Monday, February 28, 2005

2/28 Whew!

I love days like this. So busy that time literally flies. The work I was doing was interesting (to me). Edited a lot of stuff, and got articles ready to be put on the member website tomorrow--so that's what I'll do first thing in the morning, add them to the website.

And I interviewed a guy via phone with my new digital recorder. Tres' cool.

Plus a nice surprise--a very short article I wrote was printed in the Journal of Emergency Nursing. I wrote this one under the President's name, but at least I know it's mine.

Tomorrow up at 6 AM to get a tooth filled and I'll be out until 10 PM. It's going to be a long day. Better eat my Wheaties!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

2/26 It was GREAT!

It's really after midnight and technically Sunday morning, but I'm changing the time so it posts as Saturday. I worked 12 hours today at CSz and just got home.

Last night was awesome. I can't wait to see if the movie taken with my digital camera turns out. But I guess I actually can wait because I'm too tired to check it out tonight. Nine of the 10 friends showed up who said they would come, so that pleased me. And the place was packed! The only down side was it was a low ceiling and no ventilation and my head hurt all day today from the smoke from last night. Oh, there was another downside--everytime someone made gays the butt of the joke, I cringed. Three gay friends in the front row! They were probably fine; I was being over-sensitive I think.

But my headache was a small price to pay for the fun of it. I got laughs everywhere I was supposed to get them, so I have to feel good about that.

Everyone did really well. Yay!

Friday, February 25, 2005

2/25 Workshop is over

The three days were educational and fun. But my desk is piled high with undone stuff. And I'm working 12 hours tomorrow at CSz. Don't know whether to go to my office on Sunday or just stay home and relax. (Probably the latter will win.)

I have about 10 people going to my performance. So that's cool. And they're nice folks so I know I'll get a good response from the audience. I'm sure nervous though. I think it's because I'm not as prepared as I was last time.

It'll be fun. I'll report tomorrow.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

2/24 Tired again (still)

Today we had competency-based testing on the physicals, so my body is being well-stretched. Tomorrow we have the competency-based testing on the physical controls. I'm looking forward to it. It's a great group of people, some of whom I've known for 20 years. (Did I write that already?)

I'm really tired. Not enough sleep. Having too much fun.

Tomorrow night is my performance at the comedy club (really a bar). I've got my stand-up routine memorized. A few pals will join me. I'm happy about that.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

2/23 Another good day

Last night I had fun with Tony. He enjoyed our rehearsal and we had a beer with my classmates afterward.

Today was good too. There were 20 of us in the workshop and 15 are going to CSz with me tomorrow night. That'll be fun, I'm sure.

The class was good today. I learned a lot, but am tired. Didn't sleep enough last night, so I hope to do better tonight.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

2/22 An overly busy but fun day

Today I picked up an Irish friend and gave him a tour of the office. And tonight my comedy group is rehearsing in an Irish pub, and Tony's going to join us. He's still on Dublin time and made fade early though. Thursday night I'm taking our International Advisory Board (including the aforementioned Tony) to CSz to watch a professional match. And Friday some of them may come to watch my stand-up performance.

And for my Las Vegas trip in April with my writer friends...I'm staying on the Murphy Bed in Joanne's suite, so now I actually will have a little money to play with in LV. I'm very excited about that.

Monday, February 21, 2005

2/21 I'm a NERD

Yep, it's true. You've probably suspected it for some time. Got a letter from the GI doc and he said I didn't have GERD, I have NERD--Non Erosive Reflux Disease. There is no damage to my esophagus. Hooray for that!

Today is about an 11 on a scale of 1-10 busy-ness. But I had to stop to eat lunch--my stomach told me so. So I take a bite, type a sentence, take a bite, type a sentence. Think that's why I'm a NERD? Could be. I don't tend to sit and eat period. I eat and type, or eat and read, or eat and watch TV, or eat and clean. Whatever.

I should probably think on this.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

2/20 Yesterday was fun

I had a great time working at CSz. I love working Saturday matiness; the kids are adorable. A friend from work brought her husband and daughter. The daughter, Cassie, is about six or seven. We make up signs welcoming everyone who is celebrating a special day--birthday, anniversary, new job, etc. And it also goes up on the screen above the stage.

I made up a sign welcoming Cassie because she was my "bestest friend." I think she really enjoyed it. She said the show was 10 out of 10 and she can't wait to come back. Fun.

Friday, February 18, 2005

2/18 Things will settle down

Yesterday started out wonderfully, but then I couldn't get Blogger to post my blog for the day. (It's up now.) Then problem after problem at work, including a few misunderstandings. But today I cleared up everything and am doing okay.

Part of why I feel good today is that I worked at CSz last night and caught the end of the show when my work was completed. I laughed my ass off (wish that was literal). But it's amazing how belly laughs can cleanse the soul.

I'm working Saturday matinee too and I'm happy about that because a work friend is coming with her daughter.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

2/17 Good news

Remember on 2/11 when I got congratulated by the owner? Well, this morning I found out why. I lead the all staff meeting every Thursday morning at 8:30... It's a stand-up meeting and usually about 60 of the 99 staff members are able to attend. Today I was floored when I was named Employee of the Month for January. I received a nice doo-dad for my desk, and my name is on a plaque in the main conference room.

All that is cool--but the big news is that I got to choose something from the cafeteria list. And I'm taking two round-trip air tickets anywhere in the continental US. I'll be able to visit my grandkids in LA twice, or perhaps can give my daughter the tickets so they can come see me.

I'm feeling pretty darn good.

Now back to the task at hand--WORK!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

2/16 Too busy to blog

Today was too busy to even blog over lunchtime. Didn't take time from work to check my personal email either. One crisis after another, although some of them were good ones. But everything was urgent. Hope to write more tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

2/15 My sister Jill

It just hit is the anniversary of the day my little sister Jill died. She was 22 months old and had pneumonia, but it was diagnosed as a cold. She was my godchild. In our family the older kids got to be godparents for the younger ones. I was not quite 13 when she was born. After all these years I still get teary-eyed thinking about the loss of that beautiful child. And, being a parent, I can't begin to imagine the heartbreak my parents endured.

When we all go out to have a beer with Mom and Dad at their gravesites on New Year's Day, we spend time remembering Jill too. And we smile instead of cry. What an adorable little girl she was!

The best compliment I could pay her was when I named my own much-loved daughter, Jill.

2/15 Planned obsolescence

You know how your car predictably starts breaking down after the warranty expires?

I think my warranty must have expired. Planned obsolescence is a concept that relates to humans as well as machinery.

The old GERD is a little better. Didn't even know I had anything wrong all day yesterday, until bedtime. Then I had to sit up for a few hours, until the discomfort went away (I hesitate to say pain, it sounds kind of melodramatic). Consequently I'm tired.

My doc's office called today and said they scheduled a stress test for me (at the recommendation of the GI doc). Yep, it sounds like it has something to do with being stressed--but no. I'll be on a treadmill and other contraptions and they're checking out my heart, etc. I'm not alarmed though, because I read somewhere (probably online), that when someone has severe acid reflux--and the concomitant extra crap--the doc needs to rule out heart problems. Luckily there aren't heart problems in my family, so I'm quite calm about this.

Went to the dentist this morning for my semi-annual cleaning. I've already given them 10% of last year's income. I expected him to say, "Nice job with flossing, Jer." He did say that, but added, "There's a crack in tooth #whatever, I'll put in a new filling next week." Aarrrgggghhh.

God has a biting sense of humor. Planned obsolescence indeed.

Monday, February 14, 2005

2/14 Happy Valentine's Day

St. Valentine must turn over in his grave every 14th of February. That is, if he even existed.

No, I have nothing planned. And I won't make the same mistake I made in Toronto several years ago. I was there for a week, giving a workshop, and I ate out most every night (a few nights I ordered room service). I found an upscale Thai restaurant. My mouth waters just remembering the place. The food, service and ambience were impeccable. As I ate, I looked around and noticed that I was the only person dining alone. Then it hit me--Valentine's Day.

I learned a valuable lesson that day, boys and girls. Always check the calendar before going out to eat alone.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

2/13 To and from St. Louis

Yesterday I flew to St. Louis and my friend Faye picked me up. We drove to Alton IL to St. Anthony's Hospital right away to visit another friend who is in ICU. Gerry is married to Sheila, another pal. Gerry's been in ICU for about two weeks, and they're going to take him off the vent and put in a tracheotomy. I didn't know that they only keep people on vents for two weeks or less--then they move to a trach.

Joe, Carol, Fred, Chris, Faye, Sheila and I all got to visit Gerald together and pray together. It was so beautiful. The ICU let us all in, even though it's against the rules, because we told the nurse that we were all Gerry's prayer group--and that's true--although I've been gone from St. Louis for 3 1/2 years. We also spent time talking to Debbi, Tim and Braxton (daughter, s-i-l, and grandson).

It was quite moving to spend time with Gerry, but also terribly depressing. He looks like a very old man. There are tons of tubes running in and out of him. My heart aches for Sheila...she's there most of the time. They've been married for 40 years, since they were youngsters, and this is so hard for her and the family.

After spending the afternoon at the hospital, we all wanted to go to dinner together and we wanted Sheila to have some fun with us too. So we went to a Mexican restaurant and six people drank three pitchers of margaritas. I was the seventh person, and couldn't drink because of my voila', a designated driver.

I went back to Faye's place for the night and we chatted for a while, but were both tired.

Woke up early and did some editing on a Journal I'd brought with me. We went to mass at Joe's parish and then went for friend pickles for lunch. I swear--fried pickles are worth the price of the plane ticket. The three of us ordered two platters of them. I've never had them anywhere but Kenrod's in St. Louis. And they told us they were changing the menu--instead of a sports' bar/restaurant, they were turning into a Southwest Steakhouse. The server didn't know if they were keeping friend pickles on the menu or not. It would be a SHAME if they dropped them, because--well, just because... I. LOVE. FRIED. PICKLES.

Even though the reason I went to St. Louis was so sad, the visit itself was wonderful. And being with close friends is a treat I don't get to experience much in Milwaukee.

I flew back to Milwaukee shortly after lunch, and am now back home--getting ready for work tomorrow.

Friday, February 11, 2005

2/11 A weekend away

I'm flying to St. Louis tomorrow (Saturday) and flying back to Milwaukee on Sunday. It is definitely a quick turnaround. A friend is in ICU near St. Louis and I want to visit him. While there, I'll also re-connect with other friends for dinner Saturday night, and still others for lunch on Sunday. I lived there for 4 1/2 years, but most of these friends are of 15 years duration. When I lived and worked back home in Quincy, I was involved in prison ministry with these folks, and that continued when I moved to St. Louis.

The owner (and Chairman of the Board) bought pizza, salad and cookies for lunch today. He does this every so often, and it's a nice treat. Something curious happened this morning though. Dave said, "Congratulations, Jer." I asked him for what. He then said, "Oops. Never mind."

Gee, I wonder what neat thing is going to happen. Can't wait!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

2/10 The good thing about being very busy

is that you don't even notice a stomach ache. The only time I've noticed one today was when I wasn't concentrating on work (walking to the restroom, eating my lunch, making copies, etc.). So I'm very pleased that I'm overloaded with work. Yay.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

2/9 It just keeps getting better

Every time I complete a project, no matter how small, I sigh with relief. And also get a feeling of accomplishment. No, the piles on my desk aren't getting any smaller, but it still feels good. This morning I finished editing an article by a colleague that will be published in an outside, fairly prestigious magazine. And I also updated the legislative database. At our Sales Meeting this afternoon, I'll have 8 brand new pieces of legislation/regulation to present--that's beside the 30-odd ones we're already tracking.

And Nichole starts in four days, but it's only two working days. Hooray.

I went home around 5:30 last night and didn't go to workshop. Can't wait to start feeling GOOD!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

2/8 Work is hard

I felt fine early this morning, but now am a bit lightheaded and ditzy. (Not so different from my regular state.)

When the nurse called to check up on me and ask if there were any lingering effects from the anesthetic, I told her that I didn' t have any of the symptoms she described. Now though, I have most of them.

Power of suggestion? Whatever it is, I feel yucky. I'll probably skip workshop tonight and go straight home. And if you know me, you know that for me to skip workshop is a huge deal.

Woe is me. (Insert pitiful sounds of a person in the total throes of woe. Oh, and lightheadedness.)

Monday, February 07, 2005

2/7 Slept all day

After returning from the hospital this morning, I slept the rest of the day--from 11 to 5. Hope I'm able to sleep tonight since I have to work tomorrow.

The good news is that they didn't have to take a biopsy, plus the doc stretched my esophagus so I should be able to swallow more easily. I need to take the medicine for another three months and then go back to see him (the GI doc). If things aren't better, he'll talk surgery. But for right now, I'll just concentrate on the good stuff.

Am still kind of "dopey" but I know that will wear off. That new stuff they give you to put you out is amazing. I had it two years ago for another test. Wow. One second I'm telling the nurse that I am still alert and the next minute I'm back in my room trying to make sense of what the nurse is telling me.

I'm grateful for the results.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

2/6 Staff party

I should have known better.

I thought the CSz all staff meeting was going to be a meeting. Nope. It was a party, start to finish. So much fun. It's great to work for a guy who is a kid at heart. We played 4-Square, and people were a lot nicer than my brothers and nephews when I play with them. I have no scars.

Others played all kinds of other games from Uno to Chess to Pin the Clothespin on Your Opponent. I took some pictures and will post them in a few days.

Tomorrow morning I leave at 8 AM to go to the hospital for my tests. I'm a little anxious, but am really looking forward to feeling better. As I told a friend, I'm not scared of the test itself. I'll be asleep for that. But it's the diagnosis...I'm hoping it's just what the doctor thinks it is. It's curable within a few more months. I'm confident I can stay off liquor and coffee that long.

Now chocolate--that's another matter.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

2/5 Lazy day

I wanted to do some work, but have been lethargic. So I went out for breakfast and that was the extent of my exertion today. Tomorrow is a meeting/party at CSz. Should be fun. Hope I have some energy. I slept most of the day today....

Both my kids have contacted me this weekend. Jill called a few times. And Rob and Bea called me last night. It's wonderful to hear from them. They all wish they could be here to take care of me while I don't feel well. That is sweet. But I'd rather have them here when I'm my usual self and have lots of energy to do things.

Friday, February 04, 2005

2/4 Don't want to talk about it

I have to go to the hospital on Monday for a test. It's the kind where they put you to sleep so I have to have someone take me and pick me up. And someone's supposed to stay with me at home afterward, but they let you compromise if you promise to have someone at least call you every few hours. I told them my daughter in LA would do that for me.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

2/3 Working from home

Today and tomorrow I'm working from home. The legislative stuff at work has been keeping me so busy that I haven't been able to work on the editing, writing and website work that is my real job. So I escaped from the office in order to get more done and to ignore the legislative work.

It's vitally important stuff, but I just can't let it become my whole job.

So far today I've finished a lot of email reading, and edited an 18 page article. This afternoon I'll begin on some media/PR work, and plan to do that all day tomorrow too.

Later this afternoon I have an appointment with a GI specialist and then work at CSz. Funny enough I work at CSz tomorrow night too. That never happens--both Thursday and Friday, but another box office person had to go out of town because of an ill relative, so we all have to fill in. But that does mean I'm off Saturday.

So on Saturday and Sunday I plan to finish the Media Kit and also to begin my income tax preparation. This year, instead of doing it with TurboTax, I got an approval to do it online with the IRS. Since I don't cheat (at least on purpose), this will be a lot easier, plus it's free. I'll let you know how it goes.

Lunchtime... I do love working in my bathrobe. Decadent. Lazy. So me.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

2/2 Too busy

Today went so quickly that I didn't even eat lunch. That's so unusual that I should note it on the calendar--not the busy part but the not eating part.

When I went to the doc later in the afternoon she said that I must eat. Oh, I love that woman!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

2/1 Happy February!

It's 35 degrees and has been very pleasant. No sun, but warm. Unusual for Wisconsin in February. I think much colder things are in store.

My son Rob and d-i-l Beata are taking a trip to Thailand prior to returning to the states. They're going in March and Bea is absolutely thrilled. Since Rob speaks Thai and knows the country very well, they will have a wonderful time. I'm jealous. Can't wait to see the pictures though.

After that, they should be moving back to the US. It's been two years since the Army told Rob he would be leaving Okinawa. He's been there 8 years I think. I can't wait for them to be closer. I visited there twice, but can't afford to go again.

A year ago I was happily esconced in my little flat in Altrincham, Cheshire, England. I can't believe it's already been a year. As much as I miss the excitement of being in the UK and traveling in Europe, I love being home.

I'm taking a brief break from legislative/regulatory work. It will be such a relief when the new person starts work. Then I can get back to writing/editing and fun stuff like that.