Have you ever had to write something important, only to discover your head is filled with horrible cliches and banalities, and you couldn't be serious or eloquent if your life depended on it?
Ok, I've managed a bit more than this....but haven't quite managed much meaningful dialogue..
I think I've written before on how hard serious writing (like in, you know, totally serious, right?) is for me. I struggle. A sentence is written, rewritten, edited some more, and eventually discarded because I lost my initial focus. Typical. Most times, I write a few, go play Candy Crush, or some such game for half an hour, then go back and write a little more. Sometimes this works well. Sometimes I shut down the computer and come back to it later. Other times I just delete the whole thing and decide it's not worth the trouble. However, this time it's important but won't necessarily be viewed as such by the recipient. Such is life, eh?
Happy Post Thanksgiving
I hope all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday! We enjoyed the meal I spent two days putting together. Now I have a legit excuse not to cook for at least a day or two.
Spent part of the day talking to my Mom and Sis. Mom was doing well despite the Lewy Body dementia. Since her caregiver wasn't in at the time we spoke, I could tell she was struggling with recalling words and places. It didn't seem to bother her too much, but it did confirm for me that she depends on him a lot to help when she's having conversations. My Sis is doing well, she will have her last day at work on 12/23, and then will have some down time until the work from home (insurance underwriter) jobs start up sometime around February or so. Yesterday I booked a trip to visit my eldest son & grandson, my Mom and Sis as well. I was able to schedule a round trip flight with a rental car much cheaper on Allegiant than Southwest. There are some serious limitations to flying with Allegiant though. I can only travel on Thursday or Sunday. I can fly to Austin, but not San Antonio. On the plus side, it's a direct flight, and my son lives in Austin! I will report on it afterward, but I'm not flying out until February....
So, back to my writing. I admit, I'm using you as a warm up....
I didn't have the greatest of weeks last week, but I'm in luck.....this week I only have to work one day. The Tuesday before Thanksgiving is one of our annual office cleaning days. After work, we break out the mops and vacuums, cleaning solutions and rags and clean the office from top to bottom. In return, we have Wednesday off with pay. And of course Thanksgiving is one of our paid holidays. We're off on Friday, but I have to either take a vacation day for pay or not. I opted to save my vacation days for some other day. It helps that Romeo is working. Our financial situation has improved, and I am thankful that I have that option.
Yesterday I had an e-mail from our professor that he has cancelled classes for this week! Woo hoo, I don't have to consider my baking schedule around class. Now I can stay in my pj's all day if I want to, and take my time baking pie and rolls for Thanksgiving. It's really nice to have the day before free to take care of some of the more time consuming aspects of a foodie holiday.
Yesterday I made Boston brown bread ~ I hadn't made any in a few years, and spotted the container I purchased over 20 years ago in the cabinet. It's usually made in a coffee can, but mine is a heart shaped piece of pottery, with the recipes inside for the bread and a fruit pudding (which I never made because it sounded awful). It is easy to make, but you need to steam it ~ apparently during colonial times not everyone had an oven. It's a mixture of rye, whole wheat and cornmeal, with buttermilk and molasses. It's a heavy, dense bread, flavored mostly by the molasses. Even though I forgot about the pan and it boiled dry, the bread still came out well. It might be a little overly browned (ha ha, read burned), but I haven't reached the bottom yet. I'm meeting with Prof. S today at 2, and plan to make another batch & give to him for the Thanksgiving holiday. If they don't like it, the birds will, lol.
Uh oh. I did it. And now I have the shit storm tornado to deal with.
There are four of us that work the front desk. Each Doctor has two front desk people, of which I am one. One of my co-workers has been there for a year, and I've been there for almost two. Of the other two, one has been there for 5 years, the other for much longer than that.
When I started working there, I asked why we weren't charging the tax on the copayments as we had at my previous workplace. Which was it's own shitstorm as my coworkers were unhappy that they would have to do so much more work. I was baffled at their complaints, as figuring out the tax takes approximately 15 seconds or so. It's a percentage. Really, what it so difficult? Well, time marches on, and everyone seemed to figure out the easiest way to do it. Except, that, over the past few months, I noticed that tax wasn't being added consistently. Finally, I went to our OM (office manager) and mentioned that I was baffled as to why tax wasn't being added (because that means the Doc has to pay it) in every instance. Which led to a staff meeting where this was discussed. I admit the OM handled very well, making sure no one was pointed out. Until one of the long term front desk people mentioned that she didn't bother when the copay was under $30. Then the Doc pipes up and says "Oh, so then I'm paying the tax?" and understandably requests that we make sure that we add the tax to every copay, no matter how small, because over time, it really adds up.
So, she gets really pissed. And then later asks me if I'm the one who spoke to the OM about it. And I said "yes, I did", and that's when the shit hit the fan. I spoke to the OM that day at lunch time outside of the office as I didn't want to throw gasoline on the flames. She actually said that I probably shouldn't have admitted it, and that I could have said that the OM noticed while reviewing reports. Maybe. Perhaps. But I'm afraid that's just not me. If someone says "did you do this" and I did, I admit it, for good or ill. I guess my mother's lessons on honesty worked, lol.
I won't go into the problems this has caused me with the two longer term coworkers. However, in a stupid attempt to patch things up I did go to each one and tell them that I regret that I didn't ask them first. To which the longer term individual was gracious. The 5 year coworker leaned down and said nastily "Oh, we aren't angry (?), but we will never trust you again". If she could have shot lasers out of her eyes, I would be cinders by now. Not angry my ass.
So, what's really got me up in arms is that I am the one being punished when they were the ones in the wrong. Perhaps they should have asked themselves why I didn't approach them. And it's really cold up there now. I think I'm gonna have to bring a little heater to put under my desk.
I like to bake. I like to cook too, and have some awesome recipes that I consider signature: Louisiana gumbo (with sausage, chicken and shrimp), beef carbonnade (great fall/winter dish), King Ranch chicken. But, give me a challenge of a cake, cookies, pie, etc., and that's when I'm at my happiest.
Ultimate coconut cake
3 layers, creamy custard in between, with torch browned meringue frosting
Chocolate raspberry tartlets
Of course my family loves these creations. Some I do on a regular basis, some are only once or so a year on a special occasion. My cookies are sublime. But there is a price to be paid. And no, it's not gaining weight (ha ha). No, the price is that ones reputation gets around. And the next thing you know, people are asking you to bake something for them. My racquetball friends have asked that I bake for every ones birthday, you know "since I bake all the time anyway" and I only need to bring a piece for the birthday person. It's cool, it's not that often....but why does it always seem to happen when I'm at my busiest? And why do I open my mouth and ask said person what they would like? Especially when they ask for the carrott cake that takes me 3 hours to do. Even worse is when I volunteer myself to bake a pie ~ like I am at this very minute ~ for a co-worker who happened to mention she didn't really like cake for her birthday? I guess I'm just a sucker who loves to bake....and make people happy. So, if you're like me, I suggest you keep your baking obsession a secret, or embrace the chaos.....
When Romeo and I were first living together, we had a lovely apartment. I have truly fond memories of the pocket doors that separated the living room and "den", the wonderfully large kitchen with a dutch door (! I know...it really did have one!) and a built in secretary desk. We were living on very little money. I think that we brought home a little over $900 for the entire month. I don't recall how much our rent was probably around $300. Obviously a long time ago, huh? Yeah. Well, we didn't have the money to buy a bed, and all I had was a twin from home. So, for about a year, we slept on that stupid, tiny twin bed. Needless to say, sleeping positions were limited to two. Right or left. Neither of us could sleep on our backs! I don't recall hating it, but that was probably because we were just learning about each other, and very much in love.
Our next move was to Oregon, where we lived for awhile with Romeo's Dad, but luckily that didn't last more than a few months. I recall that apartment as well, but not with as much enjoyment. It was a one bedroom apartment with carpeting in the kitchen, for heaven's sake. Who puts carpeting in the kitchen? I ruined it though, by spilling the can that I stored cooking grease all over it. This time though, we purchased a water bed, which was full size. Waterbeds were all the rage back then, but the one we had wasn't baffled, so it was annoyingly like sleeping on a small boat in the ocean. And it was cold. When we moved to a house we rented, we did take it with us, but didn't put it in the bedroom upstairs, because we were worried it would be too heavy. Thus began about a three to four month period of sleeping on sleeping bags. Ugh. Truthfully, we probably should have just set it up in the huge dining room and slept downstairs, especially considering we didn't have a dining room set anyway. Then, Romeo's Dad came through with full sized mattress, which we loved. We put it on the floor. I really don't recall why we didn't buy a bed frame, considering they were probably pretty cheap. I guess with age does come some wisdom ~ or common sense.
When we moved back to Texas, we finally had a regular bed. You know, with a frame and everything. Very normal, if still a bit small. After moving to Albuquerque we purchased a select comfort bed, queen size. Thought we had reached the pinnacle of sleeping comfort, but some years ago we took a trip to Telluride and slept on a king mattress. Oh, man. It was heaven. I have been wanting one every since.
Anyone else do crazy shit like this when they were first together?
Well, this has been an interesting week. Tuesday night I switched to the news to see how the election was going, and then couldn't sleep. Literally could not sleep. I was so in shock, my brain wouldn't stop.
A few days later, one of my colleagues (a non-traditional college student such as myself) posted on FB that if you voted for Trump, to please unfriend him. I wasn't really too surprised, but what did surprise me was that one woman who did asked him if he was serious, and he replied that he was. So, here is a guy who basically severed a friendship over the election.
I private messaged him, asking him:
Do we really have so many friends that we kick them out of our lives
because we don't agree with their politics?
If Clinton had won, what then?
Perhaps we are all in shock, making this moment a poor time
to make rash, knee jerk reactions.
But, no, he replied "No ~ Trump is an abomination and a danger to the world"
I am as disgusted with our two party system as I have ever been. My son asked if Gary Johnson managed to get 5% of the vote, and was saddened when I told him no. He shook his head, and said no more. But these protesters are really irritating. It's over. We have to do what we can to move forward. What else can we do?
I haven't been to class since last Monday, as our professor was at a conference on Wednesday. It will be interesting to listen in on the conversation, as most of my class mates are Democrats, and most likely thought Hillary had it in the bag.
I wonder how many American's will actually move to Canada? I don't think Canada is amused. This hilarious article by Mark Hill with Cracked.com gives us an idea.....(here) I saw this posted on FB, and immediately shared it, although I think most people don't really read articles on FB, but troll through hitting their preferred reactions.
Anyway, it is a relief for the ads and campaigning to be over, because as it always happens every 4 years, we are all sick of it after nearly a year, with the usual frantic push the last 4 to 6 weeks.
I need to do some reading today for class, as Carol is presenting tomorrow. I have high expectations, because she seems very clever and smart. I haven't read her articles ~ Prof. D asked us to post 3 articles that we used during the research so the rest of us will have some understanding. Then there is a short question/answer period, which I see as him checking on whether or not we read any of them. So, I guess I better get going!
Along with a pap smear, or a colonoscopy, right? I did go and have my mammogram done today, and was surprised that I was able to skip the ultrasound this time. The tech said that because it's been 6 (almost 7!) years since my cancer surgery, I can now enjoy (lol) a routine mammogram. This did not stop me from shedding a few tears (I always freak out when I have to go, understandably) before I left. Apparently I will receive "a letter in the mail" letting me know all is well. If I never receive a phone call from them again for the rest of my life, it won't make me unhappy.
I have been truly lucky to have a man who truly helps around the house ~ while I'm busy with work and school (which annoyingly keeps me very busy), he has been cooking meals (sans veggies for the most part) and "cleaning house". I put that in quotations, because his idea of cleaning house is rather slipshod compared to mine. I vacuum the baseboards (wha???) and move furniture (you're kidding) and vacuum the upholstery (every week?!). I am convinced that his idea and mine differ mostly because he doesn't want to spend near as much time as I do ..... and who could cast blame? Housework is boring, dirty and the darn house doesn't stay clean very long. Before you know it there's a dust bunny the size of a basketball rolling around in the corner. And spiders? It was a real massacre this Sunday. I found at least 6 different areas where I could see their webs the carcasses they leave behind.
I am convinced that the reason Romeo sucks at dishwashing and house cleaning is because he does these things without his glasses on. When it comes to dishes, I'm pretty ruthless, setting them aside for re-washing with the announcement "this is still dirty". He usually harumps and ignores me. His favorite dishwashing statement? "This needs to soak" which means it will sit in the sink for 5 to 8 hours, by which time I lose patience and wash it. Yeah, I see what he did there.
So, although I sound like a bitch, complaining about his skills as a housekeeper, I truly am grateful for his help. And I never ever criticize his skills or you might hear this:
"If it's not good enough, I'll happily let you do it all"
So, yeah, it sounds like an ultimatum, because they feel they are going above and beyond, and we should be appreciative not critical. I made a comment once on "this is how I do it" and I hear the above comment, which made me break out in a cold sweat. No help, ever? Nah, I can pick up the dust bunny and put it in the trash and then go on my happy way.
Love you, Romeo, for all of your support. Hey, and most weekends, I take care of the trash.