Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Blast! No blog from Debbie. I forgot she has this week off because of the DNC.

I am afraid to use my sink. After not having one for so long, it's quite overwhelming even just looking at it. This morning I took stuff down to be washed, stared at my sink and then took all the stuff to the bathroom instead. They are still sitting there. I am thinking about whether it is time to break in the new sink.

Woody the Detail Guy continued to work on the stairs to the upstairs unit today. The holes in the ceiling are still there. Dave the Plumber came to hook up the gas. Worked for about 3-4 hours. Hopes to finish up the remaining 3-4 hours when he brings the inspector by - hopefully later in the week. No one knows where Scotty the Contractor is. The Granite People STILL didn't come to put up the backsplash - could have been the rain this morning - the granite would have been all wet, etc etc etc. And Judy the Painter took the day off.

Didn't run today - still letting the foot rest. Now I am wondering if I am developing PF in the righ foot! GAH!!!

I had the day off today - until the day started. We were supposed to go to in Norton to watch the Deutsche Bank Classic golf tournament. But there was lots of rain and we didn't feel the need to drive down there, with rain delays and then turning around and driving back with nothing to show for it. Of course, I just looked out the window and the day is just beautiful. The question is, what do I tell the person who gave us the tickets? For free.

So, this morning, I spent about three hours on the phone with our company help desk. THREE HOURS. Now, this is NOT a sign of their stupidity but a sign of the complex nature of the problem.

You see, I have this wireless laptop. We also have a company supplied wireless firewall/router that plugs into our broadband. Got that? Good.

We also have the ability to connect in remotely to our company computers and have our laptops function exactly as they do at the office. Got that too? Good good.

Yup. It's way convenient. All of this is done by way of digital certificates and VPN's (Virtual Private Network). And it's complicated by the fact that our firewall security is so tight that we have lots of gatekeeper applications that don't allow things to just "pop in". And I don't mean pop up ads. In fact, I get a lot of pop up ads. I mean the kind of things that leak in from outside without you ever finding out or knowing about it. The stuff works so well that sometimes it won't even allow itself in. Got that? Good.

And to complicate matters even more, you have different groups handling different pilots, rollouts and implementations of this software. AND different help desks through a single 800-number. It's like a buncha doctors that do not communicate. One will want to cut without consulting the other doctor who knows that the problem doesn't have to be cut out over there, but gently pressed way over here and the pain will go away. Got that?

Okay... feeling a little dizzy? Good. That's how it's supposed to feel.

Now, we have a great help desk. We have very sophisticated software. And complex integration. All compounded by the fact that our software isn't straight-off-the-shelf-vanilla. Nope. When we work with a software vendor, we work with them to "corporate-tize" it to our tastes and likings. In fact, our company logo is everywhere as opposed to the underly vendor logo. To the extent that these vendors have special corporate builds just for us. And if they won't, we BUY THEM! The whole damn company! [Resistance is futile; you will be assimilated...] Got that? Yes, I work for a very big company with lots o' power.

So, back to my problem. I got the wireless laptop and then the wireless firewall/router. I could never get my remote access software to work. But I had internet access. So I started to use the web access to my email. Problem is that for me to be fully functional at home, my desktop and access has to be IDENTICAL TO HOW IT LOOKS AT WORK!!! And without the remote access software working that was NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN!!!! GAH!!!!

On top of that, I was using wireless software at work - it was pretty much "internally pirated" or unofficial, meaning using a wireless router at work that was piloted a few years ago, never really implemented into production and my new wireless laptop to access the "bleed" from two floors down.

This worked fine for a year. One Year. Yup yup yup.

Then Mobile Office project came in. This is essentially allowing people to work anywhere at any time - included with it were blackberries, phones, automatically assigned IP's, laptops, etc etc etc - which was in conjunction with The Move to RI and NH from Boston of a slew of people. Including my entire staff - except me. [Same thing with another couple of managers. Whatever.] My company (or sub-company for those who work for companies that really are a single company as opposed to a big company that have lots of a-little-smaller-companies under the big company umbrella and I am not talking about things like Colgate-Palmolive with different divisions that don't talk to each other because WE ALL TALK TO ONE ANOTHER and TRY to act like one company only when we want to or need to. GOT THAT??) started the move out of Boston - setting the "example." Whatever.

The problem is that LOTS of our customers are STILL IN BOSTON! HELLOOO!!! So LOTS OF PEOPLE MUST TRAVEL! From Site to Site.

In comes Mobile Office. Like a GOD!

Okay. Still with me?

Now. In comes the TRUE WIRELESS LAN PILOT. Real official stuff gets loaded on my laptop. I am a part of the pilot group (suckers) and the Wireless Routers are REAL and OFFICIAL. Yeah! All of a sudden, my wireless is terrific.

At home, my wireless is terrific, too! Before the Pilot, my "not-real" wireless software would connect to my wireless router than then mysteriously disconnect. This would happen about every 1-3 minutes. ONE to THREE MINUTES! ARG!!! Do you know how UNPRODUCTIVE THAT IS???? That means hundreds of manual reconnects and automagic disconnects a day if I were to work from home. And the fact that I couldn't connect through Remote Access made me work through the web browser on email, which only gave me about 2% of the functionality I needed from home.

Needless to say I wasn't very productive.

Okay. Since I've been traveling to the remote sites, I realized that I need to work from home and be productive. So on this fine day, I decided to call the Help Desk.

The Help Desk Guy remoted into my laptop and took control. He pushed a lot of buttons, unloaded stuff, uninstalled stuff, reset stuff, and rebooted alot. Remote access worked directly wired to the cable modem. Good.

Then more stuff with checks and clicks and Remote Access worked directly from my wireless modem/router. Very Good.

But, something is going on with the wireless stuff. It should all be dynamic. Both the network options for Wireless and Wired should be enabled. The Switching from one to the other should be dynamic depending on what the computer detects. But the wireless software decides it must be King and pushes itself up in the stack and tries to connect and pushes out the Wired and all sorts of stuff ensues.

So, I finally managed to get into Remote Access using the wired capability of the wireless router and I've been VERY PRODUCTIVE TODAY! :o))

I got a follow up call from the Help Desk guy about an hour ago - after working about 5 hours. He said he had to forward the rest of the problem to the Wireless Pilot Help Desk guys. But he will monitor the information and follow everything that is going on because he not only wants to make sure that I am being serviced correctly but so that he can learn so he can help the next person that comes along.

We are almost there. It is still a tangled web. But I think we know where the tangles lead and how to untangle it. I think.

And the Help Desk Guy? He's in RI at the same campus we are at (we only have one campus - duh...). I might give him a You've Earned It award which comes with a $150 or $300 check (with taxes applied) or an On the Spot award that comes with the cash award of $50. The OtS might be better applied here.

So today, I managed to tie up some loose ends, create the draft of a presentation to the CIO I am giving next week and forward it to my boss, and yell at someone about duplicating my work on headcount forecasts for the work that MY GROUP DOES!! HELLO!!! DO I TELL YOU HOW TO DO YOUR WORK, YOU MICRO-MANAGING OVER-ACHIEVING EXTRA-WORKING-DOING INEFFICIENT PERSON, YOU???

I even managed to THINK about the presentation that I need to do for the EVP of our company.
It's been a good, productive day.
Now I might go and see about those dishes and take another look at my sink.
Happy happy happy!


Monday, August 30, 2004

We officially have a working sink. And a garbage disposal. No more washing dishes in the downstairs bathroom sink. Happiness knows no bounds....

Tomorrow, they are supposed to come back and hook up the gas. The Granite people didn't come today and neither were the holes in the ceiling. Blast!

However, Judy has started priming and she should be done with the downstairs next week sometime. We can order furniture. Yes!!!

Worked in Smithfield today. Did I say that commuting sucks? Took me an hour to get there, and then an hour 10 minues to get back. And that didn't include stopping for gas.

Running Note. Nothing. I made an appointment with the podiatrist. I looked it up on the web. I could have a morton's neuroma or irritation of the metatarsal. Or it could something entirely different that I don't know about. I am NOT happy about this turn of events. If course, this is what happens when I stray from the original orthotics I had gotten from this podiatrist. All I had to do for my hip was lift weights! NOT change orthotics. It's like getting rid of the small ant hill in the back with dynamite. Hmmm... analogy needs works. In the words of my Indian staff, it's like I cut off my feet to fit into my shoes!!!


Sunday, August 29, 2004

This just in....

We are spending around &^%$2000 a month on eating out.
All because...
We don't have a &^%$# FREAKIN' &^%$# &^*^%!!!! KITCHEN!!!!
GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Supposedly, our grocery bill is down.
It's around $485 this month.
It's MOSTLY WATER!!! ARG!!!

So, I figure our regulary grocery bill should be around $500 a month - maybe less, give or take.
Then you add another approximately $200 in water. As in Spring water with the sport tops, but mostly Polar flavored seltzer water. We. Must. Stop. Buying. Polar. Water. !!!!!
ARG!!!!

I can't wait for this damn kitchen to get done. In addition to spending THOUSANDS on the kitchen we are eating out and SPENDING THOUSANDS on that! ARG! And THEN, since we don't have a decent fridge, we go out and get our produce from the local fancy schmancy deli - like Lionette - the few times we DO eat at home. GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I cannot wait for this damn kitchen to be done!!!!!


Happiness on a Sunday is watching the Men's Olympic Marathon on TV.
If they had it in HD, it would be just a tad better.

Talk about a busy Saturday.
Harriet and Shelton finally showed up on Friday night.
Came in after we got back from dinner.
Saturday morning, met up with Joanne, then went to lunch at the Jurys with Joanne and Luke.
Then we did some errands, went up to Shreves, Crump & Low and got a simple platinum band to separate my wedding band from my pearl ring. The diamonds were rubbing the pearl and I couldn't wear them together. Mary, the Jewelry Lady took a look at the pearl under the maginfing thingie and yup, scratched! Not too bad, she said, but still...

Then we went to look at furniture.
We went to a couple of places and fianlly settled at Adesso, a European furniture store.
They carry a line of furniture from Ligne-Roset, a company from France, - that handles a group of funrture designers.
Anyway...

The Nomade Express sofa has no arms and spreads out into a queen size bed. Multifuncational!
The POP Chair can hold two smaller runner-sized people. It also swivels and turns. :o)
We are not getting the ottoman. Not enough space for an ottoman.
The NEO rocks back and forth and has a switch on the bottom to keep it from rocking. We are not getting the ottoman on this one either BUT we are getting two!
Haven't figured out the colors but there are lots of choices. We will probably stick with something very neutral - beige, taupe, brown, etc. We needed something with clean lines that would hold the room together because the rest of the stuff we have is rather eclectic - a mix of traditional Korean chests, David Marsh shelving, and a table hand-made in Spain that has tiny mosaic pieces of wood (and bone and bronze) in a pattern that came off the ceilings of the Alhambra. I had it shipped back during biking trip through Andalucia. We stopped off at the Alhambra and the artisans were there working on furniture and tables and chairs and desks, etc. It's quickly becoming a lost art.
We are excited because we didn't want arms on the chairs (takes up too much room) and we wanted to make sure that we had extra bedding space. I think the pieces are simple enough to work with what we have and maybe tie them all together.
We need to go back, pick out the fabrics and make sure delivery is after the painting is done.

Anyway, yesterday was so dang busy that today better be more resting than anything else!!!

Running Note. Didn't run. Too damn hot. But I supported Joseph for his 12 miler. We started out in Natick at mile 10 on the Marathon course. While he ran, I stopped into Brueggers and got a salmon bagel sandwich for breakfast. Met him 3.5 miles later. The day was getting very warm but there were lots of runners out - resumably training for a fall marathon, ramping up for their first 20-miler most likely. While Joe ran, I stopped in and hurriedly got groceries - lots of water and fruit. I didn't get everything done because I RAN OUT OF TIME! It is VERY HARD supporting someone who is fast because you don't have time in between to really do anything! I made it to mile 18 with just about 1 minute to spare!! Then onto mile 22 to wait for him again. Even the Doggie wouldn't get out of the air conditioned car, it was so blasted HOT HOT HOT!!! Joseph arrived right on schedule - which always amazed me - always on time regardless of the heat and humidity. I don't get it. I would slow down by at least 2-3 minutes a mile in the damn heat!!! GAH!!! Next to the wind, I hate heat and humidity the second most. On the way home, we stopped and finished the grocery shopping. Phew.

My foot is bothering me enough to go back to the foot doctor the first guy who cured my PF. Dang. Should have done this a year ago. WILL I NEVER LEARNED???? APPARENTLY NOT!!!! PFFFTTTT!!!!!!

Tomorrow, I am driving the Miata to the RI office. GAK! Small car. High speed. Traffic. Great. Joe needs the Subaru for his golf outing.

I also found out that the health clubs in both Smithfield and Merrimack will let me use the facilities because I am a full-paying member of non-corporate fitness centers. Fitcorp not only runs their own high end fitness centers but also builds private centers for corporate offices. This is very good news. I just have to sit down and do my workout schedule.



Friday, August 27, 2004

Okay. So as Debbie would say, I am fucking swamped at work. I don't get it. From the moment I get in until the moment I get out, it's like one thing after another and I barely have time to eat, much less remind myself when I have to take a damn bio break to release all the damn water I am drinking.

So, I am in Merrimack today. The commute is only about 5 miles longer than going to Smithfield but it takes about 20-30 minutes longer. Everyone always bitched and was so damn snotty about my living on the SOUTH Shore because of the traffic blah blah blah. Well I hate to tell those know-nothings that going NORTH ain't no tea-party either! Pfffft!

House Note. So, the granite came in yesterday. Joe picked me up from work, the guys were hanging out on the front stoop waiting for me. It's definitely different from the piece we were given to take home with us the day we picked out the granite. It's lighter and more greenish in color. Basically all the colors come out in the light. The other piece, turned to Gray and had flecks of silver in it and if you shined a light on it, the green would come out. This is obviously green. Even without a light. Anyway, the brownish red color in the granite brings out the color of the cabinets. If I knew how to post a damn picture I would. Anyway, I think they didn't have enough of the original piece and then picked out a piece that was very similar but brighter and with more color thinking we wouldn't notice. But we DID! HAH! We are not stupid. Anyway, I said, it was okay. it's not garish and everyone who had not stake in what the old one looked like said that they really like this one - including Judy the Painter and Woody the Finish Guy. And the new lights we picked out will go will with this, too.

Speaking of Bob the Electician (which we weren't but he popped into my head) Joe had him put in brand new two way bellringer/speaker system and it looks WAY NICE. Another surprise from my Hunny Bunny. He takes the ordinary and makes it wonderful! I love his surprises.

Running Note. So last night, I ran this race. 4.2 miles but probably more closely 4.1 miles. Whatever. It's a Paulie race after all. Anyway, I started out before the horn blew thinking I could just run it really slowly. I told Jimbo, who mans the bull horn and the starting horn - he didn't care - and started out with a slow jog. Do you think that I could have maintained that? Well!!! About a half mile in I have to stand aside because the LEADERS were coming through. I cheered them on and then fell in with the pack. Being impatient, I fell in with faster people and they simply swept me away. At one point, I am thinking, WHAT THE HELL! I am SO DAMN TIRED!!! Then it occurred to me two miles LATER that I had been swept up by the faster people! GAH!!!

What was supposed to be easy turned into SPEEDWORK!!! ARG!!!

So much for stupid bright ideas. Afterwards, we had beer and burgers with lots o' sides and fixin's. At least there was an upside.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

My goodness.
It's been a while, hasn't it?
To those who have asked, blogging has been in the frontal lobes of my brain for a while but finding the time has been hard.

Since my last desparate and thwarted attempt at posting, lots have happened.
1) my group has moved to RI and NH but I am in Boston
2) I am going from location to location - trying to figure out the schedule for this
3) I haven't been running squat due to the confusion of when to work out and when o travel
4) Been back to the dentist for the third (or fifth depending on how you count it) in a series of appointments that started with the damn root canal
5) trying to figure out when I have to go to CA for work so that I can schedule a trip to CA to meet up with Marc Guggenheim, the TV producer
6) been dealing with the house and fretting over the last bit of details
7) Joe's sister now wants a DATE when we can get together each month - HELLLOOOOO!
8) Harriet and Shelton are coming tonight and DO YOU THINK THEY WOULD HAVE CALLED???
9) Judy is already starting to paint the house - doing prep work...

AND NOW!!! I just got a call from Joseph... the granite is in. It's not exactly the right color. WHAT DO YOU MEAN? Well... it's green but it has more color. It has red in it. RED? Like HOW RED? Well... it brings out the cabinets more. Judy (the painter) like it better than the one we picked out blah blah blah.

WAIT!. Come get me, drive me home, I'll take a look at it, then you must bring me back. I've spent all morning at the damn dentist. I need to go back to leave a check, and now I have been at work for about what, 30 minutes? That is LESS THAN AN HOUR!!! ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And each one of those events would be a blog topic in and of itself.

So. There you have it. The mystery of my strange absence from Blog is revealed.

More later.

Running Note. We have a race tonight. 4.2 miles. Thank GOD we have a race. Because I have only done 2 2-mile runs this whole entire week of my life. At least I can run this easy and get some miles under my belt.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

I was not meant to blog today.
I wrote one blog - a long one.
And I hit a wrong key and it disappeared.

I wrote a second version - much longer.
I hit the same damn wrong key and it disappeared.
Again.

I give up.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

For those who are wondering, we really did go to Hell this past weekend.
Hell, Michigan.
Hell has been hot has hell in the past.
And once or twice, Hell has frozen over.
This weekend, Hell was rather tepid.

Got to Ann Arbor on Friday, and stayed with friends, Violet and Millard.
Cher and Milt stayed with us, as well.

Lots of people stayed with MaryD - including MJ (she of the Blog on Hiatus), and KarenB.
Had a great time!
We ran the Run through Hell and I got a wonderful orange race t-shirt with white FIREBALLS on them! YEAH! I really was hoping for fireballs! :o) They are little flame shapes with faces on them. LOL!

I ran the 10 miler which was good I ate enough for two people!
Friday night dinner, lunch at Zukey Lake Tavern after the race (where I got a sweatshirt), Bratwurst grill and fish fry which Cher and Milt did up with Lake Erie Perch (OMG! It was AWESOME!) on Saturday night, and lots of other food. Then a brunch on Sunday morning! EGADS! I think I had a half a pound of bacon! GAK!

We got home on Sunday night and went to a birthday dinner at a Sushi place in Brookline for our friend Josh.

So, eating is over and so is my long distance running for a while.
I am concentrating on speed, strength, and short disances.
I want to get back on the bike this winter - training indoors on a Cyclops and get out there for some duathlons and fast 5ks. I really want to break my PR by a long shot! I think I can do this as sprinting is in my genes. Much more so than long distance.

Then when I get tired of that, I will do some more marathons and target some ultra distances.

I have a plan. ;o)

I've been in class for the last couple of days. Last day is tomorrow. Thank goodness I can bring my laptop and plug in while we are in class. And I have three people from my department in the class with me, LOL. We are quite disruptive! And I just had a meeting with a guy from another group sitting next to me and one of my DBAs. The guy (Ray) told me that he sat next to me by design so he could talk to me about some stuff. LOL!

Running Note. Haven't run since I got back. The 9am class really puts a crimp into my lifestyle. And given that my direction for running has changed, I have to redo my whole workout schedule.

House Note. NOTHING! Now quit asking. Sheesh. We are still waiting for the Granite and the Cabinets. I hope the Granite came out okay. I am so tired that I don't care anymore if it's not what I want. Joe says I have "Deal Fatigue" when you've been working on closing a deal for so long that you just don't care anymore. Of course, he also says that we are spending too much money not to get it just the way we want it. We will see how badly the granite turns out and then see what he has to say. :o[

The tenant, Sharon, moved in this past weekend while we were in Hell.
She's a hoot!

Monday, August 16, 2004

Well.
I am back from Hell.
Figuratively and quite literally.

All day class today, to the doctor's to give blood, then home.
I had to starve the whole damn day because I was supposed to have been fasting.
So I had a ham and cheese croissant for breakfast and then nothing.
Nada.
Zip.
Zilch.
NOTHING! GAH!

And another thing.
I have never seen so many empty seats at the Olympics.

We are waiting for the Granite to come in.
It's getting close.
I have what Joseph calls "Deal Fatigue."
I just want the whole damn thing to be over.

And the Doggie is doing her strange whinie thing that drives me crazy.
She sounds like Chubakka in the old Star Wars movie.
GAH!!!!


Wednesday, August 11, 2004

First things first. I am back. I THINK. I can't believe how busy I've been. It's been two of the worst couple of weeks! I felt like I was drowning and with the dental thing and the budget at work all piled on top of my already full regular schedule, I felt that I was never going to come up for air. In fact, I told my boss today that I needed to clone myself. And THEN I might be able to do everything I need to.

The Budget from Hell is done. The first round. We go for Round Two in a couple of weeks. Of course I have one loose end to wrap up. A colleague who I like to call Last Minute Louise sent me a frantic email that I must provide her with this and that ASAP. ASAP? ASAP?? Uh. Yeah. Right. Tomorrow.

The tooth is under control. Hopefully only two more appointments and the Root Canal from Hell will be done. I will say, however, that I am so happy to be able to drink and eat anything I want. I can't believe that I lived with that pain for the past two and a half years! I am a dumb head. :o[

And to all my friends who comment on my latest blogs, and to all the surprise readers who comment, thanks for your feedback. And yes, Lotta, I LIKE to know the names of the people I don't know! It's kind of a personal thing so that I can make up a face to put to the name. And YES, I DO think it's kinda weird that there are more people out there reading my blogs. I mean... My blog is really a commentary about NOTHING. Ya know? Just life. And only ONE person's life. And the perception of that person's life on that particular moment in time because if the mood had been different, I am sure I would have written something else! Think of the possibilities. I get a headache just thinking about it.

Oh. Did I mention that the stove got delivered WITHOUT THE DAMN KNOBS? And Joseph was supposed to have picked them up but he either didn't have time or they were not at the store. GAH!!!

I did pick out the Rail Pulls for the cabinets. Very nice. :o))

Running? HAHAHAHAHA!!! Did I MENTION The BUDGET FROM HELL??
And it's almost 8pm and I am still at WORK!!! GAH!!!

Okay. Hopefully tomorrow, I will be in a better mood.
I am moving my office across the floor and I haven't packed.
You should see my office. I need a dumpster.

And I am going to Michigan this weekend to see my best friends (90% of whom live in MI and OH).

And Marc Guggenheim, TV producer emailed me today! YEAH!!! We are going to L.A.
CHER! Are you READY? You had better make time for this. DAMMIT!!!

Life is just getting crazier.


Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I have been so damn busy between work, my tooth, the damn dentist, and the house that I haven't had a chance to blog! GAH!!!!!

more later.
Hopefully.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Every person lives in a separate plane.
And I don't mean an AIR-plane.
I mean, one of those planes you studied in high school physics.
And those planes exist side by side, so small and infintessimal that you we can't fathom where one ends and the other starts.
Some planes are next to each other and we can wave at each other and laugh and smile.
Other planes are far apart and you may never know who lives in them.

This morning I went to the Public Gardens for a run/walk. Yup. Two days off and I didn't want to over tax myself, you see. At one end, there is a big tower, and I find a lot of Chinese people there doing Tai Chi, stretching, calisthentics, and walking around the park, swinging their arms and making deliberate motions. Sometimes they are just sitting there, facing the tower and sort of meditating. They look like they are in their late 60's, which by Asian standards means they are probably in the late 70's and early 80's (because Asians look younger than they really are, dontchaknow). Some of their flexibility amazes me. I thought to myself, that I hope I live to be 80. I hope I shuffle along in my runs and races, and I hope that my peers would have died so I can finally win a damn age group award!!! (Yes, it's all about me, after all! :o))

Seriously though, it gave way to the thought that "you use it or lose it". If you want to see a really fit group of septa- and octogenarians, go to the Public Gardens in the morning, in the section near Chinatown, and you will see inspirations for clean living and exercise.

I see them whenever I run through the Public Gardens. For one brief moment, the plane that I live in brushes up against theirs and I have a view into another world where I might be in a couple or so decades.

On the way to work today, I thought of my mother. Not a day goes by when I don't think of her. Some days, the thoughts are fleeting and I just see her smiling face. Which is interesting because she was never really smiling at me. Other days, I imagine her in her coffin, forever young, peaceful serenity on her face, quiet and calm, laying there with flowers in her hands. I worry that she is lonely. I know. GET A GRIP! Of course, I know that she was buried with a bible and a penny. She was always active. Visiting people in need, going to church, doing things for people... she was always on the go. And I remember that she was always pretty healthy and fit. Until cancer took her away.

Other days, like today, I think of her and I cry. I remember going from work to the hospital room and living there for the next two weeks. In her drug-induced fog, she knew me. She reached out her hands and cried when I entered the room. And we held each other and all the years of anomosity and pain melted away, revealing what? Regret? And finally, understanding? I remember my Daddy who had remarried, sneaking in to "visit" her. Actually, he met me in the hospital lobby and asked me how she was. We sat and talked and cried a bit. And then he told me never to tell the step monster that he had been there. And it is a secret that I will take with me to my grave.

Today is my birthday. Each year I get closer to the age when my mother died. And then the age my father died. I am convinced I only have 9 more years to live - the age my mother was when she died. Joseph says I'll live to be much older. I hope he's right. I remember my father telling me he was going to live to be 120. I remember scolding him and saying he should not tempt the gods. And sure enough, if his life was meant to be 120 years, the gods took cruel advantage and took almost half of the years away.

I live each day grateful for all that I have. I always try never to wish for long life, because I know about the fickle finger of fate, genetics notwithstanding. I learned at an early age that life is what you make it, no matter what cards you are dealt. You can either lay down in self-pity, defeated, and fulfilling the prophesy that others give you, never mind fulfilling the prophesy you give yourself. I learned that to be happy in the face of sadness, to be alive in the face of death, to be giving when you have almost nothing is the best kind of living there is.

I do know that regardless of everything, I have lived a charmed existence. I have wonderful friends; we have nurtured our friendship through the years, and although most of them are far away, they are always near to my heart. I also have new friends close by. They are the dearest things I have, other than family. From all walks of life, they bring indescribable dimension to my life. I am forever grateful that I was born into the consciousness that I have. I am forever grateful for the events that shaped me and made me who I am. And most of all, I am grateful for the life I have today and the promise of the future that I am building with my soulmate. My Hunny Bunny who is my best friend. I am one of the lucky ones to have found their soul mate and I cannot fathom the life I lived before I found him. Not being a risk taker, I am amazed that I took a chance with wild abandon, and found a new world waiting at my feet.

And Joseph's parents called me today and left me a message wishing me a happy birthday. They sang Happy Birthday and wished me a Happy Personal Year and told me they loved me. His sister Judi and her family sent me flowers and his other sister Anne called Joseph trying to find out where to send a card. Who says you don't marry your spouse's family?? :o)

I am blessed. Every year is a blessing. And I hope I can live well enough to pay justice to all those blessings in my life. And to have enough time to smell the roses and drink the lemonade that I might make of all the lemons tossed my way.

Happy birthday to me.




Monday, August 02, 2004

Gawd. Forget the rainy day, but Monday's have been getting me down lately.

Let's call it Minor Mayhem Monday!
7 am meeting. SEVEN AYYY EMMM!
No coffee because I am having a FASTING blood test this morning.
That means no caffeine and NO FOOD with a SEVEN AYYY EMMM meeting!

Then the water heater blows for the apartment upstairs.
Water everywhere. Bob Little the Electrical Man comes up and asks for Joe.
I say, Joe is in the shower.
He says, okay, he can tell me then.
So I say okay, tell me.
And at this point the shower stops running and I know Joe is listening.
Bob Little the Electrical Man says, you have water in your basement.
I say, okay.
And he says, I don't know where it's coming from.
I say, okay. And I don't move. I just sit there. Waiting. Waiting for what? I ask myself.
Then I am thinking, you can't tell me that, you should have waited to tell Joe.
So, then I say, Joe, there is water in the basement.
And Joe says, I heard him.
Which of course I knew he had.
And I hadn't moved from the place on the couch where I had been sitting since that blasted 7am meeting.

Turns out we had a minor flood - never mind "some water" - in the basement.
The water heater for the upstairs went.
Joe went down to check things out.
I hear all sorts of noise from two floors down and I am thinking, he should have waited to shower.
Then Joe calls up, you had better let Jonathan and Sarah Ann know they don't have water.
GAH!
I open the door and lo and behold, there stands Jonathan.
He says, do you know about the water...
I say, you have no water.
He says, uh, no...
I say, your water heater blew.
He says, OMG! What about your floor?
I say, it was the basement.
He says, not the first floor?
I say, no, we have a full basement below the first floor.
He says, Great!
I say, yup. You and Sarah Ann can shower down here.
He says, Great.

Thank god they're the sweet jovial type of people.

So then I call Scottie the Contractor.
He said he'd call Dave the Plumber.
Then he laughed and said, when it goes, it all goes at once, huh?
I say, yeah yeah yeah... I know it. Thank goodness there is not much else in the house that can go at any moment. Sheesh.

The latest news is that the water heater may not get there until tomorrow.

In the meantime, Bob Little the Electrical Man is working to put in 220 V for the new Duel Fuel Stove and Jay the HVAC Guy us drilling holes through the brick that is the side of our house. And he thinks that the A/C will be in tomorrow. Not today, as the ever optimistic Hunny Bunny thought might happen. Of course, I could have TOLD him he was wayyy too optimistic but you can't argue with an optimist! Because the day is always rosy and you can always fit 36 hours into an 8 hour work day! Hmph.

So, all that excitement before I left for my blood draw before work at around 8:44 am this morning.

I think that's about all the excitement I can stand for one day.

Oh, and did I happen to mention that my weight is up by 6 damn pounds since I've had no kitchen in the last two months??? Just so we're all aware...

Sunday, August 01, 2004

So much for my 6 mile run.
Started out and a third of a mile into it my knee continued to hurt when I stepped on left side.
Turned around and went home.
Iced my knee for 20 minutes and took some advil.
It's feeling much better and it didn't hurt when we walked the doggie for an hour.

I did support Joseph on his 20 miler today. I was happy happy that I could do this because it's hot and humid out there.

Right now, I feel like firing Jay the HVAC Guy.
Did I mention it's HOT AS HELL???
By the time he gets the damn thing in, it's gonna be DAMN WINTER!!!
GAH!!!!

Tomorrow is Monday and I can't stand the thought of it...
The weekends are never long enough. Sigh....