Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Special place

Everyone has that certain place they go when they need to think, to chill, or to just be by themselves and let things go. Even Winnie the Pooh has his "thinking spot". For me, that place is the beach. I go there when I need to think, or when I am mentally exhausted. When I need to think things through, it is a place where I can go and be alone (most beaches around here are usually pretty secluded/quiet) and concentrate solely on the issue at hand, or just let the thoughts come as they may. The waves provide a rhythmic sound that I find soothing. I may not leave with any answers to my problems, but at least I feel more rested, refreshed, and sometimes reinvigorated. I'm not sure why this became my "special place" but I am glad that I have it.

I have not been to the beach in quite a while. There have been a few times lately where I have felt the need to go, but didn't quite make it there. This morning, sitting at my desk, I felt the pull. I barely had the energy to lift the phone receiver... please, no more problems, no more complaints. I don't think I can handle any more right now.

As the day went on, I accomplished more on the project I'm heading, and that gave me a better feeling. The phone seemed to have heard me, and stayed relatively quiet. I also decided to skip my sandwich and go to lunch with a couple of colleagues. That was a good change of pace and lifted my spirits.

I could still use some time at the beach, but again, I won't make it there. Not in this rain. Maybe next week, but hopefully soon. I need some renewal of spirit.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cordially invited

I just received an e-vite to attend the ECMAs. Hotel, transportation from the hotel to the Aitken Centre, and a couple of meals are included, all you need to do is find your own way to Fredericton. Too bad I don't really care that much about the east coast music scene, and it's also two days before I leave on my next trip, so taking up that much time right before I go isn't an option.

Nice to see that I am starting to get some benefits from having some contacts. Hopefully I'll see more of these. It's little side benefits like this that make my job a bit more bearable some days.

After checking if a substitution was ok, I turned around and offered this to my employee. His gf was excited to have the opportunity at a mostly-free trip. Everyone wins.

UPDATE: Oops. I misread the e-vite. It is just a concert featuring ECMA artists, not the actual ECMAs.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

x-actly what I x-pected

Yesterday, I went to the hospital for my blood work (to see if we can figure out why I keep getting Creepy Red Eye™) and the x-ray on my foot. Mum picked me up and took me to the hospital so that I wouldn't have to walk the long distance between the parking lot and the front door on a bad foot. My number was called, and I handed them my new Medicare card with my new last name on it. The clerk asked if my address or any of my contact info had changed, I said no, thinking that it was linked to the Medicare database, and I had just updated all of my info when I changed my name.

I then proceeded to blood work, where they couldn't find my name in the list. The registration clerk didn't compare my name in the computer to the card, and thus didn't make that change. Nor is the Medicare database connected to the hospital database. I had to go back through the registration area and wait again to see a clerk so I could get my name changed. I got in to another agent, explained the problem, and then they questioned me on why my mother was still listed as next of kin vs my new husband. I explained that he doesn't live with me yet, of course I got the strange looks until I explained he was American. Not really any of their business, but things tend to come out of my mouth before I realize they don't need to know.

I went back to blood work and was in luck, as the nurse practitioner who is really talented at taking blood was working. Mum requested I specifically get that nurse. She always finds my hard-to-find veins and uses the smallest needle possible so I don't have a horrible experience (as I have had in the past, where they dig through my arm looking for veins, *shiver). That was no problem, and I didn't get woozy. I nearly passed out the first time I had blood work done, though not fully. My younger brother passed out one time, and due to the leather recliners, slid off the chair and across the room, LOL.

I then went to x-ray. The technician who came to get me was a younger guy, and I think he was happy to see someone around his own age. He took 3 pics of my foot in different positions while I got to lay on the metal "bed". He then called in another x-ray tech to look at something. The other guy asked if I had had any previous x-rays done in the past; I said no. They decided to take one more pic from a different angle. I'm guessing from the consultation that I am either hideously deformed or they couldn't see anything obviously wrong. My mother's opinion is that it is a hairline fracture and thus difficult to see. They wouldn't tell me anything, of course, so I still have to wait until the end of February to find out.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Maybe crappy, maybe not

The annual conference I attend is set for September 20-23rd, which means it ends on my birthday.  Kind of crappy that I will have to spend the day at the conference, but perhaps not so crappy depending on where I get to go this year.  They haven't announced yet where it will be held.  Since last year it was held in SoCal, that usually means it will be on the east coast the following year.  Guess I will have to stay tuned and see how things unfold.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Going too fast

Things are going just a little too fast at work today.  I am trying to slow things down to my pace so I can not get too overwhelmed, but it's hard.
I am wearing slippers in the office today.  I look silly, but it doesn't crunch my sore foot, so I don't care.  I was supposed to try and get the x-ray done today, but got called into a meeting so I cancelled my x-ray plans.  I'll try for tomorrow, but it is supposed to snow.  Wednesday at the latest.  In the end, it really doesn't matter when I get it done, seeing as how it won't change the healing process and I won't get the results for 5 weeks.
I have to work late tonight, but I think I will go home and start the stove before starting the night shift.  At least then when I do arrive home later, it won't be too cold inside.  It takes a long time for the stove to heat the house.  I really need to get one of those Eco fans, which sit on the top of the woodstove and help to distribute the heat.  Luckily they're on sale at Canadian Tire this week.
I'm weary.  I'm really looking forward to my vacation, but am afraid that I'll get pounded with work questions even while away.  I won't even have a full week's worth of vacation.  It will be nice when I can finally take a week off, that doesn't involve travel or neglecting John, and just relax.  It's been a long time since I did that.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Scolded like a child

I went to the doctor today to see about my foot. While I was there, I had 3 other issues to discuss, so 4 in total.

After issue #2, I pulled out my sticky note to remind myself to ask about the other two issues. My doctor sat there and saw me do that, and I commented out loud that I had to write down what I wanted to ask her so I wouldn't forget. She smiled and muttered something I didn't catch.

After issue #4, she was annoyed. She said I had presented my issues so as to leave the most important to the end. At first I thought she was joking or being lighthearted, because the fact that I CAN'T WALK very well IS the most important thing (to me). She continued on and I realized she was actually scolding me said she wanted me to present my issues in the order that was most important to her. She said if I am going to come in with multiple issues, I need to make a list and then she can determine what is the most serious. After that, she couldn't get out of the room fast enough, and I still had questions on whether she or I would make referral appointments. She said, do you want to make this one yourself? Ok, you can make it yourself, and scrawled out the slip. I then confirmed that she was going to make the other referral appointment, by this time she had the door half shut and was visibly annoyed that I was still taking up her time. I never did get to ask what the process was for getting the x-ray on my foot.

I asked at the desk, and the secretary told me that it takes 2 weeks for them to get the results. She then booked me in for an appointment to go over results, for Feb. 26. 5 weeks is the soonest I can get back in. A lot of good that does for finding out what I did to my foot. I wasted a lot of time, missed an important meeting, to be told there wasn't anything I could do for my foot and get scolded for not thinking like a doctor. Wow. That's great medicine.

I'm tired of doing doctors' jobs for them. A patient is supposed to tell their doctor their symptoms, and the doctor is supposed to be the one to try and diagnose the problem. I find too often lately I have to go in with what I think is a diagnosis in order to get any kind of treatment, otherwise I get the "we'll keep an eye on it" bullshit.

I was always taught to be polite. I also strive to follow the rule to treat others as I would want to be treated. But quite frankly, I am sick and tired of being walked on and put down. The problem is, it takes me a while to react to what happens. I was so stunned at the time that I didn't think or couldn't process to spit out the fact that I did have a list, and she heard me say that I did. I was too busy accepting my scolding to argue back and stand up for myself. That is the most annoying thing of all about what happened today, that I let someone walk all over me again, just like I always do. I want to change that, but I don't know how. It's one of those things that is fundamental to me, and working in a professional environment hasn't helped. I spend most days stuffing down the comments I want to say to stupid people I have to deal with because it's "not professional". When I do get angry enough to argue with someone, it never gets me anywhere, as I can't think quickly enough on my feet to debate with them. I aggravate myself.

Maybe someday I will learn to stand up for myself. I know I need to, but it just hasn't been able to come out in practice yet. I hope having a husband who has mastered the art of polite arguing will eventually rub off on me. I need to somehow get better at this.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

An important day

I mailed John's immigration application today. It was close to 2cm thick by the time I attached all the supporting documentation, and yet I am still worried it might not be enough. I think that is just me being nervous about it more than anything.

This has been a long process. It began with our civil wedding, almost a year ago now. At the time, we didn't realize it was going to take so much longer to gather all of the information needed. We spent the following months filling out forms, planning our church wedding, getting medical exams, fingerprints, state and federal police clearance certificates, 2 sets of photos, printing out every ticket for flights to see each other, and photocopying numerous documents.

It's out of our hands now. It is taking, on average, about 30 days for sponsorship to be processed/approved. After that is successful, the application gets sent to Buffalo to review John's case for permanent residency. That will take an undetermined number of months.

Wish us luck.

Hiding out

I've been in a bit of a hibernation lately. The day after I got home from SoCal, I managed to stub my baby toe pretty badly on the bedpost and have been limping ever since. 11 days later and it still isn't much better. They say you can't really do anything to help/heal when a baby toe is concerned, but at this point, I think I'd like to hear that from a doctor. Since there was a snowstorm overnight last night, I called my doctor today to see if I could get in on a cancellation. I hope I can, as there are some other minor issues I need to see her about as well.

I'm growing weary of Facebook. It seems as though no one actually talks to one another anymore, but reads status updates. I don't find it much fun to sit and read about the fun other people are having. Not to begrudge the fun of others, by any means, but it makes you feel like an outsider in a world in which you thought you were on the inside. I've updated my status sparingly in the last week or so because I just didn't feel like I needed to try and get people's attention. A lot of what I want to say lately can't be summed up in a one-liner, which is why I am choosing to blog today. I don't plan on giving up on Facebook, but I am less enamored with it now.

I've been through a bit of a blog drought, mainly because I didn't have much to say, or didn't feel it was appropriate to say it in a venue where I don't know who is reading. I've bottled some things up, likely not the greatest of decisions, but sometimes it is for the best.

Since I've been home, work has been a bit crazy. I worked most of the first weekend I was back, and then a lot of overtime last week. This past weekend was great, I did a little bit of shopping, but mostly stayed home and relaxed. I tried to keep off my foot as much as I could, but I still needed to put away Christmas decorations, so there was only so much time where I could rest. A big part of this weekend was spent watching NFL playoffs. I didn't like sacrificing time out with friends to watch football, but it was a way for me to spend time with John (albeit remotely) and get some things done around the house. It was a good year for me, football-wise, as I won the pick'em pool.

I'm feeling kind of lost right now. I expected this would happen, as January is usually a tough month to get through. I don't like taking down the decorations, but it is something that must be done in order to preserve that "special" feeling for next year. I anticipated the snow, the cold, the even worse feeling of snow & cold after returning from SoCal. What I didn't anticipate was still being sick and hurting my foot. I think today is the first day I truly feel like I have beaten my cold (the same one I had since the first of December). My foot issue slowed me down quite a bit physically, and that didn't help during a time where I had to be at work, no matter what. I was looking forward to Improv last Thursday, but with the work overtime and the state my foot was in, I didn't feel like hobbling out. I like getting out and seeing my friends; I miss them.

There has been a lot of change in the air, but I think I am one of the few who has stood still. Perhaps not the best thing. I am not a big fan of change, so I don't usually seek out new activities, but that is likely the cause of my stagnant feeling. I enjoy my free time, in fact I don't feel as though I have enough of it. It just seems like I am spending most of it alone. I know I should be out there, trying new things, but I'm just not sure what it is I'd like to do. I'm also still very shy. The thought of joining a group of strangers makes me nervous. I hate being that new person who doesn't know anything; it makes me feel foolish, which, in turn, makes me not want to participate anymore. Yes, that sounds silly, coming from an adult, but there it is.

With the arrival of the Christmas busy season and then my foot injury, I haven't been able to go for walks, which is another part of my hibernation issue. Last week would have been great for walking, but I could barely walk through my office, let alone the 30 minute walk I try and do on my lunch hour or the hour walk I would like to put in on the weekend days. I need this foot issue to be resolved.

It wasn't much of a stretch, but I did step slightly outside my boundaries and join a book club with some friends. I felt that I could challenge myself to try some different novels, something I wouldn't normally try on my own. The first selection was ok, it had some interesting parts, but I can't say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Our second selection is totally absorbing. I am halfway through the 1000 page novel, and I hope I have enough time to finish it in the next 2 weeks. I feel like this month's book has validated my reason for joining, as this is not a novel I would have thought to pick up and read on my own.

I have been thinking about what I will pick when it comes to be my turn. I have a selection in mind, but I am a bit nervous to put my likes on display. I have been put down before about my choices, and my feelings have gotten hurt, so I am not sure I want to stick my neck out... but I am starting to think I should just say "screw it" and pick whatever I think is one of my favorites, even if it is what some would consider to be in a "throwaway" genre. The club is supposed to be about picking our favorites, not necessarily literary masterpieces.

Today is an important day, and I have an important task to complete on my lunch hour. More on that later.

Friday, January 04, 2008

My kind of place

There is a burger chain on the west coast called In-N-Out. They have burgers made with fresh beef, fresh cut fries, and fresh buns made with sponge bread. The best part about In-N-Out, however, is their menu. They have burgers, fries, and drinks. That's it. They serve their specialty, and don't diversify; thus the food is good.

You know how hard it is for me to make any kind of decision. Here, the decisions are easy. Pretty much the only thing I need to decide is whether or not I want cheese. I love this place. It's one of my favorite places to go now when I visit SoCal.


You and I are a lot more alike than I thought.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Aunt Liz redux

After having to keep quiet since October, I can finally announce that I am going to be an aunt again! My older brother & wife are expecting their first child together. The due date is July 11, two days after my brother's birthday and 2 days before my nephew's birthday.

No word on the gender of the baby for another 6-8 weeks, but the ultrasound technician seemed to think it was a girl. Too early to tell yet though. A niece would be really great. Little girls are fun to buy for. :)