Saturday, August 30, 2008

Motion Filed

I filed a motion to hold off on the garnishment of wages, with the hope that it passes. I asked for it to be denied due to undue hardship... if they garnish my wages this week, I'm pretty much going to be evicted. Biggest issue is that they are going to notify me by mail of the results of the motion... and with Monday being a holiday.... it'll probably be Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday before I know. AND then I have to send it to my employer... if I don't get it until Thursday, there's a good chance it'll be too late. All I can do, is wait and see at this point.

I am pursuing doing a 401K loan; but, I have to have a PIN number (and my files are still in boxes, if I could find the box with the right files, I have no idea whether I can find the right paper). So, they're mailing me a new PIN number which I should get next week... then I can ask for the loan. Hopefully if the motion to hold off the garnishment fails, then maybe, just maybe the 401K loan can save the day.

In the meantime, I'm trying to relax and enjoy the holiday weekend. Next week, I'll start putting out feelers for a new position... as I'm feeling a little like extraneous drift wood right now.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New stress at work

OK, so big project, complex technology, lots of moving parts -some issues last year caused the company to pull the "beta" out of production and start over with the portion of the new project that calls the "service" that was developed by the group I work for. I've always been involved in the communication to & from our service by this other system... so re-writing the system means a lot for me to learn & a lot for me to communicate. We spent the first half of the year "figuring" out what we were doing.... that means LOTS of estimates, LOTS of time spent analyzing options, etc. Two months ago, we started working towards the new solution at a break-neck speed... why? Because even though the new system hasn't been completed yet, they expect us to do the same thing we started two years ago (and spent over 18 months doing); done within three months. Yeah, right....

Anyway, two months in, and we're obviously not 66% completed (i.e., we don't even have the requirements fully documented, the code is not even 10% complete)- not that big of a deal though (and not like I haven't made it extremely clear that the deadline is unreasonable with the resources we have). But now? NOW? They've come up with an idea to replace our service within the new system. One month before code lockdown.

I'm sure that there's a ton of work to do, and I have a lot of knowledge about the vendor our service works with that I'll need to share; and there's surely a job for me in this company somewhere or other - but there's a good chance my team will be dissolved. I LOVE working with my manager & my team and am feeling a bit stressed out.

I was about to transition to a new role on the team - my new role would basically get dissolved in the next couple of months - so I'm kind-of in-between. We've delegated out my regular tasks (that's the less than 66% done part); I'm not undergoing the training; and I've got one other task that came in a side door, that was a) unreasonable (about 200 hours of work due by Friday) and b) not completely sure that they followed the right channels to get a resource (although I'm clearly the one who will probably end up doing it. This task? This task got escalated to management for a decision - so I'm not working on it at this point.

So, I'm piddling around with a little bit of online training as even though there are other higher priority tasks to do, my latest direction (the little I've gotten) has been to stand down .... this goes against everything I know. I'm waiting for better direction and basically "keeping busy". Very frustrating.... especially when now is when I would like to "prove myself" worthy of keeping around.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


OK, so I've got my bed "set up" -- did that on Saturday and although it took about an hour, it wasn't really that bad. And that included giving a thorough cleaning to the rubber mattress that had gotten damp at some point in the garage.

BUT, in hanging onto about five different pieces to the kit for filling the waterbed, I somehow managed to miss out on the one piece I have to have. So, on one of my trips to Kmart (was going there for something else anyway)... I look for the piece I need... no go.

Well, no big deal, I've gotten waterbed items at Walmart regularly, I'll just stop there. Have been to two separate Walmarts - nada.

Then I thought, just maybe I could try a hardware store. I've got two options - Ace Hardware on my way to work - nice store and great for odds & ends, but knowing that they don't have a complete inventory - I went to Lowes instead. There's a massive store practically a block from home. I didn't expect to find a "waterbed kit", but figured that pieces that go on hoses are pretty universal. Not this piece, apparently.

OK, I know waterbeds are "out of fashion" and all that... but I am NOT the last waterbed user in Iowa, I hope! So, my next plan is to go across town this weekend to the place where I bought my last mattress.... it's a bed store, but they sell waterbeds, mattresses, and "bits and pieces". Of course, instead of paying about a buck-fifty for the part, it'll probably cost me over ten dollars, but I guess that's what I get for losing it and no longer getting to buy the things I need at Walmart.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Well, so much for trying to be fugal

I've been living VERY cheaply lately - since my last frustrating post about money and debt.

One of the things that I broke down and set up last month was a "debt recovery" service. It's not the cheapest thing in the world, but if I can pay off my debts sooner (as the process I was using was failing miserably) -- I decided to give it a try. However, the first three months, the payments are 100% to pay the "fee" for the service (then there's ten months where 50% of your payments are for fee, the rest go toward debt, then the rest of the payments are 100% debt). They then negotiate down your debts (supposedly down to 35% or so - but at minimum of 50% of the debt amount); so paying 15% of my debt amount to them seems high, but hopefully it a) pays off my debt sooner like promised and b) gets the bill collectors off my back.

Well, here's how I managed to screw that up. Between the cost of moving, paying for two apartments for the month of august, the full cost of another month in deposit at the new place (and no refund on old apartment thanks to stains in the carpet)... I've been a bit pinched. I called and asked them to wait 10 days to process the debt recovery service payment this month (they did say they would work with me)... and they didn't delay it. It went through. The minute I realized it was going to go through (was watching the bank account like a hawk), I put in a $500 payday advance payment.... but it was the next day - so I incurred $350 in overdraft charges. UGH!

AND? I ended up at the dentist today - had put off putting on my last crown (had two teeth in need of one) because of my buggered up knee. Ended up with one of the teeth breaking, so we did get in and get that crown done. When it came time to plan "next steps" - I had too options - take care of the three minor fillings (not yet paid for); or the second crown (more expensive, but I THOUGHT I had already paid for it). Even though the second crown could probably wait until next year, I knew that since it was already paid for (with Flexible Spending Account money) - I knew we would have to deal with it this year. So, I asked them to do the crown first. So they did the preparation today & fitted me with the temporary crown. AND then when I get to the front desk, I find out that I did NOT pay for this yet, and my insurance AND flexible spending account is used up for the year. I dug through my old records, sure enough, I hadn't paid for it. I had planned for it, they told me about it, but then they didn't include it in the bill as anticipated (only the root canal done at the same time)... so it didn't get paid for. AND it could have waited. If I had waited until January - insurance would have covered the majority of the expense and I only would have needed 20% -- and I would have had fsa funds. UGH.

Instead? I know owe almost $1000 for dental work that I would have put off doing if I had known it would cost me a cent. AND, since it's going to take me several months to pay off this debt; I can't afford to do the fillings that I should have gotten done.

I'm feeling quite cranky.

Marriage Proposal

OK, so it was "a" - but it was sooo sweet.

We were getting in a good soak in the hot tub, and he flings his arms around me, gives me a big ol' smack on the cheek & says "let's get married, mommy!".

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A little bit about me

only if a dog counts

this morning (I know, quite the wimp; but I'm tired AND stressed AND menstrual)

not really - can barely read it myself

rare roast beef

2 boys


probably far too often


No - but I would do like the sling-shot type of thing - I worry that the bungee would destroy my back for some reason

If I'm being good - Total (with two scoops of raisins - per bowl)
Sort of Good - Honey Bunches of Oats (oats = good, sugar = bad)
Totally Bad? - Capn Crunch Berries --mmmmm


emotionally only, working on the physical


Ben & Jerry's Pfish Pfood



my health

my mom



Special K Bar

WebLogic Performance Tuning on-line class


new baby

since Phil already did it, no one

well, duh - Yeah!

Live - baseball
TV - football


US8 1/2

King Crab legs

happy endings

Harison Ford - Crystal Skull ( a little bit of a let down)

Not exactly sure - "grey" I guess


Chocolate Cream Pie


Speaker for the Dead


Ghost Hunters International

Rolling Stones


besides multi-tasking (Phil stole that one...) I can tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue

Monticello, Iowa

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Flying Post

So, even though none of my rooms are "done" - I do have quite a bit of progress for having moved one week ago.

1 - Kitchen - Green - fully unpacked, but need to remove dishes/food in cupboards to lay down the shelf-liners that had to get washed after being unpacked. Might move pizza oven to utility room (above the dryer) and move microwave to that counter top to free up more counter space, but otherwise, live-able

2 - Dining Room - Warning - fully unpacked, nothing on the walls - don't like where the cat food is right now, but with puppy eating kitty food, it's best to be up on the buffet. Filled with dirty laundry, but the apartment manager is telling me my new dryer will arrive today, so I should be able to reduce Mt WASH-more to reasonable size and get it out of the dining room shortly

3 - Living Room - Green - Four boxes to unpack, and china hutch to repair ... my g'pa made it for me 20+ years ago, and it didn't survive the move as well as I would have hoped. But, it's not the first move-required repair, so I'm not upset about it. But, the boxes I need to unpack contain the items I store in the cabinet, and I'm planning on waiting until post-repairs to tackle this in case we need to lay the cabinet down to repair it. I've got all the parts, just not the patience right now to tackle it.

4 - Bathrooms - Warning - Unpacked, but for 3 boxes of cleaning supplies. Plenty of room in the second bath vanity for all the supplies, but I'm sorting them out and going to try to figure out where I really want them (or basically procrastinating). Second bathroom vanity (master bath) is covered with all the things I want "semi-" handy; and I need to seriously re-think storage under the sink and get something with pull out trays or stackable trays to make this work.

5 - 'a's bedroom - Green - Completely unpacked except for one large box of yarn & my yarn "cubbies" - planning on putting these into his closet with a new shelf I'm going to connive out of the apartment maintenance guy. "a"s toys are very well picked up & cleaned up.

6 - Mom's bedroom - Disaster - Put this off for last, but this week, I'm finally starting to tackle it. I don't have much unpacked, I want to switch dressers, haven't put my bed up yet (am sleeping on air mattress).

So, even though "flying" says tackle those things closest to being done first, I'm digging in my heals and working on my room.

Monday, August 18, 2008

buggerred up finger

I have like the worst luck. The day I had my fight with "A" I had to take over moving all the stuff from the apartment into the garage (I messed up and didn't have it all arranged when the moving truck arrived, so it took over my dining room and living room. I couldn't start making any headway until they were moved out of the way; and "A" wasn't making any progress (particularly once I lost it & kicked him out).

Managed to jam three fingers on my left hand. Gave them all a very satisfying tug & heard pops, they were still sore later, but seemed ok. Until Sunday morning. The middle finger was the size of a sausage, and the knuckle is so swollen that it's sticking straight out from the finger. And its black & blue. And, I can't really move it more than a cm without excruciating pain. Great. Went to the urgent care clinic - x-ray's indicate nothing is broken; and then the doctor wanted to prescribe anti-inflammatory; when I asked if there were any safe to take with coumadin, he changed his mind. As there are non safe to take with coumadin. Quite suspicious. I'm glad I keep up with all this stuff, if I was a guy who didn't care (not that all guys are like that, but it's probably more a majority than a minority); I could be dead by now. Then he realized NSAIDs for pain was out too. He offered to try to find at least some kind of pain-killer, but I know all the lesser-potency ones I've developed allergies to, and its really not so bad I need something more potent. I asked instead if I could have a splint (as I'm unpacking, if I bump it - I KNOW I've bumped it). So, basically now, I kind of look like I'm flipping everyone off.

"A"s court date was today. He got a five year suspended sentence for Willful Injury - a felony. And he got 30 days (minus 10 for previously served) for the trespassing serious misdemeanor charge. Well, at least I'll know where he's sleeping for the next 20 days.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

... and now "A"s out

I got up around 8:00 today and made 50 trips out to the garage, made one last trip to the old apartment to get what we couldn't fit into the SUV yesterday. "A" slept until noon & then played on his computer for two hours until I lost my temper.

I started by barking at "a" and the puppy. When "A" asked me why I was barking at them; I realized I was taking my anger out on the innocents. So, I started chewing him out. I told him I was upset & angry because he wasn't helping "again". Don't get me wrong. He HAS been helping. But, while he put forth tremendous assistance on Tuesday, he took Wednesday and Thursday off. On Friday, I got on his case and he put forth minimal assistance. And I was doing the stuff he had promised to do - take the stuff out to the garage and it was upsetting me that I was working so hard while he was playing games instead of helping.

Well, yes, I was being completely b*tchy. On purspose; I was angry and needed to vent that anger. I also needed him to get off his *ss and do something. He did. He knocked over a pile of boxes and called me a c*nt. So, I kicked him out; again. This time for good.There's no call.

He can give me a good 20 years before asking if he & his family can spend a night visiting. Because I'm done.

He's forgetting the cardinal rule of freeloading - you don't treat your host like sh*t. It doesn't matter if I was yelling at him; it doesn't matter that I was threatening to turn off the cable. When you don't contribute, you need to at least be nice. I'm a little worried about how he's going to make it to Newton on Monday for his court date, but it's not really MY worry.

I'm sure he'll be around at some point this evening apologetic and wanting to come in, I don't really even want to hear it. And if that makes me a b*tch, I'm ok with that.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Well, we're in

We got into the new apartment on Tuesday. It rained most of the morning, so with the help of two guys I hired, it took a good five hours to load the truck. Once we got to the apartment (FIRST FLOOR!!! woohoo!) it took only two hours to unload the truck.

I've still got mountains of boxes, but they are a little like islands with paths all around them, as I work through unpacking. Piles in each room... sorted by room, but still too many piles.

I've been so prepared, I figured there HAD to be something I forgot. Sure enough. I didn't have the garage rented yet - I'd talked to her about it, but forgot to find out where it was on Monday when I signed the lease and payed the rest of the deposits and rent. So, we have a couple of big piles that need to get relocated to the garage. "A" has offered to do that today. We'll see.

He's actually been awesome about it. Very, very helpful in getting things relocated, and running errands while I was busy. We both wore ourselves out on Tuesday.

"a" was at daycare all day on Tuesday, so he was pretty excited to see his new room after school. He & I worked on it first with him there so he could unpack some of his toys. To be honest, he was pretty relieved to see all the boxes of toys. Over the past several weeks, I'd been packing a box of toys every couple of days, and waited until bedtime the night before the move to pack the final two boxes. He was in tears repeatedly over the "loss" of toys, and never quite got comforted by any explanation I could give. He felt a desperate need to go toy shopping - LOL!

Unfortunately, his relief didn't last long - around midnight he woke up with the flu. He was up all night getting ill repeatedly and fighting off any attempts at Tylenol for his fever. He managed to sleep pretty well yesterday during the day. Since I didn't have the internet yet, I couldn't work... and no matter how tired & sore I was from the move & lack of sleep, I couldn't take a nap (probably just stress from all the unpacking to do)... so I focused on getting the kitchen together. His fever finally broke yesterday evening, and about an hour or two later, I got him to eat a few bites. He slept really well last night (but got up at 5:00 am - I assume because he slept yesterday too). So, I'm still a bit tired today. Good news is that we are now online - so I'm trying to work from home today. As you can tell, it's hard for me to focus - so I thought I'd catch up on blogging.

Apartment is really close to the interstate, but we're on the opposite side of the building from it, and it's fairly well muted. Unfortunately, the air conditioners are right outside the bedroom windows (I think I count 6 units); which means that if the windows are open, it's quite loud. But, loud enough to drown out cars completely - so really, all-in-all, it isn't air conditioning weather all year round, so I think I can live with the noise.

Lots of trees, buildings spread out a little bit, very little over-head noise (did I mention - FIRST FLOOR!) and so far? My knee loves not having to do stairs!!!

We have a pool & hot tub fairly close to the apartment, so I keep hoping for a little down time to go for a soak - these tired muscles will appreciate it. Oh, and they have washers & dryers right in the apartment -I figure I'm going to save at least $50/month from laundry alone. I've been doing laundry practically non-stop since moving in. Feels good to have it so convenient and not have to dig out quarters and not have to share the machines.

Well, I suppose - better feed the little guy - he's starving now that he's feeling better.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Andy Rooney

I guess this has been making the rounds on the internet, but since I have missed it, AND I REALLY ENJOYED IT, I thought I would post it here.

In case you missed it on 60 Minutes, this is what Andy Rooney thinks about women over 40:

60 Minutes Correspondent Andy Rooney (CBS)

As I grow in age, I value women over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night and ask, "What are you thinking?" She doesn't care what you think. If a woman over 40 doesn't want to watch t he game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do, and it's usually more interesting. Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it. Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated. Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart. Older women are forthright and honest.. They'll tell you right off if you are a jerk if you are acting like one. You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her. Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress. Ladies, I apologize. For all those men who say, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?", here's an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!

Gotta love it.... and my new quote is why buy the hog just to get a little sausage.... !

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Color Quiz

"A" did this first, scary-accurate. Here's mine, then I'll come back & show you his results:

ColorQuiz.comPenny took the free personality test!

Your Existing Situation

    Needs, and insists on having, a close and understanding relationship, or at least some method of satisfying a compulsion to feel identified.

Your Stress Sources

    Feels that life has far more to offer and that there are still important things to be achieved--that life must be experienced to the fullest. As a result, she pursues her objectives with a fierce intensity that will not let go of things. Becomes deeply involved and runs the risk of being unable to view things with sufficient objectivity, or calmly enough; is therefore in danger of becoming agitated and of exhausting her nervous energy. Cannot leave things alone and feels she can only be at peace when she has finally reached her goal.

Your Restrained Characteristics

    Able to achieve satisfaction through sexual activity but is inclined to be emotionally withdrawn, which prevents her from becoming deeply involved.

    The situation is preventing her from establishing herself, but she feels she must make the best of things as they are.

Your Desired Objective

    Her need to feel more causative and to have a wider sphere of influence makes her restless and she is driven by her desires and hopes. May try to spread her activities over too wide a field.

Your Actual Problem

The fear that she may be prevented from achieving the things she wants leads her into a relentless search for satisfaction in the pursuit of illusory or meaningless activities.

Click here to take the test!

ColorQuiz.comAdam took the free personality test!

Your Existing Situation

    Needs, and insists on having, a close and understanding relationship, or at least some method of satisfying a compulsion to feel identified.

Your Stress Sources

    Feels unappreciated and finds the existing situation disagreeable. Wants personal recognition and the esteem of others to compensate for the lack of like-minded people with whom to ally himself and make himself more secure. His sensual self-restraint makes it difficult for him to give himself, but the resulting isolation leads to the urge to surrender and merge with another. This disturbs him as he regards such instincts as weaknesses to be overcome; only by not succumbing to them, he feels, can he withstand the difficulties of the situation. Wants to be valued as a desirable associate and admired for his personal qualities.

Your Restrained Characteristics

    Believes that he is not receiving his share--that he is neither properly understood nor adequately appreciated. Feels that he is being compelled to conform, and close relationships leave him without any sense of emotional involvement.

Your Desired Objective

    Needs a way of escape from all that oppresses him and is clinging to vague and illusory hopes.

Your Actual Problem

    Feels insufficiently valued in his existing situation, and is seeking different conditions in which he will have greater opportunity of demonstrating his worth.

Your Actual Problem #2

Agitation, unpredictability, and irritation accompanying depleted vitality and intolerance of further demands have all placed him in a position in which he feels menaced by his circumstances. Feeling powerless to remedy this by any action of his own, he is desperately hoping that some solution will provide a way of escape.

Click here to take the test.

Problems with health - again

So, the last couple of times I've gone in to get tested (my medicine I take) - I've been riding right along at the 2.5 test results - which is smack-dab right on target, FOR EVERYONE ELSE. Me? I'm supposed to be between 3 & 3.5 based on the last time we had issues. Only, my nurse calls me telling me "I'm right on track". I've basically gone with it, as if it works fine for me, I'd just as soon have my tests run that low.

Only, starting on Monday? I started having "episodes" again. The warning signs of a stroke. I had two episodes on Monday... and then nothing... then on Wednesday, I had two more... so I called the doctor's office. I left a message stating that I wanted to talk to the nurse because I'm having "symptoms" again and wanted to increase my dosage.

So, the nurse called me and stated that because my records state that my target is 2.5 to 3 (which means someone forgot to make notes in my chart)... that the doctor covering my doctor doesn't feel that we should adjust my meds. So, I explained the situation to her and asked her to explain it to the doctor.

She called me back and told me that the doctor still doesn't think I should increase my dosage. I got pretty irate. It's not like there's any benefit to increasing my dosage... other than maybe keeping from having a stroke. Which is kind of why I brought it up...! What on earth would I have to gain by lying here?

So, after apologizing for losing my temper and railing on her, I told her to leave a note for my doctor telling him that I'm still going to raise my dosage & go in next week for testing.

Monday, August 04, 2008


Well, I wandered around the apartment a bit with boxes all weekend. I did pack one or two more boxes. But, basically with the move nine days away, I don't have much left to pack, and most of what is left is stuff I want out for the coming week.

I have a few odd-ball chores to do this week, and then I can pretty much finish packing this weekend, we will still be at the old apartment on Monday night, so basically I should be able to pack everything except a suitcase full worth of stuff and be all set.

I can't ever remember being this prepared before; though I can't take all the credit. When I first started packing, I was hoping to move the third week of July, since we're not moving until the 12th, that bought me several extra packing weeks.

So, here's the odd tasks left (so I don't forget):

-toss mis-matched tupperware
-tear apart bed frames
-fix vaccuum
-take mirror off dresser
-pull bookshelves out of storage room (90 percent empty)
-take down curtains in my bedroom

For packing?
- every day clothes hanging in dressers
- current toilletries
- dishes + cookware
- about two boxes of toys
- about one box of pantry food
- two to three boxes of cleaning stuff that will probably stay at old apartment until I can clean it up well

Not too bad, huh?
Sent using BlackBerry

"A" - brain turned off

My patience is wearing thin, but as much as I complain, I'm fully aware that he's not really looking for work more because of the fact that he knows he's going to spend some time in jail soon. And, while you & I and the whole world knows that isn't a restriction for working - he thinks it is. UGH. But it's only a couple of weeks before he goes back to jail, so I can try to be patient.

But, we have had the discussion that we are not going to spend another six months post-jail doing this.

Secondly, he's really having a dose of confidence failure. He doesn't think he can do anything, he doesn't think anyone will hire him. Of course, he's not doing much to help his cause, which is my argument.... which is falling on deaf ears.

The jobs he has applied for? things like Catering Manger at the local Executive Suites... as if he has a chance at that kind of job?

Anyway, my latest mantra is that I'm fully aware his brain has been turned off and that it may take 5-6 years for it to start to function again. In the meantime, I need to make him function one way or another.

So, here's my plan. Post-jail term - he has two weeks of full support from me to find work. If he's working at the end of the two weeks, we're a-ok. If he's not - he loses the internet (means I lose it too, but I'm thinking its going to be short-term). Then, he's got two more weeks - if he's working at the end, we turn the internet back on... if not? Then he loses his phone. Two more weeks - if not working? He loses the car, if working he gains the phone & the internet. Still not working in two weeks? He's out of the house. The end. I'm going to type this up & have it ready for him to sign that he agrees to those terms. And, he's going to have to sign the agreement before moving back home from post-jail. If he won't sign the agreement, I have no problem refusing to let him live with me.