... and no one can find anything to explain it, what do you do?

Ah well, it's May 31 - end of the month already. June brings "A"s birthday and mine... and "a"s right around the corner, so we'll have to find some time to go out for dinner or have a small b-day party for "a". I know his dad wants to see him - and he hinted that if I was still really busy at work he could take him for longer than a weekend. It's the summer, I figure if he wants to take "a" for a couple of weeks now and again later in the summer it would be a nice break for me and give them a chance to have some fun out in the nice weather. Plus it would make a good "practice" for school years if he could spend several weeks here and again during the summer, maybe the week after Christmas and the weekends once a month that he goes now.

Oh, and one piece of good news - three days in a row and "a" has used the potty correctly at daycare once per day... I call that progress. I've got a deal with him that we'll do something "special" every day that he "tries".

Oh, and man - have I got to get out of the habit of using "quotes" around every words, elipses and dashes all the time! How can you read this?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Revelation about why I'm so stressed

OK - I know that I've got enough going on in my life right now to be stressed about. I do.

But, I've been really super stressed about work. Everyone is stressed. There are lots of issues,we've already pushed out delivery a couple of months, there are big issues that seem to come up every day or so that aren't easily resolved, and I seem to be the only one who can answer the "tough" questions. Luckily some of the people on the team are now able to answer the easier questions after the last three weeks of working with me, which has helped.

Today after almost an hour of a very stressful conversation with one of the developers who explained why one of the issues isn't a simple change but might involve a real "overhaul" of part of the system... I started to get a migraine just thinking about the simple tasks I had as takeaways - nothing more than making sure that on Tuesday when we get back to work we have a good example of data for the developer to look at so he can figure out his next steps.

It's then that I realized why it's such a problem for me.

My job is truly to understand the data well enough and document it well enough so that all the parties involved agree to a solution and develop it. My issue is that I USED to be a developer, and somehow in the middle of all this, I started taking on the pressure of believing that I had to come up with all the solutions. I don't have to solve the problem, I just have to make sure that all the parties involved have the information they need so they can solve the problem.

About five minutes post-revolation, my headache reduced itself to just a dull pain. It's not gone, but it's Soooo much better. Woosh... it's dropped my stress level by about a ten-fold. Much, much better.

Friday, May 25, 2007

My other vent - about work, again

I know, I sound like a broken needle - and I'm stuck on a whiny song.

When I was asked to come help this team last summer, I was asked to be in charge of a smal piece of the technical communication from one system through an intermediate "transaction" layer to "my" system which then converts and translates as needed to the necessary vendor. I was in charge of the mapping from the transaction layer through our system to the vendors.

Since we had a lot of questions around definitions of these fields, and "what" they meant as did the modelers from the new system being built that needed to create the request and send the data to the transaction layer... they were involved in all of our data "definitions" sessions so that they could set their half up correctly. Well, over the past eleven months there have been five to six people in that role, and they've basically really got a lot of mistakes in their half of the modeling.

So, over the past couple of months, since I'm the one who did all the documentaion around the definitions and such ... that these modelers have full access too... but I'm the one who "gets" it... I've been assisting them with analysis around their issues and identifying where in their system they should be pulling information from. BUT, that isn't working out very well. I can spend hours explaining to them "what" needs to be fixed, but they can't seem to translate that to looking at their own documentation and identifying the correct changes to make.

They have a 800 row spreadsheet with about thirty columns of data... and even if I tell them that for every entry that has "HA" in column J, you need to remove the "HA" part - they still can't get it right.

It's reached the point where I literally copy and paste the section of their spreadsheet into a new one, make my changes, highlight the changes in yellow, and give it to them to make the updates. If I don't they miss something or they change things they aren't supposed to change or etc.

I know that a big part of the reason that I'm frustrated is that I've been working so many hours and there is so much pressure to not continue to screw up and I feel like I'm wasting my time trying to get them to "understand" the data since it doesn't seem to mean anything to them anyway... and I get that the people working on the spreadsheet now weren't part of the earlier mistakes nor part of all the discussions so it's not like they've been exposed to all of this before... but geez... I'm sick of doing their work.

So, I step back and try to guide again instead of doing it for them... and they screw up again and again. Right now, they are supposed to pass everything through me first for approval... and even then sometimes they screw up because what they sent me for approval isn't the change in the spreadsheet.

I'm just overly fed up - and so is the developer who keeps getting mis-information.

I vented to the Project Manager today... and his response? That I need to figure out how to build a team of analysts who can do what I do. Great... just great... how do I do that?

I know how to teach - but am not the best "coach" in the world - because if someone continues to not get it after a period of time, I get fed up and just want to quit on them. How do you find people who get both data and technology and business? Because it's not easy to teach someone how to comprehend business requirements... nor is it easy to teach someone how to communicate to programmers ... and then to get them that a list of 800 elements of data actually comprise a list of about three dozen "sets" of data that are interlinked? I don't know how to do that - I know, that's what I've been trying to get the data modelers from the other system to get for the past eight months... of course, about the time I think I've gotten someone to a point where they start to get it they move to another task - but that's besides the point!

Ugh... ok - I'll stop whining for a while now!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Strong desire to vent - sister

My sister - love her so, but god, I don't GET her. I just don't.

On Sunday we sorted through mom's clothes so that my dad didn't have to wade through and dig through them every time he did laundry (she used the laundry room as a closet).

I really don't mind so much that she kept most of the clothes that fit her. Doesn't bother me at all... they are just clothes after all. But, it kind of bugs me that she took some stained clothes. Does she really, really mis-manage her money so badly that she can't afford to throw away stained clothing that she feels that if it fits her she needed to keep it? I mean really?

Even then, that's not that bad... but then... she kept all of my mother's socks. Her socks. I'm sorry - do you not see the six pairs of socks for $3.99 sales? Do you not get that it's really kind of gross that you are taking someone elses socks for your own purpose? And even then - you're taking all of those, even the dingy old ones? I mean really?

Heck, if I stain my own clothes - I try a couple of different things to get the stains out, and if I can't I toss it. I don't keep my own stained clothes let alone want to add stained clothes to my collection. In fact, I regularly buy socks when they are on sale - so that as I'm working through the laundry I can just toss the ones that get too dingy. Does that make me weird or lazy? I don't know, I just know that I can't be bothered to find the non-stained items when I want to look good if they were mixed in together - you know?

So, even then - that's not the end of the story - nope... I drive her as nuts as she drives me. She doesn't GET me either. One of the issues with identifying if the clothing fits you or not is that mom tore out all of the fabric tags. Which means a lot of things you had to hold up to you or try on. It drove my sister absolutely nuts that I didn't want to try on my mother's bras to see if they fit to see if I wanted them. Ok 1) they are undergarments - like socks I think they're more "personal" and I really don't want ANYONE else's socks or underwear or bras - really I don't - doesn't matter if she was my mother or not... really, really NOT interested. 2) They were grandma bras with super-extra support and coverage - not really my style. I don't wear really fancy bras, but the bras I do wear really do need to be comfortable or you can just forget it - and the big old bulky bras - really not my style - thankfully its not that I need that much support I know - as some people don't get much choice there - but given it doesn't matter - I go for comfort and looks not support. 3) I've got enough bras of my own, if I want a new bra, I go out and buy it. Usually really cheap ones out at the Outlet mall, but hey, they fit, they look nice, they're comfortable & they are NOT USED.

But she talked to me for five minutes before I finally got through to her that the bras were going in the garbage and that not in a million years was I going to "try it on". I know it's because we are so different, but besides that - it's just creepy.

All I can say is "Thank God" I threw away the underwear before she arrived and had time to consider ... well, anything.... ew, ew, ew!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Mammogram postponed

Mayo sent the records, but forgot to send them overnight. So even if they tried to test me today, I'd have a 99% chance of having to come back again later after they got the records anyway. So, now I'm waiting until they receive the records in the office later this week to call me and reschedule.

Very exciting day for "a"

His first day at the daycare. I told him last night and this morning that we were going to the new school, the one that he liked the best. But, he didn't seem to be all that excited about it.

Until we pulled up in front and he recognized the building; he literally squealed... he was so excited. I opened the car door, unlatched his seat belt and he "leaped" into my arms to give me a giant hug. Then "put me down now!" was the next command.

He was a little bashful, but decided things were going to be ok when she offered to go show him the playground.

I'm hoping things go well from here.... it's only about five to ten minutes to work depending on which office building I'm going to. And they're going to let me auto-pay them so I don't have to write checks out constantly. All good news.

Friday, May 18, 2007

New Daycare

"a" starts at the new daycare on Monday. We hit three of them yesterday afternoon. All three were "ok". Two were a little nicer buildings and playgrounds than the other. All three were priced about the same. Of the two nicer ones, one was extremely close to work, the other within five minutes of work. The one extremely close to work? They were going to have issues with "a" not being toilet trained yet. In fact, if he isn't trained they "hold him back" in the two year old room until he did get toilet trained. The other site totally could have cared less, they talked about situations where there were four year olds that were still struggling with it and that they didn't want to pressure the kids "to perform". Which by and by is the best advice that seems to be given about struggling with "stubborn learners".

I prefer the laid back approach, although have to admit to being frustrated that he's almost four and still not trained.

I also like that they have "water play" in the summer; and as soon as they are five, they take them to and from swimming lessons, with weekly or more trips to the pool. The other two didn't like taking them from the center, which means they basically spend most of the hot, humid days indoors instead of getting them out and about and enjoying the pool.

But, the good news (I guess?) is that each and every trip to this daycare that I prefer, "a" has virtually SCREAMED our way out the door because he really, really does NOT want to leave. It didn't help that he was short-changed a nap two days in a row so we could deal with daycare issues.... but that's besides the point. They have an excellent internal space set up with play forts, cars and trucks to ride around in, etc. He truly did not want to leave and had an absolute fit each time we tried to leave.

Here's hoping that he enjoys going there as much when it's all day.

Solution to all that ails me (well almost)

OK, I've got a plan... it can't be any more illegal than a Russian Mail Order Bride solution.

I want to find a man from Mexico who is single and young... and willing to come to America to be my house-husband. He can keep the laundry up, fetch the little one to daycare/preschool, pick up the house, do the vacuuming, the dishes... have dinner on the table when I get home from work. He can bring the groceries up the two flights of stairs to the apartment - and he would get all the benefits of being a husband .... and I would get all the benefits of having a "male wife".

Waddya think? Think it'd be worth it to start a website for women searching for hard-working husbands who want to live in America AND get married AND not having to work "outside the home" for a living? Not exactly a "kept" man as much as the whole "house-husband" scenario.

It sure sounds good to me. I bet if I placed an ad somewhere I'd get all kinds of responses, of course, most of them would be losers.... but still it sure would take a TON of stress off of my shoulders. -- and it can't be that much more expensive than daycare; I'm up to $165/week for daycare, which is $660/month, which is more than my car payment!

Anyway, taking off shortly to go to my step-fathers... I promised I'd sort through mom's clothes for him (at least the laundry room)... She's got a closet the size of a small bedroom filled with 50 years of clothes and boxes of stuff that I'm sure I can't finish in a weekend - if I'm lucky I might make a small dent in one corner of it.

Monday is my repeat-mammogram; am planning on demanding a biopsy; so I don't know how soon that will occur.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

oh and daycare?

Not the promised "answer all my problems post" - but daycare would have been a bust today anyway - "a" now has pinkeye. I couldn't get in today or tomorrow to see a doctor for the required drops - so I'm taking him tonight to the urgent care clinic for the prescription so that he can at least go to preschool on Thursday - as he can't be around any other kids for 24-hours post-drops.

Kicked out of daycare

Not "a's" fault - mine.

Work has been nuts and I keep messing up and run late to pick him up. I was late like four or five times in two to three weeks, and then was late again picking him up on Monday.

"Don't bring him back" - uggh!

I've been wanting to move him to another day care anyway... so I'm not 100% upset that he's not going there anymore. BUT, because pre-school won't bus him to a daycare closer to work - and the only other daycare they would bus him to closes at the same time as the one I just got kicked out of. So, it wouldn't fix the real issue anyway - which is that I need to find daycare closer to work.

School has really, really been of great benefit to "a". His verbal and communication skills and understanding of things has gotten SO good in just a few weeks... but then again, there's been like four times where he's gone from preschool to daycare with dirty diapers... so I was putting off this decision as for some stupid reason I thought it would be good to keep him in the preschool... when I don't know what else they are NOT doing to take good care of him?

UGH... so I called around today and have some appointments over the next couple of days to find daycare for him - closer to work. And then I have to figure out if I want to drive him to preschool for the next two plus weeks or pull him out before summer starts.

WHY is everything SO HARD? Probably because I've become so whiny?? So, I think I've found my solution... next challenge will be to find the guy. - see my next post.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

OK - I need to stop searching on the Internet

I was looking for images of benign breast mammograms with abnormalities. I was hoping to find something that looked similar to what my mammogram showed so I could relax a little about the whole breast cancer scare.

1) I didn't really find anything similar
2) I did find a couple of examples that did look similar that were cancerous
3) I found a quote that I really, really should not have read:

Apparently, given that a large percentage of abnormal mammograms are actually benign, there are some doctors who feel that always ordering a biopsy for a mass can be an unnecessary procedure.

"Although a lot of radiologists are aggressive in having needle biopsies done on abnormalities of the breast to ensure early detection, there are also a very strong contingient of radiologists who choose the majority of time to recommend a six-month follow up for even very suspicious masses. Their reasoning is that in slow-growth breast cancer, six months is a relatively short amount of time in the growth process. For fast-growth breast cancer, they feel that the recovery rate is so low, that delaying is not going to decrease the mortality rate."

OMG - Given that I know the shape of the mass and it's large size - I am positive that my radiologist was of the latter group. Here's hoping that my next radiologist is from the former group. If nothing else, I guess, if it's grown, it's grown - and that will mean that they will surely follow up. If it hasn't grown, well then - it at least isn't a fast-growing cancer - right?

I'm really stressing about this as my left breast has become very painful... it started with my cycle in March... I noticed it hurt during my period... but then got a little better. But then with my cycle in April, it started up again... only this time, post-period the pain hasn't gone away and has only gotten worse.

I'd love to think it was all in my head... but given that it's let up and gotten worse - I'm certain I'm not imagining it. My other hope (?) is that it's been there longer and I just didn't notice it due to being on my pain meds for the past two years. That's probably not the best thing to hope for... but I honestly don't know what else to hope for.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

If only it would help

-----Original Message-----
From: ...
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2007 9:34 AM
To: ...
Subject: you heard it here first!

Apple Computers announced today that it has developed a computer chip
that can store and play high fidelity music in women's breast implants.
The iTit will cost $499 or $599 depending on speaker selection.
This is considered to be a major breakthrough as women have always
complained about men staring at their breasts and not listening to them.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Stres is overwhelming

I just want to spend the day in bed and cry... and it's over a lot of silly, little stupid stuff.

1) I'm freaking out that I might have breast cancer - which is silliness. I've known I might have it since January. But, now that I've scheduled my follow up mammogram, I'm completely freaked out.

2) Day care wants me to find a new day care (which I want too) - but there's four weeks left of school - and the only other day care even remotely close to work but within the right school district takes just as long to drive to as mine does (and I'm being kicked out because I'm running late every evening ... and the new daycare isn't any closer - and has the same hours - hence will have the same issue. Other daycares outside of that school district would mean I'd have to take off every day at noon to take "a" from pre-school to daycare - big pain in the *ss.

3) My lease is up in July - and a) I would rather move closer to work and be in a different school district but b) don't want to move now... and c) what if Jon & I end up living together - which is insane... due to 4

4) Gut tells me Jon isn't as interested as he once was - and I've been too chicken to confront him about it over the phone, as I won't be able to read his body language.

5) "A" is still homeless, staying at friend's house for the week - but thinks he has an apartment at that time... but in the meantime got caught with a beer in his hand, and now has a new fine for $320 for minor in posession of alcohol.

6) Work is NUTS, totally and completely driving me nuts. Management is totally focussing on details and not giving everyone enough direction - so I've got ten things I can't do all at once, so am accomplishing little to nothing. AND we keep finding things that we weren't told before, which means that we keep having to give programmers changes that they have to make.

7) House is disaster, I've been working really hard to get it cleaned up, and spent this weekend completely exhausted, house now? Totally messed up all over again. "A" spilled soda, chicken and rice and cookie crumbs... got all that picked up, but don't have the toys picked up again - which are now so that you can't walk through the living room or hallway - and I'm too tired to deal.

8) I miss my mom

9) AND I can't reach my sister to vent, don't have any friends here in town that I feel I can reach out too, and don't want to dump it all on Jon when he's probably already ready to "cut out".

Can I just run away????

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Don't I wish?

You Are 28 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Which Sex and the City Vixen Are You ? Today?

You Are Most Like Samantha!

For you, dating is the ultimate sport
You're into guys with power, looks, or a lot of money.
You rather have a great two weeks than a great forever.
But even you fall victim to love from time to time. :-)

Romantic prediction: You'll find love in the next few months...

But you'll be the last one to realize it.

Hmmm? Wonder what the change is? Probably the return of my sex drive???

Which Sex and the City Vixen Are You?


What Your Soul Really Looks Like

You are a wanderer. You constantly long for a new adventure, challenge, or eve a completely different life.

You are a grounded person, but you also leave room for imagination and dreams. You feet may be on the ground, but you're head is in the clouds.

You believe that people see you for how you are, not how you look. But deep down, you know that's not exactly true.

Your near future is a lot like the present, and as far as you're concerned, that's a very good thing.

For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.

There are only a few differences between Phil & I. Maybe that's why we bcame close friends?

Friday, May 04, 2007

Still pretty stressful at work

They are setting us up to spend two more weeks working as SWAT team members... only next week my manager is going to take over management of the issues resolution! woohoo! I sat down with her yesterday afternoon for about a half hour/hour... and told her how this would be managed and communicated to upper management in "my ideal world". She agrees completely! She also knows how to keep the detailed level view that management is currently receiving but helping them get to the next level of understanding the bigger picture that goes with that level of detail that our current management team is clueless about.

So, hoping that even if it's stressful and irritating and such long days, at least people will be getting the bigger picture - which means that they'll start managing the bigger issues that I've been trying to "track" on my own and struggling as I can't manage and do and be the person to answer all questions as well as the troubleshooter for all issues. Woohoo! relief is in sight.

As for Jon up in Rochester - we're not seeing each other again this weekend - haven't seen each other since I left his house the day mom went into the hospital over a month ago. Understandably... but ugh!

He's been through a recent layoff and went out and got a new job - but went a month or so without income (too stubborn to go get unemployment) and also had a health issue last year which pretty much has wiped out his savings account. He's not in debt over all this - but doesn't have much cushion for if things went wrong... and I don't think he's making as much money as he was before he got layed off.

So, he's a bit stressed - he's the kind of guy that is used to having several thousand in savings for rainy days and without it - it's getting to him. He's got a "side job" stripping a couples master bathroom of all the tile & cabinetry - and laying brand new tile and installing new vanities. And they want him to do it all this weekend - which is a big job. I guess the husband offered to help - but Jon's the kind of guy who wants it done right - which means that help may not be "helpful" if you know what I mean.

So - he's going to be really busy this weeked. Initially, I said that I wasn't interested in coming up to see him next weekend - as it's mother's day weekend... but I did extend an offer for him to come down. But said, that I wanted to go for dinner with my boys (not thinking that I was excluding him as much as just saying - we're going out to dinner). He hesitated... didn't really answer. He's on-call the weekend after that and expects to be too busy at work for me to come up... and then - the following weekend is Memorial Day Weekend - so I suggested that I wanted to try to plan something then. He's not comfortable planning something that far ahead.... ummm....?

I said that I was eager to see him and not wanting to wait that long if at all possible - his response? What can you do? We're both busy. Yeah - I get that. But, what I don't get is whether or not he's having second thoughts.... there is no body language to read to see if he doesn't want to come down here for whatever reasons....

In the middle of all this - he was supposed to move last month (after Easter) - and the apartment he wanted he couldn't get into until May 1st - so he moved in with his best friend and her family (yes her - a female best friend)... her husband is in jail for molesting her sister as a child (yeah - quite the catch there)... and she has really been relying on Jon a lot to help her out with her two sons. I know they're really close - and she treats him like a brother... but I honestly think he would probably like it to be more than that even though he swears all they'll ever be is best friends. But - his apartment fell through on the 1st - and the landlord says that he's got another one instead for June 1st.... so he's staying at his friends another month.

I'm really tempted to take "a" and "A" out for dinner this weekend (avoid the crush on mother's day) and drive up there next weekend - but am stressing over whether I invest more of myself and my time if he's just getting ready to blow me off??? ughh!!! Since I can't read him - it's starting to get to me!

So - now - am I just really stressed due to work - or relationships - or lack of sex???