Saturday, May 31, 2008

I guess the week can be salvaged....

The week started off not so great and ended with a sob. Instead of just sitting here in my house alone I decided to get serious about my stupid membership.

I emailed a couple "matches" and well, at about 7:30 got a reply (from the cute one.) It's the new me, so I suggested we go someplace and get some wine and talk about our week.

We agreed to meet at a wine bar in Issaquah (yes, I live in Renton, but the cool places are in the real suburbs.) I made the safety call to Becky to tell her where I was going, the phone number of this guy and what time to check in. I of course read his profile to her, hello... still a girl.

When I read the part about his work - vague, but descriptive enough for me to put some thoughts together. "I wonder if he works at the same place my college roommate Andy worked at?" I quickly hang up and call. Sure enough - yes. I am quickly assured that MS is a "nice guy". It is suggested that we skip the wine bar and go to Andy's. I LOVE IT - safe and FUN.

I call MS back and he's a little wigged that I've put all this together in 15 minutes. I put him at ease by teasing him about whether or not his shirt is ironed yet. (men are so predictable) It's almost perfectly flat and he agrees to go to Andy's.

Where is all this going, you ask with excitement? You guessed it, making out on my couch! Not that I kiss total strangers and tell. *snort* I totally do too.

So, it is true that he is in fact nice. My spidey senses say that he'll call, but based on my lack of experience in this area I could be totally wrong. Of course, as the girl I hope he does call, but if not it was fun to go a couple rounds of tonsil hockey.

But, now here it is 1am, and I have to get up tomorrow to get Becky's dinosaur birthday cake to the cabin and I'm wired. My story has ended so I'm going to go to bed anyway (you're not getting details - I'm not a porno blog.)

The moral of the week... no matter how many dudes who you mistake for being remotely interested in you that break you down, or how many favorite co-workers who cruelly abandon you in total hell "save yourself tpgal" there's always some guy that will come over and try to feel you up! Go

Go TPgal!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Oh Mikey...

Today was the day my now favorite ex-coworker left. In spite of drinks, and good-bye lunches I was in NO WAY prepared for his departure.

At 4:30 someone walked by my office and said good night and I asked if he was still back at his desk. "Oh no, he left about half an hour ago."


I totally understand why he didn't swing by for the weepy hug with inept words of "I"ll miss you, and I love you man." I'm sure walking out was hard (in some ways) for him too.

I think the reason I'm so heartbroken over this is that there's no logical reason I can find for things at work to have deteriorated so badly that leaving was the smart thing to do. I'm proud of him for standing up for himself and walking away, but it was a preventable thing. MegaBank is a lesser company for this departure.

It's crazy to still be shedding tears two hours later (and on the damn bus for frick sake) our friendship will extend to real life. It already does.

I'm happy to cheer you on Mike, where ever in whatever you want to do! I just think that it's going to stink not being able to talk over the stupid work stuff with you and have the gossipy coffees. It's also going to be hard to keep up with the "I told you so's" if we aren't working out the next steps together.

Monday will be a little less sunny than today.

6 months

It's unusual for me to be so "up and awake" on a Friday morning. I was up and in the shower at 5am... so look what I've had time to do this morning:

I don't understand what's going on with the exposure. I don't think I touched anything, and can't believe that changing my shirt would affect the exposure.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dinner out with my team... and other stuff

I know what you're thinking.. "Frick, another boring post about her stupid job, get back to that dating story line at least it's funny."

Well, this is my world and I'll talk about anthing I want.

My team was talking during a staff meeting about wanting to get together in a not work setting to get to know one another better. Sweet Tony our 50+ year old pm suggested that we bring spouses for a "spouse exchange." Um.. buddy, you work with four women, you're going to get the short end of that stick. Mixer... exchange... whatever.

Tonight, we met for dinner at Wild Ginger. They chose the restaraunt with enthusiasm and I like the WG, but its the go-to lunch place for every serious business lunch and if I've had 7 flavor beef once I've had it a thousand times. This event wasn't about me being the boss, so I happily agreed. (shoot, I don't eat anyway, what does it matter where we go. My 3 oz of meat and 4 string beans shouldn't sway the vote.)

All the spouses were fun and we had a great time. Poor Tony, his wife literally missed the boat and had to skip dinner. Tony said he tried to talk her into coming late, but based on his description of what the evening was about maybe she skipped on purpose. *tee hee*

Hopefully we'll make time to do more things in the future. In addition to the whole team building bull crap that I have to care about, I think these events make work easier.

As for the "other" thing - I solidly declare that I did not misread the situation, but the timing is off. I don't think that door is closed forever, but also won't be sitting around pining for "what if" either. The foundation is there for something great, but we'll see what tomorrow brings.

In the meantime... you people need to get busy and start setting me up on some dates! I'm looking good these days and you know that I'm funny, quirky, smart and an incredible friend. What's not to love? (Oh my... if you're not able to find the humor in how over the top I describe myself then you don't know me.)

I promise there will be progress pictures soon. I grew out of a new size of pants this week (in the good way not the "damn, these pants must have shrunk" way) so I'm on the move again. *WHEW*

Finally... HAPPY 40th BECKY! Her son asked her what the theme to her birthday party is going to be, and she said "theme?" and he's all "You know, like Thomas the Train, Firetrucks, Zoo animals?" She tried to explain that (most) adults don't have theme parties, but he wasn't having any of it. He has decided that her theme (for her 40th) is Dinosaurs. The oldest creatures know to man... it's a good thing he's cute.

Fictionary Addition

Manesia: The amnesia that happens to men when they forget they've said or done something. Usually induced by meeting a new woman.

I'm not bitter... just confused.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'm Breezy

I feel like such an ass.... I completely misread an encounter with someone and thought that there was a connection, you know like "wow, that person is really great!" and it turns out the feelings not so mutual. Or maybe mutual, but CLEARLY not on the same page.

I am 100% positive the mistake was mine - because while you all love me and know me to be completely perfect, it is in fact true that when it comes to the world of dating I am a novice. I would lay down money that there was no misrepresentation or second thoughts happening in this case. Trust me, this guy is not a jerk... but I am for getting ahead of myself.

The sad, embarrassing thing, and the reason for the post (to share my humiliation with the WORLD) is that I called on the Support Sisterhood. Guys may not want to know it, but even in our late 30's we still call each other to talk through people we've met or are excited about. It's not at the jr hi school level of "and then like he said... and then I go... and then he..." But it's close. So, I've blabbed my excitement (over nothing) to the people who most want to see me happy but now I have to retract.

The bright side, if you can get past the red of my face is that the flush of meeting someone really fantastic and making (or mistaking) a connection is still something I'm capable of.

Do you remember that scene in Friends where Monica tries to leave a casual message for a man... and ends the call with "I'm Breezy"? It's supposed to be an attitude not an announcement. Well for a day or ten I'll be living in Breezy-town.

Oh golly, I'm going to go hide under my bed until Christmas.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Oh golly... I'm running

I skipped the gym tonight in favor of some actual outdoor activities. I mosied up to the track around the Middle School playing field and tried to run. I've never successfully made the transition from treadmill to self propelled action.

Maybe I'm moving too fast, but I go about an 8th of a mile and my body is yelling "you're dying... right... now... for the love of god... stop doing that!" I try not to listen, but unlike at the gym where I can focus on the visuals (man candy) in the wild my mind is laser focused on the burning in my legs or the fact that I can't actually breathe. The iPod helps some.

My compromise was to do 8 laps (not quarter mile either...I think each one is about half a mile) and run a third of each lap. It took me about 30 minutes or more... either way -- feeling good. The leg muscles are nice and stretched out. I'll give it another go - it's a whole new me!

While I was circling the field I was noticing that all the baseball fields (3) tennis courts (3) and basketball courts (2) were in use. Families and kids were everywhere. What a great night to be out. The new moms were making slow revolutions around the track (thankfully I was faster than them.) Anyway - I joke about living in the ghetto, but my neighborhood is amazingly diverse. It's pretty cool.

I didn't do it... don't judge me

The next time you're at my house and you see a stack of US Weekly, please note that I did NOT subscribe to this terrible magazine. It arrived today addressed to... yes Messy Martha.

This quality issue is all about "How I got my body back!" You would think that someone on a journey of weight loss and fitness would be excited to read how Christina Agulara dropped 40 pounds in 4 months. Well - unless you've got two hours a day to work out and someone dolling out the food you may be screwed.

Another quality article in the US Hot Bodies feature is Pamela Anderson explaining "How I Stay Hot." Her tricks - being vegetarian and chasing her children. That and a ton of cocaine....

US weekly will be darkening my mailbox for a year - I'll get to see candids of celebs getting gas, hiding their kids from the paparazzi, and on fabulous vacations that I might only dream of. Wow.

Monday, May 26, 2008

New music & broken arms

Part of my "inheritance" from Messy Martha were four $20 gift cards to Borders (a store that I don't really like for some reason... it's just books and music, what's not to like?) Friday, I picked up two books - Under the Banner of Heaven and Spook. Both non-fiction, the first about the polygamist sects of the Mormon Church and the second a scientific attempt to bunk (word?) or de-bunk the afterlife. I'm deep into "An Irish Country Doctor" at the moment - so no reviews just yet.

I also picked up two albums (CDs - dang, I'm like old.) The first is the new REM - Accelerate. I love REM - their music is smart, politically pointed, and "deep." The second cd is the new Neil Diamond - Home Before Dark. What can you say about Neil? He's so wonderfully cheesy that it's enjoyable. This record/albun/collection - was produced by Rick Ruben - who is amazing!

Which one do I like the best? Yeah, you know me... Neil Diamond baby! The REM will grow on me, but I'm a sucker for longing love songs.

I did make it to the gym today and think I hurt myself. I'm not trying to build crazy body builder muscles, but arms with definition and tone would be good. No matter what I do I am going to have some Margorie Beard batwings, but my arms can be solid underneath right? I used the machine thing where you rest your arms on the "ramp" and do controlled curls. Dressing myself tomorrow may be a problem. So sad for all the office peeps (who ever is left) to have to work with naked TP gal. I'm looking good these days, but not public nudity good.

Shall we all just say... "whew."

Memorial Day Recap

This picture is kind of a cheat because I took it from a golf course; it isn't the typical Eastern Washington vista. 98% of Eastern Wa, isn't this groomed. It also helps that it's spring - when things are still green. The sky though... wow!

You may be able to guess that we golfed yesterday - and man oh man do I suck. Thankfully, the aunts & uncle Ed aren't into keeping score, it's about the practice. Also, at the par 3 course in Granger (Golf, Pizza and Family Fun Center) it can NOT be a serious game.

A 10am departure from the parents estate (homestead, 2 acres... whatever) helped me get across the pass before the terrible traffic began.

It was a pleasant drive, window down, music up. There were a few drivers out there that need to take "Remedial Lane Changing." The class is actually pretty easy - look, and if some one is already in the place you want to go... WAIT.

I was worried that I was going to be tired for the ride home. I woke up last night at 12:30 and had to run in the house to tinkle (so much cuter than to say "pee".) The run from the camper into the house was enough to really wake me up. I was up for HOURS, mostly obsessing about work, and then about some nice happenings in my personal life. Eventually, I had to turn on the light and read to quiet my mind.

Normally I'm not a middle of the night muller - the only time I really get up in the middle of the night and stay up is when it snows. Eventually, it started to rain and that finally put me out and I didn't wake up until 8 when I heard mom digging in her garden (3 feet from my head.)

So, I'm home. I'm about to head to the gym and then to hunt down the perfect beyond perfect gift for Becky. Yes, it's true that my friendship should be enough, but the girl is so greedy. (She is also thankfully tucked away at Gambleside without Internet. By the time she reads this she'll know I was kidding.)

ok, gotta run. Kisses!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

It is enough to retire? Nope

I received the letter about the "life insurance" from Messy Martha and it looks like I'll be continuing to work.

There is a little something there, but mostly enough to boost my savings account. It's not money I had before, so spending it seems wrong.

Becky says she creates a yearly budget and then sticks to it... I need to do that. I do too much "little" spending that adds up. If I was diligent I could save up enough to cover a years worth of expenses and then I'd have options.

Oh well... today is not the day to start I'm off to the mall ! (My excuse, it's dad's birthday... he needs some socks or something.)


Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Recap

I received an e-mail this morning that the Animal Planet reality show that my friend lovely Robert filmed a couple years ago is finally going to air. DVR "My New Wild Life" - I hope it's fun.

Robert is great, one of those guys who is wonderfully catty and sharp - but gets away with it because tells the truth. He and Janie went to college together, but we're co-god parents so we have a connection. If his super hot, rich boyfriend ever leaves him, I'm going to quit life and move to Miami and be his house bitch. (hmm..maybe I have a thing or two to learn about dating.)

Work sucked. I'm so tired of bitching about it so I won't. It's pooh or get off the pot time.... I'm still deciding. That 26 day vacation in October is looming and I'm not going to skip that for anything. A new job might make that a challenge. Plus, if we get bought out, I'd either get new management or a walking package -- neither scenario would break my heart.

We cut out early for drinks to say bye to the two departing dudes (who I can't gossip about because they have the blog address now) and it was a lot of fun. A nice mix of bitching, laughing and friendly chit chat. I did gossip about some folks and am NOT proud of myself. I wasn't the only one who knew the dish, and frankly the folks being gossiped about weren't AT ALL discrete about all the sex they were having, but I was unkind and am kicking myself.

My mom talked my cousin into the Honda, so I may have that sold.

AND most important of all.... My brother called from Bangor, Maine this morning. He's HOME for good! We talked this morning and he's so glad to be out of Iraq. Woo Hoo. I agreed to fly down for a visit once he gets settled. I'll do a combo "welcome home from Iraq" and congratulations on your High School Graduation for my niece trip. (weekend trip - it's UTAH for pete sake.)

I'm off to Yaki-vegas for the weekend. The cold rainy weekend. Dad told me to bring my long johns. Ooh, I love it!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I give up!

I have been within seven pounds of the 100 pound weight loss for almost a month! "They" say stalls are normal, and that your body needs time to adjust - but WTF!?

I'm going to try not to fret about it for the holiday weekend (while still sticking to the food and water plan) but come Tuesday, I'm going to start logging my food and water intake. Maybe I'm snacking a whole lot more than I think I am.

I'm going to miss Mike a LOT at work, but if he's not there to supply the m&m's maybe my consumption will drop to zero. I thought that would happen when Beefcake left us last month, but not so.

In reality, no one but me is in charge of the snack reduction program. And honestly, I think the weight stability has more to do with my failure to get in the required 60-90 oz of water a day. It's challenging to work that in when you're snacking. (see how it's all connected.) I'm supposed to wait for 30 minutes after eating to begin drinking again, but what happens is that I eat, get busy, find myself hungry and eat something - but no water. Maybe I need timed eating periods... 6am, 9:30, noon, 3, 6, and 9. and that's it. Discipline is a bitch!

The scale is not my friend these days so I haven't stepped on since Tuesday. Even the online support group people are starting to piss me off with all their posts of how great they are doing. (Kidding, I'm thrilled for me and them.) This is only temporary and thank you Santa Claus, I'm not in a gain situation!

I'll muster the energy for some outdoor photo's this weekend at the parents house and will share them. (In pj's now, so no dice - and in my old pj's that are HUGE so seriously, no dice.)

I'm hopeful that a weekend of outdoor activities, like raking and mowing will shake my metabolism back into gear.

And - done. Enough whine.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Book Group

It was book group night last night, and I'd like to share that I really love those ladies. They are each wonderfully smart, vibrant and creative. I'm thankful for their presence in my life and it's not just that we love books. The reading thing is a common thread, but they each have such a unique spirit, and are genuinely trying to live their best possible lives. I've heard it said that your friends are a reflection of a part of you and if that's really the case, I'm pretty fantastic! (snicker)

We discussed a Graham Greene book over a delightful vegetable soup and some very tasty cous-cous. Write up of the book will happen on the Seattle Girls Book Group blog - tomorrow.

After the discussion we did something unusual, we made a necklace (beaded charm thing) for our member who is in the hospital trying to keep her baby in utero as long as possible. Each gal picked beads and made a wish for M&M and baby boy M. I was worried the activity was going to be corny, but in reality it was sweet. Wishes ranged from, strength for the baby, clarity for M&M, travels in the future, creativity, peace and even good wishes for the dogs.

Monday, May 19, 2008

is that all!?

I had lunch today with favorite soon to be ex-coworker today and of course ran into the big boss. The QB seems to eat exclusively at this little place near our building. I seldom go there except for drinks and now that 90% of the fun guys have left, or are leaving the summer after work drink outings may be pretty far apart.. oh WHY DOES EVERYONE LEAVE ME?????

Anyway, not sure if it's prudent to be seen eating with the soon to be departed, but I've never been savvy at the whole political game. I guess, I'd rather be a loyal friend than think about office game playing.

Over our massive burritos we talked about his plans, his kids (son had prom last weekend and daughter is planning a wedding -- fun and funner) and the upcoming holiday weekend. Then we bitched about work a little and he asked what else was going on in my life.

I had to laugh a little because other than dealing with Aunt Martha and her death Wednesday... there's NOTHING else going on in my life. No time, no energy. I'm trying to keep up with the trips to the gym - but tonight I skipped in favor of straightening up my house. Woo Hoo.

It is housekeeper day tomorrow and I had to do condo-wide shoe collection. Oddly enough, it drives me crazy at my parents when my mom leaves her shoes all over the house. Don't tell her, but I'm the same dang way. While dressing for the baby shower Sunday, I tried on 5 different shoes before landing on the exact right pair of flip-flops. Good LORD, could anything be LESS important? Don't fret... I looked great! Top to bottom - hot mama. Well... hot (non)mama. Ironically, I look my best in a room full of women. Not a single dude in sight all day. I have to get a hobby.

Mom asked a few nights ago how the online dating is going. Um, it's not. Since took my salary range off line I don't even get the "widowed dad's" any more. My Italian boyfriend "Randy Hall" hasn't emailed in weeks. I'm sure if I fired off a quick - "How've you been" he'd pick right back up with how he wants to "expose his love" to me. Tee hee... I went to the dirty place in my head.

It's too bad that whining and sitting around the house in my pj's isn't the surefire way to draw in the future mr tpgal. (They are cute pj's so it should be working.)

My friend Jodie suggested that I add to my online profile that I put out on the first date - but that just seems a tad out of my comfort zone. I think I'd much prefer to be a date in before I make that announcement - er determination. An announcement would be unfortunate. Plus, in spite of all the talk, I'm a lady. It's at least date 3... *snort*.

Lastly, I called Martha's pension fund today to let them know that she would no longer require monthly checks (see how I can joke and joke, but avoid the word "died" maybe I'm not quite as cold as I think.) During the conversation the agent dropped the Life Insurance words. No clue as to if there is a policy or how much it might be. My guess is if there is one that it's 10k or less. But wouldn't it be a bright spot in a bad situation if she was horrifically over insured?

I'm sure if it's more than a million that I'd buy my parents dinner or something, but I might just have to "retire" for a while. It will be 3-4 weeks before they figure that out, so I'll continue to go to work and try to be the best security gal they've ever seen.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

That'll learn ya...

Ran errands yesterday in the 90 degree heat. It may not be great for ye old ozone, but I do love driving with the A/C on and the windows down. My toes are cool, but the warm wind in my hair is awesome.

I had to make a stop at Babies R Us - a place very foreign to me. I picked up the registry of my friend and tried to navigate the isles. Thankfully, my standard baby shower gift was not yet snapped up. The Diaper Genie is the perfect shower gift, it isn't too expensive, it's huge, and it gets used everyday. Since I was splitting the cost of the gift with another friend I had to tack on some extra things but got a little carried away. By the time I was at the counter and saw that my total was $159 ($59 over our agreed upon budget) I was READY to leave the store. I think Babies R Us hires new moms to walk their pissed off infants around the store just to keep the single childless people from lingering too long in any one spot. With screaming babies everywhere, I decided to just take the stuff and over gift. Technically, I'm this gals boss, so over gifting can be forgiven.

Next door to Screaming Babies R Us is a Starbucks and a frothy iced tea lemonade sounded fabulous, so I dumped my infant gear in the car and wandered back over. As I was headed back from my car two policemen came running out of Starbucks towards a mid-sized black SUV. They asked the driver to step out of the car and started questioning him. He was affluent looking when the adult female exited Starbucks with her frothy extra-huge blended drink the police started to question her as well. As I passed the car I noticed the 4 year old and infant in the back seat.

All eyes in Starbucks were on the activity outside and someone shared that the police had been sitting in the window drinking their (now melted) iced coffees when the man and the woman came in, got in line, ordered their drinks, waited for their beverages and then left the store (the man first, then the woman.) Somehow the police noticed the kids in the car and had some severe words with the couple.

My entire transaction from door to door was about 16 minutes and my beverage was skipped ahead because it wasn't a blended thing (like the man and woman had ordered.) I'm pretty sure those folks got more than an earful from the police because the one officer was writing up a ticket, making notes in his handy book and the parents looked scared shitless.

So, here's the moral of the story... if you're going to lock your infant in a black car on a 90 degree day to get your blended coffee drink don't park in front of the Starbucks. Park around the corner so you don't have to be bothered by the Po-Po who are all up in your face about child safety.

Thankfully, the kids appeared to be ok and the officers didn't have to slap the parents for being stupid, although they may have wanted to. I think they could have sold tickets to the stupid parent beating for the next police guild charity auction. I'd buy a ticket... how about you?

Friday, May 16, 2008


The work out yesterday helped me to wake this morning in a much sunnier place. It helped that I had a personal appointment at 10 am and arranged to "work at home" in the afternoon.

I played hookey and had lunch with Rico in Bellevue at PF Changs (the least Chinese of Chinese restaurants. ) It was nice to see him, my attempts at weekend visits are usually thwarted by plans made by his lovely wife. She plans their weekends, and I'm not really on the agenda. I try not to take it personally, but sometimes I wonder if it's my own damn fault for not befriending her earlier. She is (honestly) the best thing that's ever happened to him, and it if it means our friendship is dialed down, then so be it!

I finally got home around 2:30 and checked e-mail for the first time today. I'm not normally such a shitty employee, and I hope this AWOL incident is a fluke and not a terrible new work ethic.

After 5 I dealt with the bags of Martha's stuff from the hospital and nursing home. 98% is being donated to the landfill, including the 6 tubs (SIX!!!) of some wonderful smelling stuff called "Butt Paste". I bet that stuff tastes terrible.

I also took a carload of clothes Martha's and mine to the Renton clothing bank. Of course, when I got home I found one more bag. *shaking her head* My office will NEVER be free of stuff from Martha's home or my cast off clothes.

I've been putting off sending Martha's friends the news of her passing. I shouldn't, but it's not a letter (e-mail for some) that I want to send. Yuck.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

One can't expect to be happy all the time....

I know it's unrealistic to think that I'll be blissfully happy all the time, but three days of turmoil have taken it out on me. I'm pooped and emotionally spent. I hoped that time at the gym today would shake the blues out of me.... but mostly I felt (and feel) out of sorts. I didn't pack socks and instead of workout shorts I had my black capri pj's. Nobody but me (and now you) know they are pj's so I worked out anyway. I didn't get the same joy from watching all the man candy today... maybe my mo-jo will be back tomorrow.

It is supposed to be a glorious day so I hope that I'm able to enjoy it. I have a dr. appointment at 10 am and arranged to work from home the rest of the day. I plan to finally get my wireless set up so that I don't have to do the remote-mail thing. It would be nice to be able to vpn in.

Since my house husband solicitations are not going as planned I may need to call in some help to get the router set up. It's crazy that I'm in a technology field and yet I can't seem to figure it out. The instructions are basically useless or I'm just pain stupid. (Hopefully it's the former.)

Mom asked me today how the online dating thing was going. HOLY HELL WOMAN! I haven't had time to do laundry let alone find a decent dude to let me boss him around. My minor flirtation from the last week was really nothing. All attempts to open the door have been met with extreme professional courtesy.

The funeral home guy called to day to apologize for charging me an extra $3.00 and said they could cut a check for me that I could pick up when I gather "the" ashes. I commended him on his integrity, but told him to keep the $3.00.

So, again to plug the Whatcom Cremation Society, they can't add, but they're honest!

another one bites the dust

...if you don't know the song, you're too young to read me!

Another beloved co-worker offered up their resignation today. I'm sad, but happy for him - he's been living in hell the last 6-9 months.

Selfishly, I'm worried that my blissful under the radar existence is about to end.

Our stock is "up" today to ($9.90) which means the 15k I bought in November is now only at a 49.5% net loss. Feelin' good about that decision. If I jump ship now, I'll be eating that loss. (Do I sound like an abused wife? If I leave this cheating, beating ass-hole, I'll be alone. Honey, the time to get out is while you can still walk.)

So, aidios future former MegaBanker.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

That was a very long day

I'll be brief because I'm exhausted.

I sat with Martha until 8:30 - when the act of sitting with someone drugged up on morphine became overly dull. (yes, I have no heart.) Her other roommate came in and wanted to go to bed, so I figured it was the right time to excuse myself.

Frank and Barbara - Martha's friends welcomed me into their home with hot tea and friendly conversation. I went to bed early (10) and read for a bit. My cell phone rang at 1:45 with the news that Martha had died. While it was expected, and actually timed pretty well, the middle of the night phone call will mess with your sleep. It took me a few hours to settle back in to fitful sleep.

I was pleased with the news that my dad came through his surgery with flying colors (did I mention that on top of everything, pops was admitted to the hospital with an extreme case of anemia? STRESS.) They did a "thing" and think they've fixed the issue. Whew. However, due to his health crisis and my poor mom trying to hold it together I didn't drop the dime on Martha's end-status. (As much as I yell at the parents for holding stuff back, I see now where it may be the kind thing to do - sometimes.)

So - up at 7 phone calls into the Cremation people and luckily they were able to squeeze me in at 9:15. That took about an hour - not at all horrific. If you're going to die in Whatcom County I recommend the Whatcom Cremation Society! very efficient, very kind, and none of that fake condolence crap.

I'm stupid...(and clearly incapable of keeping it short) and let it slip that my dad was next of kin, so I couldn't sign any of the paperwork. Oh, they took my money but Dad had to sign the *%*)_ papers to authorize the cremation. That was a hassle.

I called mom, she was in a state about getting to pick up dad, and then had the most surprising reaction to the news of Martha's death. She cried! I guess I'm the only cold fish in the family. We had to go through some hoops to find a fax machine and worked that out.

After paying for the cremation, I headed to the nursing home to pick up the last of Martha's stuff. For someone who just spend 8 straight weeks in the hospital she had a lot of stuff. It's rolling around in the trunk of my car and maybe I'll get to it tomorrow. Here's why:

Foolishly I checked my work e-mail and saw a meeting invitation from my boss' boss and noted that it was important. Important enough that I high-tailed it (is that how it's spelled.. hi-tailed? whatever) it back to Seattle for a 1 hour meeting. I felt gross having not showered and in the same pants from yesterday - but this was an important meeting.

Unfortunately, it resulted in a HUGE deliverable (aka 24 page report) that needed to be written and delivered tomorrow. I know the difference between optional and not, and my manager and the Quarterback had BETTER be on the money about reviewing it and doing something with it tomorrow. I spent almost 9 straight hours getting it written, validating data and making it pretty - if they don't "do" anything with it tomorrow there will be some serious WORDS about boundaries and commitments.

So, I'm finally home (30 minutes ago,) I'm too tired to sleep, the cat is PISSED and I haven't talked to my family since 10 am this morning. I may not be an emotional wreck over Martha but I am very sad and the fire drill at work had better be either appreciated or required... hopefully both.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How nice

It turns out they moved Screaming Bonnie to a new room because I'm here.

They are hooking me up with dinner... Sloppy Joes. It could be an adventure.

I'm about to go hunt for some tea.

If you think this plate looks bland... you should have tasted it. SALT!? Flavor?

I think whipped cream on top of canned oranges really does make it "dessert."

Are they joking?

This place (the nursing home) is a mad house. The nursing staff is playing bingo over the PA, the lady in the next bed is alternating between yelling for the time or yelling for the bathroom. "What time is it!?". Pause. "I have to go potty!". Every once in while she interjects an emphatic "I can't wait!"

Apparently, Bonnie is on a two hour schedule, and they are trying to get her to stop yelling (by ignoring her?). I don't think its working.

The other treat is that Bonnie has a tv (on she can hear the 7th heaven drama.). The other lady has a tv... CNN - exit polls in West Virginia.

Martha's other roommate is a delightful 94 year old woman who is watching the news while reading the paper.

Outside the door folks roll by and currently there is a man (maybe 80) who is watching me. I said hello and he hid a little but is still there.

Martha is OUT. Morphine drip and sleeping.

I had hoped that there would be Internet, but I was foolish.

The fix-it guy just came and removed the second tv from the room. Wow, maybe I should bitch about needing a boyfriend and he might bring me one

Ok, it turns out Bonnie is going to a new room. They came and took her chair and flowers. No more yelling.


Monday, May 12, 2008


Corey, the hospice nurse called today to let me know that Martha is in the active process of dying. I'm headed up there tomorrow to be with her, and to take care of the last bit of business. I've worked out which funeral home to call and mostly cleared my day.

I called my parents to pass along the sober news but got the machine. When mom finally called back it was to tell me that my dad is in the hospital. She sounded really shaky, which scared the shit out of me. Upon actually talking to her, it is clear that while my dad isn't doing well, he isn't also dying this week. (I'm in some serious denial about his health and we're going to keep it that way!)

I didn't share the news about Martha because there's nothing they can do and they need to focus on Dad. I offered to come over, but Mom said that it would probably freak Dad out if I did. I can just hear him "what is this, a death watch!" So, I'm going to tough it out from here and most likely go over for Memorial Day weekend.

For a brief moment today I thought that they were both going to die this week and that would put me over the edge.

So, I'm off to the North again and if all things go well, I'll be home Wednesday. I can update on the fly so there may be news in the short term.

A day (and a half) of rest

The weekend away was wonderful. June's home is a whirlwind of activities. Lew is two and he owns it. He's got a few words that he cycles through - mostly roll call. Momma? Poppa? Ab? Momma? Poppa? Ab?

Ab is growing like crazy - she's maybe a year away from topping Yaz in height. Here they are wearing each other's jackets. As Nana Sue would say... that's wack-a-doo!

The drive down in Yaz' new car was nice - her new little Mazda is very comfortable (front seat only) and zippy. (I have new car envy!)

The ballet was cute, although the theater was icy cold. We had dinner between Ab's performances and while we were discussing our favorite foods Ab announced, "I feel bad for the animals and all, but steak tastes good!" Yes it does my friend, yes it does.

Sunday we slept in until 7:30 (there's a two year old in the house, anything after 5am is sleeping in.) After a yummy brunch we three girls took a walk and spread our hard earned money around the neighborhood. For once, I didn't buy any shoes nor did I buy any clothes. I picked up something for Becky, some chocolate, a casual day pack for Greece, and a pretty bracelet. Poor Yaz bought two purses and a few other trinkets - she won the spending contest.

I was pooped by the time we decided to go home and it was a quiet drive back up to Seattle. Yaz is good company - we cycled through some tough conversations and yet had a few laughs. She did tell me something disturbing...

"Can I tell you something?"
"um... sure" I'm thinking she's going to tell me I have b.o. or that I insulted someone.
"Last didn't snore."

WOW... they say that losing weight will help with snoring - but how exciting to hear it. Let the co-ed sleep overs begin!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Have great weekend!

I'm off to Portland this weekend to see June & the family. The Noodle - who will be 11 this year is in a ballet and we've got tickets. Fun!

Yaz should be her momentarily so I can't chat - but I wanted to wish you a happy Mother's day - or um... whatever.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Four Forms and a Funeral?

Martha has been successfully moved back to the nursing home. There were questions about whether or not they would readmit her, due to how difficult she is and the dreaded finances.

The hospital social workers did magic, trading services and supplies - including a new wheelchair and so they took her. One of the conditions of her being readmitted was that she be on "comfort care" aka hospice. I thought that since we had the big family meeting that everything was all set - but not so. Today I was faxed four forms to sign that essentially revoke all medical care - save pain meds. I read them over and faxed them back.

In dramatic movies, there is a swell of heartbreaking music, and a weepy eyed loved one signs the paper but can't muster the courage to put ink to paper. This is not a dramatic movie. I stood over the fax machine and signed the papers while one of the Security Architects cracked a lame joke about me "makin' copies" as he walked by.

I'm not filled with sorrow and loving memories of all the wonderful times that Aunt Martha and I had together are not swirling around in my head. I'm not cold and dead inside; I am thankful that my day was calm and that I was able to spend the majority of my time working on documents vs. having to interact with folks who want stuff from me.

But still in spite of this melancholy moment before bed - the signing away Martha's care didn't consume me. At the end of the work day, I had kind of a flirty interaction with a fella and spent the bus ride home thinking of the possibilities of him as the future Mr. TPgal (for however long people date these days.)

Do you chalk that up to life goes on or to TPgal has a distant dysfunctional family?

Where's the funeral part of your story, you ask irritated by my terrible story telling. Hold your shorts, I'm getting there. I got an e-mail today from the Neptune Society hard sales pitch lady who regaled me with all the horrible things the funeral home will try to bilk me out of once Martha passes.

My only concern for you is that dealing with a funeral home can be messy. They are notorious for telling people that things are all taken care of in advance and then charging extra for services that they conveniently forgot to tell you about. Some examples are:

After hours charges - what if she passes at 2:00am?

Weekend and Holliday Charges - What if it is a weekend or holiday?

Where is the money saved in the mean time?

Can you sign an authorization release form in advance? Most funeral homes require you to be there in person to sing a release form at the time of need so that they can sell you the other services they provide.

Does the cremation include an URN? - If YES. Are they going to send it to you now? They should if you have paid for it. It is common for them to say they are out of the one you thought you were getting and now you need to pay more for one that is in stock.

These are just a few things I would be leery of. Remember that funeral homes are not in the cremation business that is not where they make money. They make money on all the other services they provide.

Honestly, I think she's leery of me taking my dead aunt business elsewhere... I also hope that I don't have to sing the release form in person - I'm really much better over the phone. Furthermore, if I have the urn - where are they going to put her?

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Today was one of those days at work where I would sit down to do something and the phone would ring with an 'emergency' and when I was three quarters of the way to being done with solving the issue, an e-mail would come with another issue. My phone rang all day and while I helped a lot of folks I didn't get to the thing I wanted to do.

I think maybe I'm going to have to do the writing portion of my job away from my phone - and off line. I can't continue to not get stuff done just because there's more important things to do.

Lord help me if I'm going to have to go back to logging hours on the weekends. YUCK. With the Messy Martha situation, there's really no time to do that and keep the laundry done.


Why is this news?

Man finds check from 1971 after Arkansas tornadoes
EVENING SHADE, Ark. -- Tornadoes that tore through Arkansas last week picked up homes, cars and everything in between - including a check from 1971.

Gene Floyd of Sulphur Rock went to check on his camper Sunday at his hunting camp near Evening Shade and said everything looked normal, until he saw something lying on the ground. It was a check, fold in half, showing only a few stains to give away its age.

Floyd said he was surprised when he saw the check drawn on Sept. 1, 1971 from a bank account in Heber Springs - about 50 miles away. The check, for $1.50, was made payable to A.E. Williamson by Mrs. Bruce Murphree. The check bears the note "Gazette for August" and shows it was later cashed.

Um… isn't it obvious that someone's home (likely Mrs. Bruce Murphree) was destroyed and their stash of cashed checks that we all use to keep was scattered to the winds?  If he found a check from the year 2071 -- well, THAT would be news.

Poop on the Seattle PI for printing this, and me for clicking on the link to read it.  WHATEVER!

Flack from the Salad Bar Lady

So, it's been a little over 5 months since my surgery and I've lost 93 pounds, I'm looking good, working out and obviously eating less.

Most of my work peeps know that I've been "dieting" and when or if anyone asks I will quietly share about the surgery. I haven't shared my story with the creepy salad bar lady and I need to take her out back and run her through the Industrial Shredder By Enron(tm) because she ALWAYS comments on the mall portions of my food.

This is the same girl who yelled across the lunch area for me to "GET AWAY FROM THE COOKIES, YOU'RE ON A DIET!!!" I was only looking at the prepackaged salads (TPgal adds defensively and if I want to eat a cookie, I'm going to eat a damned cookie!!!)

The other day she topped off herself with a dash of RUDE when I went through the salad bar and took (only) cucumbers and some dressing as a side to my (from home) Chili. "Is that all you're going to eat!? You're going to waist away to NOTHING." Trust me this wasn't said in an encouraging, or funny way. Granted she sees people come all day and fill the salad bar boxes to capacity - 2 -3 pounds worth of salad and I "load" up in the .25 or .50 category but WHO CARES?

It was sad and I got fired for it, but I had to do it. I took a set of tongs from the salad bar, reached down her throat, pulled out her kidney and then stabbed it with the heal of my shoe. I did put it back, but I didn't take the time to do sutures so it may not actually be functioning.

Seriously, her job sucks and I would hate to sit down in that windowless room all day, but damn... figure out something else to say to people!

Monday, May 05, 2008


Mom and Dad came over for a meeting Friday with Messy Martha's doctors and the social worker.  We all agreed that we're fighting a losing battle and that the antibiotics are having marginal success, but not enough to stave off the inevitable. 

The kink in our plan was that for the first time in ages Martha was semi-alert and was able to converse with the doctors.  (This is good news - honestly.)  Because she was alert the kind (and legal) thing to do is to get her consent to transition care from treatment to comfort.  She was alert, but not really understanding the code words the doctors were using. 

She kept insisting that she wanted to go home, get in her car and drive home.  She was adamant that even though she can't sit up, that she could take care of herself.  Her drive to be alive is impressive and understandable  - but sadly it doesn't translate into a willingness to participate in physical therapy or other activities that would improve her prognosis. 

In the end she agreed that she just wanted to be comfortable (medical code words for "let me go.")  Whether she understands that's what those words means is a different story - but it is what the docs needed to hear to change the orders on her chart. 

Over the course of the weekend I paid bills, completed DSHS paperwork for medicade and moved her car to Seattle.  Anyone want to buy a 1994 Honda Civic with less than 60k miles? I spoke with the Hospice Social Worker today about the paperwork and where Martha may be headed.  Once you transition treatment to comfort - the hospital isn't really an option.  

I'm trying to work out how much time I can spend up there.  Even though we don't have a close relationship and there aren't emotional things to say, I hate that she's up there alone.  I would hate to be alone…so we'll see what happens on that front.

When the Infectious Disease doc and I first spoke on this topic she thought it would be 3-10 days before Martha passed - but based on her more alert status of late, I think that timeline is too short.  My non-medical opinion is that we are talking about a matter of weeks vs. days.  If she "improves" in the first 90 days of hospice care then we're in a real pickle.  It's a fine line between Medicade assistance and no assistance.  She needs assistance. 

It seems odd to worry that she'll improve to the point where she's not eligible for aid, but to know that there's no way she will ever improve to the point where she can care for herself. 

Oh, when will I ever be able to blog about going to the movies again?  I can't wait for the Sex and the City movie - total fluff and muchly awaited.  Please let it be good!  The reality break will be welcome.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


I lectured Becky about using her credit cards on websites that I deemed to be less than on the up and up.  "Your card is going to be cloned and "they" are going to try to steal money from you."

Well, a couple weeks ago she called to say it happened, and while my concern was genuine, I did the (not attractive and unkind) "I told you so!" dance in my cubicle.

This week….. I had to call her, apologize and eat crow as my credit card was being used to buy all sorts of strange things online.  At first it was only two charges that hit my statement and I thought that for $17.00 it wasn't worth filing the police report - but alas…it's up to over $100 - and I want my money back!

The card has been cancelled, the fraud paperwork is on the way, and I'll be stopping by the police department to file a fraudulent activity report. 

The lesson… watch your credit cards.  Work with your bank if anything happens (mine is being GREAT, by the way) and know that it can happen to anyone.