Wednesday, August 27, 2008

saying no

Good heavens, people. There have been so many issues with work over the last few days it's ridiculous. I mean, so ridiculous that I didn't even cry about it. Well, until today. And then only briefly. My work computer finally died. It was, of course, the worst possible time--3 outstanding reports, a site having crises and me not having access to any solutions, a BlackBerry that hadn't yet been set up, all right before vacation. I'd complain more but I think the internet can only handle one superstar who can make more money blogging than working at the job that fired her for blogging.

Amidst everything, I decided to say no. Part of it was for my sanity. Part of it was because it's finally getting to me that it doesn't seem like anyone else works this hard. I can't tell you the number of times I've called coworkers only to find them taking care of some personal or leisure activity during business hours. It seems like I'm the only one stressing while others are on play dates. Literally. It still made me feel guilty to say no. To say that I needed time to get both personal and other work stuff done today. But here I am. Blogging about it instead of sitting in traffic for at least an hour and a half to help someone do their job. Good luck, people.

So, vacation! Yea! The Boyfriend and I are leaving tomorrow morning and will make it back on Monday. You know, if there's not a hurricane keeping us from flying back in. Too soon to tell. But we're headed to west Texas for a kitschy good time. Since we're not making many concrete plans, I'll spill the details upon our return. There is a plan to mark at least one item off the Life List so that should be fun. If only it were "retiring." Have a happy long weekend.

Monday, August 25, 2008

the right stuff?

What's worse? That the radio station is playing (old skool) New Kids on the Block or that I know they're playing NKOTB? Or maybe that I just wrote NKOTB?

Regardless, I'm tickled. (Even more so after labeling this post "pop culture.")

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

mondo beyondo update

So you may remember this from the beginning of the year. Or not. I totally forgot about my goals and my theme but this post reminded me.

To catch you up, my theme for 2008 was The Year of Reconnecting and I had three goals. Here's what I wrote before:

  1. I want to feel like I'm on a very real path to marriage. (Um, yes, this is scary to write. Makes me want to throw up a little bit so it must be a good one.)
  2. I want to have even closer relationships with my loved ones.
  3. I want to take better care of myself. In every way.

Things are going well for #1. Still dating The Boyfriend, which is key. And we have good conversations and took that pre-marriage class awhile back. And my friend NL is so looking forward to a wedding that I think she could have the whole thing planned in about 5 minutes if I gave her the go ahead.

#2 isn't going as well as I'd like for it to. I've spent at least a little time with everyone but not as much as I'd like. It's just so hard to balance everything. Does anyone have a tip or two for this?

#3 has quite frankly sucked lately. I'm sure you've noticed. But I have exercised more these last few months. Again, not as much as I should but it's a start. And I may have been getting enough sleep lately. Yeah, #3 has sucked. Again, how do you have enough time for everything? Anyone? And did anyone else have any goals this year? How's it going?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

10 on tuesday (36)

Ten on Tuesday to go with the current Olympic obsession. There's also another figure skater I can't think of...I'm sure I will tomorrow. I guess I just like ones who are/were inspiring to me and often those most memorable (which may also be the most hyped). And I know the media is all over Michael Phelps but he sure does make things exciting.

10 Favorite Olympians of All Time
  1. Mary Lou Retton, gymnast, owned her workout video for kids when I was younger
  2. Michael Phelps, swimmer, record breaker, cutie
  3. Greg Louganis, diver, so memorable until the other night when we couldn't remember if he was still alive or not (he is)
  4. Surya Bonaly, figure skater, bad ass, broke the rules because they were stupid
  5. Scott Hamilton, figure skater, back flipper, fun routine maker
  6. Domonique Dawes, gymnast, first female African American gymnast to win an individual medal
  7. Kerri Strug, gymnast, good lander on one ankle
  8. Carl Lewis, runner, full of energy
  9. Kurt Browning, figure skater, cutie
  10. 1980 US hockey team, inspirational

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

frame of mind

I slept through the entire flight this morning. As we taxied to our gate, the flight attendant said something about going out there and making today a good day. Apparently that's what I needed to hear because I thought, "She's exactly right. It really is up to me to make it a good day."

On Monday, I went to the doctor to see about some meds for my troublesome allergies and also to complain about a few other problems I've had lately. And I've just felt run down. She basically attributed everything to stress, even the headaches I've had like clockwork once a month for the last few months. I don't think I buy that explanation for that one, but when I asked her what to do about it she said, "Break the cycle." What she meant was to take meds right before I knew the headache was going to come on. What I took from it was to just get out of this freakin' rut already. I've been so overwhelmed for so long that even when something goes smoothly I've celebrated only briefly before falling right back into it.

So, because of those two things I bring you the list of positives about the recent changes at work.
  • I'm working in psychiatry again and that really does make me excited.
  • I'm getting more competent at that protocol.
  • Trainings have gone well lately. I even have been able to do some problem solving.
  • I know enough to know what questions to ask.
  • I have a very personable leader on that study, someone I already knew who already got my personality and sense of humor.
  • I'll be able to make more day trips.
  • That means easier travel arrangements, less packing, and more nights at home.
  • I get to spend time in southern California. And due to some switcheroos, I don't have to fly into LA anymore, only San Diego. I like San Diego. LA? Not so much.
  • I get to see mountains in New Mexico. Real mountains. The other day I was driving to the airport and looked in my rear view mirror and thought, "Gosh, it really looks like rain back there." Nope, it was dark because there was a MOUNTAIN back there.
  • Other than that, I can get to my sites in less than an hour by plane or a few hours if I choose to drive.
  • Things are getting easier (and faster) to do.
  • Unlike Shreveport where my work was never done and I could never get finished early, sometimes I can catch earlier flights home. Or even just get in my car and DRIVE home.
  • I'm getting to meet new people who I'm sure will be just lovely. I hope.
  • I got a Starbucks gift card just for joining the team.
  • My other study let's me stay in town. Just two sites. In town. Sweet.
  • That study (which really isn't my favorite no matter how I spin it) is basically in maintenance phase. The worst should be over.
  • Nothing bad has happened when I've said no. Yet. Fingers crossed on that one.

It is getting better. I just need to realize that things will take a little more time to work themselves out. After September I'll have a much more predictable schedule. Life will be good. Heck, it's not so bad right now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

10 on tuesday (35)

This week's topic was suggested by me. Woohoo! Except that meant extra pressure. You know, when I'm already stressed to the max. Yeah. So be kind.

10 Favorite Movie Villains

  1. Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmations. I don't like people who want to turn puppies into coats.
  2. Voldemort from Harry Potter. He's evil and creepy and his lack of nose bothers me. I can't wait to see the newest one. The casting of his young self looks fantastic.
  3. Tess (the sister) from 27 Dresses. I know, I know. She's not really a villain in the typical sense. When I thought about this topic I asked myself what character really gets my blood boiling. She does. Every single time. Because of several in-flight movies, I've seen this movie a few times. The wedding dress scene makes me hate her. Hate. Her.
  4. Annie Wilkes from Misery. Ouch.
  5. Nazis from pretty much every movie they're in but specifically The Pianist. Maybe this movie sticks out for me because I also read the book.
  6. The Evil Stepmother from Cinderella. Don't mess with people's dead mothers' dresses, man.
  7. T-1000 from Terminator 2. If you haven't noticed, I'm not a huge fan of traditional hero/villain movies. This guy is creepy. And it's one time when I think the sequel is better than the original.
  8. Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada. Even though the movie was disappointing to me after reading the book, I still love Meryl Streep. And who can't relate to a boss being a villain?
  9. Hannibal Lector from Silence of the Lambs. How could he not be on this list?
  10. Darth Vader from Star Wars. Same here. I wonder how many other movies were inspired by this series?

Monday, August 11, 2008

what a difference a year makes

If you go by the calendar, it was yesterday. If you go by the day of the week and associated events, it was Friday. Either way, it has been one year since I met The Boyfriend.

Due to schedules and some things outside of our control, we ended up spending the weekend in the country. Stayed at what is turning into my favorite B&B. Were leisurely. Slept in and ate some great breakfast. Picked and stomped some grapes. Did a little shopping. Ate a couple good dinners. Limited talk about work. All in all, very relaxing and much needed.

I lurve you, Boyfriend. One down, 60 to go.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

10 on tuesday (34)

10 events that should be in the Olympics

Given that I'm sick today and have recently been preparing for a tropical storm (that ended up not being so bad, thank goodness), I don't think I'll actually have ten.

Last week I was thinking about this topic as I was traveling (yet again) for work.
  1. Multitasking: We're talking taking a training class while on a conference call and checking e-mail and maybe filing.

  2. Speed Airport Travel: We'll give you a line to check in. Perhaps another line to take your checked baggage to...throw you a curve by having one or two baggage drops closed. Then another line for security. Who gets through fastest?

  3. Overwhelmed Breakdown: In this one you should have more and more piled on you until you crack. Maybe that would mean traveling to the wrong place on the wrong day. Or maybe forgetting documents you should have packed. Or maybe having no GPS system in the rental car when you haven't printed out any directions. (You know, for example.)

  4. Rental Car Memory: Speaking of rental cars, let's see if the contestants can remember what kind of car they're driving. Added difficulty for having multiple cars in multiple cities in rapid succession, only seeing the car at night, and valeting the car so that you can't even read the label on the keys.

  5. Password Memory: These things change all the time...but never at the same frequency. Let's say no two can be the same and pile more and more on. You also need freaky specifications like no repeating the last 12 passwords, adding numbers, and including upper and lower case...

And one more considering the tropical storm yesterday and today.

6. Natural Disaster Drama: Let's see who can convey information without trying to over-dramatize it.

And yea for one of my suggestions being the topic for next week. Does that mean my list will have to be extra good? Happy Tuesday.

Monday, August 04, 2008


Why does it have to be 9000 degrees outside the day before a tropical storm/possible hurricane? In keeping with last week's 10 on Tuesday, it is too hot to drag in patio furniture and plants and to bag up weeds that you were hoping would dry out before you bagged them and duct tape the wonky globes on your outside light because that's the best solution you can think of right now and put the several bags of garbage in the garage because trash day isn't until tomorrow and bring in the garden gnomes lest they become flying projectiles. Too. Freakin'. Hot. Good luck, house. I'll see you Wednesday.

Friday, August 01, 2008

adequacy (or lack thereof)

There is no little emoticon on the website I use for "inadequate." If there were, that's what I'd have over there. For most of the last year I've felt great. Pretty much better than I had in years and years. Something in me has changed. And I really do believe that or else there would have been many more days months of feeling inadequate over the last year. But here I am anyway.

Everything stems from work. After two years of working the same project, I knew it backwards and forwards. I knew all the people with whom I worked (even if I hadn't met them face-to-face). I knew everyone's roles. I knew how to get to all my sites in other cities/states and knew my way around those offices. I knew who was good at their job and those who were less so. Even though I didn't love Shreveport, I knew what to expect. And right now, even going there doesn't seem so bad. (And you know I'm not doing well if I'm saying that.)

Now I've been on two new projects for months. It really feels like, by now, I should know what I'm doing a little bit more than I do. Granted, there has been too much (constant) change and too little training during that time. But still. Here I am--feeling frustrated and burned out and incompetent. Everything takes longer to do. I don't know who anyone is, let alone have a real connection with any of the folks in the other cities. I may not know where the bathrooms are there. Or where to eat lunch. Or what hotel to choose. Or really know what I'm doing on either project. And it seems like I'm out-of-town so much that it's hard to take time to just get organized and learn. Basically, I'm spending too much time doing the job instead of learning how to do the's so backwards. So I've taken a few office days but then I feel so overwhelmed with the rest of my life and so unmotivated with work, that I end up getting nothing done to help me do the job better. And then there's the actual missing of deadlines and scheduling travel on wrong days and stuff...

I know that if I just devoted a few good solid days--ok, maybe a week--to work, then I'd be better off in the long run. And when I say "work" I mean the things that people don't see--things that do not have deadlines, things that only I know are getting done behind the scenes. There are always those 40+ hours of work that people do see on top of the rest... But here's the deal. Even though I've been trying so hard to get a grasp on work so that I can improve my state of mind down the road, I'm letting everything else in my life get screwed up as well.

Basically I have been sort of hit-and-miss with my diet and exercise. I haven't seen enough of my friends or family (yet still manage to damage via if neglect isn't enough). I haven't done as much around the house as I've wanted. The yard (actually the flower beds) haven't looked this bad since I've moved here. And I don't really take much time for personal appearance. Yeah, it's pretty much every area.

So I'm sorry if you've felt let down and/or abused and/or neglected by me. And if you hear me say fuck a lot, know that I don't really mean it.