Archive for the ‘Stress’ Category

This would be about right…

So, I might have mentioned Supportive Partner Woman’s wonky back. She’s been dealing with it for five days now, and don’t let it be said that she doesn’t have salt… she went to work four out of those five days. The rest of the time, she was pretty much cuddled up in bed with her best friend, the heating pad. Seeing as it was a holiday weekend, she couldn’t get ahold of the doctor’s office to schedule an appointment. So, I woke her up and she called this morning. She scored a 10:20 appointment and managed to get poked and prodded and x-rayed and scheduled for physical therapy. She’s finally starting to move a little better, but I’m very relieved. I was stressing pretty hard because she was in so much pain. It was hard for me to watch. Let me just say that getting older isn’t much fun.

Otherwise, things are pretty good. Had a decent holiday weekend… didn’t do much, but did manage to chauffeur SPW to and from work. I felt a little better about that as she didn’t have to walk as far as she would’ve had she parked in the garage. I did mostly domestic stuff, laundry, rotated the mattress, all that stuff. I even whipped up a couple of dinners using Stuff From the Fridge. I’m always excited when I can do that… makes me feel like I’m doing something important. The one thing that fell by the wayside was my gym-going. I went over to the Rec on Thursday only to find the fitness center closed for annual cleaning. I was told I was welcome to use the tennis courts, but that wouldn’t do me much good, as I don’t play tennis. I was supposed to have a session with Ryan this morning, but I had to reschedule so I could take SPW to her appointment. I’ve got an appointment tomorrow morning at 8:00. Yes, it’ll be early, but I need to go. I have three weeks until we head off to Florida and I plan to get to the gym as much as possible. The good news is that Cory will be back next week, giving me my usual appointment times and class sizes. Ryan did a heckuva job running the show all by himself, but I’m sure he’s looking for a break.

The other thing that happened was that I wasn’t particularly mindful of what I was eating between meals. I know… NOT a good thing. I think it just made me feel better at dealing with my stress and I didn’t want to do anything else in case SPW needed me for something. My actual meals weren’t too bad… cereal or eggs in the morning, a sandwich for lunch, and a sensible dinner. It was the between meal visits to the fridge for cheese or ham or a tortilla that caused the problems. I need to refocus and remember how good it was feeling.

Well, that about sums it up. Not only is SPW on the way to recovery, Stubby is in pretty good shape. We will see how he does tomorrow.

Song of the Day: Bad – U2
Currently Reading: The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Seems like that’s the question our IT guys are always asking when we call to bitch about something not working.

I think it’s time for me to do a reboot of my life. Not a complete cold start, but that hold the home button and power switch on the iPhone until the Apple logo appears. I’ve been stressing hard, and well, it’s not a good place to be.

I mentioned howe pissed I was about the blister. It’s pretty much healed… in fact, I see the podiatrist tomorrow. I’m hoping he will see fit to say I can back to my usual workout routine. It has really been depressing the last few days, not being able to do the workout I’ve become accustomed to. I also have a consult session with Ryan on Tuesday. Hope I’ll be fully back into it by the end of the week. I will probably avoid the treadmill for another week, but the elliptical or arc trainer should be fine. I can hopefully start getting back over to Hempfield Rec on my off days. I just can’t believe how much I miss it.

We’ve also been dealing with some personal stuff here at Chez T that I’m not going to go into any details on. Suffice it to say that SPW and I are both fine, but there has been a recent issue that’s taken up a lot of our time.

The other place I really need to reboot is my attitude. It’s really not been particularly positive. A lot has to do with the job… well, not the job but with the work environment. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t mind people chatting, but for the love of God, please use the indoor voice and STOP CALLING ME DARLING OR DEAR OR HON! There are two people allowed to call me that stuff… one gave birth to me, the other married me. I might make an exception for elderly relatives, but it’s really unprofessional to call your coworkers stuff like that. You might think you’re being friendly, but it comes across reeking of insincerity and obsequiousness. I’d much prefer to be called Brian. Or if that’s too many syllables, I’ll even answer to “B”

So, as you can tell, I needed to do something fun. I had mentioned this to my friends Hollie & Charles and they turned around and invited me to the Lancaster Barnstormers game tonight. I had a lot of fun. We were sitting right behind the plate and it was nice to just relax, enjoy some nice weather and good company. It’s something I really needed. I also got to fix something yesterday. The electrician determined that a feedback loop in the cable modem’s transformer was causing isssues with the outlets in my office. I had to retire the 8-9 year old Linksys modem after so many year of faithful, pretty much 24/7 service. It’s been replaced by a new Motorola Surfboard. If it lasts half as long, I’ll be impressed. It’s amazing how costs have dropped. This ran around $53 at Best Buy. I remember buying a 14.4K telephone modem in 1991 or 1992 for around $300.

Next up on the docket is to start clearing space up here to add SPW’s desk. We’ve determined that it makes more sense to do it this way… especially now that the outlets are working right.

Well, as I mentioned, I have appointments the next two days. I’m thinking I need to do margaritas soon. There’s something about making them with fresh fruit that really does it for me. Here’s a couple of my favorite recipes:

Mango Margarita:

approx 10 oz of fresh mango chunks
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2/3 cup tequila
2 tbsp triple sec or Cointreau
2 tablespoons superfine sugar or simple syrup
Approx 2 cups ice

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth, unless you have a frozen concoction maker, in which case, put everything but the ice in the blender, load the ice hopper and flip the switch.

Makes 4 cups (approx)

Pineapple margarita

2 cups ice
1 1/2 shots tequila (preferably silver)
1/2 shot triple sec
splash of fresh lime juice
splash of sweet and sour mix (or simple syrup)
1 1/2 cups of fresh cubed pineapple (or more)

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth, unless you have a frozen concoction maker, in which case, put everything but the ice in the blender, load the ice hopper and flip the switch.

Makes approx 4 cups

So, that’s pretty much it. If you are interested in any way in Disney animation, Supportive Partner Woman (now being followed by Hollywood director types on Twitter!) has done a review of the upcoming animated short Paperman. Find that review here:

I’ll keep you posted on how my attitude adjustment and doctors appointments wind up going.

I was working on a post yesterday… I’m kind of glad I never finished it, because it was really gloomy and doomy and full of self-pity. It was just an all around lousy sort of day. I was supposed to have a day off to spend with Supportive Partner Woman, but due to circumstances beyond our control, I wound up at work. I was set to spill all sorts of venom across the bandwidth.

Why the sudden change, you may ask?

Besides taking the Boot of Shame out for a limp, I was listening to my iPod when it showed again just how smart it is. The Shuffle setting spit out a song that just made me smile.

There’s something about “New Song” that just makes me grin. Maybe it’s that bouncy beat, or the sort of uplifting lyrical message. Maybe it’s the fact that Howard Jones was my first concert, way back in 1985. It was at the Tower Theater… pretty cool stuff.

Regardless, the day did get better.

Today was another butt- kicking session. It’s amazing how much my outlook has changed on exercise. Now that I’m limited by Stubby, I find myself annoyed that I can’t do more, instead of being annoyed that I needed to exercise. Guess that’s a good thing.

On tap for the weekend, well, SPW has to work, and I’m on the hook for Saturday. If I don’t have to work, I’m going to take my mother to  a drum & bugle show at Exeter High School. Here’s the info if you’re in the southeastern PA area and need something to do on Saturday night.

Sunday, I’ll probably join some friends for a Barnstormers game. Been awhile since I’ve been to some live baseball and I miss it.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Never had this happen before

Posted: August 22, 2012 in Stress

I write this from the waiting area of Jones Honda.

“Why are you there?” you might say.

I’m here because Mario the Super Honda tried to digest me.

That sounds a lot worse than it is. Basically, I got in the car to head to Lowes for a new toilet fill hose. See, the new toilet I was installing sits a couple inches taller than the old one. Ergo, the hose is a couple inches too short. I got in the car, drove to Lowes, and couldn’t get out of the car. The driver’s side door lock had frozen.

I’ve been locked OUT of a car before, on many occasions, but never locked in. I tried to open the lock multiple times, no dice. So I drove to the dealership where I had to crawl out the passenger side. It wasn’t that bad, once I shoehorned my tubby ass over the center console. Guess that workout stuff is paying off, since I was flexible enough to actually climb out without breaking anything. Bone, car or otherwise.

So, that leads into today’s topic. Stress. As recently as three months ago, I would’ve had a meltdown. Cussing, pounding door with fist, general furiousness. This time, other than some light cussing, I just sucked it up and went to the dealership.

The most stressful part was trying to get ahold of SPW. This happens the one time she doesn’t have her phone, iPad, or is not logged into Facebook, Twitter, or email. Luckily, she eventually got the message and called me. She’s here now, next to me, enjoying the waiting room experience.

We’ll see what they say. Hopefully not too expensive. In the meantime, we will wait.

Oh, and I never did get that toilet hose. Sigh.


Update: Car needs a door latch mechanism. Not too crazy, but they won’t have it until tomorrow. In the meantime, their advice? “If it happens again, keep pressing the button. It will open eventually. And I got the hose.

So, when we last spoke, we were talking about me fitting in t-shirts I haven’t worn for a while. That’s old news. Well, it’s still news, but not the newest news. You get the picture.


I decided to take advantage of the Southwest sale on Friday. I could get the flights to/from Orlando for $150 less than what I would’ve had to pay and I even got to add an extra day to the vacation. Apparently everyone had the same thought, because things were FUBAR from the get go. I got a confirmation. Then ANOTHER confirmation. And ANOTHER. Oh, and one more for good measure. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s four confirmations. All with different ticket numbers, for the same flights on the same days. For the same people.

I waited another hour after this.

I called their toll-free number and it was busy. I retried 12 times before it rang. After making my selections, a pleasant recorded voice told me that my call would be answered in the order received and that my estimated hold time would be between 42 minutes and 1 hour and five minutes. I wasn’t thrilled, but I figured I could use the hands free and get some things done while waiting. Now, Southwest does not have hold music. They have a series of amusing vignettes starring real ramp workers and customer service reps talking about the policies and services they offer. I should rephrase. They cease to be amusing and become annoying after about the sixth repetition. I mean, I KNOW you can’t take a #$%^#$ giraffe on a commercial airliner! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

After about two and a half hours, I decided to go to bed… besides, if they would’ve answered, I might have erupted. As it was, I tried again in the morning and was told my wait time would be between 23 and 42 minutes. 90 minutes later, I packed it in.

So, I finally got through to a real live person around 11:30 PM last night. Becky was very helpful and apologetic, had the extra flights cancelled and everything good in around 10 minutes. I was still annoyed, but relieved that things were set. I added an additional night’s DVC lodging and was ready to go. Went to bed, and, well, when I woke up and checked my email, there was ANOTHER email from Southwest stating that my remaining reservation was cancelled. WTF? I went and called, and was told everyone was busy, but they would call me back, which they did. Again, Cindy was helpful, but I couldn’t get a reason as to why this reservation had been cancelled, other than “confusion” and “a glitch”.

Now, maybe I’m old-fashioned, but this isn’t “LUV”. I’m not looking for anything but a specific explanation. It doesn’t help to go off on the phone rep… it’s not their job to listen to that, but I am still not happy. Grand total of over four hours on the phone… they could’ve updated the hold message saying that they had a systems problem and they are working to correct it instead of the stupid “You can’t bring a giraffe on the plane” bit.

Suffice it to say, I miss AirTran. Never had an issue with them and the one time they cancelled a flight on us, well, I called and asked about it and without being prompted, they issued travel certificates for our next trip as a way of apologizing for my inconvenience. I’m going to think long and hard before I decide to travel via Southwest again. I know people love them, and maybe I just got the perfect shitstorm of issues, but it is what it is. I’m an unhappy customer and I’m not finding it easy to contact someone who can give me the answer I’m looking for.

Granted, if they tell me I’m too fat to fly, well, then all bets are off.


Hope you all had a nice weekend. I’ll be back later with the tale of the family dinner.

Sunday morning

Posted: July 29, 2012 in acid trip, Danny Boyle, Maru, Olympics, Stress

I spent a good chunk of yesterday waiting around for the gnomish little notary guy. He finally showed, paperwork is all officially signed, and the house is refinanced. Yay us.

As we were waiting for him, I took a plunge and installed Mac OS X Mountain Lion on our iMac. We had originally purchased the Mac last summer and it came with OS X Snow Leopard. About 2 weeks after we bought it, OS X Lion was released. Since I’m a Windows guy from way back, I would probably say that, to me, Snow Leopard was like Windows XP, Lion was like Vista, and Mountain Lion seems like Windows 7. That’s not saying that Lion was nearly as horrendous as Vista, but Vista does pretty much suck. That is a fact not in dispute.

There is no truth to the rumor that the next release of OS X will be named after teh Interwebz most famous feline.

It makes me wonder, though… if Apple is naming all the versions of OS X after big cats and they’ve used Lion, Tiger, Cheetah, Leopard, etc… what’s next? Do you make OS X Lynx? OS X Sabre-toothed Tiger? Or, do you go a little more internet and call it OS X Maru? I think that would be perfect.

After the gnomish little guy left, both Supportive Partner Woman (lead wire editor for the day!) and I headed off to our respective places of employment. It’s funny… I don’t like to work the weekend, and getting there is horrid, but once I’m there, it becomes easier to take. There’s usually a lot less stress on the weekend, the phones aren’t ringing, and all the chatterboxes are always chattering.

Wound up working on a particularly nasty job for a client involving all sorts of text and data manipulation. Hoping that the job is done by the time I get in tonight.

Yes, both SPW and I have to work tonight as well. The hard part for me about working a Sunday is that it’s straight time, since it’s the beginning of the week. That’s a recent change… used to be Saturdays, Sundays and anything over 7.5 hours in a day was considered overtime. Now you have to make it to 37.5 hours in a week, then it’s considered overtime. I realize that this just means that Friday is all OT, but it’s a psychological thing.

So, anyway, since it’s Sunday, SPW (taco enthusiast!) and I will probably make our weekly trek to Chipotle over in York. While it’s not the best food calorically, I can get a freshly made burrito bowl that usually feeds me two meals. I opt for brown rice, black beans, peppers and onions, chicken, pico ge gallo, lettuce and cheese. I accidentally got some of their hotter salsa last time and it was pretty tasty. Just sayin.

Did any of you watch the Olympic opening ceremony? I used the phrase “Danny Boyle’s acid trip” to describe a large part of it. Maybe the craptacular coverage by NBC diminished its impact, but while there were high points, there were certainly some WTF moments. For me, the real winners were the Queen’s bit with Daniel Craig that even had a cameo from two of the Royal Corgis, and, well, Rowan Atkinson was hysterical during the Chariots of Fire number. The real trippy moments included the scared children being calmed down by the squadron of Mary Poppinses, the freakishly large baby and the Industrial Revolution being overrun by a battalion of Sergeant Pepper wannabes. The NBC coverage of the Parade of Nations I found to be lacking, since there were no shots of that kinda hot javelin thrower from Paraguay. Oh, and can somebody tell me what the appeal of Ryan Seacrest is, cause I’m sure not getting it.

Anyways, that’s Sunday for you. The next post will be #100. Still not sure what it’s going to be about, but stay tuned!

Haven’t been particularly into it these past couple of days. No real reason except work is getting a little stressful. Not so much the work, but the incessant chatter of certain coworkers. I’m all in favor of having a good time while working, believe you me, but I really don’t need to hear your entire life’s story from DNA up until that afternoon. I ESPECIALLY don’t need to hear it every day and at volumes that could be easily heard over a Rush concert. It’s days like these that I really wish my headphones went to 11… I just want to go and do my job and go home. Is that too much to ask?

Ok, mini rant over.

Seriously, though, I’ve kind of been feeling blah the last couple of days. I’m not quite sure why… I think it’s going back to the dietitian appointment. I know logically that it’s no big deal, but emotionally, I feel like I’ve already failed. I’ve thought long and hard about why I get these feelings at the slightest bump in the road… And I’ve never come up with an adequate answer.

That’s not me at all.

I think one thing I really need to do is just learn to relax. I remember when I was a kid seeing a poster or sign and on this sign there was a picture of an old man and it was captioned, “Sometimes I sets and thinks, and sometimes I just sets.” (sic) I remember thinking that was kind of stupid… Why would you just sit? The older I get, the more sense that makes. I never learned to just sets. Probably explains why sleeping in is never an option for me. Once I wake up, my brain is going a million miles an hour. Even when we go on vacation, I am usually up and raring to go and obsessing over time and what we planned to do. (Note – I did some research and the quote is actually from baseball legend Satchel Paige)

In other news, also adding to the stress level, Supportive Partner Woman and I recently closed on a refinance of our home. Reduced the mortgage interest some 2.5%. Or at least we THOUGHT we closed. Turns out when the gnomish little notary guy came to the house yesterday to sign the paperwork, well, he forgot one. He called, frantic, and since I was at work last night and SPW was visiting her parental units, he agreed to come back over this morning at 10:00. It’s now 11:30 and no sign of him. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, but this does not make me happy. Sigh. If I don’t hear from him by noon, I’m going to call. Hopefully nothing untoward has happened.

So, how to learn to relax? I suppose I could learn to meditate, but my sister in law gave me another option. Yoga. She found a DVD that she thinks would be useful and she swears it helps to relieve stress. I’m concerned that if I try to do some of this stuff, I’ll spot weld in whatever downward facing dog pose I’m trying. But the DVD sits there, tempting me to try. I think I will need to consult with Ryan on Tuesday and see if he thinks it’s a good idea for me to try. I need to try something because I’m getting closer to falling back into the old habits. I do not want that to happen again.

Point of the matter is, it’s just a scale. A collection of sensors and electronics that could have been having a bad day itself. Maybe the humidity level threw something off. Maybe my shoes really do weigh 7 pounds more than my other shoes. Maybe I needed to use the bathroom. I don’t know. Whatever the cause, reason, I was NOT happy and I’ll be damned if I’m going to give up. I’ve gotten this far… I’ll get farther. My usual M.O. of trying for a bit then giving up isn’t going to cut the mustard. At the same token, I’m human and nowhere near perfect. I’m going to stumble. I’ll probably stumble a lot. Just need to keep moving forward.

One day, one meal at a time.