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A step in the right direction

Monday, December 15, 2014

Alternate title: When you feel like giving up

For years Iíve been trying to get my mom to exercise, literally years.

Literally and not figuratively even though most of the time when people say literally they really mean figuratively.

The point is that I could never get her to do anything. I stayed with my parents during the work week when I was in grad school and managed to pry her out of the house to walk around this duck pond in a beautiful little park nearby but even then sheíd go around once and sit on a bench while I ran. I tried getting her into a water aerobics and tai chi class Ė fail all around fail.

Eventually I gave up. If she isnít the one who wants it then its useless.

Meanwhile my dad is an enabler and really at this point sheís getting so little exercise that sheís not even going to the grocery store herself. There is more going on that I'm going into here but you get the idea.

Years ago my dad had knee replacement surgery. They were both convinced that my mom needed that too. I was convinced that if she had this surgery she would never walk again. My dad is tough as nails and he struggled with the PT. I canít imagine someone who canít get up out of a chair herself being willing to fight through that.

Well she went to a doctor about the knee. He referred her to an exercise specialist. He did some tests on her and boy oh boy this had to be awkward and rather horrifying but he told her that there was nothing structurally wrong. Her muscles have completely atrophied like he would typically see in someone who has had an extended hospital stay.

She started walking. At first she was walking up and down the hall at home. I canít even imagine that being considered ďexerciseĒ but she progressed from there to walking around and around an indoor track at this community center.

They came here for a visit a couple of weeks ago. I was expecting to hear that this guy was an idiot and didnít know what he was doing but sheís been sticking with it. Even better, she still canít get up out of a chair herself but she can get down into one. Hey itís progress and sheís quite proud of herself for it.

I figure if she sees some progress then sheíll be encouraged to keep at it.

What is interesting and sad to me is how many people Iíve mentioned this to who know someone who just one day stopped getting up out of that chair and that was that.

I think about this when the alarm goes off at 5:20 am and itís 30 degrees outside and Iíd really rather sleep than leash up the dog and head out.

Itís also tough because right now personally, Iíve seen the scale move 5 pounds in the wrong direction. Work is maddenly stressful which leads to stress eating and really after pulling a few really long days the last thing I want to do when I leave work is to go work out. I donít even want to cook dinner. I just want to go sit on the couch for an hour or so and go to bed. The house is a mess, we just end up doing what he have to do so essentially its tough not to feel like everything is completely out of control.

Case in point, while Iíve been trying to type this I keep losing my train of thought because Iím getting bombarded with emails, calls, people stopping by and telling me something even thought I'm obviously ON the phone, and this really awful thing we have called office communicator that is an instant message program. All this and Iím technically on my lunch.

So yea Iíd say that I would be inhuman if I didnít just sometimes feel like giving up, but then consider the alternative.

In other news and because all of this is kind of depressing, Bodie (see below) this morning decided that the hair dryer was attacking me and that he and he alone could save me. I could not get him to calm down. This would be AFTER I took him running so he should have been tired. He was barking at it and kept trying to bite it. I had to toss him out of the room and shut the door to dry my hair. When I let him back in he sniffed at it with rather dark suspicion. I have no idea what set him off. This isnít a new hair dryer or anything.

Only Bodie knows what goes on in that little head.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BILL60 12/16/2014 7:28AM

    At times, we have to be selfish and think is ISH. If we don't, we start falling apart. Don't let that happen to you. Hang tough and hug that beautiful goggie.

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GHK1962 12/15/2014 3:21PM

    Oh man - I am sorry your days are so freakin stressful. You sound like you have mega amounts going on. And yeah, when you have those days all you wanna do is chill when you get home.

How long do you envision work being that way? Is he hubs in the same boat?

I say if there are more holiday parties or events that you just opt out, not tell anyone you have a free day - and use it to decompress. No work work ... but maybe just a little housework if it makes you feel better - but not a lot. (Tells hubs to help!) And by all means, get out and do a hike or run or something. Then eat a good meal, if even just that day.

At least i hope you can do something like that.

As to your mom - yeah I recall you writing about it before ... I hope she keeps with it and starts wanting it more and more.

As for Bodie? He RULES!!! yes our pups can sometimes drive us to insanity, but at the same time, they save us from it too right? Go Bodie.

And take care of you ... so we can yell out, "Go You!"

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I'm a "photographer"

Sunday, December 14, 2014

#65 of 138 really but the point is that the people at the Light Factory included me in the list of photographers: http://www.momentmile.com/

This is from a little project I helped out with where they got all these photographers together and had us snap a picture of our designated area of the street at exactly the same time so they could make the world's largest pano.

My area was of the building where Michael Jordan and some of the Carolina Panthers including Cam Newton live. I tried to get the hubs to go pull the fire alarm to jazz up my shot but he didn't want to go to jail for my "art".

well fine

I'm looking forward to checking out the exhibit. There is a crew from work who all want to go down there with me. I'm even in the video. I don't have a speaking role but I had on a really bright blue jacket and was lugging a small red backpack. We're in the background of the briefing shot and then there is a shot of us heading out and walking down the sidewalk to our spot.

silly really but it was a lot of fun

In other news, I had a dinner party last night. I was to bring a dessert. We don't really do dessert that much so I wasn't sure what to do. I went with taking something healthy and dipping it in chocolate.

it was a big hit

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HILLSLUG98239 12/15/2014 10:24AM

    How sad that you're not getting the support for pursuing your art. emoticon

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APONI_KB 12/15/2014 8:32AM

    They wanted 150 people and had 138 show up. They didn't assign the areas until we got there so I don't think there were any gaps, it may not have been as long of a shot as they wanted though. It had been raining all day so I wonder if some of the people who signed up bailed because of the weather.

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GOLFGMA 12/15/2014 8:20AM

    Wonderful that you had the opportunity and the fruit looks scrumptious! emoticon

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GHK1962 12/14/2014 9:16PM

    I remember that blog! Then I went and stalked that article you had sent too hahaha.

And the one here ... the video, that was cool. It was REALLY cool. I'm glad they documented the process. And yeah, I saw you going out the building. I had to watch it twice as I was concentrating too hard on seeing the red backpack at first haha.

Let us know when they have a link to the exhibit ... the final shot they had on the vid showed the entire length ... but it scrolled super fast. (And didn't some people not show up? Are there then gaps in the final version?)

And mmmmm on the strawberries. Nice going you.

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RAWCOOKIE 12/14/2014 2:43PM

smile please! you're on camera!
I've been thrilled everytime I've seen a photo or video of myself playing my humble little recorder in our local band - it does make one feel that one is part of something bigger, and significant!
Well done!

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work vetch

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Ugh so I'm a lead aka lower mid management at work. That means that I work in a cube, bat cleanup and oversee 4 employees who all know what they're doing and don't really need a great deal of overseeing.

One of my employees bailed on me. I wasn't all that sorry to see it. This is complicated but when I came into the group she had worked there for about 6 months. There had been a bit of turnover so she was the one who knew what was going on. There was a lag between the old lead leaving and my not only coming on board but getting up to speed. During that time she pretty much ran the show. Once I was in place and ready to take over she was very reluctant to hand over the reins.

I'm not a jerk. I am very mindful of the position that she was in. Nothing like having to train your own boss, but she didn't even apply for the lead job so yea I owe ya one but I am actually the one in charge here. She would look for any little thing that I did wrong or that she thought I did wrong and jump all over me. We were friends before this but the relationship has soured as you might imagine.

Plus there is flat out a difference in philosophy (not sure what to call it). She is prone to hysterics. Any little thing going wrong will send her into code red. I tend to be more zenlike about things. Hey we're not saving lives here, this is IT. There is very little that can go wrong that we can't fix. Worst case, we have to pull some serious overtime but no one dies. To me, getting overly worked up does not solve anything and wastes a lot of time. She perceives me as not caring. I perceive her as immature and excitable.

Can I just interject here that I've done a lot of fighting in my day. By that I mean kickboxing, Shotokan, Kendo - not fight, kill, die fighting more like point, score, win fighting. The absolute worst thing you can do when someone is leveling a bamboo shinai at your head is to get emotional. Your brain locks down, you tense up, you lose speed, and you lose.

Also I have higher than I want blood pressure and I can't live my life getting all worked up all the time. Plus she is just so reactive and moody that its dragging down the rest of the team. I don't want my guys walking on egg shells because they're afraid of setting off one person especially when that person isn't even their boss and frankly has no right to go off on them. I do so hate confrontation but I just can't have my guys being bullied.

Anyway, just when I was at the point where we were going to have to have a little sit down come to Jesus about all of this she announced that she was going to go work on the project team.

It solved the problem but of course created new ones. Fact is, she is good with the systems and we're spinning off a segment of our business, winding down budgets, hitting year end, and all the other fun that goes with running finance IT at a big corporation. Plus this was very abrupt.

The rest of the team was so overjoyed about her departure that I really feel guilty about how long we all put up with her without me doing something. There are some complicating issues really. The guy I replaced is still a friend of mine even though he's moved halfway across the country and he was mentoring her so I felt kind of responsible for picking up where he left off and really deep down I feel like I let him down by washing my hands of her.

Well she left me high and dry as it were. We are already one man down and the way I found out that she was leaving my team was that one day when it was her day to pick up help desk tickets she was off on a day long project meeting. She had talked to our boss, but not me. This is a brand new boss so she basically took advantage of new boss not really knowing the full layout of the land.

We now have 5 people doing the work of 7. We had some interviews, but nothing worked out the first round. We just went through a second round of interviews and I think this time we have two really good candidates. They're both internal which makes things easier as far as what the cool kids call "on boarding".

Monday I'm meeting with the director (my boss) and the VP (her boss) to talk about staffing and solidify things.

So imagine my surprise when I casually mentioned this to a woman who does not work for me but has been helping my team out since we're now two men down and she replied that this woman my ex-employee told her that this project work was temporary and she was planning to go back on my team down the road.


I was floored. I know that this move to project work hasn't been as glamorous as she thought it would be but she left me short handed, expected everyone else to just pick up the slack and do her work without bothering to even discuss it and somehow thinks that I'm just going to absorb her back into my group again at her whim.

holy carp on a line

We rotate being on call and she certainly didn't argue with it when I took her off the schedule.

I haven't figured out how to handle this yet except to just pretend that I have no idea she has any thoughts about coming back and scramble to get those two other folks in and trained so we're at full capacity and quickly.

gotta love corporate life huh

In other news, when I took the boy for a walk the other day we saw some forsythia bushes blooming. The weather has been so all over the place this fall that they appear to think it's spring:

This is the look I get when I stop on a walk to take pictures. I probably give him this same look when he has to sniff every tree and bush so I suppose we're even:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GHK1962 12/6/2014 9:08PM

    Mid-management ... ahhh , nothing like being in the position where you're expected to get things done even though you haven't been given the resources or authority to get them done!

I agree with bill, that you appear to be handling the situation as best you can.

And if it were me, I would do my best not to allow that person back on the team. While she may be good at what she does, she also sounds toxic.

And I like you calmer approach to issues...that is not only good for the situation, but good for you. Be you.

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BILL60 12/6/2014 9:24AM

    I hear your frustrations and do not envy your position. So glad I'm retired and not in that world any more. Good luck to you. BTW, you appear to have handled the situation pretty good. Hang tough!!

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Black Friday fail

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I didn't really mean to get into the fray of it all, but I needed some makeup and was off work anyway. I thought that going around 11:00 would mean being there after the pros had come and gone but apparently not.

After circling around the maze of parking lots and decks I found a hidden part of one of the decks with ample parking. It involved going down two flights of stairs though. I guess if people are going to power walk the mall they just can't quite face a few stairs before the fun gets started.

I hit the makeup counter and was checked out in record time. It was so effortless that I thought I'd take a few minutes to stroll around and kind of check things out.

I lasted maybe 5 minutes.

I could not get out of the way. People focused like a laser on some vital necessity like coach handbags and wispy Christmas scarves will run you over like a dozer. I kept getting sort of herded around.

Have you ever seen someone who is afraid of the ocean so instead of going out past the breakers they end up in the shallow area near the beach where they get totally beaten up?

Yea it was a bit like that.

I spent quite a bit of time just trying to get back to men's shoes. That was the entrance I had come in through. I made a point of noting that because of the incident last year. Seriously why would Neiman Marcus have entrances from two different decks? Total set up if you asked me.

My family and I usually just get each other ornaments. I saw some that looked pretty good, perhaps I shall go back for them between now and THE last shipping day possible to get it there by Christmas because yup that's when I ship stuff.

unless I can find something online that is

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSAN-FIT-N-FAB 11/29/2014 11:20AM

    I enjoyed your description of swimming through the shoppers. Would make a cute movie scene emoticon

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GHK1962 11/29/2014 11:12AM

    You are a brave, brave person...going to the mall yesterday.

And it was funny about when you ship things hahaha ... I DREAD the shipping deadline as much as the malls this time of year ... so I try to get mine done early. In fact, today I am smoking salmon that we send out as gifts...so hopefully I'll be mailing them sometime this week.

Heh .... in my head I keep seeing you pushed along in a stream of bodies at the mall, getting further and further away from the place you want to be ... and all the while you yelling out, "I'm an athlete damn-it, you can't treat me like this." And then getting pushed further towards the middle of the mall ... the true black hole where nothing escapes....

So I had better wave bye bye to you. It was nice knowing you.

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KESTRYLL 11/29/2014 8:43AM

    You gave me a good laugh!

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Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The turkey trot 8k is in the books.

The weather was amazing. It was raining like crazy yesterday so we really got lucky. This is a fun race because its just huge and everyone is always in a good mood so the general atmosphere is positive.

My time wasn't too bad. Its not out there yet but according to my watch I came in at a little under 55 minutes.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GHK1962 11/28/2014 9:14AM

    HIGH-5 ... no ... HIGH-8K!!!!

And you all got finisher medals too! Nice.

As for the hubs - I wanna know his time. (I know you said he runs fast.) Anyone wearing a Flash outfit on a run has gotta be pretty dang fast!

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HILLSLUG98239 11/27/2014 1:29PM

    Is that a before and after photo? emoticon

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RAWCOOKIE 11/27/2014 12:20PM

    emoticon is that you and your DH? beautiful blue skies :D

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GINGKO711 11/27/2014 12:16PM

    Amazing weather really makes the race! Congrats!!

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