Thursday, October 28, 2004

WTF?

Today isn't Friday?? I swear to God, I've been thinking for the past several hours that today is Friday and that I can go home and sleep late tomorrow. But, oh no. That's so not true. And very heartbreaking.

But, tomorrow really is Friday. (Isn't it??) And, my company is having a Company Outing. It sounds much worse than I think it will be. In fact, I'm quite looking forward to it. We're having a Scavenger Hunt. We all meet for lunch around 12:30, get the rules, assemble in our teams, head out into downtown Chicago, scavenge and hunt, then off to a bar for an open bar and noshy dinner things. Whee! And, the winning team gets $150 gift certificates for each person on the team. How cool is that?

So, we do know that there are extra points for doing this thing in costume. My team met today to go over strategy and figure out costumes. We are going as the Gorey Details and we're all different Edward Gorey characters. We're gonna be cute.

How much of a geek am I that I'm actually excited by this?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Annoyances in My Life

Lately, it seems that there have been more annoyances in my life than normal. Am I attracting them? Or, is it just because I'm so stressed that I'm not able to blow things off? Here are the 2 major things that are causing me grief right now:

1. I park in a pay lot across the street from my office. It costs me $185/month for the priviledge of parking there, which, for downtown Chicago, isn't too bad. For me, it's worth the dough because it cuts my commute time in at least half, and the days I have class, I have to drive anyway. So, I do monthly parking and it works out just fine.

The company who manages the lot, Imperial Parking, let me repeat the name so all of you can learn from my cautionary tale and stay away from said company, IMPERIAL PARKING, is completely fucked up. My tale of woe began in January when I paid the attendant for my monthly parking. He was out of the little hang tags that identify monthly parkers and told me he'd get me one when they came in. Three days later, I got one, but in the meantime, I got ticketed each of those three days for non-payment. I called the evil Imperial Parking, explained the sitch and they told me they would void the tickets. Additionally, I included all of the tickets in with my February monthly payment and explained why I wouldn't pay them.

Then, in July, I start getting notices from a collection agency about those tickets. Plus, I get ticketed for nonpayment again. Once again, I call the company, they tell me that it's an accounting error, they'll waive the tickets and take care of the tickets from January, too. Between July and August, I had to call those people at least once per week because I kept getting ticketed and kept getting notices from the collections agency. Turns out they had cancelled my account back in February but continued to take my money without crediting it. We, I think, finally get that straightened out. Then, last week I get another notice from the collections agency with not only the tickets from January but also the tickets from July and August. Plus, they call me to tell me that they lost my last check and could I call them. Then on top of all that, yesterday, I got another ticket for nonpayment.

I had had it. So, today, I marched down to their office and decided to straighten everything out in person. I get them to void all the tickets and call off the collections agency. Then, I ask them how much I owe since they lost my check. I write them a check for that amount less the $30 stopped payment fee my bank charged me for stopping payment on the check they lost. I then handed over my hang tag and cancelled my account with them. I am completely over it.

I will now change to the lot in my building which costs more, $200/month, but it is indoor parking which will be nice come winter. This annoyance has, at least, been dealt with. But, let's see if I get another notice from the collections agency next month.

2. For the education classes I have coming up, I have to apply in advance for them. I submitted applications for 301 (which I need to take next semester) and 304 (which I need to take next fall) during the last week of September. Registration for Spring term is coming up, so I called the office to make sure I was all set and approved and would be able to register for Spring term. They called me back on Thursday telling me that they never got my applications. I explain when I turned it in and they said they'd look into it.

I hadn't heard back, so yesterday, I called to follow-up. I left a detailed message explaining what we had talked about on Thursday and was following up to see if they had found my applications. The same woman I had talked to last week called me back and didn't remember our conversation. So much for her looking into it. This time she said she would look into it. She left a message late yesterday telling me that they had my applications but they needed verification from my English advisor that I have at least 21 hours in my major completed.

So, I email my advisor asking him to inform my education advisor that I have completed the required hours so that my education advisor can then tell the office and I can get approved for 301. He has already emailed me and my education advisor back verifying that, so we'll see what happens next.

I just keep thinking that something like paying for my monthly parking and getting registered for a class shouldn't be so fucking hard. Why can't I just send in my money and have a parking space and not get tickets? Why can't I just register for a class? It seems like I'm having to push uphill just to get basic things taken care of. I need a personal assistant who can take care of all that shit as well as clean my house and do my laundry so it will free me up to work and go to school and do homework and maybe, just maybe, have a social life.

Oh, I know. I'm living in a fantasy world.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Kaffy Goes Stream of Consciousness

Mid-terms are ovah! Two papers turned in (and I have one back...got an A), test done tonight! Woot! Add in the fact that I finally got my roots touched up and I'm feeling marginally better.

But, work is very stressful right now. To the point that I don't even want to talk about it because it'll end up being a ranty whine and I just don't need that right now. So, work? Blech. 'nuff said.

I did the ultimate in multi-tasking on my way home from class tonight. I started reading Dr. Faustus. Yes, while on the highway. But, it's not as bad as it sounds. I was stuck there, just sitting because of an accident. Pretty bad from what it seemed like. But they got it cleaned up fairly quickly, about 25 minutes I sat there. Could have been much worse.

Two of my friends, S and K, got hit by a car on Saturday night. They were walking down the road, crossing with the light at a crosswalk, in a heavy pedestrian neighborhood (Andersonville for you Chicago people) when someone came flying around a corner and slammed into them. They went flying while the nasty driver took off. When they came to, there were a bunch of people around, many of which saw everything including a description of the car and license plate number. S and K went to the hospital to get checked out. They got off pretty light considering. Bunch of bruises and scrapes. K got lacerations, 3 dislocated fingers and bruised tailbone to boot. They got some prescriptions for muscle relaxants and pain killers, so they both spent yesterday (and I hope today) resting at home.

Jackass who hit them needs to be sent to jail. Of course, I think he'll just end up with a ticket. Dammit. My friends need to stay friend-shaped and not smooshed.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Lookee at Me

I'm being all productive 'n shit. I've balanced my checkbook and paid bills. Of course, I am woefully broke, but I am all paid up and balanced.

Funkadelic Doldrums

Ennui. Malaise. Tedium. Torpor. Weariness. Funk.

This is how I've been feeling as of late. And, following someone else's Friday bullets, I'll try to explain why:

 Mid-terms. I only take 2 classes, but there is a metric ton crapload of writing for each class. Papers have been due. It will calm down a wee bit between now and the end of November.

 Work. We have a Big Project due soon. We are converting all of our back office and sales software to shiny, new, stuff and I'm one of the people who is majorly responsible for it. I'm not a tech person, but I am a business process person. So, I work with every single person in the company to figure out what they do, how they do it, and the best way to do it in our new system. We launch Nov. 29th. We're in the last stretch and are swamped.

 Weight loss efforts. I have been completely burned out. I haven't wanted to count Points or even have to think about what I eat. I decided to take a small hiatus from WW for a week. I didn't even go to my meeting on Tuesday. And it's been hard to get back on track this week. I've been doing okay, but not 100% On Program. I could definitely be making better choices.

I haven't been to the gym since early September. I did so well during the summer, but once school started back up, it's been an effort just to keep my head above water. I haven't made the time for the gym, and I know I need to. Even though I am seriously not a morning person, I've been thinking of trying to go before work a couple of times per week.

As a result of the above 2 things, I'm feeling very fat. I haven't gained weight, but I've been holding fairly steady not losing anything, either. I'm down 73.6 lbs and 4 dress sizes, and I know that's great. But, I still have a long way to go, and I'm feeling it these days.

 My dad. I just don't know what to say here except that right now, that man is not my Daddy. I hope I get him back someday, but I may never and that's tearing me up.

 Winston. He's been gone all week, and I miss him. I am also feeling incredibly guilty because I feel like I'm giving him a short shrift because of the other things going on in my life. Don't misunderstand me. He's not making me feel this way. I am doing it to myself.

To sum up: I'm stressed in a big fat hairy way and don't quite know what to do about it.

Hee Hee Hee

I lurves me some Dork Tower.

My Kind of Christian

Bush Relatives for Kerry has got some great testimonials for Kerry. My favorite:

Jeanny House (Wisconsin): I'm voting for John Kerry because I'm a Christian. I know that my second cousin, George Bush, claims that he is the anointed leader of the American people and that God told him to run for office. I believe he may even believe that. I don't.

My Christian faith leads me to a concern for the poor and the marginalized, yet Bush's actions in office have repeatedly cut funding for health care, aid to failing schools, jobs programs, after school programs, Head Start, and many more services that provide real help and hope to those living in poverty. Under the Bush administration, over a million additional people have dropped below the poverty line. 1.2 million more have gone into "deep poverty," which is one-half the $18,810 for a family of four that defines "poverty."

My Christian faith leads me to a concern for the health and welfare of all of God's people, yet 45 million people in this country have no health insurance. The Bush administration, working hard to protect the interests of large, rich insurance companies, has done nothing to address the real health care crisis.

My Christian faith tells me the peacemakers are the blessed ones, yet George Bush wants to resurrect the Crusades, one of the most shameful experiences in Christian history. I fail to understand how lying to the people of the United States about any of the many justifications they have used for going to war in Iraq can be considered in any way, shape, or form a remotely Christian activity. Yes, Jesus once said, "I come not to bring peace, but a sword." He was talking about liberating his OWN people from within, not invading an oil-rich country out of purely selfish motives, then claiming it was for the liberation of others. The only true liberation comes when the oppressed claim it for themselves. This is something George Bush and his Imperialist cabal will never understand.

My Christian faith moves toward greater inclusiveness and acceptance, George Bush moves toward punishment, division, and exclusion. My Christian faith seeks to bring people into the circle of decision-making, George Bush seeks to keep them out. My Christian faith seeks to afford equal rights and responsibilities to all, George Bush seeks to reserve more rights for the privileged few.

My Christian faith is not looking for a new Messiah named George Bush.

I am, however, looking for a leader. I believe that leader's name is John Kerry.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

I'm Alive!

Hi. So...ummm...yeah. I'm a bad blogger. It's been 12 days since my last entry. Forgive me??

For those of you following one of my sagas you know by now that I finally got my test results from my annual, no-more-cancer-please tests. And, I have a sparkly clean bill of health for the next year. I was a bit freaked because they did many more scans than usual and then it took for-freakin'-ever to get the results. But, I am clean and that makes 2 scans in a row that came back clean. Woot! Thanks to Broad, Snidget, and Og for all the good wishes. It is much appreciated.

Also...school? Still kicking my ass. As is work. Which is why the blogging has been forsaken for a while. I'm wicked busy at work and don't have the time to blog here (generally speaking--right now I'm blogging while eating my tasty lunch of Lebanese food--and yes, it is 2:45 and I'm just now eating lunch). When I'm at home, I'm trying to stay off the interbunny so that I can get some homework done.

Winston has forsaken me this week. He's off in one of those liberal, Eastern states for work all week. Pity me. :)

I talked to my mom last night, and my dad isn't doing well. I haven't talked about him much on here because I just can't. It just hurts too damn much. He had a stroke in June and it was a whopper. The resulting dementia is frightening and we all wonder if he's ever going to get better. The psych. says he won't even make a diagnosis until March (9 months after the stroke). Which is good. That means it's possible that he will get better. In the meantime, it's way too much for my mom to handle, and I feel like I've just abandoned them both because I live so far away and can't be there. Gah.

I suspect I will be able to blog some more later this week (after my paper on Pierre Bourdieu is done). Don't abandon me quite yet!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

This Is Prolly True...




Snagged from Whitters.

Drowning Under Paper

School is starting to kick my ass. Yes, I'm functioning at a lower level than normal these days due to the raging hormones that I was shot up with on Monday and Tuesday, but it's also that time of year when papers are getting due. So far this week, I have written 2 short essays that I used just to apply for 2 classes I need (one next semester and one next fall!) and another 2 pager defining Saussure's "sign." I still have to write a 4 pager on Beowulf for Monday. And read The Miller's Tale. And read some Barbara Johnson.

Mix all this readin' and 'ritin' with low energy and puddin' head and you got some scary shit happening. Tonight, Winston's coming over and the poor guy is gonna have to sit around while I do laundry because tonight's the only night I can do it.

Friday, I'll be spending some quality time with Beowulf writing that paper. I've got a friend coming in to town from Michigan and we're having some fun girlie time on Saturday and Sunday.

Oh! I've also written several performance reviews this week at work. My boss thinks I'm doing a great job, so that's happy making. Little does he know how much time I spend on the interbunny doing non-work things. Like, say, blogging. Fer instance. Or, possibly working on a Beowulf paper tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Ummm...

I really have no idea what to say about this. Except maybe "Ewwwwww!"

A elderly Romanian man mistook his penis for a chicken’s neck, cut it off and his dog rushed up and ate it, the state Rompres news agency said on Monday.

Rules for Living

Snagged this from Snidget. It's Olivia's Rules for Living (from Helen Fielding's book Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination) and, I think, worth reposting here. Cuz, I need to remember these things.

1. Never panic. Stop, breathe, think.
2. No one is thinking about you. They're thinking about themselves, just like you. (This is especially important at parties if you feel self-conscious.)
3. Never change haircut or color before an important event.
4. Nothing is either as bad or as good as it seems.
5. Do as you would be done by, e.g., thou shalt not kill.
6. It is better to buy one expensive thing that you really like than several cheap ones that you only quite like.
7. Hardly anything matters: If you get upset, ask yourself, 'Does it really matter?'
8. The key to success lies in how you pick yourself up from failure.
9. Be honest and kind.
10. Only buy clothes that make you feel like doing a small dance.
11. Trust your instincts. Not your overactive imagination.
12. When overwhelmed by disaster, check if there's really a disaster by doing the following:
a.) Think oh, f- - - it!;
b.) Look on the bright side.
If neither of the above works, then maybe it is a disaster so turn to items 1 and 4.
13. Don't expect the world to be safe or life to be fair.
14. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.
15. Don't regret anything. Remember there wasn't anything else that could have happened, given who you were and the state of the world at that moment. The only thing you can change is the present, so learn from the past.

Kaffy Cain't Read

Yesterday morning I had two, count them 2, doctor's visits before work.

Visit #1: pregnancy test (negative [yay!] which was expected) and Thyrogen injection #1. It's test week for me. The shot left me with a headache, nauseated, and dizzy. Whee!! Then by mid-afternoon, those were replaced with mind-numbing tired, muscle aches and slow brain function. This is a fun time.

Visit #2: Dropped off my jug o'pee. And they took some blood to go with it. Good news is that the CT scan results are in: no more kidney stones! It seems I passed the only one I had and it was tiny, so it didn't hurt very much. Yay!

On the way to work after these appointments, I stopped in 7-Eleven for a cup of coffee. Grabbed a 20 oz. cup that was pimping the upcoming election, filled it up, and took off. I was at work when I saw that the other side of the cup read, "BUSH." Bush??? EEEKKKK!!!!!

So then I got pissed. Where's Kerry? What's going on here?? Is 7-Eleven promoting Bush?

Had another doctor's visit this morning (injection #2!) and went by 7-Eleven again. They have BOTH Bush and Kerry cups. So, of course, this morning I got Kerry.

Please don't make me read before I have coffee. That's just mean. But I'll be damned if I walk around with a Bush cup again.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Really Old Pomegranates

2,500 Year-Old Pomegranate Found in Greece

A scientific dig has uncovered four pomegranates believed to be 2,500 years old preserved inside a woven basket nestled in a bronze vessel, a Greek archaeologist said Friday.


That's just amazing! The fruit is preserved after that long? That's just cool. Science? Freaky.