Monday, January 31, 2005

1/31 Nuts Part II

Just finished with the legislative work for today. Well, not really finished...but did as much as I'm going to do today. My eyes are rolling back in my head--which is a good thing because they're very red. And my head hurts. And the new person isn't starting next Monday, it's the Monday after that. And I want my mommy.

1/31 Today is nuts

I'm editing two long articles for one of the Journals we publish, and dealing with a few websites, and absolutely TONS of new legislative alerts have come through. I always need to deal with those immediately because you never know ahead of time how urgent they are (or not).

So the day is overfull, but certainly not boring. I just stopped to eat my lunch.

I'm going to work from home one or two days this week. My Media Kit and PR database were both due in January and of course they aren't done. My boss said she wasn't going to hold me to the deadline because of all the legislative and regulatory items that have been popping.

But the GREAT news is: Monday the part-time legislative research analyst will begin. Much of my leg/reg work will pass to her. But not all--I'll keep anything Sales/PR related. But my workload will be much more manageable.

Hooray for being merely extremely busy instead of frantically so.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

1/30 Good stuff

I'm feeling better since the doc doubled my meds. That's definitely a good thing!

Yesterday I was supposed to work from 12-5 at CSz. I ended up working 10-8. So I'll get a nicer paycheck next week. That's another good thing!

And to add to it--a customer came in and had made lots of cookies for me. She said I was kind to her and did her a favor. I can't remember what it was, but I'm glad I did it. The cookies are a good thing.

A friend who was very depressed has come back to the land of the living. A fourth good thing!

I'm still fat, and that sucks! But I'm losing--slowly--but losing. A good thing!

The printer my daughter and son-in-law gave me for Christmas prints beautiful pictures. Good thing!

Guess I'm grateful today. That's a decent mood to be in.

Friday, January 28, 2005

1/28 Staying busy

Yesterday I attended CPR training all afternoon. Will do the same today from 1-5. It's first aid class too. But the neatest thing is the AED...automatic external defibrillator. We get to learn to use that today. Of course we don't get to actually shock someone (drat), but I'm so excited to learn how to use it.

Last night I worked the Box Office at CSz and as usual had a good time. Tonight I'm off, but tomorrow matinee I'm the floor manager. Since D won't be there to do that, I asked him if he'd like me to come in early and answer phones to take reservations. He normally does that Saturday mornings. So I'll work about 7 hours tomorrow and that will be nice. Plus I'm off Saturday night and all day Sunday.

Played online Scrabble the other night with a guy from Seattle. Very flirtatious. That was great anonymous fun. When I found out he was 42 I stopped flirting. I told him I was 57, and he still continued with the banter. So I laughed and told him he was nuts. He liked my humor and chutzpah. I enjoyed the interaction.

My brother John made a beautiful poker table for another brother Joe. They're all getting together to play Texas Hold'em Saturday night. I get so jealous. Wish I lived closer. Guess I'll have to wait until retirement, which is only 10 years away.

By then of course Texas Hold'em will be out of fashion, and everyone will be playing Tiddly Winks or another game I don't like.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

1/27 Lake effect snow

This morning we were to get 3-6" more of snow. But it was lake effect--it was so beautiful. The sun was shining and the snow was coming down steadily, not flurries. Everything sparkled. I loved it.

What I don't love is that I'm on double the meds and have to see the doc again next week. In the meantime, my office door is closed. Even so, I still say "excuse me" everytime I burp. Of course, I'm the type that says "excuse me" when I bump into a desk.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

1/26 Coffee and funny business

Yesterday I bought a cup of decaf at Starbucks and it tasted rotten. Guess it was the bottom of the pot. Only took one sip. So I still haven't had coffee yet. I probably won't for a while.

Last night we had a great workshop. I really enjoy learning more about improv. And our teacher is really good. The group is fun too...there are 12 of us.

Found out yesterday that the stand-up group I performed with at Giggles is going to perform again--this time at a bar in South Milwaukee. Should be toward the end of February. I'm excited about that.

Am waiting for a call back from the doc. I can't stop burping. Feel like a dolt. Or a six-month old.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

1/25 The day changes

I started out feeling so good today. No stomach pain. Hooray for lots of meds!

Then suddenly my stomach became demanding. It's like the plant in Little Shop of Horrors screaming, "FEED ME, SEYMOUR!"

It continues in that vein until I feed it. Then a little while later complains that it didn't like what I gave it. This just sucks. And the new meds the doctor ordered aren't on the approved list from my insurance company. So the pharmacy has to call for "prior authorization." They said it can take a few days sometimes. Aaarrrgggghh!

On another subject--I completed some tasks at work, and that feels good. Then a few "urgent" and "important" matters crossed my desk and email box. Now I have to put aside my Media Kit project and do more legislative stuff. It's all fun, but it's too much. It will be great when the part-time person starts in mid-February. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and pray it's not a train.

Monday, January 24, 2005

1/24 Mmm-mmm good

I'm eating a bowl of vegetarian chili for lunch. Delicious. Yesterday I made a big pot of it, and after I ate it for dinner, froze individual containers so I could bring them to work for lunches. Chili is one of those dishes that tastes better the second and third day. But since it's frozen I won't be forced to eat it on a daily basis.

Yesterday was one of those days I cherish. I could have stayed in my pajamas all day if I'd wanted. I did laundry, cooked, watched shows I'd recorded and started sorting receipts for my taxes. No pressure at all. And--no surprise--my stomach didn't bother me much at all. I love stress-free days.

Okay, not entirely stress free. I was sitting in my chair watching TV and I heard a car alarm go off. I'm on the second floor and the cars are parked in the basement, but it was loud and clear. Of course it sounded exactly like mine. So, thankful that I hadn't stayed in pajamas, I went downstairs and fortunately it wasn't my car. In fact, the alarm had stopped. That was the extent of my exercise yesterday.

Tomorrow I will be able to have coffee again. I'm in anticipatory hell! I want it now. The doc said two weeks without caffeine, and not even decaf coffee. I did "cheat" twice. I had a cup of decaf at the annual Staff Meeting the Saturday before last. And this Saturday I had a decaf skinny latte at Starbucks. I figure the latter has more milk in it than coffee, so that wasn't a big deal. Other than that, I've behaved, and I've had no alcohol or chocolate either.

Tomorrow I'll have a Starbucks coffee with chocolate syrup and vodka in it. Yeah!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

1/23 Sad News

My sister-in-law Karen's mother is in ICU on a ventilator. Her name is Katie, and she's one of the kindest human beings I've met. I'm so sad. I called Karen (married to my youngest brother Jim) and talked to her. Karen's an only child which makes this harder. She is her parents' pride and joy, and she worships them.

Life is hard sometimes.

Saturday, January 22, 2005


It's such a gorgeous day. We have about 8 inches of snow so far and expect up to a foot by this evening. It's blowing so much that I had to go outside and take down the planter you see in this picture. This is from my living room looking toward the deck.

Friday, January 21, 2005

1/21 Friday--I love Friday

Had a good meeting with my boss. Another person is being brought in to take some of the work I've been doing, so I'm hopeful that I'll finally accomplish more. Yesterday afternoon and today I've been cleaning my office. The stacks were so high on my desk that I hit one with my elbow and everything went flying to the floor. That was the last straw! So I started cleaning and organizing.

Now I'm at the hard part though. The last bits--things I don't know what to do with. Do I throw away and pretend I've never seen them? Do I actually follow through with the ideas I had earlier? I'll decide this afternoon.

It's snowing and it's beautiful. We're in line for a winter storm and I love them. I love nesting in my little condo while it's snowing and blowing. Tonight I'm home, and tomorrow during the day. Then I work tomorrow night at CSz. I'm grateful for a 4-wheel drive, especially if we get the snow that's predicted. We'll see.

Tonight I'm going to relax, play online Scrabble, and watch some shows I'd taped. Tomorrow or Sunday I'm going to get my tax stuff together. A task indeed.

This all depends on how I feel. Right now I feel like going to bed. I'm still saying "hooray for hernias," but not as loudly as before. BELCH Omigod that's the biggest problem today. Can't stop belching and I've been on meds for two weeks. If I'm not better by Tuesday I have to go back in to the doc.


Excuse me.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

1/20 A Fun Quiz

This was certainly true of me. The link is at the bottom of this entry. If you take the test, post your results in a comment. I'd be interested....

You scored as Verbal/Linguistic. You have highly developed auditory skills, enjoy reading and writing and telling stories, and are good at getting your point across. You learn best by saying and hearing words. People like you include poets, authors, speakers, attorneys, politicians, lecturers and teachers.















The Rogers Indicator of Multiple Intelligences
created with

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

1/19 Hernia, Part Deux

I've been pleased to get notes from friends and family about how happy they are I have a hernia. Isn't that wonderfully weird? Everything is relative...and a hernia is grand compared with my fears. My only surprise is that neither of my sisters wrote--and they're both nurses. I thought for sure I'd hear from them (I sent an email).

So they either haven't read the email (improbable); don't love their sister anymore (impossible); or are too busy to write (quite plausible).

Last night we started a new 104 workshop. It was so much fun. I haven't laughed like that since I was with my extended family in Quincy. It felt so good to just let go. And the pain only came back when I wasn't on stage. Now that's a ham for you!

I work Saturday night at CSz, so that's sure to be fun and BUSY!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

1/18 Hernia

Hooray! I have a hernia. Compared to what I was scared of--hell, this is an absolute joy!

Right below my breast bone is a big lump, and it hurts. Today I found out it's a hernia and that it will stop hurting as soon as we take care of my stomach acid. So no coffee, alcohol, chocolate, or anything caffeinated. (NO CHOCOLATE???? My heart yearns for it suddenly.)

But I'm definitely celebrating. Yes, it still hurts, but it's going to get better and I'll be back to my old self.

I can't even give words to my happiness. Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm not a worrier. Never have been. The past few weeks--I've worried. It started out as concern, but blossomed into full-blown neurosis. A veritable cornucopia of worry. And now it's gone. And I'm smiling.

And I'm going to class tonight. And I'm going to eat ice cream.


Monday, January 17, 2005

1/17 Blah!

Blah blah blah blah blah blah and etc.

Blah describes my mood. Not usual, but that's the way it is. Something's going on with me physically that is weird. Have been on tons of over the counter meds (per doctor on phone), but have to go in and see her tomorrow because there's no improvement. It's weird. And I'm tired. And I'm tired of people telling me I look tired.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

1/16 Yesterday was Staff Day

It was enjoyable as usual. Way too much food, and I did a poor job of controlling my eating. Hate that.

But it was nice to celebrate all the accomplishments of the last year and watch some deserving people receive awards.

Afterward most people went to the Ale House to have a beer. I was going to go but ended up driving right by it and going home. That's not like me. But I was feeling a little down and decided to skip the merriment.

Arriving home was nice because Peggy had been in to clean the place. Coming home to a clean house is a wonderful treat. That's one of the reasons I have the second job--in order to afford a house cleaner.

Today I'm going to hook up my new printer and watch football. I'll print some pictures once I get the thing hooked up. Had to buy a usb hub yesterday, and also bought some blank DVDs. My computer doesn't copy movies, but other people's do, and I needed some blank DVDs. Additionally I got a nice extension cord, so I can hook everything up. I have it all jury-rigged right now, and it's probably not safe. It'll be better by tonight.

But to do all this, I have to completely take apart my computer set up. Thought that while I'm at it, I might as well clean out my desk and make it more user-friendly.

Got a call this morning from an ex-offender I used to work with when I volunteered at the men's maximum security prisons in MO. Did Prison Arts Project (Hamlet), mentored the Writers' Club, and was involved with REC (Residents Encounter Christ). That volunteer work was a huge part of my life. Anyway, he called and needs help. This is a guy I've known since 1990. He got out 18 months ago, his girlfriend is pregnant, and he doesn't have a job. I made some suggestions, sent some emails, offered encouragement, but that's about all I could do. Except keep him in my prayers. But prayers don't help much when you can't pay your rent and a baby is on the way.

Okay--I'm going to begin the huge project of the day--my computer and desk. I may not surface for days.

Friday, January 14, 2005

1/14 Couple of good things

First of all it's payday. That's always a good thing.

Secondly, I got a letter from my doc and it was all good. My cholesterol is down, but good cholesterol is up. And the fun news is that they did a bone density scan. She gave me figures, but I forgot them. But she said they measure bone density against a 25 year old. And mine is BETTER than a 25 year old. Hooray! No osteoporosis for me.

I remember as a kid seeing old ladies in church with what they called a widow's hump. All hunched over with a big hump on their back. This isn't common anymore because people drink milk, food is fortified with calcium and we take calcium tablets. But it was very common when I was in grade school.

So that's what I was thinking about when they took the scan. And that's why I'm so happy about the results.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

1/13 Thursday and not much else

The good news is that my brother Jeff is home from the hospital. So I'll be able to start teasing him soon.

Went to lunch with a friend today and it was enjoyable to eat in front of a person instead of a monitor.

Finished up a few jobs this morning, but others miraculously take their place.

Weather here is sucky, just like it is everywhere else at the moment. If it's going to be this cold, dammit, I want SNOW!

I work tonight at CSz, so that will make me smile anyway.

Nothing much is happening in my world...and that's probably a good thing.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

1/12 Jeff

I meant to write about this earlier. My brother Jeff is in the hospital with a concussion from a fall. He was in CCU, but I hope he's out by now. It's sad, but how he did it was typically Bozarth and makes me laugh. Here's an excerpt from his wife Deb's email to the family:

"It was of course a very silly accident....he was trying to pop these big packing pillows that come with the of the girls up front suggested jumping on them...she did and one popped...and when he did not pop and he fell flat."

I pray he'll recover quickly. Then we can tease him unmercifully.

1/12 Stress overload

My eyes look like I've been crying. But it's from staring at the computer looking at legislative databases for the US and Canada, and also for several states. Have to finish up some research for a Sales Meeting this afternoon.

If that were all, it would be cool. But I'm behind on the Journal, still haven't sent out release forms to the authors, still need to get digital photos from them, and I've only edited one piece so far.

What's taking me so long is that the authors this time aren't familiar with APA formatting for their references, and I'm having to do it for all of them. (I mean, I can't force people to buy the Style Guide, and it's too late for me to find other articles.) Perhaps I'll be more strict next issue.

Aw, hell, who am I kidding? I'll do it again, if it happens. And I won't complain except for here--where I'll display my martyrdom. (I'm chuckling, because a martyr is far from who I am.)

Even though there's tons of boredom involved in this research, it's also extremely interesting. And I like taking the info and writing up the executive summaries for the Sales Team.

I did finalize the I.F. newsletter and it's gone to the printer. That's good. Now I must update the website newsletters, with some actual news pertaining to their particular subjects. Which means I need to read the pile of 23 magazines and journals piled on the floor next to my desk. Even though it sounds tedious, I love reading and gleaning the appropriate material for our customers.

It's just too bad that I have so much work waiting in the wings.

Okay, I'm done complaining. Lucky to have a job that I love. Lucky to have a job period.

Lunchtime is over...I spilled applesauce on my sweater. That's my secret signal to myself to get back to work.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

1/11 So many things

So many things to do, to think about, and to wish for.

To do: Finish final proofing on the I-- F-- (hardcopy newsletter). Begin editing articles submitted for the Journal. Meet with creative director and copywriter to begin some legislative letters. Develop media kit and press release to be sent in a few days. Update media and legislative links on website. (WHAT!!!! It's already 4:30? Omigod, where has the time gone. I haven't even been frittering away my time on the web. Well, except for now. But that's because G [Gretchen? Gin?] enticed me into it.)

To think about: Mortality. I hate the concept.

To wish for: I wish Jill and Todd will let me take Kayla (4) and Hunter (2) to Disney World when I go in June. My niece Emma (9) is involved in a conference on immunodeficiency disease and her Mom and Dad have invited tons of family to accompany them. Jill and Todd want to take a vacation without their kids, but I didn't want to spend several days at their house watching the kids this year. Not that I don't want to watch the kids--I do. I crave it. But I want to take a vacation too. This would be the perfect answer. Plus I'd have other relatives around to assist.

My eyes are closed and scrunched up, my fingers are crossed, my hope is HIGH!

Monday, January 10, 2005

1/10 Back to work

Another Monday with way too much to do! But the good news is that I started out the day at the dentist's office and finally got permanent cement under my bridge. Life is good and this should last me forever (or at the least, more than ten years). Hooray!

I spoke to Kayla on the phone today. After a few moments, the smart little 4-year-old asked, "Grandma, why did your mommy and daddy have to die?" This takes some thought to answer. Too glib and it might bother her, too detailed and it might...bother her. So I answered, "They were both real real real real real real old." I put a ton of reals in there, because she thinks her parents are real old and I don't want her worrying about them dying.

"Oh," she replies, "did you know that when your parents die, you can go out and get new ones." Pause a beat. "You can do the same with pets."

It was all I could do to not break out in laughter. I asked her, "You can get new parents?"

"Sure, you can't expect a little kid to be all alone." My stifled laughter again....

Then I spoke to her about adoption, and she knew the word and thought I was right... that's how you can get new parents.

God, I'm a lucky bug to have her in my life.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

1/9 Poor Packers

Green Bay lost decisively tonight. Minnesota played well, but I think Randy Moss should be kicked in the butt. What a horrible, egotistical baby he is. Talent only counts for so much in life. Character is so much more important--although it doesn't pay his salary. Lucky for him.

Here's a picture of 20 of us at the cemetary on New Year's Day. Those of us old enough drank a beer with Mom and Dad.

I'm in the middle with a rose coat on and a beer in my hand.

Friday, January 07, 2005

1/7 Snow and more of same

I love the snow. We finally got a bunch of it. Snow is the only way I can enjoy being cold... what's the use of freezing, unless you get to play?

Today is the strangest day. I forgot my watch, I forgot my earrings. These things never happen. I made an error at work, causing me to do a whole lot of clean up, spending time that I can ill afford. Then on the way to work this morning there was a bus fire on the freeway, so I sat in my car alongside many other cars, in our makeshift parking lot. My usual 20 minute commute took about 40 minutes. The good thing for me is that I'm listening to an audio book--The Time Traveler's Wife--and this gave me extra time to listen. I'm enjoying the book.

Last night was wonderfully boring at home. I finished up some tasks, watched tv, and just relaxed. I'm feeling over-tired for some reason. This weekend should be fairly quiet, which is what I need. I only work Saturday matinee at CSz. There's a party Sunday, but I don't think I can drag myself to it. I still have lots of work to do at home, left over from Christmas.

Two weeks ago my doctor called me and left a message, "I need to talk to you about the results of your blood test. It's nothing urgent. Please call." I was out of town and by the time I was able to call, she was on vacation and didn't return until the 5th. I waited until the 6th and called; the nurse wouldn't tell me anything and said the doctor would get back to me. I believe it's nothing urgent, BUT... call me already!

(Okay, she called. And it's good news. I mean, I'm glad, but why couldn't she have said that on my voice mail?)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

1/5 What a night!

The show went so well. I never get nervous about performing, but right before I went up on stage my whole body felt like jello. But Lee (the teacher) reassured me, and I was fine. People laughed at every single joke I told, which surprises the hell out of me. I loved it. It was different being up there alone, because in CSz we always work with a team.

My only real worry was forgetting part of my routine. But I didn't. Once I started, the whole thing just bubbled out of me and I didn't even have to think or worry about what was coming next. It just flowed. Of course I know practice pays off, but it was nice to have the knowledge confirmed. Someone taped it, so I'm going to work on getting the DVD. (If so, Bron, I'll definitely send you one since you've sent me several tapes...)

We may do it again at a bar in South Milwaukee, so that will be cool. And I'm thinking about trying an open mike night at Safe House. That's really scary there because it's a really small room and they have a tough crowd there sometime. But if I want to go anywhere with any of this comedy stuff, I need to take risks.

I'm going to take another class at CSz very soon, so that will be fun as well as educational. Don't know if my improv work will ever go anywhere, but I'd like it to. In the meantime, it's a ton of fun, with lots of neat people.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

1/4 Tonight's the night

We met last night for the last time prior to the performance. I think it's going to turn out to be a good show. I'm so excited. We're all going to meet at 6 at Giggles, and the show starts at 7. I should have several people there, although I've already had a cancellation because of illness. While commiserating with my friend, I still hope I get some folks there. Need the support.

Last weigh-in (Friday) I lost another half-pound, giving me a total of 21 for 2004, plus 14 for 2003, for a total of 35 so far. Have lots more to go, but I'm on my way. This Friday though, I'll probably gain after my eating frenzy in Quincy.

I do wonder what the calorie count of porcelain is though. I ate my temporary bridge on January 1. Funniest thing in the world isn't it? I'm still laughing every time I think of it. I was eating some cake that my s-i-l made. Delicious. I took a huge bite and bit down on something extremely crunchy. Kept chewing... thought it was either a big nut or an English toffee-like piece. Immediately afterward I noticed I didn't have a bridge in my mouth. Horrified, I ran to my s-i-l and asked, "Cindy, are there nuts or toffee pieces on top of the cake." She said, no, that it was just whipped cream. I started laughing and nearly wet my pants then and there. (For those who are keeping track of whether my brothers succeeded in making me laugh so hard I wet my pants, the answer is NO. I won again this year, although it was a close call a few times.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

1/2/05 Happy New Year!

This is my first opportunity to post. I had the best New Year's ever. On Thursday, due to the evil genius of my s-i-l, Karen, married to my brother Jim, we decided that on Saturday we'd drive to Quincy and surprise everyone at the cemetary. I live 6 hours from Q and they live 4 1/2 hours, so I drove to their place and rode with them.

First we had New Year's Eve at their home. They have a dinner party every year with a few friends. And they have the most well stocked bar I've ever seen. I got fooled into drinking grappa last year (never again) and this year drank glug (gloog?), a Scandinavian drink made from fermented raisins and other fruit with grain alcohol added. Reminded me of college. Not horrific, but not interested in doing it again. And the worst was malert, or was it spelled melort or malort? Yeah, I think it's malort. Anyway, it's a cross between gasoline and horse pee. I'm sure that's what those two things would taste like, although I've never had the privilege. But trust me--malort is absolutely wretched. I'm shivering as I type.

I did drink tons of really good liquor however. Since the guest room is right next to the bar in the lower level, I thought it was a good time to drink.

We got only about 2 hours sleep because we had to wake up at 4:30 and left for Quincy at 6 AM Friday morning and arrived at the cemetary around 11:15 AM, just 5 minutes before the Quincy relatives. We'd opened beers and were standing by Mom and Dad's graves. Everyone was so surprised to see us. Our plan worked.

We all (nearly 20 of us?) drank and toasted our parents. Then some poured a little beer on their graves, and also on Grandpa and Grandma's. Individuals went around to visit other graves--their inlaws or friends. Some friends died young, as teenagers or young adults, and my brothers tipped a few drops there too.

This is one of our favorite family traditions.

Mom died the day after Thanksgiving in 1980--young and unexepectedly. Dad died 5 years and 34 days later on New Year's Day 1986. He died in his sleep and we know that the last thing he heard was my brothers' laughing in the dining room as they played Risk. My brother Joe and s-i-l Cindy bought our family home and every year since Dad's death we've gathered there on New Year's Day to play games and have fun. But we always start with a visit to the cemetary to have a beer with Mom and Dad.

We played so many different games--but this year the favorite was poker, Texas Hold 'Em. I ended up coming home with about $50 more than I went with. A very cool, and unusual occurence. We played $5 games and then $10 games. And we had two tables of seven people playing. What a riot!

The food was superb, as was the beer. But the best thing was the company. From the youngest member Blake (less than a year) to the oldest member me. And we had two "boyfriends" there. Jenna's boyfriend Josh and Kristen's boyfriend Rich. Neither one was scared away, which we always think is a good sign. (My daughter lost two boyfriends after they met us en masse. We knew Todd was a keeper after he didn't break up with her.)

I got home late this afternoon and have happy memories. And also a real need for sleep.