Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekly Check-In

Well, it's been quite an interesting week. I continue to spend a lot of time in the Career Center at work, though not all my time (thank the gods); and with a little bit of an attitude of acceptance, I have gotten to the point where it doesn't bother me quite so much. I mean, it's still draining and unpleasant, but I managed to let go of my resentment at being down there, and that makes it less draining and unpleasant... and therefore pretty much doable.

Friday was Caroline's birthday, and we had a great outing to San Francisco, shopping and people-watching on Pier 39 and then dinner at Forbes Island... I spent way too much money, but a fantastic time was had by us both. Wanna see some pix?

Here's Caroline having her caricature made... and being Caroline, she was posing like it was a Vogue cover shot. I thought the caricature came out really cute, he captured her expression really well:

This is the lighthouse on Forbes Island, which is a sort of houseboat/barge built into a floating island that is moored near the breakwater in the Sea Lion Harbor marina between Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf:

This is the spiral staircase inside the lighthouse, which was hand-built by the island's owner and creator, Forbes Kiddoo:

Here's Caroline at the entrance to the restaurant, which is underneath the island, or inside the island, whichever way you want to look at it:

And here am I looking very scruffy and sweaty in the (very warm but quite beautiful) dining room of the Island, with my appetizer seafood chowder and a nice glass of ginger ale with fresh mint (a taste sensation that Caroline discovered in a Brazilian restaurant some years back):

And here's Caroline again with her entree of triple-wine-glazed lamb and potatoes au gratin:

While I was on Pier 39, I bought some "art" at two of the shops we visited... and I use quotes here because they are mass-produced resin figurines (hand painted, though) for which I spent too much money ($35 and $70, respectively) but am completely in love with.

(Pearl Diver by December Diamonds)

(Dusk by Sheila Wolk)

Then on Saturday (as if that weren't enough for one weekend), I got together with Angelique and Damon for the San Francisco Grand Ducal Coronation 2010. The two of them got a motel room because they were staying over for Folsom Fair, and generously allowed me to use the space to get ready.

Everything went wrong... it was roasting hot, and though the room was air-condtioned, I was still sweating like a whore in church. My new makeup (from Kryolan) just wouldn't stay put... it went on fine, and then I got the setting powder onto it, and then I'd sweat some more, and the base would separate into little wet clumps. So I had to reapply several times, and it still flaked off.

Then I went to get dressed, and discovered that I had neglected to pack my bra... which wouldn't have been a disaster except that the dress I was wearing was too big for me and strapless, which is why I wanted to wear a bra with straps so I could attach the dress to it. I tried on some of the dresses I'd brought for Angelique, but they either didn't fit or didn't go with the black shoes I had on.

Eventually, though, I rigged the thing up with the hanging-straps from inside the dress, which I cut off and attached with safety pins. Then I pinned the dress to my jacket for extra security... and even without a bra or a corset, it looked really good! And it was comfortable!

So the evening, once we arrived at the Coronation, was a lot of fun... there were many friends to say "Hi" to, and many cute boys to ogle; and then to cap the whole thing off, my friend Cookie Dough won the title of Royal Grand Duchess of San Francisco! It was a wonderful night.

So come Sunday, I was pretty well wiped. I still managed to go to church with Grandmother, and to lunch, and then a little bit of shopping before heading home for nap-time. And a lovely nap it was! Then I watched Time Bandits and played with my new obsession-game, Kingdoms of Camelot on FaceBook (where I just today reached level 22 and the rank of Earl).

Unfortunately, we got word that my aunt Terry had a health crisis Sunday afternoon and had been taken to the Emergency Room. She's been battling cancer for the last two years, so her crises tend to be pretty dramatic... vomiting blood and like that. I helped Grandmother pack an overnight bag, and she and Junior went down to be with her and with my cousin Jamie. She was awfully worried, and I'm awfully worried... but I'm praying and hoping for the best... or rather, I'm praying and hoping that For The Best happens to align with our desires (Terry's recovery).

So that's been my life in a nutshell.


My mood continues good, I am definitely loving this particular cocktail. My sleep has been a little off, but I attribute that to the new bed... after all, a brand new bed is very much like a strange bed, and I never sleep well in strange beds. After fifteen years of my old bed, this new one is going to take a little getting used to. Anyway, it's getting better, so I am not going to blame the sleeplessness on the new meds.


I had this great idea that I would capitalize on the inordinate amount of exercise I got last weekend working on my room by hitting the gym as soon as my limbs stopped being sore. But as with all my really great ideas, I forgot all about it by the time my limbs stopped being sore (which was Wednesday). I'm still holding steady at 225-228 and perfectly fine with that.

And that's all I've got to say today. Tune in tomorrow for a Picture Post! But in the meantime:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekly Check-In

Something funny: I have a new boss at work, or rather a new boss's boss, a department manager over seven people who hadn't been grouped into a department before... I'll call her Laura Allen, which is not her real name (but is close). She started last week, and I really like her. But this morning, I was reading my email and there was a message entitled "Laura Allen - Getting Rid of Robert."

The message was from one of my picture-sharing groups, Laura Allen was the name of the artist and "Getting Rid of Robert" was the title of the painting; but I just about shit myself reading those words in conjunction. And then I had a great story to tell at work today.

Here's the picture; I didn't much like it when I first looked at it, but that may just be because it startled me; it's sort of grown on me since:

This last work-week, though, was completely awful. On Wednesday, we found out that one of our coworkers passed away on Tuesday. It was so shocking, and so incredibly sad... he was a really good man, with a big heart; and he was only 47, and had two young daughters. For three days, we were all just walking around stunned and saddened, murmuring in little groups and bursting into tears during meetings. We're still kind of shocked, but are adjusting to the shock; it helps that there is a memorial Tuesday and a funeral Wednesday that people can go to, hopefully get some closure.

Anyway, on Thursday, my sister called me at work and told me Grandmother thought she'd had another stroke... she (Grandmother) had been on the phone to her dentist's office, making an appointment, and she suddenly couldn't remember basic information, not her birthday nor her address nor her phone number. It scared the hell out of her, and she called my uncle but he wasn't answering, so she called my sister who came out immediately. I don't know why she didn't call me, I mean my sister lives in Santa Rosa and it took her an hour and a half to get here; but I think it's because Suzie's number is programmed in the phone (she's had that cell-phone number for years, through numerous moves) and my work number isn't.

Fortunately, it turned out to be nothing; or rather, it was just a passing cerebral episode with no lasting symptoms or apparent damage, she didn't even have to go to the emergency room. But in the three hours between hearing from Suzie leaving her house and hearing back that the Advice Nurse had told Grandmother she was fine, I was at work freaking out big time. I talked to a couple of people and shared what was going on and how scared I was, and while that helped a lot, it didn't help enough. I was a wreck by the end of the day.

So then on Friday, of course all this emotional upheaval triggered a depression. Friday was also the last day our two interns were going to be with us, and though I was glad that we get to keep one of them as a temp, I am sad to see the other one go; much more pressure came from the fact that I was in on the interviews to decide which one we were going to hire on.

And of course, since they're going, and the one we get to keep isn't starting until later this week, after the inevitable paperwork gets processed, that means Little Me gets to work in the Career Center for a few days, which weighed heavily on my mind that day. So all in all a sucky week.

But then on Saturday, I got my IKEA credit card in the mail, activated it, and hot-footed it down to the local IKEA and bought myself a new bed, as you may remember I have been planning for some weeks now. I ended up getting a different bed than originally planned, though... after visiting IKEA with Caroline shortly after deciding to get a new bed, I "test drove" the bed I'd planned on and a few other pieces as well, and decided I liked the Beddinge Lövås bed better, it has a higher back and is rather more comfortable than the Hemnes Daybed... and three hundred dollars cheaper.

On the downside, I had to wrestle the great heavy boxes and bundles off the shelves and onto my little trolley, then wrestle the trolley with the great heavy boxes and bundles on it to the front of the store, and then wrestle the great heavy boxes and bundles into my car, and then into the house. Plus I had to move my old queen-sized bed out, along with seven boxes full of books and magazines and whatnots from the bed and from under the bed and from the rest of the room, which all had to be schlepped down the stairs into the garage and basement.

Then I got to put the bed together, which was its own challenge, both physically and mentally. Caroline helped a lot, assisted with moving the old mattress and picked up a lot of junk off my floor and helped fill up the boxes, but it was a lot of very demanding labor in a few hours and just about killed me.

But now, though I am still sore and worn, I have a new bed, the beginnings of a brand-new and tidy room! I'm very excited about it. I'll show you pictures when I'm done, I still have some work to do with shelves and removing my closet door and rearranging furniture, so it's not yet fit to be seen. But when it's done, it's going to be lovely!

So a lot of ups and downs this week... new boss, new bed; losses both mortal and professional; worries and excitement. Rather more of a roller-coaster than I like, but I guess a roller-coaster is better than sitting at the bottom of a pit.


My mood, considering the circumstances, has been quite good. I resumed taking the Zoloft, and it hasn't been disturbing my sleep, so I guess it was La Malaise after all. And though I did get depressed on Friday, I didn't get nearly as depressed as I have been in the past following comparable emotional upheavals. So I'm feeling pretty good about the efficacy of my new set of meds (Seroquel, Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, for those just joining us).


I've been eating a lot of comfort foods lately, cheeseburgers and scones and the like, requiring the comfort; but I also have neglected to eat for long portions of some days, so I guess it's evened out. My weight is the same, oscillating between 225 and 228, depending on the varying moods of the scale. And though I haven't been to the gym, I have to think that the labor I put in on Saturday was worth two or three gym visits as far as cardio work goes... I must have sweated two gallons during the project, I know I smelled as though I had.

So that's that for now. I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Picture Post: Blonds Have More Fun - Part 1

And if I may interject a pet peeve, here: the word "blond/blonde" is French in origin, and though it has been in English long enough to not require italics, it is still gender-specific. A male person or object is spelled "blond" and a female person or object is spelled "blonde." And the noun "hair" is masculine in French, so a blonde lady will have blond hair. Just so's you know.