Oy.

It all started innocently enough.  Saturday night, I made a post on Facebook about Whitney Houston’s sudden death.  “Really hope this is just a hoax” I said “but reports are that Whitney Houston has passed away.”  Some friends and I commented about where we’d heard the reports, if the reports were credible and how sad that an incredible voice was silenced too soon.

My friend Bridgett, from Bavaria, stated that while she wasn’t a fan of Whitney Houston, even she had to say that the woman could sing like no other in her prime.  Another friend, Lance, not knowing that Bridgett is from another country, made a comment that if Bridgett is from Pittsburgh, then she must only like boy bands and/or country western music.  Another friend, Chrissy (and someone I’ve known since high school) said that Lance shouldn’t stereotype Pittsburghers and that she likes all kinds of music.

And that’s where the bomb went off.  Lance is African American.  Chrissy is Caucasian.  Lance made a comment about how Pittsburghers are small minded and all Catholics are racists.  When I made a comment, wondering aloud how my innocent remark spiraled into this, Lance told me to relax…and that we were FB friends FOR NOW.

I couldn’t relax about his statements.  I just couldn’t.  Anyone who knows me knows that I’m the least prejudicial person on the planet.  My friends are all colors, shapes and sizes.  Gay, straight, bi…doesn’t matter.  Black or white or purple…who cares?  I even went out with Lance a few times and he should know that even though we’re better off as friends, that I’m not like “all Catholics” or “whites”.  I’m so completely opposite of how he feels.

I respect his feelings, but, it was so glaringly  obvious that he wanted to start a fight.  I sent him a private message telling him that I’d be happy to discuss this with him privately, but, that I had to remove him from my FB friends.  I couldn’t have him putting that poison on my wall or trying to spread it. I’m too kind for my own good sometimes.  I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and a second chance–we all need that from time to time.

I made an apology for the hate that was seen on my wall.  I was going to delete the posts, but, why should I?  Why should I have to censor myself on my own Facebook page?  I hated what I saw and what I had to do.

I hate that someone I considered a friend thinks so little of me even more.

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Do Over

Have you ever had a day where, from the minute you wake up until the minute you go to bed that night, everything–and I mean EVERYTHING–goes horribly wrong and disintegrates?  No?   Just me?

Monday was that type of day.  I woke up and stepped into a pile of lukewarm Phoebe puke (that nearly had me stepping into my own puke).  Dropped the bottle of shower gel on my foot while I was in the shower and banged my head off the wall (Hello, Goose Egg!).  No pair of knee highs without a hole could be located ANYWHERE,  the shirt I wanted to wear suddenly didn’t feel “right” and I forgot my lunch and wallet at home in my rush to get out the door.  Oh! Forgot to mention that I had to write and drop off my rent check before I left yet nary a working pen was found (the pens are in cahoots with the knee highs, I think).

I get to work and turn on my computer….and am greeted with the blue screen of death. I haul my papers and whatnots (lots of whatnots!) to an empty work station and try to get to work only to be faced with, you guessed it, another blue screen of death!  Two hours and two phone calls to the help desk later, I’m finally able to get to work on the Monday reports…and the system goes down.  For the rest of the day.

*head desk*

I come home, starving, only to realize that I’d forgotten to take anything out for dinner.  Also? Out of milk and butter.  Walk down to Dollar General only to find that they are out of milk and butter.  Grab a Stouffer’s frozen lasagna and a container of vanilla ice cream because it’s been that type of day.  Come home, try to decide the lesser of two evils (and risks by this point) and go for the ice cream.  No cooking involved–the microwave may have revolted too.  Wasn’t taking the chance.

I decide to take out my knitting only to realize the project I wanted to work on was…at work.  At my desk.

At this point, I literally give up and go to bed.

Tesuday morning…and more cat puke.

Does it sound like a good day for a mental health day? Why, yes, yes it does.  And I’m NOT leaving the house.

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Home (Again) and Other Random Things

Right after the New Year began, I received my lease renewal.  There’s been a bit of drama with one of the neighbors–an elderly gentleman is having issues with his nephew who visits frequently.  A couple of run-ins with his nephew have left me feeling a little uncomfortable and even more jumpy at night.  The police have been involved and the landlord knows all about it, but I’m still wary.  I had to think long and hard about moving.  I knew it wasn’t feasible financially, but, I still felt like I had to think it over.

In the end, my rent is going up $15 (which is nothing compared to some places) and Phoebe and I can call Apartment #5 home for another year.  I do like it here–the neighborhood is safe, I’m near stores and public transportation.  I can’t ask for much more.  Other than the neighbor to get things in order with his nephew.

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I hadn’t even logged into today when my boss told me that I’d be in a meeting to help develop a new process for a new system that the entire company is getting.  While what I help with will only be done in my department, what we design will become part of the new system.  A little scary, but, I think it’s a good sign that I’m doing something right in my new job.

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In just over a month, 32 days to be exact, I turn 39.  I’ve been trying to decide what to do for my birthday.  Throw a party, have a few friends over, go out to dinner with Tammi and/or Sally…and to be honest, while I do want to go out and celebrate with Tammi and Sally (and Dan and Alex and other friends, too), nothing was appealing to me.  I really, really feel like going somewhere and doing something on February 28th…anywhere, just to get away for a long weekend even.  I was talking with a friend of mine who lives in St. Louis earlier tonight and we were both commenting on how we need to get together soon.  It’s been nearly 2 1/2 years since I’ve seen Tina, Mike and their son Skylar.  She asked if I had any vacation time and  I do.  They are flying me to St. Louis for my birthday…I leave Pittsburgh on 2/27 and come back 3/3.

I can’t wait.

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A Hard Day’s Night

On any given night, this is how my time is spent…

7:30-8:30pm–if I’m going to get any sleep, it’s time for me to take my sleeping pill.  If I take it any later, I’m pretty much going to be up half the night.

8:30–10:30pm–Knit, read, watch TV, play with Phoebe…and get a bed time snack.  Yes, I’m 5.  I still have a bedtime snack.  Usually a bowl of cereal or a piece of cinnamon toast or something along those lines.

10:30pmish–Lights out!  If I’m lucky, I’ve found a movie to listen to as I drift off to sleep.  I have to have noise…if it’s too quiet, I can’t sleep at all.

If I’m able to drift off to sleep, it’s usually around 10:45 or so…

1:30am–my pea size bladder wakes me up so I’m off to the bathroom.  Phoebe is usually following close behind, wanting a a scratch or two.  And to see if she can cause me to fall as she walks in between my feet.

1:35am–back to bed and hopefully to sleep.

3:30am–Really bladder?! You can’t last longer than two hours?

6:05am–Alarm goes off and I roll over and hit snooze….

Those are the good nights.  The bad nights can look like this:

Everything will stay the same, up until 1:30 or so. Then I’m up for either a couple of hours or for good.  I miss getting a full night’s sleep…

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Too Much Time On My Hands

I had a 3 day weekend where I did absolutely freaking nothing.  I had all these plans in my head to get out and do something–go for a walk, take a trip to a yarn store, get myself my favorite Chinese takeout for lunch.  In the end, the cold and rainy weather and the aching need to just sit and not move won out.  I was either curled up in my bed with Phoebe watching movies on the laptop or reading on my Nook or curled up on the couch with Phoebe and a blanket and a cup of tea or hot chocolate.  I started a new knitting project and think I may have taught myself something that I couldn’t wrap my head around before.  I have to try it again to be sure, but, I think I’m on to something.

That was the extent of my weekend.  Knitting, movies, books and lots of Phoebe time.  And too much thinking.  I hate solitary weekends like that, weekends where I don’t talk to anyone until I head back to work.  All that solitude causes me to think…and sometimes the thoughts can get pretty bleak.

This past weekend had me wondering if anyone would even notice if I were gone.  Just…pffft. Gone.  Would my Facebook friends notice? Would my friends notice?  Tammi, Dan, Sally and my other friends have been busy living their own lives that I don’t talk to them much, maybe once every few days.  Would anybody even care?

I was thinking of my Mum a lot too.  Wondering again if she’d be proud of me.  Does she know I miss her?  That I still talk to her, always hoping for a sign that she’s around.

While these thoughts were running around my head, I checked my e-mail, more out of habit than anything else.  I came across one from a web site that I’d signed up for years ago, Tut.com  Inspirational emails are sent daily and while I don’t often read them, for some reason, this one opened when my finger barely touched the mouse.

The top 10 things dead people want to tell living people, Katy, are:

1. They’re not dead.
2. They’re sorry for any pain they caused.
3. There’s no such thing as a devil or hell.
4. They were ready to go when they went.
5. You’re not ready.
6. They finally understand what they were missing.
7. Nothing can prepare you for the beauty of the moment you arrive.
8. Don’t try to understand this now, but life is exceedingly fair.
9. Your pets are as crazy, brilliant and loving, here, as they were there.
10. Life really is all about love, but not just loving those who love you…

#5 took my breath away.  You’re not ready.

That one still has me thinking.

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Overheard

I keep one of my bedroom windows open a few inches, even in winter.  It sounds odd, but, I like to have a little bit of fresh air in the apartment, even when it’s freezing out.  My bedroom faces an alley way on one side and on the other, the parking lot of the bridal shop next door.  (This shop always has hideous dresses on display yet is ALWAYS packed.  I’m hoping the selection inside is better. Either that or there really is no accounting for taste in Pittsburgh).  A couple of weeks ago, I was roused from sleep by  the sound of people talking.  The people were laughing and while not loud, they weren’t exactly quiet either.  I looked out my window and saw two cops, sitting in their cars with the windows rolled down, just shooting the breeze.  I’m guessing it was lunch hour or a really slow night in my neighborhood because they were there a really long time.

After nearly 45 minutes of trying to get back to sleep, I gave up and made a phone call to the local police department.  When my call was answered, I explained that it wasn’t an emergency, but, could someone please tell the two officers that they are keeping people awake?  The dispatcher laughed and said she’d see what she could do.  I thanked her and then laid back down.  A few minutes later, I heard on the radio (like I said, the car windows were down!) “Hey, you two jackasses, you want to keep it down?  You are waking people up with your noise!”  The cops laughed, said fine and then I heard them drive off, presumably to another location to continue their discussion.  Nothing like having to call the cops on the cops!

Just a few days ago, I was once again awakened by people talking and listening to a car radio after midnight.  I tried my best again to ignore it and go back to sleep.  No dice.  After nearly an hour,  I stuck my head out the window and yelled “Yo,some of us have to get up for work in the morning!”  They heard me as the radio was turned off and the two chatty Cathys went inside somewhere.

God, I’m old.

 

 

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Happy New Year

2011 was a rough year….it started out rough and ended just as rough.  I and my friends expereienced so much heartbreak, sadness and loss that it brought us to our knees.  Or in my case, to the floor.   I wasn’t sure I’d survive this year,or if I even wanted too.

I’m here, though.  Broken but slowly finding the pieces to put  myself back together.  I’m ready for 2012.  Just some advice for the coming year:  I’m hoping you hold more good things than bad, more happiness than sadness and more love than hate.  2012, you can only be better…

May the best of your past be the worst of your future!

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Happy Christmas

The last month has been a crazy one…in some ways good and in others, not so much.  I started my new job on the 12th and that’s been one of the good ways.  Totally different than my last two jobs, very, very little phone work, extremely low stress and I can do what I need to do, at my own pace, without the pressure of having someone break down my neck all day.  I can literally put my headphones on and just plug away.   I’ve still got a lot to learn, but, thus far?  No complaints.

The last week has seen me on the sidelines with a major cold/sinus infection.  Both ears are so clogged that I can’t hear a thing, my nose is doing a very good impersonation of a facucet and my eyes? Oh, my eyes….so red and watery and just ew.  Sally says I look like a zombie…I wake up each morning and my eyes are sealed shut from the goo in my sinuses.  I’m on some meds, but, nothing I can do until it clears.

In between wiping my eyes, I’ve been frantically knitting for Christmas.  I made two scarves and a pair of fingerless gloves for Sally, a scarf for her daughter Meg and two pairs of slipper socks for a coworker’s boyfriend and daughter–she paid me to knit them (what? I’m not turning down money!) Sally and Meg love their scarves…I know Sally does, and I’m pretty sure Meghan does too, I mean, look...

So comfy you can sleep in it!

Sally invited both Phoebe and I over once again for the holiday weekend.  Even though I’m obviously not feeling my best and every bone in my body was telling me to stay home and just sleep through the holiday weekend, I accepted.  Her 6 year old grand daughter and I became fast friends last night, tracking Santa on the computer and playing Hanging with Friends on my phone.  Phoebe and I slept down stairs in the basement on a futon and were awakened with shouts of “Katy, Katy, Santa was here!” so I scrubbed my eyes open, brushed my hair and made my way up the stairs, ready to watch the family open their piles of gifts.  Claire played Santa and passed out the presents and as she handed me one wrapped package after another, my amazement grew.  I had presents, to open on Christmas morning….presents! Santa left me a new sweater, some Vanilla scented lotion and soap, peanut butter meltaways, a blanket, a ring and bracelet in my beloved teal, yarn….and just…it felt like the Christmases of my past.  When I was handed a stocking filled to the brim, it took all I had to not cry…but, I hugged my stocking to my chest, something I’ve missed so much.  I never thought I’d have a Christmas like that again…and I did.

I had the Christmas of my dreams….and I hope you did too!

 

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Happy Thanksgiving

I could write a sappy post about all the things for which I’m grateful, but, only two really count: life and love.  May your Thanksgiving be filled with both.

 

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A Leap of Faith

About a month ago, just as I was starting to really get back into the groove at work, I found out that there were going to be changes made in my department.  Because of the enormous amount of DME auth requests that we receive daily, I was now going to be “absorbed” into the Front Line –the area that enters the authorizations at the very beginning.  I’ve been getting help from this area for a good while and it didn’t make sense for two areas to share the duties.  I was a little upset as I really like the nurses I work with and I have my own system of doing things.  When I found out that they wanted me to handle incoming phone calls as well?  I freaked.  I got out of customer service so that I would not have to be on the phone all day!  I quietly started looking for a new position at my company, hoping against hope that I’d find something.  I made the move to the Front Line and was very quickly put on the phones when my skills as a Service Rep were discovered.  Most Front Line reps take 80-90 calls a day.   Me? On my best day? I took 162 calls a day.  Yeah…you can see that I wasn’t on faxes for very much longer, right?  I was hating going into work and getting that sinking feeling I had when I was in Customer Service.

I spotted a position that was very similar to what I was originally hired to do, but, for a different area in my department.  In this new position, I’d be supporting the nurses directly, doing their grunt work.  It would also mean another lateral move, but, the way I see it, the more experience I get, the better.  And it’s always good to add to my skills. I asked my friend Sally  if she knew the hiring manager.  Turns out, she did…and Sally’s supervisor, Matthew is very close to her as well.  I applied and both of them said that they’d put in a good word or two for me if I got the chance.

On a Friday afternoon two weeks ago, I received a phone call from HR asking to schedule an interview for the following Monday.  I spent the weekend brushing up my interview skills and getting all gussied up by getting some highlights in my hair and a trim.  Sally helped me choose a very pretty sweater set to wear on the big day.  Monday afternoon came and I met with the hiring manager and while I thought it went well, I just wasn’t sure.  Matthew saw me afterwards and he said that he’d sung my praises to my would be boss and that she had really liked me.  I jokingly told him that if I got the job, I’d bring him some cookies to say thank you.

I better find a really good recipe for some awesome cookies as I got the job!  After two weeks of thinking I didn’t get it, HR called me today and offered me the job.  I start my new position as Case Management Support Rep on December 12th.    I’m excited and nervous, but, I’m even more surprised that a leap of a faith paid off.

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