Friday, December 31, 2010

New Day


Separation Anxiety

 
Every morning when I leave for work I say goodbye to Johan. There is nothing odd about that, in itself, as many people say goodbye to their pets. I, however, do not just sing song “bye bye, Johan!” but talk as though to a person… a slightly needy, manipulative, high-maintenance, self-centered person. What’s more is that I sound like an idiot martyr.
                ME: “OK, Johan, I have to go to work. Again. Every day with this work bullshit. Have a good day”.
                 
                JOHAN: “Wheeek! Wheek!!!! Wheek!!!!!!”
                 
                ME: “Quit yelling at me! I gave you everything. You have hay, food, water; I even gave you a piece of pepper”.
                 
               JOHAN: “Wheek!!!!” munch munch munch “Wheeeeeeek!”
                 
                ME: “Why do you think I have to go? I have to go to work to make money to keep you in bell pepper and cilantro.”

In contrast, here is what happens when I leave and J is awake and I say goodbye to him.

                ME: “Bye honey, I’m going to work. Have a good day.”
            
               J: “OK, Kitty Cat, have a good day. I’ll get the door.”

I think the moral of this story is clear: Johan needs to learn how to speak English.

From One Job to Three

Perhaps I am being ridiculously na├»ve but I had no idea that transitioning jobs within a company could be so exhausting. All week I was trying to acclimate to my new role whilst remaining, about 80% and simultaneously training my successor. This has wiped me out to a surprising degree. I don’t know if it is because I’ve had to run about the office in order to be in two departments or because I’m mentally fatiguing myself trying to master a new job while also trying to impart wisdom and proper training regarding my previous position.

But jesus am I tired! One night I took a nap at 8 o’clock and ended up going to bed at 9:30. Granted, it was only my third day getting up before 7 in the morning and I had been to the gym, but still, it was a bit ridiculous to be so tired. I woke up the next morning at 5 and got out of bed by 6 and, while I did not feel particularly tired, knew a nap would be in order at the end of the day… and oh my god did I fucking nail it!

Other than wearing me out, work has been rather delightful. Once I finally received my filing drawers and was able to get organized and settled in for good, I was ready to get on with things. I have trouble focusing when my work-space is in chaos so being able to file and organize has been a god-send. I might be a rather shocking house keeper at home but in the office, I’m quite tidy. And, because I am such a little take charge girl, I’ve thrown myself into my new responsibilities and have been setting up new protocols and taking part in self-training so that I’ll be able to book my new boss’s travel and do his expense reports. I’m excited that I’m learning so much and I’m feeling more and more like I belong where I am.

Because the new girl, JB, just began on Monday, I am still pretty involved with the regular departmental duties. JB is learning fast and I’m confident that she will be able to take over and quickly become acclimated to the work and processes and procedures. Hopefully she will be able to get along with NWCW and they will work in harmony. Since I began training, I’ve really started to feel like a professional and an expert, because I’m able to answer questions, explain procedures, and multi-task when necessary. I’m also starting to feel like an office expert along the same lines as EA, who everyone knows is an expert on everything. It’s a good, competent, proud feeling and I’m very pleased that I don’t feel like Jo-Jo the Idiot Girl like I usually do.

Hopefully, this all bodes well for 2011. I have just under 3 hours left of 2010 and I intend to enjoy them. Happiness to you and yours.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Hanukkah

I would like to remind the mid-west that the world does not, regardless of popular belief, comprise only Christians and Jews (and scary Muslims, as the mid-west seems to view them).

I had to cover switchboard from 4PM to 5PM yesterday, the end of the last working day before a 3-day weekend and everyone was so carefree with their "Merry Christmas!" wishes. I mostly retorted with "yep!" or "uh huh!" but was sorely tempted to say "shalom" or "go fuck yourself."

I'm an atheist and, for me, Christmas becomes a time to turn me into an asshole. It isn't just that I don't want to partake whatsoever in this bullshit day, but I end up sounding like a complete and utter asshole whenever someone wishes me Happy Christmas.

"Merry Christmas, Cat!"
"Yeah, I don't celebrate."
"Oh... well... happy holidays..."
"..."

Fuck you. Next year I am going to put all sorts of notices up on my cubicle to alert the masses that I am an atheist and will wear a shirt that says "I am an atheist" to keep well wishers away. It is enough that stores close down and I have to listen to crap music and deal with bullshit television specials. I really don't think it is fair to expect me to deal with the passive aggressive reverse table turning shit as well.

So bah humbug and suck my dick. I don't believe in God, don't give a shit about your pageants with the baby Jesus, and really don't care about your once a year good will towards men. Charity is year round mother fuckers, not just one week out of the year!

Now, if you will excuse me, I have some movies from the 90's to watch, ones given to me by a Jew because he's switched to BlueRay and wanted to get rid of his DVDs.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Random Musings

When I look through the blinds in the morning to see what the weather looks like, I always feel like a busy body checking up on the neighbors. Even if the only neighbors out and about at the time are squirrels.

While I enjoy grapefruit, I feel I must be doing something wrong when I eat it. The amount of effort I put into getting the segments out and the amount of actual grapefruit that I end up ingesting do not seem to be on par.

I've recently moved cubicles in my office. I have discovered that even if you work in the same office for three years and know most of the people in your new area, you can still feel like a brand new employee and sit awkwardly just hoping someone will stop by and say hello.

I think it would be fun to be super rich and/or best friends with a famous person but I would never want to be famous (outside of this blog, naturally.) I genuinely do not understand the desire to be on television.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Account of My Monday

My personal theme yesterday was "whiny and stupid." Here are a few of the highlights of my stupidity:

1: In an effort to get most of my crap to the car before having to bundle J out for his orthopod appointment, I trudged to the car, attempted to open the trunk with the wrong set of keys, swore, and trudged back into the apartment. It was only at this point (and after dropping my lunch), that I felt in my coat pocket where, ta da!, the appropriate keys were.

2: Upon arriving at work, after dropping J at orthopod, went to open trunk of car and, instead, opened the hood. To my credit, was driving J's car, not my own. Proceeded to get out of car and attempt to simply pat hood down before putting coffee mug down, opening hood properly, and slamming shut.

3: Remembering that the receptionist was on vacation, I quickly checked the switchboard coverage spreadsheet, noted that I had 4-5 and NWCW at 3-4. E-mailed all other administrative staff asking for someone to switch with me and take NWCW's spot since she was out of the office. The receptionist stopped by my cubicle with some packages and messages and after 3 minutes of chatting, I realized that the receptionist was in the office and thus, I did not have switchboard coverage. Looked at the spreadsheet and realized it didn't start until the 23.

There is another one but it is too much to go into if you don't work where I do so you'll just have to trust me that I was a major idiot and I whined mightily throughout. In fact, I was in so whiny a mood that I called Birdie, one of my work friends, to see if her department had any holiday treats ala baked goods since her department frequently does. No such luck but she did inform me that one of our other friends had refilled her candy bowl and that I could always check that. On my way to do so, I saw that someone else had cupcakes and, upon learning that they were a free for all, I snagged one and then called Birdie to give her the dope.

I'm not sure if this was before or after Birdie and I stood in the hallway discussing how we were fatter than we've ever been, me with my pants that are too tight and leave red belts on my stomach, Birdie with her skirts that have stretch marks when she removes them. At one point she said "wait, didn't we do this last year? Talk about how we were fatter than we'd ever been?"

Later in the day, after my second cupcake, J and I had the following conversation via text message.

ME: "Have replaced booze with cupcakes."
J: "Poor Kitty."
ME: "But I like cupcakes."
J: "I know, but earlier you said you were having a bad day."
ME: "Yeah, but do you know what helps? Cupcakes."

And that, ladies and gentleman, is an account of my Monday. Today I get to move cubicles and unpack all of my crap. It isn't a matter of simply taking things from one cubicle to another because special people have to come in to raise the desk surfaces of my new cube and lower the surfaces of the old*. To do so, there can be nothing on the surfaces or in the drawers that are attached. So I had to box up all of my crap in printer paper boxes and tub drawer things, put them on a cart, and shove the cart somewhere. The good news is that this will give me an excuse to kill time and I am somewhat phoned out lately. Another bright spot is that this will keep me away from the lady with the cupcakes.

*I have my cubicle surfaces raised whenever possible because, while 5'7 isn't terribly tall, most of my height is in my legs and with a standard cubicle, I knock my knees into the drawers and the little keyboard tray all the time. My new cubicle doesn't have any filing drawers yet so god knows what I'll do until they arrive with my three drawer lateral. Till then, I will be living like a displaced person, but one happy to be displaced! 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday

It is Sunday and I am b-o-r-e-d, none of the blogs I follow have updated in awhile, so here I am and here is what I've done today:

1: Watched SNL which I recorded last night.
2: Watched a recorded "Mentalist"
3: Made cookies.
4: Watched "Fred Claus" again, even though I watched it yesterday (still haven't seen the beginning).
5: Went for a walk in 15 degree weather, freezing my toes but not the rest of my body.
6: Poured some wine and put in "Bridget Jones' Diary", which I watched just yesterday.
7: Took a bath.

And now here I am, drinking a Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA. Lush, you say? No, I'm just getting rid of the alcohol in the house (but not wasting it, of course). I caught a good glimpse of myself in the mirror and holy hell but I've let myself go. I was going to join the sober gang for new year but fuck that shit, I'm starting early.

Just remembered: I also watched "It Happened on 5th Avenue" or some such title on TMC this morning, around the time I made cookies.

Tomorrow will be an interesting day. I am dropping J off at an orthopedist's office so that he can finally have his foot/leg treated properly. We are both hoping that they do something that will allow him to walk. It was a month ago that he fractured the distal fibula and for the past week he has been 100% non-weight-bearing. It has been miserable for the poor guy.

Then I will go to work, sans my awesome boss and my NWCW, and come home to do some chores. Must remember to bring boss's X-mas gift. Yes, X-mas. I don't partake in this stupid holiday but I do buy my department cohorts New Year's gifts, almost always a bottle of wine apiece. This year, my coworkers and I got our shit together to do a group gift for our boss, something we dropped the ball on last year. One of the nurses and I came up with the idea of each putting in twenty bucks to get boss two tickets to a theatre she likes and some red wine glasses (she's mentioned before that her daughter complains that she hasn't any proper ones). I offered to get the glasses and did so yesterday, squeezing through the crowds at World Market and then trying, desperately, to get out of the parking lot. I don't know if we are "presenting" the gift or just putting it in her office but I hope the latter. I always hope the latter but people seem to love making gift exchanges about the giver rather than the receiver.

And now I am rambling. I had better post this boring bit of nonsense before I start going into uncharted territories.

Oh, wait! I just remembered! One of the after work chores I did this past week is buy a new vacuum and I fucking love it! I've used it every day since I purchased it and each time I have felt a renewed sense of my old domestic self.

In case you thought I wasn't really a true wild spirit.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Johan the Destruktor

Would you like to see a picture of unbridled joy? Have you ever wondered what I look like? Well here you go! This was taken within the last 2 months and features me with my guinea pig, Johan the Destruktor. I love the fuck out of the little rodent. Please note, however, that along with the ecstasy, the glasses are not permanent fixtures. I usually wear gas permeable rigid contact lenses during the day unless I'm really lazy.


And here is a video of Johan that I took today. He somehow, after going under the rolling pantry that J and I use to hold our DVDs and television, got stuck between the wall and his cage. He never did figure out that if he just backed up a little further, he could turn around and leave the way he came. This cracked my shit up, as you might be able to tell from the vocal track. Is that what you thought I sounded like?

I would just like to point out my favorite part of this video. It is the fact that after I say "are you gonna try to run backwards for me? Do it!" he does it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sunny Side

My Ammy is doing remarkably well. She was scheduled for surgery on Wednesday but that had to be postponed due to a total collapse of her right lung. They performed a broncoscope and were able to keep her off a respirator. The next day they pinned her hip, using a spinal (thus no respirator) and she is doing so well, from what my uncle has told me, that I swear she must have made the whole thing up for attention!!

I am, obviously, incredibly pleased. Here, let me draw a picture:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pity Party

Here is my day as it lays before me.

I am up at 6:00 AM, which I haven't been in god knows how long. J came into the bedroom at 5 AM complaining of foot pain and worrying about what he is going to do in order to get around. So I chatted and joked with him for a bit. Then he fell asleep, but I could not. Eventually I just got out of bed.

I had planned on getting up at 7 and going to the gym, but that is not in the cards. Instead, I have to take a shower, make J some sandwiches, bring his office stuff into the living room and provide him with water so that he can sit in his chair all day and disturb his foot as little as possible. Then I have to go to Staples and look for an office chair that he can use as a cheaper version of a knee walker.*

Then 8 hours of work.

After work I had planned to go to Kohls in search of a new vacuum cleaner to replace ours which sucks... or rather, doesn't suck enough, given that that is what it is meant to do. But I don't know if I'll make it. Am hoping a shower and some coffee wake me up.

Oh poor me and my problems, right? I'm going to look on the bright side and at least be grateful that I am able bodied, healthy, and have a husband who loves me.

*I don't know if I mentioned this previously and I am too tired to look. J has a closed fracture in his fibula, something that occurred on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. He didn't know there was a broken bone until the next Sunday, when he went to the ER to have something else looked at. They gave him a crutch and a splint and said to keep off of it. Have you ever tried to get around with one crutch? J doesn't have a left hand so he has to hop around and just hope he doesn't fall. This is putting a lot of pressure and pain on his uninjured foot so he called the orthopedist, whom he will not see until the 20th, and they suggested a kneewalker, which I believe is essentially a wheeled device for you to kneel on with the injured leg in order to take pressure off the OK limb. Looking online for Columbus, it looks like $100 to rent. So we thought we'd do a white trash version and get a wheeled office chair instead, something that we can use once he no longer needs it to hobble around on.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hope...... fading

My grandmother may die this week. I suppose that is true of anyone really, but my grandmother broke her hip last night and requires a risky surgery made all the more risky given her age and past medical history.

My brothers and I call her Ammy, an innocently bastardized version of the Icelandic of Amma. We love our Ammy and she has been in our immediate lives since we moved in with her and Pop after our father ran out on us. She took me to Iceland when I was 13. She taught me to sew. She used to let me help put Pop's change into those coin wrappers and clean her silver. She also introduced us to crepes and fish cakes, two things that my middle brother, M, loved as a child. It is because of the lunches she made during that year we lived with her that I prefer my tuna fish sandwiches to be made with mayonnaise only, the sandwich cut into three strips, and left to sit for a few hours.

I write to her once a month. When I first applied for this new job, she was the only person in my family that I told and she was the first to know that I'd gotten it.

And now I may lose her. Nearly 88 years old with a history of stroke and COPD, no surgeon wants to operate on her. And she is in tremendous pain. The surgery will either save her or kill her, as anesthesia at her age is a real danger.

Death is, obviously, the worst case scenario. In some ways, I suppose, it is time for her to go. Her life is one of misery and depression. She is cared for by my mother, who has a short temper with her because Ammy drives her nuts and has never been particularly nice to her. Mom's brother and, especially, her sister, are no help. I think it would be better to die than to live forever in misery.

But I'm selfish and I want my Ammy to live forever, at least until I can see her again. I told my mom this morning, when I heard the news, that I was happy that I'd at least gotten to talk to her on Friday to thank her for my birthday present and tell her about my promotion. Mom said that Ammy had been so happy and proud of me about that news.

I want to have another opportunity to make her proud and happy.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Holla!

If you know me on Facebook, then you know that I am currently in a fairly victorious mood. Here, I'll show you:
See, I'm pretty happy, right? Because remember how I bitched and moaned about shit not going my way, and how I mentioned that I'd applied for a job on November 11th? Well, I straightened out my attitude and that did wonders for me. Then, yesterday, I was informed that I'd gotten the job.

That isn't strictly true. I found out at least a week ago that I'd gotten the job, but you have to wait for the Human Resources department in another state to contact you before it is official. That idiot finally called me yesterday and, after I negotiated a $4,500 raise, I got the job (they wanted to give me a $3,000 increase, I declined based on the terms and thanked them for the offer, and then the idiot just said "ok" and that was it until the awesome executive assistant took care of things). So I am feeling pretty chuffed.

And that doesn't even cover what a rad fucking 30th birthday I had! Dude, I went to Starbucks before I hit the office so that I could get my free birthday drink. Then I worked for about 3.5 hours before my friend took me to a delightful lunch. It happened to be the day of our holiday party and management let's us go home at 1 on that day, so I left and went to the gym for a little cardio before a birthday nap and dinner with J. I got some stellar presents including an iPod Touch from J and a really pretty coat from my grandmother. I also had a total of 7 people sing 'Happy Birthday' to me so I felt special all throughout the day. Rad. Rad. Rad.

And now I have a three-day weekend because I disposed of my final PTO day of the year on Monday. So, to recap: Had an awesome 30th birthday on the 8th, was promoted on the 10th, and am not enjoying a three-day weekend.

Life is good!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

China and Platinum Will Both Be Accepted

On December 25, 1990, I received my first journal. I was a newly minted 10 year old and had never even considered keeping a diary. But my cousin BEN, a writer, gave me this gift and I have utilized it ever since. This month marks my 20th year.

Many people seem impressed when I tell them about the length of my autobiographical chronicling; my husband has said that he thinks I would be a natural writer given how long I’ve kept a journal. I, myself, am neither impressed nor convinced of any talent.

My first thought, when I consider how long I’ve done this is “wow, that is a long time.” My second thought is “fuck that is a ton of weight to cart around.” I’m not speaking metaphorically; some years ago I had a foot locker in which I kept all of my diaries and notebooks and that mother fucker weighed a ton. It was only recently that I had to get rid of the trunk as it has fallen into disrepair, and my journals were retired first to boxes and then to a shelf in my bedroom closet.

20 years is, obviously, a long time and my journal began with a bang. Begun in December of 1990, it records my father’s death on February 19, 1991 and many deaths thereafter. It contains my innocent self in its purest form and records my childish naivety. If you look at my entries around the time of my father’s death you’ll find that February 19 was the worst day of my life; a week later, I write about going to Old Historic New Castle with relatives and it is like there had been no tragedy at all.

I am sure there are the tons of entries regarding the usual adolescent misgivings and anxieties, and I know damned well that there are embarrassing chapters from my teen years, but I do not go back and read these very often. Sure, I occasionally grow nostalgic to see what I was like in the 7th grade or what I was writing when first given a diary; who wouldn’t be? But it was only in recent years that I had the courage to look at the high school diaries given how apathetic and melodramatic I was. Seriously, everything was SO important and SO meaningful to me during that time of my life and it took a long time for me to be able to even casually open the cover of one of my journals from that period.

At this point in my life, it is the college years I can’t face. It isn’t that I was still a ne’er do well or a self-important teenager; it’s that I most likely had the onset of my bi-polar disorder at 17 and did not have treatment until 23. If you haven’t experienced this delightful disorder, you won’t know what I’m talking about. Suffice it to say that a number of years in my life featured me being totally out of control and in need of help. I’ve been fortunate, mind you, as I have never suffered from any form of psychosis. But my life would have been greatly benefited by an earlier diagnosis and earlier prescriptions.

I am embarrassed of many of the events that occurred during my college years but, more troublingly, I am afraid of who I was. I recently opened a journal that I’d kept whilst still in college and I was shocked by the vitriolic hate that I’d been directed toward myself. I’ve always known that I suffered a great deal of self-esteem issues during my time but somehow I’d managed to forget the hate I previously felt for myself. At one point in my life, I thought about suicide every thirty seconds. The first time I saw my psychiatrist at the university I told her “I think about killing myself as frequently as people think about sex; I know, I’ve timed it.” I wrote so many suicide notes during that period because I needed to perfect the final version so that my family and friends would understand implicitly that they were not to blame. Oddly enough, I think it as my failure to come up with the perfect letter that allowed me to survive and see the day I would finally seek help.

Not that I didn’t grow impatient. One night I took a bunch of pills, washed down with vodka. I ended up getting sick, throwing up, passing out, and then going to my morning class as if nothing had happened. It wasn’t my first attempt but it shared certain similarities; my attempts were not cries for help. I either wanted to die or, should I survive, I wanted no one to know about the attempt.

These days I reckon my journal is boring and whiney. That is totally fine by me. I have had enough death and enough madness to satisfy any bored part of my being. Sometimes I think that the reason I’m so OK and well-adjusted to the idea of aging is because I am so afraid of the past. I had some scary years and I hate being reminded of them. I’ve never been in a rush to grow up and I’ve never been too upset at the idea of aging (well, with the exception of turning 25, which, oddly, was very hard). I wonder if I don’t look towards my 30’s with great anticipation if only because they signify the end of my tumultuous 20’s.

If nothing else, December 8th will begin a new decade for me to document in old-fashioned, heavy as fuck notebooks.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Nony Moose

Evidently, I had my settings so that you had to have a gmail account to comment. Well people of the world who think I suck, comment away! The gates are open!

I am fucking lazy


I read a blog post by Becca (http://mskindasorta.diaryland.com/), the first blog post of hers that I've read, and wanted to leave a comment but felt I should write an e-mail instead. Why, you non-existent audience member ask? Because her post was very serious, emotional, and moving, and my comment was incredibly fucked-up asinine. I didn't feel I had the words or ability to respond to the sincere message of her post but I wanted Becca to know that I totally love when people use the term 'whilst.'

So I e-mailed her this message. In the subject line I put "Triumphant Joy" because I was watching a Marshall's commercial and this was a term used to persuade me to do all of my 'Holiday Shopping" at their fine, designer, discount store. And because I am me, I explained to Becca where my subject line came from.

Are you lazy like this? Seriously, do you just take the nearest thing to use as a title? As I also said in my e-mail, when Instant Messenger was brand new, I had multiple user names and one was 'Soy Complex' because I had to come up with a name and that term was on the cereal box in front of me. I've had e-mail addresses of 'highbuttonboots' because that is what a boyfriend gave me as a gift at the time and 'seethruplayment' because it reminded me of a Sonic Youth song.

When I had a diaryland account, my journal was "girlcat" because I am a girl who goes by the name of Cat. This blog is called "justaregulargirl" because that is what I am. Oh my god I'm fucking lazy. If you are reading this, why???? Why are you reading this? Unless you just stumbled across it. In that case, yeah, I totally understand why you are saying "what the fuck is this bullshit? Fuck this!" But you, you people who come here on purpose, what the fuck are you thinking?

And in other news: no word on the job I'm trying for. Sucks but at least it is the weekend so I don't have to deal with any anticipation tomorrow.

PS: Hi, Becca! I'll try to figure out how to link you. I'll ask your help if I can't figure it out!