Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
The Wedding Update: We met with a photographer Saturday. I liked them a lot and felt they were true professionals. Photography is a big deal and I’ve seen quite a few of my friends not be happy with their photos so I want to take my time in the selection. I did open my big mouth and tell the photographer that she had photos on her web site that I didn’t think positively reflected her skills. As soon as I said it I felt like an asshole. My need to manage others or speak my mind is really irritating to me. She emailed later that day to say that she was grateful for the information and that she removed some photos from the site, but I still felt badly about the incident. We’re meeting with a couple other folks over the next few weeks. I hope to find someone we love!
The In-Laws Update: T-minus 3 days until we meet for the first time. I am sort of already living at J’s house but for the Thanksgiving holiday visit I’m moving “home.” We both agree it is a good idea, and neither of us like it. I swing back and forth between feeling like I’m being kicked out (I’m not) and knowing that this first visit is critical. His parents haven’t met me and by insuring they (J and his M&D) have alone time it will help them transition into a world of J & TP gal. I started packing up some of my things for the week and I got a little sick to my stomach.
I don’t want to be the clingy girl who can’t stand to not be away from her boyfriend. It is only 5 nights, and I can do it. We’ll see what happens at Christmas though. Mom& Dad-in-law are coming for about 10 days and I really don’t want to move out for that long. It’s not a sex thing…it’s a sleep alone thing, or drive across the county each night thing. Plus, J’s place feels like HOME so, this banishment sucks.
Christmas Update: I did some early Christmas shopping and I’m still happy about my August/September purchases. I got something for my dad, but it hasn’t arrived yet and based on the slowness of shipping I’m having unreasonable anxiety that it won’t come by 12/24. Mom’s gift is a tougher nut to crack. I know what I want to do, but I’m not sure I’m up for the expense.
The Annual Exam(s) Update: We got the all clear on the mammogram and girl exam results. It is news because BOTH tests originally came back abnormal and I had to go back for additional workups. The deeper mammogram was fine… very quick, new pictures and then an ultrasound. The doctor came right in and said that the thing that was causing the extra attention was the fact that I have MORE tissue than I did 4 years ago. It is unusual for that to be the case. After a quick rule out of some more ominous reasons I shared that I’d lost a little bit of weight (130 pounds) and the doc put the ultrasound machine down and said…”that’d do it. See you again in 6 months just to be sure.” WHEW.
The other test was a LOT less fun. Without being overly graphic the doctor painted my inner girl parts with vinegar and then took “samples” of anything that turned a strange color. Thankfully only two spots needed ‘sampling’ because it hurt very badly. Thankfully those biopsies came back clear too. Although, the nurse who called left this message:
“This is Chris from Dr. T’s office and we wanted to let you know that both samples came back showing no abnormal cancer. Come back in 6 months for another visit.”
The phrase “abnormal cancer” is what caught my attention. Clearly she meant to say “nothing abnormal” or “no cancer” instead of something that implied that the normal cancer was there.
The Messy Martha Update: The only way to get back the final social security payment that was paid to my aunt and then mailed back to Social Security by People’s Bank (who don’t know Social Security laws) is to set up an estate for my aunt. The cost of probate was going to be significantly more than the $1,700 I spent out of my own pocket to cover the error by People’s Bank. It is frustrating as hell to incur a loss like that, but I’m going to let it go. I may write the People’s Bank people a letter to let them know their lack of knowledge of the law has resulted in hours of headaches and ultimately the loss of my aunt’s ability to pay off the rest of her creditors. I’m out money, but on a more impactful level the Medic One people didn’t get paid, nor did some of the hospital people.
Martha’s friends in Bellingham send me letters from time to time to tell me what they did with all the arts and crafts supplies. Apparently, there are senior centers and rehabilitation centers in the Whatcom county area that are benefiting from all the pens, paper, quilting and sewing supplies that we salvaged from the mess. That is a nice thing to know. While burning down the house seemed tempting at the time, it is good to know that others are enjoying the items.
That’s it for now. I am pimping for topics these days… feel free to drop a suggestion in the comment box below.
I’m not having one of those days. In fact, I’m not having one of those months. MegaBank was “sold” to a MoreMegaBank in September and since then my work life has been like a cheese factory. It is a flurry of activity, and then weeks of sitting followed by a tiny spurt activity and then nothing.
We tried to lead the way with a project plan to transfer our important activities in a meaningful and smart way. MegaBank has made many acquisitions and we know what needs to happen, but the MoreMegaBank folks don’t really seem to feel the same way as we do about our “important” activities. They took one look at the project plan and said something like “oh, isn’t that nice.” WOW, not an overwhelming vote of partnership.
I’m trying to stay positive and keep my team motivated, but with not a lot of work and our partners falling like domino’s it is a challenge. There is work to do, but since our division doesn’t have an exact mirror on the MMB side we are talking with 6 or 7 people to make decisions vs. 1 or 2. I feel like I’m in LIMBO. December 1 is looming and we are promised information on or by that date. Seven days… I can endure seven days.
In the meantime, to keep myself busy at work I’ve cleaned up my desk, updated my addresses, and gotten rid of MegaBank Operational Excellence materials. (we aren’t operating excellently anymore…) I’m making sure my employees files are together and moving through old email. The Control+A and then Delete is something I’m not ready to do just yet, maybe I’ll be ready on 12/1.
It is disappointing to be at a company that is being ripped apart. These folks I work(ed) with are smart, bright and dedicated. We were doing good stuff and now it doesn’t matter. Do I think that corporate greed is to blame? Oh heck yes I do. I get to feel removed from any blame because I’m a technology person who wasn’t part of decisions to extend loans to folks who had no business getting a loan, but I think the financial crisis is due to greed and bad ethical decisions. Did I personally profit from the dastardly deeds of others…. probably. Certainly not to the 14-24 million dollar range, but I’ve made a good salary with decent benefits and tasty annual bonuses. I’ll be getting a nice little package to walk away. I would be dishonest if I didn’t admit that feel a little guilt.
I will get another job and will meet new people and think that they are smart and brilliant too but I will miss my colleagues here at MB. The only upside that I can see is that my “network’ just expanded. As folks I respect, and who hopefully respect me, move on to other companies I have a broader reach into organizations. Usually people scatter one at a time…this is a much more dramatic event.
For the most part I’m trying to be upbeat, but it is hard when people you love are exiting. Remember way back in May when Mike left I was so devastated about working here without him? I still feel that way, and I guess I’m getting my wish. Soon, none of us will work here without him.
Another “positive” thing is that my readership can now expand. Folks who worked at MegaBank weren’t invited to the blog because there is a sharp difference between work TP and blog TP and I needed to not sit across from someone in a meeting who knew my inner thoughts on the weight loss world, or my short dip into the dating pool. It was short but eventful… happy to be out!
That’s it I guess… on this topic. I’ll post a random topic blog in mere moments. I have time to write one. In fact, feel free to make suggestions about any topic you’d like to hear about. I’m an open book.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
In honor of friend Dave's birthday his friend Erika organized a huge dinner out. Sadly, due to strange forces of nature the party of 12 turned into a party of 5 (hmm, that sounds familiar.) Over wine and yummy nibbles at Union (on get this... Union) in downtown Seattle Dave's people enjoyed a small but lively evening.
Conversation mostly roamed around the perils of dating. J boldly inquired about why Erika (totally cute) and Dave (completely wonderful) hadn't ever dated. While the two friends awkwardly tried to explain that they'd been 'friends for 20 years' J endured the claw of death while my hand gripped his knee under the table. Hey, you never know...
In anticipation of shared bottles of wine, I booked J and I a room downtown at the Fairmont Olympic. The corporate travel discount at former MegaBank still has some pull. I am shocked that we got such a good rate considering the ENTIRE Washington Redskin football team and their subsequent posses were in the hotel. The lobby was teeming with huge men followed by little people drafting off of their speed. Some of these folks reminded me of those little fish that swim along with the shark and feed off any of the bits the shark misses in its frenzy.
After dinner, J and I slowly walked (super high girl shoes on TP) back up to the hotel and had a night cap. We found a little table in the corner near the piano man and watched the hoopla. Eleven PM must have been the first warning for curfew because all the huge athletic men got up, signed tabs and exited the lounge area leaving pockets of people who suddenly seemed just a little bit less cool.
At breakfast this morning, J asked me why Shawn Alexander (my Christmas card buddy from 2006) hadn't stopped by to say hello. My thought is that he probably thought that since we met for only about 90 seconds a couple years ago that I wouldn't remember him. But that's not the case Shawn, I remember the little people, you should have felt comfortable to stop and say hello.
Our room was lovely, as you would expect at the Olympic Hotel. I did find a 1 1/2 inch piece of metal screw on the floor near the perfectly coordinated chair and almost stepped on it. J, who surprised me with this touch of evilness, suggested we call to the manager and claim I injured my foot and see if we couldn't turn it into complimentary nights at the Lake Louise property in Banff during our honeymoon. When I suggested we jam it up his foot and pretend he was the injured party that idea quickly faded. (What a pussy!)
Taking a "stay-cation" in a local hotel, even at a good rate quickly adds up. As a future unemployed MegaBank employee this might be the last adventure out for a while. However, it was completely worth it because we had so much fun at dinner with Dave and his great friends and didn't have to worry at all about driving.
We did have so much fun that I had to take a nap when we got home. I'm rested now, and J (who doesn't nap) is "watching" the Seahawks / Redskins game with his eyes closed. He hasn't moved in over 30 minutes and I assume that he is either dead or in some sort of meditative state.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
It's official, Washington State University sucks just a little bit less than the UW this year.
It has been a miserable football season for both teams, with WSU losing to teams in the PAC-10 in a fantastic way, 3-66, 14-63, 13-66, 0-69 (ouch), 0-58, 0-31.
While we did win one game this season, and UW did not, they managed to put a lot more points on the board and so they were (as of today) ranked 9th in the PAC-10, while we followed up in the #10 spot. Woo Woo Go Cougs!
We did win in the big Apple Cup this year in double overtime.
J and I are off to dinner with a bunch of Huskies (UW folks) tonight, but I'm sure I won't be doing ANY bragging. 0-69!? There is just no pride in that.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
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If you need emergency attention, call 911.
This is the line that got me.... "If you need emergency attention, call 911."
Can you imagine the email that prompted this addition?
To: Dr. Smithson
RE: My severed head
Message marked: Urgent
I accidentally removed most of my head from my body. (LOL) It actually hurts quite a bit, and I'm wondering if I should come in?
Could you mail me back and let me know if it is normal for my head to keep flopping over to the left like this.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
ONE YEAR!!! WOW
I'd like to say that it feels like yesterday that I was checking myself into the hospital and waiting with my mom for the surgery team to come gather me, but it doesn't. So much has happened and that person who agreed to go on this nutty journey isn't really here anymore. She pops up every now and then in a fleeting moment of shopping insecurity like when I walk past the big lady section at the mall and I wonder if the sales people in the petite section will let me try on the clothes I've chosen.
I adore that big girl because she took a huge risk that allows me to be where I am today. I hope to always see her as brave.
It is a dangerous association for people who are considering weight loss surgery to equate the loss of weight with the finding of your life partner so I don't talk about love on the support sites. However, if you had said to me last November 19th that one year to the day that I would be going to an open house with my fiance to taste the menu for our wedding I would not have believed you. (Have the ravioli, ooh it is so good!)
This year has changed me in many ways. I'm a smaller person and yet my appreciation for little things is so much greater. I have more energy than ever before, I enjoy going to the gym, and my body temperature is LOW. I AM COLD ALL THE TIME. I have never been cold before - that is an oddity.
Do I recommend this surgery for all people battling obesity? NO!
You have to be willing to walk away from food choices that are not good.
You have to give up carbonated pop, you have to focus on nutrition.
You have to work out.
You HAVE to take your vitamins.
You have to be prepared for people to gush over you when you want to be invisible.
You have to be prepared to be a little irritated that people are nicer to you when you are smaller than when you were big, but you're still the same person.
You have to embrace the fact that sometimes you will throw up, sometimes you wont poop for a few days and then when you do it won't be very nice.
You have to be ready for your hair to fall out, and then grow back funky.
You have to be ready for it to be "all about you" even when you want to focus on your friends and family.
OH, and you have to be ok with food holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Hanukkah or Thursdays) to be about something different, but that your people will still eat more food than you could eat in a week. You have to be ready to have the servers in restaurants to think there is something wrong with your meal when you eat 1/3rd and don't want a doggie bag. (It's better to split with someone....)
I am ok with all of these things. I even love some of them. I don't feel like I'm deprived, I enjoy good food and am having the time of my life!
Thank you Terri for today.
I'm not a patient person. I am in limbo on a few things that are making me nutty right now. Here's my list:
1) The actual news about my employment status. (11 days until they HAVE to tell me; and a phone call about my status isn't the same thing as the real letter.)
2) Annual girl test results. The test was Thursday, waiting waiting waiting
3) First mammogram results. I'm 40 now so that's a fun new test
4) Waiting for some actual work to do at work
When I complained to J about this he replied back with this list.
1) Waiting for the first snow
2) waiting for 9.19.09
3) waiting to go to Denver for the first time
4) waiting to meet the in laws
5) waiting to go on our honeymoon
6) waiting for the time to come home
Ok, his list is better than mine, a tad bit more sticky sweet than you may be able to stomach, but still…it's a better list.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
A while back I blogged that my hair was finally coming back in. I'm happy as all get out about this development as I am rather vain when it comes to my mane.
There is now a very even distribution of new hair growth long around my entire head. This new growth is about 2 inches long and is mostly tucked under longer hair, but where it is visible where I part my hair. I normally sport a sleek part but I now have a mess of curly fuzz. No matter how much time I spend with the hair dryer in the morning, I have this halo of new hair around my head. There is a fine line between not enough hair product and too much. The amount of product it takes to make the fuzz lay down makes me look like I've been working in a potato chip factory over the industrial fryer. (NOT PRETTY)
I am hopeful that it will continue to grow and within a few months I can get a haircut that will blend the new in with the old. In the meantime, I am ignoring it as much as I can. I guess a fuzzy do is better than a bald do (for a girl anyway.)
My doctor said that the Iron he prescribed will also help with the hair growth, so I will endure the unfortunate gastric effects (uge) of taking massive doses of Iron in order to have lovely hair. If I would increase my fiber, the UGE would be lessened.
Yes, indeed, this IS what I'm blogging about. I know there are world events that require our attention, but you do not turn to me for my opinions on Iraq's desire to have our troops gone by 2011, or the guy who shot his 6 year old (who turned out to have been a little drunk at the time… grrrrrr), or the idea that Hillary could be Secretary of State (a VERY nice way to get her out of the Senate and since she's NOT an idiot, it might be a good move.)
I blog about my hair. I’m not ashamed.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I'm continuing to get mail from hospitals and companies who are eager to get paid by my deceased aunt. I've called PharMerica (an online medical supply company) 4 times to provide Aunties physical and fiscal status and I still get mail.
I'm on the phone with an associate in their collections department and I said I wanted to let them know that she was "still dead" and "still broke" - the dude didn't laugh, smirk or even acknowledge that what I said was mildly funny.
I think my humor is too dark for collection agents.
That's just sad.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I have an acute awareness that the wedding is only a day, and that the important thing is the life we are building together. However...the wedding planning is an experience.
If you've been paying attention you've heard me say that I am a big fan of the Martha Stewart Wedding empire. I faithfully buy the quarterly offering of the latest dresses, cakes, and ideas. I knew J was a keeper when (before the actual engagement) I saw the newest issue and bought it with him and he didn't run for the door. Poor guy didn't know that at home I had about 20 additional issues. These are for reference...and damn it, it's girl porn! (I don't and won't complain about Maxim that arrives monthly. We each have our interests.)
The planning is going well. We're ahead of the game in a lot of areas and are currently mulling over the invitations and will start the photographer search in earnest after the holidays.
While I am "the bride" I am working on not being overly "it's my way or the highway" on things. I am presenting options and photos so he can see my vision. There's a new idea floating around for the bridesmaid dresses that is really exciting to me and at first discussion J wasn't all that warm. But with more information and a few visuals that may change.
There are certain things about a wedding that the groom just isn't equipped to deal with. It's not that they aren't smart enough, or strong enough...but really, what heterosexual man cares about chair covers? Shoot, what straight (never been married) guy even KNOWS about chair covers? It's a crazy expense and I think it will be worth it. The chairs at "the manor" are terrible and chair covers will neutralize them and be a dramatic decorative element that will make our floral investment pop. As committed as I am to this expense it was hard to bring it up. Even talking about it was a little embarrassing. The look of confusion on J's face was one I don't want to see again.
We've set a budget and little items like this will increase the spend. However, I'm happy to cover things like seat covers out of my monthly play money. Suzy Ormond probably would yell at me for that, but damn it...it's my day. (lol) It's our day. OUR DAY
I'm not complaining about the wedding planning. I've waited a while to put an event like this together and am enjoying the process. I love that I had a vision and that my gal pals are contributing -- fun fun fun!
J is enjoying it too... last weekend we sampled the first idea for wedding champagne. TERRIBLE. So, we'll keep looking. The search for the right wine and champagne offering will be fun.
There will be more wedding stuff here in the future, and when it is all said and done -- photos! Until then...have a great weekend.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Oh how I love a day off. I got up this morning at the same time I would if I were going to work and I got so much done.
I bought a dress for a dinner out later in the month. One dress, ah ah ah
I had a mammogram on two breasts, One, Two! ah ah ah, two breasts!
I loaded up three boxes of stuff for goodwill. One, two, three boxes, ah ah ah
I did four loads of laundry, One, two, three, four! Ah ah ah ah! Four loads of laundry
I purchased 5 pairs of black (sexy) panty-hose. One, two, three, four, FIVE pair of panty hose, ah ah ah ah
I purchased 6 items at Fred Meyer, one, two, three, four, five, six items. ah ah ah.
I also made dinner for my guy, picked up a ring that had been sized and made the bed. (making the bed isn't really a blogworthy item, but this is my list damn it!)
It's back to work tomorrow where my largest contribution to the world will be holding down a chair for the most of the day. ah ah...ick
To my dad who served in Korea - woo hoo!
To my brother who served in Iraq (twice) - woo hoo!
To my uncle who served in Vietnam - woo hoo!
To my future father in law who served in Germany - woo hoo!
To my friend Brett who served in the Gulf and Korea - woo hoo!
To my friend Craig who serves in the Gulf - woo hoo!
To Becky's dad who served in Korea - woo hoo!
To my cousin Vern who served in Germany - woo hoo!
To all veteran's, thank you for doing a job that I wouldn't want to do! Your service is appreciated!
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
I was in a meeting with my esteemed colleague MJS listening to some very high mucky-muck talk about the future of the IT organization and the culture and blah blah blah. He had a casual, likable style about him and I thought to myself that he was rather smart. Smart, that is, until he dropped this bomb:
"Irregardless of the next few...."
WHAT THE HOLY HELL!?
Irregardless is NOT a word! If it were it would mean the exact opposite of how people use it. Regardless means "no matter what" and "ir" means "not" so "irregardless" actually means "not no matter what" or "not at all. " Do you follow me? No, try this:
You say: "I will love you irregardless of your weight!"
You mean: "I will love you fat, thin, chunky, tiny, huge, whatever!"
You're actually saying: "I will only love you at the right weight."
If you only learn one thing from the TP gal, it should be this. STOP using "irregardless!"
For the record, none of you whom I know in real life use this word. There was a frequent offender, but we don't run in the same circles anymore. (The cause of the separation is 100% unrelated to the offending word under discussion.)
Thank you for letting me get that off my chest. I feel a sense of relief.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I'm thrilled about the election. I was fearful that even though President Elect Obama had the lead in the polls and the majority of votes that the vast right wing conspiracy machine would kick into action (again) and further kill my trust in our system. I'm excited about the change, but agree with some who believe that 4 years may not be enough to undo the steaming pile of pooh that we're in right now.
With that said, what's on my mind today? Work. Grumble. I'm so very frustrated with the lack of information, the inability to see or understand the line of thinking around transition activities. My (former) management made us go through and map out everything we thought we would have to do to transition the work we do to the new company. This wasn't a fun activity, but I did it.
We met with our new management and they looked our plan and basically said "well, isn't that nice?" A bit dismissive if I may say so. I'm ok with them driving the transition (or rather non-transition) but I'm still being asked by my (former) management to provide dates and status on the list I made up. They are aware that no one cares but them, and yet I'm still being pushed to march forward on this silly stuff.
I LOVE MAKE WORK!!!!! It is totally super.
Some days I am positive and feel like there is transition work that might keep me employed here until March or April (my dream would be June - that's a financial dream, not a "wouldn't it be fun" dream) but today, I'm in the "get me the f*ck out of here!" place. I'm thinking that 12/1 - I will get a 60 day notice of termination. Today, that plan doesn't seem terrible to me.
Financially, getting let go in June rocks; it would enable me to "retire" until 2010. A January departure date would still enable me to pay off my tiny credit cards and take a little time to deal with the condo I'm about to sell, but the priority would be getting a job before the money runs out. Either way... I'll be able to fund this wedding (which will be fun fun fun) and start my marriage with no debt - that's not a bad scenario.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Joggle = the unfortunate movement of my extra skin (after the weight loss) that occurs when I try to go for a run. "I'd love to go for a jog, but the joggle messes with my rhythm.
MapGuess = the MapQuest printout of areas that it isn't quite sure of (like the Redmond area.) "I'm not sure if it's 23425th SE 345th Court West or SE 324th Avenue West or 324th North Court East South?