So I’m experiencing some all-over muscle stiffness and pain due to my fall yesterday. You know how it goes… your body tenses all up, wrenches itself in odd directions trying to stay upright, blah blah blah. So when I got to work today, I took out some Advil. And hours later, I was wondering why I still hurt. Oh, right:
I think you have to actually consume the Advil.
Also, for your enjoyment, here is a picture of a bird I took Wednesday while at Tropical Encounters in the Conservatory (click to get the full-size version). Bonus points to the first person who correctly identifies what type it is without visiting the Conservatory’s website. (I’m guessing that wins these points.)
What is this bird?
- Multitasking: Eighty percent of us claim to be multitaskers, and nearly two-thirds of all multitaskers consider themselves good at it. How about you…are you a multitasker? If so, do you multitask by choice or design? At work, I try not to multitask, usually because it upsets my rhythm and then it takes me twice as long to do things. But at home, I multitask all the time. I like to watch TV while doing… anything. Knitting, reading, homework, cleaning, laundry, and occasionally can manage to do more than that. But, I have learned that I cannot watch TV while on the phone. Nor can I eat out at a restaurant where there are TVs in my field of view. It’s a weakness I have.
- Federal Closings: Yesterday, President George W. Bush declared that Tuesday, January 2, 2007, will be a National Day of Mourning here in the U.S. after the death earlier this week of former U.S. President Gerald Ford. In doing so, President Bush ordered all government agencies and departments to close on Tuesday, except for offices essential to national security. In your opinion, do you think federal employees should have the day off from work because of the death of President Ford? Sure, why not. What’s the harm? Not much work was going to get done that day anyways, it’s the day after New Year’s. What’s better: federal employees at work with a hangover, or federal employees respectfully observing the death of a former President at home? Either way, they’re getting paid and not much work is getting done. (And yes, I say this as a state employee, so I’m not rippin’ on the government here, just being honest about the status of the workday on the day after New Year’s.)
- Who’s on First: For the second time in the last 10 days, a powerful storm has dumped major amounts of snow on Denver, Colorado, and Denver International Airport (DIA). Nearly 5,000 airline passengers were stranded at DIA during a 45-hour closure last week, and when the airport reopened, many of those stranded passengers found themselves waiting even longer to board planes because new passengers arriving at the airport were given preference for flights. Do you think grounded passengers should be first in line for the first available flights, or is it OK for new passengers booked on new flights to have preference over grounded passengers? I have … no opinion on this. It’s never happened to me. I think it would depend if I was the grounded passenger or the new passenger… either way, I’d want preference.
- Calendar: Do you have a 2007 calendar? If so, is it the kind with pictures on one side and the previous month on the backside, or is it a desk calendar, sans pictures? If a picture calendar, what is its theme? If you do not have a 2007 calendar, do you plan to buy one or are you not the calendar type? I did just get a 2007 calendar to carry with me this year, mostly because I hope to be taking more than one class, which may require more organizing of my life. (Someone is screaming right now thinking of that idea, or at least shuddering in fear of “more organization” in my life.) I got this one [link removed], and I’m not sure if I like it yet. Maybe it’ll grow on me, or maybe I’ll have to buy a different filler partway through the year.
- Terrify :: Small Children
- Month :: of May
- Throat :: Deep (like Watergate)
- Invasion :: of the Body Snatchers
- Nail :: Biter
- 12 :: Angry Men (I haven’t seen that movie though)
- Bicker :: -ing
- Thomas :: Crowne Affair (I’m sensing a movie theme, no?)
- Sibling :: Rivalry
- Delude :: Yourself
I got my Christmas present from last night – it took a little longer to ship than planned, but we shared stories about similar things happening on multiple occasions. Has anyone not had that experience? Ordering online and delivery taking longer than expected? I’d tell you what she gave me, link to it and show you in fact, but she got it off my Amazon wishlist, and I’m not supposed to look at that right now because got me something off it too.
I just realized that nothing had arrived in the mail from yet, and that I might not get it until after the weekend, but then I realized I’d actually be at my house at some point on Christmas day, so it’s all good.
Paid my tuition today, and then registered for classes for next semester. Of course, I just kinda registered for some stuff that looked interesting to hold a spot for me in the class, since I still don’t know what classes Bethel needs me to take. And their offices are closed between Christmas and New Year’s (or, at least the library is), as are Judson’s, so I don’t expect that to be resolved until after the first. But then there’s still two weeks before classes start, so that’s fine. And then financial aid will get figured out and then… glasses are next on the agenda. Darn it if it isn’t an expensive time of year. had $300 worth of car repairs two weeks ago, unexpectedly. No fun.
Work is boring today, and will be torturous all next week. At least I get to take a day off sometime next week, for lunch with and my aunt. Now I just need to find something to keep me occupied enough today so that I don’t sit here and stare at all my split ends. And I can’t take a long coffee break, because we’re short 2 clericals today, which means there are only 2 of us to answer phones and do the mail.
- Favorite gifts that you bought/made for someone else that you wanted for yourself! I don’t think I gave anyone things that I’d want. Huh.
- Favorite holiday treats to eat or drink. I love egg nog. And peppermint hot cocoa. It’s the only time of year I like peppermint.
- Gifts you would have like to to buy/make for someone else if money was no object. I think it’d be fun to give my girlfriends a day at the spa.
- Gifts you would like for yourself if money was no object! Seriously no object? A car, but only if the “no object” part lasted for more than one occasion, because upkeep (and by upkeep, I mean insurance and gas, not even thinking about repairs) is friggin’ expensive.
- Things you still have to do for the holidays! Get my brother-in-law’s gift, tealights to go with ‘s mom’s gift, wrapping the afore-mentioned, and, if I can swing it, get the last thing for ‘s stocking from Cub when he’s not looking.
- Wealth: In 1982, the year Forbes started publishing its annual list of the 400 wealthiest Americas, the magazine could find only a dozen or so billionaires. This year, The Forbes 400 list includes billionaires only. What is your definition of wealthy? Not thinking twice before making a big purchase. And by “big purchase” I mean anything over a hundred bucks. If you don’t bat an eye, as far as I’m concerned, you’re rich. But only in the pocketbook. Personal wealth is a far different thing, and is related to having people in your life who love and respect you, being personally fulfilled and satisfied with your life, etc.
- Advertising and Religion: Bahrainian athlete Ruqaya Al Ghasara runs her track & field races wearing a hijab (a full Muslim headscarf). Nike, which sponsors Al Ghasara and is notorious for splashing its logo on everything in sight, somehow managed to get the Nike swoosh emblazoned onto the sides of Al Ghasara hijab. In your opinion, should Nike have stopped short of swooshifying a religious garment, or is Al Ghasara hijab fair game for branding? Um… yeah, I’m not so much for the logo on a religious garment. Seems sacreligious somehow. And really, is that necessary? Maybe if she was buck nekkid and that was the only thing they could swoosh, but then they’d probably just tattoo her behind or something. I guess I’m surprised that if it is important enough for her to wear her hijab that she would let them do that.
- Asking for Advice: According to a recent survey, most employees are unwilling to turn to their boss for advice on problems at work. In fact, a supervisor was cited by only 11 percent of employees surveyed as a source for workplace advice. More employees rely on a peer, another senior person, or a friend outside the company when searching for advice on work-related issues. How about you? When you are experiencing problems at work, who do you turn to for help or advice? . Because she’s awesome and almost always has my back, and is more than willing to get in people’s faces. And, usually the problems that I bring to her she’s recognize as problems before, or I can quickly explain why I’m complaining and she gets it. There’s no one else, though, so when she retires, I’m screwed.
- Sleep: While everyone pretty much knows that sleep is vital to our health and well being, millions of us are not getting enough of it, or are suffering from sleep-related problems. For example, surveys conducted by the National Sleep Foundation reveal that 60 percent of adults report having sleep problems a few nights a week or more. In addition, more than 40 percent of adults experience daytime sleepiness severe enough to interfere with their daily activities at least a few days each month. What time did you go to bed last night, and do you think you got enough sleep? I went to bed just before 1. I never think I get enough sleep. If I had my way, I’d get 10 hours of sleep every night (I’ve had a work/life schedule that made that possible, and I discovered that 10 hours was my ideal amount, unlike most adults with 7 or 6).
- What stresses you out? Things that I let have that affect on me. Most of the time, when I am very stressed, it’s relatively within my control to stop letting it have that power over me. That’s the kind of outward stress stuff that other people see. It’s the stuff that others can’t necessarily see that’s the hard stuff, because that I have very little control over.
- How well do you cope with stress? I think that depends who you ask.
- What techniques do you use to relieve stress? If it’s the little stuff, I just rant and rave and talk to people and generally get it out there, as well as talk too fast and too much, and pace a lot. The big stuff… often I clean, obsessively, at inappropriate times. When I lived in Michigan, often I’d scour my kitchen or bathroom at 2 am. Last Tuesday, while was in labor, parts of my house got very clean.
- When was the last time you did something for yourself to relax? Um… I watch a lot of TV and veg out – I try to give myself time each day to relax and be myself and not have something to do.
- What is your favorite comfort food? Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha if at work. Hot Cocoa if at home.
I just read the most fabulous “instructable” of someone who truly tried to make lemonade out of lemons. “Make Life Better with a Sailboat-in-a-Closet” was written by a guy after his divorce, and he’s got some tongue-in-cheek humor and while I’ll never make a sailboat, I just thought it was clever enough to focus your attention on.
was actually thrilled that I was canceling our plans for tonight. She thanked me repeatedly. [Insert grossly inappropriate "your mom" joke here.] Seems she has a lot to do as well. And the more I thought about it, going to the movies with my current eyesight issues didn’t really seem like a good idea. Frankly, watching TV could cease being fun, except that I don’t watch TV so much as have it on in the room while I’m doing things.
For entertainment this afternoon at work, I’m running virus scans on my computer. Yeah, it’s about as exciting as it sounds. But at least I only have to be here for another 90 minutes.
Two co-workers asked me about today, including the specifics (which I was pleased to realize I remembered… more about that in a sec). I’ve been told to spoil him rotten, not like there was ever any doubt about that.
Today, I forgot my iPod at home. Yesterday it was my cell phone. I’ve repeatedly lost things in my house, gone into rooms and completely forgotten why I was there, and so forth. Maybe it’s the tumor. You know, the one that’s making me blind too. says that as long as I’m not walking into walls or having seizures more than usual, I should be fine. Previous seizures: 0. Recent seizures: 0. Check. Walking into walls: happens all the time, but not with greater frequency of recent. So maybe I’m not dying. But I sure have felt like a scatterbrain lately.
The Internet has run out of ways to entertain me. Boo.
Cookie-baking last night went alright. We didn’t burn the house down and by the end of the night, there were several dozen cookies, so I guess that could be considered successful. The spritz cookies that tried to make didn’t work – it was either the dough or the fact that her spritzer gun was missing a part, we’re not sure. And my recipe for Swedish Lace Logs was… difficult, but can be improved upon for next year, I think. Yummy, still, just not presentable to others. And I didn’t get the time to make the dough for gingerbread cookies, even though I got the ingredients. I think I’ll try to make those up tonight, while finishing the soup-in-a-jar mix that I’m giving to my grandparents (yes, yes, I realize it’s quite late and they won’t get it in the mail until after Christmas, but I feel bad about missing Christmas Eve at their house this year and needed to do something). Which means that I’m canceling movie plans with . I have to do laundry, too, which is actually why I’m canceling. I know, a crappy reason, but I’m busy all Thursday night and need some clean clothes before the weekend. I really should have tried to multi-task and get a load or two done last night, but there was enough chaos in the kitchen as it was.
Hopefully next time we won’t have so many issues, or at least have different issues, and there will be more space in the kitchen. Or at the least not a big dog following us around trying to sniff our butts and lick our hands, which only results in a lot of hand-washing.
I’ve heard the cookies are yummy….
So this article on the new standards for Chinese out-of-country adoptions begs a response of some sort. I’m actually just a little sad by them, particularly the rule that if one parent is on medication to treat anxiety or depression, then they can’t adopt. Anxiety and depression are
- incredibly rampant in our society
- very treatable, and
- of varying degrees of severity.
I think I understand where they were coming from, since trusting a child into the care of someone who is actually mentally unstable would be considered irresponsible. But I think that it’s a gross exaggeration to consider that anyone taking medication for anxiety and depression is unstable or dangerous for a child. I know they didn’t say that, and perhaps they had other reasons? Anyone?
I think that the mental health community will be upset by this, as well as other groups because of some of their other standards, like not allowing homosexual couples to adopt. Though, China doesn’t really seem to care very often what the rest of the world thinks of them.
I’ve never felt particularly motivated to adopt a child from China, so I don’t feel personally affected by this. My cousin and her husband adopted a little girl from China two years ago, and she’s just adorable. If I was going to adopt out-of-country (which I don’t think I would – that’s a really big undertaking and everyone involved would have to be gung-ho in order for it to work), I’d pick Africa. And really, it takes a very special family to make something like that work. Everyone involved has to really want it and support it. Which is actually why it’s sad that they’re not allowing single parents to adopt, though I have conflicted thoughts on single parent adoptions, and I’m not getting into that bag of worms today.
- I get about 0 telemarketer phone calls on a daily basis. I don’t get any telemarketer calls on my cell – I’m on the Do Not Call list, and I don’t answer if I don’t recognize the number. I get maybe one a month at work.
- I never call anyone after 10 at night.
- I never call anyone before 9 if at work, preferably 10 or 11 in the morning.
- I (please choose one) DO or DON’T screen my phone calls via caller ID. (Except for work, when I’m required to answer whether I want to or not, because I don’t have voicemail. But that’s OK, because it means I never have to return phone calls, which I hate even more than answering the phone.)
- I really should call just about everyone – I’m so bad more often.
My turn to brag about me for a moment. Professor graded the exams already and posted them online. I thought I did about the same as my other two tests (98 and 94), and I did – 98! (I was, again, the highest grade in the class, and the average score was 78% – eek!) That means I have 604 out of 600 points! How cool am I? OK, maybe cool isn’t the right word for someone who just aced American History 2… but whatever. And even if I hadn’t done the extra credit, my grade would still be 97.3%, so I feel really good about that.
Now hopefully I can keep up the good work when taking more than one class. We’ll see… but I have high hopes. I really like the structure that going to class and having homework bring to my life – I’m much more of a goal-oriented person than a people-oriented one, so it’s good for my emotional health if I have lists I can check off, projects with end dates and results, that sort of thing. So long as I don’t force everyone around me into that same type of structure, and I don’t think I do. Y’all are free to laugh and mock me as much as you want – it’s what works for me, and it’s who I am.
Plus, you don’t have an A+++, do you?
Today is ‘s birthday. Happy Birthday! She is now… in her late 20′s. Gasp. Or maybe she has one year left? Math is not my thing today.
This morning, I took the last test for my history class. Not technically a final, since it only covered the last 3rd of the class and was worth the same as the other two, but the end of the class regardless. I think I did alright, roughly the same as the other two tests. Assuming I scored in that general range, my grade is about 100%. Hopefully I’ll know by the end of the week. But for now, no more homework, and some weeks of catching up on other projects and stuff.
Tonight is cookie-dough-making. Yum! I will try to not eat all the dough. I will also try to clean the kitchen and the fridge (a daunting task).
All of my gifts are wrapped, except for the one for that is still in the mail, the one for that I haven’t bought yet (because I have no idea what to get him – probably a gift card somewhere), and the other half of ‘s present that I haven’t bought yet (and will probably purchase with her next week when we’re shopping with my aunt who’s coming into town from Michigan). So basically, I’m done. ‘s present is wrapped and mailed. I would still like to find a “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament for that isn’t hideous or ridiculously expensive. And I need to buy the candle thing for ‘s mom that goes with the donation card. But really, that’s practically “done.” I feel done, if that counts for anything.
This morning, I needed a hairstyle that kept my hair out of my face, since I was going to spend the first bit bent over a test writing. I ended up with this braid-bun thing that was really cute, and now all the middle-aged women at work (who have long since converted to short hairstyles) are complimenting me on it. I also am amused at men who comment on it and think that it’s really hard to do hairstyles behind your head when you can’t see them. It’s really not. Besides, I’ve been braiding my own hair for 20 years… I think I’ve got it down. The only thing I can’t really do is a reverse French braid (where its raised a bit), but those aren’t that pretty anyways, so it’s all good. Oh, and “fishtails” (or whatever they’re called) never worked well in my hair because you can’t pull them tight enough, and it all just falls out.
I know, nobody really cared about that last paragraph.
Home I go, home I go, jiggity jig. Well, stopping at the co-op first, for dinner and ingredients to make gifts for my grandparents (soup in a jar). Anyone have a mason jar or two they want to give me?
I hope not, because Christmas is still yet to come, and you know that’s a prime photo op.
But, to tide you over, in case you were going through withdrawal, here’s some pics from the weekend.
Proud new parents
Pretending to pose for our Christmas card photo
So much love