I started the line at the security checkpoint around 3:15. The gates opened at 3:30, and by 3:45 I was on my way to my gate. My flight was scheduled to leave at 5:08 am, and would take two hours to reach Charlotte, once again. Hopefully, Charlotte would be more kind to me this time.
On the flight from New York to Charlotte, the woman beside me wore a big fluffy sweater, and big, well-filled jeans. So while my right arm was sweltering, she also managed to continually sit on my leg. She also hogged the arm rest. I'm far from a small man myself, but I felt buried. Luckily, I managed to sleep a bit, which made the flight pass more quickly.
( Read more... )
The night was far from over, and the best was still to come.
My day started at 2 a.m. I'd packed the day before; because I wasn't sure what I was going to be allowed to bring into the venues, everything I was taking was in a 10'x10" shoulder bag. It was packed tightly, without any room to spare!
I didn't want to chance missing my 5 a.m. flight. I parked at the off-site parking lot, and they had me shuttled to the air port by 3:00 am.
When the tours were announced, I'd bought tickets to the first two shows announced, San Jose and Houston (I believe). When the next three shows were announced, I agonized over the decision of which, if any, I should tried to make it to. I finally realized I couldn't make a decision because I didn't want to make a decision - I wanted to attend all the shows! So I planned out a flight path, bought my tickets, and then debated if I was crazy with myself. Two weekends; Five cities; Five nights; Five Shows; One band.
Now, I felt excited, yet worried. Decades had passed since I last had an adventure like this, where I had a plane ticket and nothing else planned. Adventures that were easy when I was 32 might be impossible now that I'm 47, and nearly died a few years previously to boot. I didn't know if I could do this now.
But I knew I'd hate myself if I didn't try.
The security checkpoint finally opened at 3:30, and I passed quickly through, even though I forgot to empty my pockets and ended up slowing down the procedure some.
( Read more... )
Once at the airport, I found a bench with a power outlet, plugged in my phone, and tried to rest for a couple of hours. I napped fitfully, but by 3 am I was fully awake once more, and lined up at the security check point once more. The next step of my great adventure was about to happen, and I was ready for it.
Even though I did still smell faintly (I hoped) like a wet dog.
Since 1984, when I first saw a video of theirs on a PBS show called "Color Tunes" that used music videos with on-screen lyrics to teach people to read, Alphaville has been a part of my life and my mind. They've been my unshakeable favorite band since then; I've never wavered. Other bands and songs have come along, but always were supplanted by another as time went by.
Not Alphaville. Not that they were popular - far from it. Hardly anyone knew who they were. Until I went to college, I had no one to really talk to about my favorite bands, or my musical tastes in general.
( Read more... )
And I'm about to have the greatest adventure of my life!
(I promise, more about.my great adventures soon!)
My red blood cell count dropped after being put on oxygen, but very little. At the end of June, I did another overnight oximetry test. Got the results yesterday.
I was on 2 LPM of O2, but the oximeter showed that every time I entered REM sleep, my O2 saturation dropped to under 90%, sometimes as low as 79%! I spent 112 minutes of the night at 88%.
Those are not good results.
My delightful sleepologist had me raise my O2 to 3 LPM.
Last night was amazing. I dont remember waking up once. I remeber dreaming! And, I was actually woken up by my alarm, instead of getting up 20 minutes before.
I'm not full of energy or anything else that dramatic, but i wasnt yawning i the shower, i wasnt tired during the day, and I did seem somewhat more clear headed.
This. Is. Awesome!
And then I found out the damn machine will cost me $93 per month, after insurance, forever.
Holy macaroni. What a racket. But then, this is also the same company that screwed up my CPAP insurance submission years ago, didn't fix it, didn't tell me, then turned a bill of $1,500 over to collections. After that, I refused to ever do business with them again ... but they're suddenly the only game in town.
I found an O2 Condensor online for under $600, and asked my sleep therapist if she had any objections to me getting it; she said no. Yay! I ordered it up, she sent of the prescription, and now I wait.
I packaged up the one I have to return to the company, who were going to stop by tonight with more paperwork for me to sign that I apparently should have signed when it was delivered in the first place. I've told them twice I'm only available after 5:30 pm, and so far they've left a note on my door saying they were here at 11 am, and a phone call asking me if I was available right now - at 4:30 pm.
I would sigh, but I probably shouldn't spare the air.
The lever rose with a weighted slowness as he took three steps forwards, his arms above his head, pushing the lever upwards. And stopped.
He took three steps back. The lever descended, smoothly, his hands arresting its fall.
No one knew its weight; it was heavy, like a fallen tree; too thick for a grown man to wrap his arms around, and two leverworkers operated it at all times.
Three steps forward. He exhaled.
No one knew what was on the other side of the wall the lever entered, its fulcrum the only break in its smooth surface. Neither wood nor stone, the wall disappeared in the sky and on either horizon.
Three steps back. The sun dropped out of sight to his right, and the lever stopped, locking in its lowest position, where it would remain until sunrise. He lowered his arms, grunting from the stiffness.
“Let’s go then,” he said to the older man in front of him. The old man’s gray hair stuck wetly to his head, and he didn’t speak as they walked back to their homes.
The morning would come soon enough.( Read more... )
And then four weeks ago, he announced that a new position had been created that would eliminate my current postion. The new position's description matched everything I had been doing all year, before he came along and told me no.
Three weeks ago, I had to interview for the new position. He told me there were a few other candidates to interview, but he'd let me know within a week.
Friday, he told me I was not being considered for the new position, and that some time this coming week, HR would meet with me to offer me a different position with a pay cut, or a severance package.
When I asked him why I was no longer being considered, he said it was because my communication with subordinates wasn't good enough. I asked him what that was based upon, and he told me the interview.
What a load of horseshit. Especially since the new position I'm being demoted to is a leadership position. With subordinates.
I didn't even try to argue,
On top of that, I've been feeling a even more anxiety that I haven't written anything since the end of January. I'd meant this year to return to one column every month, something I'd let slip badly in 2016, but so far, I've only managed that one column. Today I decided I'd had enough, and figured I'd take Kate's advice, and just try to write something, no matter what.
And failed miserably. So I went through my google docs folder, putting all the finished columns into a new folder, and leaving behind the snippets of unfinished columns I'd started and other notes and such. When I was done, I looked over the snippets, and found one that looked promising and start working on it.
And after awhile, I had a (nearly) finished column of 1,128 words, just waiting for its polish.
And then I started a new document, typing out an idea that I'd started thinking about Friday or Saturday, about two men who spend all day raising and lowering a huge lever in a wall, and how they change places as they get older. I even solved the problem that had been preventing me from seriously considering trying to do anything with the idea - why they were doing it, and how to give the story a point.
And after awhile, I had a (nearly) finished short story of 1,023 words.
Over 2,000 words today. I've also put four coats of Gesso on a small artboard to prepare to do ... something. I haven't decided yet.
But I feel like I accomplished something today, something more than just pounding out a column. I feel lighter, and a little less anxious. I mean, I'm still feeling a horrible sense of dread and despair knowing the weekend's almost over and I need to go to work tomorrow, but hey, any little bit helps.
Vacuum Water softener upkeep
Work on office
Finish inventory of music
Talk to John, my direct manager, about the new supervisor
Go to Health Store
Write up phone conversation with new supervisor
Transcribe one-on-one with new supervisor
Look for new employment
Study for Project + certification
Take certification test (?)
Write column for February (Mater memories? Who’s a good boy?)
Finish Doug’s box
Play a little Skyrim
Get oil changed
So, good news first- I'm on a week of PTO. My employer caps the number of personal time off hours I can accrues at 140. I'm at 139.74; if I don't take some time off, I lose anything earned over 140.
And I desperately need a week (or more) off. There's a new supervisor at work, and my prospective employment under him does NOT look good, for various reasons. After saying he doesn't understand what I do, so he's not going to change anything ... he's changing everything, from telling me I am not in a leadership position, even though that's exactly what I've been doing for the past year, even stating I never should have been treated like I was in a leadership position, but that he "supports me" if I ever want to transition into one.
So work right now is ... tense. I fully believe he is looking to get rid of me. That's not stressful at all! I am looking for new employment opportunities ... but I don't want to. I like what I do, and I'm good at it. I was not planning on leaving this company any time soon.
At least I have the week to think about it.
On the health front ... I've been working to change my diet. Downloaded some diabetic recipes from the internet, things like that.
The same bloodwork i had done at the beginning of February that showed me as being pre-diabetic also showed an abnormally high red blood cell count. My primary care physician asked me to follow up on that with my sleep therapist, because it can be caused by untreated sleep apnea, so I did on Friday. She founded it odd that I have "thick blood" even though I'm on blood thinners. Yay.
She ordered an at-home night time oxygen test to see how much oxygen I'm getting while I sleep. If it's low, then oxygen therapy will be added to my CPAP (I had that done when I was hospitalized ... it simply involves an adpater on my mask that adds oxygen to the air flow.)
If it shows normal blood oxygen levels while I'm sleeping, then I'll need to have the excess blood cells manually removed from me. That doesn't sound fun at all, but I'm assuming it will be a process similar to having blood plasma removed, or dialysis. Neither of which I've ever had done, but it sounds simple enough.
On a different note ... when did LiveJournal remove the spell check option?
Mater and I bonded immediately. He was a yellow lab, like my older dog, Ike. When Cory would watch Ike for me, he was Mater's best friend, whether he wanted to be or not. Ike loved to fetch, and Mater would run right behind him until Ike picked up the thrown stick. Mater would then latch on to the other end and let Ike leade him around.
Mater loved spending time with Ike; Ike exhibited a grumpy patience with Mater, and being with them both filled me with a quiet happiness that's difficult to explain to someone who's never experienced it for themselves: the comfort of the fall, the quiet simplicity of the sun, the contentedness of furry warmth, and the omnipresence of being these creatures' utmost importance.
Both Mater and Ike had their share of close calls - Ike nearly succumbing to a pancreatitis; Mater being run over by a tractor. The soft farm manure that he sunk into left him suffering only a broken leg.
Ike was already an old man by the time Mater came along, and a few years later Ike was just too tired to go on any longer.
Mater continued to greet me with his boundless joy, even though I visited him alone now. I saw him for one of the last times when Jack was recovering from open heart surgery. He told me that he had made sure everyone knew that if anything happened to him, Mater was to come to me.
Mater had always been a bright point in the world; knowing he was out there and safe enabled me to feel that quiet happiness, even at a distance.
And now, he's gone, and while the world is now a bit darker, it's still brighter than it would have been if Mater the blind dog had never come along. Those two silly yellow labs are playing fetch with each other again, together always in my heart's fondest memories.
-I'm trying desperately to study enough to pass my Projects + certification ASAP, before my yearly review, which will happen sometime before March. The same old bugaboo is popping up again though - I can remember concepts, but not concrete details very well. I can describe the process of starting a new project, but have trouble remembering the names of each individual step. Guess what will be on the test, however? Time for flash-card studying- the yearly review is where raises are determined.
-I'm not unhappy; my depression is being well treated. But for years I've lacked passion. I'm not passionate about anything any more, even the things I used to be. It's easy to act excited about something, but I don't feel that excitement deep inside me. I have ideas in my head that I know would be interesting to explore, but I just can't work up the passion to care. I've been celi9bate for four years now, not out of any conscious choice, but because I can't determine a valid reason to be bothered with finding another person to do whatever things with. Nothing holds my attention any more. I'm surprised I even made this post.
When a child dies before their time, the rest of the family's children would also be killed, because if one child was weak, then the rest shared their weakness.
Children were given a choice, however- they could request to be spared, which very few ever chose.
Because it turned out, being spared led to a fate worse than a quick death - former friends would no longer acknowledge the survivor; neither would the child's parents as they tried again to start a family without weakness.
Eventually, the survivor would beg for death. But it was never given.
Kind of dark, even for me. But now, what do I do with this?