Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bombs and Back Ends

This has been a bad week for me sort of all around.

On Sunday morning, I came down with the stomach virus that sent my kids home the previous Friday. This would have been okay, except the day before, while I was at work, Chris managed to sprain his ankle really badly, so neither of us were really capable of taking care of the kids. However, Chris was very kind and allowed me to sleep for a couple of hours in the morning anyway, before I headed into work. Even though I know I should, I often don't take sick time when I need it, because I hate to let people down. Plus I have three large projects due at the end of next week, and several smaller things along the way, and I'm pretty far behind at the moment. I suspect I will be taking some sick time this week, anyway, however... but more on that later.

So the stomach virus clung to me all week. Monday was a half-day for me at work, so I went to BJ's at noon to get some groceries, then went home and collapsed. Chris even picked up the kids at daycare so I wouldn't have to go back out again, despite his now black and blue right foot. The sleep helped, but not really enough. I did go to my craft night, as I had not had an incident all afternoon, and I got through it. But I was really uncomfortable and had a hard time concentrating. I left much earlier than I suspect I would have had all been well.

Tuesday night I had to work, so I had the morning off. My plan was to fold the laundry (still in baskets from Sunday), then pay bills, and collapse until I had to be at work at noon. Those were my plans until at 8:30 I remembered that BEFORE I got sick, I made plans to get my car tuned up at ... YIPES ... 8:30. So I tore over to the dealership with a book and a small cross stitch project and hunkered down in front of Regis and Kelly for an hour.

Fortunately, my car needed little more than an oil change (although the next check-up is at 90,000, which is a hugely expensive service) and I was on my way back home. I got to sleep for about an hour, then headed into work.

I actually did get a little done on my projects, but Tuesday night was quite busy because all our afternoon volunteers had been unable to come in. Therefore, we were still processing the books that came through the courier until about 8pm. (Normally that's done around 5pm). So not a lot accomplished in my "librarian" work, but lots in my "clerical" work. Fortunately, I enjoy clerical work a lot, so the evening went by quickly and I was able to get through it again without incident.

Wednesday, I had a pretty big meeting in the afternoon, and all morning I was quite ill at work. I almost went home, but I had two appointments that morning, and each one was spaced just right that they showed up before I could cancel on them. It was just as well, because I knocked two more things out of my to-do list. Of course, I added about 10, but I'm trying not to think about that. I then went to the meeting, despite my illness, because I felt it was important. And it was. Although perhaps sleeping off the rest of this virus would have been more beneficial.

Thursday morning, I go in feeling significantly (although not completely) better. I have realized by now that the main thing that is continuing to upset my stomach is the soda I sip on all day. A little soda with a meal is okay, but that in-between stuff was tearing my stomach up. So I cut back on soda for the rest of the week, which meant awesome caffeine-deprivation headaches. WOOT!

Anway, Thursday meant all morning in a meeting. A productive one, but again, not productive regarding my now enormous to-do list and my looming deadlines... only a week away suddenly. After the meeting, I carefully eat some lunch, then I hit my desk to settle in to work. (Bonus: on Wednesday, we got all new chairs in the building... a late step in the renovation project. I got a fantastic chair that adjusts every which way and is very comfortable. I even like the fabric covering the chair. Awesome.)

Anyway, I'm plowing away at my task list, feeling like I might just get something accomplished, when one of my staff members tells me there is a bomb threat in the men's bathroom. He takes me there, and sure enough, written in large letters on our recently scrubbed tile walls is a pretty scary threat. The rest of the afternoon involves police, evacuations, building sweeps, and making arrangements for security for the rest of the week into the weekend. I was exhausted.

Thursday night, my neighbor was expecting me for a Southern Living Home Show. I bought a gift for a friend, came home, and got quite sick. Again. The tail end of the virus seems to just create large amounts of gas that simply build in your abdomen until you look like a blueberry person... without the blue. I was miserable. Chris was none too pleased either.

I finally managed to return to my normal size and lie down. End Thursday.

Friday arrived, and I swore there would be work accomplished. And there was. But I had to leave early to hit the family tea party at the daycare. Despite the fact that Marcus pretty much ignored me and played with daddy only, I served as a surrogate to Megan (Aiden's sister) since her parents couldn't make it at all. We smilled and giggled and played with a ball and she didn't even spit up on me. Things are looking up.

After the tea, Kathryn and I plus one other librarian from the system piled in my car to head to Greensboro for the premiere of The Hollywood Librarian. We made good time to the big city, so I took my friends past my old home... the little house that I love so much and still rib Chris for making me sell it. They agreed that it was adorable.

What follows is a bit of a comedy of errors in which I searched for a restaurant despite knowing exactly where it was (long story) and I got rear-ended by a car full of young men who were actually young enough to be my children, assuming I'd had a teen pregnancy. I was making a left onto a sidestreet where I could park and walk to said restaurant, when suddenly I was tagged in the rear right side of the bumper. The driver was really nice and knew that his life was pretty much over, insurance-wise, but he agreed to let me call the cops. I felt bad doing it to him, but I was out of town, and didn't need the hassle of tracking him down and getting him to pay for a new bumper. Besides, he admitted that he probably couldn't afford the bumper, as the last time I replaced it (last year), it was about $1K. So now, I can add dealing with an insurance claim to my enormous list.

The movie was quite good, but we didn't get out until 10pm, and the drive back is over an hour. By the time I dropped off my companions and tucked myself in, it was midnight. I barely even mumbled to Chris, despite not having seen him much all week, because I was so tired.

Now you are up to date. And now I must begin to get shit done. If I don't accomplish something today, I may actually have a heart attack... at the very least, an ulcer.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Poop Happens

It has finally happened. I have had it up to HERE with poop. Lately, it seems everything in our house revolves around the vile stuff. Poop has never been my favorite subject to begin with, and here I am, BLOGGING about it.

New Cat: poop in the litter box.
Older Toddler: potty training (training is the operative word here)
Younger Toddler: NOT potty training... just pooping
Training Potty: Chamber pot in which someone poops and someone else has to clean it up
Bad Diapering: Poop everywhere from clothing to car seat
Fancy Scandinavian Diaper Pail: Improperly installed bags that don't receive poop properly
Apple Juice: Soft messy poop
Cheese Sandwiches: Big hard poop
Artificial Coloring in Foods: Multicolored poop

I HATE POOP! Make it stop!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

New Cat, New Season, New Round of Planning

You may have heard that we have a new cat. I'd love to post pictures, but honestly, we haven't taken any yet. And with my laptop still out of commission, I've been avoiding downloading any pictures (including our recent trip to the beach) because I'd really like to keep all photos together... blah blah blah.

Anyhoo, Hermione, our new cat, is a grey tabby with hints of orange in her. Athena has a little trouble remembering "Hermione" so she just calls her "the black cat." Of course, this is inaccurate as well, but I'll let YOU tell her that, k? The cat is about two years old and one of her previous owners had her declawed, which means she doesn't go outside, which means we are once again cleaning out a litter box. (Hector long ago determined that the great outdoors was a far better local for doing his business, which is really nice.)

Today is the first pre-season game for the Hurricanes. Hockey is back, and I'm pretty excited. Chris got his uber-boss' tickets (four tickets, center ice behind the penalty boxes) so the whole family can go. (We only buy two tickets for the season). Chris gave our tickets to someone else, who gave his to someone else... so eventually someone got totally free tickets, which would make me feel good except ALL the tickets were free today. The only advantage of being season ticket holders today was we didn't have to stand in line for ours.

Anyway, I'm going to try to sneak my camera in to capture all the fun. The game is at 3pm, which means we'll have to wake Marcus from his nap in order to get there in time, but hopefully he won't be too out of sorts. We're going to try to put him down a little early.

Finally, I've begun planning for the next two trips to Disney. I know I seem obsessed, but this is really sort of background stuff that can pass through my head at any moment. I don't spend a lot of time strictly planning Disney trips, really. I swear.

The only reason I'm planning two trips is the next one is in November, when Chris and I are using our final free ticket to take a little 8th wedding anniversary trip. We're only there for three days, and most of our plans involve EPCOT and MGM Studios, since those have a lot of attractions the kids aren't at all interested in. We're also going to try to hit a water park if the weather allows.

The second trip is the one in October 2008. It looks like Aiden and his family are going to stay with us this time. We are also being joined by another family we've never traveled with, although they will not be staying with us (THAT would be crowded) but may stay in the same resort. Regardless, it's always an adventure, traveling with people you have never traveled with before. I'm not too worried though. My biggest concern is planning something that Aiden's family (who hasn't been to Disney recently, and never with the kids) will enjoy without wearing them out. The third family (the one not staying with us) has been to Disney as often as me, so no worries there.

And just so no one worries that we never go anywhere but Disney World, I'm planning a couple of other trips too... pending our financial well-being. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

An Old Flame

My sister called from San Fran tonight around five pm (my time).

Sis: I have a small-world moment for you. Are you sitting?
Me: Yes, I am
Sis: So I have a friend who is the editor of a tech magazine that is, as of today, defunct.
Me: Sucks for him
Sis: Yes, well, I IM'd him today to see when he was free for me to buy him a drink to celebrate his new job that starts Monday.
Me: Yay for him!
Sis: Indeed. So he says, "Well, I'm free, but I will have a friend with me. Is that okay?" "Sure," says I. (okay, I'm paraphrasing). Then he says, "And he's from North Carolina, so you will have something to talk about."
Me: *wondering who the hell from my sister's sordid past this could be*
Sis: THEN he says, "He's from Greensboro." So I say, "So am I!" And of course he says "You probably don't know him." (Because let's face it, San Fran folks are smart... they hear this all the time... OH, You're from San Fran! You must know..." But I digress.) Then he said, "Do you know anyone named (name omitted to protect the innocent)."
Me: Oh my GAWD! (And now I go all Valley Girl... we won't continue the dialog here).

Anyway, my sister explained to the guy that her sister dated him... so he IM's name omitted and asks "Did you ever date someone named Elizabeth MaidenNameOmitted?" And of course HE IM's back that he did.

So now we know that he is, in fact, name omitted. We shall call him "Bill" for the rest of this post. This is partially because his name is, in fact, Bill, but "Bill" is a safe, anonymous name to use because, all tol'd, I dated five of them... four of them consecutively. For those of you in the know... I am referring to Bill the Third.

Anyway, this is all terribly interesting to me for several reasons. The first is that Bill and I only dated for about two weeks between the time we went on our first date and when he left to go to England for a summer study abroad thing. And predictably (well, it's predictable NOW that I'm 36 and know these things happen, anyway), he met the love of his life on this trip, and came home, called me right away, and dumped me... only to want to be friends and introduce me to his new love at a party that everyone we know was attending. Ah, to be 18 again...

So the point is (indeed, there is a point), I'm totally surprised that he even remembered me. Two weeks is, after all, a pretty insignificant amount of your life in the end. So I had one of those little victory moments when you discover you are, despite being dumped quite unceremoniously, memorable over the long haul. (although to his credit, he felt kind of bad about it). It feels good to be memorable. Remember, this was close to twenty years ago (GAH! I'm OLD!)

It's also interesting because totally randomly and for no apparent reason, I happened to think about him just the other day. Haven't thought about him for years, probably, but he suddenly popped into my head as I was driving home from work less than two weeks ago. Weird!

So my sister asked her friend where Bill now resides. Turns out he lives in NYC. I was just there three weeks ago. About one week BEFORE he just popped into my head. Turns out he works for a major newspaper. (Yes, believe it or not, I actually know some writers who are pretty good. Unfortunately, it doesn't help me at all).

As my sister relays this information to me, I realize she is actually IMing her friend as we are speaking, so I ask the question we ALL really want to know.

"So, is he married to LoveOfHisLifeFromEnglandTripWhoHeTotallyDumpedMeFor?"

Since she is more diplomatic than I am, she asks, "Is he married."


Well... how about that! So all that heartbreak (and I really was smitten with this particular Bill... far more so than Bill the First or Bill the Second... not as much as Bill the Fourth or Bill the Fifth, though) was for nothing. Turns out she wasn't "all that and a peanut butter sandwich" after all.

AND... perhaps he's happy. Perhaps he's divorced. Perhaps he's gay. Perhaps he has a job for a really great newspaper. I honestly felt that I truly ended up at the better end of the whole thing.

I may have put on fifty pounds. I may not live in the Big Apple with my Sex and the City girlfriends. But I have a wonderful husband and the two most amazing kids... and I'm not even being full of crap here. I really feel this way. Not even an inkling of wistfulness or "what if."

And that really surprises me. Just because I remember how I felt at the time... and I thought I'd never be the same. And at the time I had no idea it was just one of those life-building moments I had to have in order to become an adult.

Of course, my sister IS having drinks with them tonight and will get me the whole scoop... Hey... I'm not immune to curiosity!

Saturday, September 01, 2007


I don't mind admitting I stole this from Berni. :-)

Try it yourself:

Getting Around To It

The thing about life is, I can never quite seem to get around to it. I've always got "something better to do." And lately, I really feel that I am playing catch up.

After a summer with the library closed, I thought that by the time we moved back in (around mid-July), I would have all my evaluations written (I have to write five, which is more than I have had to write since I worked at Dialog... and there I had to write ten, interspersed through the year... no more than one per month). I also thought I would have all my collection development projects done (I got 1.3 of them done and I only had two, really, not including the weeding I wanted to do, which I did precisely 1/1000 of). And then, on top of that, I expected that my to-do list would be minimal and manageable so I could focus on the craziness that comes with reopening (this month, we think we checked in about 25-30% more than we normally do in August since everyone saved up all their books all summer and dumped them on us).

So I still had to help with the general craziness of the month, AND I had to write four evaluations (at least I got one done over the summer) AND I had to do .7 of a collection development project (which I still have to do) AND my to-do list is growing exponentially while I basically try to keep my head above water.

Fortunately, this past week, I completed my evals and I can now focus on whittling down the to-do list. It's going to be slow, but at least now there is light at the end of the tunnel. The month has been so stressful that several people have commented on my "orneryness" and several others have avoided me altogether. But hopefully they will come back, now that I've returned from the dark side. I did have a little relapse last night when my husband, who has finally become motivated (as I have) to keep the house clean, reminded me how to do the dishes last night. Needless to say, whether his intentions were good or not, I was so mad I couldn't see straight.

I still have been working on organizing the house, and we're hoping to ask Chris' mom to watch the kids for a few hours this weekend so we can go through the bajillion toys they have and dispose of some and organize the rest. We also have to paint new numbers on our mailbox (should have done it years ago) and lower Marcus' crib. I did manage to get our new toy bin assembled on my day off on Friday in between trips to BJs and the grocery store, AND I managed to change our return filters, which -- judging from the amount of dust on them -- had not been done in at least six months. Added that to my to-do list for next month so we don't go so long this next time.

So, hey! I guess this means I HAVE accomplished something. Yay!