Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cookies, Play, and Smiles

Is that a cookie?  What IS a cookie?


Don't think I don't realize that this is a strawberry, not a cookie...but since I didn't know what a strawberry was until just now....I'll forgive you.

That chocolate on my face proves nothing...nothing I tell you.

Take me to the playground and we'll work off the cookies.

And of course we'll play trains...for hours...and you'll love it.

And in the end it's Mom's love that will make the day the best.

A Penchant for Melancholy

Last week I was having lunch with Amybow and Boss Lady and I could tell Amybow was getting depressed listening to us. Boss Lady and I were on a rant and dwelling on the negative. It didn't matter if it was work, home, family, friends, movies, or books...all of our stories started ok, but ended really badly. Amybow is much more of an optimist. And also - she has an incredible (almost pathological) empathy that can really get her down.

So she broke our mold and began telling funny stories about her girls. And it was a lovely break.

I have to admit, sometimes I scan the blogs I follow and find it all so very depressing. Complaints, illness, death, sorrow, joblessness, loneliness...it's all sometimes overwhelming. It's like watching the evening news - especially here in the NY metro area - where if we're lucky there is a 30 second good news spot in between the murder and mayhem.

Yesterday's post was a case in point. Although I think it is some of my better writing, it's not cheerful...not even at the end, when I consciously tried to spin it positive.

I am a glass half empty person. I admit it. And 3 days of dreary rain can also add to that feeling. So today, I vow to write something funny. It's going to take some effort. Imagine Pooh Bear and his "think, think, think" scene. But I'll find it. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The phone rang

The phone rang.

It had been nearly a year since the last call of this type.   Her mother's voice told her something was wrong.  Dad's in the hospital.  An exhausting ordeal that included frightening words like broken ribs, MRI found an aortic aneurism, and narcotics reactions,  and urgent need for surgery.  The ordeal stretched on and after surgery included staph infection, 3 months of iv antibiotics, and loss of independence.  Finally the end of the tunnel was visible and although weaker, her father seemed better, nearly himself again.  Her mother, it seemed, would likely never be the same again.  Mom had seen the signs and had begun to ready herself, while she and her sisters and brothers continue to deny it.

The phone rang.

Even before answering, she knew it was not good.  Words like hospital, pneumonia, lungs, pain came across the line.  This time she wanted to stay in denial.  Last time had been too hard.  She let another sibling take the lead.  Let them suffer in the halls of the hospital this time...the waiting...the meds...the hallucinations...the not knowing...the never knowing.  

The phone rang.  

The news was not good.  Come now. Come now.  She went.  The news was bad.  Stage 4.  Pain management or treatment?  Her father was a fighter.  He wanted to try.  Treatment.  Immediate.  At the airport they all went their separate ways.  Mother and father with big sister home for new doctors and poison to kill the disease, but hopefully save the patient.  Other siblings flew separately to their own cities and their own lives.  She sat and waited.  Her flight was last.  She had kissed and waved everyone else away.  She sat.  And sat.

Opening her laptop she began to write.  One way that she could always find peace was to write it out.  But instead of writing of current events, she began writing of future...and of past.  What poured from her keyboard was a eulogy.  

The phone rang.

She was in another airport.  Only a short time had passed and much of it had been a blur.  Work, life, thinking...thinking...thinking.  Today she was on her way to her hometown to see her father and take part in the poison treatment and to make plans...of what kind she did not know yet. She was in the middle of the country...halfway between a conference and home...just a stop along the way.  The phone jerked her closer to home.  "I'll meet you at the airport." the voice said "and take you to the hospital.  The ambulance is on its way."

She boarded the plane in a haze.  Thinking. Thinking.  And needed to stop thinking.  She reached into the pocket of the seatback and found a gift.  Someone had left a book.  She buried her mind in the story and read it cover to cover on the short flight between the middle of the country and home.  The lives in this book were easier to manage than the pain that might await her.

The phone rang.

I'm here.  Come to the curb. He's in the ER.  We all surround the bed.  Sometimes he makes sense.  Sometimes it's nonsense.  Mostly he tells us he doesn't want to be a bother.  He tells us to save our money.  He tells us he loves us.  The doctors have other things to say.  Infection.  No immune system.  Only a matter of time.  Can we let him go? Sign this release.

She picked up the phone.

She made the call this time...to family and friends. Come quick.  Come say goodbye.  He wants to say goodbye.  She holds his hand.  Something is changing.  Call everyone to come now.  Wake them.  Get them up from the waiting room.  A tear trickles down his cheek.  His breathing changes and with a sigh, he is gone.

The phone rang.

And although she winces, she answers.  Not bad news. Relief. Normalcy.  It would be so easy to think of the phone as an enemy.  But she chooses to remember other times the phone rang.  When someone called to say they loved her.  To say they were proud.  To hear the latest on job. House. Husband. Hell, just to hear her voice.  And in her dreams, when the phone rings, she forces these conversations to the front.  And hears her Dad's joyful chuckles and stupid jokes, and hears the easiness in her Mom's voice, and hears the general news of the day from friends and family.  Just this day, this one day, does the phone still haunt her.  Seven years to the day since the call to his side was the last.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The travel fairy strikes again

How does one get from NYC to DC?  Well since so many crazy people do this commute on a daily or semi-weekly basis, there are several modes of transportation.  I debated between the two favorite - train or plane.  By train you can often be comfortably seated, enjoy wifi access most of the trip, and have access to a beverage or food car....but it is a longer trip and it is a little more difficult to get to from my office.  The plane option would be for the Delta or US Air shuttle out of LaGuardia.  This 40 minute flight doesn't even require that you go to a main terminal, but instead uses a small building with only 4-5 gates and a majority of travellers without luggage because, as I said, they actually fly back and forth every day.

Tossing a coin, I decided on the flight to get in at a relatively reasonable time of 8:30, hoping to get to hotel, grab a bite and be in bed by 11PM.

All was going according to plan and I didn't even stress as we pulled up at the terminal at 7:00 for my 7:29 flight because I knew I could get my boarding pass, get through security and get boarded and still have 10 minutes to spare.  And so it went...smooth operating kiosks, no line at security, and short walk to Gate 4.  I sat for 10 minutes answering emails, and then boarded the plane.

There are no seat assignments on the shuttle you are either Y or F.  As the flight attendant instructed me that is F=Fortunate (or First Class) and Y= Y am I not an F?  But please, these are super comfortable seats and it's a 45 minute flight.  No sweat.

I grabbed the first empty seat, pleased to have (as everyone else did) few enough passengers that we each had our own little row.  And so I comfortably took my seat.

And I sat.

And I sat.

And I sat.

And at 7:45PM the pilot said..."well...the fuel truck is on the other side of the bridge and the bridge has been closed by the secret service because of a Government plane and need for security...but we should be back on schedule shortly..."

And we sat.

And we sat.

And we sat.

At 8:15 more passengers began to board.  They were scheduled for the 8:30 shuttle, but since we had seats and were still at the gate...what the hell.

The empty seat next to me was soon filled and the man joyfully told the party on the other end of his phone he was likely to get home earlier than planned.

And then we sat.

And then we sat.

And then we sat.

At 8:50 the pilot assured us we were next in line to get fueled up and head out.

And suddenly at 9:05 we were pulling out.  Hurrah! We taxi'd out to the runway....

And you guessed it, we sat.

And we sat.

And we sat.

Finally, at 9:35 the engines roared and we lifted off.

The flight attendants hurried up and down the aisles with gourmet nuts and drinks and in a flash we were on the ground in DC.

Only 2 hours later than planned.

My reward.....

In room dining still serving at 11:20PM

And a comfy bed to sleep in.

Good night.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

He Writes Me Every Day...Sometimes Twice A Day!

And, today it really made me smile.

Wenderina --

I'm writing to you on a great day for America.

This morning, I gathered with members of Congress, my administration, and hardworking volunteers from every part of the country to sign comprehensive health care reform into law. Thanks to the immeasurable efforts of so many, the dream of reform is now a reality.

The bill I just signed puts Americans in charge of our own health care by enacting three key changes:

It establishes the toughest patient protections in history.
It guarantees all Americans affordable health insurance options, extending coverage to 32 million who are currently uninsured.

And it reduces the cost of care -- cutting over 1 trillion dollars from the federal deficit over the next two decades.

To ensure a successful, stable transition, many of these changes will phase into full effect over the next several years.

But for millions of Americans, many of the benefits of reform will begin this year -- some even taking effect this afternoon. Here are just a few examples:

Small businesses will receive significant tax cuts, this year, to help them afford health coverage for all their employees.

Seniors will receive a rebate to reduce drug costs not yet covered under Medicare.

Young people will be allowed coverage under their parents' plan until the age of 26.

Early retirees will receive help to reduce premium costs.

Children will be protected against discrimination on the basis of medical history.

Uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions can join a special high-risk pool to get the coverage they need, starting in just 90 days.

Insured Americans will be protected from seeing their insurance revoked when they get sick, or facing restrictive annual limits on the care they receive.

All Americans will benefit from significant new investments to train primary care doctors, nurses, and public health professionals, and the creation of state-level consumer assistance programs to help all patients understand and defend our new rights.

As I've said many times, and as I know to be true, this astounding victory could not have been achieved without your tireless efforts.

So as we celebrate this great day, I want to invite you to add your name where it belongs: alongside mine as a co-signer of this historic legislation. Organizing for America will record the names of co-signers as a permanent commemoration of those who came together to make this moment possible -- all of you who refused to give up until the dream of many generations for affordable, quality care for all Americans was finally fulfilled.

Please accept my thanks for your voice, for your courage, and for your indispensable partnership in the great work of creating change.

History, and I, are in your debt.

President Barack Obama
Only time will tell how effective this program will be.  But I'm convinced that progress - any progress - is better than none at all.  And as we lay in bed last night and wondered at this historic moment, Hubby and I both agreed that President Obama was gonna leave it all out there on the field.  He doesn't seem to be working toward that re-election, he seems to be working on his job.  He'll never fulfill all the promises and we're sure to be disappointed in the process, and some of the results, it's never going to be as pure in the detail as it is in the theory.  But he's doing what I voted for.  And that's more than I can say for most any other government official on my ballot last year.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pocket Money

Today I put on my raincoat for the first time since November 24th.  How do I know the exact date, you ask?  Well...because there were contents in the pockets to give me a clue.

In one pocket a receipt from the local grocery store for foil, pecans, salad, and roast chicken.  Spent about $28.45....but receipt was for $128.45...because in the other pocket was the $100.00 cash I took out that day.

That cash has been sitting in my pocket for 4 months, almost to the day.

Makes me sound rich, that I can take out $100 and not miss it, but I assure you I likely did miss it, but thought I had spent it somehow and so declined to spend $100 on other things.  What I am is a little clueless.  A little short on attention to detail. 

I often reach into a pocket and find a $5 or a $10 that was change from something and never made it's way back to my wallet, but $100....that's a new one.  That's real pocket money. 

Shopping anyone?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In Memorial

A celebration of life was held for my cousin Brian this weekend.  How often do you attend a wake or a memorial service or funeral and find yourselves amongst friends and family talking of everything except the person who has passed?  This was not like that time.  Because Hubby and I arrived on Friday night, we spent a lot of time talking to Brian's sister and mother and learning about how things had been for Brian at the end.  Then on Saturday, talk turned to good memories as we went through family albums to find the pictures, newspaper articles, awards, and other items that could be displayed at the memorial.

We joked that Brian was the most famous of all of us - he had numerous articles in the paper about his athletics when he participated in special olympics and won the gold medal for track - posting a mile in under 7 minutes.  And not only was he a sprinter, he also ran a marathon.  We then shared a story of how he was once dropped off at a wrong bus-stop and had to walk home by himself.  His disability, which hindered him thinking about calling or asking for help, luckily allowed him to use his extreme memory and mapping capabilities to figure out the way home.  We laughed when we recalled that he was nearly home (no one even knowing that he had been walking back for 3 hours) when my father passed him on the road.  They both waved to one another and went on their way.  It wasn't until my father got home and related the story to my mother that he realized Brian shouldn't have been out walking on his own outside his neighborhood. 

We talked about how he had seemed to be a healthy "normal" baby until he started to get to his 2nd year and didn't have the language or motor skills development that they expected and this was when he was first tested for hearing loss and other disabilities.  We talked about how the psychiatrists had his diagnosis and meds wrong over the years and how remarkable his growth over the last 10 years have been once it was corrected.  We talked about challenges and triumphs, silliness and serious moments, we talked about it all and it was the most wonderful sharing experience.

On Sunday, we gathered at a nearby resort with views of the lake and the mountains and with so many friends and family to continue to remember him.  His sister was brave and eloquent talking of their childhood and about the wonderful things she learned from being the sibling of a developmentally disabled person.  A family friend also shared her 30 years of memories of Brian that was so heartfelt and touching.  I shared my own thoughts as did others.  I was so glad I was able to be there to be a part of it. 

The moment that still astonishes me, however, was the moment that a fellow resident of his group home stood in front of the 50-60 of us in attendance to read the poem she wrote on behalf of Brian for the family.  With her permission, I present it here.

I'm Looking Down on You All

I went the other day
As peaceful as can be
With my family and friends
Gathered around me.

I no longer will wake each morning
I no longer will sleep at night
I tried to win a battle
I no longer have to fight.

I was a very good person
Each day I tried to give
So do not shed a tear
Just celebrate how I lived.

Remember through the good, and the bad
In the sun and in the rain
No matter how hard life was
I stayed in the game.

How I died, and what I had
I do not wish to tell
But I am up in heaven
And all is good and well.

Keep me in mind, keep me in thought
And you will soon see
Keep me in heart, and let me rest
And do not dwell on me.

So family and friends
Do not cry, for I am not alone
My father came, as soon as I went
To bring me, peacefully home.

Once again, the gift this young woman gave our family astonished me and I was reminded of those same sage words. 

Different.  Not Less.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Cat's Life

Tough, right?
(oh, and in case you were wondering, yes...she is sound asleep like that)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

When to De-Friend

Hubby is a Facebook fan.  Me?  Not so much.  I tried it out...twice...and both times in a fit of disgust I deleted my profile and disappeared.  He has his tied to his blog and is totally interconnected.  Me? I disliked the real name profile and the crazy fan sites and the other virtual snowball type things.  And the status updates?  Ugh....I really don't care if you just picked your nose.

But Hubby just told me he finally crossed the threshold of "de-friending".  Up until now, anyone who came out of the woodwork he accepted them back with open arms.  Even the haters from high school.  The bullies.  The popular set that had no time for the likes of us back then.  The drama-ramas that make your eyes roll.  The stoners, the loners, the jocks, the nobody's...all were equalized if they were class of 1984 of his high school.

Many of these people he treated with kid gloves...not getting too close...no private wall conversations...no comments on strange status updates or posts.

But this weekend, he hit the de-friend button.

What pushed my mild-mannered loving democratic husband to the edge and over it?

Someone on his friend list joined a fan club.  I hesitate to even use the real name lest some google search engine link me to this disgusting group.  Let me try and use euphemisms...sorry there are none.  The fan club was "I wipe my ass with the K*ran".

If you came here responding to that phrase let me disclaim:
Neither Hubby nor I want anything to do with this disgusting and repulsive group.

When Hubby told me that this fan club even existed I nearly vomited.  The fact that someone that had been on his friend list joined it made us rage.  We have a copy of the Koran on our bookshelf.  We also have several versions of the Bible, a book on the Life of Mohammed, and books on the history of Judaism.  We are not religious, and I even question the existence of God on a daily basis, but Hubby has faith....true, deep and abiding faith in some higher being. And he also has a healthy curiosity about the origins of faith, the structure of religions, and the strong soul-deep beliefs that cause people to fight wars on one side and preach peace on the other. Regardless of our own personal feelings we could never imagine denigrating anyone else's beliefs in such a way as this group.

Ok, I'll admit, I have sometimes made plain my complaints about organized religion.  And the Catholic Church makes me kind of nutso sometimes.  But not the people so much as the rhetoric.  Regardless, if I EVER made anyone feel as upset and sick as the idea of this fan club felt to me, I truly and humbly apologize.  My soapbox should be burned on my own front lawn like a burning cross.

But before we get to that little home made conflagration, let's set a little fire over at Facebook.   I'd like to see Facebook take a moment to take responsibility for this incredibly repulsive use of their site.  How can they allow their subscribers to even create such a repulsive community link?

I didn't think I could be any more disappointed in Facebook than I was on my last try at it.  I was so wrong.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

House Blogging

VERY interesting episode of HOUSE last night with the blogger who was sick.  The debate about the value of connecting with people with common interests vs. recording (and living) your life as a voyeuristic exercise was fascinating.  And in the end, the woman who reveals everything about herself on the internet failed to reveal the one thing that would help the diagnosis because "People don't want to read about that."

I love blogging and I totally related to the character when she said, "I hate that you don't have a blog, I never know what you are thinking."

I've always been more comfortable with the written word than the spoken.  And while I certainly edit my writing and my content here, I'm more likely to remain silent in a verbal conversation because I'm not sure I trust (a) how to say at that moment what I want to say and (b) how to handle the reaction I might get.  I mean let's face it, while I have luckily not had to do it yet on this site, I can just delete any responses I get!  No need to engage in a lengthy debate or uncomfortable confrontation.

Am I short changing people in my life who don't read my blog?  Am I short changing people in my life who are represented in my blog?  Do I edit too little? too much? Do I share too little? too much?

I have one very very dear friend who doesn't read my blog.  She asks me if that bothers me.  I always answer no.  And it doesn't, from an audience readership perspective.  She is and always will be my dear friend.  But I feel that since we don't see each other, or talk, as often as we'd like, that she is missing out on participating in my life.  Her life is busy and blogging is not a part of her life.  I don't feel the need to force her into it.  It's ok that she doesn't know about what was on HOUSE last night and what I thought about it, But, she also doesn't know my cousin passed away yet.  And that's important.  And that may be IS more my failing than hers.  Pick up the phone Wenderina.  Stop by her house.  She lives 1 mile away.  Blogging may be a little bit of a social crutch that I have to work around.

But hey, I haven't got all the answers, and from what I can see, you all don't either.  For someone like me who has long work hours, a shy attitude toward meeting new people (outside of work - where for some reason I'm more outgoing), and no kids to create that mommy network that adds to your community, this has been a rewarding experience.

I get to say what I think - or at least what I want to share about what I think.  Family and friends who read this get to keep up with the big and more often the little things in my life.  I get to purge emotions.  Laugh about little foibles.  Write something down other than a christmas letter capsule of a year or a technical engineering proposal.

I'm ok with my blog approach.  The character on HOUSE was a little over the top.  What about you and your blog?  Is your relationship healthy?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Eulogy for Brian. Different. Not Less.

At 10:07AM this morning my sweet cousin Brian passed away.  His body was ravaged by both disease and treatment and couldn't hang on any longer.  He was a sweet and simple soul and his mother, sister and family will miss having him here to remind us of the joys that little life victories can bring.  In the coming days we will gather to remember Brian and to give comfort to those he left behind. 

My first memories of Brian come from our toddler years - getting into mischief when we discovered that the extra door in my bedroom led outdoors to the yard.  Once there, we decided the best fun would be to toss a few rocks at the cars riding by.  When we broke a car window and the driver stopped, so did our fun.  We learned together about damaging behavior.

As we grew, I began to think of Brian as more a mysterious being in my life than a simple playmate.  He was different. He spent many hours rocking in his chair making repetitive sounds that to my young ears seemed to be like indian war cries..."Ay yi yi yi...Ay yi yi yi".  He didn't socialize like others, and his hearing loss made it hard to communicate with him.  By the time we were both teenagers, our families were spending more time together on weekends at a nearby campground, where Brian loved to select special pieces of wood to burn and then douse in water, sand, and burn, and douse, and sand until he created beautiful natural sculptures.  He demonstrated a true affinity for an inanimate object that the rest of us had just seen as scrap wood...and it became an incredible element of beauty and life.

Soon I went off to college and when I called home I learned Brian was trying new things.  He was working outside the home, he was communicating with others, he was building his own community.  After a time he moved into a group home and began to learn about living with others outside the family.  He found independence and a sense of achievement in managing his own space and time. Ironically, the medications that helped Brian achieve greater independence in life, also damaged his kidneys, and a few years ago, Brian had to face regular dialysis treatments.  A difficult treatment for anyone, for a man with autism, it was especially trying.  But he overcame this difficulty too and was able to survive a kidney transplant that gave him back so much freedom and health. 

Brian had many challenges in his life.  Challenges he met through the love and patience of his mother and father and sister.  Challenges he met with the different abilities he was given to make up for those he was not.  Foremost in our memories about Brian is that the simple directness of his thinking meant that he had no artifice or malice.  Brian's satisfaction in life was a good cup of tea, a football game on tv, a sub sandwich delivered to his door. 

His life ended too soon.  I feel that Brian had many more lessons to teach me.  Patience.  Priorities.  Focus.  How to know and enjoy the simple things in life.  So now that he has gone on before me, it is my job to learn on my own.  To remember to not throw stones.  To remember that a simple block of wood can be a beautiful piece of art.  To meet the challenges of my life with patience and a simple step by step process to get to solutions.  To enjoy a good rocking chair, a hot cup of tea, our favorite team playing football, a sub sandwich delivered to our door. 

Most of all, to know that being different does not mean being less.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Countdown to Graduation - Less than 1 Year Remains!

Tonight I stayed late at my office to ensure I completed my last assignment for my Ethics class. 

Here's a new lesson for you: when your Ethics professor says in her syllabus that class attendance is required...remember she is the ETHICS professor and is not likely to bend on her stance.  However, after giving me heart palpitations when she initially refused to work with me when I asked for leeway on the final class session due to a business commitment on the West Coast, she eventually relented.  But unlike other professors who just required that I complete the regular coursework in advance, she gave me an additional 5 page analysis paper assignment.


If I could have gone to class that day, I would have watched a 2 hour documentary and then participated in some group discussion.  Making 2-3 comments would have been enough.  By not attending I spent 2 hours watching the documentary at home, and then another 4 hours on research and reading the companion book, and then another 3-4 hours writing the paper.


Next time, I'm telling my boss I'm not going to the client event.  I think I'd rather face his displeasure than go through this exercise again.

My other school activity today was to register for my next class - the thesis prep class.  The tunnel is still very long....but the light is there.   According to the class syllabus - which focuses on research, writing and presentation, I will conclude this semester with a thesis at 50% completion.  I will also have a 60 minute DVD with video of me making three presentations - and oh what compelling video that will be.  Then over the summer (joy) I will have to finish writing and finally defend it.  After that it's two more required courses and I'm done!

How exciting to think that, barring any unforeseen issue (like my brain implodes, or my bank account gives out when the tuition reimbursement is done) this time next year I will be celebrating no more classes, no more books, no more ethics teacher's dirty looks.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Conversation with the Chef

Me:  So, I was thinking about the soup issue...

Hubby:  We have a SOUP issue????  Are we gonna have to blog about this?

Me:  Well...it's not like I didn't love the soup you made this weekend - I mean I'm eating it for the 3rd night in a row, but I need to explain something about me and food.

Hubby:  I can hardly wait.

Me:  To me, food is about comfort.  So when you take a recipe that I really really love and change it - you're messing with my comfort.

Hubby:  Uh huh....

Me:  I mean, it's not that I don't appreciate that you do all the cooking, but can you just make stuff the same way once you've got it perfect without experimenting all the time?

Hubby:  Uh huh....I guess I'm gonna have to start writing this stuff down.

Me: (smiling cutely) I know I'm high maintenance.

Hubby:  Oh, yeah.

Me: (walking away) But it's not like I didn't provide all necessary disclaimers BEFORE we got married.

Hubby: (under his breath, but audible) If only I took better notice of that.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lost Without a Topic

Forgive me.  I'm all about the random thoughts today.

Working on a proposal for a client in Chile...but can't reach them, or the team, so no idea if anyone is even prepared to receive it in the wake of latest natural disaster.

Saturday was Grandma's birthday and I remember all the years we were able to have a lovely celebration in a restaurant or in our home and later in the nursing home.  This year, we did not.  I miss it, but we cannot recreate it anymore.  Grandma doesn't understand, she doesn't know us, and with 2 feet of snow on the ground there wasn't much hope of getting there anyway.

Just got an email from Airfare Watchdog that the flights to Venice this Spring are now half off.  Unfortunately, the flights in July (our planned trip) are still topping $1200/person.  Waiting and seeing.

I'm a little stuck on the home improvement front.  I'm blaming it on the sinus thing I have going right now.  I Nyquil coma'd myself all weekend which gave me lots of hours of restorative sleep, but not much progress.  Now I'm having a little bit of a panic attack over the project requiring me to empty that one project room - which tends to lead to a leakage of items throughout the house.  Chaos everywhere.  That does NOT work well with me.

Miche bag still has not arrived.  I'm awaiting it with bated breath.  I hope I like it!

Word on cousin Brian is slightly favorable, but we are also awaiting each day's status with bated breath as well.  Scarcely dare to hope.

Management bonuses are due out end of next week.  I wonder if I'll be pleasantly surprised?  I wonder if it will partially pay for Venice?  This could be my last bonus ever...no one knows if MERGER will provide them in future.

Positive feedback on a project we did over the course of 2009 which resulted in a 28 page report.  Finally got attention from some execs on worthwhile effort.  Question now is, what's next? and who has the energy for phase 2?

How can it seem on Monday like the week will never end?

I have to complete one last assignment for my current semester (ended last weekend) and then I have to register for the next semester...and this is thesis prep time.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Blah Blah Blah.  Somehow I feel this should go into the draft folder and never come out, but what the hell.