Saturday, July 25, 2009


That's my excuse for not updating this blog more often. Periodically, I suffer through bouts of insomnia, but this most recent one has been particularly relentless. Recently, I participated in an insomnia survey of sorts, a class project of my massage therapist, and she suggested I read Insomniac, by Gayle Greene.

I have never been able to discern a reason why my insomnia comes and goes, but I'm guessing it's a combination of anxiety, hormones, and stress.

Also, the rabbit died. That used to mean "I'm pregnant" but in this case, the rabbit literally died.

My pet bunny suddenly sickened and passed before I could get him to the vet. I've lost pets before but only after they have grown old and/or suffered through a long illness. HipHop was young and I expected to have him for several more years. I'm a little surprised at how much it affected me, too. I think the older we get, the more difficult loss becomes, which is unfortunate because losses large and small really start piling up as we age.

Another feature of aging is realizing we are not going to do all those things we thought we would do "someday". Like travel. And by travel, I mean really travel, and not just in herds of seniors.

From reading Where the Hell is Matt? I realize why I don't really travel: my physical comfort and safety matter more to me than visiting strange and exotic places. Is that the definition of old or what?

Speaking of old, I am also reading Somewhere Towards the End, by Diana Athill.

Liberated woman or slut? She likes to kiss and discreetly tell. She is less discreet in her opinions, and I favor candid people.

What else has been going on lately? Our all-employee summer event was postponed at the last minute because it was inadvertently scheduled the same week as a global downsizing. (My department downsized last year, so we were left relatively unscathed.) We were to go bowling. We went bowling several years ago for the all-employee event. At that time, we were gifted tee-shirts in the company color with the company logo on the front. Not bad, I thought, until I unfolded it the day of the event.

Fridays are jeans day and I frequently wear this shirt then, which makes the person responsible for its design happy. She does not realize I am wearing it ironically.

Speaking of work, we are getting a new building next year and the new building will have new work stations. This is my current cubicle. (Sorry about the crummy pics - had to use my cell phone camera.)

This is your standard cube, about 9' x 9', with a hutch, some shelves, some drawers, a visitor's chair, and a 5-drawer file cabinet. I also have a white board and a hook to hang my coat. The cloth walls are about 5' tall, giving one the pretense of privacy.

Here is the new work station. (If you look closely, you can see the hand of god giving it the spark of life.)

Floor space is about 5.5' x 5.5'. Walls are about 4' tall. Shelves and drawers are limited; no white boards and no coat hooks. If one rolls one's chair back from the desk a bit, one is in the aisle.

The desk can be cranked up so one may work standing up...

... just in case one wishes to remain above the fray.

"They" set up two of these 6-stall pods, one right next to my cube, so I get to hear all the complaints and carping. Once the novelty wears off, two employees are going to take up residence.

In fact, here is one of those employees now, with another co-worker who is making sure the monitor is level by using an app on his Google phone.

Is that geeky or what?

Friday, July 03, 2009

A meme about ME! ME!

I stole this from other blogs. Ordinarily, I don't do many memes because they usually require thinking, but this one isn't too challenging.

What is your current obsession?
Knitting. I knit even when I don't really feel like it. I used to obsessively read fiction, but knitting keeps me from picking at my cuticles.

What is your weirdest obsession?
Some would say the knitting, but it seems pretty normal to me.

What are you wearing today?
Still in my jammie pants and a tee shirt. And my lobster slippers.

What’s for dinner?
I'm planning to stir fry, to make up for the bag o' chips I ate last night for dinner.

What would you eat for your last meal?
I would probably be too distraught to eat, but if not, a whole rhubarb strawberry pie with real whip cream.

What’s the last thing you bought?
Yarn and groceries, in that order.

What are you listening to right now?
The refrigerator. Oops, it just stopped. Now all I hear is the passage of time. Tick. Tick. Tick.

What do you think of the person who tagged you?
Nobody tagged me. That would require that someone actually read this blog.

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
The house is not the issue. I would like to live in the country if I could find a rural area that was more blue than red. And flat but with trees. And no mosquitoes.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
South Dakota, to see where my mother grew up.

Which language do you want to learn?
I watched a French movie last night and marvelled over how everything, even "SHUT UP", sounds better in French. But Spanish would be more useful. Or if I learned German, I could transfer to the Zurich office. Not that I would.

What is your favorite colour?
Red. Red, red, red.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
I hate my clothes. I hate clothes in general. I'm a jeans-and-tee-shirt kind of gal, but right now, my jeans are too tight to be something I reach for automatically.

What is your dream job?
World famous novelist.

What’s your favourite magazine?
The New Yorker. The writing is usually quite exquisite.

If you had £100 now, what would you spend it on?
I don't know how much that is, but I would probably just put it in the bank.

Describe your personal style?
Lazy day dreamer.

What are you going to do after this?

What are your favourite films?
Lately I have been quite taken with foreign films. I can't tell if they are really better than Hollywood or if they just seem better because of the languages. The acting is definitely better.

What’s your favourite fruit?

What inspires you?
I am easily inspired, but not inspired to actually do anything. See lazy day dreamer.

Do you collect anything?
Coffee mugs.

Your favourite animal?
I like most animals but I will say cats because I cannot walk past one without engaging in conversation and offering a few scritches.

What are you currently reading?
The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work. Highly recommended.

Go to your book shelf, take down the first book with a red spine you see, turn to page 26 and type out the first line:
"Tom contemplated the boy a bit, and said, 'What do you call work?'" That's from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I don't even know where this book came from or why it is on my book shelf.

By what criteria do you judge a person?
Are they fatter than me? That's always a plus.

What skill would you like to acquire immediately?
To be able to run long distances. And to smoke cigarettes without suffering the consequences.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


I think my evil twin lives nearby, and she has the medical community on red alert.

Several years ago, I went to a dermatologist. (You don't need to know why.) I had never seen this doctor before, but when she entered the examining room with her nurse/assistant, the two of them stayed by the door, about 10 feet away from me. I would have said, They acted like I had leprosy, but I assume that would have piqued their interest. Instead, they tried to keep as far away as possible until professional manners forced them into my force field. The whole episode discombobulated me - do I have BO? is my breath that bad? am I so hideous that a dermatologist finds me repulsive? - but perhaps they mistook me for someone else.

Then I noticed being treated oddly at my doctor's office. I don't go there often, so it's not like I am one of those patients begging for attention, and maybe they consider me a "problem" because I am non-compliant with the statins, but still. One time the nurse yelled at me over the phone in what was to me an obvious case of mistaken identity. At least, I realized she was mistaking me for someone else; I'm not sure she did. That nurse is gone (nervous breakdown?) and the new one is friendlier, but now I have to run the gauntlet to see the doctor at all. The last time I was there, I was seeking treatment for a sinus infection. This was the very day the media reported how antibiotics were futile against sinus infections, but my doctor had not heard the news yet. When I made the appointment, I had to list all the home remedies I had already tried. When I made it to the examining room, I again had to recite all my efforts to heal myself, this time to the nurse. And when the doctor came in, I had to repeat the whole performance AGAIN, after which he grudgingly admitted I had done the right thing by trying to treat myself at home with OTC meds and vitamins and herbs and voodoo before wasting his valuable time. Do they treat everyone this way? Is it just me? Or do they have me confused with someone else?

And then there is the pharmacist at Walgreens. After a root canal, which involved a double dose of Novocaine that actually made my brain zing, I stopped at the drug store for some pain relievers. When the cashier asked if I had any questions for the pharmacist, I said yes because I wanted to ask about drug interaction. Needless to say, with my numb mouth I sounded like I was mentally challenged, but the look on the pharmacist's face was uncalled for. To put it bluntly, she was horrified and repulsed and it took all her willpower not to run down the aisle screaming. Which made me laugh, confirming I was not only retarded but crazy and probably homeless as well. Or maybe she thought I was someone else.

Recently, an acquittance commented that she knows someone with the same name as mine. I wish I could remember who that was, and I wish I had grilled her for details, because I need to talk to that woman. Face to face.